A bright day out

A ride out on a cold but bright day 29/12/2008.

Start date 7th January 2010    Last updated 14th February 2010

Couple of days ago I went out to buy a loaf of bread and ended up doing something like 60 miles for the 2 mile round trip, even though it was dull and overcast.

Today, New Year's Day, I got up to the sight of the sun streaming through the windows.

She says "What are you doing today?"

"I could go out for a bit" (in a pleading sort of voice).

"Go on, then, but aren't the roads icy?"

"They're dry", said I, "so no ice."

"Go on, then, goodbye."

And it is cold; I go into the garage, turn on the ignition, the FJR shows me this:

(Click on any image for larger view, click on that for the (5Mbyte-ish) original). Just for the record, my camera's clock was still on Summer Time , so the larger views' times are out by about an hour)

(-1C is about 30F).

So, two sweaters under my jacket, put the liner into my pants (jacket liner already in). Go indoors to get my ear plugs (they won't roll up to go in my ears kept in the garage at these temperatures). A balaclava over my head, helmet on, and dig out my winter gloves.

Start the bike to let it warm up a bit, heated grips on max. Take off gloves, helmet and balaclava, go indoors to kiss my beloved goodbye , and put them all on again. Mustn't forget certain procedures, trouble could result.

By this time there's a bar showing on the gauge, so off I go. Down the drive, carefully along my road; although there's no ice as such, there's still frost on the surface, and that can be very slippery.

Then on to more major roads that have been salted, so shouldn't be any ice. The temperature gauge now reads -2C (28F). I make the decision this is not going to be a "country lane" ride, there's too high a risk of places where water has run over the road and will be frozen. OK, I'm a wuss, I don't "do" ice. I put on the mind-set of "no minor roads, and no pushing the grip limits". This is going to be a quiet meander, to enjoy the view.

So I just go up the A6, through Matlock Bath. On any Sunday or holiday you can find hundreds of shiny bikes parked, their owners wandering up and down, eating fish and chips, generally posing with discussing their bikes. Provided the weather is warm and dry. Today? Not a single one.

I keep going. The temperature dropping to -3C (26F). I turn off into Chatsworth Park, and stopped to take some piccies (well, this did happen).

My long shadow
Views around
You can see the lake frozen over
the church
and the house
A flock of sheep (in the summer they're usually over the road), and that sun was bright.

On my "dull day" trip, I didn't see a single motorcycle out. Today, I thought I wouldn't, until nearly home, when a group of about six oldies passed by. Couldn't make out what they were, they were indistinct in the reflection of the sun off the road, but were definitely 60's in shape.

Got home after 50-odd miles, I was still not too cold. However, the bike's temperature gauge never got above three bars until I was idling in my drive. Most unusual, it normally always finds its way to four.

My Tomtom's trip review (it was taken in the bright light, you can make out the reflection of camera and operator reflected in its screen:

This time, my silly grin wasn't exactly frozen on, but I still couldn't get it off. I did remember to hose the salt off the bike.