#6 Complaining because it’s cold

The first ride of 2018 was a test ride! Way to welcome in the new year. It wasn’t planned, I wobbled to the local Triumph dealer to meet two friends for coffee and to get a bike serviced. The roads were patchy and horrible and it had been a few weeks since I’d ridden so I was embarrassingly slow and my confidence was ebbing away with every mile.

In the Triumph store I was, as usual, complaining about something. The topic of this complaint was insurance prices for young people. My friends are both a good 5 years older than me and don’t struggle with insurance premiums. Anyone who’s policy costs less than £500 that thinks they can complain about that will get an earful from me. My insurance is so expensive I have to pay for it monthly. So I was describing my dream of how when I turn 25 my insurance will be cheap enough for me to have a new R1. A nice man pointed out how that wasn’t how insurance worked – he was older than 25 and still couldn’t insure a new litre bike, but a new 600 would be do-able. Maybe I should try a 600?

That’s how I ended up on a new 675 Daytona for an hour. I’m not going to review it or anything because it was only an hour and we just went up the A32 and back, so not long enough to really get to know it. I wouldn’t trade the R1 for it, it was great fun and gave me my confidence back on the patchy roads, it was light and easy to flick round corners which the R1 isn’t. It was physically a lot smaller than the R1 which felt extremely weird, I couldn’t just duck behind the screen, I had to shift my whole body back and squish myself up to get behind it, I could get used to that, but I like big bikes that make me look dainty. When I got back to my R1 I felt a lot better, no more wobbling. So I can thank the 675 for helping me get over my little confidence crisis.

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The customer service in Destination Triumph was brilliant; I still struggle to get test rides on bikes and they were completely happy for me to take their bike out, were genuinely interested in my feedback, didn’t try to sell me anything, and were understanding of my concerns.

Following that cold day in January, the bike hasn’t been out much, I’ve been weekend riding when the weather is acceptable, not going too far and not causing problems. The R1 is due some TLC, I try to get it serviced properly twice a year with a few mini services and valets in between. I have never bothered to learn how to service my own bike, I keep telling myself I’ll do it, but my experiences maintaining my own bike have always ended badly (they are in cartoons, called ‘why I don’t DIY’). This year it needs new tyres, a new chain and sprockets, and as it’s spring it’s time for an oil and filter change and filter and brake clean and thorough once over. I’ve also got some shiny new carbon fibre bits to put on it. I have been telling myself that when I turn 25 I will get a new bike, but if I get new stuff put on it, maybe that will be delayed. Maybe I’ll end up with two bikes.

Last weekend the weather looked nice enough to break out my new gloves. I emphasise that the weather LOOKED nice. It was freezing, we’ve had the ‘beast from the east’ (who thought of that name, seriously?) this week and last weekend was like the introduction, deceivingly sunny, stupidly cold. I bought the new gloves – Knox Handroids, at the Motorcycle Live show in November but hadn’t used them properly since then. A lot of people asked me to let them know what the gloves are like so I wrote a short review.

“These are the current full length Handroids in white.
I bought them because when I first saw them I thought they were seriously cool looking, I did ask, and Knox are not going to make a pink version (☹️) but assured me that white is very pretty, so I went with that. They were very comfortable when I tried them on in the shop, I have size S, they fit beautifully. Actually riding though I find they take a while to get comfortable in, there are a lot of seams inside that press against my finger tips and rub against my wrist where the strap is, but I’m sure these will wear thin in time. Once they’re on they’re not coming off no matter how hard I pull and twist – the strap will go tight round your wrist unlike a lot of glove straps where the Velcro doesn’t go round all the way which prevents you from securing your glove when you have tiny wrists, this is a major bonus on these gloves. The locking mechanism secures the glove further up although I have had trouble with it – at one point it got loose and stopped working – it did get fixed and I assume I just did something wrong when trying to do it up. I’ve also lost the button cover on one of them but I think that’s just a badge and doesn’t effect it. The gloves are quite stiff at the moment, I can fully flex everything, and I’m sure they’ll loosen up with use. Practicality wise I think they’re excellent, there’s no excess Velcro everywhere so they don’t get stuck to things and end up scruffy, aside from the minor issue with the locking mechanism I haven’t broken them yet (and I am extremely careless as a person), and they have already been dropped, thrown, sat on and stuffed forcefully inside a helmet (they do not fit inside a helmet). An unexpected plus is that they kept my hands fairly warm; yesterday was ‘freezing’ and they kept me as warm as my budget winter gloves, which is fantastic – I can use them all year.” *

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After that weekend, we had snow, as usual when it snows, England grinds to a halt. I wish I had rolled the bike out for some snow photos but I’m not risking dropping it and not being able to get it back in the garage…

That pretty much sums up my riding in January and February. Work has been busy, as usual. One day I’d love an assistant. Or just someone to kick me off the wifi so I’m forced to work.

Hope you all have a lovely spring, stay off the frozen white stuff.

*Knox glove review was self motivated and not connected to Knox.

Destination Triumph Solent http://www.destinationtriumph.co.uk

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