Not Ray's Day

. Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This was intended to be our 1st proper ride out of the year, OK that's not exactly true as we had been out a number of times battling the frozen roads around the West Midlands, including a couple of trips out for a quick breakfast to the Long Itch Diner or Welsbourne Cafe but we didn't take any photo's or get up to anything interesting other than eating and talking about how cold it was but then Saturday morning dawned (like it normally does) and we decided to meet Bonzo and Ray over at Fromes Hill cafe to say HI and tease Bonzo about his baldy head and to ask Ray if he had gotten any new thongs for Christmas.

Unfortunately Chinny couldn't make today ride out, even the promise of a large plate of fried pig couldn't tempt the poor fella, so after a quick cup of tea at Bob's house (Thanks Lyn) we set off down the back lanes and onto the M40/M5 towards Worcester.

The ride over to Fromes Hill cafe was fun, including a sphincter clenching moment when we approached junction 6 of the M5 and on the bridge above was a couple of fluorescent clad gentlemen and a rather large speed camera along with a couple of police cars on the hard shoulder that had pulled over a few cars.

After we arrived at Fromes Hill cafe and gotten our cups of tea we waited for Bonzo and Ray to arrive and noticed that they were late, after a while Bonzo turned up on his own - Where's Ray?

It turned out that poor old Ray had slid off his bike while coming off and island near Cardiff and while Ray was OK (except for some bruising) the bike was not really up for the long ride over to Fromes Hill cafe due to the mirror/indicator hanging off but was ridable. After Bonzo and Ray checked everything was OK Ray insisted that Bonzo continue on to Fromes Hill cafe and Ray rode his bike home to inspect the damage.

After Bonzo had told us about Ray we immediately ordered breakfast (well we were starving!) and only then after eating up we decided to head back to Cardiff with Bonzo to check on Ray and his broken Blade.

After following the whirlwind that we call Bonzo, we arrived at Ray's house and checked that Ray was OK and then we retired into his garage to inspect the poorly Honda CBR1000.

The initial inspection showed that the bike had slid down the road on it's left hand side and as well as snapping off the mirror/indicator and sand papering away the engine case and fairing we noticed that the link arm to the gear change was also bent, the clutch lever was bent and the foot rest hanger had cracked pushing the heel plate into the chain guard.

Thankfully most of the damage was cosmetic but that also means it's not going to be cheap to fix.

The obviously most important fact was that Ray was OK and only battered and bruised so all that was left was for the p*ss taking to start.

As always a few more pictures can be found here

Jaws Motorcycles

. Sunday, February 15, 2009

9 am on a very cold December morning and I was heading east along the A14 through Cambridgeshire and towards the market town of Thetford.

Why Thetford? well apart from being known as the place where queen Boudica once lived it's also well known (at least within the Honda Blackbird community) as the place where Jaws Motorcycles are based, the oracle of everything Honda Blackbird related.

The reason why I was heading to see John at Jaws Motorcycles was that Flo had now covered over 24k miles and she was due her 24K mile service.

After arriving at Jaws Motorcycles and meeting John, who is a very friendly guy with an obvious passion for all things motorcycle related, not just Honda Blackbird and having being given a most welcome warming cup of tea John took Flo into his workshop and began the process of giving her a 24K service.

I'm no expert when it comes to motorcycles mechanics, hence the reason for the visit the Jaws and John's vast knowledge of Blackbirds but over the next 3 hours or so John and his son (sorry I forgot his name) gave Flo a very detailed going over, including changing the oil and filter, clutch fluid, air filter, fitting a Scottoiler, checking that the cam chain tensioner was working OK and that the suspension was OK as well as loads of other little checks.

The service given by John was first class and he's obviously not only very knowledgeable and passionate about motorcycles but a true gentleman and well worth the 7 hour round trip and one that I will certainly be doing the next time Flo's due for a service.

British National Parks Ride

. Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grim Rider has just posted over at his blog about a great idea on how to not only raise money for a worthwhile cause but also to give you a reason (as if you ever needed one in the first place) to get out on your bike.

The challenge is called the British National Parks Ride and the aim is for you to visit as many of the 15 National Parks of Britain within a calendar year on your motorcycle and depending on the number of parks you manage to visit you can earn a Bronze, Silver and Gold certificate all while helping to raise money for the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance

I've just signed up for this challenge and over the next 12 months I aim to visit as many of the National parks and I will obviously post my progress over at RigsVille.

So if you want to get out of your bike and explore different parts of Britain while feeling that your helping out a worthwhile cause - get over the British National Parks Ride website and to find out more.