A crazy ride back to Cambridge

Today was not a good day to be trying to travel north from London. The M11 was closed – but I knew that in advance and planned a sneaky route on the slightly nicer A10 but no one warned me that the A10 was closed at the M25 junction so many slow miles across country followed to that old-time route up the A1M to Cambridge. My city council garage is being demolished. Storm Eustace damaged the block – where I used to keep my Beamer on the top floor before they relocated me (luckily) to the ground floor.

Poorly built – just one brick thick

So now the whole building is being pulled down. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the council sell this premium land to a developer to squeeze some flats onto it. Last week with the help of my son and Cambridge Car and Van Rental on Newmarket Road we emptied the artwork and furniture and relocated to Davy Road in a more residential part of the city. Today was my chance to take the bike back up there and sort out a few things like a ground anchor and some coat hooks – but everything about the garage is hard concrete so these things are either impossible with my battery operated tools or take hours. My drill got so hot I burnt myself on it.

It all looked so neat to start with
New home for a while

The clocks moved to British Summer Time today. When I left the garage for the short walk over the bridge to the station, the evening sun was shining, the playground opposite was full of families and small kids and a couple of guys were walking past with some loud soul music playing – a nice moment or two. Hardly anyone was speaking English.

My indirect route – about 85 miles and three hours riding

Ride to Epping Forest

The last few days have seen some of the year’s first predictably sunny days, though the temperature was a high of only 12 or so. I took a few hours today – Sunday – to follow a route around Epping and Ongar that I’d found on BestBiking Roads. Most of it was beautiful – though typically I missed some of the loop. This area right on the edge of London straddling the M25 is a little gem. Some of the old towns or villages, Epping for example, on the route are beautiful. Nicely there are quite a few car parks in the woods on different parts of the route. About the bike and a shakedown: I realised that the instruments on the tower needed to be readjusted downwards and the GPS mount needed to be revised as the GPS was rattling around wildly. Both these teething problems are sorted.

Still to sort – the highly distorted voicing from the GPS to the bluetooth helmet headset. Some instructions are just crackles – completely useless.

Total 54 miles over 3 hours
Pretty much finished now

Once I got home and it was dark I tried to adjust the headlights in the new Aurora tower. I’d made a chalk mark on the drive 5m from the garage doors and put some masking tape at the height of the headlamp. A dipped beam is meant to stop 5cms below this line – but it was a couple of feet. The adjustment on the Aurora tower did not seem to be designed to do this properly – and the full beam did not seem to have an aim at all and flooded everything in sight with light – no wonder it is not road legal. Perhaps I need to swap it for the proper lamp before MOT time.

LiteLock bike lock

Finally, after supporting this on Kickstarter in the middle of last year, this innovative lock for my motorcycle has been delivered. As the project got more and more delayed, communication from the company was not that brilliant with very irregular updates and assurances to those who had invested in the development of the lock. I ordered the longer version to make attaching my bike to some fixed object. It is surprisingly not light and too large to fit into the bag that came with it. I was expecting it would be useful to bring along when travelling but I think it will be too big and heavy to take on trips though fine for home security and for short trips. Here it is:

Nice colour though
It doesn’t curl up much smaller than this