Monday, 18 June 2012

Commuting Happy

I'm so bad at blogging. I do it seldom and then write way too much. If however you are still reading after that statement of intent to disappoint, then you should know that I am writing today about bikes. That will probably come as no surprise. I mainly write about motorcycling and just recently there has been lots of bikey things to think about.
New DL650 and last view of the YBR250. 

The most significant event recently was the purchase of the biggest bike I've ever owned marking, I assume, the end of my 250cc era. The new bike is a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, often referred to as a Wee being the smaller sibling of the DL1000 V-Strom, usually called the Vee. The Wee is already competing strongly for the, 'Best bike I've ever had,' award. Ang Loves it to, which is great. The bike is tall, the seat is uber comfortable, the controls easy. While it has the power to overtake with ease, it's also pretty gentle. Really, it's everything I wanted including all the bits I didn't know I wanted. We've already been up the Dales with it and around the local area. It's superb, even with a passenger, which is pretty much why we got it.

In other news, though perhaps related, Ang rode her bike the other day. I knew she enjoyed riding pillion on the wee but it caught me by surprise when one night, with work looming the next day, she wanted to know if her bike was ready to go. This came just as I was assuming that she probably never would ride solo again having shown no interest whatsoever for months. Then, she did. The following day, Ang rode to work and back. Though this will sound condescending, I was actually proud (and a little concerned when it seemed to take years before she arrived home). The best part was the mood she was in on return. I could tell she had enjoyed it. Then, the lady who, even though she owns one, didn't know the YBR125 is made by Yamaha, was discovered researching the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and bike test. Saying that, Ang is already thinking a Bandit would be more her thing. No accounting for taste I suppose.

Then, today was Ride To Work Day UK. Naturally, I got stuck in. Why not? I was riding to work anyway. I do 11 months of the year. Somehow, today was special though. I left at 5am on the YBR125. There's really no need to use the Wee, except perhaps two extra minutes at work, a more spacious riding position and a whole lot of protection from the elements. The YBR on the other hand has 105mpg, is actually more comfortable than the 250 was (so really not bad), and is light as a feather (which counts as a bonus when you're getting it in and out of a cluttered garage at the top of the slope).

I'd followed @RideToWorkDayUK on twitter and tweeted a couple of times on the subject of #commutehappy even though, for me the day had little to offer on the face of it. I wasn't riding anywhere there would be an event and even if I was, arriving at work at 0530 would probably be little early for most. It still felt good to be doing something, even if it was on my own. Twitter helped me feel part and I kept an eye on, even sent in a picture for the competition. Which brings me to the cool part. My picture won a prize! What it won I have no idea. A Yamaha product I believe. I'm guessing not an R1 but a Super Ten would be nice. Probably not that either to be fair. Still, it was nice to be part of it all and all the while I just had to do what I always do anyway. I rode to work and I rode back and I loved every mile.

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