Motorbiking

"Biker" for me usually means motorbiking, though I also have a Marin mountain-bike...

My current motorbikes are a Honda CBR600RR ABS 2017 and a Kawasaki Ninja Z250SL.

Previously I have owned: Honda CRF300 Rally, Honda CBR600RR 2005, Honda CBR600FW, Honda VF750F, Yamaha FJ600, Suzuki GSX750EX, Yamaha FJ750, Yamaha XJ900, Kawasaki Z750 and I passed my riding test on my Kawasaki KH250.

See also my Motorbiking web links

CRF300 Rally & Ninja Z250SL

CRF300 Rally & Ninja Z250SL

Last time out from my garage for my CRF300 Rally. Sad to see it go, it leaves a gap. I’ve had some fun with it, done a bit of riding off-road but it’s not really worked out as I had hoped, I never really made friends with it.

Read more: This little piggie went to market

Southern Uplands, Scotland
Meet place on the A701 below the Devil’s Beef Tub

Southern Uplands, Scotland

There are three roads through the Lowther Hills, each with its own personality. These aren’t passes in the sense of an Alpine pass though they are routes over a crest at the head of one valley leading to another. Riding all of them is like taking a personality test of your biking style.

Read more: Reivers raid ride: road passes - Scotland 3

Southern Uplands, Scotland
Bikers passing Hermitage Castle

Southern Uplands, Scotland
Langholm

Ride out east from Moffat, linking up with places round Hawick and Langholm I first visited in the late Seventies. Hermitage Castle has been a particular favourite since then, its massive fortress blocking the Reivers seeking to predate on the valleys below. The architecture draws potential invaders in to fight at close quarters but makes retreat “costly”.

More photos: Reivers raid ride east - Scotland 2

Lowland Scotland
River Clyde - Abington

Lowland Scotland
Scotland/England border at Gretna

Here I am in Bonnie Scotland, based in Moffat for a couple of nights and riding round some fantastic roads on my Ninja Z250SL Very limited luggage space but that’s the price for the great handling of the little bike. Reivers country this, the thuggish mobs who terrorised and raided the area for centuries.
The A701 up Tweeddale and down in to Moffat is on many bikers’ list of favourite roads, now I can see why and you definitely have to ride it to understand. Long enough to get your teeth in to, so to speak, but varied enough so it’s never boring. Height gain and loss, straight and sweeping curves or tight bends with almost no visibility round the corner.

More photos: Reivers raid ride - Southern Uplands - Scotland 1

Riding the south coast of the Solway Firth

Port Carlisle
Port Carlisle

The western end of Hadrian’s Wall was the start of my ride along the southern shore of the Solway Firth, known as the North Cumbrian Riviera because it is favoured with warmth from the Gulf Stream. I was riding at times closer to the hills of Dumfries and Galloway than the Lakeland fells. These are reclaimed wetlands so some of these roads are flooded at high tide.

More photos: Solway Firth rideout

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En route from Marseille to the Alps

I'm riding light for a week on the mountain roads of the Alps. No laptop, although I do have my SLR camera but photos will have to wait till I'm back in Marseille..

I left Marseille for a long ride north via the Col de la Croix Haute (1179 m.) to Saint-Gervais under Mont Blanc. A bit of rain towards the end of the day which cleaned the Provence dust off my white leathers and boots but didn't soak me through.