So on Tuesday I headed off up the A31, M27 and a bit of the M3 before hooking up on the A272. Any excuse to ride this great road should always be taken, but during a lovely warm, sunny midweek day, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
I got as far as Midhurst when my right ear really started hurting. I've been wearing a similar style of earplug for years and I used the same helmet on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, but didn't encounter any problems. The only difference was the bike., but I knew I had to stop as it was effecting my concentration. After making a slight error at Petworth ( I planned on getting lunch there, but went around and not through the town centre) I ended up heading towards Dorking on the A29. So the plan now became a stop at Box hill for some tea and sort the ear plug. However.......
The rest of the journey was sadly just crappy London roads, mainly the A3, A205 and the A406, fighting my way through the traffic and fumes, with a good old bit of wing mirror clipping filtering for good measure.
Wednesday started with a quick early morning coffee at Coffee Republic in North Finchley, which remains my favourite establishment. The coffee is great and I've always got on really well with the owner and his daughter, who always greet me with a smile and the best coffee this side of Milan.
I headed over to Metropolis for the work to be done, which included a quick dash to the local Honda dealer to pick up a fork seal. The work was done superbly, which included swapping over the front discs for a pair of EBC prolites, with the usual mix of good banter thrown in for good measure. They suggested getting their nickname for me 'Lollipop' stitched onto the back of my leathers.....errr, will have a think about that one guys. Before I left, I just had to grab a picture of the new 1299 Panigale S. God its beautiful.
Heading away I was nodding to bikers coming the other way as usual and riding very steadily as the wind noise was rather loud, when one of them gave me the universal slow down sign. I was riding well within the speed limit, but took his advise to heart. As expected about four miles down the road on the top of a hill was a mobile camera van. The combination of my earplug and the fellow rider saved me 3 points and a £60 fine. Whoever you were, thanks.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. I did fight my way through more traffic on the M27 and the A31, but got home safe, sound and utterly shattered.