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Peter Genet

Gentleman Biker of Cricklade

Picking daisies!

Looking forward to receiving this DVD from Mike Waite. Have seen it before and he provides some really good advice on positioning amongst other things!  The phrase that really sticks out is “Picking Daisies”! Still makes  me chuckle now!!

Picking Daisies!

Mike served in the Dorset Police for twenty years and as a police motorcycle instructor it was his job to train officers to the very highest level, from standard to high-speed pursuit riding.

 

Nice Sunday morning ride! Because we can!

Nice ride on Sunday with a good friend of mine. Made a change to ride without having a purpose other than enjoying the ride itself. Too often, over the past three-months I’ve ridden to work and back; yes, these rides are enjoyable, but to ride for no reason other than to ride brings back why we ride in the first place!

Sunday was a gorgeous morning. Dry and bright with white fluffy clouds hiding a blue sky behind. We headed up the Fosse Way for a ride I’ve done before. All the way to Moreton In Marsh, turning right towards Oxford, arriving in Chipping Norton and bearing right for Burford and then first left to Bibury. Then Latton and back to our meeting point in Purton Stoke.

The roads were sublime; plenty of straights and bendy bends causing a few challenges. Rolling grass covered chalk hills of the Cotswolds saw us passing through pretty villages and valleys. Even with the speed limit set at 50mph in many places, this did not distract from the overall feeling of the ride.

Stopping only once in Bibury for a brief chat (we were using blue tooth headsets) and drink, we watched some tourists chuck stones at a dead trout floating upside down in the shallow river Coln.

Leaving a packed Bibury full of tourists and their coaches, we headed back home via Latton and Blunsdon. We had to use the dual carriageway in the end, but it was worth it.

A great familiar ride, made all the better of riding it purely for pleasure, and because we can!

No photos unfortunately as I forgot to take my phone with me!!

Thunder and Lightning, very frightening!

What a day it turned out to be! Popped down to the Divine Cafe on the A4 just outside of Calne, and it chucked it down! Hail! Thunder! Lightning! Heavy, heavy rain!  Wouldn’t believe it’s August would you! Then the sun came out and the ride home was superb!

Still, cuppa tea stayed dry!

The only real down side to the rain was I washed the bike only yesterday! Now its bloody filthy! Again!!!

The ride home was nice though. Back up through some narrow lanes, covered in grass and gravel, to Hilmarton and Wootton Bassett!

Route, in case interested! Only a short ride, but it involved a morning of chat with the chaps from Wiltshire RoADAR!

Run to Cornwall – in a camper van!

Not what was expected eh? This was a family holiday to one of our favourite campsites, Mother Ivey’s Bay, near to Padstow for the Whitsun week saw us on our first run in our new, to us, camper van! Something we had been hankering after for a few years now, and now we have one!

The new van!
The Genets and their new van

Mother Ivey’s bay is just a few miles from Padstow – we try to avoid the town as it is always overrun with tourists which is a great shame.

However, not visiting Padstow didn’t stop us from having a great time.

We popped down to Bedruthen steps for the first time, and the scenery blew our minds! Couldn’t believe how nice it was here; we’ve been coming here for 30 years or more and never once visited.

The sea on Constantine beach started off cold. By Thursday, the sea had gotten bloody cold! But, we (Richard and me) still went in wearing wet suits of course. Booby’s bay, just around the corner to Constantine, is one of my all time favourite beaches in the world. It has everything including loads of rock pools, surf and often a world class sunset! No coral or really pretty fish like in the Maldives, but nonetheless, a magical place to spend time.

On our way home, we stopped off at Dr Marten’s house in Port Isaac which, in my opinion, is a much prettier Cornwall town than what Padstow has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

And slightly further up the coast we stopped at Boscastle for a cuppa tea before the final drive home.

Boscastle with a cuppa tea!

Its a shame a great week has to come to an end. But, I guess that is what makes holidays special – you get chance to spend time with your family doing fun things together. Which we do at weekends of course, but a whole week or two is even better!

Same place next year?

Triumph Street Triple 675 – courtesy bike!

The Tiger is in for it’s 6,000 mile service, and I was provided a courtesy bike in the form of a Triumph Street Triple 675, 2016 model.

Street Triple 675 courtesy bike

Its tiny compared to the Tiger. But, although short in stature, it seems to be “large” on character. From the picture it is hard to tell the size of it.

Anyway, so far, I have ridden it all of 10 miles and I must admit, there is a large grin on my face.

The riding position makes me lean slightly forward, like a racing bike. The pegs are at a “funny” angle to what I am used to, slightly tipped forward which is a little awkward. Cornering is a lot of fun! It turns so easily and nimbly.

Would I buy one? Yes, but only for hooning about at weekends, and for short commutes to work. It is great fun though, and good for filtering through traffic being a lot narrower than the Tiger. Would it get to the Alps? Probably, but I think I would be hurting when I got there!

However, it was bloody good fun!

I took it to work and back today. Up the A419, into Cirencester, along the A453 (back road) to Cheltenham.

On the A419, I could feel the wind hitting me at 70mph. This bike is definitely more at home on the ‘A’ roads where it can be chucked into corners. And it likes being thrown into tight bends! Got to work and I had a big smile on my face!!! Couldn’t wait to ride home again!!

It was a very hard and firm ride; I felt every bump.  I hadn’t realised there were so many drain covers in Cheltenham – live and learn I suppose.

I got the Tiger back this evening and it was like sitting in an armchair! I’m definitely built more for comfort these days!

A Tiger sandwich! 

Not often this happens, if ever, but it’s true!  Tiger sandwich of the Triumph variety!

Leading this month’s Wiltshire RoADAR ride was a Tiger 800 XRx; (me) and bringing up the rear was a Tiger 1050 ridden by Les – both, confusingly, the same colour. Using the drop off system we departed Marlborough promptly at 9.30 only 15 minutes late. Les, on the 1050 Tiger, reckoned the rain would miss us as it was going across country – well Les was bloody wrong! Both ways!!

Our route followed the road to Pewsey, Amesbury, along the A303 towards Shaftsbury, Cann Common and zig-zag hill, Blandford, Wareham, Corfe and finally Swanage.

The idea of these rides is not to be a training session, but a social one. Friends riding out for the sheer fun and pleasure. Oh, yes, and some chips too!

Ascending zig-zag hill and stopping after an hour and half riding at Cann Common airfield for a well deserved tea/coffee/cake/bacon or sausage sandwich, we observed two brave souls do a wing walk on an old bi-plane! Crackers, both of them!

Thoroughly refreshed, we headed onto Swanage. Corfe castle eventually looming up from nowhere, I couldn’t help but ponder how on earth the walls stayed up in high winds when it dawned on me they don’t; Corfe Castle is a ruin! Funny the things you think about when riding isn’t it! I can get quite argumentative with myself sometimes.

Pootling on to the sea front we parked up ready now for our fish’n’chip lunch.  What on earth was that pirate doing? Remember, what goes on tour stays on tour!

Wandering around Swanage, had our final cuppa tea for the day, adjacent to the tourist info office. Six bikers chewing the fat, having a bit of banter and generally laughing the day away sat in the sunshine! What could be better?

Chewing the fat after the fish’n’chips

Leaving Swanage for our homeward bound journey, we ambled along the road to Studland – yes, we all claimed to be from around here! The ferry cost us a quid each to get to Poole and Bournemouth. Following our noses we took the road to Salisbury, Marlborough then home again.

Posing by the bikes!

What a cracking day it was. Sunshine, rain, sunshine, rain, tea, fish’n’chips and great time with some great blokes!

200 miles all told; 6 hours riding time. I got home around 6.30pm in time for tea – perfect!!

New video camera – do I really need to read the instructions?

Sally bought me a new Stealth2 helmet camera for my recent birthday!  Which means I’ve been out playing with it and learning how it works – as you would expect from an engineer?  I may even read the instructions one day, but I am a typical bloke after all so probably won’t!

On Easter Monday, we went for a spin – and Sally rode pillion with me which was great. The video of this is below. You can’t see Sally but nonetheless it was a nice ride with just the two of us.

The first video was shot at 30 frames per second; so, the one below (my ride to work) was shot at 120 frames per second, which should improve the overall quality.

I have used Microsoft Movie Maker which accounts for the lack of professionalism!! But, learning all the time!!

 

Ride to Bibury on video

Re-post of an earlier ride with a shortened video. Trying to make it more interesting! Hopefully, more to come!

At the start we are leaving Cricklade via Calcutt st; onto the A419 northbound and off at the very next junction, turning right towards Fairford.

Got a few little minor errors to correct!

Do bikers drink Earl Grey and eat Cesar salad?

When you think of bikers I bet, if over a certain age, the image of Easy Rider on Harley Davidsons springs to mind or, hairy blokes wearing denim jackets, club logos emblazoned on the back, leather jeans and racing loudly around stopping only to eat raw steak, drink snakebite and vodka! Those of a younger age might imagine Charley and Ewan in the Long Way Round; but whatever age you are, I bet you don’t imagine bikers drinking Earl Grey tea and eating chicken with a Cesar salad (ok, this was asked for in hushed tones!).  Well, surprise surprise, the latter is what you get with the modern biker. Ok, some of us may be hairy, we do wear jackets with the Wiltshire RoADAR www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk logo on the back though not compulsory, and we do all wear protective clothing.

Recently we took on a genteel ride starting at Sally Pussey’s pub (yes, we still snigger at this too) in Royal Wootton Bassett; heading down to Chippenham to pick up four more bikers via Brinkworth; then to Cheddar Gorge en-route to Weston Super Mare. Eight bikers all told; all on big bikes (Triumph being the most prevalent – just saying).  We did return via the M5 and M4 to get home in time for the rugby – well done the French and Irish! Come on, we must be nice to these guys if we want a good deal after Brexit!

The team meeting in Chippenham

Our first stop for coffee was at New Manor Farm Shop at West Harptree on the Wells Road south of Bath. Hot chocolate topped with cream and marshmallows and a flake! Crikey! Just what I needed – trouble is, no time for a snooze as we sped on our way in blustery gales through sleepy Cheddar gorge to Weston Super Mare.

New Manor Farm – suitably refreshed

Dropping into Cheddar it was hard not to admire the ancient rocks of the gorge which was formed from the melting ice age waters either side of us, almost, it seems, within touching distance. Not just us but many walkers were also out. We made our way slowly through this bustling little village following signs to Weston.

At Weston the tide was out as it nearly always seems to be but we arrived in time for lunch – talk about coincidence! Fish’n’chips! And, guess where the motorbike parking was? Right opposite Winston’s! First time a town planner has got this right!

Winstons fish’n’chips at Weston

This was a nice ride covering some 180 miles all told. The roads varied greatly in terms of size and condition. As did the weather! Wet and windy at times. Mild at others.

Lunch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earl grey and Cesar salad for lunch! Really? Yes.

The route down:

 

 

 

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