All The Gear, etc.

With the new RT on its way and with plans already made for a couple of long rides in 2024 – well, three, actually – it was time to consider what kit we’d need to update and/or put in place.

The RT is intended to be used as a workhorse, so my trips will be working trips for my photographer and nascent videography ventures, so one of the obvious choices was a new camera.  The other videos on my YouTube channel over the last few years (not counting the early ones with camcorder footage) have been shot using a Garmin VIRB Elite, but although that’s great for capturing video with all the GPS data embedded, it’s quite old now and bulky and the tech has come on in leaps and bounds.

So whilst I will still use the VIRB for pushbike stuff, for on-bike/in-car footage I’ve sourced a GoPro Hero12 Black Edition which I will be mounting – initially at least – on my Arai Quantic helmet.  The RT’s setup means that I would need to do some mods to the handlebar bracketry to mount it on the bars, but maybe that’s for a second camera in due course?

In the meantime, we also wanted some up to date protective riding gear.

I went to Gran Canaria at the start of October with some friends and was riding a Ducati Multistrada hired from the lovely people at CanaryRide and it was waaaay too hot as there was a calima and I was wearing my old Alpinestars leather jacket, which is black and padded.

Now I used to have some Triumph leathers that were water-resistant to go with some Rukka Ceres shorty gloves, but when I got killed (temporarily) by someone knocking me off my Triumph Sprint GT1050 my jacket had to be cut off and due to two of my fingers being “de-gloved” the resultant mess in my Ceres gloves was not for the faint-hearted to deal with so again they were disposed of in A&E.

So that just leaves my venerable old Rukka Gore-Tex jacket: totally waterproof, removable lining, but next to ventilation.  Similarly Mrs Me also has a nine year old Dainese textile jacket and trouser combo that is also great for cold and wet but not so good for dry and hot conditions:

I’ve been researching jackets for quite a while now and the Klim ones looked exactly what we needed, but which one to go for in their line-up? Well I don’t need to go top of the range touring with the Kodiak as I already have a duck down jacket that might do well as a mid-layer and of course both of us have heated Keis waistcoats with accessory sockets on the RT to match. So the best choice looks like the latest version of the Klim Latitude for me and the ladies’ version, the Klim Altitude, for her.  And of course I needed replacement waterproof gloves to go with my Alpinestars race gloves for guaranteed dry days, so a pair of Alpinestars SMX-1 waterproof shorty gloves have been sourced as well, all from SPORTSBIKESHOP online.

Of course as the RT is white with grey or black bits, the Klim gear and gloves are similarly coloured: “Cool Grey” for the jackets and black and white for the gloves.  I’ll let you know how we get on with them in due course.

Klim Latitude Back Alpinestars SMX-1 Drystar Gloves Klim Altitude Front Alpinestars SMX-1 Drystar Gloves Klim Altitude Back Klim Latitude Front

Tour de France 2024 – Oops!

If you’ve read this blog then you will know that I booked Eurothrash 2024 for July 2024 to suit other actual or potential family clashes; ah, the benefits of having a mahoosive family!

Today, the Tour de France organisers have announced both the dates and the route for this year’s race. Now, for a bit of context, you should know that for as long as I can recall I have watched the highlights on TV wherever I’ve been at the time and as it’s usually in July, it usually coincides with a holiday.

On Eurothrashes over the years the big climbs and famous finishes have featured in our planning and this year was going to be similar, with a visit to the Gorges du Tarn, Mont Ventoux and the Gorges du Verdon all featuring in my planning.

So anyway, here’s the route and dates:

Tour de France 2024 Route
Tour de France 2024 Route

So on the Gruissan to Nimes state – Stage 16 – we will be riding past but to the North of the route as we are heading to the Millau Bridge and Gorges du Tarn that day before making our way to our rest day at what was “the First Dates Hotel”.

On our ‘rest day’ we included an optional jaunt up to Mont Ventoux which – thankfully – would be slightly to the South of Stage 17, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to SuperDévoluy.  The following day will be absolutely fine as we will be heading further South to Frejus.

On the Friday we head over to Grenoble via the Gorges du Verdon and  l’Alpe d’Huez, so fortunately we will be to the West of Stage 19.

Phew!

I’m sure we’d be OK though as the RT will look pretty much identical to the Tour’s camera bikes ????

Forget the Triumph Tiger; Welcome the BMW RT

Well after waiting to see if Triumph would eventually update their Tiger 1200, they finally did, but changed to the T-plane configuration and still no active/adaptive cruise control, no luggage, etc.

So after an extended 3-day test ride a couple of years back, our living plans have changed (back to being in the UK, rather than roughly 50/50 UK/Fuerteventura) releasing us to be able to start touring Europe again post-Brexshit.

This means we can buy a new bike for touring and what better than the BMW R 1250 RT LE.

September 2023 Stats

September started out in Dubai for a week and a bit in a five star, all-inclusive resort which thankfully had a gym but was using Technogym kit and software, sadly.  Once we were home, it was back in the pain cave on the Schwinn and the Bowflex treadmill before I headed off for a day trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  Yes, what should have been a little over week there in a hearing turned out to be arrive, work, workout, get told about potential settlement, rush to the airport, redeye back to London!

Once back in the pain cave – and I’m really not sure if the iOS/watchOS software updates had anything to do with it – FulGaz started started having issues connecting to the Schwinn which was very frustrating.  It even happened again this morning, until I physically turned off the Bowflex treadmill which seems to somehow steal focus even though it’s not connected to the Schwinn (obviously).

Oh and I have finally upgraded by old Apple Watch Series 4 to a shiny new Apple Watch Ultra 2 which I’m keen to get properly set up and  calibrated properly: that JRNY treadmill run had the treadmill showing one distance, the f?nix showing a slightly shorter distance, and the Ultra 2 showing a significantly longer distance.  I will have to compare an outdoor walk next week when we’re back in Corralejo.

Mrs RHM has also upgraded to an Apple Watch Series 9.

Here are the results which are down from August’s:

September 2023 Stats

September 2023 Stats

Activities: 36 Distance: 370.63 kmTime: 17:49:39 Calories: 16,260

Turning to my weight, at the end of August I was 84.1kg, and at the end of September I weighed 84.3kg, up 0.2kg, but then there was Dubai and Raleigh…

It’s Bought!

The dirty deed has been done: having decided on the configuration I wanted I spoke to three dealers to get an idea of price and delivery as I really wanted delivery in March 2024 so it would be a ’24’ numberplate when I come to sell it on later, maybe.

BMW are bringing out a 1300cc engine this year but if the roll-out goes according to the 1250 release schedule, it’ll be R1300GS in 2023, R1300GSA in 2024 and R1300RT in 2025.

I’d already planned a Eurothrash in 2024 as we’re giving up our house in Fuerteventura this year so we can then travel freely in the EU without needing to worry about the 90/180 Schengen rule that the absolute shitshow of Brexit forced upon us.  I could take the ZRX but that’s not really a grand tourer like the RT is, or indeed my previous Triumph Sprint GT1050 that some tosser wiped out with me on it.

I think all three had their eyes on the same physical bike that BMW were bringing in to the UK at the end of this month, so all three were offering a deal on the basis that next year prices were bound to go up and I would be unlikely to recoup the additional cost when I come to sell the RT as a ’73’ numberplate rather than a ’24’ numberplate (which is all a bit immaterial while I own the RT as it’s going to have the 8000RM vanity plate on it anyway).

So yes, a 2023 BMW RT 1250 RT LE in “Alpine White 3” is coming my way with Active Cruise Control, additional fog lights and the large 49L topcase with integrated brake light fitted.

It’s going to be registered on 30 September (if it arrives by then) but as I’ll be out of the country I won’t be collecting it until November.

And yes, it was Bahnstormer at Alton who got the deal after they’d kindly lent me one for an extended test ride back in 2021.

Eurothrash 2024

I’ve planned Eurothrash 2024: our planned European tour for the summer of 2024.

All the hotels are booked and the ferry to Spain alongside the Eurotunnel back from France.

Here it is on Google Maps:

August 2023 Stats

August started out in Fuerteventura for a few days before we headed back to the UK.  It ended with us flying out to Dubai for a week and a bit in a five star, all-inclusive resort which thankfully had a gym but was using Technogym kit and software, sadly.

Here are the results which are up from July’s:

August 2023 Statistics

August 2023 Statistics

Activities: 39 Distance: 476.41 kmTime: 22:39:33 Calories: 20,176

Turning to my weight, at the end of July I was 83.9kg, and at the end of August I weighed 84.1kg, up 0.2kg, but then there was Dubai…

All the Gear; No Idea

Our home gym here in Ash, Surrey continues to expand: we now have a Schwinn 800IC/IC8 for my virtual cycling with FulGaz and JRNY; we have a ForceUSA G3 All-In-One Gym Set coupled with a BodyMax 145kg Barbell and Weight Set; a ProForm Cardio HIIT L6 Trainer for herself to do her stair stepping; and now we’ve just added a Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill 56/Treadmill 22 (depending upon where in the world you are {metric/imperial}).

The Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill is their top of the range model and features a fabulous 22″/56cm screen for their JRNY app to run on and the deck can have an incline from -5% to +20% gradient and also folds to save a bit of space when not in use.

So yes, there’s no excuse for us not getting fitter and leaner.

Herself – despite being a qualified personal trainer – has also enlisted the help of another personal trainer who specialises in getting bodybuilding athletes ready for competition. Yes, Alison will soon be competing in some Bikini Class bodybuilding contests in 2024. Watch this space!

The plan then will be for her to start offering personal trainer services herself with a focus on women and particularly Mums/mature women who may not feel comfortable in a full-on gym situation.

Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill Folded Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill ForceUSA G3 All-In-One Trainer ProForm Cardio HIIT L6 Trainer Schwinn 800IC Bike Schwinn 800IC Bike Schwinn 800IC Bike and iPad

Goodbye Lotus; it was fun while it lasted

While Elon Musk continues to try to kill Twitter – sorry, it’s X now, isn’t it – Lotus’ execs and marketing gurus saw it and clearly said “hey Elon! Hold my beer!”

Yes, they have foolishly tossed aside their faithful fans and customers in favour of the feckless “influencers”, you know, the vacuous nonentities that do nothing and expect to be paid for it with a misplaced sense of entitlement that only so-called social media brings.

It started with a horrendous post by Lotus Cars on Instagram, of course:

“The Stars aligned last night for our new Lotus London Mayfair launch! ?

#ForTheDrivers #LotusLondon “

Of course, hardly anyone over 30 years old with an actual life knew who any of these “Stars” actually were, but hey! Lotus clearly don’t want our sort of money anymore.  After all, according to an email I received today, it’s a new era:

“Lotus is in a new era.

“We are on a transformative journey from an iconic British sports car company to a global luxury lifestyle brand. As part of this journey, we are excited to announce that our first major European flagship store on London’s Piccadilly is now open.”

[Emphasis added]

No longer a sports car company, it’s now intended to be a lifestyle brand.

So long then, Lotus, it’s been … emotional.

And as for that noise you can hear? That’s Colin Chapman spinning in his grave with enough revolutions to power the Hethel factory.

Maybe Lotus’ 200+ job cuts could start with their marketing department?