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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

June 2023 - A European tour and lots of training results in 3000 miles in a month!

June was a busy month with a great mix of training along side my annual bike trip with my mate Daren. More on that later, but first, here's an update on who came training with me in June.


First up was father and son, Andy (Tracer 700) and Joe (500 Honda). They are both relatively new riders having passed their tests a year or so ago and wanted a skills check. 150 sunny, dry miles, mainly covering information gathering and positioning.

Next up was Oli on his BMW 850GS. Oli passed his test 11 months ago and is already looking to develop his skills further. 100 miles covered, mainly working on extending his forward observations and positioning.

Richard came along on his Royal Enfield 650. Richard returned to biking last year after a 10 year break, and wanted a skills refresher and to discuss post test qualification options. Cracking first session spent in glorious sunshine.

Angela came along next on her Kawasaki Versys 1000, and this session resulted in her successfully completing the Enhanced Rider Scheme. A great result and well deserved.

Tudor followed on from Angela on his 1250GS, and the weather was a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, wet! Fortunately Tudor took it all in his stride, adjusting his riding and safety margins accordingly, and making everything as smooth as a smooth thing being smooth. Next session pencilled in, and hopefully the sun will make an appearance!

Steve was next, on his 1250GS. This was more of a refresher/skills check, as Steve is an experienced rider whose riding is already at an advanced test standard. Great session, full of positive reinforcement with only small tweaks here and there.

Gareth came along on his newly acquired R1250GS. Gareth has already completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and passed the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award test, and is now looking to add a RoSPA test pass to his collection.

Friends Nigel (M1000R) and Grahame (Guzzi Mandello) finished off the month. I met Nigel earlier this year when he was paired up with me at a BikeSafe event. Both the guys have previous experience of IAM and RoSPA training and tests and as a result, both are good riders, displaying good positioning and a very progressive, but safe, riding style. It's also worth mentioning that Grahame is 77 years young! Fab day, no rain, 150 miles covered.

RoSPA Training.

On the 24th, I joined my local ARNY group for our weekly associate training session. A great turn out with all associates paired up on a 1 to 1 basis with their Tutor.

On 26th, I trained with Ian on his fairly rare Yamaha YZF750. Ian is recently back to biking after a substantial break and in his younger days always wanted a YZF. It's in great condition and it was like a trip down memory lane for me, as I owned a new one in 1994.

Ian very kindly allowed me to have a sit on his bike.

European bike trip - 3/6 to 11/6.

On the 3rd June I set off with long time biking buddy Daren, for our annual bike trip. This year we had planned to head into Switzerland and northern Italy, but with a week to go, the forecasters were predicting torrential rain and thunder storms in more or less every place we'd planned to visit. As a result, we took the decision to cancel all our hotels, scrap the routes and start again! Fortunately, everything was relatively easy to rehash and on Saturday 3rd we boarded the Hull to Rotterdam ferry and we were on our way.

I was riding my new 1250GSA and Daren was on his 2022 Honda X-ADV 750.

We had 1 night in Viaden, 2 in Colmar, 2 in Adenau, 1 in Hagen and a final night in Bouillon.

Here's the routes we took.

We visited a war cemetery, took a couple of ferry rides across the Rhine, rode through the Vosges and Alsace regions, the Black Forest and Eifel regions. We visited the dams bombed during WW2 in the Ruhr Valley and stopped off at the Nürburgring, where Daren did a lap on his X-ADV.

This is the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial‎ at St Avold. The Cemetery and Memorial covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of American military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,481.

Ferry across the Merse......I mean the Rhine!

No need to take off your bike gear, the crossing only takes about 5 minutes!

Various images from around the regions on the tour.

Colmar, a very beautiful city.

Apparently the sculpture of the statue of Liberty, Auguste Batholdi, was born in Colmar, so they have their own replica in the middle of a roundabout!

And they have tanks there too....

Very pretty.

Anyone seen my watering cans??

The dams of Ruhr Valley.

The Nurburgring.

Me with the life-size bronze sculpture of Juan Manuel Fangio and his winning Mercedes-Benz W 196 R race car.

A great couple of photos to show the mix of cars heading for their lap of the 'Ring.

Daren at the barrier ready for his lap.....

....and off he goes!

It was a great trip, we had no rain at all, and while that is a good thing, the temperatures were in the high 20s every day and on the final run to the ferry, it was 35c! Total mileage door to door was, give or take, 1900 miles.

All Year Biker.

On completion of the bike tour, I had the excellent Josh from All Year Biker come and do what he does so well, a full valet and corrosion prevention treatment. Josh has looked after all my bikes over the last 6 years, (and there's been a few!), and never fails to impress with his attention to detail. Great job and worth every penny.

My BMW R1250GS Adventure.

Miles this month approx. 2900.

Total mileage to date 3504.

As you may remember, I collected my new bike on the 26th May, which didn't give me very long to get the mileage up to 600 miles and then get it's first service completed before we went away on 3rd June. Fortunately, the team at Barrie Robson BMW pulled out all the stops and I was good to go. The bike performed faultlessly on the tour and was an absolute pleasure to ride. The more eagle eyed amongst you, may have noticed that I've gone mad with the accessories, and fitted a darker screen! I've never been one for 'extras' although I do have some crash bar sliders and hand guard extensions to fit, which I'll get round to at some point. On the tour, we covered over the 1900 miles, and the bike returned 54mpg, which is pretty good in my opinion. Although Darens X-ADV doing exactly the same trip, did 79mpg! As I type this, 5 weeks after collecting it, I have covered 3504 miles, so it's had a bit of a baptism of fire and is already earning its keep.

And that my friends, rounds up another month. Thanks for reading and ride safe.

Ian S

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