"Biker" for me usually means motorbiking, though I also have a Marin mountain-bike...

My current motorbikes are a Honda CBR600RR ABS 2017 and a Kawasaki Ninja Z250.

Previously I have owned: Honda CBR600RR 2005, Honda CBR600RW, Honda VF750F, Yamaha FJ600, Suzuki GSX750EX, Yamaha FJ750, Yamaha XJ900, Kawasaki Z750 and I passed my riding test on my Kawasaki KH250.

See also my Motorbiking web links

Accessorising my Ninja Z250SL

Great morning for accessorising my Ninja Z250SL, with a view of Skiddaw (931 m.) fine and clear. My garden’s not looking bad either. That’s going to be a stone guard for the delicate radiator.

Black Hill, North Pennines
Black Hill (609 m.), view East

Black Hill, North Pennines
Black Hill (609 m.), view West

Riding the highest altitude roads in the North Pennines. The Helm, the only named wind in England, was blowing strongly from the North-east, keeping the clouds moving and the air clear. By eye, I could see the North Sea from Black Hill (609 m.) and the Irish Sea from Hartside (575 m.). This was a loop from Alston to Weardale, pause with a GBMCC member at his pub in the mining town of St. John’s Chapel. Then over high moorland ridges to Teesdale, passing High Force and back to Cumbria over Yad Moss (598 m.). Routes popular with bikers but there are many warnings posted to ride safely.
The Village Bakery on the green in Melmerby provided an excellent stop for coffee and cake once safely down down the challenging (and therefore unmissable) road down from Hartside Cross (575 m.).
A fine ride: big, bleak and windy but clear and dry too.

More photos: High roads in the North Pennines

Derwent Water, Cumbria
Derwent Water

Derwent Water, Cumbria

A fine ride out from Keswick, round Derwent Water, Newlands Valley and Buttermere, then back via Honister Pass (356 m.), with a few side-trips to explore the limits of the road bike.
Wonderful views, typically Cumberland also evocative miniatures of so many other great places. Busy enough riding so I’m not cold, despite yesterday’s spring snow still shining on the tops of the fells. But the bike’s got muddy again. Ah well, that’s what I have the buckets and brushes for I suppose.

More photos: Derwent Water - Newlands Haus (333 m.) - Buttermere - Honister Hause (356 m.)

Ninja Z250SL with snow on Blencathra
Snow on Blencathra (868 m.)

Snow on Skiddaw
Snow on Skiddaw (931 m.)

Bike’s fine. Weather’s rubbish. I got halfway back from Penrith on the old road in a sunny interval between the April Showers. I was enjoying the views of the snow on the tops of the fells. Then the deluge of cold rain started and just +3°C once back down here in Keswick. Lots of layers helped, but even so...
I’ve been having trouble for a while with my Ninja Z250SL just conking out after running for a few minutes. Me and friends couldn’t find the problem. First thought was the battery, but no. Then it sounded like fuel starvation. Again, no. The nice people at Penrith Motorcycles found the spark-plug was cracked, changed it, did a routine service, and now all is well.
I’ve not had a cracked spark plug since my 2-stroke KH250 triple in the 1970s, that used to get through them at pretty much one a month. But something that hasn’t changed in 40+ years of motorbiking is that gear sold as “waterproof” isn’t. At least current kit dries quickly and is safer.
A couple of hours later, the showers had cleared leaving the tops of the fells pretty with the fresh snow and Keswick looking as lovely as ever.

More photos: Cracked plug

Tour of Sainte-Baume with AMA Grand Sud-Est

Tour of Sainte-Baume with AMA Grand Sud-Est

Riding one of AMA Grand Sud-Est’s favourite routes for this time in the year. We were a mixed group with some familiar, some new faces also some new bikes.. AMA GSE members came riding in to the start at Cassis from as far and wide as Nice and Arles.
A hazy start which was soon dispersed by the spring sunshine. The rode route took us over the cliffs of Cap Canaille and then over Sainte-Baume using a forest road over the Plateau de Siou Blanc (628 m.).

More photos: Cassis - Solliès-Pont - Gémenos with AMA Grand Sud-Est



En route from Marseille to the Alps

I'm riding light for a week on the mountain roads of the Alps. No laptop, although I do have my SLR camera but photos will have to wait till I'm back in Marseille..

I left Marseille for a long ride north via the Col de la Croix Haute (1179 m.) to Saint-Gervais under Mont Blanc. A bit of rain towards the end of the day which cleaned the Provence dust off my white leathers and boots but didn't soak me through.