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Peter Genet

Gentleman Biker of Cricklade

Month

July 2018

To Bled and back

What a great trip that was! Two weeks with the family all the way to Slovenia via Germany, Austria, Italy and of course France.

Stopping off en-route in Mannheim so Jono could take part in the Park run, where he came 3rd overall which ain’t bad to be honest on two fronts. Firstly, he is 16 still; secondly we had to be up and out very early from our overnight stop in France, so well done Richard for getting up and being on the road by 7.00am!

Then onto Solden in Austria for a couple of nights. This was one of the locations for the last James Bond film; remember the plane flying through the trees and the clinic at the top of the mountain? That was filmed here!

We enjoyed a cable car ride halfway up the mountain followed by a couple of hours walk down along some mountain bike tracks.

Looking down to Solden

Leaving Solden heading south along a fantastic windy road, into Italy, back to Austria and to Lesce, near Lake Bled in Slovenia. Wow! What a wonderful place Slovenia is!! Very green, very hilly and very friendly. We did a lot of cycling in Slovenia and would recommend it to anyone. The roads are superb with cycle tracks either side.

Our pitch on the river

Jono once again did us proud by running the Lake Bled nighttime 10k, coming in a respectable 92nd out of a lineup of 3,012!

Jono at the start!

Most of the fields have wild flowers and grasses allowed to grow freely.

Very green countryside of Slovenia

Down to Piran on the coast; very nice town with red roof tiles. From here we could see both Italy and Croatia – to the right of the Piran photo.

Shame about the camp site though, very poor. Though some of the street signs of Piran were amusing.

Amusing street sign
Red roof tiles of Piran

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Slovenia, we left to goto Italy, stopping in Lido De Jesolo for a couple of nights allowing us to goto Venice for the day.

Very hot day walking around Venice. Best parts are away from St Mark’s square along the back streets.

St Mark’s square

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onwards and upwards to the Alps. Last night in Italy in a town called Ivrea where it thundered, lightening and rained. Great! Headed to a local trattoria for a really nice meal.

Final night spent in France in a small town on the Seine, Saint Seine l’Abbaye. The drive between Dijon and Troyes followed the valley. Coming back here as soon as we can.

Then home again via that dreadful M25! What a bad first impression that gives visitors to the UK if they come via Dover!

Great holiday again. Looking forward to the next adventure.

 

Those ain’t my chicken lines!

That was a comment made to me by a chap embarrassed by the narrowness of the wear lines of his rear tyre. Further explanation soon discovered that the reason was it was a loan bike while his own bike was being repaired after he had rear ended a car; then he explained his bad back from riding the loan bike was from a side swipe he received from a car at a junction which wasn’t his fault. Basically, his own bike had been written off and the case was in the hands of the insurers.

Eventhough the latter was not necessarily his fault, he complained the bad back will be with him for the rest of his life. The rear-ender was his fault of that there is no doubt.  I did have to wonder at this chaps attitude. But, how could he have minimised these incidents? As it happens, the answer is surprising simple. Yes, there is still risk and as a rider you have to remain alert to possible incidents and what other road users may do.

Ironically, or not, he was talking to a RoSPA Advanced tutor, Diploma Holder and DVSA Registered Enhanced Rider Instructor! I could have provided some advice if he hadn’t ridden off with the rest of his mates; one pulling a wheelie with only his tracksuit for protective clothing, and one over-revving his not quite so street legal exhaust!

The sad thing is they are the few that give a poor perception of bikers. With the recent good weather, there are loads more bikes out there on the roads. We are not all like that. Yes, we do whizz around a bit; filtering between cars which is legal in most countries because bikes are smaller and nimbler than cars; overtaking on country lanes hopefully when its safe and generally making better progress than our car colleagues. What we can do though, as bikers, is ensure we do our thing without upsetting other road users. That’s where an Advanced Riding course comes into its own. Either through joining a local group such as RoADAR (RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders) or through a DVSA Approved Riding school.

My own chicken lines are quite narrow. Not because I am scared of leaning over too far, I know how far my bike can go, its more because I know how to approach corners smoothly to get around without the need for over leaning whilst maintaining a reasonable speed.  Safety is at the heart of all Advanced Riding Training and we use a simple and flexible system which can be taught to anyone wanting to make more of their riding. What we don’t want to do is stop anyone from having fun.

Get in contact with me and let’s have a chat about how your riding enjoyment can be made to be more fun.

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