I thought I would do the equivalent of obtaining Dumbo’s feather and now have a new set of Bridgestone BT-021s on my R1100RS, so there is nothing apart from my head to fix on the bike.
There was a minor mixup from the supplier to the garage and they gave me a call on Friday to apologise that they had been sent BT-020s and had ordered the proper tyres for a Saturday delivery, so they kept the bike overnight for me so they could fit the tyres when they arrived.
As it was I had planned a day out on Saturday so I was through in Glasgow and arranged to pick up the bike on Sunday at C&J Wilsons in Uphall. After lunch at the Burrell Collection, we popped over to Hein Gericke on Great Western Road. Strangely enough hardly anything fit apart from their discount range so I now have a new textile jacket and pants at about half the price of my original HG kit. I’ve also got new boots on order, Alpinestars GPS-3 WPs (shiny shiny).
Roll on to today to run the tyres in, I picked the bike up in Uphall – checking the pattern on the front tyre which is much cooler than the BT-020, then up the M9 past Stirling and up to the little chef for a late breakfast. All was good and working on turning corners without too much panic setting in, and learning how to travel in a straight line with a rear tyre with a proper profile on it!
Then headed further up the M9 towards Perth and the Broxden roundabout where I fueled up, still a bit slow on slow (and particularly slow left handers – see my previous posts) stuff but getting there. Then the rain started. Had a few circuits around the streets of Perth – down past the Tay, past Dunkeld Road, past the bus station. All to practice slow speed lefts and rights. I need to keep practising to get rid of the feeling I am going to drop the bike, and although at first I was running a bit wide I started getting it tighter.
Then out of town and the rain was picking up, came off the M90 and decided whether or not to go through Newburgh to Cupar, but decided to head Glenfarg way – haven’t been there for years. I thought it was twistier than that – or perhaps I’m getting better. Up through there and a right turn and through Milnathort. What a surprise it was to see all of the house building work in the area. Then on through Kinross and Cowdenbeath, old stomping grounds and I worked there in my summer holidays from Fife College. Rain was getting heavier and heavier, so I chose to head back to the M90 through Crossgates and joined at Halbeath. Then a pretty nondescript ride back via the M8 to Livingston.
A reminder for wet riding though – a small tip is to remember to tuck your gloves under your waterproof kit. All of my stuff has the membranes and keeps me dry, but today all of the water was running off my jacket into the cuffs of my gloves. I swear water ran out when I lifted my arms at the end of my journey. I should have tucked them in at the petrol stop at Broxden rather than leave them, and I would have had dry gloves. All my stuff is dripping round the house now