Yesterday was the last full day I’ll be able to ride until after the summer, so I made sure I didn’t waste it. Plans began formulating a couple of weeks ago to have an uber ride-out, with people, bikes and fish & chips on the South Coast. First point of contact was the lovely Keti, she’s rich enough to have a spare bike, which is only a year or two old and is an armchair compared to my sad little bike. Bike and Keti on board I tackled the rest of the riders. Next on board was Mark, a friend of yore, and a biker with 20-something years experience in the saddle, including a few as a Professional ****, despatching around London. He had a route in mind and jumped on board with his big BMW GS1100; swiftly followed by my brother and a friend of his on their matching Triumph TT600’s. The plan was in place, the date was set as 18th March and timings were agreed.

At 8:15 yesterday morning we met in a Golf Club car park and tried our very best to rev through the pipes every time someone was teeing off. Eventually my brother’s friend Steve turned up, despite living closest of all of us and we headed off to Godstone to meet Mark. Forget Snow, Rain, Hail, Heat or Cold, the worst thing to ride through is High Winds. We each spent the next 20 minutes on the M25 riding in a straight line whilst leaning at a 45degree angle into the winds, and occasionally finding ourselves in the wrong lane, at high speed, this can be a little scary.

We met Mark and pointed the bike’s south. All too quickly we were on the coast in Pevensey and took a bit of time out to explore the castle, which was too cold, so we jumped back on and followed the coast road round to Hastings where we decamped for some fish and chips on the Sea Front, which was also cold. We took some awesome, twisty almost-knee-down roads up out of Hastings, continuing around the coast to Rye, and up over the marsh road. Here we were exposed to the high winds again and seemed to be tracing the edge of a huge black cloud, before we knew it hailstones were coming down on us hard and visibility was down. Undeterred we continued to motor along the big open roads passing the traffic and what not, and as suddenly as it started the hail stopped and it was glorious sunshine again. We were now heading for Ashford and the swing back towards London, and passed up past the Eurostar station and followed the A20 towards Maidstone and carried on up towards home. In total it was 170 miles of fun, with a few miles of nasty winds. Totally worth it.

Keti and I headed back to hers so I could drop the bike off, and having little else to do I offered to help her wash them, which she does after every ride. She’s the first to admit to being anal about this. I also washed my Sad Little Bike as it’s getting parked up for a very long time from Wednesday. I decided to take some photos of it all sparkly as I’m going to sell it in a month or so, and it was good light for looking sparkly. The photos will be on an ebay near you soon, all proceeds towards the new SV. The Hotness. Infact there’s a lot of photos of yesterday, but the cleaners in the office seem to have broken my USB cable, so you can’t see them. Which sucks.

I only wash the ZX after every ride. The CBF doesn’t get treated so well

Was hella windy… moreso than France was on Saturday, at times. Yuck! Al in all a grand day out tho, thanks Oli and co Will defo be doing a similar route again soon.