Monday, 28 January 2013

January Déjà vu

It’s really been a cracking January with a couple of trips to Derbyshire the second being rather painful in the Zero Degrees but what a month.

Checking last year’s Blog entry “What a great way to start 2012” I suddenly realised I was almost reliving last January! The month starting rather quite after the new year’s celebrations, then it was new tyres for Mr T at 7,500 miles as I’d had a very quiet 6 months. That was followed by my annual ride to Derbyshire to visit my Mum. Next came the IBA UK RTE (Ride to Eat) at John & Sonia’s and finally the Manc Riders RTE the following day at the Moorcock Inn.

This year has followed the exact same pattern, “déjà vu”, sort of.  I've managed to cram in a couple of extra rides, including “A ride through the mists of Derbyshire” and a  trip to the Lakes. As well as a rather painful trip to visit my Mum’s grave in “Zero Degrees”. However after having such a painful experience during that ride I chose to really gear up for this extreme weather  we are experiencing. Mr T underwent a thorough “Sub-Zero Setup” the details of which I've published on

Mr T in his Sub-Zero Setup
The Continental TKC80's really look the business!

Thursday 17th saw LBK, Lefty, Shafter & myself sat in the audience at the Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn watching Foggy & Whit “Giving it Gas Tour”. It was an absolutely brilliant night out and if you ever get the chance to see these to motorcycling legends my advice is “get yourself  there at by any means”. The two guys just bounce off each other so effortlessly, it’s just like being in the pub with a pair mates taking the rip out of each other. It was a great night out and one I’m so pleased I got to share with the guys.

Foggy & Whit in Full Flow

The Lad's Chilling during the interval!
Lefty, LBK , Shafter & Yours Truly

Saturday 19th we eventually got the VW back weeks after being taken in for repairs. Wednesday we collected the new Peugeot 308cc from Sheffield much to Jeannie’s delight (and mine if the truth be known).

Wednesday 23rd I spent the afternoon fitting Tucano Urbano Handlebar Muffs, initially upside down which took best part of an hour and a set of leg guards that I’d bought online Sunday evening from NippyNormans. Putting the Muffs back on the right way up too all of 10 minutes. Top tip Raymondo “read the instructions first not when Ben find’s them in the bag 3 hours later!”

Thursday 24th saw me back at Keith Dixon Motorcycles in Blackburn with Mr T having a set of Continental TKC80 50/50 tyres fitted with 27,500 miles on the clock. As it was such a great day I checked the time when the guys had finished fitting the tyres, it was 11.20am. “Loads of time” I told myself and dually rode due North over the tops to the Lake District. It was a cracking 200 mile round trip. I even had time to visit the Lakeland MotorMuseum in order to take the obligatory photo outside as part of The Grim RidersMCC Motorcycle History Trail 2013 which I am taking part in this year. The bacon and egg butty with a coffee were excellent by the way, I can thoroughly recommend calling into the café.

Friday 25th it snowed and snowed and snowed.

The car is under that lot, somewhere! 

Saturday 26th  morning we woke to 10 inches of snow which made me smile, “now let’s see what these TKC 80’s can really do” went through my head as I took a photo out of the bedroom window.

Snow! Bring it On!

It was the 3rd Annual IBA UK’s RTE at John & Sonia’s near Cannock and I couldn’t even get the gates to open. I rode Mr T straight out of the garage and turned around in front of the house without missing a beat. The Continental TKC80’s are simply unbelievable in the snow and I just could not wait to get out on them. Ben came with me and we had a really great ride. The temperature sat at a nice 6 degrees C. Arriving to find a few familiar faces and a few new ones we were soon tucking into chilli & chicken curry with rice in Ben’s case and jacket potato with mine and very  tasty it was too Sonia, thank you very much. It was really great to be introduced to Nikki who I’ve been ‘Tweeting’ with for some time now about the Britt Butt Rally. Nikki recognised Mr T before she had a clue who I was so thank you for the introduction Chris.

The arrival. Warm as toast, thanks to Tucano Urbano!
(All photographic rights go to John & Sonia
 with whose kind permission this photo appeaser)

The ride back was as uneventful as the ride down, all I can say about is that we didn't need to stop once not even to warm through. The Tucano Urbano Muffs and Leg Guards worked absolutely superbly even protecting Ben from the worst of the spray thrown up by other road users. They may not look the prettiest things in the world but as they say in the army “Any fool can rough it” so go figure!

IBA UK 3rd Annual RTE 2013
With IBA Magazine as someone forgot the flag!
(All photographic rights go to John & Sonia
 with whose kind permission this photo appeaser)

Arriving back in Wardle I just pulled into the garage as the heavens opened and it threw it down. It must have rained almost all night as we got up to no snow what so ever. The contrast was astounding, from one day to the next. It was blowing a gale with a few hailstone showers first thing but by the time we were ready to divide and conquer the sun was out.

Sunday 27th came around all too quickly and the Walton’s were off out again en mass. It was going to be a Lad’s n Dad’s and Mum’s n Girls day out with Jeannie and Lilie Rose heading off towards  Manchester to attend Thomas’s Christening. Whilst Ben and I rode up to the Moorcock Inn on Blackstone Edge,  Littleborough to attend the 3rd Annual Manc Riders RTE, spot the similarity.

Ben & I had a steady ride as the pub is only 4 miles away if that from our house. We arrived at the car park to find a few of the guys there already. Half in cars and half on their bikes. There was only one mishap en-route  when one rider rode past the Moorcock Inn thinking we were at the White House on top of the hill. Whilst doing a U turn he was caught by the wind and ended up laying his bike down. Luckily neither bike nor rider sustained any serious damage but it just goes to show what can happen. That’s the third off in almost as many days amongst the riders.  One being pelted by bricks wrapped in snow by a bunch of youths, causing him to lose the front end in snow whilst attempting to get away from the barrage. The other having the back end spin all the way round due to a shallow coating of snow on the road covering a patch of black ice. In both cases the ride and their bike were fine if not a little shaken up at the time. Please folk’s be careful out there it’s not easy to keep riding in this horrendous winter weather.

Manc Rider 3rd Annual RTE 2013

The Manc Riders
Big smile next time Martin, please!

So that’s January almost done and dusted I’m pleased to say bike wise anyway. As for the next few weeks well as ever things have started to crop up in the biking Walton Family Diary


Friday to Sunday 1st – 3rd Jeannie, Ben and I will be in York whilst Lilie Rose has a nice break with the girls at home.

Saturday 9th  is the Derbyshire Tour Raymondo Style.  This will be a steady ride around Derbyshire taking the lads out and about using predominantly back and side roads with a few “unpaved roads” thrown in for those that fancy some fun.

Saturday and Sunday 23rd – 24th is the first of the 2013 IBA UK European RTE’s which is taking place in the Netherlands at the Cornelis Lely Monument.

March is still clear at the moment with only the second of the IBA UK European RTE’s being held in France at Avignon the weekend of 26th – 28th April.

Other than that I’ll be taking it easy whilst this weather sorts itself out and I can return to my beloved Continental Trail Attack 2’s. Enjoy the good days as they are coming around all to infrequently  and just take it nice and steady on your daily commutes.

My best mate "Dash" Love you to bits BB
You made this weekend "Perfick!"

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