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  1. THE BIKER GUIDE and COVID-19

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    During the Covid-19 pandemic we will continue to publish the website and endeavour to update events that we are aware have been cancelled.

    We encourage organisers of events to inform us that an event is cancelled or postponed, however due to the large amount of events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we ask you to check with the event before travel.

    For all accommodation providers, cafes and pubs, we would also ask you to check with them direct on current opening* times (*if applicable).

    We would like to thank everyone for their support and understand during these times. Stay Safe!

  2. Sat nav v maps on a Motorbike...

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    I used to like the idea of being spontaneous and also did not fancy using a sat nav however once you have tried to get a room somewhere to find you cannot get one as they are full due to a local festival, over priced (Italy circa 2001, 11 pm in a roadside motel style @ €175 comes to mind) , you cannot find one (sounds strange I know but there are miles and miles of nothing in parts of Germany and France - well apart from excellent scenery) and to book into somewhere and find it awful, we now do as above - i.e. find a final destination and plan route around it. 

    We use a combination of Biker Friendly accommodation on www.thebikerguide.co.uk and if there is nothing in the area we want we also look on other accommodation websites. 

    We did a trip a couple of years ago with the final destination being Colditz Castle, which you can stay in. Went in July for 3-ish weeks with everything booked, set into sat nav and you know what - thank goodness as it rained everyday but one. We would set off with the next place in the sat nav - take off route when we wanted and arrive at destination stress free.

    We stayed at some great places, travelled fantastic roads and routes, ate well, found our way easy even with the many roadwork diversions and would pass by others at the side of the road battling with a big wet soggy map to find their way. We did also pack a map as back-up or to look at a vaster area on a larger scale, however we are happy to say it return dry and not soggy. 

    I think once you have used a sat nav on a big trip which gets you to destinations easy, gets you out of a diversion and back on route, helps you navigate/find food and petrol, you wonder what you did before the United States military released the technology for GPS!

    OK Garmin, Where are we now by Nigel Grace

  3. Interview with first-time Dakar rider Simon Hewitt

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    Welsh amateur enduro rider Simon Hewitt, fulfilled a lifelong dream earlier this year, by taking part in the renowned Dakar Rally. The 29-year-old novice crossed the finish line in Qiddiya on 17th January, after 13 long days of riding across Saudi Arabia’s vast and challenging landscape.

    Chatting on the T.ur stand at the MCN London Motorcycle Show less than a month after completing his epic challenge, alongside his Dakar-finishing Yamaha WR450F and T.ur kit, Simon talked about his Dakar experience and how his kit performed along the way.

    How was your Dakar experience, compared with your expectations?

     “The sheer size of the whole operation was unexpected. The biggest race I’ve done before this was the Merzouga rally in Morocco – the Dakar qualifier. There, every team could fit into a football pitch easily, but with Dakar, it’s on a whole other level; the sheer vastness was the biggest thing for me, something that doesn’t really come across when you see it on TV and online.

    “But from a riding perspective, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt with the terrain. To be completely honest, the terrain itself isn’t the hardest part, it’s the length of the days that got me. Starting at five every morning, then you’re on the bike for 10-14 hours a day – I’ve never done that before, and although I knew it would be long, I didn’t expect to find it so hard. Even in the liaison – the riding before we got to the timed stage – I was sitting there at 110km/h, on an enduro bike, on tarmac, for 130 miles; it was crazy and very tiring.”

    Did you go into Dakar with a strategy?

    “The strategy was to just tick every day off as it came, and not to worry about the later stages, just to focus on what I had to do to get to the finish line that day. I think if you go into each day with a complicated strategy, it can become too much to think about. I just rode the terrain, read the roadbook, ticked off the kilometres and it worked perfectly for me. Day one of Dakar was my third time on a bike since breaking my collarbone whilst training in Dubai, so I had barely any training in comparison to the other riders. I knew I couldn’t push too hard, so I just had to ease into it.”

    How did you start your relationship with T.ur?

    “I first came across T.ur on social media thanks to two riders that I follow that wear T.ur – Jacopo Cerutti and Alessandro Boturri. I saw that those guys started to wear T.ur kit, so I started following T.ur on Instagram. A year later when I was preparing to go to Dakar, Diego Sgorbati, CEO of Tucano Urbano, was introduced to me through a mutual friend at BMW Motorrad, and then one evening I received a random call from Diego – we were chatting for about 30-45 minutes, talking about rallies, bikes, BMW and Dakar, and after that, I was asked to get involved with T.ur, and I was absolutely stoked. I was looking for a kit supplier, so it was perfect timing, and I knew Cerutti and Botturi would only ride in the best clothing, so I knew T.ur would be top quality kit.”

    What aspects of the T.ur kit were most important to you?

    “A big plus for me was having the option every day of vented or non-vented kit depending on the weather. I had two sets of kit; one made from a mesh that let all the air through, and another made with thicker, warmer material. The mesh kit was awesome for days where it was getting really warm on the dunes, but for some stages, I wore the thicker kit because some days were very cold. It was awesome to have the option and very handy. It was also great for me to be able to remove the sleeves – it’s down to personal preference but I like riding without the sleeves so being able to whip them off was great, and luckily it came with the design of the jacket.

    “T.ur also gave me a set of the waterproof kit that you can buy –which I wore every day as a windbreaker when I needed it, and I wore the T.ur thermal base layers as well which were perfect – they kept me warm in the mornings and cool in the midday heat. My G-THREE gloves didn’t miss a beat the whole race – the ideal choice for Dakar.”

    What did you enjoy most at Dakar?

    “The feeling of being part of it. I’ve watched the race for so long on TV and online, so being there, seeing my heroes in the same race as me, and just being part of the whole event was the best feeling ever. The riding, for the most part, was also really fun. Two weeks of riding your bike in the desert – I can’t ask for more than that.”

    What was the biggest lesson you learnt at Dakar?

    “If I had to do it again, I would definitely not break my collarbone two months before Dakar. The lack of fitness was a killer for me, and I knew that if I had been at my usual bike fitness level, I wouldn’t have felt so tired at the end of each day. I also realised very quickly that managing time in the evenings is really important. The alarm goes off at 4am the next day whether you like it or not, so it’s up to you to be as prepared as possible for the best start the next day.”

    What are your plans for the rest of the year?

    My bike has just gone back to France for some work, and then I’ll have it back for the summer. I plan to do the Welsh 2 Day Enduro at the end of June on my Dakar bike, then Serres Rally in Greece this August on my Husqvarna 450 enduro bike. In between those, I plan to do as many local races as I can including some of the British National Enduro and Welsh Enduro Championship rounds – they’ll help me build up my bike fitness as well.”

    Sum up your Dakar experience in one word.

    “Adventure.”

    … And the T.ur kit in one word.

    “Bullet-proof.”

  4. A UK Motorbike Road Trip for Football Fans

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    Road trips give you the freedom to travel for whatever reason you want, visit many places along the way, and take in the scenery as you are going. It’s awesome to combine a motorbike trip with other hobbies and interests. 

    Here is a simple UK road trip for football fans. It takes you through some of the UK’s major cities, with each offering a solid dose of football madness. You can adjust the trip as you see fit, adding stops and destinations. If you support a specific team, then you will want to add their hometown to the route, so that you can visit their stadium and catch a home game.

    Main Destinations

    The main destinations for this motorbike road trip are London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. Here’s why:

    London – London has more football clubs than any other city in the UK. There’s Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and more. London is also home to Wembley Stadium, the largest stadium in the UK and the second-largest in Europe. You can take tours of the stadium for £19 per person, exploring the stands, tunnels, press conference rooms, and ending with the ‘Exhibition of Champions’, showcasing 56 years of European football. 

    Liverpool – Liverpool FC overcame expectations to beat Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup last year, making them the reigning champions of Europe in just about every way.

    Liverpool FC are top of domestic and European football at the moment, makin

    Liverpool FC are top of domestic and European 
    football at the moment, making the city one of the best destinations for your
    motorbike road trip.

     

    Fans can take a full tour of Anfield Stadium, including the Liverpool FC and Steven Gerrard Collection museum at the end. If you’re really into it, then you can even stay at the Bill Shankly Hotel, a dedication to the team’s former manager. Liverpool city is also home to Everton, who have just as much history though not as many honours. 

    Manchester – Manchester is home to two very successful football teams: City and United. As such, this is a city that is full of football pride. You could visit the Old Trafford Stadium (or Etihad if you prefer Man City), check out the National Football Museum, and even stay in the Hotel Football. If you can get to Manchester for derby day, then you’re in for a real buzz! You don’t have to get tickets to enjoy the game; the bars and pubs will be rammed. 

    Glasgow – You could skip out Glasgow to keep your road trip short, but keeping it in lets you see much more of the UK’s finest scenery. The drive up from Manchester to Glasgow is, for the most part, spectacular. Detour through the Lake District, where you can find plenty of biker friendly accommodation to stop off, and then head up into the wilds of Scotland. Glasgow is home to one of the fiercest football rivalries in the UK: Rangers Vs Celtic. You can also visit the Scottish Football Museum.

    The Route - See here

    The beauty of any road trip is that you can plan your own route, so don’t be afraid to tamper and go where you went to go. You can also take on this trip in either direction, starting in London or Glasgow. Starting in London and ending in Glasgow will leave the best scenery till last, but true football fans may want to finish off with the Wembley Stadium tour.

    From London, you can take the M40 up towards Birmingham, then the M56 North, turning off on the M62 to Liverpool. The same motorway, the M62, will take you from Liverpool to Manchester. You can then take the M61 and M6 North to Lancaster.

    Around Lancaster, you have the opportunity to change up the route and see the nicest National Parks the country has to offer. I recommend the Lake District, turning off near Kendal to take the stunning A591 straight through the Cumbrian Mountains, rejoining the route at Carlisle. From there, it’s the A74 and M74 to Glasgow, again through beautiful scenery. 

  5. Unique gift ideas from the British Motor Museum!

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    The British Motor Museum has everything all wrapped up for Christmas whether it’s a day out admiring over 300 British classic cars or a thoughtful and unique gift! The Museums gift voucher includes 2 admission tickets and a souvenir guidebook as a memento. The gift, which is attractively presented in a red envelope, costs just £25+p&p, a saving of £6.

    Treat someone by signing them up to one of the motoring related workshops which run in the spring and autumn. These include ‘Is a Classic Car for you’ and ‘Living with a Classic Part 1 & 2’ all ofwhich are aimed at those who wish to buy or own a classic car. There’s also a range of motoring photography workshops for beginner’s right up to lighting and home studio workshops.

    Heritage Certificates are an ideal gift for anyone who owns a cherished classic car and are available from just £43 plus P&P.  The Certificate is an official ‘Certified Copy of a Factory Record’ showing the car’s specification as it left the production line. Details are taken from the original production records created by many of the leading British motor manufacturers.  Dates, in order to get delivery before Christmas, are 1 December for UK first class or 24 November for the USA, Canada, and EU & Western Europe.

    The Museum’s online shop also stocks a range of motoring gifts from DVDs featuring marque specific archive footage including Triumph, Austin Healey, BMC, Mini and many more - to novelty motoring themed items. If pictures are a more suitable gift then choose from thousands of British Motor Industry Heritage Trust archive photos using the online picture library – www.motorgraphs.com. Available as a framed print, canvas or collage, you will find a wide variety of attractive historical images featuring famous marques  such as Austin Healey, Triumph, MG, Rover, Land Rover, Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley. There are also attractive advertising posters and colourful scenic pictures from the 1950s to the 1980s.

     

    To find out more about the British Motor Museum and gift ideas please visit www.shop.britishmotormuseum.co.uk. For more details on the Heritage Certificates including a full list and date range of cars that can be provided visit www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/archive/heritage-certificates