A Little Bit of History Repeating

When I’m off on my little motorcycle adventures, there’s nothing I love more than riding new roads. Actually, that’s what its all about, new roads, new vistas, new places and new people.

There are times though when I retrace my steps. Sometimes it’s because of necessity because there is no other practical route and other times it’s just because I want to.

Now I’m not talking not those grand places that call me back, like for example Col du Galibier in the French Alps. No, I mean those back roads that just need to be ridden at a leisurely pace without a care in the world.

A few weeks back, as I trundled across Brittany heading for the ferry home, I had one of those moments. I wasn’t in a hurry and the D764 road to Pontivy just sort of called me to enjoy a steady trundle across the gentle Breton countryside.

I couldn’t resist stopping to try to recreate a photo that I took of “Harls” a couple of years ago on the same road.
Heres the first picture:

Harls in Brittany 2014.

Harls in Brittany 2014.

And here we are with “Baby” in the same spot two years later!

Baby, Brittany 2016.

Baby in Brittany 2016.

Apart from the difference in the weather and the height of the crops in the field behind the bikes, I don’t think too much has changed.

“Harls” looks a bit dirtier than “Baby,” but that’s probably got a lot to do with her being a naked bike and all exposed to the elements, as I am when I’m riding her!

All I know is that it’s a privilege to be able to own, ride and enjoy two lovely machines such as these and take them to the many wonderful places that I do.

It’s what keeps me sane in this crazy world that we live in!

“Yes I’ve seen it before,
just little bits of history repeating.”

Catch you soon.

Dookes

Feelin’ like a Road-Trip

OK it’s getting near time to hit the road again, I’m getting jittery to start rolling and Baby Blue is nearly ready as well.

First up, I got her booked in for a slightly early 10,000 mile service. Now normally I like to service my bikes myself, but as Baby is still under warranty it’s only sensible to let the dealership do the work and stamp the service record. At the same time I had a new set of Dunlop tyres fitted; the old ones were in surprisingly good condition, but don’t like to push rubber right to the limit, so new ones it was. image

It’s a funny thing with new tyres on a motorbike, they always feel lovely and “round.”

Yes I know tyres are circular; wheels aren’t normally square unless you have a special set that won’t roll away downhill!

By round I mean that they are round in cross-section, a worn tyre “squares off” because most of the time you ride your bike upright and so naturally it wears the centre section of the tyre more than the outside. In time this means that you can actually feel a shoulder forming in the rubber, leaning the bike into corners becomes hard work and at worse a bit “interesting!” A new set are just roundly lovely and roll into bends beautifully.

The only downside with new tyres is that they need to be gently broken in, there is always have a slight residue of release agent on the surface which for about a hundred miles can make them a bit slippery and it’s also a good thing to get them bedded in on the wheel rim too; so it’s gently-gently to start with and 100 miles after leaving the dealership, I had a big stupid grin across my face!

The next job was to change the exhaust pipes for touring mode. Normally I ride Baby with a set of Vance and Hines Round Slash slip-on pipes, they sound lovely, but for long distance travel play hell with my tinnitus, even with ear plugs and a super quiet Schuberth helmet! So off came the V&H’s and on went the standard silencers, not as cool, but not as tiring either! It only takes about thirty minutes to make the swap, but I recon for long days in the saddle it’s well worth the hassle!

Standard muffler fitted, Vance and Hines on the ground.

Standard muffler fitted, Vance and Hines on the ground.

Ok, you got me now…..where am I going?

I’m going to sound a bit boring, but I fancy heading back to Italy again – can you actually be boring wanting to return to Italy???? Baby and I have some unfinished business in the mountains up near the Swiss border and I honestly have fallen quite in love with the country. So we’ll jump on a ferry next Friday, have a trundle across France; visit Switzerland, then drop into Italy and see what happens from then on!

If you fancy joining in for the trip, we’ll be happy to have you ride along with us!

“Get your motor running, out along the highway….”

Catch you soon.

Dookes

PS
As I type this post I find myself trying to make sense of another tragedy, this time in Orlando USA. The inhumanity we, as a human race, continue to demonstrate to our fellow beings never ceases to amaze me; what is so bloody difficult about respect and tolerance?
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“Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?”