3 April 2007

First ride to work day of the year - homeward bound

Blimey, if I had thought it was cold on the way in, then it was pretty nippy on the way home. I left work at just coming up to 5pm, about the same time as when I am on the train.

The first bit wasn't too bad, across Islington and down the Ballspond Road to Hackney, not too much traffic. it was getting chilly by the time I got on the A102M towards the Blackwall Tunnel and I flicked the heated grips on to full power to get some heat through them and into my fingers in the summer gloves.

My upper body of t-shirt, shirt and cashmere sweater (ooh get you!) wasn't having the desired effect at legal speeds. My Hood jeans are pretty good usually, but tonight the wind chill over my thighs was cooling me down. I was in the groove, as they say, as we came out of the Tunnel onto the south bank by North Greenwich and the Dome, so much so that I decided not to stop at Sainsbury's for petrol, but to carry on home.

By M25 I was beginning to feel very chilly and so decided to up the pace a bit, more wind chill but for less time. I do like the sweeping bend as you exit the M25 onto the M20 southbound, so easy to get it all leaned over.

At Ashford they have closed the left lane on the approach to J10. What a cock-up. The roundabout over the M20 has been called the "Magic Roundabout" for ages and now they have decided to "improve" it and removing the traffic lights has made it it chaos. Allied to the lane out, it means the M20 is down to one usable lane and the former centre lane is queued back half a mile to the exit. I wonder who thought of that? Someone with an index linked pension no doubt?

I came off there and filled up a Tesco. Now they have sorted their dodgy fuel I feel I can use them again. I always use the "pay at pump" system as I can't be arsed removing my helmet and despite it being (today) a Caberg flip front, they still ask in some places to take it off completely. Luckily, this Tesco has the pay at pump in operation more often than not. I had a leisurely last leg of the journey along the A20 and up past Lympne Animal Park to West Hythe and home. I was in at just after 18.25. Not bad going to include a stop.

When I got in I worked out that fuel consumption was 46.83mpg. A little lower than I am used to, but then I suppose the GS is due a service. In fact, over due a service that should have been done at 36000 miles.

And it was bloody cold. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow and I may revise what I wear... heated jacket maybe?

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