24 November 2017

Last Ride for Kelly

The RV was supposed  be no later than 0945. So I arrived at 0920 and found one scooter there and John the organiser.

I parked up near the church and went into the coffee shop. A couple of skinny latté  later the scooters had begun to multiply and a couple of other bikes had joined in.

I was talking to some of the guys when we discovered that the church proceedings started at 1100.

At 1045 we were asked to fire-up and give a rev as the hearse passed by.

It was getting on for noon when we finally got to move and the escort began.

The cremation commitment was private for the family. I carried on from there to get a parcel from the post office and home.

It was cold but dry and sunny.


23 November 2017

Ride Out for Kelly - November 24th

Not quite the "Ride for Kelly" we had hoped to be holding this year or for many years to come.

Sadly, Kelly passed away a few weeks ago and this will be the final ride out as we have been asked to provide an escort from the church to the crematorium.

The Kelly Turner Foundation founded in her name will continue and the money raised used to help other children in the same predicament.


12 November 2017

Ring of Red

It was with some trepidation that once the Remembrance Day Parade had finished on TV that I went to the garage and tried to start Pepé. 

Of course I had to press the "go" button and was relieved to hear the "whirr. click" from last week. I then got the power unit out and attached the leads.

A few seconds.  Press again. Start. Phew.

I left it running whilst I finished togging up. Boy was it cold out of the wintery sun. My phone showing 6°C. The wind chill on the motorway at 70mph... I Googled it and it came out at -2.3°C. 

I need Santa to bring me some winter gloves. My usual ones were not that good today. I'll be more specific for him. Not too bulky but waterproof and warm. If anyone knows of a brand/model that fits this bill that won't cost an arm or leg, then tell me.

So back to Sunday. I set off about 1145. This is my fifth Ring of Red. In fact I have been going since the first one. 

The traffic was light to the M20. I decided that I'd go straight up and not bother with the A2 detour. A fuel stop at Dartford and then across river to Thurrock.

There was heavy traffic as I approached the Services. They are off the motorway by a huge shopping centre. With Christmas only 43 days away you can't keep the mugs from spending their cash. Worst still, there's an IKEA to attract the dumbos to buy flat packed Swedish chipboard furniture. 

Once in the services the organisation was excellent. An area of the car park setioned off and the management fully cooperating to make the day a success.

People complained about it being chaotic but simply put, that is bollocks. A small number of volunteers and marshals have to do the organising of hundreds of attendees into a  column and then on to the roads.

The traffic was held up by other volunteers with cars, to let us get out of the service area and onto the M25. Such a shame that Essex Police can't provide a car or two to assist or even a few bike cops?

Once on the M25 the first obstacle is the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. Traffic was crawling at 30mph and we had trouble reaching the 50-55mph speed and four bike lengths apart ideal.

I planned to go to the next services but as I was so damned cold I decided to go past and then turn around at the next junction.

Fellow Meldrew, Ian Jenkinson, was a mile or so ahead of me on his 1200GS. I was going to stop off for a coffee with him and his riding buddies on the way back on the other side of the M25. In the end I shot past.

By Maidstone I was thinking about a comfort break but carried on past that service area as well. The urge went off in the cold. 

Apart from my fingertips I wasn't feeling too cold. I was wearing a jumper I bought a few weeks ago in ASDA. That it has reindeer on it.... Anyway it was warming. Plus my ancient boots had back up courtesy of EDZ bikers socks. My legs in thickish kevlar lined cargo pants seemed okay. 

I eventually arrived home about 3pm. Once in the house I felt even colder than on the road.

My wristbands
From Thurrock

Me and Pepe

5 November 2017

Whirr. Clunk. 2

The blogger app gave up the ghost on the original post only about half way through.

After the clunk. I left Pepé in the watery sun on the drive. In the house I called the RAC. Only an hour to wait. Okay.

I'll still be able to get down to Dungeness and meet Cal and Ian and see the old bikes. 

I let them know by sms.

It wasn't 10am yet.  Cal offers to come and bring the jump pack he has in a pannier. I say I can wait for the RAC and not mess their day up. Doh!

The RAC call back. Update. About Noon they say. Bugger. Day ruined.

I go online to look at power packs that I can carry with me in the pannier.

A  note on the Rocket III FB asking for tips boils down to the dbpower 600A portable pack. £69.99 from Amazon Prime.  Tomorrow should be okay for delivery.

Fingers crossed.

Oh yeah  RAC call back with an update "more like 1pm". I say okay, but then call back and cancel. No point at that time of day.

Db power 600A 

Update November 7th 2017

The unit was delivered to my neightbour this afternoon, and they even stuck a card in the letterbox.  Yesterday I only knew they had failed was because I saw it on the online tracking. No card. 

It looks a formidable bit of kit.  I read the instructions before fiddling with it. Truly un-guy-like.  Looks pretty straightforward.  It was charged to about 90% so I put it on to get it to 100%.  We are going to be out on Saturday all day so I need to find some time to try and get Pepé started before I need to be on the road to the "Ring of Red" on Sunday. Maybe in the afternoon before it gets dark.

Update November 11th 2017

Had a little time to test it. Connected it to the bike and pressed the button and Pepe started. I left it running whilst I packed everything away.  Fingers crossed for the morning.

Whirr. Clunk.

This is the third autumn since I brought Pepé home. But the first since he has begun to be a little temperamental.

We are just at the beginning of a cold snap and today. Press the starter.



I was supposed to be going to a classic bike run. So had to cancel that.

Let the other Meldrews know and called the RAC. "About an hour".

An hour later an update. "About 1230". Some two hours to wait.

If tbis is liable to happen I need to invest in a battery jump tool. Neither of the cars can do it as thru have sealed battery covers.

So let's wait.

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