During the week I picked up, or rather was hand delivered, a tall R1200GS Adventure windscreen from Ebay. Unused and at nearly half the price I would have paid had I stuck with plan A and asked BMW to fit one at the next service. I was partly thinking of that long and possibly cold and rainy journey across northern Europe that I plan to take in September but also wanting to ‘adventurise’ bit by bit my ordinary 1200GS. My old 2007 white air/oil cooled Adventure had an idiosyncratic style that makes todays new GSs look a little mass-produced. The new model Adventure looks great – in my view – but is a Behemoth, huge, taller that the standard GS and heavier to boot. I had no intention of buying one when I traded in Belinda. Getting my wheels powder coated black would be a nice touch and a move in that direction but expensive I imagine.
Here’s a useful comparison:
Today after fitting the screen (thanks to one of the many instructional videos on YouTube I did it the easy way – very easy – and not the hard way which The Missenden Flyer shows) I dithered about which set of urban roads I should head down but chose to look at Gravesend. I wonder how it got that rather gloomy name. It is one of those Victorian towns on the Thames estuary that, I think, has a naval history. At least in my imagination it does.
Interestingly GPS took me north over Southwark bridge then close to the Tower of London and down through the Blackwall Tunnel getting on to the south side of the river again. Of course I took the wrong turn on the entrance and had to make a huge detour up the A13 (or was it the A12?). The A2 slithering East South East from London is unremarkable but at least moves quickly and doesn’t feel like driving through a city.
Gravesend is rather a dump. It has a small pier and a historic ‘quarter’ that reminded me strangely of how Bury St. Edmunds used to look about 20 years ago. By the river you look over to the docks at Tilbury on the north side of the Thames where the Empire Windrush brought future NHS workers from the West Indies in 1948 and where H’s parents left for Australia in 1961. I didn’t stay long.
So how was the taller screen? It is a bit like comparing two different marmalades. It was similar but I want to swap them back and try again. Then do it again. Once at 70 I had the feeling that I was having a more peaceful ride. So I have no regrets about this small not very rigorous experiment.
The merino base layers are good. The temperature hovered around 10 degrees so was not freezing but the air was very damp and rain started to hit the roof about ten minutes after I got home. Walking around Gravesend I was cold but once with everything zipped up and on the bike I was completely comfortable – just that slight chill at the top of my legs which must get the wind from underneath the windscreen. So another good purchase and cheaper than identical items made by other companies.
The gap in the picture below is the Blackwall Tunnel. The short red vertical line is my wrong turning.