Streak and Storm are back in storage for a well earned rest after 2 months on the road. They have both accumulated over 60,000 miles / 96,500 kms. Both will need a good clean and service before returning to the road in future. Anne’s chain and sprockets have reached the end of their lives and will need replacing but this will wait until before we next take Streak and Storm on the road again.
As a final treat we thought that we should take Streak & Storm out to a couple of motorcycle themed places in London we had not been to before, namely ‘The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club’ in Shoreditch which opened in November 2015 and the famed ‘Ace Cafe London’ on the North Circular Rd which originally opened in 1938. With all our motorcycle travels we had never ridden motorcycles in Central London. Anne decades ago had bravely ridden a bicycle around London until it was stolen but that is another story.
The weather is kind to us, but does not make up for the horrendously slow traffic we encounter, and this is a Saturday. I could not imagine how people do city riding every day. We wend our way slowly through SE London trying to stay in the correct lane before we both realise that there is a small white motorcycle on a blue background for the bus lines, Eureka, we are off and making much faster progress. Over Tower Bridge, a must do option and finally arrive outside The Bike Shed. I am contemplating how to cross the oncoming traffic into the entrance when a group of a dozen or so street bikes swamp us, one pulls across the oncoming traffic and authoritatively stops the cars. We all nip across and into ….. a small laneway between the tables and chairs of the patrons: it’s great except we have our wide panniers and the rest are slim street bikes. Still, all survive and we park in the back under the railway arches.
The parking under the arches is filled with a cacophony of motorcycle engines as we all park. We are the only adventure bikes and dirty ones at that. Streak and Storm with their panniers, sticker covered top boxes and loads strapped on the back stood out amongst all those smooth road bikes, but none of them have had the adventures Streak and Storm have experienced.
Well worth a visit and great to have such a place in central London for motorcyclists to meet. Kudos to those who set the Bike Shed up. Do go and support this establishment if you are in London, “use it or loose it as they say”. After a delicious brunch at the Bike Shed, on to the Ace Cafe via Euston Rd – again the bus lanes were a saviour for the clutch hand allowing us to keep moving at a steady pace. The Ace Cafe was a transport cafe from 1938 to 1969 built to service traffic on the A406 North Circular. In the 50s and 60s it became a magnet for young motorcyclists and became one of the birthplaces of the Care Racer: it was one of the cafes motorcyclists would use for short races between popular cafes. (for those interested, check out www.caferacertv.com/the-history-of-cafe-racers/ )
Finally for those who want to know, and so we will not forget, here are the trip facts and figures
– This was our fourth long distance trip on Streak and Storm since 2014
– We visited France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Faroes, Iceland and Germany
– Streak & Storm have now been to 50 countries
– Streak & Storm covered 4,500 miles / 6,700 kilometres this trip
– We replaced two parts on Storm, the rear ABS cable and LH Instrument control
– Both motorcycles have now travelled more than 60,000 miles / 96,500 kilometres
This trip to Iceland and the Faroe Islands has been yet another great experience, we have seen and done so much, made new friends and renewed our bonds with existing friends. We will however focus on warmer climes in future for our motorcycle travel. We now seamlessly switch to four wheels for a two week road trip. Yes a couple more blog entries to come.