I have done nothing to my bike, despite the ring terminals I needed arriving a week ago. I have just lacked the motivation and the weather has been such that you never know whether it will rain, bright sunshine, or somewhere in between.
The government sent me an MOT reminder, with a link asking for my comments on the service (of them just sending a text message) so I gave them an angry response about the government asking me to do something against its own advice.
The seven-day average is around 400 deaths per day at the moment, so I think I will wait before sorting out an MOT even if it means I cannot ride for a while. Although the current restrictions are supposed to end on December 2nd, I have no confidence to say they will not be replaced by something similar, if not extended. The priority seems to be to save Christmas, so the plan will be to get all the levels as low as possible before mid-December. But because of that I do not even want to book anything now until I know I will be able to attend.
Instead I have been working on my route planning site. Many years ago I just wanted to be able to make GPX files for routes I designed, by just placing markers on a map. At the time everything was more geared to entering a start, finish location with waypoints for stops. So I made my own planner using Google's APIs to calculate the route between the markers. It has never been anywhere near suitable to let other people use it, and because it works for my needs I never do anything about it completing it. Unless I run into a problem and feel I need to fix it or add a feature. So that has become my second lockdown project, fitting an undo/redo system to it.
And better to be doing that than planning routes when I cannot ride. I still have ones I made last year that I never got to do this summer. It is so strange to think it is only about a month to the shortest day of the year. Especially after buying lights to, hopefully, allow me to ride in the dark but still not having fitted them. The sun will not rise until after 8am and will set before 4pm, so without them that does not leave much riding time for a good day out. I much prefer ones where I can set off at 5am and not getting home until nearer 10 pm.
I was thinking about getting a GPS, but it's a mental exercise to look at Google Maps on the phone before taking a 300+ mile trip or so and memorize the route. Otherwise I have the 'Itchy boots' mentality, "off we go" and see what happens, a little bit pre-planning but the journey itself is the fun.
It depends on the type of route and the area you are riding. I can still get easily lost with one because there are plenty of B roads where in a village you have to turn off down random residential streets that may not be clearly signed, but even with the verbal instruction it is not obvious which street you are supposed to take. Even more major A roads there are places you need you to know where to turn off to stay on that route and which can be easily missed.
When I was firstly learning to ride I rode around local streets in my neighbourhood in London early on weekend mornings. To make that interesting I started planning to ride on different numbered roads and cross them off as I road them. As I gradually extended farther out I kept doing that, and so that just became a hobby in its own right. So now planning my trips are as much about adding new roads as it is we I end up to spend time off the bike.
The nature of British roads and the way I plan my trips it would be impossible to remember a whole route.
These is my map for checking off the numbered roads I have ridden on, either on a day trip or visiting my dad. The coloured ones have been completed in at least one direction (and at most two directions, as we have to obey the laws of physics) and the black ones I have only ridden parts of. The colours are arbitrary to represent the numbered zones. There are very few roads I have not ridden in the 2 zone (light blue) as it is both nearest to me in south London, and it is the only one physically possible to complete in day trips from here.
Some of the places here in California are also bewildering, I must confess I drove across most of Sacramento last Saturday with no GPS to a point where I had to stop and re-assign where I was with my iPhone and direct myself to hwy 160. But then again no preplanned route and it worked just fine. Each are different. I rather enjoy the ride than worry about routes myself.
I finally got around to making a cable for the accessories directly wired to the battery: top box, alarm, and pillion seat 12V socket. It has tided things up a lot under the seat. Not great, but nothing stretched over the battery etc. now.
I still need to sort out the wiring for fitting the auxiliary lights and switches. That will require two mini relays, which will fit on the right side of the photo, opposite the one to the left. Part of doing that will also to attach the cable for the heated gloves (the one dangling off the bike to the right of the photo) to the switched output from the relay rather than being directly wired to the battery.
So now I need to work out how to wire up the relay blocks to work the way I want, which is the annoying fiddly part. Which is why I took the photo, so I can see what space i have and work out where all the extra cable can go.
I also tried attaching the straps for the smaller air cushion, but struggled to find a suitable way of keeping them in position with the cushion removed. It needs a piece of elastic between the clips across the top of the seat to stop the straps 'pinging' under the seat. I did that with the old ones, but it left a know in the middle of the seat, but I want to keep it flat so you can ride comfortably without the cushion when only making short trips in town.
Nothing I tired while outside worked. but I think I have come up with something now. However it is too dark to go out and measure and check it, so it will wait until I am ready to complete the wiring work.
It was nice to visit the bike again, though! The government should be announcing its post-lockdown and Christmas plans tomorrow, so hopefully after that I will know for when and if I will be able to book a service and MOT.
One day before the lockdown ends the government have finally emailed me to explain what the new rules will be. Which made me realize, as of midnight it will be illegal for me to ride my bike until it passes its physical.
The new rules are: Unlike the guidance that has been in place since 5 November, we are no longer advising you to stay away from work or school. However, you should continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to reduce the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing.
So I better get an MOT and service booked as there is no reason not to. Although I have decided to stay at home for Christmas rather than visit family, despite a slight exception to the rules that will allow three households to stay together for the Christmas period. So depending on the weather I may not even ride my bike in December anyway, legal or not.
But it would be a shame if I am unable to make my now annual New Year's Day ride to Lulworth Cove. Although if the weather is okay that can be busy, so maybe best to skip it anyway but this year it was damp.