Staffordshire Bike Show 14th July 2013

So we wake up Sunday 14th July the sun was out, temperatures were soaring and we weren’t going out on the motorbikes – WHY!!???  One very good reason for that, we had a stand for the day at the Staffordshire Bike Show at the Britannia Football Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.  Not only a stand but Geraint delivered a 30 minute presentation in the InfoZone on “How do You Read the Road”.

The show was laid out on several sides of the Stadium and we were located in the West Stand carpark along with representatives from local IAM groups, Help for Heroes and the Fire Service and we were not too far from the live music stage which kept us entertained throughout the day.

We had been fortunate to borrow an Staffordshire Bike Showawning from Tim at Hammer & Tongs Performance, which was very welcome as the temperatures rose throughout the day.  Not only did we need to keep cool but our motorbike did too!!!

Gates opened around 9am and the blue skies had certainly drawn the crowds out, not sure what the final attendance figures would have been but we saw the carpark filling up during the day with a huge variety and number of motorbikes.  This show, which was free to enter, was also well attended by families and there was plenty going on all day for all age groups and it didn’t matter if you were not a motorcyclist or pillion.  In the Show Arena there were stunt shows throughout the day done by Steve Colley and also Vertical Trix – next time you at a motorcycle event and either of these are there, you just have to go and watch!

Ron and Leon Haslam were the star guests for the day signing autographs and giving talks throughout the day.  There was supposed to be a flypast in the afternoon by a Dakota, but unfortunately this did not happen as the plane had been struck by a bird whilst on a flight on the Saturday – it was a shame that we did not get to see this World War II aeroplane – maybe next year?

The show also had an important message to impart to all motorcyclists regarding Safe Riding and we were able to take part in this when Geraint did his presentation.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day – must admit the weather helped 🙂 we hope to be there again next year (tour calendar permitting!)

Riding the Jura – July 2013

Back in the UK now after 6 fab days of motorcycle touring through France and we also dipped into Switzerland for part of one of our ride out days as described in our last blog.  The weather forecast for the tour had been dry for day 1, wet day 2 and getting warmer thereafter – and amazingly the weathermen got it spot on! 🙂

Our ride to the Bourgogne region on day 1 was in great weather, dry and warm – just what we needed to start the tour off.  As predicted as we rode to the Jura on day 2 we got wet !  but after that the days just got better and better, and not just that the sun came out but the roads were fantastic.  In our tour information we had described how we felt this region of France is one of the best for motorcycling roads D678 - fab Jura road!and as you can see from this photo and others posted on our gallery and facebook page, they more than delivered.  From smooth tarmac, low volume of traffic (and that we encountered was very motorbike aware), flowing bends to tight twisties we had them all – oh! and the scenery was not too bad either…… ! 🙂  Overlooking Vallee de la Loue                                                                                         We “bucked the trend” a little on this tour in so far as we had no pillions (apart from Jan!), and all riders were men who were a fantastic group  which always makes for a great tour.  We also had a good mix of motorbikes – ranging from our Kawasaki Versys 1000cc, to a Superblackbird, Pan European, VFR 1200, Triumph Bonneville SE, Triumph Tiger 1050, Suzuki GSX1250FA, BMW GS1200, Ducati Multistrada and a 30 year old Honda Nighthawk !  The roads in this region were perfect for each and everyone of these bikes and it was great to have happy riders at the end of each day.

We rode the Swiss Jura on day 3 and the French High Jura on day 4 – very contrasting in scenery with more open horizons on the Swiss side and great twistie mountains roads on the French.  For day 5 we rode from the Jura through the Doubs region and back into the Bourgogne area.  Lunch on Day 5We have a great route which bypasses to the north of Dijon which was thoroughly enjoyed by all and included a fab 2 hour lunch at one of our favourite restaurants in this area – cheers all round!

Although our last day in France meant a ride to the Eurotunnel, (and back to the UK and the M25!!), we split the day in half and firstly took a scenic route through some of the vineyards of the champagne region before picking up the autoroute to Calais – admittedly not the most fun type of road for a motorcyclist – but “needs must” and we had blue skies all the way and open french countryside to ride through so not all bad…… 🙂

We thoroughly enjoyed running this motorbike tour to the Jura, for us you need good clients, great weather and excellent motorcycling roads – we had all three and we would like to thank our latest group of “Dragonista’s” for joining us.

 

Motorbike Touring – Swiss Jura 4th July 2013

It may have been Independence day for our American friends and fellow motorcyclists, but for us the 4th July meant riding into the Swiss Jura mountains and what a fab day of touring it proved to be.

Dry all day, which of late, is a bonus as any motorcyclist from the UK will vouch 🙂  Blue skies and wall to wall sunshine would have been great but when you have billiard smooth tarmac and bends like we encountered all day to ride the state of the weather is not that important (as long as it didn’t rain!).

We headed across the border today into Switzerland and climbed onto the Col du Marchairuz – Riding Col du Marchairuzat it’s highest point we stopped for a coffee before taking in wonderful views of Lac Leman and the Alps rising into the distance.

For some on our group, this was the first time riding through the Jura region and as we continued on the open, flowing roads we are sure this will not be their last!  For motorbiking there is nothing better than very little traffic, sweeping bends and smooth road surfaces and we had these in abundance.

We had hoped to ride the Cotes de Nyon but unfortunately there was a road closure near St. Cergue which just gives us an excuse (as if we needed one!), to come back next year……  As diversions go though the route through Arzier was fab and from here we rode on through open high meadow lands with stunning views of Lac Leman to our right to our lunch stop at “Le Camp” where we were made more than welcome – being able to eat out on the terrace was a bonus and for two of our group they had the added fun of having to cook their own meat!!  There was a “lost in translation” moment when a plate of raw beef came out, however, this was followed by a hot marble stone and their own sizzling platter was produced 🙂

Suitably refreshed we headed off to sample yet more amazing motorcycling roads – the ride upto Ste Croix is a must, The climb to Ste Croixthe road climbs through forest and before you know it a series of hairpins is upon you and they were clearly engineered by a motorcyclist as you will see from this photo 🙂

We covered around 150 miles on today’s ride out through the Swiss Jura thoroughly enjoyed by all and it has certainly whet the appetite for tomorrow when we shall be riding through the Haut Jura of France.

Motorcycle Open Day – Demon Tweeks

This last Saturday – 29th June 2013, there was a motorcycle open day at Demon Tweeks, Wrexham – bit of an early start for us having to be there to set up at 7.30am, but thankfully the weather was on our side with no rain and there was already quite a crowd setting up their stands when we arrived.

Stand at Demon TweeksWe were working with North Wales BikeSafe and the North Wales Advanced Motorcyclist group for the day – we have worked with these two organisations before, most recently at Thundersprint on Anglesey back in April.  Geraint is an examiner with the IAM on the motorbike side and it is good for people to not only chat about joining the group but also to see what is involved for rider development from the BikeSafe team.

During the day there was a steady flow of people and a lot of families had come along too.  A couple of riders who recently joined us on our Northern France motorcycle tour – Andrea and Gary brought the “Cookie monster” and “Rolf” along as you can see from the photo below!Cooke Monster & Rolf  Gary has the children fully kitted out for riding and we thought that these fun helmet covers were an excellent way of making the ride for the children even more enjoyable – as if being on two wheels was not enough!!! 🙂

Phil Morris had a stand not far from us and had one of Rossi’s 125’s which Phil has loving restored to its former glory and also on of David Jeffries’ motorbikes on the stand too – they brought a lot of interest from everyone who visited the event.  Phil’s team was recently over at the TT and had good wins over there in 4 events.

All in all it was a good day, even the sun put in an appearance for some of the afternoon!  Maybe the visitors would have been more had it not been such a big day in the sporting calendar – not least the fact that Rossi won at the MotoGP in Assen 🙂  We thoroughly enjoyed the day which was the 3rd motorcycle open day Demon Tweeks have put on – long may it continue…..