New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours

Combining Motorbike Touring with Training


February 2016

Me and “Billy” again!

Went for a spin early this morning. Leaving town at 8am we headed out to Malmesbury along the B4040. One of my favourite roads this; its got lots of straights and great bends to try. All the way to the M4 at junction 17.

Stopped at Leigh Delamere to switch on the sat-nav. Sally bought me a bike mount for our car sat-nav so thought this would be a good chance to try it out.

Volume was turned up to maximum and I still couldn’t hear the bloody thing!

Got to junction 18 and turned right for Tetbury. Burbling through villages such as Westonbirt – saw Spandau Ballet here last summer – and sped along the winding, twisty road doing the speed limit all the way. No weekend drivers out today which made a very pleasant change – thank you!!

Into Cirencester, we headed into town rather than go on the dual carriageway. Through market square and turned right at the roundabout.

And rode all the way home.

Blooming cold too! I only wore a T-shirt beneath my jacket and I did start to feel the cold. I guess this is a longer journey than I have been doing of late so the cold did get  through eventually.

Anyway, nice ride. Kept to the speed limit. Dry, no ice, no rain, no worries! And sat-nav – yeah worked well.

And who is Billy – surname, “no-mates”. Turned out just me on my own which is fine. Just nice to be out on a ride for an hour or so anyway.

Route has been done before, several times, but shown below again!

Ride in the dark!

Took KES for a spin yesterday evening, all the way from Cricklade to Wroughton, to attend an evening class. Then came home again at which time it was darker.  Went along the back unlit country roads via Purton and J16 of M4.

Not sure which I enjoyed more, the evening class or the ride to and from.  Strange as it may seem, I find riding at night rather therapeutic.

Riding in the dark takes more concentration and effort than riding in the day. The lights on a motorbike are not that good – many bikes are worse than mine that is for sure; some modern bikes have lights that lean into the bend with you.  In a car you can see further. On a bike you can see perhaps 20 yards in front of you. So, that’s why you ride slower than in the day time. There are pot holes you can’t see; mud on road you can’t see and the occasional deer!

And on Wharf Road heading into Wroughton, there’s that bloody third bend I’d forgotten about!! Took me by surprise and had to lean further than expected!!!

Top tips for riding at night:

  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Make sure your lights are working , front and back
  • Leave extra time – say 5-10 minutes
  • Don’t stare at the rear lights of the vehicle in front; drop back a bit further than you would normally as this vehicle can lead you through the oncoming bends, twists and turns.
  • Watch the direction of oncoming traffic; where is it coming from as this gives you a clue as to bends in the road ahead
  • Ride slower – especially on unlit country roads. Better to arrive late than not arrive at all
  • Relaxed posture, don’t tense – this is good sense anyway, but certainly helps when riding at night
  • And make sure your speedo bulbs are working – mine blew en-route so who knows how fast I was going

Make sure you enjoy it!!

Ride Saturday morning?

Weather looking just about ok for this coming Saturday (27th Feb).

Anyone fancy a quick spin for a couple of hours and the obligatory tea/coffee?

Looking forward to the rain!

Strange as it may seem, I’m actually looking forward to the rain that is forecast today.

Having bought some new riding gear, this will be the first opportunity for me to try it out! Hopefully it will keep me dry unlike my previous gear – Oxford Bone Dry  (bones are actually wet not dry). I now have RST Paragon Pro IV jacket and matching trousers which has had some good write ups so fingers crossed. I may even zip on the storm collar just to see if it does the job.

Swindon 105.5 radio session yesterday went ok. My colleague from RoADAR didn’t make it, so it was just me holding the fort. I sat next to the main presenter  so that I can learn to drive the system as it were. Choosing the tunes and making sure the timing is spot-on as well as presenting! Who said men can’t multi-task?

Next radio session is in two weeks time on the 1st March; subject to be confirmed nearer the time.

Quick update: after riding home in the rain yesterday evening, only a 10 mile journey, I arrived perfectly dry!  I thought you might be interested in knowing 🙂


No ride tomorrow!

Usually on the second Saturday of the month I would organise a ride, but cannot make it tomorrow.

If you have chance though, we are appearing on Swindon 105.5 on Tuesday 16 February at 10am. See link to listen live via the interweb!!


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