Featured Touring A Taste Of Kent On The New Tiger

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by learningtofly, Oct 10, 2021.

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  1. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    #1 learningtofly, Oct 10, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
    Day 1

    Okay, this isn’t going to be a Sandi-esque epic about some breathtaking tour that most of us only dream about. No, this is a few photos (plus a bit of a narrative) from the first proper trip I’ve taken on my new Tiger 900 GT Pro. I chopped my TTR in for this bike so I could get about a little bit more, and – without meaning to post a spoiler right at the start – it seems to have been a very good idea indeed.

    The ride from my house in Hertfordshire was about 85 miles door to door, and the bike just ate up the distance for breakfast. There wasn’t a moment that I was uncomfortable, and even better I found a petrol station with all pumps working with about 25 miles to go, so was able to fill up and thereafter relax.

    I had all my gear for the weekend stuffed into a Triumph 40L roll bag, and whilst it was fine I did learn that if you’re using a roll bag it needs to be able to be rolled to tie it down effectively. I've always been an over-packer, and this proved to be no exception! (I got it right on the way back through judicious folding and squashing, but on the outward journey used a couple of bungee cords just to be sure.)

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    Just to add, I'd had an ACF-50 treatment and ceramic coating applied first thing in the morning, and as it had needed to be cleaned first as well the beast was looking at its sparkling best!

    Anyway, I booked a little cabin by the sea through Airbnb, situated in Tankerton - about a 25-minute walk from Whitstable Harbour. It was actually in the hosts’ back garden, and I have to say it was absolutely lovely. Here’s a few shots, although I spared you the bathroom… spotlessly clean, very nicely furnished and full of little treats to make guests feel at home right from the start. I loved it!

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    I didn’t get there until mid-afternoon, so I had a bit of a rest and then decided to take a walk into Whitstable along the coast path. This was pretty much at the end of the road in which I was staying, and it was one of the reasons I chose the cabin.

    The end of the street…

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    And the walk into Whitstable…

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    I got to Whitstable just in time to enjoy the setting sun, and it was still warm – about 16/17 degrees – so worth having a bit of a gander.

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    I’d booked dinner at a little place called the Harbour Garden Café. It was nice enough, and I had a lovely plate of Lobster Mac & Cheese (two things I love) washed down with a local beer or two. I actually forgot to take a photo of my dinner – see, I’m really not in the same league as Sandi – but I took a slow stroll back afterwards and fell asleep at an embarrassingly early hour!

    Day 2 to follow, for those with a strong constitution :)
     
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  2. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
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    Love the colour of your Tiger, for me it's the best colour, apologies to other people who don't have the red colour.
     
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  3. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks. It’s growing on me, although I actually wanted black. Saved myself £600 and a three month wait by going with their stock bike, though.
     
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  4. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    I'm so glad that the trip that you have felt rather fretful about has thus far turned out to be smooth sailing, @learningtofly! What terrific photos and narrative of your first day. :) Your little cabin is wonderful and those photos of the sea make me jealous. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's report. :grinning: BTW, your bike looks absolutely fabulous! :heart_eyes:

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  5. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks Sandi - praise indeed, coming as it does from the Queen of the Tour. I’m actually home now, and will carry on as soon as I have some time!
     
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  6. Dartplayer

    Dartplayer Crème de la Crème

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    Great pix @learningtofly and I think the commentary was detailed and comical
     
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  7. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

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    Nice first day storyboard mate. :):)
     
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  8. Armando Morales

    Armando Morales Well-Known Member

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    Nice !!
    I might get one of those bags
     
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  9. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Much appreciated, thanks :)
     
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  10. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks very much. It’s all downhill from here o_O
     
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  11. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    It’s a great bag, actually. I just overfilled it a bit, but for a normal person it would be just the job!
     
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  12. DCS900

    DCS900 Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
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    Nice write up so far!
    Interest piqued… hope that’s just a self deprecation statement and you haven’t had some shitty luck…
     
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  13. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Cheers, and no, it’s all good. More a case of not wanting to bore the armoured jeans off everyone
     
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  14. DCS900

    DCS900 Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
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    It’s like tv fella, if it doesn’t hold attention, they just switch channels… but your compliments should encourage your effort!
     
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  15. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
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    Great to see you made it, I saw a tanker at a petrol station by Brumejum airport tonight so stuff's getting delivered;)
    Red's the fasterest colour and black is a PITA to keep clean so you chose the right colour, if not the right bike:p....I'll get my coat....
     
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  16. Markus

    Markus Noble Member
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    Great pictures and an interesting narration! I am looking forward to part two!
     
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  17. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    It was still a bit touch and go down there, with probably about a third of the petrol stations I saw closed or with their pumps disabled. It wasn't helped by the fact that my gauge was playing up for a while, giving fluctuating readings and even showing zero miles for a while until it reset itself.

    Anyway, I'm definitely not going down the "what bike should I have bought, then?" wormhole :p
     
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  18. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks matey, much appreciated.
     
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  19. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning!
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    You definitively made the right decision to make it! Nice weather, no petrol issue, lovely places, and really nice pictures. Well done.
     
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  20. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    #20 learningtofly, Oct 11, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
    Day 2

    Okay, having set the bar surprisingly high (in my terms, nobody else’s) for day 1, let’s see what I can muster up for day 2…

    I started the day reasonably early, and by 9am I was sitting outside the Seaview Café at the top of Tankerton Slopes, enjoying a sausage and bacon butty and looking out over the bay whilst soaking up some early morning rays (importantly, I realised that a heavy full English breakfast might have resulted in a Number Two Crisis later in the day, so I was resolute in resisting temptation and going for a lighter option).

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    After breakfast I hopped on the bike and made my way round the coast in glorious sunshine to Herne Bay. The town began as a small shipping community, receiving goods and passengers from London en-route to Canterbury and Dover. It rose to prominence as a seaside resort during the early 19th century after the building of the pier and promenade by a group of London investors, and reached its heyday in the late Victorian era.

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    Herne Bay is also known for being where Amy Johnson, the pilot famous for being the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, met her fate. On 5 January 1941, while flying an Airspeed Oxford for the ATA from Prestwick via RAF Squires Gate to RAF Kidlington near Oxford, Johnson went off course in adverse weather conditions. Reportedly out of fuel, she bailed out as her aircraft crashed into the Thames Estuary 12 miles from the coast. Her body was never recovered, and a brass statue in her honour stands proudly on the Herne Bay promenade. (This photo of the statue was nicked from the web as I forgot to take one myself!)

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    Having had a quick coffee I jumped back on the bike and headed round to the clock tower, where rumour had it the local bikers hung out on most weekends. Sure enough, there were a couple of dozen bikes there when I arrived, ranging from old Harleys to modern supersports. The beast didn’t seem out of place at all, and I spent an hour or so chatting with the locals before taking a walk up the jetty to enjoy just gazing out at the sea for a while and letting the stresses and strains of everyday life slip away.

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    (Day 2 to be continued…)
     
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