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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

A Look Back at November 2019

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Hi everyone.

I started last months 'look back' by saying how pleased I was that I was still so busy, well the slow down finally started as the wet and miserable weather took hold of November.

On the plus side, when the rain did stop, I managed some training, firstly with Jason on his GSA and then James on his Yamaha 600.

Unfortunately other sessions that had been 'pencilled in' have had to be postponed or rescheduled.

As well as my own customer training, I also managed to attend 3 training rides with my local RoSPA group, Advanced Riders North Yorkshire (ARNY). I have been with them since 2013 and have been the groups Training Officer since 2014.

On one of the Saturdays I had one of those 'what if' moments when a family of about 8 to 10 deer crossed the road ahead of me, they literally appeared 'out of nowhere' from the nearside hedgerow, strolled across the road and into the adjacent field. I stopped and grabbed a couple of photos just as they were disappearing into woodland. It made me think about what Roadcraft says about 'what you can see, what you can't see and what you can reasonably expect to happen'. I've ridden that section of road hundreds of times before and never seen deer but from now on I'll definitely be scanning even harder than normal, it could have been a totally different situation had I been 100 metres further on.

Away from training, November saw me enjoy 2 great non training days out on the bike. The first was with a very good mate of mine, Daren, who I've known for about 15 years. Daren and I have ridden thousands of miles together both in the UK around Europe. We don't get out as often as we'd like so it was good to catch up over a brew and go for a ride.

Having met at Seaways we headed across to Sledmere and then up and along the B1253 and B1249 to Scarborough where we stopped off at the excellent cafe at the top of Oliver's Mount and enjoyed cakes....obviously!

From the cafe we did the obligatory 'lap' of the circuit before returning back to Seaways via some narrower, twistier and filthier back roads. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, albeit somewhat spoilt by the state of the bikes when we'd's Daren and his not so immaculate GS!

The second ride was with three guys from ARNY. Dave R was on his R1200RS, Dave T on his Ducati Enduro, Andy was on his Ducati Multistrada and I was on my GSA. We met and finished in York and had a great 130 loop of the North York Moors. It was a very cold day and it's fair to say the bikes were 'blathered' by the time we finished, but still, we had a cracking day!!

On the 21st November I had a day with a difference when I attended a school in Bradford. Some of the children there are doing a project on travel and transport, so along with members of the BMW Club and the Girder Forks Classic Bike Club, we took some bikes to show them. There was a real cross section of bikes, makes and models, engine configurations and ages of bikes (and ages of riders!).

The oldest bike was from 1912 and the newest was my GSA. Here are the bikes we took along.

As some of you may remember, last month I ordered a new Oxford Rain Seal water proof jacket, well it's arrived and has already had numerous outings during November. I'll keep you posted on how it stands up to the winter weather.

As well as the rain jacket, I've also bought a new Arai Debut helmet, well I actually bought it a few months ago but I've only just got around to swapping the comms over and will start wearing it from now on.

The Debut was only launched in 2019 and has lots of great features and the finish seems to be up to Arais' usual standard. I've been wearing Arai helmets for over 20 years, I've tried other makes from time to time but always seem to end up back wearing an Arai. I think my head must just be an Arai shape! Be interesting to see how the Debut performs.

And that my friends, brings us to the end of another month.

My next update will be in early January when the Christmas and New Year festivities will have ended, so I'll take this opportunity to thank you all for your custom and support and for 'following me' on Facebook throughout 2019. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

** please not that riding one handed, with an insecure load whilst pulling a wheelie is not big and it's not clever and I cannot condone such behaviour! ** :-)

Ian S

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