Friend and fellow blogger Ian Solley, of 7 Ages Custom Motorcycles and I went for a ride on our custom motorbikes on Thursday. Ian is a custom bike builder extraordinaire, as he mainly builds bikes for fun and he currently has 6 of them!
We decided to meet at 10.30am in Greenwich. Founded by King Charles II and built in 1675, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World, making it the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium. As time is started there, it seemed like an ideal location for Ian and myself to start our motorcycle ride.
I live just north of London but Greenwich is way over in East London. I had allowed plenty of time to get there, but I was late. London traffic is unpredictable, but predictably it all seemed to be in the same place as me. Combined with the fact that I wasn’t exactly sure where the entrance to the Observatory was and I misjudged its location badly, meant I arrived late. However, as I rode along the Observatory's tree lined avenue, there was Ian - smiling and waiting for me.
Ian had bought one of his latest bikes, called Hamlet. It is a striking light blue bike rigid-framed bike with a Harley-Davidson engine, originally from a Street Bob. It has an S&S carb and the frame and all the sheet metal are to a one-off design. The exhaust pipes are wrapped and having ridden next to it, I can personally vouch for their volume!
The picture above shows the bikes in front of a statue of General Wolfe who commanded the British forces at Quebec against the French and won a great victory, at the cost of his life. The statue was erected in 1930 and bears the inscription “This monument, a gift of the Canadian people, was unveiled by the Marquis de Montcalm”. History lesson over.
Here are some more pictures of the Royal Observatory....
The bikes on the tree-lined avenue
Part of the observatory
General Wolfe looking out over London
The bikes draw some interest
The view over London with the National Maritime Museum at the bottom of the hill and Canary Wharf in the background
The weather was unseasonably warm – it fact it was a corker of a day – slightly chilly at first but then warm with bright blue skies all day. We had a fantastic ride – no rush, no time to get anywhere, just two guys out riding their bikes. We stopped at Warrs, the Harley-Davidson dealer in Chelsea before eating at a Spanish restaurant just around the corner.
Here is a video we took of the ride .....
As you can see, we tried the camera in many different positions and this was using a new recently acquired mounting clamp. I will write more on this blog soon comparing the different types of mounting clamp available.
Ian in the restuarant
Thanks Ian for a brilliant day out, and for lunch!
You might see some more of Ian and one of his bikes on this blog in the near future – we are both going to the 2010 Harley-Davidson Euro Festival in St Tropez, southern France and no doubt I will be doing a posting or two about that trip.
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