Gratitude ♥️

I’m one of the few lucky guys who was fortunate to have the support of my significant other (best friend) and the mother of my children to do my motor riding. We had our 8th anniversary back in August. It’s been 20 years since we first met in Al-Ain city located in the United Arab Emirates (the country that owns Emirates airlines) back then Dubai was just starting to market its city as one of the must see destination.

With skyscraper competing for the sky and the economy booming at the time. My time with Shaymaa was effortless and we just clicked as conversation flow between us seamlessly. After meeting for a short time we stayed in touch by becoming pen-pals (it use to be a thing of the E-mail age). We became good friends that we almost knew what the other might be thinking before even saying it. Of long distance relationship is not as simple as you may think! The time difference the delay in response and the neglecting of face to face talks can be a big challenge. With lots of patience and understanding, this soon became something special that after all these years I won’t be surprised when I said to her Hun I’m going to buy a bike and she immediately replied why not. If I didn’t know her better I’ll say she would claim my life insurance sooner than later 🤔.

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Hibernation is over

This spring was off at a bad start as I dust off my bike and reconnect the battery to jump start into a warmer winter. After a long three months of hibernation, I’m back on the road preparing my self for the great tour of cornerstone riding to west coast, organise by a bunch of volunteers on bikes looking to raise awareness about depression. Depression can be pretty bad in this great country especially during winter time.

Riding my bike felt like my new learned skills had rusted and I needed to polish my skills again.

After xleaning my visor and using DIY shaving cream as a protective coating to prevent any fogging. I’ve took the little Suzuki for a ride to rangiora and back to Kaiapoi. At 17:00 Sunday afternoon I’ve did some figures 8 and practice in a closed round Street in front of Placemaker hardware store. This place was perfect as the street was wide and away from any traffic. After doing some U_turns and low speed balance to get a feel of my bike. A BMW X5 SUV came out from nowhere and passed me it’s unusual as the placemaker is closed and cars intend to use the parrallel road to this. The beemer made a U-turn and came back to stop right across me. This was no coincidence the man didn’t do any eye contact while I looked at him. He waited and waited so I ride and the street turned and I turned again to face the SUV still no eye contact but I can see both of his hands on the steering wheel and he is not making any calls so I did a U-turn and went behind the beemer and then I said to my self it’s getting dark I should go anyway and passed him. As soon as I left, the BMW X5 pull out and took off. Guess I wasn’t welcome for some reason!!

So the visor works perfectly the bike transmit gears smoothly guess I’m all set to start commuting to work and maybe just maybe get an upgrade by next year. 😏🤔

Got my restricted license

Motorcycle license

Last month I’ve done my restricted test and passed. 

So here is the bumblebee selfie pics celebrating the occasion.

Bumblebee

So guess it’s goodbye for the Learner’s plate and a new chapter starts with new adventure to come. I do have some clips but no time to edit them. Plus the weather here in New Zealand changes dramatically we should be in Autumn but it had been raining continuously for 4 days with floods up in the North Island making some headlines. Yes I’m in the South Island where it’s colder and dryer. Specifically in Christchurch where we had a major earthquake back in 2010 destroying some parts of the city but since then lots of natural disaster events happened. The latest was the Port Hills fire that spread out for couple of days. That place was nice to cruise with twisty roads and the recently new adventure Park that got burned​. It will take some time to fix everything but we will manage to get things back if not better than before.

I’ll see if I can manage to upload some videos once I get the chance.

During the bad weather, I’m back driving my car and believe me nothing beats a warm car seat, windshield wipers going back and forth, warm Cappa drink and a radio. No need to worry about gearing up, slippery roads and wiping the visor. The convenience of relaxing in a wet day is amazing when driving a car not that I’ve tried riding in the rain on a motorcycle but I can imagine how uncomfortable and such a hassle it will be.

This made me install some heat grips on my bike just incase I do need them as the weather gets colder. It was a DIY which I enjoyed while listening to the Klein wireless speakers attached to my bike with it’s strong magnet.

Tip: slice the old grip along it’s length and keep it. This will be handy to use as a cable cover under your bike tank if you need to.

Track Day or not

Unplanned Sunday cruise ended up at the track. Different types of motorcycles were on the track from professionals to casuals working through the corners at top speed.

Another thing I found interesting is this guy from London or maybe Jordan who knows but is famous as RJ he has some nice good videos that I would love to share check his channel and spread the fun.

Little issues / twisted roads

    It is an issue once you started to get used to riding and you start noticing things on the road, things around you and you start noticing how commuting in a car can be dull, how you prefer the sight from your visor than behind the windshield, and how the road feels so small in a car than the lines you switch in that road!

You start noticing people in vehicles and what they’re were doing are they spacing out or just looking at their phones.

The problem is, as you ride more, the more you want to keep riding. Sure!! last time I’ve taken a long ride my left wrist struggled with the pain due to the handlebar being smaller than my shoulders width. I can also hear the front brake screech from time to time. Still, you try to adjust and keep going even experimenting some settings and see how the bike feels. One thing I did was stiffen the back suspension to handle my heavy weight. for some reason after a couple of twists here and there, it bounced back to its factory settings! You can tell if the chain was loose by setting on the bike and move it up and down with your finger. if it moves more than 25mm then you might need to consider tightening it up a bit. All these perks and test makes you want more from your bike. Don’t get me wrong the little Suzuki is a fine machine learner but the only problem is, it’s small for my size especially if I’m riding further and longer trips.

Another thing is, you can tell if the chain was loose by sitting on the bike and move the chain up and down with your finger. if it moves more than 25mm then you might need to consider tightening it up a bit. All these perks and test makes you want more from your bike. Don’t get me wrong the little Suzuki is a fine learner machine but the only problem is, it’s small for my size especially if I’m riding further and longer trips.

So what should I do? Well, I’ll keep riding the hell out of it and push my skills to the limits. It is harder to make a slow bike go fast than a fast bike to go slow while on the other hand it’s lots of fun going fast on a slow bike than going slow on a fast bike ;). so until next year who knows what can happen? but in the meantime, I’m having lots of fun and that’s what’s important to me.

So with no further delays here is my latest trip where I’ve beeing riding around Christchurch bays and enjoying the good weather. (if the video is too fast you can slow it down using the speed control from youtube). Enjoy 😉

Motorcycle Training

I know it’s been awhile since my last blog, but believe me, I have spent my time riding last week close to the coast with astonishing views that demanded some nice pictures.

NEW BRIGHTON BEACH

I’ve also started my week with a motorcycle training (bronze course). this course aims to improve your skills and road awareness and increase your confidence on the bike. as I never rode a motorcycle before I was lucky to start my training with Dan Ornsby when I was a novice. I had never owned a motorcycle and never even rode one, not even a dirt bike, hell if you’ve read my previous blogs I barely knew they exist!! 😨. Dan showed me the basics and taught me the fundamentals which were crucial for not practising some bad habits. I could easily compare it with swimming as I used to compete at university long time ago. (he was the coach who would teach you how to breathe under water and float and if this becomes second nature then you could learn any swimming technique you would like). another thing is; he would focus on safety skills as a number one skill. You could see that from his quote: “My father strongly impressed on me at an early age, the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle on a public road. Never assume you have been seen and never expect that anyone will do anything they should. In his words “Treat everyone as an idiot”.

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The Second person I was also privileged to meet was Pete an Ex-officer who really knows some tricks of handling a bike like a pro. you can easily chat with him and learn at the same time.

The Third person was Hank. Hank would let you experiment with your bike and have some fun. At the end of the day, it’s up to you, to make the right call, and ride the right way you feel confident to do so. No one can tell you which way to ride best.

All three instructor’s I’ve met and thought under had a way of teaching. Dan will help you feel and look at your bike in an artistic way he will make a big deal about your head position and where are you looking due to his racing background. While Pete can help you use some techniques that make’s life easier and manoeuvre your bike effortlessly. And old Hank will let you feel young again 🤣.

Going back to my group which is quite special. 4 people including myself from different countries. Two recently came to NZ. We had a Sydney fella on a Ducati-
monster (pipes only soo loud and noisy, which made staying in a neighbourhood out of the question. it was so loud that when passing through  Lyttleton under mountain tunnel you needed to stay 500m away from it due to the amplification of the noise). a British Lady on Suzuki GN250 who use to be a pallium for her partner who loves bikes, and a kiwi lady who just got her learners 2 weeks ago and is getting a new bike tomorrow, she enjoys riding horses and bikes. finally myself with Hank as the instructor.

A British Lady on Suzuki GN250 who use to be a pillion for her partner and loves bikes. A Kiwi lady who just got her learners 2 weeks ago and is getting a new bike the second day. She enjoys riding horses and bikes. finally myself with Hank as the instructor.

bronze-course-trip

I led the group three times during my group ride, my confidence was high which was great when attacking corners in the mountains. I had a lot of fun (a blast) and managed to actually get some lead and pull away from the group, I’m sure it wasn’t the power of my bike, as I had the smallest bike of the bunch. but the little Suzuki sure can turn tight. As instructed by Hank to enter wide and finish tight on a corner. the only thing I regret was not catching it on camera :S/. especially when half the group got lost but we managed to re-group and I’m confident enough to do my restricted license if I wanted to. First I’ll take the silver course as I’m near the end of my 3 months registration! Can’t believe it’s only been 3 months since I’ve started!! amazing how much fun and places you can go on a bike..



Living the dream

Take away nice houses and having a car. New-Zealanders are lucky enough to have a wonderful backyard of breathtaking scenery. beach bays and mountains with fresh water lakes and rivers pouring into the ocean. during the holidays, I was giving a book about kiwis bikers and their story with their bikes. from old to young; male to female, you name it, this book has different people all over the place. From famous and not so famous, from rising stars to just your normal Bob.

You Even get a policeman and believe me they go thru high intense training before hitting the road.


If you’re in Newzealand you will already know about the Bomb-low weather (Weather Bomb) that we had last week. This weather hit the far north of the south island with floods and winds up to 140 km/hr. Speaking of Winds my last ride did put some toll on my bottom back. which made me do some research on how to ride in the wind. most tricks were to lean the bike to the direction of the wind and to keep the elbow loss with loosening grip on the handlebar. as long you maintain a constant throttle you should be ok. if you are getting hit hard from one side, it might help opening your knee to the outside in the direction of the wind. this helps in destroying the wind pressure off the bike. positioning yourself a bit forward to the tank helps distribute your weight to both of your wheels. of course the lower you are on the road the better grip you will have like most cruiser bikes.

Bikerider magazine latest edition. Yes, I’m buying magazines Oh dear!!

Anyway, kids are screaming here so here are some short rides as it will be some time before I do another long one. Enjoy!!