12 October 2019

FIM Meritum Award

Seems like a lifetime ago that I went to my 5th and final FIM Rally and earned my Meritum Award. 



11 October 2019

Press Release - MAG appeals to Anne Sacoolas "do the right thing"

The Motorcycle Action Group appeals to Anne Sacoolas: "do the right thing"

On 27th August 2019, the car being driven by Anne Sacoolas, wife of a US Diplomat, collided with a motorcycle being ridden by 19 year old Harry Dunn near to RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. The car was allegedly being driven on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision.    Tragically Harry died shortly after the collision.  Despite informing the police that she had no intention to do so, Sacoolas left the country before an application by Northamptonshire Police to the US Embassy to waive diplomatic immunity had been considered.

This story has been well covered in the media with Harry Dunn's parents appealing to Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to intervene.  The response from Donald Trump has infuriated many with its 
insensitivity.

There are a number of aspects to this story that MAG intends to address at a future point, but out of respect for Harry and his family and friends, we will await the final conclusion of this tragic event before making further comment.

MAG does, however, join many others in calling directly to Anne Sacoolas to do the right thing, return voluntarily to the United Kingdom and face fair and impartial due process.

MAG campaigns for justice for all motorcyclists who fall victim of accidents caused by the actions of other road users.



9 October 2019

Press Release - MAG members call out unworkable policy decisions at AGC

On Saturday 28th September, at their 45th Annual Group Conference (AGC), MAG members generated a strong and uncompromising message regarding what hey see as unworkable and unrealistic transport policies that are being promoted by politicians of all colours.

During the Conference, a series of proposals made by former MAG National Chairman, Neil Liversidge, were discussed and put to the vote.  All passed; most by an overwhelming majority.

The proposals progress and solidify MAG's position, which promotes freedom of choice in personal transport, and an integrated transport system that works for all members of society, the economy and the environment.

The position defined by these proposals rejects the proposed 2040 ban on the sale of internal combustion-powered vehicles, or any similar ban at any other date.  Promoting freedom of choice, the position rejects assumptions that electrification of the entire vehicle fleet in the UK is achievable.  It does, however, support electrification and improvement of an affordable public transport network, which will naturally encourage voluntary reductions in the use of private transport.  Finally, the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles on UK roads is opposed, due to the evidence suggesting that they will never be sufficiently safe on a road environment that must necessarily accommodate motorcyclists and cyclists without segregation.

A further resolution, brought by Life Member, Stephen Kearney, also reaffirmed the central role of motorcycles in MAG's vision, which promotes motorcycles as the most efficient and least polluting fossil fuel-powered transport mode.

Neil Liversidge said "We recognise that transport needs to change given the UK's dense population, but dictatorial measures such as banning ICE vehicles are not the way to do it. Put in a proper public transport system so people have a real choice, and let them keep their bikes and cars and way of life.  A lot is talked these days about respecting different cultures: well, we have a culture too and we demand that it is respected also. ICE vehicles have brought massive benefits to millions of people that electric vehicles will never realistically bring.

People have realised in the last few years that they have taken too much for too long from politicians who don't really represent them at all. This is the people pushing back… and it's only the beginning."

Speaking after the Conference, MAG Vice Chair, Andy Carrott, who chaired the event, said "This has been another very successful AGC, where MAG members from around the country came together to celebrate and recognise the work of the many volunteers that make MAG the effective organisation it is today. The meeting faced some tough questions, and there is never unanimity of views, but these resolutions were well debated from a range of perspectives. It was evident that members at the conference support an integrated transport network, with drivers and riders alike free to choose their transport mode (with both ICE and electric vehicles as part of the mix), without increased risk to vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists. The fact that we can hold these controversial discussions in such a respectful and balanced way gives great credit to our members and the organisation."

7 October 2019

#ARSBOU

Another sunny day at the Emirates.

We had expected a rainy cold day but in the end it was glorious. Unfortunately the game wasn't as good.

Arsenal dominated the first half but only had David Luiz' first Arsenal goal to show for it. 

Plenty of huff. Little puff in the end. 

Second half was Bournemouth on top. Both sides kept on huffing but neither looked like scoring.

Pierre Emerick Aubamayang struck a post in the dying seconds.

Three points in the bag. Up to third behind Liverpool and Manchester City.


5 October 2019

Wireless SD Card

Although I tried a similar idea some years ago I thought this was worth visiting.

The previous attempt involved using a "named" maker. That wasn't much of a success. Sandisk's support was totally shit.

Sell a product. Realise it is rubbish and then don't support it anymore.


So surely only an idiot would try again.

Well. Idiot or not I bought one. The unbranded Chinese version came in a few days from an English mailing point. 

It works pretty much the same as the WiFi in my Samsung compact camera. Power on and it broadcasts a wireless signal. 

Check the WiFi on the phone and choose the SDWiFi option and then open the app to copy the pix across to the phone or tablet. 



The card is actually an adapter and takes any size Micro SD card and I have a 128gb card in the slot. 

So far it works. 


3 October 2019

#ARSSTL

Tonight at The Emirates we entertain Standard Liege from Belgium in the Europa League.  

Their fans have been arriving all afternoon and as I sit in the office preparing this and getting ready to head up to the stadium, they are on the newly paved area outside Highbury and Islington Station singing and generally enjoying themselves. The drum is a little annoying though.  

As is usual the police presence is very light and they are keeping a watching brief.

Maybe a lesson to be learned from this instead of the almost Nazi tactics employed across Europe.

A few of them were a little naughty earlier as they let off fire crackers in the tube station at Kings Cross.

So let's have a good game and hopefully no surprises like the one our neighbours from nearby Middlesex got when they were on the receiving end of a 7-2 thrashing, at home, from Bayern Munich.

The starting eleven featured Bellerin returning from long term injury. Also starting were Tierney, signed from Celtic in the summer, and another returnee from injury Rob Holding. 

Also in that eleven were Martinelli, Willock and Nelson. Another trio of young and hungry players. 

Liège weren't very good. Goals from Martinelli (2), Willock and Dani Ceballos saw them off 4-0. 

Another good win. 

2 October 2019

Book Review: In the Name of the Father by Adam Croft

In the Name of the Father (Knight & Culverhouse Book 6)In the Name of the Father by Adam Croft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The usual fare from Adam and his pair of mismatched but oddly symbiotic coppers. A bit more personal detail added for curmudgeonly Jack though to open things a little.



View all my reviews

1 October 2019

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28 September 2019

Your review of Oxford Monster Disc Lock Ye... could not be posted to Amazon

Apparently being honest isn't good enough for Amazon


 
 
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★★★★   from Paul on 26 September 2019

Oops


The lock is pretty easy to use allied with the twirly cable (not supplied( reminds the idiot of an owner not to try and ride off with removing it. Sadly, Oxford don't include the twirly cable to connect lock to handlebar/brake lever.


So when a clown (I take a bow) rolls forward and the lock crunches against the fork leg the inevitable tumble takes place. This is of course not the lock's fault - it was mine.

So far I have used it on my driveway as well as away on trips away from home. It doubles up with a huge chain when in thee garage. As no scumbag has tried to nick the bike I can't attest to its theft deterrence. It won't stop the pro with a van and some scaffold polls from taking the bike, but I might stop the little shithead rolling it away.

After the aforementioned tumble, I was unable to unlock it. The lock mechanism had skewed in the lower body so the key wouldn't turn. Before I could panic a guy with a 1200GS Beemer and a massive toolkit came and smashed the bottom of the lock casing off. See pic. It is still usable though. I marked sturdiness down as a pair of mole grips took seconds to rip that bit off.


 
 
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25 September 2019

Product Review: Honor 9 Lite Dual SIM Smartphone

Tight bugger that I am. Why pay £1000 for a bloody phone.  All I do is read/send email, social media and internet.  I take some pictures.  The Honor by Huawei does all I need it to!

Oh yes, I sometimes read Kindle books.

The full Amazon Review - https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RWHLMJGTCHORK/

#ARSNOF

Typical.  With Bruv away on his Spanish MotoGP trip and Helen having a hospital appointment today, we decided not to go last night.

It was the Carabao Cup (aka the League Cup) third round and Arsenal at home to Nottingham Forest.  

Forest are currently languishing in the lower reaches of the Championship (second tier). A lowly existence from one of England's great clubs of the late 70's and early 80's, winning two European Cups under legendary manager Brian Clough.

What a mistake to let someone else sit in our seats. Arsenal making eleven changes from the Sunday side that beat Aston Villa 3-2.  A chance for some debutants and some returning from injury.

Arsenal, 4th in the Premership, winning 5-0. Yes.5-0.  

Damn and blast.

24 September 2019

Book Review: One Step from Glory: Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League Campaign 2018/19

A heartwarming tale of derring do that ends in abject failure. Plucky little Tottenham Hotspur, the small club from Middlesex unused to winning trophies,  against the leviathans of Europe.




22 September 2019

#ARSVIL

Phew. Another heart attack inducing game. 

After last week's 2-2 draw at bottom of the league Watford we had hoped that at home to third from bottom Aston Villa might have been different.

In midweek in matchday one of the Europa League Arsenal had beaten Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0. Not convincingly as it sounds but certainly worth the win.

Today Villa started the better. A poor referee didn't help and they scored first. Poor defending and McGinn scored. No one picked him up and he deflected a low cross into the net past Leno. 

That Villa began time-wasting almost immediately is pathetic. With over an hour to play! 

It got worse for the Gunners when Maitland-Niles got a second yellow card. 

Commentators agreed it was harsh. I thought the first one was harsh as the player that was felled cut across him and it looked like a trip.

Calum Chambers replaced 18yo debutant Saka for the second half. And then despite a man down we looked better. More determination. 

It was 1-1 when Pepé scored from the spot as Guendouzi was tripped. Stonewall penalty but as usual there was a delay. VAR? Time for Heaton to try and face him down. It didn't work. Pepé shot down the middle after Heaton dived to his left. 

That lasted all of a minute as Villa scored again. A direct unchallenged run by Grealing and Wesley slotted home. 

The time-wasting started again. 

Arsenal upped the tempo and from a cross from Guendouzi, Calum Chambers had a shot rebound back to him off Mings but persistence from him saw him win the ball and shoot into the net. 2-2. 91 mins on the clock. 

Arsenal pressed and pressed. 

Oddly the time-wasting from Villa stopped. Can anyone think why? 

Aubamayang was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, the ball went through to Torreira who was hacked down inside the box. Penalty? 

No. The referee brought play back to the first foul. Surely if he had let play continue as we had the advantage the foul on Torreira counted. Not according to this wanker. On TV they claimed the whistle had gone and so no advantage. 

Aubamayang took the free kick, low over the wall. Heaton beaten. 3-2. 

We then witnessed Villa players on the hurry-up with every goal kick and every throw-in. 

"Added time" as they call it was five minutes. So time-wasting does pay...  The time they wasted was added on the end. 

Yet it was Arsenal keeper Leno that saw yellow for taking his time over a free kick. 

Another win. Another 3 points. 



Villa as usual the same poor losers. 

21 September 2019

RBLR Non-Attendance Rally 2019

It's time for the Royal British Legion Riders Non-Attendance Rally. 

The 2019 rally bookings are open. 

All proceeds to The Poppy Appeal. 




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