Just wanted to say a big hello to everybody at London Bikers, you guys really rock.
I’ve been paying for the privilege of being stuck in somebody’s armpit for the last several years. :ermm:
I decided enough was enough and went out and bought myself an YBR125. I did my time on the bike for 2 months until I felt slightly more experienced. I only rode the bike in town as I knew I couldn’t cut it in the city of central London, where the big boys came to play.
I recently went out and bought a GSX650F. I decided that I developed just enough skills to join the circus in Central London – my destination was Monument.
My first ride in central London comprised of near misses and dangerous decisions. Other bikers looked on in despair whilst I tried to handle my machine through the tight gaps in the city streets.
I rode onto the A40 only to be faced with a new challenge, filtering through heavy traffic whilst having a huge crowd of bikers ever growing behind me. I just couldn’t cut it and decided to act like a car and wait in the middle of the lane. I watched in disappointment as other bikers passed me and headed towards the city.
I decided that I wasn’t going to be beaten, taking a few risks between traffic and managing to do ‘some’ filtering through the traffic.
I finally reached Baker Street and I was in for a surprise. All the big bikes seemed to have disappeared – mopeds were running riot until a GSXR came along and scared them away. Like a Lion chasing hyenas. :w00t:
I took it easy all the way to work and once there, I had a major sense of accomplishment.
I cannot believe how fun riding a bike can be. I’m thankful that I’ve been introduced to biking by the fine community of LondonBikers.com I’ve read your forums thoroughly and it really encouraged me to get out there and do it.
I hope in time that I will be able to reach the fantastic skills that a lot of you demonstrate on the motorway and the admiration you show to other bikers.
Just remove a couple of screws from your brain, and then you’ll be fine.
The route youve chosen isnt the easiest, so take it easy, and especially in this weather - its greasy out there! Bit by bit, you’ll start catching the other guys up, but dont make it an issue, everyone has to start somewhere. Get used to how your bike handles first, then apply it to attacking the cages on the London commute.
Sounds like youre enjoying it, thats what its all about - bye bye to the armpits forever, thats what I say!!
I had to ride in the downpour the other day, and it wasn’t the best experience I had whilst on a bike. White lines seem to be extremely slippery and the reduced visibility hinders me from making clear observations around traffic. :hehe:
I think in general, the motorcycling community (excluding couriers) are very friendly. I get into a lot of conversations with people on big bikes at traffic lights. Moped riders seem to stay clear of big bikes which is a shame. Perhaps it’s a primal issue? :w00t: I also had the privilege of speaking to a Police motorcyclist who shared his insight into riding safely. He suggested I attend a bikesafe course to tailor my skills. :unsure:
The GSX650F itself, is a excellent bike. Lots of mid-range power. It makes for an excellent commuter. Big bike styling, nice up-right position (which is easy on the wrists and back!) and a big exhaust (though it makes rarely any noise) I can’t understand how people commute into London on R1’s and such. The seating position must crunch their backs. Perhaps they may even evolve into hunch-backs in the future. Hehe – I was actually speaking to a Ducati rider at the lights the other day (he resolved my query as to why Ducati riders are aggressive and always disregarding speed limits) He explained that the seating arrangement meant that his back and wrist had a considerable amount of pressure which could only to be resolved if he rode faster – quite a arrangement. Next time I see a Ducati rider riding like a bat out of hell, I’ll sympathetic towards him.
Honestly, riding around London seem to be going well. However I’ve noticed that when large crowd of bikers gather at traffic lights it’s difficult to comprehend what’s going to happen next. Moped riders seem to weave in and out when they move off and cyclists seem to be oblivious to their surroundings. Big bikes seem to get out of these pre-cautious scenarios by shooting off at the lights (this isn’t the answer to everything!) Once moving it’s hard to understand which direction riders are going to take (as nobody seems to use their signalling as an indication) – what do you usually do? :doze:
In terms of filtering, I’ve been able to safely filter through moderately congested traffic. However through heavily congested traffic I cannot seem to keep my balance (weaving side to side doesn’t give car drivers the best impression) I tend to keep both feet off the bike whilst filtering through heavy traffic to ensure I don’t topple over. Is there a method to improve my balancing skills? Is it a good idea to keep my feet at the side of the bike whilst filtering? :ermm:
Another issue whilst filtering seems to be unwise car drivers who seem to get their positioning wrong at all times. Is there a universal method bikers use to develop space apart from revving your engine and screaming abuse?
i always keep my feet on the pegs when i’m filtering they only come down if i have to stop. as for filtering buy i nice big v-twin when you get bored of the current bike and you can just roar at them like a lion. makes my trip down the a40 much easier but i won’t comapre myself to moses parting the red sea.:hehe:
I’ve seen a lot of SV650’s filtering through traffic. Elegant bikes indeed.
I think this may be a psychological element too. I keep dashing into gaps only to release that my bike may not fit through. It’s very similar to a game of Tetris. Gaps are constantly opening and closing and if that’s not enough throw in the odd-ball of a scooter and you have a complete package to utter madness. :w00t:
I have to admit, there are a few good drivers out there that are considerate towards motorcyclists. However a majority (may I particularly draw your attention to 4x4’s and vans) seem to be oblivious to your positioning in the road despite being lit up like a Christmas tree (I wear a LED waist-coat)
Don’t worry mate - as you clock up the miles and get the experience It will all become second nature and you’ll soon be zipping through the traffic without thinking about it - e.g. you’ll be concentrating on hazards rather than thinking about riding the bike.