2019Feb07: Return of the bike

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Yes, today is the day. Thursday February the 7th, I picked up the bike. Engine sounded and felt good.
If only there was less pain when making the payment. Don’t ask. But for reference. Pat (the mechanic) is off skiing with his wife, leaving on Saturday. I feel as if I have paid for their trip.
Still. Technology is wonderful when it works. Paid via my laptop in the heart of the countryide.

Headed out towards Weston-super-Mare. Nothing booked. The aim is for lots of highway riding, and see if the coolant still leaks. 
The weather was sunny, but cold. A few random light showers. 
Ran till I needed a fill-up. Gave the bike some TLC. Then booked a random hotel. Good idea. Ran past the hotel, onto the outskirts of Bristol, so that I had covered 200km+. Turned around. By now it was time to get indoors. The rain becoming more frequent. And the temperature dropping.
So back along the M4 to the hotel. Primo motorcycle parking‎.   Nice staff let me stay there 😉
Would have given the bike more TLC but the centre stand has lost a bolt.  Ouch!
Supper was a chilli followed by a fruit salad. And an early night.

Friday up late.
More fruit for breakfast.
Made a call to Guildford BMW about a replacement bolt, having to leave a message with reception.
Packed and rode off as morning ended.

The weather was major rain and quite blustery.
The bike ran well. Very well. 
Headed to Silchester.
Rode off the M4 and started getting close. This is when TomTom started doing strange things. My psychic navigation kicked in, and despite TomTom, I found the Roman walls.
Would have stayed but the rain was insistent. 

Filled up the bike and left another message with Guildford BMW.
Ran on until some 30mins away from Barry. Still no word from Guildford so I called Alton BMW‎ Bahnstormer. Got a real person, and the bolt with nut and washer will be in tomorrow. Any guess as to the price?
One bolt.
One washer.
One nut.
Only 28 pounds. Or $48Cdn. Ouch!

The rain had pushed it’s way under my jacket. And into the TomTom GPS, creating a “bloom” on the screen. TomTom was now randomly showing where I was going, or showing settings, or recycling the start menu. Totally at random. Nothing seemed to work as it should.
Good job I know the way to Barry’s from the M3!

At Barry’s the garage was empty, so I could unpack sheltered from the storm. Neither the rain, nor the blustery wind, had quietened down all day. 

Friday evening was spent at Toni’s with a curry.
After Barry and I had a pint at my favourite pub, the Grapes 🙂 First time this year that we have found it open. The last time we were here, was way before Christmas, where we’d entered the raffle. And no, as the landlord pointed out, we hadn’t won. haha

Saturday dawned dry and sunny. 

Alton Bahnstormer were having a party. Leastways that’s how it seemed. Lots of people chatting. Free coffee n biscuits.
I did my bit by explaining the benefits of the F700GS to a Triumph Tiger rider.
Pity about the bolt.
Work of beauty. Stainless steel. Heavily over-engineered. And, it didn’t fit. Apparently I have an after-factory centre-stand. Need a kit. Will be here Tuesday. 

So back to Barry’s.
More of the usual.
With the weekend’s highlight being the Sunday roast, cooked by Toni, including real veg. Lovely 🙂

Tuesday, another sunny day at BMW Alton. Kit arrived as promised. Bolt fitted. Took a bit longer than expected  so had to dash to Flowerpots
Barry and Mark were waiting there. Served by the ever patient Sandy. They had beer. I had elderflower cordial 🙂
My next stop was RS in Southampton. Long ride via insults at multiple shops for one screwdriver. “Don’t get this in Canada” hahaha. The manager at RS was really good. Trolled through their site, and then their shelves till he found the right one. A lot for work for an item costing less than three Pounds Sterling.
TomTom still not dried out. Not quite back to it’s Friday’s damp self. Had worked all the way to Alton, then Flowerpots. After the pub, TomTom went on strike. Most of the touch screen was not working.‎ A “bloom” filling most of the screen 🙁 
Back at Barry’s to open the GPS and allow it to air-dry properly.
Fish n chips for supper 😉

Wednesday morning to take care of the bike, pack and assemble the TomTom. Mounted the GPS on the bike and hosed it down with ACF50. GPS worked well, all the way to the pub.
WARNING. Don’t go to the Brickmakers with Barry on a Wednesday. It’s full of women and one chap remembering the good old days, when women stayed at home to cook, clean and generally take care of their man. haha. I left him to it.

A quick run, took me into Bournemouth.‎ Not the quiet, retiree-filled, Bournemouth that I was expecting.
At least two nice, and very different, restaurants: Cliff Top; and Chao Gong.
A vibrant night scene, with an eclectic crowd, and a bit of an edge.
And a museum that should serve as a warning to all collectors. haha

Bike still running OK. “Touch wood“.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Matej says:

Heads up GPS devices that can’t be updated might stop working on April 6.
Check your device to make sure it’s not affected.

biker says:

If only it was that easy.
Have submitted a question. Will let you know how that works out.

Thanks for the heads up.

biker says:

here is an article on the April date….


biker says:

Am OK 🙂
TomTom said so, and provided this link https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/updates/