First Knee-Down Of 2011

First Knee-Down Of 2011


I can’t even remember if this is earlier or later than usual, but today was the first day of the year that I heard that distinctive scrape of plastic kneeslider on tarmac!

It’s still only around 8 degree Celsius here, and the roads are colder than a polar bears winkie – but the sun had been shining all day and so it was on with the Buffy neck warmer and away.

I’m still playing with mounting options for the Veho HDd10.  Sound is a major issue, because not only is it picking up far too much wind noise and high end sound, but it seems to pick up vibrations through the casing itself when taped to anything vaguely vibratey.  Yes, that is a word.  Today I used one of the Veho clip mounts, and taped this to my brake reservoir, rather than putting any tape on the actual camera directly.  Sound seems a lot better, but the very loose mounting point meant the camera was a bit wobbly.

It’s looking like a custom mount will be the way to go – possibly similar to the one I made for the micro cams, where you just slot the camera into some foam.

The bikers all over the UK seem to have woken up today, so I’m sure I’m not the first to scrape my knee today!

I was still worried about cold tyres and the mud still on the sides of mine, but I know the Pirelli Angel ST tyres have excellent grip from cold, so it’s more in my head after getting used to looking out for ice patches all Winter.  Just because the sun’s out doesn’t mean the road conditions are good and grippy…

My riding felt a bit off.  Speeds I’d normally think nothing of were feeling fast to me today – most likely thanks to driving a slow-assed car around so I’m more used to that than bikes now.  Consequently I was taking it relatively easy, because I just didn’t feel very comfortable when cornering.

Despite this, on a few roundabouts I put the feelers out and cranked the old ZX9R over enough to scrape the footpegs, and if you can scrape the pegs you can scrape your knees!

I followed someone on a grey BMW GS with hard paniers for a while before overtaking nice and safely when the opportunity arose.  He turned off on a roundabout, and so I was a bit surprised to see him in my mirrors again shortly afterwards.

Coincidence?  Maybe… but he then followed me everywhere I went.  This is a red flag because the Police do like these bikes, and it’s easy to conceal cameras and blue lights in those hard paniers.

As I’ve said, today I was riding sensibly, so this was even more strange… unless maybe he saw my camera as he turned off?  He certainly had a few opportunities when he followed me to get a good view of it, so perhaps he was watching to see me do something stupid for the camera.

I didn’t.

I rode nicely, pretending I hadn’t seen him, and headed towards a favourite place to see if I could get my knee down without much effort.

He followed me all the way, so I turned off early onto some more fast flowing curves.

Most people are surprised at how well a big BMW GS can move compared to a sportsbike, but when it comes to smooth, fast curves NOTHING beats a sportsbike.  It’s the reason for their whole existence.

Even at legal speeds I pulled out a gap, and then as a switchback curve obscured his view of me I tightened my line around a left-hander, shifting my weight over to the left as I gripped between the footpeg and the side of the petrol tank with my right leg.

Reaching out a little with my left knee was all it took for the slider to touch down.

Ahh, that beautiful, addictive sound!

And literally in front of the police?  Could be…


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