|My new bike. Photo courtesy Florence Joffre|
In the end I bought a new Honda 500 CBF in stylish grey and pale bronze. I had wanted the version in fluo yellow but it was produced in 2017/2018 and all the second-hand bikes available were located in the north of France. A bit tricky to deal with, and the price used was not so different from the price new once you'd added the cost of getting it.
The photo is is of me on my birthday, on my new bike. As you can see, I look very chipper. It not only looks good, it's great fun to ride. The biggest difference is being able to keep up easily with my biker buddies while out on rides. I'm no longer flat out going up hills, I can just sail up with a little touch of accelerator.
A couple of weeks ago, I met up with my WIMA / WRWR buddies and we spent the weekend in Haute Loire. I rode a total of 707 km over the three days. We stayed at a "relais motard" which are biker-friendly hotels. Some are better than others. The Hotel Rives de l'Allier is definitely one of the better ones. Owned and run by a biker couple, it has everything the travelling biker needs - video-surveillance in the ample car-park, couple of garages for bad weather, a workshop, comfy beds and delicious food, and very good value for money.
|Wet weather gear fashion parade|
|Clyde - my bike is called Bonnie|
|Viaduc de Garabit|
|A horse, a horse...|
When I'm not going off on a biker weekend, I'll be going for local rides with local biker buddies. You wouldn't believe how many biker groups there are around here. Most can be found on Facebook, and many get together regularly to ride together for the day or less. Recently I enjoyed a ride along the Gorges de la Vis, with a stop at the St Laurent le Minier waterfall which looked very atmospheric with its autumn colours and soft lighting.
|St Laurent le Minier waterfall looking very autumnal and mysterious|
If I'm not riding, I may well be joining in events with the FFMC34. Most recently we did the Relais Calmos for bikers going to and coming back from the Bol d'Or. We had a very merry time and met lots of bikers who were very grateful to take a break with coffee and snacks available.
|Guess which is me|
My bike license is provisional for two years. After then, I can do a day's training in order to obtain the full biker license. Currently I'm limited to a bike of no more than 47.5 HP. If I do the training in two years' time, I'll be able to ride any bike. The sky's the limit!