Saturday 11 March Chichester 

I’m looking for a new lid and just found out that Helmet City has a shop and clearance centre in Chichester, so decide to kill two birds with one stone and head down there today for my ride out.

It is quite dull as I get my bike out but then the sun comes out and if The Sun Has Got His Hat On then you definitely need to go out and play! ( link is for any of my American friends reading this who have no idea about this classic tune!)

A nice ride down to  the outskirts of Chichester-City of roundabouts!

Helmet City is just off the second roundabout!

The shop is a bit of a Tardis- looks tiny on the outside but holds loads of stock.

I get chatting to this couple who have just bought this tiger 800 from Destination Triumph and are trying to fit a top box,

I’ve come down to try out the Schubert Pro C3 Women as online it is shown at a great price (which unfortunately is only for the XS).

This ” ladies” helmet catches my eye with its funky lining.

The Schuberth is too expensive, but the salesmen recommends the Shark Evo-One-still quite a lot of money at £380, but it fits nicely and with its flip front that stays locked when open, it might be the one for me. They dont stock the white one here so I have some time to think it over, before I need to order it into their Tatsfield shop.

Meanwhile I head across the car park to the clearance centre. This is definately worth a visit if you are not bothered about having the latest gear.

The only item i really need other than a new lid is a pair of summer gloves. so I’m pleased to see they have a whole load of them at £25- only trouble is they are not necessarily in pairs-so its into jumble sale mode to search through 3 tiers of gloves.

I start chatting to another lady biker who is doing the same-we quickly check that we are not both searching for the same ‘other’ glove! Luckily we aren’t.

We get talking about Kevlar leggings as I’m wearing my GoGos and it turns out Linda             ( Hello Linda if you are reading this) is also a member of the Facebook group Motorbike women.

I eventually find the matching glove to the ones I like and a purchase is made.

I then ride up back to Arundel, for some more retail therapy in one of my favourite clothes shops Fanny Adams.

The town is really busy, but I manage to just sneak in on the end of a parking space!

The Victoria Institute has seen better days…with one of the castles’s towers in the background.

After my shopping I pop into enjoy a cuppa and crumpet with my friends’ Jane and Gareth who live in Arundel.

They are currently dog sitting Rufus, who likes a crumpet too, or would if he had a chance!

Isn’t he a handsome boy?

I get home just as it is turning dark- that was an enjoyable day’s riding.

A couple of hours later and I’m meeting up with some old biking friends for a curry in Lingfield.

I’m really looking forward to end of May when i will be biking with them again over in France.

Advertisements

Saturday 4 March

As is often the case I start my ride today not really knowing where I’m going to ride to/

I head out on the A262 to Tunbridge Wells and continue on this road all the way to Tenterden.

I stop on the way to take a photo of the penny farthing at Sissinghurst. This was originally erected for the Tour de France which travelled through the village on 8th July 2007.

Just before Tenterden I turn right onto the Appledore Road ( an old favourite).

After Appledore I follow the road left which winds its way to Brenzett, where I stop to take the photo below.

A little bit of research when I get home on the sign , and I find out that Brenzett, has a small  Aeornautical museum, which I may try and find next time I’m down this way at the weekend .  It was also the site of a RAF  Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) airfield during the  Second world War ,at one time operating North American Mustangs IIIs. 

a fast blast along the straight A259, before turning right past Lydd airpost,  through Lydd itself, coming out on to the joyful Jury’s Gap- a whole series of nice fast curves, and at this time of year no tourist traffic to get in the way. ;o)

I decide to stop an take a walk on the beach at Camber. The tide is high, so no sand today just pebbles.

Here’s me, Helmet Hair with a touch of Seaside Wind!

A short stroll to beachocomb but  not much to see, only some seaweed …

and a cute smiley stone

Off again, through Rye, then along the A259 to Hastings, where I stop off to buy some cockles and anchovies for tea tonight.

Then onwards to Sovereign Harbour for a cup of tea and a natter at my friends’ Jo and Simons flat.

The weather report for today had been showers but I have been really lucky until five minutes from home when it does start to rain.

My route for the day.

Home! and I’m ready to enjoy my cockles with a glass of bubbles!

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.

X

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 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!

Thursday 27 October

I’ll use any excuse to go for a ride, so when I have to go and meet a Recruitment Consultant in Crawley I decide to go on the bike. Who knows maybe it will make me a little more memorable when new roles come in!

My meeting finishes by 3.30, and the sun is shining so why not take the long route home?

I have no idea what route I’m going to take, but start of heading south on A23.

I then turn off onto the B2215 and just follow signposts to whatever village name takes my fancy!

As I past through Plumpton it feels like the right time to start heading home, so with my GPS set to curvy route I hit the Go Home button.

The first turning it tells me to take is  left onto Allington Lane…hmm looks a little narrow but I go for it.

It turns into proper Tiger country, including grass growing in the middle of the road!

It also looks like perhaps this route is liable to flooding. Well that’s the only reason I can think of for this giant ruler at the side of the road. Strange as there does not appear to be any large rivers nearby.

Unfortunately my tracking app Rever, paused when I stopped to take the photos and didn’t automatically start again.( note to self to check in future)

But I ended up returning home on roads I know well via Lindfied, Ardingly and Turners Hill.

What a pleasant way to spend a sunny autumn afternoon and all the better for being unplanned.

 

 

Saturday 22 October 2016 Worlds End and back via Winchester

Another beautiful day and it seems a shame to waste it indoors, so I decide to go for a ride.

I went to the seaside earlier this week, so decide to take this opportunity for probably the last ride of the season on the A272 to Winchester.

As the end of this week also marks the 10th anniversary of Steve’s accident, it also seems an apt place to go.

I can use my tickets, purchased earlier this year when  I took  my friend Sara, to go and visit the Cathedral and in particular the Antony Gormley statue Sounds II that we both loved.

Well that was the cunning plan!

But like all cunning plans, it was not to be. As I got close to the Cathedral there were lots of people milling around. Turns out some “name ” is getting married this afternoon, so there is no access for a while.

Its to chilly to hang around, so I decide to pass for today.

Parked up near the Cathedral is this stunning looking bike. Not my sort of thing, but stunning all the same.

It has very apt paintwork!

The roads have been perfect for riding on today-totally dry, which makes a change and with my heated jacket and grips I’m not really feeling the chill so decide to look for an alternative route home.

I get out my map and spot my via point for the route home..

Yep, I went to Worlds End and back today!

And it would have been very easy to miss it. There really wasn’t anything there-although when I get home I find it has one of the UK’s oldest post boxes!

 

I’d  also plugged in Shoreham as a via point, but once Igot to Emsworth I decide just to head home via whatever curvy roue my Garmin decided to send me on.

It did good , bringing me up on the A285, a lovely bit of road and then from Petworth back onto the A272 when I had a perfectly clear road through the twisty wooded section . Heaven! I was in the zone!

Below are the screen prints from Rever of my routes.

A272 this morning-probably my favourite local road,  and a little more variation this afternoon.

So despite a small set back it has been a pretty good day.

I’ve had the only HRT I need , Have a Ride Therapy!

I’ve been to Worlds End and back ,

ridden 160 miles ,

with 4.5 hours actual riding time although I’ve been out  nearly all day!

And home bfore it got dark.

Priceless!

 

 

Monday 17 October Newhaven

I use an app , recommended by a biking friend, called Rever for the first time today.

You can use the app to plan your route but I just want to use it to track my route, which it does pretty well, once I realise I need to turn the auto pause feature  on!

It not only tracks your route but also also your top speed, average speed and time taken, plus the altitude of your rides.

You can save the routes , so you can follow hem again, and you can share directly from the app to social media, but I’d prefer for my top speed not to be out there! So I’ll be showing you screen prints from my phone!

Its a beautiful, crisp October day , but I’ve been feeling a bit blue, so what better way to feel better than a ride to the seaside.

Yes, its Newhaven , and its pebbly beach, but still a good place to sit and eat my packed lunch and chill out!

I don’t know why sitting near the sea and watching and listening to the waves has such a calming effect, but it does.

My friend Sue, says the vastness of the ocean makes her realise how insignificant she and her problems are, but I never think of that. All I know is it works.!

Sitting here at Newhaven, the sound of the pebbles as they  are pulled back into the water by the receding waves  I am reminded of Jean Michel Jarre’s  Oxygene II.

This was one of the first  two albums( on cassette) that I ever bought- the other was Hotel California-which I think has stood the test of time better!

I am always on a quest for the”perfect” wave photo and there’s absolutely no reason why the English Channel cant be the place for me to find it.

I love these 3 photos but I don’t think any of them are the “one”

I follow the GPS curvy route on the way home, which takes me a slightly different way to my normal route. I come up and over Ashdown Forest, so stop to take a couple of snaps of the Autumn leaves

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”…

…I do wander on the bike, and often I’m riding solo, but I have to admit its rare that I feel lonely ( except when I have mechanical failures), mainly I just feel at peace with the world and myself.