Black Beauty

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yikes, Bikes!

This is another twofer post--last night it was too late when I got back to the room. This is being written on my brother Jeff's birthday, May 28. Jeff, this one's for you.

Yesterday we got the thing we've been wanting for a long time--the bikes
Bikes at Beginning of Ride
. We got up, had breakfast, and then a short lesson on the use of our gpss. All of the pertinent information had been preloaded into each device. But the operating system for these older, but better units needed to be taught. Since these units are the precursor to the Street pilots, it all came back to me pretty quickly.

Then out to the bikes. My scooter had 2 km on the odometer, so it was virtually new. And it had no operator's manual, and neither Al or Rob knew much at all about it, so it was fun learning. How to start it (hint--gotta hold the brake). Trying to decide which brake lever worked the front brake (including whether either was linked to the other wheel). Which position of the light switch controlled which light (3 lights on the front). Where is the gas gage (still unresolved after 2 days of riding). Where/how do you check the oil and add oil when needed (still unresolved). Lots of questions and only a very few answers...
Alderly Edge Hotel

The scoot is a hoot to ride!! It feels light, I can reach the ground easily. No clutch. No gears. Just twist the throttle and hang on. It flies! Even though it's called a scooter, it's really a motorcycle with a continuous velocity transmission and slightly smaller wheels. ABS brakes. Adjustable windshield. Heated grips and seats. Great storage room under the seat.

Handles great. Brakes are superb, and it is both quick and fast. It will keep up with the big bikes up to about 60 mph. Lots of fun.

The weather was good (temp about 60), but the wind was howling and the wind was cold. Just a little cool in the wind.
Pee Break on Side of Road

We rode as a group, mostly. The ride was fantastic. The scenery was stunning. Green hills and pastures, directed at odd angles with the stone fences running as far as you could see. Some cattle in pastures, but huge numbers of sheep grazing on the green grass. You really can't appreciate the scenery unless you saw it yourself.

I let Rob and Gretchen ride the scooter so he could see what it was like. He liked it, too. I rode his 1200 GS. Lots of power and good handling.

Finally it was time to go back to the hotel. We stopped for gas close to the hotel, and mine took the least amount of fuel. That's great because gas is close to $8 a gallon!

Last night we had a group dinner
Dinner at Hotel
(a 5 course meal) that was ok but not great. Then a group meeting in which the first "oh shit" award was presented to my roommate, Rob, for going down on his bike in a service station parking lot. Not hurt at all, but the bike had some cosmetic damage. All of this took a long time; hence no blog.

This morning broke wit cloudy, drippy skies. Yes, real rain! We had breakfast, talked about the routes, and headed out. I rode with Gary and Linda, and another couple (Terry and Donna).
Sweets Break in Tea House
O'er Hill and Dale on Wet Day
It was a good ride, but the cold, incessant rain made it hard to see and left the grip for tires a bit iffy. So we rode pretty slow and safe, but could not see the scenery well. I stayed dry except for one lower arm and my gloves. I did much better than most of the riders in staying dry.

The ride ended in Harrogate at the Crown Hotel. Very nice! Gretchen has done a great job of picking hotels. We had beer at a pub across the street and then a very good dinner buffet.

After dinner, another short group meeting, where my roommate received another award. This one was for losing the ONLY key to his bike. Several bikes, including his and mine, have only one key. So, if it is truly lost, the tour is over for that rider unless he wants to ride in the van. After dinner and a massive search of our room and then the bike, Al found the key wedged somehow beside the seat and the frame. Whew--close call.

So, that's enough for tonight.

I think I'm going to continue with this blog and later either post pics in the blog when I get home or post them on the Web. Stay tuned for my decision.

Tomorrow we ride to the west coast to ride the ferry to the Isle of Man on Thursday.


  1. Sounds like an awesome day! Can't wait to see pictures, post soon! May 28 was my son's birthday also, great day! Glad you are having a blast and it sounds like Gary & Linda are as well. Stay safe.

  2. Yep, it was an awesome day. Each day is on these tours. Glad you are enjoying the blog..