I hope all is well and you are making use of the dry and sunny weather to have fun on your motorcycles or to tend to those tomatoes on the patio or new potatoes in the homemade planter. There are so many things demanding our time at his point of the year and it's great that the evenings are longer so that we can try and stay on top of general life admin. However, please judge me on the harvest of veggies, not the standard of my wheels, which currently look the colour of the "genuine" gold found in tourist markets around the world, rather than the BMW Adventure Gold!
I want to offer my continued thanks for your understanding of the current function of the group, which is trying to accommodate all the demands made upon it, but doing so with the issues which still bug us in the Covid landscape.
That said, in June, we opened the doors to sixteen new people who joined LAM and another two who re-joined – welcome all!
For fear of jinxing our results, let's go with a cricket term and say we added another five runs (one a F1rst) to our current innings and a new Master. I know a lot of hard work and practice (which is the key) went into all of them.
We can hope that play remains strong throughout the summer and rain doesn't stop play. Speaking of rain, the Wales Training Weekend is happening and we have 35 spaces, 18 singles and 17 shares available. Fingers and everything else crossed! If you're interested, book early as it always sells out. Whilst it's a training weekend, it also helps (and crikey we need help here) people get to know one another. This was something group meetings were great for, as are AOR's. A special thanks to Mike Seary and Richard Bowden-Doyle for pressing the start button on these with our first two managed excellently. Hopefully, the wind will be in the right direction and Tatsfield will be back in July and Banstead in August.
As for going back, I had an interesting chat with my non-biking colleagues about returning to work. I took the train on 24th June into London Bridge and within a few days got a message to self-isolate and of course I was asked, why didn't you use the bike? Well, apart from the mileage I would rack up in the week, I would end up using my bike as a tool and lose the love I have for riding. There's a high chance that when I returned to it in the evening, it would not be there. If by some miracle it was still there, it would be hemmed in by two scooters or a Ducati and a GSA, with no way of being released until the other bikes went first. I would then need to do battle with everyone else making their way out of the capital. Oh, and of course, the real reason, bikes aren't that economical, particularly when in full commute mode.
Until that point, I had never really considered my MPG from the bike over the car, and I just accepted that now and again, anywhere between £14 to £24 (or £27 if you do Thruxton) would come out of my bank account in exchange for more fun.
But why does my car, which has a 3.0 litre petrol engine, twin-turbo provide me with up to 50 MPG and weighs 2,000kg. Yet my motorcycle, which weighs 240kg, has a 1.25 litre engine return a similar amount of miles? Why not two or two and a half times that number?
Intrigued by this, I dug a bit deeper and apparently, it is all to do with the coefficient of dynamic friction. A modern car has less than 0.30 - airflow loves it and slips over and under a car like a dolphin in the sea. However, a modern motorcycle is almost twice that because it has sticky-out bits, uncovered wheels, hollow bodywork and exhaust. Add to that panniers and a rider and you have one of the most non-aerodynamic things in the world, that creates more turbulence than an MP at question time, and one that only wants to go in a straight line.
Good thing we don’t ride with our wallets then, eh!
Stay well and see you all soon,
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