Winter Riding

mill-0810Saturday morning found me running low on supplies, I was low on strong flour for bread making, so with the weather being cold but fine, it was a great excuse for a ride out on the motorcycle.

First job to check out the bike, tyre pressures, fluids etc, a fairly easy job on the big BMW R1200GS.

Then it was time to equip myself.  Once the weather drops below 12˚C you need to dress well.  Cruising at speeds over 50 mph the windchill can soon make you cold and once cold you loose concentration, not a good idea on a motorcycle.

The temperate over the next few days is forecast to drop considerably and snow is also forecast, this could be my last fun ride for a couple of weeks.

The temperate was 4.5˚C but with wind chill that would feel like -4˚C.  Thermal base layer with a light fleece on top, then I cheated and put on my electric heated waist coat, this plugs into the accessory socket on the GS.

BMW Motorrad Rallye 2 ProWith the full BMW Rallye 2 suit with all its liners in, that would keep me nice and cosy.  I added silk under gloves under my waterproof gloves which together with my heated grips on the bike would keep my hands warm.

With the risk of getting cold minimised I could head out and enjoy the ride to the full.

The first part of the ride was very minor B roads, lots of tight twisty turns, slow going but fun and challenging, I took the opportunity to visit a few local villages and churches that I had not visited before to look out for future photographic opportunities.

For the second part of the trip, I rode a section of what is rated one of the top ten most dangerous roads in Europe.  Personally I think of it as just a fun road.  The problem is that it is too easy to go too fast and some of the corners while they can be taken quickly, its too easy to get sucked in and end up going in to fast at the beginning.  You then end up in the middle of road.  The problem often is there are car drivers coming in the opposite making the same mistake.  So you have a bike straddling the middle of the road and a car doing the same.  Two objects in the same space do not go!

Its better to go in slower then you think then as the corner opens up and you see its clear accelerate hard.  If there is something coming the other way then just tighten your line to keep yourself safe, easy to do if you go in slow.

Once at the Windmill I treated myself to a hot chocolate and bought the large sack of white flour which just fitted into the GS’s top box.

The trip home was just a straight run for home, by this time I was starting to get hungry and looking forward to lunch at home.

A fun, enjoyable and educational bit of riding practice, plus I also found a couple of villages worth going back to with the camera gear.

Dress warm and ride safe, remember:

Keep it sticky side down

Lean Hard into the first corner

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