Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Thursday, June 25


New photos of new Dommie and current incarnation of R1100SS in photos section.  Lovely day.

Wednesday, June 24

Leathers Ahoy

After a long time of riding in textiles (albeit pretty darn good ones) I
have been 100% leather recently. It's an odd feeling. On the one hand
you're less mobile in the leather and it is less convenient. On the
other hand, the positioning of armour and over-engineering of the suit
fills me with confidence. On fast roads the leather is less draughty
but still pleasantly cool. I think I'll have trouble going back to even
an expensive textile suit for fast road riding from now on. I am so
attached to it, I'm considering removing the armour from my venerable
old Rukka and using it as an over-jacket in winter!

Tuesday, June 23

Bike Changes Update (!)

After a lot of procrastinating and some anxiety about whether it was
even the correct length, I finally fitted the new rear EMC shock to my
R1100S. Actually Bemer Bikes in London fitted it, as well as doing the
42k mile full service for very few shekels. Recommended. At the moment
I have the pre-load about 60% down, with the rebound adjusted to 4 clicks
soft of middle. This gives me a static sag of about 20mm; a little on
the hard side for country roads. On good surfaces though the bike
sticks like glue.

Although I'm still not used to it, I'm very impressed so far.  Bumps that used to kick me out of the seat are now fine, and the bike tracks a lot better on undulating roads. This is a consequence of having to run with preload almost maxed out towards the end of the old shock's life (no damping and a tired spring). I now have an excess shock: a BMW / Showa sports unit with 41k and an oil leak!

At the same time I wire-brushed and painted the subframe of the bike,
which was looking a little scruffy. I also came across a Corbin seat on
eBay. The red trim sold it for me, but as I ride it I am impressed.
Harder and wider than the stock seat, it has a very rounded nose, which
makes moving around easy. Although the padding is firm, the seat is
very dense, so I was able to ride a Birmingham-and-back before shifting
gear into a 5-hr fast Sunday ride without any discomfort. I like the
looks as well, and the leather is very thick. Not one to get if you're
trying to save weight! I have yet to discover how we do in the pouring
rain, too.

Tuesday, June 16

Working, Homey

A day of watching progress bars at home today has led me to ponder the secrets of the universe.  I haven't got anywhere, but it has been rather a nice day outside.

Wednesday, June 10

Yay Diesel

Now back to under £1 per litre, the same price as 95RON unleaded in my local supermarket.  More to come, have been travelling a lot and decorating.  R11S few through 42K major service for £130, with no big issues.

Tuesday, June 2

Good Times!

Great day for riding to work the long way round on the bike.