To my biking readers, I apologise for the recent lack of bike-related posts. I have to confess that I haven't done many miles on either bike over the last month. The new job has been one reason. Riding to work on a bike in this weather requires a bit of forward planning - leaving work clothes in work, finding somewhere to hang a set of dripping waterproofs, and so on - and for the first few days, you want to be ready for anything and looking reasonably smart, so I am afraid that I defaulted to using a car for the first week or two. Then I have been doing the Door Supervisor training, which has meant yet another location and a new set of clothing challenges. And then I get back to working, and the worst December weather for decades descends on us.
I like to ride all year, and rain and cold go with the territory. But ice, snow and fog, where skill and judgement take second place to dumb luck, are big disincentives. It was one thing when I was young and had no choice, but these days it would seem perverse to opt for two wheels when a perfectly adequate car (with heater, CD player and - crucially - inherent vertical stability) is available. Unfortunately, my car insurance and MoT have expired, and I haven't yet been able to sort that out, so Anna has been very generous in allowing me to use hers.
I started both bikes yesterday and let them get thoroughly warmed up. The Triumph started first time and idled regularly, as if it were a summer's day. The Yam was a bit more reluctant. It started with a bit of patience, but needed nursing along until it got a bit of warmth into the cylinder. I have said before that I think the Bonnie is good enough to be a year-round bike, and I was anticipating retiring the Yam for a bit of TLC, but in these conditions the idea of a rugged, go-anywhere bike that will stand a drop is starting to appeal again. I think I might oil up the Triumph and put it in the garage for a while.
Tonight, the temperature dropped drastically mid-evening and the rain that had been falling all afternoon (I am at work as I write this) instantly turned to black ice. There are reports of cars in ditches and lurid slides on roundabouts from everyone who comes past, so I think resuming the two-wheeled commuting can wait for a day or two. Sometimes, self-preservation wins.
As a winter treat, allow me to present you with this superb image of Aaron Yates at Virginia International Raceway ...