Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

Welcome To Bikes And Travels...

...It's about bikes...and travels...mostly on bikes!

Steep mountiain sides of Glencoe in winter

Winter is coming, apparently. Do we wrap up warm and head out or stay home safe from the cold and Covid? Only time will tell.

What's New?

Reflections Another watery day in Northern Ireland and still no rain on the horizon. Sharon contemplates the many and varied lives we get to live.
Electric Future 2030 huh? No more new fossil fuel powered cars. But as yet we'll still get fire-breathing petrol powered motorcycles. Great! Or, well, maybe, maybe not.
Dispatch Fun With not much else going on in the world Ren reminisces about the good old days when 'e wer a lad.
North Pennines And Epilogue It's the end of the journey for the dynamic muppets yet there's still time for a little detour, or two. What did Ren make of Northern Ireland?
Ferry, Friends And Mostly Scotland In a remarkable twist Ren is not flapping! Nor is he ready to go home. But alas and alack 'tis time for this all-too-brief inspection of Northern Ireland to end. Take comfort in Scotland Ren.
A Bit Of Irish History A history lesson and tomfoolery by The Queen Of Rain. Thing is, it's not raining. Something is wrong here, very wrong.
Right Of Way, I Dunno When is definitive not definitive? Either Ren is stupid (likely) or these things are complicated. Ren wrestles with the legality of riding off piste.
Lough Neagh And Money The Dynamic Muppets circumnavigate the largest lake in the British Isles. Is this the sort of place where a prudent miser like Ren would fit in?
Giants And Hobbits Sharon enjoys a rather wonderful day exploring more of the Causeway Coastal Route. Languishing in luxury on the back of Ren's bike while he does all the hard work. Sort of.
Ards Peninsula, Wonderfully Modest Today it's the turn of Ards Peninsula to be explored. Throw in the regular dose of disorganised nonsense and some fair weather, it might be a good day!
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Latest Posts

Electric Future Upt'North said :-
And you wonder why the car industry is strugglin, will it be diesel, petrol, EV, PHEV, Self Chargin Hybrid, Hydrogen.............
It'd be easier take the bus, if there were any outside of London.
03/12/2020 06:12:09 UTC
Electric Future Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Who knows what the future holds Bob, you may be spot on.

With my 125 now reaching the end of it's usable life an electric 125 equivalent makes sense for my particular circumstances. I'd have the 500 for tours and rideouts, I could use the small electric motorcycle for the local trips like going to visit mother, shopping, they even have enough range for a visit to Sharon's. Great! Yes, sod it I'll get an eleccy 125 equivalent. Erm. Not at 4 grand I won't. I could have 2 Chinese 125s for that much and still have enough left for petrol. They're still too pricey.

Will it be hydrogen? Batteries? Compressed air? Lord only knows, there might be some acid tech or cow poop bio fuel thing. If you'd said to me when I was 20 years old that I'd have a pocket shaped piece of tech that can navigate, keeps accurate time, allows me to make phone calls nearly anywhere and I could video talk to people I'd have laughed. Throw in access to a database of the collective knowledge of the world plus an inordinate amount of ridiculous nonsense and it seems impossible. And yet here we are.

Maybe Hydrogen is better, maybe it's like VHS and BetaMax, tt just depends on which system comes to the fore.
03/12/2020 02:38:43 UTC
Electric Future Bogger said :-
I've got an electric pedal assist pushbike. It is good and yes I do feel as though I'm cheating a bit when I ride it. However the thought of an all electric motorbike holds no appeal whatsoever.

03/12/2020 12:33:58 UTC
Electric Future Bob said :-
Battery powered vehicles are a dead end for mainstream use.
They're fine for a shopping runabout or commuter, but nobody with a Tesla is going to go on a touring holiday.

Hydrogen is the only viable future, it can be harvested using renewable energy. The by product of harvesting hydrogen is oxygen and the by product of using the hydrogen is water.
There are problems with storage and transportation of hydrogen, but they are engineering problems to be overcome. Unlike battery powered vehicles, hydrogen vehicles wouldn't require the wholesale destruction of the existing fuel distribution and sale network, for replacement by an obviously impossible to achieve every-parking-space-has-a-recharging-station infrastructure, powered by the dozen new nuclear power stations we are obviously not going to build.

I saw a road test of the £22000 Zero sportsbike in MCN, real world range 70 miles - REALLY? £22K for 70 miles? Say it out loud and see if sounds OK to you.

For my part I've just passed the 2000 mile mark on my electric bicycle. It's 1KW so has a useful turn of speed and the human-battery power combination is a pretty good balance. With two spare batteries I can comfortably cover 120 miles of assisted riding. It cost £700 to build all in.

03/12/2020 10:36:42 UTC
Electric Future Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Drippin!? Lard!? LUXURY!! When I wur a lad all we could afford were 2 slices of tar from't road wi a bit o' coal dust between, an that's only when us father kem outta t'pit for his bi-annual breath of fresh air. You kids, you jus' don't know 'ow lucky thy are't.
02/12/2020 09:00:02 UTC
Electric Future Ian Soady said :-
Be careful or you'll set me off....

I well remember sitting by the coal fire with my mum toasting bread on the coals and spreading dripping on it (no idea what sort of meat it came off). Delicious. But these days you just don't seem to get dripping and if you do get a tiny amount it doesn't have the same taste at all. Lower fat meat?

When we were hard up we'd have lard which was just as nice with a bit of salt & pepper although I suspect I'd turn my nose up at it these days. When I was a lad at Blaydon Grammar I had a friend who used lard on his DA. Very effective.

I'll go back to sleep now.
01/12/2020 02:30:42 UTC
Electric Future Upt'North said :-
On a cold December day you made me chuckle, well done sir.
Nothing like a good chuckle.
Is this what they call thread drift?
01/12/2020 01:10:44 UTC
Electric Future Jim said :-
You could go for miles with a dripping sandwich in your pack. All the time thinking ‘Hope I get there soon or I’ll have to eat that bloody sandwich’.

01/12/2020 12:20:29 UTC
Electric Future Upt'North said :-
Thanks for the memory Jim.....dripping on toast.....remember the brown salty bit at the bottom. It used to stick to the roof of your mouth. I bet it was healthy.
I've come over all nostalgic.
30/11/2020 07:04:33 UTC
Electric Future Jim said :-
Can’t claim to be an expert Ren. All I know is that the old agricultural 1868cc naturally aspirated PSA diesel unit with a Bosch fuel pump would run happily on just about anything with calories in it - I personally tried corn oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and good old rapeseed oil - I’m sure it would have run on dripping as long as the bits weren’t too big. When eventually that Peugeot turned up its toes at 170,000 miles I replaced it with a Picasso with a 1.6 HDI engine and was advised that it could still be run on homemade fuel, but it would have to be properly brewed biodiesel. My finances had improved somewhat by this point, and without the financial urgency I just couldn’t be arsed.
30/11/2020 04:55:20 UTC
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Latest Chit-Chat

Go To Chit-Chat Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Aaawww bless. Does the bike have it's own blanket Ross? I have this vision on your CB500X in the corner of the garage on a quilt to keep the tyres off the cold concrete and a large blanket tucked in all around, save for the headlight so it can breath. I do hope this garage is part of the house and properly heated too. Humidity controlled?
03/12/2020 02:23:35 UTC
Ross said :-
Nice new picture at the top of the home page, but, BRRRRRRRR, makes me feel cold just looking at it...glad the bike is tucked up warm and covered in the garage!
02/12/2020 03:39:17 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
"Ren doesnt have it easy where he has to ride around you know!" ... did I, no, surely not. Nah. Not possible. Did I just get the merest whiff of sympathy and understanding of my miserable plight? Nah, shurrup Ren don't be silly.

You'll have to explain to us Northern Folks (even Londoners are Northern to you KiwiJeff) what the weather is like in New Zealand. It absolutely must rain as from what little I know it's a green country. I'm sure your Wigan experience has left you traumatised but I personally don't believe we have a riding season here either. Yes it gets cold(er) and icy here but there are usually only a handful of days each year where it's simply too icy or too snowy to ride. Otherwise it's a case of "you'll need your big coat on". As for the rain, winter rain is simply summer rain but colder.

Those I know who've been to New Zealand, particularly on motorcycles, have nothing but praise for the place. I'd like to hear the perspective of a resident too.

02/12/2020 09:10:18 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Jeff, if that's OK.
You weren't unlucky when you got 4 days of rain in Wigan, it rains everyday in Wigan. It even rains when the sun's out for that two hours a year.
And as for our Ed, bless him, he doesn't deserve it easy. He's a very naughty boy, said in a Monty Python'esque way.
Don't mean it Ed, you're our leader, hoorah.
01/12/2020 01:08:05 UTC
KiwiJeff said :-
Still down under Upt'North but have lived in Blighty some years ago so know why you park your bike up in winter! Had four days of cold torrential rain visiting Wigan relatives in November two years ago so while it is cold where you are Ren doesnt have it easy where he has to ride around you know! We don't really have a "riding season" as we can ride all year round I actually prefer winter as you don't overheat with all the gear on! The Stockman is mostly used on farms but can be registered for the road. Can't source a suitable loaded Stockman picture for you yet but working on it.
01/12/2020 10:52:15 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Me? Cheer you up Upt'? Never, you know me better than that. I wasn't planning on going to the TT but I know a lot of folks who'll be gutted about it.
30/11/2020 04:17:49 UTC
Upt'North said :-
You were saying Ed......
TT 2021 cancelled.

30/11/2020 02:51:06 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Are you trying to cheer me up on this very November'ish day?
30/11/2020 09:00:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Thanks KiwiJeff. I did work out the dual side stands would make life a lot easier, particularly in hilly terrain and if you're on and off the bike all the time. It suggests the Stockman was specifically designed for working rather than pleasure, the word Stockman alludes to livestock?

Fear not Upt', for 'twill be the shortest day in less than 4 weeks and from then on in the days draw out. Slowly. Coldly. If we're ever allowed out we may, possibly, perhaps be able to enjoy those 2 brief hours of British Summer. Heck we might even get abroad, subject to lorry queues, International Driving Permits, insurance regulations, border checks and proof of vaccination(s).
29/11/2020 08:10:31 UTC
Upt'North said :-
You still down unda Jeff in New Zealand? If so I'm envious that you're now into your riding season unlike in dear old Blighty.
I and others obviously request, nay demand said picture of the Stockman.
Is this a road legal bike down unda or just for farm use, I'd guess road legal?
Plus,how do the sheep and dogs stay on when you live upside down.
Upt'North. Too far north at the moment, Brrrrrrrr.

28/11/2020 10:42:24 UTC
Random Link - Recommended Ride - Dolomites Loop

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