A Travellerspoint blog

What a year 2020 has been

Sadly with the pandemic across the world and travel curtailed for many millions of us it has been a really poor year. I feel sorry for all the people that have had covid and those that have died.

Moaning about not being able to vacation seems pathetic when you consider the health and economic trials millions have had to go through, and that are still going through.

Personally, my year in the saddle and travelling came to a halt after a trip and fall resulted in a shoulder problem. Tendonitis of the shoulder. In a fall it is natural to put ones arms out to save your face making contact with the ground. In my case it was only my right arm that took my weight. Relief only when my forehead finished the landing job.Luckily I have a hard head, or so it seems.

The problem is that now I am unable to lift my arm up high enough to sit comfortably on the bike and go anywhere. It's six weeks now and I am going nowhere. I am having physio care of the marvellous UK NHS. Small progress is being made.

On top of the injury, we have seen more Covid lockdowns. In my county of kent we have some of the worst numbers of covid cases in the country, although my area is near the bottom of the pile, we are all in Tier 3. he highest category. Many restrictions on travel and what we can do in meeting other humans..

With countywide cases still going up I doubt we will be free to travel for some time yet. Maybe even into 2021.

So I'll wish you all a Merry Christmas or whatever you personally believe in at this time of year. Happy New Year too.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:40 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Across the Border


View Rocket 2020 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Actually only in to East Sussex.

Finished work from home at 4pm. I was togged up and away about 4.20.

No plan. Started the Yamaha app but when I got back it had stopped working, so I have no track of where I actually went.

I went to Rye via Appledore, alongside the western end of the Royal Military Canal. Almost empty roads and in bright sunshine.

The new blacktop between Rye and back into Kent was marvellous. The road snakes between fields full of sheep and lambs and crosses the railway on level crossings on two occasions. This is mostly a large flood plain on the fringes of Romney Marsh.

Get a truck or a bus/coach along here and watch the cars doing "do or die" overtakes. Not so good when they head on you on a bike!

Good ride. Only 42 miles and an odometer moving onto 9740.

No pictures today as I barely stopped anywhere that could be called scenic.

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:58 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycling east_sussex rye Comments (0)

Not Ride to Work Day


View Rocket 2020 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

June 15th. International Ride to Work Day.

  • Great if you are working.
  • Great if you have a motorcycle.

Not so great if due to the Covid-19 pandemic you are working from home and own a motorcycle.

That's me folks.

I worked on the computer from 0755 until I logged off at 1607. I guessed I had done my bit. I togged up. Pulled Pepé from slumber in the garage and set off.

Where to go?

I decided on somewhere to bang off a photo that I had been out on this International Day. So I went to Dungeness. The roads were quite busy. The UK is still not totally out of Lockdown, but it seems that many people have given up social distancing around these parts.

The parking at Dymchurch by the beach was maybe 40% full. It's June. Still kids aren't at school dur to Covid-19. So parents obviously consider the combination of sun and no school to mean it's holiday time.

Dungeness was pretty empty. The ride to the Light Railway station and Old Lighthouse had quite a few cars and tourists were photographing Derek Jarman's cottage and garden.

I've done that before so took my photo of Pepé with the Old Lighthouse.

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It's okay. The lighthouse isn't leaning. This ain't no Pisa trip. It's the angle I had to take it at to get the bike and the top of the lighthouse all in the picture! maybe should have stood back a bit more!

Then a slow ride home.

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End mileage today 9698.

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:50 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycling kent dungeness Comments (0)

East Kent Ride


View Rocket 2020 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Today as it was sunny instead of a lie-in I would get out for a ride. But where to?

In the end I did a circuit of East Kent. Home to Canterbury and then loop back home.

With the M20 closed northbound both the A20 and the Canterbury road were packed with foreign trucks. Why these guys can't follow a clearly marked "diversion" is anyone's guess. Stone Street to Canterbury wasn't the diversion route. Idiots.

I stopped in Canterbury for fuel. ASDA selling at 100.7. I have missed out on the lowest price for years at 99.9p.

I had the Yamaha app running in my pocket. A bit disappointed with the lean angle. I did try. Honest.

So another shortish ride done. End mileage today is 9670.

Screenshot_20200614_114444_com.yamaha.myride.jpg

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:45 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycling kent Comments (0)

Traces of War - Kent

Day 1

Today's post-lockdown ride was out on the Traces of War route I had planned. I wasn't going to do all of it as it was gone 4pm or so before I got going.

I had amended the route to include the Redoubt. It's called the Dymchurch Redoubt., built in the middle years of the Napoleonic War when there was the idea that Nappy would invade us. I didn't stop as it is only half a mile from my house. Actually, the Redoubt is part of the Hythe Ranges and is about 100 yards in Hythe not neighbouring Dymchurch.

The second stop should have been the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery grave site in the churchyard in Dymchurch but TomTom forgot to tell me about the waypoint and the LS2 bluetooth was inaudible.

I continued through Dymchurch itself. A small seaside resort with caravan parks and amusement arcades. All closed as they haven't been allowed to open yet. Oddly, as a sunny day, the place was packed and social distancing looked rare. Expect another peak in Covid-19 infections and deaths soon....

My first stop was the Phoenix Caisson in Littlestone. It is part of the Mulberry Harbour that was towed across the English Channel to supply the invading Allied armies after they had stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day in 1944. This bit broke free of its tow and ended up about 150 yards off the coast in Hythe Bay. The tide goes out way beyond it and I guess that's why it is still there 76 years later.

I couldn't stop as there was nowhere to park. I did see it over the sea wall and will go back.

I never found the US monument down the coast in Greatstone. TomTom was being reluctant to speak out loud and I couldn't see it. Another re-visit planned for that one.

In the end I went along the coast towards Dungeness and looped back to the A259 after Lydd. I was lucky enough to get to the church at New Romney.

St Clement's is a really attractive Marsh church. It also has a CWGC grave site.

St Clement's

St Clement's

I took a photo of the grave site and will send it to Traces of War in case they want to update their page.

Sergeant W J Stephen

Sergeant W J Stephen

I also stood in reflection for a minute to recognise this young man's sacrifice. Only 19 years old.

From here I set TomTom for Home and missed off the other five or six Traces of War waypoints.

In all I was out about an hour. I set record on so that I could see the track of my journey, Not quite the loop I had planned but it was good to get back in the swing of things.

ToW.jpg

Day 2

Today's run was in an attempt to see the first three waypoints on the list.

One at Littlestone I had glimpsed but had nowhere to park the bike. The second at Greatstone and the third in the churchyard in New Romney.

Once again using the Traces of War website for inspiration.

I bypassed the Redoubt at Dymchurch again. Nowhere safe to park as the gravel off-road parking was full of cars. A portent of things to come. It's a hot day and there are beaches all along our coast line.....

First stop in Dymchurch itself at St Peter and St Paul Church. I parked outside and took a photo. The road after the church is "private". I made sure I didn't trespass!

St Peter and St Paul Church

St Peter and St Paul Church

Gunner A W Heyhoe

Gunner A W Heyhoe

Traces of War - Dymchurch War Memorial

Traces of War - Dymchurch War Memorial

Traces of War

Traces of War

Before entering the churchyard to the right on the entrance. In the end I walked around all the yard until I found a solitary CWGC grave obscured by bushes.

I took another of the war memorial outside the church in a little triangle of land bordering the main A259 coast road

I mounted up and continued through heaving Dymchurch to my next stop to see the Phoenix Caisson at Littlestone.

When I say heaving, Dymchurch has a huge sandy beach. When the tide is out in the Bay the water can be half a mile from the land. Plenty of space for the thousands of visitors who had filled all the car-parks and who were not socially distancing around the cafe and chip shops. As I waited for the green light at the pedestrian crossing I could smell chips and vinegar in the air.

At least Folkestone & Hythe District Council will be pocketing £1.60 an hour from all those cars..... :)

At Littlestone I found a small gap big enough to back into and walked across the road and the grass to the low sea wall. Finding a place where I could see the caisson clearly without overlooking some sun worshipper using it as a lean-to was difficult.

The caisson is about 150 yards off the land and beached. literally. At full low tide the sand goes much further out. I needed a better camera with me to get a decent photo though. Today there was a foot of so of water surrounding it.

Phoenix Caisson

Phoenix Caisson

Next stop New Romney. Greatstone was a no-go. The picture on Traces of War shows the monument and flag at the back of a car-park. The car park was full to heaving and I could see where it was. I'll give this one up until later in the year when the tourists have effed off home.

It was hot and even in my Joe Rocket mesh jacket it was too hot. Church Road New Romney is a long road and "no entry" from Station Road that leads from Littlestone passed the RHDR station to the A259.

I went along the high street and in at the far end. The church appears on the right. Parked I took a long walk around the very large burial ground. Once again I came up empty. I couldn't find the CWGC graves(s). It was hot and walking about I seemed to have attracted the (unwanted) attention of a local. Watching me from the pavement bordering the site.

In the end I took a few pics and left.

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Today was only just over 20 miles but with all the walking about churchyards I was out for well over an hour.

I'll check out the CWGC site and see if they have any idea where the burials sites I missed actually are!

Today's Track

Today's Track

Posted by InvictaMoto 01:43 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycling kent traces_of_war Comments (0)

Self Isolation Day 3

Working from home can be a pita. Cabin fever is setting in already.

I hadn't been out since Sunday and was becoming to feel guilty that the bike was filthy from its last outting.

So I could haul it out and grab the buckets or ride up to Seabrook and use the jet-wash.

The latter won. So £3 later the mud was gone and the rust of the exposed chrome was fully there for all to see.

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The next stop was Tesco. Unleaded 95 is 3p a litre cheaper. The fill was 17.06 litres for the 181.7 miles from Oxfordshire. Giving 48.4 mpg.

The ride home sedate. The empty streets we see from across the globe on the TV hasn't arrived here yet.

End mileage. 9557.

Posted by InvictaMoto 07:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

John's Funeral

2 °C

My old Friend John Storrie sadly passed away on February 8th. Another victim of lung cancer. It was his wish to have a bike escort to the church. So how could I refuse?

Google maps worked it out to be 156 miles each way. We'll see how accurate that is.

I set off around 10am and arrived at John's house just after 1pm, after stopping on the A40 near Standlake for petrol at a Tesco Extra store.

It was pretty cold. Even the wintery sun at the pitstop warned by hands. On the way up I wore the old all leather Belstaff gloves. By about halfway my fingertips were frozen.

In the end there were five bikes at John's. He had asked that the order was to be Kettles, then other 2-stroke Suzukis, other Suzuki made bikes, then Aprilias, Triumphs, HD and then others.

Luckily there was a Kettle ridden by a local guy Brent, a Suzuki ridden by Old SOC Sandy. Then Old SOCs Mark Powell and me on Triumphs and lastly John Carr from the SOC. We were joined by more former SOC members Tony Taylor, Phil HIngert and Stuart james and his wife.

The ceremony was really good. The vicar knew John and was also a biker. Instead of hymns we had two country music hits that John liked. The vicar asked for a show of hands from biker friends of John. About 75% of the congregation! I knew a few from sight talked to more Old SOC former SOC members and committee members. A good turnout.

And then for his last laugh on us. The music at the end as the coffin was carried out to the graveyard was Frank Ifield - She Taught Me to Yodel. See links!

He said no one could leave without yodelling. We had a go. Pretty pathetic but the music was playing to hide our sad attempts.

After the burial I decided to make my apologies as I had a three hour ride home, and head off and miss the wake.

I set TomTom for home. In effect the same way as I went. I started with the Belstaffs and as it was dry and sunny I expected to be a little warmer. Wrong.

I stopped for a pee, coffee and a warm-up at Beaconsfield Services before the challenge that is the M25. I changed gloves to the Alpine Stars. They are better fitting around the wrist but no warmer in the near near freezing conditions of riding at 70mph.

In the morning the M25 was really free running. By 4.30pm looking ahead towards the M40 junction I could see M25 it was four or five solid lanes. This was mostly the same until the M23. About 20 miles plus.

I was able to filter for some of it. Eventually arriving home at 6.25pm. With the stop it was just over three and a half hours. Given the heavy traffic not bad.

Stats.

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Posted by InvictaMoto 18:40 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycling Comments (0)

MoT


View Rocket 2020 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

It was frosty today. I set off after few teething problems. Today's trip to Ashford and back.

Mileage 9203.

Posted by InvictaMoto 08:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Motobatt

It's HEAVY!!!

rain 6 °C

The battery arrived yesterday. It was too late to fit in there and then as it was dark and lashing down with rain. We are experiencing the end of Storm Brendan that has plagued the UK and Ireland for a few days. It will have to wait for the weekend to get it fitted and a test ride or maybe the test-start!

So as yet I am still to make a note of the starting mileage for 2020. Once we are underway the blog should begin to blossom and build across the year.

Posted by InvictaMoto 03:21 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motobatt Comments (0)

New Battery

Motobatt

New battery from here.

Luckily I chose to buy when they had a post Christmas sale.

After over a year of dead in winter and needing the dbPower unit to start the bike, I decided to buy a new one The Motobatt came out as the top recommendation.

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Although I hope when mine arrives it is the yellow one!

Posted by InvictaMoto 13:52 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motobatt mbtx20uhd Comments (0)

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