Posts tagged motorcycle
Tomorrow I go on a very important motorcycle ride.
I will be riding my F650GS alongside LincsGeek, Veronica, Edward, Rick and Paul, approximately 2,000 miles around Great Britain in memory of my father-in-law.
The Graham Homes Memorial Motorcycle Ride is raising money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.
I have not scheduled any posts to magically appear on Splodz Blogz while I’m doing the ride, so while I am away, please head over to the GVH Ride Blog to see what we’re up to each day – we’re going to try and update it as we go.
And most importantly, please donate what you can to these very important charities in Graham’s memory. You can donate anything from £1 – every single penny counts and each donation will be split equally between the two charities.
Oh, and if you want to join in the conversation on twitter we’re using the hashtag #gvhride to chat about what we’re up to.
I love the Profile of a Female Motorcyclist features over on Helmet and Heels, they’re always very interesting and include some great biking stories. So today I am feeling rather fabulous that I’ve made the feature! Head over to the blog to read my biking story.
Oh, and if it’s motorbikes you like, I’ve added a category to my blog just for you. All my motorcycling posts can now be found in one place.
LincsGeek and I have been talking about, dreaming about, going on a motorcycle tour of the west of the USA for years. Years and years. Probably about ten years. Maybe more.
We have always joked that we probably wouldn’t actually get around to going until we both retired, by which time we would be very old and frail to fly over to America to sit on a motorbike for two weeks riding 200-300 miles a day.
But last year we decided that we were just going to go for it. So we started to research our ideas thoroughly, and when we went to Motorcycle Live at the NEC in November we made a point of speaking to a number of tour operators that offered the kind of thing we were after. We decided on the summer of 2014, decided which company and which tour, and then waited patiently for the dates to be released so we could go ahead and book.
On Friday we got the email we’d been waiting for. The tour dates for 2014. Yay!
So, in June 2014 we will be jetting off to Los Angeles with The Lost Adventure to meet our Eagle Rider tour guide and group before we spend 16 days riding Harley Davidson motorbikes through the South West of America. We will see the Grand Canyon, Bruce Canyon, Monument Valley, Death Valley, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We will ride Route 66 and Highway 1, and cover 2,000+ miles of straight and winding American roads.
I am so excited!
Before we booked our trip we had to decide which bikes we would like to ride. This is an Eagle Rider tour and so we had the choice of quite a wide range of bikes, but we both decided we should do it properly and choose an American Harley Davidson over a British Triumph or a German BMW. On Saturday our local Harley Davidson dealer – the guys who had loaned me that Sportster Nightster for our Top Down Charity ride back in 2009 – had an open house event which couldn’t have been better timed. LincsGeek had already chatted with Tim Orr from The Lost Adventure who had made some recommendations, so off we went to Lincoln Harley Davidson to sit on some and make our choice.
With a Sportster 1200 being out of the question thanks to its teeny fuel tank (finding a fuel station every 100 miles on a trip like this would really annoy the rest of the group!) I had a sit on the Fat Boy and the Heritage Softail Classic, the two smallest and lightest bigger Harleys available on the Eagle Rider inventory. But of course small and light they are not; 330kg is rather more than the less-than 200kg I am used to.
We had our free hog roast (most welcome!) and then set to choosing the right bike for each of us. I started with the Heritage Softail Classic. I could reach the floor, I could stand the bike up, but I could not reach the side stand to kick it out and put the bike back down again. Oh dear. I could ride the bike for sure, but it is big and fat and even with a 690mm seat height I am still only on the balls of my feet so I’m not sure I could scoot that thing back into a parking space. Not a chance. Moving on!
Next was the Fat Boy. Actually the same frame and tank as the Heritage Softail, it is the same weight and size but without the touring screen and some of the other bits and bobs. The biggest difference I noticed when getting on it was the seat was more scooped, it was narrower, and so I had a much better footing on the ground. Still huge and very heavy, but better. Unfortunately it seems that wasn’t the standard seat, though. Shame! But of the two bikes I preferred it, so that is the one I have gone with. It is a lovely looking machine, and I simply cannot wait to get to LA and take it for a spin.
Incidentally, LincsGeek thought he’d decided on the Road King before he sat on the Heritage Softail Classic – the Road King is simply enormous, and while the Softail is still a big bike he felt much more comfortable on it. So he’s chosen that one.
I know for a fact that if I am going to have the time of my life then I am going to have to be able to manoeuvre the Fat Boy around. I have 14 months to get much, much stronger. I’ve started running again. And I should get to the gym too. This is one adventure I’m going to have to put a lot of effort into to make sure I get the most out of it.
I have another motorcycling adventure planned for this year… The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. Please support us if you can.
The problem with our hobbies being walking, motorcycling and skiing is that we often end up with a line of boots by the back door drying or airing out. Stinky damp boots. Yuk!
I came across Stuffits at the end of last year and just had to try them out. The company was very kind and sent me a set for my boots and one for my helmet.
The shoe savers have very recently been launched in the UK. Here’s the marketing info…
- Dual-wick fabric combined with natural cedar inserts quickly and effectively protect shoes from moisture and odour
- Soft, lightweight, foot-shaped form fits easily into all types of shoes
- 100% natural cedar means no chemicals, sprays, or powders touch shoes or feet
- Convenient carry straps keeps dry and fresh-smelling shoes together wherever you go
- Reusable over and over again!
Since I had these they have pretty much lived in my hiking boots or snow boots (these seem to be the footwear I’ve used outdoors). The medium size fits perfectly – snug but without stretching – into my size 7 shoes.
I am impressed with the way the Stuffits not only help to dry out my shoes from the inside (which is the bit that takes the longest if they’ve got very wet) but also works to reduce any odour that might have developed after several hours walking. I also like the way the shoe Stuffits can be joined together using the strap, so I can put them in my boots and hang them up, again helping them to dry out and air.
I was even more impressed that when putting these into soaking wet shoes, after leaving them overnight my shoes were dry and there was no trace of any musty damp smell that often lingers, especially in trainers. These nice looking cedar filled shoe savers are my new friends after a long walk for sure!
As for the helmet one I can see where the name came from – Stuffits! I can ram it into my extra small Arai Condor just about (it fits into LincsGeek’s medium sized Caberg much easier), and while I wouldn’t store my helmet like that as I wouldn’t want to affect the shape of the foam interior (and therefore perhaps the fit), I am happy to leave it in there for a few hours to do its work. There is honestly nothing worse than a very sweaty motorcycle helmet, and I will absolutely be taking this simple accessory on the Graham Homes Memorial Ride later in the year.
I have found Stuffits true to their word. They help to dry out shoes and helmets, do their work on any odours, are easy to use and can be used many times over – a few months after receiving my samples they are still working just as well as they did when they arrived. A brilliant idea.
It was a shame I couldn’t fit these in my suitcase when we went skiing as we really could have done with both types while we were away!
The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be 2,000+ miles of Great British roads over a week at the end of May 2013, raising money for two cancer charities. It will be our biking tribute to Graham, my father in law, recreating something of our John O’Groats to Land’s End trip in 2009, while hopefully making a difference to someone else (and their family) by fundraising.
LincsGeek and I will be joined by four friends, there will five bikes in total, and all of us are keen to raise a decent sum of money for charity. We have chosen Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support as the beneficiaries of our ride. They say cancer affects everyone in some way. Well it affected us in a massive way last summer, and it seems only right that we use this trip to do at least something to try and make a difference to other people who find themselves going through anything like this.
The challenge will take us to the furthest points east, south, west and north of Great Britain (in that order – we’ve decided to go clockwise). We’ve not set our route quite yet, but we like to think we will be able to see a little of the best scenery Great Britain has to offer on our journey (life is all about the journey, after all) and create some new memories on the way.
I have set up a blog that will include everything associated with the bike trip – updates, photographs, profiles, fundraising, information and so on – it will be the place to go for everything GVH Ride focussed. We would love it if you went over to the Graham Homes Memorial Ride blog, subscribe either by email or by putting us in your reader, and share what we’re doing with your friends and family. There’s a link in my side bar too just in case you need it. And of course, most of all, we would appreciate it an awful lot if you’d get out fundraising off the ground by donating. We’ve set up a page on Virgin Money Giving to make it really easy to give money. Thanks!