14 August 2016

New Helmet - LS2 Metro with Bluetooth Three

Managed to get out for a test ride earlier in the week.

Like most new helmets it is a little tight and as a spectacle wearer I need to be able to get the arms into it to see where I am going.

It does take a bit of jiggling about to get them in the right place. I need to check the fit with my Oakley specs as they have straight arms.

The bluetooth works well with the tomtom  and is also paired with my phone.

Luckily the power lead I have for my phone is the same as the helmet. The block takes both micro usb and what appears to be the current Apple plug. My current S5 uses micro, so that's one less cable to take with me.

The other feature is the sun visor.  My old Schuberth C2 also had one and even with sunglasses it was superb. With clear glasses it was a great addition.

We'll have to see what happens when we are away later in the week.

Deaf 6

To say I am a little nervous about having a hearing aid is putting it mildly.

When I ride the bike I wear ear plugs to cut down the noise around the helmet. Doubly annoying that after this precaution for many many years that I am 50% deaf in one ear.

I am hoping that the aid will be small enough not to impede my wearing a helmet and spectacle arms and that it can be turned off easily.

All this will be answered on Tuesday afternoon! I leave for my trip to Czech the morning after. Not much shakedown time.

I guess this is another trial and error system!!!

The new season starts


The Premier League season kicked off yesterday.

Today's games on a Sunday for the TV audience include Bournemouth at home to Manchester United - David vs Goliath - and the biggest game of the weekend -  Arsenal at home to Liverpool.

I'm off to the latter. I can't say I an going with  much confidence as we have a weakened line-up of missing international players and the usual round of injuries to key players.

Whilst almost all the teams around us have been spending millions of pounds, we as usual are making do with one new signing and a load of kids bought cheap from the lower leagues and a few from the academy.

Fingers crossed for today.

11 August 2016

Sandisk Eye-Fi Card - Update

Over three years since I invested in this card and after a year or so of it working when it felt like it with the notebook turned on it I forgot about it.

Returning to it recently has discovered that neither Sandisk not Eye-Fi support this generation of their cards and their customer support is totally useless.

The software won't work with WIN10 and they have done nothing to assist their customers. They were happy to take the money off us all, and there must be thousands if not 0000's sold. But now we are on our own.  

A 4GB SD card is worthless nowadays with ever increasing file sizes and write speeds. Another gimmick for the back of the drawer.

6 August 2016

Wedding of the Year - Jen & Chris - Part 3

Interesting drive down. Hotel not bad for under £40 a night.

Superb meal at the Black Cock Inn on the Caerphilly Mountain.

Beds too small.

Reggie to kennel.

Us to wedding.

Great day. Bride looked like a princess. Groom scrubbed up nicely.

Father of the bride did a great job.

3 August 2016

DGR 2016

Alright. I know. I am not a hipster and I don't own a hipster bike but I can still raise money for the charity and now they have joined up with Movember that I do anyway....

That's my page.

2 August 2016

Wedding of the Year - Jen & Chris - Part 2

With Reggie's refusenik actions getting worse this week I have scrapped the extra night after the wedding and we will come home on Saturday rather than Sunday.

It saves quite a few pounds and will be less traumatic for him.

So we'll drive down on Thursday and check into the Ibis. We'll stop a few times along the way to let him have a walk and for comfort breaks

I searched for dog friendly pubs and found one in nearby Caerphilly where we can take him in the bar with  us and where we can eat. There are a few in the area but this one, The Black Cock Inn,  looks pretty good.

I've already had to invest in new trousers. The Farah not deemed good enough!!

Two days to go.

MAG joins Highways England working group

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has joined a key working group operated by Highways England, previously known as the Highways Agency. MAG’s regional Rep, Tony Cox, represented the movement.

Tony says, ‘I found the general mood to be very encouraging and pro-biking.   Highways England are no longer part of the DfT.  They’re now a government-owned company, with more direct control over their actions and policies. Their main aim is to reduce casualties on the Strategic Road Network - but also to encourage modal shift from cars to motorcycles, which is excellent news.’

Areas being looked at include better rest facilities for motorcyclists at service stations, parking and helmet storage.  There was also talk of improving refuge areas and hard-shoulders for motorcyclists who have broken down, plus other improvements directly aimed at motorcycling.

The meeting was attended by the Institute of Highways Engineers, RoSPA, Bikesafe, the Welsh Government, the BMF and MCIA.

Tony adds: ‘this is an initiative that MAG definitely needs to be involved with and our presence was very much appreciated by the organisers. The whole concept of autonomous vehicles and their interaction (or lack of it) with vulnerable road users will be one of the major topics discussed in future meetings and workshops.’  The next workshop in October will identify actions to reduce motorcycle casualties.  ‘MAG will certainly be represented.‘

Kathrine Wilson-Ellis, Senior Road Safety Policy Advisor for Highways England said, ‘I came away feel really motivated and excited about the power of this group and I am really keen to start getting to the “doing” phase.’

This meeting follows the highly successful launch of a consultation on the future of transport, also in Manchester, and attended by MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

28 July 2016

New Helmet - LS2 Metro with Bluetooth Too

Blimey. Ordered late on Tuesday. Arrived today.

The helmet is very light and once I had got the box out of the thick plastic packaging courtesy of Fat Skeleton (http://www.fat-skeleton.co.uk) I couldn't wait to try it on.

With Claire measuring my head at 59.5cms the large size is a perfect fit. Large is down as 59-60cms.

The box contained a few goodies as well. Bottles of helmet cleaner,  a neck tube, a pair of riding glasses, their LS2 version of Pinlock, the efle give stickers for France, plus the charging cable and an assortment of breath deflectors.

I couldn't wait to turn it on and it spoke to me. In English. Phew.

Reggie Refusnik

Dogs love to walk. A universal truth that sadly seems not to apply to the dog that fills our lives with his love and habits.

When "experts", usually ones that talk through a part of their anatomy that is for sitting on, tell you how it will change your life having a dog, then maybe for once they are right.

It's no secret amongst friends and neighbours that we went to the Dog's Trust,  to get a small tank-bag dog. One that wouldn't mind going on the bike for a ride somewhere.  Instead, we got Reggie. As soon as we saw his face and the way he looked at us, we were hooked. Despite some of his published  (and soon to be discovered unpublished) foibles and traits, he is a great dog.  At 20kgs he is far too big for the bike. Even a Rocket.

Recently though, he has shown a reluctance to walk. it starts with him hiding when the lead is brought out; in a corner or under the dining table.  Show him the harness, so that we can attach him to the seat belts in the car, and he goes to ground. Literally.  He lays down on the floor and rolls on his back to stop the harness going over his head.

Once out he usually enjoys himself, especially on the beach at Dymchurch, where he can run and go in the sea, play ball and chase the gulls.

It's on other walks that he simply stops.  It first manifested itself earlier in the year when we walked along the White Cliffs of Dover from the car-park near Dover Castle to the South Foreland Lighthouse.  When we came to walk back he refused and it was a while before we could coax him to retrace our steps back along the path. 

He has started to do it more often.  We live near the Royal Military Canal. Built during the Napoleonic War to provide a defence in case Bonaparte landed on our flat coastal land around Hythe, he has now decide that he won't walk there. He stops at the end of the road. His legs stiffen and he won't budge.

What to do?  He likes it over there, just a few hundred yards away, the smells and the rabbits and squirrels to chase or bark at.....

Any (true) experts?  Feel free to comment!   

Wedding of the Year - Jen & Chris

Not a celebrity wedding but my eldest niece, Jennifer,  is tying the knot down in Wales, to her long time partner Chris.  In Cardiff to be exact.

I booked us into a hotel months ago and time seems to be flying.  

The perennial "what to wear" question arises. At work I wear a logo'd polo shirt in summer and a long sleeve variant in winter, with a v-neck similarly logo'd on the chest, and jeans.  The dress code is quite lax here as long as we are clean and tidy. The whole idea of uniform.

We decided to make a weekend of it. The wedding is Friday afternoon, and so Reggie will go with us. The hotel is dog friendly so that's okay for two nights.  Jennifer's dog will be in the local kennel and so for the wedding day I booked Reggie in too. Drop him off in the morning and collect him next morning. Then we are off a few hours north to the Brecon Beacons, and area of outstanding beauty and fresh air.  

What could be simpler?

Food for Reggie?

Reggie is on a raw-food diet.  The kind we buy comes frozen in 1 kilogram packs and is "complete". No need to add veggies or biscuit.  So the dilemma is how to take food for him for about four meals?  
This will be the same but for a longer period in October when we go to France for a week and next year when we go to the Dordogne (also France) in May.

In a kind of parallel thought process,  a friend of Claire's at her work place suggested getting an electrically cooled chiller box. At the same time someone in my office said the same.  The hunt began.  One that would be okay with 12v DC from the car and 240v AC in the house and hotel. After several hours of research I bought one from eBay for delivery tomorrow for a tad of £40. It gets 4.5/5 star reviews on eBay from previous buyers.  Only one 1/5 from a guy that said his went on fire after 45 mins.... Gulp!

So that's sorted.

As a distraction it worked for a few hours, but the question remains on whaty to wear.  I do have a pair of black Farah trousers hanging in the wardrobe. I came across them as I was looking through the usually unvisited end, the left, of the cupboard space. I was getting out some shirts that I will never wear again to go in the charity bag and noticed them. This was months ago and they fit. Although it was a case of on and off in a matter of seconds.  I have shoes. I have shirts..... And I do have a jacket, although it is linen and sand coloured.

Mmmmm.   One weekend to go now.

27 July 2016

New Helmet - LS2 Metro with Bluetooth

For anyone that has read my "Don't Ride Angry" post will know of the events of last Saturday.  What they won't know is that what added to that sense of annoyance and frustration was that when we arrived in Hythe, I found my head was black.

Not the black you get from Grecian 2000, a men's hair dye, but from the inside of my Caberg J1S that had finally given up the ghost.  Not the tough shock absorbing liner but the nylon foam padded liner.

The foam backing had disintegrated into a lot of black grit!  The liner was dropping out as it no longer fitted and I rode back from Folkestone whilst transferring this grit into my sweaty hair and scalp.

As we had a coffee on the field at the food and drink festival, I had a look and it was beyond repair. It went in the bin when I got home.  

I then started looking for a replacement. I know it is a luxury to have more than one helmet on the go, but I am used to a few in the cupboard.  The past lame ducks (Schuberth C2) and old and past it (Nitro 700V)  went to the tip and in the crusher months ago, only to save them being picked up and used by someone else. Simply for safety reasons.

Firstly, I looked at a summer helmet. This LS2 Open Face looked good, comes with a peak and goggles. Claire didn't like it. There's a Captain America version available and even cheaper.

I then looked at maybe getting a Nolan N43 or N44 Air.  Claire has an N43E Air that came as part of the prize when I won Rosie the Scooter. They are hard to get and expensive.  

I decided that the next one should have an integrated internal sun visor and if possible Bluetooth connectivity.  The Nolan has that but tops out at over £300/$400 with both parts being bought separately. At least the helmet is designed to have the Bluetooth fitted integrally and not hanging on the side.

I then had a look at the LS2 Metro helmet.  A flip-front with integral sun visor and Bluetooth.  Priced quite competitively at £199/$260 (or so).

Good reviews and it is all plumbed in and ready to go. Plus. They sell them in matt black, the colour that I particularly wanted.

So it is ordered and was despatched today....

Coming Soon.... Czech Out 2016

All captured on http://thedevallboys.blogspot.co.uk/, the joint blog that I started and then got Neill to co-author.

But before this happens we have to get over Neill's "Bank of Dad" for his daughter and naturally my niece's wedding at the beginning of August.