Mince Pies and The Smoke

A small delay between posts as in truth I didn’t manage to get much riding in over the Christmas period with having family and friends around for the festivities and in the process consuming too many mince pies and red wine.

However on my first week back to work I did manage to get a ride in as I used the Tiger to commute into a meeting I had in the Docklands.
Being a fairly easy part of London to reach from Kent, provided you go out of rush hour, I thought I’d put the bike to good use and also avoid a trip on the train.

I was still a little nervous about the trip though, as having driven it several times in the car to the general area at least, I know what carnage can be had on the M2, A2 and through the Blackwall tunnel. Added to the fact that I didn’t know where I was going having never visited that office before I did have a little trepidation about the trip but I put my sat nav to good use for the first time and it worked well with the Nolan NCom receiver I have in my helmet.

It was my first real motorway blast since the day I brought the bike home and whilst the speed is a bit of a thrill I’ve decided that motorway miles are boring! I did have a bit of a moment too which didn’t help in the fact that I got hit by a huge gust of wind around three quarters of the way in which came as a bit of a shock to the system and certainly made sure I was concentrating.

As I approached the Blackwall Tunnel up the A2 the average speed cameras that they’ve now got in place meant that the fun police were out in force but I still reached my meeting with an hour to spare, far quicker than I’d have been on public transport.

I was glad of the large side cases and top box on the bike as I looked for places to store my gear whilst I went to my meeting and just about managed it but it was a bit of a puzzle worthy of the Krypton Factor trying to fit my size 11 boots in. I did manage it in the end though.

On the way home I decided to get clear of London then get off the motorway when I could taking a combination of A and B roads to end up on the Lower Rainham Road. This way back was a far more smile inducing route and despite being slower I still got home before it got dark and the evening rush hour got into full swing.

Despite it being a chilly day my clothing did a really good job of keeping me warm. I’ve an Oxford Montreal 3.0 jacket and trousers which I’ve found really warm so far, they’ve not really been tested in a downpour yet though, a pair of J&S Accessories own brand touring boots and a pair of Oxford gloves. My fingers were a little chilly, I need to get some heated grips fitted asap.
Hopefully I’ll have some more interesting riding to tell you about in the coming few weeks.

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