Despite the cold and often damp conditions, I've been trying to get out on the bike at least once a week to keep those 'cobwebs' at bay. There is still a real split within the community between those who ride in the winter and those who don't. As we get closer to double figure temperatures and salt free roads, social media chatter is filled with riders proclaiming how they are itching to get back on two wheels. I do get it, I really do. If you enjoy 'proper riding', then why would you want to poodle around getting cold and wet, covering the bike in various levels of road grime? Look, my Ducati is still in the garage under a cover, waiting for the warm weather, so I understand.
Me, I just like riding and I don't care if its cold and wet. As they saying goes 'There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.' Okay, the saying may not actually exist, but you know what I'm getting at.
So with no actual cobwebs to blow away, I was back on the bike yesterday and if I thought that Monday's riding was good, yesterday's was brilliant. To start with though, I have to briefly go back to Wednesday when I was in the car heading to work. The overhead gantry stated the M3 was shut, probably for overnight roadworks, so I turned off and took the A31 to Guildford instead. The road was empty and I got to work quicker than I would do normally. So fast forward again to Thursday and I knew I wanted to take the bike that way instead.
The morning was chilly, but dry and sunny and the Blade felt great underneath me. With a route filled with fast bends on pretty bumpy tarmac, interspersed with roundabouts, towns and villages, the route was far more interesting than the drudge up the motorway. For the route home I went back to the A29, A272, which is always a great ride. The section on the A272 between Billingshurst and Petworth is possibly my favourite bit of road at the moment.
So after a winter of riding the 'Blade really looks like I've dropped it in a river. It's filthy. I've made the effort to spray her down with the hose when I got home, but all that's really done is remove the loose dirt on the surface.
She may be dirty, but this winter, she's been as good as gold and I couldn't have wanted a different bike. Lets all give this little 954 a big round of applause. She deserves it.