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.

Saturday, June 16

Bike(s) Update

1150GS working out very well - the most common commute I have is a 260 mile round trip. I have achieved "the mission" in pouring rain and in crisp sunny weather, where I could touch both footpegs down. Good times. Only dampener (ha ha) was that even the best gear struggles to be waterproof in a 3-hr deluge. Still, the bike is living up to the reputation as being one of the best in the world in the wet. Also on 2 wheels, my Kona FIBUA project frame is back from an amazing Chas Roberts alteration to fit Paul Components Track Ends. I am building it as we speak, which involves some entertaining eBay antics. More stuff with pics soon.

Thursday, June 7

Road Warrior (IAM) Ride

Due to changing work commitments another new vehicle has entered the
fold. It was intended to suck up punishment; indeed revel in it. The
brief was for an all-weather all-conditions bike that would allow 180
miles of riding with a 12hr work-day in the middle. The point was to
make long journeys interesting, efficient and cost effective on roads
where traffic isn't unfortunate, it's inevitable.

So, to the vehicle. What could I choose? Comfortable. Bullet-proof.
Reliable. A shaft drive giant traillie perhaps? With an octogenarian
boxer design perhaps? Yes, a very well-used but cherished R1150GS has
arrived. Riding it for the first time today was a revelation – on roads
where the R1100SS was jarring, it floats pleasantly. On sections where
other bikes tend to skip and slide, it's sure-footed. And in torrential
rain like today, the poise and balance is unnerving, with riding
flattered by the flexible motor and accommodating shaft drive. I have no
idea how a bike this size squeezes so much feel and grip from a small
contact patch and a Metzeler Tourance tyre, but my stress levels were
low as "Gaston" gripped and gripped.

So it's not the fastest bike in the world, but 80mph at 48mpg sounds
good to me. And although the ownership process in this case requires no
money gets spent, I am tempted to google an auxiliary LED tail light (at
least a stop/tail bulb) and an LED running light for up front. Pics soon
and more ride reporting as I get it done. New gallery working well, but
not geotagged yet and many more trips and pics are still to come. It's
all about time and priority.