Sunday, 11 April 2010

Fundraising for The Royal British Legion

Nearly 3 years ago, I took part in a John O'Groats to Land's End motorbike run to raise money for Cancer Research. That was 1046 miles, completed over 3 days, without using any Motorways.

This year, I've decided to do something a little different - on behalf of the Royal British Legion, I will be taking part in a 1000 miles in 24 Hours endurance ride in aid of their Poppy Appeal. This will take place over the weekend of 19/20 June, 2010.

The event site is here

Shamelessly, here's plug for my donation site...  

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Betty's Lost The Horn

When I bought Betty (my RF900, do keep up...) she had a nice pair of compressor-fed air horns, fixed behind the number-plate. But after having to replace the compressor 3 times in the last 4 years, I decided to look for something else...

I found a pair of electric air-horns, similar to the 'snail-shell' type, and went for them not least because they cost the princely sum of £4 off e-bay, but also because a few mates on had already fitted them.

The fuel tank came off, and I fiddled, cursed, and forced them into place, bolted to the coil mounting points above the engine. Had to supply my own wiring, but that was reclaimed from the existing set-up - oh, and I changed the plugs while I was there too.

Result. They sound great, louder than the compressor type, and have a really deep noise. They certainly make sure that drivers are aware I'm actually already occupying the 2 metres of road they're trying to squeeze their 4x4 into...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Chris Hughes - has he gone?

Apologies guys - it appears that the M*rr*r has censored itself and removed the offending article written by that complete and utter idiot Chris Hughes, that i had linked to in my previous post. How I wish I'd kept a copy of it now...

Why have they done this - not through any sense of apology I bet, more case of damage limitation - hopefully its too late and he and his motley crew get what they deserve.

Chris Hughes - Daily Mirror

I've just read the most appalling piece of suicidal journalism... make your own mind up, I'm seething! 

Monday, 8 March 2010

1st main ride of the year

After enduring some cold mornings and evenings commuting on the bike (though it  is staying lighter for longer - bonus!), I went out yesterday on an even colder morning (-2 degrees) to join a Trainee Observer selection course for the Notts Advanced Motorcyclists.

This consisted of me being grouped with 2 Senior Observers, and first of all I had to follow the lead rider for about 15 miles at a close enough distance to see what he was doing, and get into positions to see past him whilst remaining safe. The other guy was keeping an eye on me...

Then I had to lead the group back to base, demonstrating qualities I had learned on my Advanced course last year... all the time wishing I'd spent little more time revising.

Back at base, I was de-briefed on my ride, and a high point was being told that the other two had been watching my progress in lining up a vehicle for a pass on some twisty roads, and had actually done what they said I should be doing at the exact same time! I then had to demonstrate to my group the 'Advanced' way to tackle a  roundabout, using a wipe-clean chart and marker pen, and talk through the Advanced mantra -
"Information / Position / Speed / Gear / Acceleration" and how it would affect vehicles using the roundabout.

At the end, I was told I had passed this little induction, and would be commencing the training course in the near future - really looking forward to this!      

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The End Of The Beginning Of The Rest Of The Year

Today marks the end of my 'Birthday Week', which began last Friday (so, a week and a bit really). I've had 2 brilliant weekends with a big party on one and a small gathering on the other with my friends. In between was a Chinese New Year celebration, complete with Dancing Dragon and musicians and fireworks.

Also today was supposed to be my first rideout of the year, with our SOC group to Monsal Head - but the heavy overnight snowfall put paid to that; the rest of the year is going to have to wait a little longer.     

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Title? What Title?

I had 2 musical flashes of inspiration for this blog...
  1. John Denver's "Leavin On A Jet Plane" and
  2. Genesis' "Land Of Confusion" 
 No idea why the John Denver song popped in there, but I was a big fan of Genesis back in the day...

Anyway, I'm off on Friday for a week in Allen, TX (just north of Dallas) - though its mostly work unfortunately. Sat & Sun I get to roam around on my own, before start a gruelling week at work on Monday - though the work will be followed each evening by a relaxing drink or two with my American colleagues, and there'll be one or two Brits out there too.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Back To Normality

Well, I've had a full week of commuting to work on the bike, rather than the various walking, trains and buses I've had to endure in the past few weeks because of the unseasonal (well we dont normally get snow for days on end here) weather.

Dont get me wrong, I love the snow - and its been absolutely great to see our dogs playing in the snow. On bad days, I even had to work from home and that meant I could take a proper lunch break and walk the dogs in the local country park in the daylight rather than in the dark when I usually get home.

There were some obviously senseless people out who simply had to drive, and suffered minor collisions as cars slid into each other or off roads completely - glad I was out of that situation!

The other bad thing was the numerous reports of people falling through ice on lakes and ponds - why do they even think its a good idea to try?

I took these photographs at the lake near me - one day across the lake from me, I saw one lad trying to 'impress' his mates by doing press-ups... thankfully the only thing that went into the water were the ducks, gulls and swans - one corner was ice-free.