Monday 26 Dec 2016 – Farningham

It’s Boxing Day…the sun is shining… and I don’t have a hangover ( long story) so aperfect conditions  for a ride out to the  Pied Bull, Farlingham  where every year a Vintage Motor Cycle Meet is held-lots of riders take this chance to escape the house at xmas so tits a chance to look at both new and old bikes.

I have had my Tiger for just over a year now, and look how she sparkles thanks to Clean Bike Clinic

I meet Clive at the Esso garage to fill up and check my tyre pressures before we head off .

Our route takes us through Edenbridge, up Ide Hill, then Otford and onto Farlingham.

I miss the turning into the High Street  but continue to come into the village from the far end, parking just outside the Lion Hotel, next to the river ( note to self-must come here in the summer for lunch as nice outside seated area next to the river!), but I have lost Clive who I think spotted the turn off!

The joys of modern science and mobile phones means I can arrange to meet Clive and Simon ( a fellow Tiger rider who I thought wasnt going to make it over as he was running late,  but who calls me having beaten us here)  outside the Pied Bull

My first and last visit to this event was eight year ago when I remember there being lots more bikes, but even so the High Street is lined with people and bikes of all ages.

Here are some photos of some of the more interesting classic bikes that are parked up on my walk up the hill.

This Triumph has nabbed the prime parking space right outside the pub!

This guy is just leaving as I arrive.

Even Santa comes to take a look at the bikes…you’d expect him to be resting !

As I go to look at the really old bikes parked in the pub car park someone grabs my arm, it’s Ivor!. I don’t see him for years and then bump into him twice in the space of a few months. We stand and chat for a while and agree to meet up soon, swapping mobile numbers so I can text him about Sunday Beer Club…always a good chance to meet up with biking friends.

Ivor looking serious

Love the instructions on this old Harley.

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A selection of classic bikes

I am so busy taking photos of the gorgeous bikes I forget to take a selfie of myself, Clive and Simon…will have to wait another year now!

But here’s one of Clive, captured on our way back home.

We took the Long Way Home, continuing along the Hartfield Road to return along the A264-both really nice biking roads to finish off a lovely few hours out on the bike.

Saturday 17 Dec – Jacket

A lovely suprise for me when out tonight, as my friend Kathy (www.krakenmamma.wordpress.com) has finished the Bikerbunny applique that she has been making for me.

I was so excited to see it, jumping up and down like a little child :o)

The bunny looks just like Loppy, my ever faithful pillion

And the bike she is riding in the applique is my original Nuclear Pink Speed Triple.

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I am so lucky to have such talented friends.

Tuesday 13 Dec – Clean bike

Picked up my sparkling clean bike this morning.

Nigel at Clean Bike Clinic as usual has done an amazing job.

Tiger is looking very sparkly and more importantly is now protected with ACF 50 for riding in the winter.

But obviously the shock of being so clean was a bit much, as when I went to put the bike up on its centre stand in my shed, Tiger decided it was time for a nap!

Luckily no damage, as it gently landed on junk piled at the side.

But had to go and get my neighbour to help me lift it upright. Duh!

Sunday 11 Dec – Rye

A great day to practice some mindfulness:
mindfulness
ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/
noun
  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Or as us bikers call it “going for a ride” !

I start off with no particular destination in mind, but as I ride along I decide to head down to Rye. So plug it into my Garmin Zumo 595 and follow the route given.

As it turns out this is the route that I usually take to ride back from Rye, so although I recognise the roads, I usually see it from the opposite direction!

The roads are quite damp  and a little slippery , so concentration is needed, especially on the last stretch of road  from Newenden to Rye

Can someone tell me why drain holes/covers are so often situated in corners,  right on the biking line?  I always wonder this when my bike slips on one, like it did coming into Rye!

I park up on the Quay. There’s only about half a dozen bikes here and a couple of blokes sitting having a chat. So I decide  to go to  the cafe across the road for some lunch-ham egg and chips and a mug of tea, perfect.

Back to the my bike, and a few others have lined up next to my Santa Tiger

The lure of the sea is as always great, so I decide to ride home via Hastings.

View of Hastings Pier in the low winter sun.

The roads are a lot drier on the way back home, so I’m comfortable going a little faster-which is always good for the soul :0)

Back to East Grinstead and I drop my bike off ,ready for it to be pampered tomorrow by Clean Bike Clinic with a full clean and polish and more importantly a full application of  ACF 50  to keep it protected over the winter.

It’s then an easy walk down the hill to Beer Club at The Old Mill.

Beer Club is our Sunday afternoon tradition- a chance for mates ( biking or otherwise) to get together over a pint of beer or glass or three of wine and talk bikes, food, life in general or just general bollocks – there’s much more of the latter as  the beer kicks in!

A photo had to be taken today when we realised that three of us, John, myself and Sharon had all worn  TT Assen ( MotoGP) T shirts …great minds and all that!

Beer Club is always a great end to a day’s riding.

Sunday 4 Dec-Toy Run

Typical, after a frost free day yesterday , when I wake up this morning everything is covered in a thick white frost. And although it is sunny and bright I’m really not confident to ride when I don’t have to.

I post onto Facebook that I’m going to wait until later , but other riders assure me it’s ok.

So at 9.45am I decide to give it a go , as the plan is to meet at Mac Ds at 10 to ride to Bolney…but as I reverse the bike out of my shed, my foot slips on the ramp. That decides it I’m going to wait until later  and have to start the bike up to get it back into the shed.

By 11 the frost has gone, so I get my bike out, with its added new moustache and ride direct to Gatwick Manor.

The Run itself has already arrived and I quickly find the others who I would normally have ridden with and who were braver than me : Nutty, Clive,Brian, Sean,Ollie, Alan & Rona.

Here’s Ollie in his Santa suit.

It’s a pretty good haul and all the toys are distributed by The Golden Lions Trust to children with special needs and disadvantaged young people.

My Tiger has found a few friends.

A few of us traditionally go to the Toby Carvery. Alan & rona have thought to book a table this year, which is just as well as its a popular place and we would have had to wait a minimum of 90 minutes with no booking.

Rona, Hayley, Alan & Sean getting ready to tuck in.

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Now that’s what I call a Sunday Roast: Beef, Pork, Crackling, Apple Sauce, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Peas and lashings of Gravy.

Yummy!

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Saturday 3 Dec Newlands Corner

Its funny how what you think is going to be a short blast out to clear the cobwebs turns into a five hour ride around the countryside, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. After all when you ride a bike it’s usually about the journey, not the destination.

So my ride takes from East Grinstead, through Bletchingley, Redhill and Reigate.

There is a Xmas fair in Reigate, I ummed and ahhed whether to stop but decided not to.

Up until this point I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I decide to head to Newland’s Corner I can grab a coffee there and there’s  usually  a few bikes and bikers up there.

I continue along the A25, through Dorking to Abinger Hammer. Where I stop to take a photo of the famous clock which  portrays the figure of “Jack the Blacksmith”, who strikes the hour with his hammer. The clock bears the motto “By me you know how fast to go”.

Four bikes pass me as I’m taking my photos, including a couple of tigers…I wonder if they are headed to Newland’s Corner too?

When I arrive there’s 25/30 bikes lined up in front of the cafe area. The normal parking lot is taken up by a Xmas Tree pop-up shop!.

I grab a coffee. Love the festive Elf cup.

Such spectacular views across the Surrey hills.

I wander over and chat the bikers that passed me earlier. They are member of Solent Riders and are on quite a day’s ride out with about 5 coffee stops planned.

They invite me to join them next weekend on a group trip to Bruge Xmas Market. Its tempting as there are a couple of other lady rider going , but I politely decline as cant imagine riding all that way mid December! However I may look them up next year when the weather gets a bit warmer.

Right, what route shall I take home? I decide to go the long way. So with a few place names in mind I head off.

A25 to Guildford, A281 through Bramley ( I wonder if this is where the apples come from?)

I then turn left to Billingshurst, where there’s another Xmas Fair on, again I don’t stop ;o)

I’m now on the A272, although usually I’m headed the other way!

After Handcross I get caught in a rather long traffic jam.  There’s an extra long vehicle with trailer poodling down the country lanes and absolutely no chance to overtake with the road being so twisty.

He goes straight across at Turners Hill, there’s no way I’m following that all the way to East Grinstead, so  decide to turn left and take the longer route back.

Back in East Grinstead,  I park up at the top of town to buy some material to decorate my bike with for tomorrow’s Toy Run.

Back at home, my Tiger is transformed into Santa!