Window shopping

I was walking from A to C, today, and as a result I had – inevitably – to go past B.

‘B’ was a certain Suzuki motorbike dealer.

In full ‘window-shopping’ mode I browsed around the new and used bikes on the dealer’s lot.

Then I went in to the showroom and browsed around in there.

I spent an imaginary £7,000, and for my money I got a brand new 1250cc Suzuki Bandit.


Good job I don’t have £7,000 to rub together.

But the new ‘big brother’ Bandit is a good looking bike.

Because I’m mental, obv




Earlier this morning I took the Bandit out for a little run.


To the seaside.


To Weston-super-Mare.



Yes, it was about 1c when I set off.

Which made the windchill, at speeds (ahem) close to the national speed limit, somewhere around minus 7c.

But the sun shone.

So I went.

Because I was motorbiking I didn’t take the motorways;  I took the opportunity to cut right across the countryside, and had a few stops along the way.

During one ‘thawing out’ stop at a Tesco, I saw this epic example of parking fail:

Epic parking!











But I was soon at the seaside…












And as if that wasn’t enough…

A peer pier?











And also…






Actual donkeys on the actual beach!






After a hot chocolate (or two) and a toasted sandwich (just the one), I hopped back on to the Bandit and came home.

Because I’m bonkers, obv.

Here’s the route:

View Larger Map


this is a portmanteau of ‘social’ and ‘motorcycling’

Today a few of the Oxford Motorbike Group met for mid-morning breakfast at the H (bikers) Cafe in Dorchester (not that one).

It was dry and bitterly cold, but excellent to get out on the Bandit.

We had bad food, hot chocolate, mugs of tea and chats.

On Thursday, the Oxford Motorbike Group are going up to the British Superbike Testing, at Donnington.

The week after, the Oxford Motorbike Group are having a pub meet.

There’s something very nice about all this socialycling.

Oi! No!

I have watched this video clip several times (27, but who is counting?), since I found it earlier this evening.

I think I’m an above averagely-safe motorcyclist, but when there are car drivers on the road who do things like this…

Blogathon 20/13 Trippin’?

Technology and Industry









I have been considering a road-trip, as the weather forecast got sunnier and the weather started to become warmer and less damp.

Head off, I thought to myself. Give yourself a few days away on the Bandit.

Maybe leave Thursday and come back Monday?

These thoughts sounded excellent in my head.

As a result, I have spent a lot of time looking at the map.

Somewhere in Europe (I thought to myself)?

A quick trip down to the Eurotunnel, and then head southwards from Calais? Head for the warmer plains of central France?

Yes, that became the plan, a plan that was formed just 48 hours ago.

This morning I checked the weather forecast and noticed that the warmer less damp spell is not going to be quite as warm as promised.

Not even on the warmer plains of Central France!

Suddenly there’s much less of a temperature difference between the UK, and mainland Europe – at least until one gets well south of Madrid.

And even in Sevilla (where it is currently 16c) it’s pouring with rain.

What’s the point of that, Spain?


I mean, yes, a road trip would be lovely, but if the mercury is struggling to hit 4c on the mainland, and it’s 5c in Falmouth, then…

[unspoken question]

So yeah, this road-trip isn’t looking, on paper, quite as it did in my head, a mere 48 hours ago.

In fact, in my head, this road-trip is now looking like it might not actually happen.

Not unless the weather does something weird and we find ourselves in the sunny 10c that was predicted three days ago.

Or unless I head down to Falmouth.

*tries to think why that would be a good idea*

Blogathon 16/13 Nothin’

Erm, hi!

How are you?

What’s new?

Oh, I’m good, thanks. In fact I’m very good.

But if you’re expecting something with more weight and more value than this meaningless claptrap, then sadly you are going to be disappointed.

This is a weekend of full-on, high-octane, 100mph….


It’s going well so far:

  • Woke up at 7am (no alarm set)
  • Had breakfast in bed
  • Got up
  • Slung a load of laundry in the machine
  • Threw chemicals down the toilet
  • Washed up
  • Showered
  • Shaved
  • Dressed
  • Exchanged many text messages with three people
  • Drove to Sainsbury’s
  • Shopped (got the car washed and waxed while I did)
  • Came home
  • Put the shopping away
  • Unpacked the washing machine
  • Hung the laundry up to dry
  • Exchanged many text messages with two people
  • Got the Bandit out
  • Dressed appropriately
  • Cruised around the locale
  • Stopped for hot chocolate
  • Cruised some more
  • Came home
  • Put the Bandit away
  • Had a glass of fruit juice
  • Exchanged many text messages with one person
  • Showered (undressed first, obv)
  • Shaved (again)
  • Dressed (different clothes, obv)
  • Ate lots of healthy food (milk chocolate raisins are part of my five-a-day, yeah?)
  • And now I’m about to go out
  • Take a leisurely drive all the way over there *points*
  • There will be a takeaway and a DVD and a reasonably early night

So you see, as Saturdays go, this one is ticking all the right ‘restful’ boxes.

How has yours panned out?

Blogathon 7/13 Simon!

Although I’m fairly handy with a set of tools and I am capable of handling most jobs (with the aid of a good set of documentation), I do prefer to leave some things to the specialists.

Maintaining the Bandit is one of those tasks.

Banons Motorcycle Service is the mobile motorcycle mechanic I have been using.

When I bought the Bandit, I wanted the bike to have a complete workover.

Simon took the motorbike away and over the course of a week he did a full strip-down and service.

He found a few things that needed urgent attention, and a couple of longer-term niggles that needed looking at, at some stage within the next twelve months.

And he sent me photos.

A week-and-a-half later, Simon delivered the Bandit back to me.

We shared a mug of coffee and a gossip.

We went through the photos of what he found, and Simon gave me a much more detailed explanation of what he had to do to (including cutting an incorrectly-sized nut off the rear spindle).

Later I hopped on the motorcycle and took it out for a brief run around time.

The Bandit felt even more brilliant; somehow the balance of the bike had been improved; handling was tighter and both the ‘go faster’ and ‘stop now’ responses were breathtaking.

A few days ago Simon came out to take care of a couple of the longer-term niggles, then I popped the Bandit round to the tyre specialist for a new set of tyres.



You may not know it, but new tyres, on a motorcycle, should be ‘run-in’ for a hundred miles.

This means no sharp cornering, no rapid acceleration, and *cough* keeping within the speed limit.


With limitations like that, it’s going to be a dull hundred miles.

But it’s going to be fun afterwards


Blogathon 2/13 Sparkling!

I didn’t really have plans for today.

And then, yesterday evening, there was some Facebook activity. And a phone call. And some more Facebook activity.

As a result, two members of the Oxford Motorcycle Group (H and me) met up in a cafe, in Moreton in Marsh, at 8.30 this morning.

Half an hour later the two of us pointed our bikes at Worcestershire. We arrived in the village of Hallow just before 10am.

Not many minutes later the Bandit looked like this:






















It wasn’t too long before it looked like this:











And then it looked like this:























Today I gave the Bandit the All Year Biker treatment.

This is a wash, clean, degrease, anti-corrosion treatment that spruces up, gets the winter salt out of the little nooks and cranies and finishes with a wax.

As you can see, the Bandit *gleamed*

While the bike was getting worked on, H and I sat in the sun, drinking tea and chatting.

Later, H and I headed homewards back towards Oxfordshire.

We stopped at Broadway for lunch (and a gossip and a big people-watch).

The Bandit is now put to bed. It’s still gleaming.

But more importantly than being clean, it has had that winter treatment.

The weather was brilliant; it was a fantastic day for a big run across country.

Yep, we avoided the dull dull dull motorways and had a ball on the cross-country route:

View Larger Map

So, a big thanks to H for putting me on to the All Year Biker treatment, and for keeping me company.

Lane-hogging motorists

I don’t subscribe to many YouTube channels, but ‘entoptika‘ has a series of uploads that usually have helmetcam or motorbikecam video of his encounters on the road.

This one shows a motorcycle policeman doing something wonderful, on a multi-lane road.

What’s not to like here?

Two-wheeled trundling

On Sunday, as it remained dry, I took the Bandit for a spin.

As the bike was warming up I thought ‘North? South? East? West?’

In the end the decision was made for me; due to excessive nagging from Sammi, I had to drop Vin’s new headcollar to the yard.


The exact route for the mini-adventure was:

  • Witney
  • Ascott-under-Wychwood
  • Chipping Norton
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Chipping Campden
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Banbury
  • Deddington
  • Woodstock
  • Long Hanborough
  • Witney

Frequent breaks were taken en route for hot chocolate, the odd pasty (or two), and the occasional photo op (like this)










Total distance:
97 miles

Total time:
Who cares?

Things thought about en route:
Primarily: 2

Frame of mind:

It was a lovely day; motorbiking, thinking, stopping, looking, beveraging, mulling-over.

This should give you a snapshot of the route:

View Larger Map

How was your Sunday?