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 London Commuter Adventure

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Bernardo
Super Scooter Rider
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Bernardo


Number of posts : 259
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PostSubject: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 16, 2009 11:13 pm

I recently had the “opportunity” to commute into central London for a couple of days to attend a work related conference… What better mode of transport than to use my trusty S’Wing for the 84 mile round trip. Smile Anyway, I’m no stranger to commuting in urban areas, though not so much Central London, so was reliant on my little Garmin backpacker style GPS, which clips nicely onto the handlebars…. A very worthwhile bit of kit for the big city that certainly saved the day…! Smile Anyway, the further I got into the heart of London, the more the whole trip seemed surreal ….. alien I mean I do filter right enough, hell I was doing that on the outskirts of the M25 (London orbital motorway) through three lanes of solid slow moving / stationary traffic… Twisted Evil So now in urban areas with really dense rush hour traffic and narrower lanes, I couldn’t believe my eyes when a series of bikes shot through a gap that I had assessed as being a bit dodgy what with the lanes being narrow and the traffic stop / starting, and impatiently shifting lanes with little or no indication…. Shocked After a while it became embarrassing, as I watched an assortment of various bikes and scoots squeeze through these rather narrow spots. Embarassed At one point in stationary traffic I watched a courier stop because the gap was too small… He simply paddled backwards a bit and did a three point turn to squeeze across the lane at right angles and continued on his merry way in the neighbouring lane…. cyclops Exclamation Other more adventurous bikes and scoots, would weave gently at just the right moment to avoid the wing mirrors of cars and trucks…… Suspect After the umpteenth tiny wee scoot had puttered past me, I figured if you can’t beat them, join them…. bounce Took a bit of getting used to, but eventually I discovered this gentle weave works quite well, providing you get the timing right, and you don’t change lanes or go too slow at the same time… That said I had a few hairy moments when I managed to ping both wing mirrors several times…… affraid Those white vans are a menace….! Once I got used to the added adrenalin, things got a little easier, and even more fun. Smile Not so much about going fast (now that would be a death wish) No but rather looking and planning ahead with little squirts of careful acceleration to get you through difficult bits. Shocked Best bit was going past all those crawling cars and trucks…. Laughing Had I gone by car I reckon it would have been well over 2 hours, and then still having to find and pay to park. Mad The 42 mile trip on the scoot was just an hour and 10 mins. Wink So quite an experience watching and learning how other riders negotiated the traffic. Lots of little adventures along the way, nearly getting crushed by a dumper truck and a van, cyclops narrowly missing two cyclists on one bike going the wrong way down a one way street and cutting across the front of me from a pedestrian crossing…. cyclops I got to use my ABS in anger for the first time… well twice actually….. affraid



However, you’ll never guess who it was that showed me the best way to squeeze past the gaps, and for the most part without even slowing down….. cyclops Yep he’s here on the forum, Hi Adam! Cool Yes I met up with Adametselaar on his rather new looking S’Wing complete with sexy armchair seat that allowed him to almost, but not quite “recline” onto a very plush looking back rest as he negotiated the London traffic….. OK so when we met up, at the Ace Café it was after the rush hour, and I’d just got soaked in a downpour whilst on a three lane bit where I couldn’t stop to put on my waterproofs… ……. confused scratch But hey the London smog helps you dry fairly quick and the convivial atmosphere of the Ace café was welcome. sunny Anyway we swapped stories about our S’Wings and even traded a few salty sea-dog stories when we found out from each other we had both been at sea in former careers. drunken


I especially love the story about the chicken dish…. Exclamation Then as a "native" he showed me a rather unique and effective way of getting around London by S’wing….. pirat Grinning widely he put on a yellow fluorescent police jacket and shot off into the early evening traffic, with the HID headlight having this bright mesmerising effect if you happen to look at it, even in your mirrors....... cyclops
:space ship:


I just followed at a discrete distance watching in horror as he approached his first narrow gap without even slowing…… Just as I thought he was about to get crushed between two tatty white vans, he honked politely on the twin tone Fiamm horns…… :bounce1: The drivers were clearly dazed or dazzled and immediately moved apart….. affraid



Not sure quite what it was exactly, maybe by the bright yellow fluorescent jacket and laser head light beam combination, with accompanying twin tone honks, and of course wide grin as a Adametselaar surges past comfortably ensconced in his armchair equipped S’wing, and he even delivers a polite nod and a wave as he passes……!

:m/c:


I just followed in his wake….. I have to hand it to you Adam, you ride with style my friend! Also It certainly is a cool looking machine that you ride…. In fact it is nearly as sexy looking as mine…. Twisted Evil

Yes my London commute this week was quite exciting…… Just the thing if you like a challenge and a bit of adrenalin flow….
:bounce1:

The S’wing performed admirably by the way, and despite my worries about the revs being a bit higher (J costa pins worn, or drive belt wear perhaps ?) I managed a healthy 54mpg….

So Adam what’s, or should I say where is next? High Beech perhaps and with a pre planned date, and hopefully a few of us can meet up, away from the heavy Central London traffic?! Where-ever, I shall look forward to it! Smile bounce


Last edited by Bernardo on Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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JeffR
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 16, 2009 11:35 pm

Bernardo,

Great write-up !!! That's pretty cool meeting up with someone from this site. How did you know it was Adam? Just by talking? Isn't it fun to filter through traffic? I do that all the time here but our traffic in the cities aren't at bad as London I'm sure. Maybe San Francisco is but I never really go to that city, even though it is only about 35 miles away, or so. I need to look at Adam's pictures to see if he has one here of his seat you talk about. Nice story and keep 'em coming. :Not Worthy:
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Bernardo
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Bernardo


Number of posts : 259
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 17, 2009 5:20 pm

JeffR wrote:
Bernardo,

Great write-up !!! That's pretty cool meeting up with someone from this site. How did you know it was Adam? Just by talking? Isn't it fun to filter through traffic? I do that all the time here but our traffic in the cities aren't at bad as London I'm sure. Maybe San Francisco is but I never really go to that city, even though it is only about 35 miles away, or so. I need to look at Adam's pictures to see if he has one here of his seat you talk about. Nice story and keep 'em coming. :Not Worthy:

Thanks Jeff!

I like writing... Actually I'm awaiting the results of my open university degree that I completed recently, and of which the major component was creative writing... !

Adam had sent me a PM a few days ago, and so I was able to get in touch and tell him I was going to be in London, so we were able to meet up at short notice at the end of the day.

As to London and commuting, well thinking about it, I've commuted on bikes since I was 16, and in heavy traffic..... But not in London. So I 've been used to wider lanes and perhaps not as dense traffic. I guess I'd forgotten what London is like... It's such an old city, and much of the city centre and the general layout was designed and built centuries ago! It just wasn't designed for modern transport. Many of the major roads are kind of narrow, what with the bus lanes pavements and etc... I remember reading one day that traffic flow in some central parts during the rush hour is essentially the same as it was at the turn of the twentieth century when there were loads of horses and carts as opposed to cars!

It is such a vibrant city, loads of culture and with a unique culture of its own. It has a bit of everything I guess. I've lived on its doorstep for years and not really visited much partly cos I'm not really a city type and partly cos driving in there can be intimidating, difficult, not cheap, and not very child friendly.... ( I have a young family) But I guess I've just proved to myself, that if you have the right mode of transport well it can be a lot more fun.... I realise now there's a whole load of places yet to visit.

I've just got myself a new camera too now that I have finished my latest bout of studies (Canon SX 10) so hopefully I can do a better job of combining my hobbies of scooters, bikes, photography and writing! bounce
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PostSubject: london traffic and how to beat it   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 18, 2009 12:07 pm

twin 8000 watt hdi lights and a 139 steble horn works a wonder in london hahhah if the cars do not move then i use the other toys a very load pa speaker
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 18, 2009 1:20 pm

adammetselaar wrote:
twin 8000 watt hdi lights

8000 watt HID lights? affraid

I would think watts would be universal, the most we can get in the states is 55W ... then yours would be 145 times more than ours.
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Bernardo
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 18, 2009 3:25 pm

honda_silver wrote:
adammetselaar wrote:
twin 8000 watt hdi lights

8000 watt HID lights? affraid

I would think watts would be universal, the most we can get in the states is 55W ... then yours would be 145 times more than ours.

Ah yes, but then he does live in London... Those lights sure cut through the smog !!! sunny
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PostSubject: hdi lights police issue   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 19, 2009 4:04 am

i have some mate s swing swing in the police service and he told me about the hdilights they use on there cars so i found a company and had them fitted at night its like a space ship i seen it coming for miles as i was on a hill and looking at my brother rideing a long wayaway .
be seen so the fuckers do not know you off, the pa speaker is wired into my autcom so one press of switch and 200db sure makes them look , my pet hate is mobile phones and here soooo many stuip people use them but with 139db stebel and pa 200 db even the lord himself would jump out his or her skin love to all swingers
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mr fish
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 19, 2009 2:21 pm

Sounds like a great meet up and looks like adam has introduced you to the london g.p where everything becomes a chicane ... :bounce1:


Last edited by mr fish on Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bernardo
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Number of posts : 259
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PostSubject: Re: London Commuter Adventure   London Commuter Adventure I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 20, 2009 6:27 am

mr fish wrote:
Sounds like a great meet up and looks like adam has introduced you to the lonon g.p where everything becomes a chicane ... :bounce1:

That's one way of putting it! After a while parts of it almost seem like being in an arcade game! The traffic seems relentless, and commuting there is certainly not for the faint hearted!
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