24 September 2007

First Impressions: Suzuki Jacket (Part 2)

After a week of wearing the jacket every day to work and both days over the weekend, my initial impressions are that for the £99 price tag it is a good jacket to buy.

On the few occasions when it rained it stayed dry inside and the two inside pockets, one each side of the main zip but curiously both on the left rather than one each side, worked well. One for wallet and one for phone. Neither leaked.

Without the removable lining it came with I would have serious doubts that this is a "four season" jacket. I tend to remove the quilted lining from any jacket and wear something else as it gives more flexibility with the weather. One day last week we had a very cold start to the day and I was a bit chilled on the M20! That was a one-ff and it has proved better as the week progressed.

I also have a slight reservation on the main zip. It;'s chunky enough, and like all zips it has a metal tag to pull it with, but the elastic in the back of the jacket to keep it snug, does cause the zip to pull apart when trying to do it up. Holding the edges of each side as close together gets over this. But it is worth keeping an eye on.

All in all I am pleased with it. After the Buffalo experience... it isn't hard to please!

23 September 2007

Berkshire Museum of Aviation History

Had a good run across on the A25. It used to be scenic but not so much traffic. When I lived in Camberley and when I had just joined the SOC, we used to ride across the A25 from Guildford to Sevenoaks and then up to Brands Hatch.
I'm sure there were more open limited sections in those days.
Yesterday, there seemed to be too much hatching in the centre of the road and all too many 40 and 50 limits. It didn't stop the weekend-warriors overtaking us and the cars across solid double white lines. These guys are so much better riders than us. It's amazing none of them are in BSB or even racing at club level. Perhaps that would mean actually being able to ride?
We had a bit of a detour around Shere before we found the ford. I was hoping to get a picture of Paul B and Ian G coming through, but a Freelander came along the narrow exit track and put paid to that. It's not very deep, but has enough water in it to wet the underside of the engine!
After the ford we rejoined the A25 and gave the Silent Pool as miss and stopped instead at Newlands Corner for a spot of lunch and a chat. It's a place for another ride out one sunny Sunday.
We were amused at the banter of the weekend warriors as we queued for a coffee. All talk of the right gear to be in for a certain corner. This is the A25 mate. Not Brands Hatch or Monza! What a plonker.
Once back on the road we managed to miss the ford at Chobham as the GPS location I was given was wrong. We eventually arrived at Woodley and the small museum about 1330.. a bit late.
Nice to see some old greats of the SOC, Phil Hingert and Tony Taylor had come along.

Nice to see my old Cavalcade that Tony owns now and has kept looking really good. I had it for 4 years between 1987 and 1991 when I sold it when made redundant and had to keep the more useful bike... DR800!

The motorway thrash not so good on the way back! Plenty of Sunday afternoon traffic and after Maidstone my trim round my screen began to pull off and I had to grab it before it went completely. Sadly it lost on of the clips and so I'll have to leave it off. Once it got to flick against my visor I had to grab it and try to hold it as I pulled on the hard shoulder.
For those of you that like the look of a Cavalcade and want to know more, please go to
www.sccuk.f9.co.uk. The Suzuki Cavalcade Club has a small and enthusiastic membership in the UK. The bike was never officially imported here and was mainly for the US market to compete with the Honda Gold Wing. However, in the late 80's some found there way to the UK from the US as private imports. Mine was brought from Florida by a guy that brought a few non-UK models in and who was based near Stoke on Trent, hence the HEH registration. In the old registration system EH was Stoke!

22 September 2007

Kent Charity Pet-Food Run 2007 - Cancelled

The pet run was cancelled officially last weekend, although it was removed from the SOC diary almost as soon as it went up, as I decided that without any SOC and other riders bothering to get in touch to say they were going it may have been a bit of a cock up.

Instead I am planning, along with the same local RSPCA, group to have a look in Spring next year. Giving more time for people to prepare..

This obviously wasn't good enough for some wanker that tried to post a rude comment on the original page for the event. All comments are moderated and I'd hardly let that through. A gutless wanker as well, not having the bollocks to put his or her name to their comments.

17 September 2007

España por favor!

In a couple of weeks we are off to Spain for our wedding anniversary. Not on the bike but flying with Thompson-Fly to Malaga, then to the timeshare at Torrenueva Park.

Last week I was looking at places to go to use up the "banked" timeshare weeks. Spain has loads free at most times of the year, although kids holidays in July and August are a problem if you want to go then. I tend to look elsewhere! We already have a week booked in Hungary near Lake Balaton in August 08, more of that trip elsewhere.

So to the last week that needs booking. I decided that Spain might be a good idea, loads of places to go, and more cheap flights. I've knocked any thoughts of the US off the menu as the passport requirements and all the data they want on travellers means they can poke it right up their arses. We have been their biggest supporter in the "War on Terror", and then they treat us like shit.

Anyway, back to the subject. Checking a variety of dates and airlines produced really cheap fares to Valencia with Easyjet. A quick look on RCI showed that there were a few resorts where Valencia was a viable option. So I booked both of them The week is actually half term week in some places and so there may be kids, but where we are going is a little off the tourist trail for the British and their kids. I hope!

We'll have to see eh?

First Impressions: Suzuki Jacket

Although I bought, or rather exchanged this jacket, a few weeks ago, today is the first time I have actually worn it on the bike. With the "Indian summer we have been having recently I was happy to wear the Joe Rocket mesh jacket with the EDZ windproof inner shell under it when it was a bit nippy early in the morning.

Today, the forecast was for rain and so I dug the new one out of the wardrobe. I very rarely keep the linings in the jackets as it makes them less versatile when the weather changes. So I prefer to take a jumper or sweatshirt with me instead.

So, what was the experience like? Although it didn't rain, the road was damp on the way from home up to the M20. First impression of the jacket is that it is shorter than the normal jackets I like to wear and less bulky than the Buffalo it replaces. As a result it was a little parky on the way in with just a shirt and the EDZ.

It has two inner pockets on the left side, one inside and one outside the main zip. On the front there is a zipped pocket in the left that is definitely not going to be waterproof. On the right are two small pockets that look like mobile phone pockets, but these are no way near even pretending to be waterproof! Maybe in the sunner I'd chance a phone!

On the main seams there are also pockets that are too high and back to be able to get hands in when off the bike.

As well as the bright (at the moment) white Suzuki logo on the back, both forearm have the same brilliant white logos. The left sleeve has a small pocket, maybe for change? We'll see!

I'll see what it is like on the way home with my sweatshirt on.

10 September 2007

How much longer can it last?

When it was needed in the "proper" summer we hardly saw the bloody sun, so whilst it's here now we have to make the most of it.

Yesterday, we had a day off from the bike and had a run in the car. The stereo turned up and Gary Moore banging away on the guitar.

First stop Tenterden. We parked up outside the Town Hall and took a turn up and down the High Street, before finishing up at the Lemon Tree restaurant. It's in one of the oldest buildings in the town. Lunch was pretty fair snap!

The drive home was a loop through Rye and Camber. We would have stopped in Camber, but I am buggered if I'll pay to park!

Today, another sunny day and work again! Aaaagh!

Paul Devall - sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

8 September 2007

Up early

It's not as though I had much in the way of plans today, but yesterday's puncture and subsequent temporary plug from the RAC meant a proper fix was required.

I was up as though it was a work day, much too early for a Saturday! With the speed restriction on the plugged tyre set at 40mph I wanted to be off so that I was at Watling Tyres in Catford as close to opening as possible. I turned into the workshops by about ten to nine and by twenty past was on the way home.

The repair with a permanent plug vulcanised in place was £22. Much better than shelling out for a new tyre.

Once back there was time for a run over to Canterbury for Claire to do a bit of shoe shopping. I just wandered about with her!

Paul Devall - sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

7 September 2007

Not pretty...

Not pretty..., originally uploaded by pauldevall.

On the way to work and a puncture. had to extract a 3/8in drive torx socket from the tread.

I called the breakdown service that comes free with eBike Insurance policies and it was dealt with quickly and efficiently.

It's not a pretty finish but that glue will wear off as I ride up to Catford for Watling's to put a permanent fix into it.

6 September 2007

Great Week for biking!

So far this week the weather has been good enough to ride in to work and every day.

Every day I've been able to wear my vented Joe Rocket jacket and with the EDZ inner it has been a good combination.

Paul Devall - sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

1 September 2007

Constable Country

Flatford Mill, originally uploaded by pauldevall.

At the weekend we had a trip to a couple of NT sites after visiting Claire's Dad.

The first was Flatford and this is my view of the Mill across the river. John Constable painted his version from a different angle and of course, in 1817 there was slightly less undergrowth and trees to contend with.

This is Bridge Cottage, and this is the first building you come to after parking your car or, in our case, motorcycle in the official car-park. To protect the area, only residents are allowed to drive down the narrow lane that leads to the river.

The site is owned by the National Trust and Bridge Cottage and red tiled building next door (the shop and restaurant) are open to the public. The Mill itself is leased to a Field Study Centre as it Willy Lotts Cottage, also the subject of a John Constable painting.
The other place we were going to see is Bourne Mill in Colchester, but the satnav managed to take us all round Colchester and failed to tell us to stop and we found our way on the A12 again! Oops.

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