This year its mostly been only Col, Phill and Rich on Sunday mornings.
Jon didn't get his bike out of the garage this year, we expect him to tell us he is going to part with it as his riding interests are nil at the moment.
Matt unfortunately had a nasty road traffic incident when out on a loaner bike while his BMW was in for a service. A car pulled out of a side road and Matt went over the front of the car and landed on his back which caused injury and shook him up enough to part with his bike. He says he may return to riding bikes in the future, but has nothing planned as yet.
Rich is getting used to his new to him Fireblade that he bought at the end of 2015. He joined us on most Sunday mornings. (Pictured at Doms cafe in Leominster). Col and I have pinched a few ideas from his bike, adding the clear lenses to the indicators and I have Polished the foot guards. On one ride out his handle bar came loose, the bike was rideable but needed a dealer to stop the clutch from swinging down under the hand grip.
Since then Rich as bought a set of heated grips and is pleased with
having the option of warm hands!
Col has bought a chain and sprocket set...coughs... its still in the box after 12 months of owning it, one day it will be fitted I am sure. After an accident with the 2 bikes in the back of the van when we went on our 2016 road trip, he has also had to get the side panel repaired and painted, it looks as good as new now.
Phill well I had to replace the indicators as I was told the aftermarket ones that came on the bike would fail the MOT because over half of the LEDs had stopped working, I found a guy selling a set of the originals with clear lenses on EBay which are now on the bike. I have a few little jobs I want to do in 2017, mostly to do with paint. The heated grips are brilliant, I too have the option of warm hands.
Our favourite road the A483 from Newtown to LLanrindod Wells is now getting changed due to a
new by-pass around Newtown. Unfortunately some of my favourite part is now a 30mph section and some corners look like they will be getting straightened, this could be for the new wind farm and access to it is from the twisty end of the A483. I understand why the local people need this by-pass having been a truck driver in that area its just such a shame that it had to affect that road.
We paid 2 visits there this year, down on the usual amount.
Col and I went to East France/Switzerland for the road trip. We planned to ride in the Alps and Jura Mountains where the LHC or Large Headron Collider is burried. The day we travelled there it was 37 Degrees, the 3 days we were there it rained everytime we used the bikes, sorta reminded us of Scotland, hilly and wet. But we did get to ride some great roads even if we had rode them before.
Unfortunately the bikes took some damage in the back of the van when a strap came loose. We have learned from that and have a new strapping system for next time.
In August Col and I went on a run over to the Bala lake and Horseshoe pass. We stumbled over a great piece of tarmac, the A525 Llysfasi - A542 Horseshoe pass.My camera ran out of battery part of the way up so we HAVE to go there again!
We did a Bike Safe day with the West Midlands Police, this was broke in to 3 sections.
A ride out followed by a Police rider, who tells you he wont arrest you if your safe, but wasnt to concerned about speeds when your on the national speed limit roads. I was told I did very good and the route we went on would make a decent Sunday ride once out of Birmingham, Col on the otherhand said the route he went on was all built up apart from 1 section of motorway so was not so impressed. The next thing they showed us was bike control through a course on the carpark, both Col and I completed this without putting a foot down. The last part of the day was in the classroom, we were shown how to lower the risk of accidents when out on the bikes.Overall the day was very good, and we picked up some useful skills which we put into practice.
With the start of 2017 we are planning our trips and hope to find some new roads to add to our Ultimate Roads list.