Rather than be a mere spectator, watching life pass me by through the window of a train I decided to ride-in today. I was hoping it wouldn't rain, and as luck would have it, the rain held off until I arrived at work. When I say I usually use the train, other riders/bikers guffaw at my lack of "real bikerness". To be honest, I've been there and done it. Also, most of them don't have 160 mile round trip every day. I do.
First stop was Stop 24 to fill the tank with unleaded. After a few years or decades of using my Shell card I had finally got lucky with a £3.50 voucher off the fuel! Not to be sneezed at and as Stop 24 are the cheapest station in the area, a bit of a bonus.
When I set off from home the GS's fuel gauge was showing 5 bars lit. After 3 miles as I peeled into the station there were 3 bars! How does that work then? In the end I squeezed 14.19 litres in the tank and dribbled in to make sure it was filled to the top. After 156.2 miles that gave me an MPG of 49.97. Not bad for "making progress" in both directions.
After that it went a bit downhill. Firstly dire warnings of the M20 being closed or heavily reduced were a little over exaggerated as there is a single lane closed after the Maidstone Services junction for work on the bridge over the old LST (low speed train) tracks. So far so good. The usual muppets joining at the A249 who seem to think that the slip road directs them into the second of the four lanes and not the first. Today's w-anker was a BMW 4WD with a woman on her phone, straight out into the third lane, she swerved back when she noticed the Pole in the 40-tonner who was already in that lane.
Then we picked up signs saying the A2 was closed west of the M25. Then these tempered down to extreme delays. Once on the M25, I decided to take the Dartford Tunnel and then the A13. The tunnel approach was easy enough and the left lanes are easier as the trucks wheeze about to get to the barrier.
Once on the A13 it was the usual Essex morning. Halfwits in dumper trucks returning to the building sites in London after tipping the refuse and building spoils in Essex and the bottle blondes in 4WD's. Riding defensively is an art and gives time to watch the tailgating performed by the aforementioned halfwits without any danger. Anyone know the stopping distance from 50mph of a W-regd skip truck with full skip? I bet it's longer than that of the Golf or other car in front.
Finally to the bikes in bus lane section from the Blackwall Tunnel to Aldgate. A wary eye on the dick that turns across your line and then safely to Shoreditch. Here you need to avoid the yuppie and yuppette dashing in front of you with their little cardboard cup from some coffee shop. Today I almost collected a small oriental girl onto the beak as she stepped off the traffic island directly in front of me. What makes it all the more remarkable is that she made eye contact with me for about 10 yards before she went! The ABS works and makes the same sort of clicking as it does when it sets itself on take-off in the morning. Phew.
Once at work, I had time to park and let the bike cool down and recover before we do it all in reverse on the way home in about 3 hours time!