Motorcycling

John and Honda CBF1000Okay, I admit it. I had an early mid-life crisis. I have been a biker since 30th August, 2002, when I passed my motorcycle practical test at the second attempt at the age of 31.

I am what you'd call a touring motorcyclist, although I'm not overly keen on the very big touring bikes, prefering the more slimline sports tourers, which offer the comfort of being able to travel long distances in relative comfort on a more slimline bike.

The proper racing bikes do very little for me, and I can't say I'm interested in any form of motor racing, although if I were, it probably would be motorcycle racing.

I'm also not that mechanically minded. To paraphrase Oddball in the film Kelly's Heroes, "I only drive 'em. I don't know what makes 'em go." - kind of like John Sutherland in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

After I passed my test, I racked up around 10,000 miles every year for several years, using motorbikes as my primary means of transport and riding in all weathers at all times of year (although if there's ice on the road, I tend to wimp out). I've tended to do fewer miles per year since I started working from home in July 2009, as the commute is no longer what it used to be!

I've done several trips around the UK with a couple of fellow biker mates/work colleagues, ridden to Shetland and back with my wife to visit my brother's family, and then there's the trips to the Continent.

The Trips

Germany Trip, May 2015

In May 2015, I header to Germany to meet up with my younger brother and his family. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the Berlin race of the inaugural season on Formula E at Berlin Tempelhof. However, we also took the opportunity to ride around the vicinity of Potsdam and also to visit the Baltic coast between Rerik and Rostock. The facts and figures were as follows:

The route was as follows:

Europe Trip, June 2014

In June 2014, my younger brother and I made a trip to the Alps. Additionally, our plan was to incorporate two of Germany's most celebrated roads for motorcyclists to ride, namely the Romantische Strasse (Romantic Road) in Bavaria, and the Schwarzwaldhochstraße (Black Forest High Road) into the trip. Unfortunately, I missed some of the former, due to my bike breaking down as soon as I cleared passport control in the Hook of Holland. The facts and figures were as follows:

The route was as follows (in a clockwise direction):

Europe Trip, July 2013

In July 2013, I made my second motorbike trip to the Europe within the space of three months. The main reason for such a quick return was the opportunity for my wife and I to have a week away whilst the kids spent a week with their maternal grandparents and the very rare opportunity to meet up with both my brothers in Potsdam, Germany. The facts and figures were as follows:

The route was as follows (in a clockwise direction):


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Europe Trip, May 2013

In May 2013, I embarked on a second trip with biker mate, Chris. We had planned to go as a party of several people and to visit Spain, but one after one they all dropped out so we opted for a trip through several countries, but, unlike our 2010, decided to go a bit easier on the mileage. The facts and figures were as follows:

The route was as follows (in an anti-clockwise direction):


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Europe Trip, 2010

In September 2010, a friend, Chris, and I undertook a bike trip around several countries on the Continent. The facts and figures were as follows:

The route was as follows (in an anti-clockwise direction):


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My Bikes

Honda CBF1000/A (2007-)

John and Honda CBF1000The 'Biffer' is my current beast of burden and the first brand new bike I bought in 2007. A friend of mine had one before me and, having been impressed with its performance and the reviews, it seemed to tick all the right boxes in terms of kind of bike I was trying to find.

I'm completely in love with the bike, particularly as it's proven itself on some quite long trips and hasn't put a foot wrong along the way.


Yamaha XJ600S Diversion (2002-2007)

Yamaha XJ600S DiversionMy Divvy was my first proper big bike, and I clocked up some serious mileage on it between 2002 and 2007.

Known as a reliable workhorse and a great first bike, it was a favourite of many riding schools.


Honda CG125 (2002)

Honda CG125My first regular bike was a Honda CG-125, which I bought after I'd failed my initial Direct Access test as a means to become more familiar with the mechanics of riding a bike before I took my second test.

It was a great bike and made a great commuting vehicle, not least because of the amazing fuel economy it offered.


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