Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thirteen Thousand Three Hundred Miles

I'm still riding, despite the cold and the salt on the road. I'm not happy to be subjecting Ruby to these conditions - but I am happy to be rolling. In fact, today (Tuesday January 3rd 2015) marked the passing of 13,300 miles beneath her wheels under my stewardship.

37900 and tatty in August 2010
50893 and shiny in February 2015
 That's right: I bought Ruby with 37830 miles on the clock, 37900 showing when I pulled up on my drive for the first time. When I got home today, her odometer read 50900. It amazes me - I still think of her as my new bike. OK, it is 4 years and 6 months since the hot August day I rode her home to Somerset. So Ted Simon wouldn't be impressed. But, as I say, it just doesn't feel that long to me. And anyway, I spent two years taking her apart and putting her back together immediately after draining the oil on that August day in 2010. Maybe it's my age. I just don't notice time passing so much any more.

I do notice how the riding experience varies from day to day and, believe it or not, even in Winter it can be exhilarating. Today was such a day. There are times when I think, third gear just feels great, rolling the power on and off with a seamless thrust, the exhaust note rumbling and cracking off of winter walls and echoing through leafless woods.

October 2014 - Summer's gone, rubbish weather in the offing

Washed down and treated with Scottoil FS365
I refitted the fairing lowers and higher screen with the advent of colder weather. I'm enjoying them. I like choice. Ruby gives me choice.

Some time ago, I also fitted an additional light between the horns, in front of the radiator. This was after I had low beam blow for the second time and struggled to avoid dazzling other motorists with my main beam. I have the extra light switched independently through a relay when the low-beam circuit is on. It is mounted on an aluminium gantry between the existing horn lugs on the upper fairing subframe. It is clamped between the horns and those lugs. The light should really be mounted an inch or two further forward to get best value from its beam. I have used it several times though on particularly horrible nights.
Measuring up a piece of angled aluminium
with horns and additional light

Trying the light in the centre of my aluminium gantry

Horns in place at each end, light bracket in the centre

Light in place - it needs to be further forward
but does the job