First ride from SE1 – to Brighton

At last, I have a working garage to keep my bike in. No more carrying buckets of water half a mile down the road every time I want to wash it, nor needing to jump on it for a freezing (but usually enjoyable) ride every few weeks throughout the winter to keep the battery from going flat. But keeping a motorcycle in central London is a mixed blessing. Apart from my insurance premium nearly tripling, it takes much longer to get anywhere enjoyable to ride – and so far I don’t find riding through south London’s heavy traffic enjoyable, though some bikers seem to be having more fun than me.

Yesterday, Sunday, I got up at 7.30 and was on the bike before 9 am heading down to Brighton to see what the ride was like. No, London is not a ghost town in terms of traffic at that time and it took about half an hour of riding to get into 4th gear and about 45 minutes to get onto fast roads – first the A32 then the M32. It was a strange journey of three parts: first London and its busy and generally ugly suburbs, then fast riding on dual carriageway and motorways and then, suddenly, arriving in Brighton, where the sun was shining and slightly before the crowds took to the streets.

On the way down it took 1 hour 30 minutes to get 53 miles, an average of about 35mph.

On the way back, seeing what avoiding the motorway was like, coupled with riding into a much busier London, it took 2 hours and 40 minutes to ride 57 miles, averaging 21mph.