Sunday, December 23, 2012

Royal Enfield Bikers International in Google+

I've started a Google+ community called Royal Enfield Bikers International. There are only a few of us in it but it may eventually grow. I like Google+ more than Facebook or Twitter for meeting and sharing common interests with other people.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

To Seville and Back in 1200 km

This weekend two of us rode our Royal Enfield 500cc bullets from Madrid to Seville. The excuse was an invitation to a Royal Enfield biker lunch from Ángel and Eva at Al Andalus Choppers.

The weather was ominous: rain, wind, fog. But the route was interesting and the destination even better. We made it as far as Córdoba where we spent the night and pushed onto Seville on Saturday morning.

Our first stop to stretch our legs was at a cool castle was rode by in Orgaz, south of Toledo. Castles in Spain are great!

The Bullets seeking shelter

The storm gathers
The Red Bullet shines forth

Javier Ortiz's classic black bullet

A Spanish restaurant in Puertollano
Javier regretted eating so much later.

I can't resist breakfast buffets.

To get out of Córdoba I used my TomTom app on the iPhone. Unfortunately some moisture got in and fogged up the lens of the front camera, so I could only take pictures using the smaller back lens until it dried by the next day.

That creepy feeling you're being watched.
We got to Seville soaked but not chilled (it was 18ºC out). Checked into the Hostal El Madero, in Camas, and trotted off to the bike shop to meet some of the gang and go out for an "aperitivo" at a bar up the street.
 The bar was actually really good. We sipped "mostito", a light white young wine served in earthenware pitchers and tiny glasses. We munched a variety of local cold cuts, pork chicharrones, and bright green Spanish olives.

Many Meetings

Back to Al Andalus Choppers for the lunch party.

It was nice to meet up with so many Enfielders. We're an odd bunch,  but all with hearts of gold.Eva's mother made tons of "garbanzada": chickpeas stewed in broth, and the "pringá" served separately. Pringá is heavenly on bread.

On Sunday morning we had a long leisurely breakfast at Venta El Curro, chatting with Eva and Ángel about business.

Ángel was kind enough to take us on a ride through the old streets of Seville--an incredible experience on a classic bike. The 5 senses are the beauty of the city.

La Giralda. Seville

The Archbishop's Palace

The Cathedral

We rode back on the back roads to Madrid, and did some unscheduled exploration of the hills and mountains around Guadalupe. The winding back roads there are EXCELLENT for bikers. We will return!

The only photo I took as of a perfect light lunch for bikers: fried egg, home-made fried potatoes and grilled pork loin. Yes, and mayo.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Al-Andalus Choppers

"It's those biker friends of his that lead him astray. He used to be such a nice young man, too!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weather Daemons

Sunny all month but this weekend looks rainy. The yearly Royal Enfield Christmas lunch at Al Andalus Choppers will get some rain, as will those of us riding down on Friday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pirelli MT66 Route Cruiser Tire

Friday night, at as usual: hanging out with the ones my colleague Chantal calls "the old farts" at the motorcycle shop (I'd like to object to the term but it's really not all that far off the mark).
Rober was there looking when I pull up and park.
"Man, that back tire is bald as an eagle" He whistled and shook his head.
My eyebrows shot up. "That's the one I changed last summer--it was fine just a few months ago"
"How many kilometers ago?" he asks.
I do some quick calculation. Oh, dear. "About 10,000 or so".

Late that night, we said farewell and everyone rode off, me last. Of course. About 300 meters away I notice the bike wanted to turn without me turning it. Like a Ouija board on drugs. Stop. Look.
Sure enough, it was flat as a pancake.
I was able to push it uphill back to Emilio's shop and locked it up out front. Tomorrow would be another day.

When I got there the next morning, the old farts laughed and said someone had stolen my rear tire. Knowing it was a joke, I was pleased Emilio had already removed the wheel. Pedro Gómez smartly decided to pay close attention to the process, since we might be needing that skill when in Morocco next spring.

Guillermo "GatoLoco" was there to get some more oil and tighten a bolt on his old carburetor Classic. He bemoaned that his bike burned through oil fast. Speaking of which, time to check mine. The guys came over and looked at the gauge as I tilted the bike. Nothing. Maybe half a liter max.

Result: a new rear tire: Pirelli MT Route Cruiser 110/90 - 19 M/C 62H TL front tire (I use it on the rear). The reviews from users are good and it's supposed to grip well in water, which fits my needs. I'd rather have to buy tires more often and have good grip all the time than save money and risk it in the rain.

He also added more oil--a total of 2 liters, which means it was dangerously dry down there. That was not so good.
But now the Balita Roja is oiled, waxed and polished and has a nice new wheel, getting ready for the ride to Seville on the 14th-16 of December.