19 April 2018

Beer52 - April Selection

The April selection will be cans.  A little unusual but ultimately recyclable, both the can itself and the contents........ ;)

Busy Weekend - 21/22 April

With so many weekends to choose from in the course of a year, it seems some have too many things to do and others have none.

This Saturday is the MAG "Motorcycle Awareness Demo" in London, it's also the Rocket III annual run to the (famous) original  Ace Cafe in North West London and if that wasn't enough for the motorcyclists, it also TriFest at all Triumph dealers.

So as a Triumph Rocket III owner and MAG member what should I do?

It's also the last away game in the south for Oldham Athletic at AFC Wimbledon and I have my ticket to the game already. So that is a definite. I wil be riding there and that will score me another 50-50 Challenge 5E!

Which of the bike related ones can I squeeze in?

MAG - Motorcycles Matter! London Demo Ride

London's motorcycling community is protesting against City Hall's lack of action in respect to rising motorcyclist deaths and against the unfair Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) tax which looks set to make pollution worse.

Led by the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), London's riders will hold a city-wide day of action this Saturday 21 April to protest against the Mayor's policies, which are contributing to the mounting deaths of Londoners who ride motorcycles and scooters.

Thousands of motorcyclists will descend on Westminster and then rally near the Mayor's Office, where they will be addressed by supporters, including Peter Ramsbottom (Labour) and Keith Prince AM (Conservative). Liberal Democrats declined the invitation to send a speaker. Mayor Sadiq Khan also turned down the invitation.

Tim Fawthrop, MAG's London Regional Representative, said: "For the last two years we have been trying to get the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to uphold his pre-election promises and meet with us but he will not engage in meaningful dialogue".

Mother and London motorcyclist, Megan Anderson, said: "As a trainee teacher and mother, money and time are tight. I use a motorbike to commute because it's cheap and quick. Using public transport is cost-prohibitive and takes too long. I wouldn't be able to get home in time to pick my daughter up from nursery or be able to afford to send her in the first place! A motorcycle is the perfect solution that means I get to spend more time with my family, whilst also dedicating the time and attention needed in order to learn to teach."

A recent study has shown that the congestion charge has worsened the pollution problem by forcing Londoners from cleaner personal transport onto heavily-polluting diesel black cabs. Sadiq Khan's ULEZ plans look set to do the same thing, since he is planning to charge virtually zero pollution motorcycles whilst exempting diesel-guzzling black cabs.

London Assembly Member, Keith Prince, a keen motorcyclist who plans to attend the protest, said: "I just don't understand what Mayor Khan has against motorcyclists. His Deputy, before taking office, said in her report that Powered Two Wheelers were part of the solution to congestion! Now City Hall seems to have declared war on motorbikes and scooters. We know that many key workers are reliant on their bikes yet Mayor Khan wants to tax them off the road! I just don't get it - it's madness!"

Mr Prince added: "It could also expose the Mayor and TfL to the possibility of legal action on the basis of discrimination, as he's disadvantaging the least wealthy in London's workforce on the basis of an illogical and punitive charge on small motorcycles".

MAG works closely with politicians cross-parliament, organisations such as Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL), and with authorities at all levels to provide information and support to ensure that motorcycling gets a fair deal.

The organisation is volunteer-led with many members actively involved at local and regional levels, supported by the Director of Communications & Public Affairs and the Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement on nationally-led campaigns.

MAG has been successfully campaigning for over 40 years under a strapline of "freedom of choice".  It believes in a libertarian approach, with individuals being responsible for their own actions and making their own, informed choices.

For more, in-depth, information about the organisation, please contact:
MAG Central Office, Unit C13, Holly Farm Business Park, Honiley, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NP 
Telephone: 01926 844064

17 April 2018

Book Review: Justified by C.M. Sutter

Justified (Agent Jade Monroe FBI Thriller, #2)Justified by C.M. Sutter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book. Some reviews mention stilted language and sometimes the dialogue sounds more Dolly Parton than northern cop/woman/person.

Very gruesome murders.

View all my reviews

16 April 2018

True Heroes Racing

The link will explain more about this fantastic racing team - https://trueheroesracing.co.uk/

At the BSB round on Sunday, the teams supporters came around with buckets collecting to help the team by raising money.


ARMR Hara Trousers

A while ago, I can't remember when, I bought a pair of cordura biking trousers.  These are the sort that replace ordinary jeans. They are waterproof and come with knee armour.

I "found" them in the wardrobe and they still had the labels on. I have no idea where they disappeared to and how long they have been in there.

As rain was expected I decided to give them a go.  Amazingly they fitted and were pretty comfortable.

After last week on the trip to France when it rained for over half the trip, and I wore my Kevlar lined cargo pants and Held waterproof over trousers, and was uncomfortable I was actually looking online before I found these.

I wore them for a total of 93 miles on the bike plus over seven hours standing watching the BSB racing.  The only problem is that they have a gusset affair at the front instead of the normal zip or button fly. Going to the loo for a Number One is none too easy.

In the end the were comfortable and waterproof.  The knee armour is a little strange as it is a little lower than where my knees are and I hitched them up a little but on the bike they seem like they are in the right place. According to the website the armour is adjustable. I need to investigate how that works.

Not the finest picture!!

P.S. I just added the "labels" and ARMR-Moto came up. The mystery of when I bought them is solved - November 2016!!  See http://invictamoto.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/new-trews.html

As Seen from the Sidecar - Week 25 - We've made it to Cape Town!!!

Week 25

19 countries | 12,200 miles | 2 Continents | Hours on the road... plenty
After over 12,000 miles of riding we have finally made it to Cape Town - the end of the African leg of our trip!

Sorry for the lack of updates - we got bogged down with broken sidecars, long drives and unbelievable scenery. Since we last emailed you on here we've driven along the coast of Lake Malawi, cut across to South Luangwa national park in Zambia (where we nearly ran in to a Hippo), driven on to Victoria falls and crossed the best border in the world over to Zimbabwe, before cheesing it down to Kruger National Park in South Africa and finally stumbling along the garden route and over the finish line in to Cape Town. The finish line for Africa that is. Next stop will be... Chile! The bike is packed and ready to fly and we will be following it to Santiago on Tuesday (Thanks to Flight Centre UK for organising the flights).

We have had the most incredible journey down to Cape Town. It started around 2 years ago when we began planning the trip and back then it was impossible to imagine that we would actually be able to drive such a ridiculous vehicle, such a huge distance across such inhospitable environments. On route we've had to deal with sub zero temperatures in Albania, to high 30's intense desert heat in Egypt and Sudan. We've had two major breakdowns: the wheel bearing in the middle of the Egyptian desert and the burnt out clutch in the middle of Timkat (Ethiopia's largest religious festival). And most challenging of all we've had to deal with each other for 6 months straight so it really hasn't been all plain sailing. Despite the challenges it has been an absolutely, unbelievable journey full of so many weird and wonderful experiences. The challenging environments have given us some incredible views that have topped anything we've ever seen before but what's made this trip so incredible is the people we've met on route. From the Ace Cafe through to Cape Town we have been greeted with nothing but smiles, an eagerness to find out what's going on and a warm welcome. And anytime we've come unstuck with the vehicle, random people have come out of the woodwork to offer their help in anyway they can.

We've also been lucky enough to visit some brilliant organisations that are fighting modern slavery and human trafficking along the way. After kicking off the journey with raising awareness of Unseen UK, we've visited Utopia 56 of France, Melissa in Greece, PLACE Sudan, HAART Kenya and A21 South Africa. All of these organisations are doing their bit in one way or another to end modern slavery and human trafficking. We've left each organisation inspired and full of hope for the fight to free the 45.8 million people currently living in modern slavery. Hopefully as our audience grows we can do more to raise awareness of the issue and with your help we can raise more money to support these organisations.

Here's a quick recap of the last 6 months. Thanks so much for your support and for getting us this far. 
Week 25  - London to Cape Town by scooter and sidecar
Keep scooting,

Matt and Reece 
P.s. Don't forget you can still support the project and the organisations we meet on route by visiting our pledges page  - why not grab yourself a postcard or cracking As Seen From The Sidecar T-shirt

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