Rides

All posts tagged Rides

After a week or so’s seemingly incessant rain, the forecast for last weekend looked fairly good and coincided with a rideout arranged by Bahnstormer Motorrad from their Alton branch to Whiteways Cafe outside Arundel.

So we swapped over our rest days from the Sunday to the Saturday – I’m trying to get fitter and Alison’s in training for a PCA bikini class bodybuilding competition – and got up a little earlier to breakfast and head on down to Bahnstormer for a coffee and to join the other riders. In total, there were 29 of us! Take a look at Bahnstormer’s video of us leaving Alton:

Here’s my little highlights video too:

Oh and there’s a longer version with some added expletives here:

When we bypassed Goodwood because they were having a members’ meeting and our route was blocked, we ended up on a flooded road with bonus mud from the fields, so the RT got absolutely filthy.

Once home, I got the pressure washer out and cleaned it up, but noticed I could see the rear suspension from the left … because the small side cover was missing.  A couple of phone calls and a visit today and they’ve sorted me out without any fuss. I truly cannot recommend them any more strongly than I do and of course they’ll get my order for this RT’s replacement when and if.

I just must stop myself from impulse-buying an M 1000 XR by mistake in the meantime…

 

Another ride out on Saturday to try to get some running-in done, check some more possible shoot locations, get some footage, and visit a couple of potential clients.

So I charged up the helmets and cameras and headed off … at 2-3ºC! I was wearing a base layer, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a short-sleeved T-shirt, the Keis heated vest and my Klim Latitude jacket over the top. I hadn’t been able to find my base layer Long Johns (which have probably been tidied away safely somewhere…) so I made do with a pair of Capri-length Nike running tights under my Levis.

Just over 100 miles down the M3 and A303 in an hour and three quarters as the traffic was fairly light.  I’d not bothered with the GoPro after all and regretted it as I rode up past Stonehenge as the first view from the top of the hill heading West is excellent.

With it being crisp and bright, the winter views with that muted brightness were wonderful.  Just a pity I didn’t catch any shots…

A quick sandwich in Street and then back in less than two hours stopping for petrol just before the M3 to make sure the nagging fuel warning wouldn’t come on.  Despite getting up to 11ºC at one point, it did take a few hours once I was off the bike to properly warm up again.

So the RT is now showing 603 miles and the app says it’s just 19 miles short of its initial service mileage (1,000km).  Perfect for the trip from here to Bahnstormer at Alton.

With the promise of a dry and possibly bright Sunday morning, I got the cameras charged up and the helmet likewise and decided to go and scout some shooting locations on the South Coast.

The RT is still saying its SOS function isn’t working, so that will need to be fixed on the first service.

I’d also tried fitting R1250GS mirror mounts to be able to mount the GoPros on, but sadly the clutch side one was the wrong one due to the additional LED riding light switch requiring a boss to locate into so that didn’t fit.

Likewise the brake lever one where the boss was cross-threaded – or not aligned properly – so the SOS switch  wouldn’t tighten up properly.

Back to the drawing board!

Having updated the maps in the BMW Connected app, I set a course for the Bluebird Cafe at Ferring (noting that the updated maps still don’t have our new estate in them), plugged all our heated riding gear in, and set off.

The first thing to notice was again that the heated grips are very warm indeed; despite wearing summer gloves, my hands were toasty warm the whole way despite low temperatures of 4ºC.  I just wish the same could be said of the heated seat which has five settings, none of which actually feel even warm.

The second thing to notice was the speed limit display: despite everything being set to mph, the latest update to the execrable BMW Connected app released before Christmas now displays the MPH speed limits in KPH which is really useful (especially as it doesn’t alert you to any safety cameras unlike every other satnav program)…

Still, once we got to the Bluebird Cafe, we stashed our helmets and gloves in the cases and went to get a cuppa. Big mistake as the wind was bitterly cold.  So instead we decided to gatecrash our friends’ house where they had offered us warm drinks and we could chat about arranging some shoots; Simon and Rob are photographers and Cheryl a model, stylist and retoucher.

Then back home before it got dark, although the sun now being behind clouds made it feel even colder.

The RT is now a tad grimy from streams across the road following Storm Henk.

With only 105 miles on the clock after the weekend trip to Angry Minge, running-in for 310 to 745 miles was going to take quite a while over the winter period.

But family staying over rectified that: when they left, they left behind their suitcase with a load of stuff in it that they needed, and a cunning plan was hatched, given a look at the weather forecast for the following day which was showing dry and bright but quite cool.

Perfect!

We tried to get the carry-on into the top case, but its wheels prevented that, so instead we filled the top case liner bag with the contents of the suitcase, wrapped up warm in our Klim jackets, Keis heated vests (and gloves for Alison)  and our ‘proper’ riding trousers.  Mine are now a bit loose but will probably still do the job, but I am contemplating buying the matching Klim Latitude trousers in the New Year as you can at least cinch the waistband up a bit (I’m currently around a 33″ waist, so I fall between two stools in terms of waist size).

Herself was also trying out her new Shoei Neotec 2 crash helmet that we bought at the NEC motorbike show last week (with a price reduction because they’ve just updated it).  It’s a flip-front style which she prefers for getting it on and off and which should also allow her to be able to take a drink on the bike once I source and fit a suitable cupholder and strawed water bottle.

Shoei Neotec 2

Shoei Neotec 2

With everything switched on we set off nice and toasty warm despite the temperature being an indicated 10-13ºC and supposedly with around 10 miles’ ‘buffer’ on our journey distance before we’d run out of petrol.  Or at least that was the plan.

It transpires that ‘making good progress’ gulps down the fuel and the dire reserve fuel warning light came on a few miles short of our destination so we popped into the next petrol station on our route to fill up.

We’d been chatting away merrily on the Cardo PACKTALK BOLD (why is the name all capitalised?) but I wasn’t receiving navigation prompts or indeed hearing music through the Cardo from the bike, despite it being paired and connected. Oh and saying “Hey Siri! Play some music” to the Cardo meant that the iPhone dropped both the Bluetooth and the WiFi connection to the RT – I have no idea why the Connected App has to connect that way for maps to be cast to the RT display when Apple CarPlay should be set up on BMW’s bikes as well as their cars – and took a while to reconnect, but at least it did all by itself.

Within two hours we were in Somerset and enjoying a cuppa before heading back.  The lights were excellent but then it was only dusk rather than fully dark when we got back.

So we’re now up to 311 miles – just within the lower limit for its first service – but I’ll probably wait until the New Year for that, when they can also look at why the emergency SOS system is now producing a warning.

As to the lack of voice prompts, the RT was paired with my iPhone 15 Pro  and with the PACKTALK, which was  then paired with the iPhone on channel 1 and the RT on channel 2.  The Cardo and my wife’s identical unit are on a mesh intercom system which works fine.  I’d previously paired her Cardo with the RT, but then she’d have to listen to the satnav and my choice of music rather than hers. so I deleted that pairing.

This morning I spent some time in the garage resetting the Cardo pairing completely. I then only set the pairing between the RT and Cardo on channel 1, ignoring the iPhone which I’d left paired with the RT.  And it seems to work: satnav voice prompts now work and I can play music from the iPhone via the RT to my Cardo.  Sadly the volume dial only brings up the middle setting but doesn’t actually adjust the volume, so I have to do that manually on the Cardo.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of the RT parked on the (vacant) neighbour’s drive – as in, there’s no neighbour yet, rather than they’re a bit vacant – while it was parked there for a delivery of a fridge/freezer to the man cave.

Parked Up

Saturday dawned bright but cold so we decided to get some more miles on the bike.

Given it was cold, we also thought it would be useful to break out the Keis heated clothing that we bought years ago before the Austria ride (Eurothrash 2014) and couple it with the BMW’s heated seats (and heated grips for me).

So we decided to head to the South Coast, and looking at the list of “UK Biker Cafes” on Google Maps, we found the cafe in Little Preston, so we thought we’d pop by and see our friends Simon, Cheryl and Rob who live in Angmering on Sea – or “Angry Minge”, as we call it – but sadly the latter two were oop North in Stoke and Simon was working … at the Seaview Hotel.  Hmm. Lunch there then!  That was once we’d found it: BMW’s Connected App had disconnected and lots of faffing was required to get it to work again a mile or so from our destination.

The navigation also provide a helpful reading of a chequered flag with 00:02h throughout the hour and a half trip. It also decided not to show me where I was or where I was going on the mini-map again, before working properly again for no good reason.  Who knows why?

BMW, just give us Apple CarPlay like you do on your cars!

I fitted the GoPro but then as you’ll see from the footage I was unable to control it properly with the voice control hence lots of silence from me and missing out the ‘best’ footage.

The Seaview Hotel’s lunch was delicious if a bit expensive and as the temperatures started to drop, we were pleased to be fully wired up and toasty warm: I had the waistcoat plugged in to the front socket coupled with the heated grips and seat (Favourites Buttons 1 and 2) and Alison alternated between settings 1 and 2 on the pillion seat, with her heated waistcoat and her heated gloves.

Once home, it was time to get the drill out and mount the new numberplate that actually reads 8000 on the top line and RM on the bottom line in place of the one Bahnstormer had fitted (rightly or wrongly) showing 800 0RM.

If you’ve read this blog then you will know that I booked Eurothrash 2024 for July 2024 to suit other actual or potential family clashes; ah, the benefits of having a mahoosive family!

Today, the Tour de France organisers have announced both the dates and the route for this year’s race. Now, for a bit of context, you should know that for as long as I can recall I have watched the highlights on TV wherever I’ve been at the time and as it’s usually in July, it usually coincides with a holiday.

On Eurothrashes over the years the big climbs and famous finishes have featured in our planning and this year was going to be similar, with a visit to the Gorges du Tarn, Mont Ventoux and the Gorges du Verdon all featuring in my planning.

So anyway, here’s the route and dates:

Tour de France 2024 Route

Tour de France 2024 Route

So on the Gruissan to Nimes state – Stage 16 – we will be riding past but to the North of the route as we are heading to the Millau Bridge and Gorges du Tarn that day before making our way to our rest day at what was “the First Dates Hotel”.

On our ‘rest day’ we included an optional jaunt up to Mont Ventoux which – thankfully – would be slightly to the South of Stage 17, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to SuperDévoluy.  The following day will be absolutely fine as we will be heading further South to Frejus.

On the Friday we head over to Grenoble via the Gorges du Verdon and  l’Alpe d’Huez, so fortunately we will be to the West of Stage 19.

Phew!

I’m sure we’d be OK though as the RT will look pretty much identical to the Tour’s camera bikes 🙂