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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    Thanks my friend - I'm really glad I didn't bottle it. A life lesson, in fact!
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    LOVED your Day 2 report and all the wonderful photos, @learningtofly! I laughed my arse off (no pun intended) at your "Number Two Crisis" comment. :joy: And though I really like each and every photo you shared, I particularly like the one of Amy Johnson--both for the her and the history but also for how you composed the photo. Looking forward to Day 3! :grinning::heart:
     
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  3. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    #23 learningtofly, Oct 11, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
    Oh, thanks Sandi. I have to tell you, though, that the Amy Johnson photo was (the only one that I) lifted from the Internet as I forgot to take one myself. I'd better mention that...

    Oh, and there's more of day 2 to come!
     
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  4. learningtofly

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

    I hung around in Herne Bay for two or three hours, desperately resisting the urge for a fish and chip lunch as I watched a constant stream of human life entering the public conveniences and leaving a worrying time later. Not for me, so I saddled up again and headed a bit further around the north Kent coast to Margate.

    Now, Margate has been a significant maritime port since the Middle Ages, and was associated with Dover as part of the “Cinque Ports” (a historic group of coastal towns in Kent, Sussex and Essex) in the 15th century. It then became a popular place for holidaymakers in the 18th century, owing to easy access via the Thames and, later, with the arrival of the railways.

    During the late 20th century, the town went into decline along with other British seaside resorts, but attempts are now being made to revitalise the economy. I actually love the old seaside towns when they’re a little past their best (and particularly out of season, when they can have an almost eerie aura about them) and although Margate has a very different vibe to the far more affluent Whitstable I enjoyed spending a couple of hours there by the beach. I even found a little Spanish bar that served me a rather nice cortado!

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    Given that I had a relatively early dinner reservation in Whitstable I decided to head back to the cabin at around 4pm, and as I parked up a neighbour from a couple of doors down came running out the house to talk to me about the bike. Now, when I’d left home I’d been so focussed on tying down the roll bag that I completely forget to grab a small cross-body bag that I generally use to hold my disc lock, reminder cable, helmet lock, wallet, and one or two other essentials. Luckily I always put some cash and a debit card in my jacket pocket so I was able to get by with that and my iPhone for payment purposes; however, I was acutely aware that I couldn’t lock the bike (save for the steering lock), and it had been causing me a fair amount of angst.

    Fraser, my new mate, had clocked the absence of a lock on the disc and insisted on lending me one of his; he also asked so nicely if I’d like to share a beer or two in his garage that it would have been rude to say no. And what a garage it was too, with not only a couple of old Bonnies (one complete with sidecar) but an all-original and absolutely immaculate Kawasaki H2 from the early 70’s. What a bike, and what a great bloke he was too!

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    After a couple of large bottles of a very strong local beer I headed through my Airbnb hosts’ garden to get to the cabin and shower/change for dinner. I nearly made it, too, but was then collared by Paul and Mie, who detained me in their kitchen for another 30 minutes before I finally made a getaway – now very late for dinner. Even so, I walked the 25 minutes into town, enjoying the setting sun on Tankerton slopes en-route.

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    Now, dinner was at the Whitstable Oyster Company, and it was lovely… a huge bowl of moules marinière to start, followed by a dressed crab with double-cooked chips on the side (and lots of warm, home-made bread and butter). The problem was, I also had a large G&T to start the ball rolling followed by a half bottle of Pouilly Fume, and I’m not really much of a drinker. On top of the beers from earlier I found myself getting unwittingly pissed, and once again I forgot to take a photo of my dinner!!! I did manage to take one more photo as I left the restaurant, and then stumbled home along the coastal path, using my phone to illuminate the way and – in my semi-drunken state – not caring a jot that it was pitch black and completely deserted the whole way home.

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    Thankfully, I made it home without incident! It was another unusually early night, too (although I did wake up in the early hours, if only to get my PJ’s on :D)!
     
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  5. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

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    Looks like you had a great second half to your day…. Nice write up and pictures.
     
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  6. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Yes, it was a good day, thanks.
     
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  7. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Funny! But I loved the ones that you, too! Keep 'em coming. I do find it helpful to be able to include a few internet photos on my threads since the guys I ride with have little interest in roadside stops so that I can snap pics. ;):joy: Maybe one of these days I'll plan a solo trip. Hmmm, nah. I can't see going without Mr. Sandi.:heart:
     
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  8. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Oh my goodness, @learningtofly! I really enjoyed today's edition of your trip report. The seaside descriptions and photos were marvelous. And I loved what transpired with Fraser. Nothing like motorcycles to bring people together! :heart: No worries on not snapping a photo of your dinner--your description of your drinking escapades more than made up for it. :joy:
     
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  9. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Yes, Fraser was a gent, and what a garage of bikes he had! So nice of him to lend me the disc lock, and get me slightly pissed before dinner :blush:
     
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  10. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Day 3

    On to day 3, then – my plan was to mooch around in Whitstable for the morning; go back to the cabin to get my gear packed up and on the bike again; bid farewell to Paul and Mie, my Airbnb hosts; and then head east, working my way around the coast through Broadstairs and Ramsgate before finally heading back up to the M2 and making my way home.

    I headed off at about 9.30, and whilst it was bright there was a mist coming in off the sea. Being Sunday, it was pretty quiet too, so all in all a nice tranquil start to the day.

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    Errrr…

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    I haven’t mentioned the huts on Tankerton Slopes before, or much about the Slopes themselves. To put that right, this is lifted from Wikipedia…

    “Tankerton Slopes is a 2.3-hectare (5.7-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Whitstable in Kent. It is part of the Tankerton Slopes and Swalecliffe Special Area of Conservation. This north facing slope has a population of tall herbs, including the largest population in Britain of hog’s fennel, a nationally rare umbellifer. Fauna include agonopterix putridella, a nationally rare moth whose larvae feed exclusively on hog's fennel.

    There is access to the site from Tankerton Beach. The height of Tankerton slopes vary across the site, but are approximately 50 feet (15 metres) high when measured from the promenade or 66 feet (20 metres) in elevation from sea level. The bottom of the slope are fronted by Beach huts and have a promenade that runs from Whitstable to Swalecliffe and that is popular with dog walkers and cyclists.”


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    I was bloody starving by the time I got to Whitstable, and the town was literally just beginning to open up for Sunday trading. I found a lovely little café called Elliotts on Harbour Street, although it doesn’t appear to have a website I can link to.

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    Shame, because breakfast was amazing – in keeping with my aforementioned waste management strategy I had avocado, poached egg and smoked salmon on sourdough toast. It was absolutely delicious, and I washed it down with a nice strong coffee… I even managed to capture its disrespectfully quick demolition for eternity!

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    (Day 3 to be continued…)
     
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  11. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    #31 learningtofly, Oct 11, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    Day 3 continued

    Whitstable town centre is lovely, full of quaint little shops you won’t find anywhere else and with a feel about it of times gone by. That said, not a lot was open so I decided to walk down by the beach for a while before heading back to the cabin to pack. In fact, I think I must have walked about 5 miles in all, including the couple of miles to and from the town centre. Anyway, here are a few more photos, as I do love the place and can’t recommend it highly enough.

    The local hostelry – normally very busy and the local’s hangout…

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    I found this woman painting on the beach… you can see the private oyster beds for which Whitstable is famous (in fact, I had my very first oyster in Whitstable many moons ago, dragged out of the sea and sold there and then to anyone on the beach who fancied one)…

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    The Harbour Market, by now bustling with life…

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    And the Oyster Shed – a place I know well from previous visits, and where many a plate of seafood has been consumed, along with copious amounts of wine…

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    With Whitstable well and truly done I headed back to Tankerton. In fact, I watched about an hour of Netflix (anyone else watching Maid?) and then packed everything carefully into the roll bag, this time taking care to do so as neatly as possible in order that I could actually roll it before tying it to the bike. Once packed I had a quick check that nothing had been left, opened the door, and…

    :mad:

    It was pissing down!!! Not just a light drizzle, but proper rain, and it completely put paid to my plans for the afternoon. In fact, given that I had no idea when it was going to stop and I needed to vacate the cabin, all I could do was load the bike up and head straight back home. It was so annoying, but hindsight proved it was the right decision as it continued to rain there through the rest of the afternoon. Conversely, half an hour into my 90-minute journey home and it was bright sunshine again.

    Despite the loss of Sunday afternoon, I have to say that I had a great break. The cabin was perfect, the weather was until that point gorgeous, I had lots of nice food and my Airbnb hosts were friendly and welcoming. More importantly, the bike was an absolute dream, and the more I get used to it – I’ve done 1,100 miles now in about 5 weeks – the more comfortable I am with its size and weight distribution. It was the right decision to change, and I see the Tiger being a long-term keeper. Mind you, I may have said that once or twice before :)

    On that note I’m going to call it a day… I’d like to say that I’ve quit whilst I’m ahead but I fear that might be something of an exaggeration. However, if you’re still reading, and I’ve not bored you to tears, then my job here is well and truly done!

    Oh, and thanks to everyone who said "on yer bike" - you were right!
     
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  12. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

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    Thanks for sharing your trip, enjoyed the narrative and pictures :):)
     
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  13. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks for hanging in there, you’ve certainly got staying power :p
     
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  14. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
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    Got to say that that was a cracking ride, and report you've done there. Great that it all went well for you. Brilliant too that in October you still managed to do a nice tour.
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  15. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks mate. It was a bit chancy given the time of year, but I was very lucky in the end (and I was keeping an eye on the weather anyway). Shame I missed an entire afternoon of riding, though.
     
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  16. andypandy

    andypandy Elite Member

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    Well I did say "FFS Just go". :D
    Glad you enjoyed it.
     
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  17. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    You did indeed! Thanks matey - appreciated.
     
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  18. Dougie D

    Dougie D Crème de la Crème

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    Great report, it's a part of the country I've never been too so it was interesting to see the photos and learn a bit about the place
     
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  19. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member
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    Great report and narrative - I enjoyed that. Good pictures too. It's just great to be able to travel on your own. I massively enjoyed my last trip like that.
     
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  20. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
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    Thanks, and agreed - Kent is lovely, and that was just a small part of it.
     
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