So let’s start by saying I’am a Newbie to motorbike’s, I ride a 125cc Mutt Motorcycle and having only obtained my license in March this year I’ve decided to stick to riding a 125 for the time being as it suits my needs and I can get pretty much anywhere I want to just by choosing the right roads.
After going on a hand full of ride outs with various groups (one of which being the weekly ride), I decided to create my own ride out for learner riders just like me, with the hope that some more experienced riders might just fancy tagging along for the day, so us newbies can pick their brains, and develop our riding skills further. Gain confidence and make new friends along the way.
My wife is fed up with me moping around the house, making it look untidy, so she’s happy I’m out. So it’s a win win.
Not having hosted a ride out before I took the time to watch Eamonn’s ride guide video which is full of tips and advice. I decided to start my ride from the Tea hut at High Beach as it’s my closest place where bikers meet and as we have been having such gorgeous weather I thought let’s go to the seaside for some fresh fish and chips and chose Southend-on-Sea.
I spent an evening at home planing my route using only B roads and single carriageways, and avoiding any major A roads not to mention the fast and furious Motorways where L plates are forbidden. I pre-installed all the necessary waypoints in to my new navigator and started to feel more and more comfortable about being the host for the first time.
Now it was time to commit myself and post my ride on the website to see if there was any interest in my event or was I going alone, then bing, bing, bing I got 3 riders who were waiting for just the very thing and I now had a ride organised.
So with excitement I waited for Saturday to arrive, I had arranged to meet up at 11:00am for coffee but decided to get there a little earlier so I could look out for the bikes as they arrive and all I knew I was looking for was two other Mutt riders who I had not met before and an AJS with a very loud exhaust.
One by one the bikes turned up including a guy on a Suzuki sports bike (we now had our sweeper) and we had some coffee and a chat about our bikes and experiences, discussed the day ahead of us and of course the route, then a friend of mine made a surprise appearance also on a Mutt and it was now time to ride.
We departed High Beach and started to head towards Theydon Bois, when my new navigator ever so politely ask me to perform a u-turn, so in return I politely ignored her and carried on as I knew the local roads and thought she would re-route the trip, but no such luck I had missed a waypoint and now unless I returned to it I would have to find my own way. I winged it for a bit then started to get a little lost, by this time we had been riding for almost an hour, luckily for me in the distance I spotted a pub and thought time for some lemonade and a chance to sort out the navigation errors.
The Bell and Chimes pub at Rettington Common was most welcoming to our loud pipes and the landlord even came out to admire the bikes. Once we had made ourself comfortable I confessed that I had been lost for the last 20 minutes and that Rettington Common was not on my route, but no one cared, after all we were riding some lovely roads and found a very nice pub.
Once back on the road and with my navigator back in business we were on route for our destination and some lunch. The country roads were becoming more and more urban and once we passed through Rayleigh it was time to head south for the coast, a nice sea breeze was most welcome as it was a very hot day especially with all the bikers gear on, we rode down the main strip and many heads were turning to admire our bikes and other bikers were giving us the nod.
We parked ourselves up at the Ye Olde Fish and Chip shop, while enjoying the fish and chips we had just rode fifty miles for we got chatting some more and realised that none of us were in any rush to go home, so back on the bikes for a short ride to the quieter East Beech for ice cream and some relaxation in the sun. After 30 minutes had past I came to the conclusion that sunbathing in Kevlar jeans was not going to improve the colour of my legs, and on that note it’s time to start the return journey.
Taking the same route out of Southend-on-Sea and into Rayleigh we made our way to a beautiful little place called Ramsden Heath where on my last ride we found a lovely pub called The White Horse and one I wanted to visit again, so more lemonade and more admirers, well it’s hard to arrive anywhere un-noticed with three Mutts roaring away and an even louder AJS.
Now that our final leg of the ride dawned upon us, my friend Kevo asked to lead the way back to High Beach, green country lanes all the way and he picked the roads with the most twists and turns. The last time we rode this route he would leave me behind on the bends and my little Mutt would have to work extra hard on the straights to keep up with him, but this time I promise myself I would keep up, I think the words “last one back to the Kings Oak buys a round” was enough for me to do my best and taking he’s advice form the last time we rode together I did just that, I was right behind him all the way and my Mutt did everything I asked of her.
The King Oak pub High Beach was our final destination so no more lemonade for me, and I celebrated my first ride out as host with a nice cold beer, chatted some more with the new friends I had made and then said our farewells upon heading off home.
I know I had a really good day, I left home at 10:00 that morning and never returned until 8:20 not once did I look at my watch, and that made my ride out “Timeless”
There’s two things I will do differently next time.
1, Phone my wife and let her know I’ll be home later then planed.
2, Never miss a Waypoint.