Must of what your teachers say at school (up to and including 6th Form) is a load of drivel designed to get students through their exams. However, occasionally they will give out little gems of wisdom that may one day become very very useful. Whilst I was at the grammar school I had the opportunity to take wine appreciation (I think it may have had something to do with General Studies) but I remember that it was taken by our I.T. teacher who used to take about almost anything but the subject at hand. One day he was talking to us about drink-driving (and how very bad it is) and he told us about one time that he had driven home after a heavy night in the pub and couldn’t figure out how to turn on his headlights. The solution?…. he used his indicators! Needless to say he was stopped by the police… not for drink-driving but for driving without his headlights on – this was quite a few years ago, and in Guernsey!!!
So what has this got to do with my GSX-R750? Well, last night I left Shanes house following a BBQ only to find that my dipped headlights weren’t working, full beam was very intermittent and when I used my front brake the brake light didn’t come on. After a bit of poking around we (Shane & I) decided that it may be the corroded relays that were the problem. Luckily my parking lights were still working so I decided to risk it and ride home anyway. Before setting off I wiggled the relay wires and managed to get the full-beam on and just hoped it would last until I got to the main road – Shane lives down some very windy, very narrow, very dark lanes.
Unfortunately the full beam didn’t last a hundred meters before it failed again. What could I do? Luckily I remembered my teachers words of wisdom and managed to get through the lanes with the aid of my indicators for light… which wasn’t very easy as the hedges and walls kept on disappearing only to re-appear much closer than I thought they should be!!!
I just read about an interesting feature on Google in which you can get Google to “fill in the blanks”. You simply type in a sentance and put an asterisk where you want the blank filled in. I found this out from the Google blog and the example query they give is “The parachute was invented by *“.
SO I thought that I would give it a go and tried searching for “the motorcycle was invented by *“. As luck would have it this not only tells you who invented the motorcycle, it is also a perfect example of why information found on the internet should be taken with a pinch of salt. Apparently the motorcycle was invented by the following people:
- Gottlieb Daimler in Germany in 1885
- Sylvester H. Roper in 1869
- Howard Roper in 1867
This feature of Google is also pretty good for looking up jokes, such as “how many * does it take to change a light bulb“. However, I’m not sure how many people will find the second result very funny!
Once again my bike is in the garage being fixed. This time it is the oil return pipe that has given up the ghost. Friday even I noticed that it was leaving oil marks on the wet road but assumed this was because the heavy rain was washing some of the old oil off the engine block. After riding it Saturday morning I noticed that the occasional drip had become more frequent, so I called the Millard & Co. for some advice (and to order some new tyres).
I was advised to take the bike there immediately to be checked out. Upon arriving at Millards I was greated with a “How the hell didn’t you come off your bike?!?!?”. It seems that the dripping of oil hard turned into a torrent and the engine must have been running virtually dry.
It turns out that the had split meaning that the oil that should have been going to the top of the cylinder headers to cool the engine was in fact spewing out over the engine which isn’t so effective for cooling. Not only that, but the oil that the bike had been loosing was also all over the back tyre (luckily I’m getting new tyres) which could have resulted in a nastey accident.
I have decided that following my trip to Norway this summer I shall be selling my bike and getting a new one, I’m thinking either a street bike like a Bandit or a big (200cc) vespa scooter. If anyone is interested in buying my GSX-R I’m open to offers and can be got at aidy at gringod dot com.
Update: I found out that a friend of my sister is selling her bike for £2500 for a (I think) 2004 bike. I may ask if I can have a look at it as that is in my post-Norway budget range for a new bike.
When I went on holiday last weekend I took my camera with my, fully intending to stop as often as possible to take pictures of the scenery from the seat of my bike. These are the results:
As you can probably tell, the joy of riding got the better of me. The result being that I was so in awe of my bike I only took pictures of that when I could finally drag myself off the seat.
Continuing from earlier… when I arrived at Poole harbour on Monday afternoon I was tired and hungry as I’d been riding all morning and hadn’t eat since breakfast as I was unable to get to Bucklers Hard in the New Forest. All I wanted was to be able to sit down and have something to eat.
That wasn’t to be though, as soon as I had parked up my bike I and was removing my helmet I was confronted by a kid with a barrage of questions about my bike and how cool it looked and how he ha a bike. At first I thought he was about 16 or 17 and so I thought I’d humour him a bit. Only he started going on about how he’d got an old GT500 that he used for drag racing (or something) and he also had a GSX in bits that he was going to be rebuilding and his mate “Dobbo” was gonna do it for free but his mate “Smiffy” at school didn’t believe him so he got a contract from “Dobbo” saying that he was going to do it for free and so “Smiffy”… and it went on and on and on. It was sometime during this rant that he let slip that he was only 13.
At this point I completely blanked him and walked off to buy my lunch in the hope that he would ignore me. It was also at the moment that the checkin gates opened so he had to go back to his parents car… Lady Luck can be a wonderful at times.
So anyway, I ate my lunch and went through checkin and into customs… where I was stopped and searched. It wasn’t just me, they searched all the first lot of vehicles that went through and being a motorcyclist I was one of the first.
After customs I met up with a couple of other bikers who were also on the boat. One was heading back to Jersey and the other was heading to Guernsey with a very nice 2002(?) R1 that he’d just bought, and I mean VERY nice. We started off chatting about where we’d come from, about the bikes and then the conversation moved onto other subjects (the whole world doesn’t revolve around bikes). Unfortunately that kid showed up again. Only this time his age and immaturity really shone through! No matter how much we ignored him he kept butting in with random comments and questions about bikes and which one was the best bike there… OMG GROW UP!!!!
After a while the Condor ferry appeared out of the mist at which point the kid said “why don’t you start your engine up and have a revving contest with the ferry!!!”…. you what?!?!? that’s the sort of comment I’d expect from a four year old!!!
At this point I decided to play my final trump card. Having realised that he had never been on the wavepiercer before I told him the story about what would happen if the ferry hit a container that had fallen from a cargo ship. At this point he turned a most wonderful shade of green and disappeared back to his parents car and I never heard from him again… thank god!
NB. If you’re wondering what would happen if the wavepiercer hit a container the answer is… the container would win. An there’s a whole lot of containers that have been lost in the English Channel!!!
My last ride of the holiday in the UK was from Cheltenham down to Poole so I could catch the ferry to come home again. The ferry wasn’t until 4:00pm so I decided to set off earlier in the morning so that I could spend some time in the New Forest and possibly go down to Bucklers Hard (an old ship building yard thats now a museum).
I managed to follow my planned route this time (as I’d written out my own route plan rather than following the RAC directions). I got to the New Forest in about an hour and a half and promptly got stuck in traffic. Although I was on my bike and I was overtaking standing traffic when I could I was still in the jam for about half an hour before I finally decided that maybe I should give up on the whole New Forest thing as I still hadn’t got to Lyndhusrt and I had no idea of how to get to Bucklers Hard. Maybe next time I’ll go to the New Forest during the week instead of on a Bank Holiday Monday!!!
I promptly did a U-turn in the road and headed back to the motorway. From there it was only a half-hour blast to Poole where I knew I could grab a bit to eat at the checkin area, only I wasn’t prepared for the pesky kid…. but thats another story.
Easter Sunday I decided to take a trip to Nottingham (my uncle, with whom I was staying, had prior engagements), so I hoped on my bike and set off on the 100 mile journey.
The first stop I made was about a mile outside of Cheltenham. I’d finally had enough of the microphone in my helmet and so ripped it out… I left the headphones in so I could listen to my iPod
The rest of the journey was pretty un-eventful. There was one section of the M42(?) that was like riding on a rodeo bucking-broncho but luckily I wouldn’t have to ride that section of the motorway on the way back. I was also very supprised at how easily I found Ambers house (thats the Amber that I lived with when I was working in London). I had given up trying to follow the RAC route finder directions somewhere between the A42 and the M1 and was generally heading towards the centre of Nottingham I the hopes I may stumble across Derby road… which I did almost immediately.
It was good seeing Amber again, we had a quick bacon sarnie then headed into Nottingham to find a quite place to have a coffee. Unfortunately most places were closed so we ended up at a place called, oh, I can’t remember right now… it’ll come to me later. Our catch-up session was cut short though as Gary, Ambers other half, phoned up complaining that Ambers little brother was being a nightmare and that he couldn’t cope so Amber had to go back to the house to sort it out. When we got back to the house there was no Gary to be seen. With nothing else to do we went to get a DVD for her brother to watch whilst we had another tea and some pizza in the kitchen.
Time passed and I had to head back to Cheltenham. On the way back I stopped at a service station as I had forgotten to hook up my iPod before leaving Nottingham. As I was heading back out to the motorway another rider was also leaving the services so I followed him. Instead of heading onto the motorway we rode along the [previously] quiet country roads. I followed him for about quater of an hour before heading back to the motorway. It felt so good to be able to ride a bike through twisting country roads following another rider so I could see the lines I needed to take. It was amazing.
Back on the motorway I just didn’t get that same feeling. But you remember the rodeo section of the motorway? How could they manage to get both sides of the motorway in the same appauling condition!?!?!?
I did manage, however, to do the 100 mile return journey in 2 hours, including the 30 minute interlude in the country lanes, which means that I was riding at an average speed of 66.6(ish)mph
After finally leaving Portsmouth (see previous post) I eventually made it to cheltenham in about 2 hours. Thats not bad going seeing as how I missed my exit from the M4(?) motorway and decided to take a random scenic route through the Cotswolds and then after, finally, getting to the M5 I managed to take the exit before the one I wanted.Please don’t ask how fast I was riding to manage that!It was good fun riding through, and the bike really enjoyed it. I noticed that above a certain speed the back end gets a little light but that may have been because of the panniers.Tomorrow I’m planning on heading up to Nottingham to see Amber, who I haven’t seen in an age, so I should get a little more practice map reading whilst riding… I think I need it!!!
But I’ve already had my first two f**k-ups.The crossing itself was rather un-eventfull, met a couple of my sisters friends and had a beer in the bar last night. However, this morning whislt buying breakfast I managed to leave me switch card on the boat. I’m currently at the ferry terminal waiting to see if they can find it.It wasn’t until I took a wrong turn in the motorway that I decided to buy a map… only no switch card to pay with so I had to come back for my card.So, not only have I lost my card I’ve also wasted half a tank of that lovely cheap Guernsey petrol…. bugger!
Man, I can’t cope with this going to work on the same day as I’m going on holiday.I had packed my lugguage on Tuesday night so all I had to do this morning was attach the panniers to my bike. I had it to work with the panniers still attached but I think I may have to adjust the straps as one side is higher than the other.
Just to prove that I am going away and not making this up to impress people, Damien kindly took some pictures of me with my bike: