For the last five years January has taken exactly the same pattern, visit my Mum’s grave, attend IBA UK’s January RTE and finish with the MancRiders Annual RTE! Well not this year! This year I am determined to have a brilliant year on the Wing with loads of wandering and 'farkling'.
"GoldWings don't like snow!"
So what have I done to make this dream a reality? Well I have devised a plan and that plan is called the MancRiders Cafe Racer Challenge Ride 2015
After spending three months formulating the ride it was fantastic to see the MancRiders Cafe Racer Challenge Ride FaceBook Page receive 160 'likes' in just one day. However as with all things 'social media' the initial interest was over almost as soon as it began. Still it's great to see all the hard core MancRiders have signed up along with a couple of new members, all of whom are raring to get stuck in as soon as the 1st February start date arrives.
For those of you who fancy doing something a little different this year and decide to have a go, this is what you have to do. Just register your interest by contacting myself via my FaceBook Page here, make a £15 donation via PayPal (or in person) 100% of which will go to our chosen charity for Redwood Secondary School - Red-Aid. You will then receive an email containing a link to the Challenge Book, a GPS File and your own personal Number Card which must appear in all your challenge ride photo’s.
Then you have 10 months from the 1st February to the 30th November to visit and photograph 30 Cafes throughout UK, 10 Biker Meeting places, 5 Biker Pub's and finally 5 One Day Events.
I have chosen the 5 One Day Events specifically because other than one of them I have never been to any. One is actually the first ever of its kind! I know you'll all be intrigued and so in date order here they are:-
Each one having its very own special something but all being 100% motorbike orientated.
Already Januarys weather has been challenging to say the least. What with torrential rain, gale-force winds and an horrendous amount of snow, I've had no option but to stick to my plan of 'Doing it different in 2015!
As I couldn't get out I decided to re-activate my dormant FaceBook account which has been a revelation. Getting added to a few bike related groups including Real Bikers Nod, Rivi Barn Bikers, FaceBook Bikers and RBLR Greater Manchester has opened the floodgates to a world of motorbike activity throughout the UK.
Reading about a tragic accident which claimed the life of a young local rider on the M60 over the Christmas period I knew instantly what I had to do to show my respects. I'm proud to say I wasn't alone in my thoughts and along with 84 other riders we gave Scott a final ride his family can be proud of.
Although I would have loved to have ridden through Derbyshire to visit my Mum's grave on her birthday the weather had other idea's. It took me 45 minutes to travel 4 miles to the M62 through Rochdale with both feet in the prone position only for me to make the command decision to turn around and ride straight back home which as it happened turned out to be spot on. That evening we had another 3 inches of snow fall on top of what was already a slush covered Rochdale. I now know 100% categorically that Honda GoldWings are atrocious in the snow!
First & last time I try that!
Finally onto a totally different subject the Wing. I'm not sure why but I've taken very few photos of my new stead, especially when compared to last year when I went absolutely photo crazy with the Fireblade. However each time I walk past the bike parked up in the garage I have a quiet smile to myself. It's strange but there seems to be a definite 'marmite' mentality towards the GoldWing, people either love or hate them with very few folks sitting on the fence.
Whilst Jeannie, Ben and I were out and about at the tail end of last year we always found that on our return to the Wing at least two or three onlookers having a good old nosey. Everytime asking all the usual questions, how big is the engine? Is it as comfy as it looks? What do all the buttons do? Do you know what all the buttons do? The curious ones usually enquiring as to its value! It’s just great how it draws people in.
What I love about the Wing is, you never see two exactly the same. This in part is due to the huge amount of aftermarket accessories that are available to bolt on which leads me conveniently into my next question.
"So what have I done to personalise our Wing?" Well first of all I've fitted a rear spoiler because it incorporates an LCD rear brake light and I think it finishes the top box off rather nicely. Next up were a set of HID's followed by a couple of pieces of chrome trim and finally I've fitted a set of fog lights.
Just a touch of Chrome! For now that is....
Now just Google Honda GoldWing Light Show on Youtube and you will realise that what I've done so far is absolutely nothing compared to some tricked out Wings but I'm not finished just yet.
Kuryakin & Show Chrome from Big Bike Parts produce some amazing add-ons for the Wing. The secret is, deciding in which direction you want to go, full-on 'Amazing Light Show' or 'Chrome'. I've decided to go with just a little bit of each to make our GoldWing personal to the Wandering Waltons, so watch this space as the Wing develops into something special.
So folks, with the first instalment of GoldWing Goodies sat waiting patiently on my office sofa and my WingStuff wish list full to overflowing I can see 2015 being a rather exciting and adventurous one indeed.
Next up is the 5th Annual MancRiders RTE at the Moorcock Inn, Littleborough which if the weather is good to us will be a well attended 5th Anniversary bash.
Until the next time folks, “Ride well & stay safe. It’s a jungle out there!”