Sunday 23 July Wessons & Seaford

First time out on the bike since my trip to France and subsequent back problems, so I am a little apprehensive, but all turns out ok.

The roads are still damp in places from last nights downpour, and more rain is forecast for later, but I aim to be home before the rain.

I head over to Wessons in Horam- one of my favourite shorter rides.

The big decision to be made as I ride over, is what will I order to eat?!

The thought of a Cheese and Ham toastie jumps into my head…Mmm, havent had one of those in ages so thats that sorted!

The cafe isnt as busy as I expected, and I manage to grab a seat outside at the front.

The guy who was behind me in the queue joins me on the table,and we are soon chatting. His big fat breakfast comes out before my order, Work that one out!

Two other bikers join us, Stewart and Tyrone and we continue the chat. One of the great things about a biker cafe- you get to talk to strangers who soon become friends!

Turns out they are both members of the local Top of Town facebook group too.

They are planning on going to Pyranees in September. I suggest they visit the Picos too. Check out my blog post of my trip there and you will see why I recommend it.

They ask where I’m headed and if I’d mind if they tagged on. Not a problem for me, although I explain Im only heading down to Seaford to visit Steve’s Dad, John.

Its a good ride down- My pace may have been a little slow for them, (a couple of times we are overtaken by other sportsbikes) but I’ve learnt to ride my own ride.

We say goodbye at Seaford as I head off to see John.

After a cuppa and a chat with John, who I think is looking really well (must be all those meals on wheels he’s having) it’s time to head home if I want to miss the rain.

A good blast back, stopping briefly at Chelwood Gate to buy some freesias from the nursery there.

I get home just as it starts raining…result!

Put my flowers in a vase

Crack open a beer, put TV on to watch BSB from Brands

And read the two freebie biking mags I’d picked up at Wessons.

And to finish the day off a little later I’ll be off to Beer Club down at The Old Mill to catch up with friends.

My favourite kind of a Sunday

Sunday 26 March: Newhaven & back

As it’s Mothers Day and I’ve been invited to lunch at Vickis, I only have time for a short blast out today to enjoy the spring sunshine, so decide to go to Newhaven and back.

What a beautiful day for a ride. There is a light breeze but it is quite warm.

The tide is high when I get to Newhaven.

I walk round to the beach to pick up a souvenir stone. 

At the end of the harbour wall some lads are doing a photoshoot.  They are a local band,  Igloo.

My souvenir stone!

What do you think of my new lid? 

I was given it by biking friends Nigel and Jane, when I mentioned I had been trying on open face helmets. 

 Nigel hadn’t got on with it, so it was sat up in their loft, almost new and they’ve generously given it to me.

It is noisier than I’m used to, but I do like being able to flip up the front.

Thank you so much xx

Time to head home, taking the back roads out of Newhaven, past Piddinghoe up to Lewes.

I take a short detour to Colmans Hatch church to put some flowers on Steve’s grave and lay one on his Mums grave too.

Then onto a lovely Mothers Day lunch at Vickis, with Dan, doing the honours with the cooking.

As the sun is out I finally get a chance to get do my Pink Stiletto photoshoot! 

On the left is a cover photo for BMW magazine in USA. This caused a furore amongst many lady riders – many of them who ride Bmws. Why show a blonde in high heels and leopard skin trousers when there are so many real lady riders out there, which I do agree with but…

 on the other hand.. 

one of my lady biking friends posted on Facebook that  saying that although she would never look anything like it, that the photo was what she felt like riding a bike. 

I challenged her and said all she needed was bright lippy, leopardskin leggings and high heels and thus The Pink Stiletto challenge was born; a private Fb page set up and a deadline of Easter to try and recreate the photo as best you could- a bit of fun for some of my lady biker friends all over the World.

Can you spot the difference?ūüėČ

It was nice to sit on my beautiful Nuclear Red Speed Triple again, but don’t worry Vicki, I’m not going to ask for it back…yet!

And to finish off the day, what better than the first MotoGP of the season from Quatar. A slightly delayed start, but a great race.

All in all a pretty good Mothers’ Day

Sunday 19 February First ride of 2017

At last , a reasonably warm and dry Sunday means I can finally go for a ride, on my nice shiny clean Tiger.

Do you like my new sticker

” The Grandma” in Rossi colours, bought yesterday from the bike show ( thanks Christine)

 

But where to go ? ¬†as I have to be home by lunchtime for my Grandson’s birthday party.

I decide to head down to Newhaven, a  favourite  route.

Then round the curves to Seaford before heading North through Alfriston.

The level crossing at Berwick is down, with a couple of cars and a motorbike waiting ahead.

The bike is  a sporty one ridden by a youngster who does not acknowledge me behind him .

He overtakes the two vehicles in front, and is very lucky not to get squidged by a car coming round a blind corner.

Less haste more speed ,as I catch him up quickly. So tempting to overtake him, but I resist!

At the main road, I decide I have enough time for a visit to Wessons.

As I expected on the first really nice Sunday so far this year it is packed.

The queue is very long. I think the young lad serving is a newbie.

I was contemplating having brunch here, but with this many people my guess is it will take a while, so opt for a cuppa and a piece of bread pudding.

I sit outside at the front, and soon get chatting to the two blokes sitting opposite me, one of whom  owns this rather beautiful Moto Guzzi.

I get back home about 12.30 feeling so much better for getting some Ride Therapy.

Sunday 11 Dec – Rye

A great day to practice some mindfulness:
mindfulness
ňąm Ć…™n(d)f( ä)ln…ôs/
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!

Monday 28 Nov 2016 Wessons

I decide to take a ride out to Wessons Cafe in Horam for lunch. There are quite a few good riding routes to get there, but today I choose the A264 to Tunbridge Wells, followed by the A267 which takes me all the way down to Horam.

It being a sunny, but chilly Monday I’m not expecting many bikes to be there, but there’s about 6 other bikers there who have braved the chilly weather to get out for a ride.

A big plus point of it being so quiet is that there is no queuing for food, which is good news as I’m hungry!

I normally like to sit outside on the terrace, but not today, far too cold! I grab a table and a copy of  South East Biker magazine, which is always a good read.

As you can see I went for the healthy option…not! Cheese and ham toastie with chips, and the statutory Mug of Tea.

If anyone is looking for a business opportunity the cafe is up for sale for a mere £850K  eek! More details here

In a previous incarnation it was a motorbike accessory shop with a cafe attached called Ogri’s.

Ogri was a very funny biker cartoon character , drawn by Paul Sample for Bike magazine.

He visited the cafe years ago and drew the cartoon below on one of the posts.

There are also some other hand drawn pictures on display ,including this one of Mitzi (although I think she looks a bit like she has a 5 o clock shadow in this one)

So here’s a better one of her I found on the web.

mitzi

And this great one of Ogri, Mitzi and not forgetting kickstart the dog!

ogri

Having finished my lunch I headed home. I stuck to the tried and tested main A22, there’s too many wet leaves around on the smaller roads.

The temperature drops down to 7c on the way back. I think this may be the last time I will be wearing my Go Go leggings this year.Such a shame as they are so much more comfortable to ride in than my normal textile trousers, but even with wearing thermal leggings underneath they are just not warm enough for winter riding.