Saturday, April 28, 2012

Windy Dales Blast

The weather this week has been rather shocking, with some rather heavy and prolonged rain showers. Saturday although windy appeared to be looking the best day of the weekend. 

We left home at around 11:00am and headed over to Clitheroe by our usual roads, were we stopped to fill up. From Clitheroe we followed our usual route to Settle via the minor backs roads of Sawley and Wigglesworth. We passed by Settle and joined the B6479 and passed through Horton in RibblesdaleHelen@ Ribblehead Viaduct before turning right at Ribblehead Viaduct. We then followed the stunning B6255 to Hawes. We stopped for lunch at the Penny Garth Cafe. It wasn’t too busy this week at Hawes and the majority of bikes about were cruisers.

After lunch we left Hawes and decided to head over to Devil’s Bridge via Sedbergh. We joined the A684 and headed for Sedbergh, thankfully the surface was still in good shape. A few years ago this road was horrendously potholed for much of its length. We arrived in Sedbergh and then joined the A683 and headed down to Devil’s Bridge. It wasn’t mega busy for this time of year, although it was busier than we expected. We stopped here for an ice cream as we felt it was just about warm enough to warrant one. The only issue we noticed was that the toilets are currently closed and have been replaced by one Portaloo.

VFRs@ Devils Bridge We left on the A65 heading towards Skipton and soon arrived in Ingleton. Just after Ingleton we turned right onto minor roads and headed through Gisburn Forest and past Stocks Reservoir. We then joined the B6478 and headed for Slaidburn. We continued on this road and headed over Waddington Fell and down into Clitheroe. We passed through Clitheroe and then went over Pendle Hill and through Sabden. We then followed the A56/M66 back home as usual.

The wind especially up high yesterday was very strong, thankfully I was on the VFR but the bike and I still took a battering. I am aching on my chest and between my shoulder blades today, probably as a result from having to fight the wind. Helen has also managed to bruise some of her tendons in her left wrist, also probably due to fighting the wind.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Helmet

After almost fives years it’s time to replace my ageing Arai Viper GT Leon Haslam Replica Helmet. I am sad to see it go up in the loft as it has been a pleasure to wear it, although of late it is letting in too much wind through the visor which is making my eyes water at times.

After trying on a few different helmets at Hein Gericke it appeared that although I liked the Shoei helmets, they didn’t like my head. After being advised that Arai hadn’t updated the technology within their helmets for ages I decided that a HJC helmet was the best bet.

Ben Spies Helmet So I then spent the next week scouring the internet to see what designs were available. In the end I decided to purchase the HJC R-PHA10 Ben Spies Limited Edition helmet. It arrived the other day and came with a free smoke visor as well. But alas although it was pinlock ready it didn’t come with one, so I went on the internet again to purchase one. The helmet is very light and feels like a quality item. The only problem I have with it, is the fitting of the speakers for the Autocomm kit. When I put the helmet on with the speakers in but without a balaclava on my ears bend over and don’t have the room to bend back, unless I stick my fingers in. Hopefully when I am able to test the helmet out the speakers won’t start to hurt my ears over a long days riding. Other than that minor issue and I am very happy with the helmet.

Update: The helmet was supposed to come with a pinlock insert, so they sent me one in the post. So now both visors have pinlock inserts, which makes it very easy to change them over now. The initial position of the speakers was no good, but I have managed to find an acceptable location for them now. After having a few rides in it, I found it to be very comfortable but quite warm to wear (opening the upper vents solves this). No fogging issues at all, lifting the visor up and down takes a bit to get used to (if you haven’t had a centre visor lock before). Overall very nice helmet and very pleased with the purchase.


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Bank Holiday Dales Run

We had a lazy morning today so only set out late, so just decided to have a trip up to the Creamery at Hawes.

So we headed over to Clitheroe by our usual roads. The from Clitheroe we followed our usual route to Settle via the minor backs roads of Sawley and Wigglesworth. We passed through Settle and joined the B6479 and passed through Horton in Ribblesdale before turning right at Ribblehead Viaduct. We then followed the stunning B6255 to Hawes as usual. We then parked up at the Creamery and headed inside to get some lunch. We then saw the length of the queue for the cafe and the restaurant also looked full, so we decided to leave.

We headed back through Hawes to have a look whether the Penny Garth Cafe was also busy. Which it was so we decided to head back to Settle and see if the small tearoom just outside Horton in Ribblesdale was open. We soon arrived back at Horton in Ribblesdale and thankfully the tearoom was open so we decided to stop and try it out. It was a bit like sitting in your granny’s front room, but the coffee and food was nice. We even bought some nice handmade biscuits, to take back with us as well.

We left the tearoom and headed back home via our usual roads through Settle, Wigglesworth, Sawley, and Sabden.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

MOT Time Again

It’s that time of year again so I took the day off to take the VFR and the ZX-9R for an MOT today. I went to Two Wheels in Middleton that Helen had found, rather than going over to Pems Garage in Rochdale as usual. Mainly because of convenience and location, Helen also said that they were good as well.

I took the VFR first and after the caliper rebuild the brakes felt fine. I arrived and was ushered straight in. It’s slightly bizarre having to manoeuvre the bike through a tight shop doorway though. Anyway the VFR passed no problems and the brakes passed the test easily, but I did note the reading to compare against the ZX-9R.

I then brought the ZX-9R over for its MOT test. After a brief discussion with the guys I decided to leave the illegal exhaust on the bike. The ZX-9R passed with flying colours and he didn’t even make a comment about the exhaust. I noted the brake test results of the ZX-9R and concluded that the ZX-9R had superior front brakes to the VFR, but not surprisingly the VFR absolutely trumped the ZX-9R on rear braking. That test pretty much spells out that to effectively brake on the VFR you need to apply both front and rear brakes.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Helen’s Shoei XR1100 Helmet Test

Helen purchased a new Shoei XR1100 Glacier Helmet yesterday from Hein Gericke and so was eager to test it out.

We only went out for a short run in the afternoon, so it needed to be close by so the moors it would have to be. We left home and headed down the M62 to the Milnrow junction and then headed on the A640 to Denshaw and then the A6052 to Delph. We then Shoei_XR-1100_Glacier_TC-3_matt-schwarzwent on the A670 through Uppermill and then joined the A635 to head over Saddleworth Moor to Holmfirth. They have introduced a new 50mph limit on the first part of the A635 as it twists up to the top of the moor, then it is national again all the way to Holmfirth. We passed through Holmfirth then joined the B6106 and headed towards the Woodhead Pass. Just before the A616 we turned right onto minor roads and headed over Windle Edge to the A628. We turned right and headed back down the A628 towards Mottram. We didn’t intend to go to Mottram but we got spilt up in roadworks and Helen didn’t see that I had turned off on the B6105 to Glossop. By the time I had spun the bike around to go after her, too much traffic had built up between us for me to be able to catch her back up. So we ended up going home via the M67/M60 and M62.