16 December 2010

Kent Pet Run 2011 - May 22nd 2011

After some thought about a venue for the 2011 run I have decided on Last Chance Animal Rescue in Edenbridge, Kent.

The meeting place will be the Roadchef Maidstone Services on the M20/A20 intersection to the south of Maidstone.   Departure time is 1100.

We will be using the drop-off system to keep everyone together and the route will avoid the centre of maidstone.
Please bring dog or cat food with you and of course your wallets for donate to this very worthwhile local charity.

15 December 2010


Summer 2011 - Czech (2)

Accommodation in Brno sorted with my friend Lilka, actually at her house in Popuvky.  It's only walking distance to the race track!

Counting the days back from the end weekend gives us a date of the 17th to set off back. 

13 December 2010

Punto.... Lives

Just like Frankenstein's monster an injection of electricity has made the Punto live again.

It was as I had thought, but the RAC man confirmed it with his battery testing gadget. A new battery and Voila!

Today despite the doors being iced up (!) she started first touch.

9 December 2010

Grand Prix České Republiky 2011

Tickets ordered online, bought and paid for.

All I need to do now is sort out my accommodation locally.


Overcrowded platform at Kings Cross....

God help us if we ever get to host a huge sporting event in London.

28 November 2010

Summer 2011 - Czech

It's way back in 2004 (blogged here) that we last went to Czech to see my friends from the Gymnázium in Zastávka.  We have made plans before and have had to cancel for one reason or another.

So here we are again. This time we have the added complication of the world banking system cocking up the lives of millions of us. 

As well as visiting friends in and around Brno I want to make the Czech MotoGP my big race of the year. 

On the way out towards Czech I have been looking at Youth Hostels (http://www.djh.de/) and budget hotels on the Internet.

The first couple of days are about 300 miles, but we have all day to do the mileage and then a load of shorter days.

Plan A:
  1. Home to Bochum (Germany) and stay in Formule 1 (booked).
  2. Bochum to Colditz. Stay two nights in YH (booked) which is actually the famous WW2 Castle. Castle tour in the morning.
  3. Colditz to Liberec.  Stay in Hotel Orion (booked).
  4. Liberec to Brno via Hradec Kralove where I hope to see my friend Rosta Kříž.
  5. Brno for the GP and stay with my friends, Lilka and her Family,  in Popuvky near the circuit.
And then? Need to think about the return journey.

I'm leaning towards the S23 (with a quick turn along SportovnÍ in Zastávka to see my old flat) route from Brno as far as it goes and then into the Šumava and across into Germany.

24 November 2010

Wootton Bassett - April 3rd 2011

Me and Bruv are registered on the 1100-1200 slot. Look forward to seeing some of you there.

Planning to meet some other club mates at the layby opposite the Oakdene Cafe to leave by 0830 to ride across to Hulvington to make our slot.

A day at the seaside

A really good day out for a good cause. Come along and bring a present and some cash.

17 November 2010

Motrax "HotSeat"

When I saw this gadget/accessory in the Motrax Catalogue it did cross my mind what a pathetic sort of fair weather biker would spend their hard earned cash in this.

The answer is me. Not just for me you understand, but to share with Mrs Moto.

The seat pad comes with an inline on/off switch, and fuse on the red lead. The lead can be broken apart with a waterproof connector.

The leads end with a pair of battery terminals. I chopped these off and fitted a BMW style Hella plug so I can use the power socket on the GS.

On the first test the pad warmed up pretty quickly. I

The wiring harness is long enough to reach the back seat and the straps that velcro under the seat look a bit short but fit okay and should fit either GS seat.

The fuse holder looks a bit flimsy and not particularly watertight. I had thought about shrouding in a piece of bicycle inner tube, but could I find the one I replaced on my cycle recently?  Nope.

The other consideration is that the Hella plug is a bit long. If I can get a stubby one it might mean less contact with my left boot.

16 November 2010

Beer of the Day

Brugse Zot Dubbel.
On the Halve Maan website it looks pretty much like a blond beer.
But as you can see this bottle is definitely brown or at least a brun.
The beer is very malty in taste and at 7.5% ABV it packs a punch, although it doesn't have the accompanying bitter or strong taste of many strong beers.

Flat Battery

Another sunny afternoon. Ripe for a ride out.

Got all togged up and when I pressed the button. Click. Whirr. Nothing.

Looks like a jump job tomorrow.

Ride out to Manston

A really good place for a run out. The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum is a charitable trust that depends on donations to keep going.

The cafe is also very good.

12 November 2010

Florida 1991

Whilst going through some boxes of photographs I came across a folder of photos from a trip I did way back in December 1991 to Miami.

Most haven't faired too well despite being crammed with hundreds of others in a shoe box, but I thought these three were pretty good to scan.

They were all taken on my Olympus OM10 and on a ride down to Key West from where I was staying in Miami just off Old Cutler.

5 November 2010

Firework Night

When I was a kid it was called bonfire night. The main event was the culmination of months of hoarding wood and going on scavenger hunts to find burnable materials. Even the Guy was made from real old clothes, packed with newspaper and if we could get it, horsehair packaging from old sofas.

No one thought of the health and safety implications except Dads who kept the fireworks in a biscuit tin and had all the fun of lighting them. 

And were bangers louder then that now?

Remember remember the 5th of November.

27 June 2010

Assen Trip - Day 4

Day 4 is not quite over. We have just boarded the ferry for home after a palavver over changing our ticket. On P&O coming back a day early costs a ticket change cost plus additional fare amounting to £60. I kid you not. In the end we got it down to £29 but even that is a disgrace when the website return is £19! Maybe when I next travel I will remember this rip off?

The problem was that Claire's hip wasn't causing the expected problems so we cancelled the night stay in Breda and had the run to Calais.

We left the hotel around 9.45am and wasted a bit of time getting to the Motorway. We had Steve in tow until the motorway when he shot off.

We stopped for petrol pretty quickly as I wanted to make sure that when we arrived at the badlands of the N49 between Antwerp and Brugge that we has loads. We made good time until I followed the overhead signs for Brugge. We had a tour of the Antwerp ring including three tunnels. The middle one carried a toll... So once you arrived at the Liefkenshoek Tunnel you were committed to the €5.50 toll. No going back!

We then lost another 40 minutes detouring into Eeklo for petrol. The station we had in mind from a previous trip was closed.

Had we turned right off the N49 there was an open station that didn't need us failing to get VISA and Mastercards to work. Belgium is generally fine let down by crap automatic fuel stops.

The last few petrol stops had revealed that fuel consumption peaked at 55.38mpg but was generally around 52. Not bad two up with luggage.

We stopped at the services near Middelkerke for a sandwich making the total time lost at about an hour.

We pulled up to the passport control the first time at 3.58pm. Not bad going for the 300 or so miles from Wapse. According to the satnav memory from Calais back to Calais has been a mere 667.5 miles. Add in the 30 miles to Dover from home and back again when we get off here in the next 20 minutes or so and 700 for the weekend is quite reasonable.

All the photos can be seen here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauldevall/sets/72157624246118019/

26 June 2010

Assen Trip - Day 3

Race day. A short ride after breakfast to the circuit. Within 45 minutes we were parked and looking for our seats.

The Winterdijk stand was full to busting. We sat for over six hours in the burning sun to watch the main races.

Hopefully when we download the pix from the camera we will have a few decent ones.

On the way back we got separated but arrived in Diever for an ice cream about the same time.

Tomorrow James and Steve ride home and we head for an overnight near Breda. 

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25 June 2010

Assen Trip - Day 2

We were up early enough to nosh through a large breakfast and it was about 930am when we finally left Zonnemaire. The plan was to go back to the N57 and continue island hopping towards Rotterdam and then head north. Once we were in Maasland we seemed to be heading east before a 180deg turn brought us to a ferry.

It made a change and €5.05 later we were aboard and soon whizzing across the Maas.

My Garmin interprets routes created in Mapsource and Tyre with Google Maps as it sees fit. So after the ferry we had a tour of some housing estate before we emerged on a road roughly north and roughly towards Amsterdam.

Eventually we joined the A4 to the east of Den Haag and headed north at a greater speed, under the runway at Schiphol and onto the A10 ring. Eventually onto the A6 running along the eastern side of the Ijselmeer.

We made one stop for petrol and a snack, otherwise it was non stop to Wapse and the hotel.

Once checked in we had a walk into the village to see if de Wapser has a rival; it doesn't. Cameras were exercised....

We settled in for a beer and James had arrived. He'd made good time using a borrowed satnav. We chewed the fat and then had dinner before retiring early to bed for an early start for Race day.

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24 June 2010

Assen Trip - Day 1

We were up early and away by 0715 for the short run to Dover. The checking in was pretty simple and quick and we were loaded straight on the ferry.

We were at the back of a large group and the rings in the deck were rusted tight so we were moved to the other side.

The sailing was relatively painless and we were soon on the way out of the port. The other group were all over the place in the road out and we slid past.

The idea of island hopping seemed a good one. I topped the tank up on the outskirts of Bruges and then we seemed to get in a tizzy as the GPS mapping is out of date.

The roundabout trip to the tunnel underneath the West Schelde eventually came up in sight. Just not from the direction I had expected.

The day has been warm and sunny and we are both glad we are wearing our vented jackets. I've ridden all day with just a T-shirt and mesh Joe Rocket Phantom jacket. Only cold in the 6.6 kms long tunnel.

We had a Coke break in a small place called Boekhoute in East Flanders. Once remounted and on the way we noticed the registration plates has changed and without any signs we were in the Netherlands.

After the tunnel we had another GPS moment but made the right road to Middelburg and the N57 That snakes across the islands that make up Zeeland.

We had another stop to buy strawberries before the first of the longish dams. The wind socks were at 90 degrees to the roadway. We had yet another stop for lunch and to have a look at the sea and miles is sandy beach.

It was gone 4.30pm as we rolled up at Villetta B&B.

Once checked in we needed a little run to Brouwershaven up the road to get some cash as the B&B is cash only.

After a shower we were ready to go and were just thinking when Steve rolled up.

A quick change for him and a walk to a local restaurant. Luckily Claire has her wallet as I forgot mine in my jacket pocket. A good but very expensive meal of fish soup and mussels later we wandered back to the hotel.

Day Two will see us ride to. De Wapse for the race weekend.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

23 June 2010

Bon Jovi - free tickets

Got an email this morning.... I forgot I had even entered.  Typical!!  Win tickets and won't be here as we will be in Holland!

Dear Standard Reader,
Congratulations - you were successful in your application to win a pair of tickets to see Bon Jovi this Saturday (26th June) at the O2 Arena.

Please report to the main box office (outside the arena – far left window as you face the entrance) between 5.30pm and 7.30pm to collect your tickets. Please have some form of ID with you. You will be on the Evening Standard competition winners guestlist.
Enjoy the gig!
Evening Standard promotions

And they aren't transferable.

14 June 2010

In the planning for 2011?

Okay it might not be the "Mother Road" but until our French cousins renumber many of the Routes Nationales to Departmental roads, RN43 still exists and runs from Calais to Metz.

The trip may have to be undertaken in the car rather than the bike, but it takes in places that have figured heavily in 20th Century French and World History.

I'll see what there is to see along the way...  Ligne Maginot, Vauban Forts, Sedan, Malmedy....

So far I have this as the route from the Shuttle terminal and the start of the N43 near Calais to just outside Metz when it eventually runs out and joins the N3 for the run into the city.

As for the way back? I have no idea.

12 June 2010

Kent Centre AGM - 20th June 2010

The Kent Centre AGM is going to be held at the Britannia PH at Dungeness on Sunday 20th June. We kick-off at Noon and have lunch before getting down to the nitty gritty of electing the new committee.

I am looking forward to standing down this year and letting other capable people take on the Centre and take it into the next decade.

Come on England , Come On!

Come on England...

11 June 2010

MotoGP - Dutch TT Assen

The trip has been on the cards from way back in 2009 when we had to pre-order the ticket.  Then my brother decided to go on a trip along Route 66 (http://ndr66.blogspot.com/) so we made a team change and old mate Steve Hazlehurst stepped up to the plate.

Now with just two weeks to go we have had a small change to our part of the trip. To save Claire's hip we have already broken the outward journey into two days with an island hopping first day Zeeland and a second day to Wapse and the hotel.

On the way home we are going to break the trip again to keep the riding and subsequent pain down a bit. To keep the costs down I have booked a Premiere Classe hotel in Breda. It's not quite half way but will be okay I hope to save Claire's hip from hurting to much. It should make for a more relaxed holiday!

This is my P&O

This is my P&O | thisismyPO.com - view or create a post

8 June 2010


It may have been a bit of a rush, but in less than two weeks we have managed to get a large rectangle of land at Detling and some stuff and bikes to display on it.

GEMS here we come.

The Kent Centre "Regulars" have risen the the challenge and will man the stand.  It's going to be hard work as there are only three people each day to keep awake (!) and welcome visitors to the stand. Due to other commitments Claire and I will make an appearance on Sunday.

27 May 2010

Gold Member

No not the character from Austin Powers but the name Arsenal FC give to its season ticket holders.  Tonight I renewed again.  Thanks to Alex for his half of the wedge.

And now we've paid, how about ensuring that we get back to having white sleeves.

Operation Dynamo Trip - 30th May 2010

This week is the 70th Anniversary of the "Little Ships" setting off to cross the Channel to Dunkerque to assist the Navy bring back the remains of the British Expeditionary Force that had attempted to halt the German advance into France.

As we are over in France this weekend it is a good chance to go and visit Dunkerque. Our lunch venue is in Bergues a few miles to the south of Dunkerque.

It will be a simple trip to Dunkerque to see  the "Memorial de Souvenir"; a special exhibition of the events of May/June 1940. Telling the story of the  battle for Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo in whick Dunkerque and its harbour were completely destroyed.  Check out the website - http://www.dynamo-dunkerque.com/

The other place to visit is the Dunkirk Memorial and Town Cemetery. The cemetery contains 450 WW1 casualties and 800 from WW2, but also commemorates the 4500 casualties that have no known grave.  The location can be found on the website above.

I have worked out a route to get to all three and have loaded it into the Quest.

Plan A (above) might have to be shelved as I had expected to have a relaxed run along the N1 avoiding the A16 motorway but after a slight misunderstanding with our lunch venue means that we might have to forget the scenic (!) route and use the A16 instead. The ferry doesn't arrive in Calais until around 11am and by the time we get off and onto the road it willbe more like 11.15am at least so we had been looking at maybe a 1pm lunch, instead we are booked for 12.30pm.

The lunch venue was chosen after a trawl around Tripadvisor and we ended up choosing Taverne Le Breugel in Bergues - Le Breugel. 

This should give us plenty of time to eat and ride up to the Memorials and then have time to ride back to Calais to get the boat home.

Report and pics to follow.

26 May 2010

A week in August but where to go?

We have a week's holiday in August and now is the time to start planning where to go. France? Belgium? Both?

After the GS took a tumble on the Shuttle last year, I have had a £50 credit voucher to spend against another crossing. Although not happy at the time that they didn't accept responsibility I suppose that £50 is better than nothing.

The voucher has to be used by the middle of September and so a holiday in August should fit the bill. For a while we have been looking at maybe going down to Annecy or maybe the Auvergne?

Planning starts here.

17 May 2010

Bike sorted

Steptoe has fixed the GS now all I need to do is get the £140 out of the bank to pay him.

Work commitments mean I can't get it until Thursday. I decided to take a flexi-day off to save annual leave and go and get it.

I have a bit of a trek to get it.  As I have a train season ticket with all zones travelcard I'll go up as if going to work, then tube to Putney Bridge and then 85 bus to near to Steptoe's place.

I'll take my camera and satnav with me to map out the return journey.

15 May 2010

GS to Steptoe's

After a false start and a phone call to Carol Nash the GS started the trip across to Steptoe's to have the bearing sorted.

The first guy thought he was collecting a car for a local dealers and said that CN's cover was only local and wouldn't even extend to the nearest BMW dealer that is Cooper's in Tunbridge Wells.

A long call later and CN sorted a specialist bike mover and by 1020 it was strapped down and gone.

Fingers crossed it's only the bearing. Hoping to hear from Steptoe sometime Sunday.

12 May 2010

Arsenal Ladies

Silverware. We've won some silverware. Both the first team and reserves have won their leagues.

Good game tonight at the Emirates. Shame that a few more of the mouthy sections that manage to get there for the Premiership couldn't spend £3 and cheers the girls on.

8 May 2010

A couple of German friends

With BMW doing its best to annoy me, I had to get a few other Germans round...

The Berliner Kindl is the one I had tonight. Another standard German brew that is crisp to the tongue when drunk straight from the fridge.

7 May 2010

After the day I've had...

... these two buddy's were needed.

The Tucher Übersee was very nice. Made to the standard German legal recipe, but all the same a crisp brew with no after taste.


WNR - They thinks it's all over

It is now.

I got into Hythe and there was a sudden graunching noise from the rear end followed by oil.  Rear drive bearing gone.  Luckily (!) not too far from home and not at any speed! I managed to sms Steve to tell him I was out and emailed Andrew.

Now to get it repaired. Carole Nash breakdown said that when I get it booked in somewhere they will collect it and take it for me.  So far have emailed Cooper's and Steptoe. At least there's no hurry now as long as it gets done before we go to Assen!!

See the full trail here:

WNR - Nearly time to set off!

I was a bit late up as I sat up far too late to watch the general election results start to come in.  Time to forget all that and tog up and then off to the M20 services to fill up with petrol, meet Claire for lunch and then head on up the highway.

I've decided to take the Plan B route of M25/M40 as the traffic reports on BBC R2 are horrendous for the Essex section through the roadworks.

Onwards and upwards!

4 May 2010

Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride - July 3rd

I saw this run advertised on the internet and it is being organised by the Riders Branch of the Royal British Legion. After the Wootton Bassett run for Afghan Heroes I thought it was a great cause to support.

I signed up to go with my wife, Claire, and my brother, Neill.  I advertised it on the Kent Centre and a few members have picked it up.

Ride to Work

Today was the first day I have ridden to work this year.  The weather was looking better over the last few weeks, with dry warm days.

So after the Bank Holiday and with Friday off to go to Wales, it was going to be very expensive to take the train. Bike it then.

The weekend was miserable with rain most of the time on Sunday and Monday, so I didn't expect it to be that marvellous.  In fact it was cold to the hands and I had the grips on the higher level all the way up!

In fact tomorrow, I'll put my heated waistcoat on. I need to test it before the weekend.

3 May 2010

Normandy Trip - August 2009 - Day 4

Bank Holiday Monday and it's time to pay the hotel and set off.   The trip I planned was to avoid the motorway and take the coast road as far as Honfleur.

Due to a problem with the Garmin not charging on the bike it decided to die before we had really got to where we wanted  which included a crossing of the Greenwich Meridian. As we approached Houlgate I saw that 64000 miles was about to pop up on the odometer, and so I
stopped for Claire to take a pic of me!

From here it was on into Honfleur.  Parking up in the centre of the town where I saw a couple of other bikes. It was okay until we had to get away and I had to ride along the pavement and squeeze through the barrier at the end.

We had a walk around the harbour and took a break in one of the cafes, sitting in the burning heat of the day.

The harbour area is a mass of cafes, restaurants and gift shops.  With the Garmin not working and the deadline of the Shuttle ahead of us we reluctantly set off.

Finding the Pont de Normandy was easy enough as it is signposted, and with there being to wind it was a joy to ride across.

From here it was a motorway run all the way back to Coquelles and onto the Shuttle.  Just one stop for petrol and as it was BH Monday the roads were busier mainly with British holiday makers on their way home. We bought some baguettes and made another stop at an Aire to eat them.  

All in all the trip was very good and the ride along the Invasion beaches is one I can recommend to anyone.

The previous parts of this run report are at  Normandy Trip - August 2009 - Day 3

The full set of pix can be seen on My Flickr Page

Welsh National Rally 2010 (4)

I had a little time today to look at the route up to Coalport of Friday.  Depending on the weather I have a couple of routes. One is mostly motorway M20/M25/M1/M6/M54.  The other runs a little further south that takes the motorways as far as Oxford and then the A44 to Evesham and Worcester before turning north to Coalport.

If the weather is not very good as they are predicting then I'll stick with plan A. If not, then Plan B and maybe a chance to maybe take some pix on the way.

Walk in the Park

Walk in the Park, originally uploaded by Invicta Moto.
As the weather looked like it might stay dry for a few minutes today, we decided to take a run up to Sandgate to have a walk along the seafront.

We were going to park at Seabrook but saw the car-park was empty. The reason? You have to pay now.

The same is true for all the car parks in Shepway that are near the sea! All it will do is fleece the holiday makers and make more cars park along the roads. Let's see the proloferation of yellow lines soon.

We had a turn around Enbrook Park and took a few pics and then after a saveloy and chips we headed off home.

2 May 2010

Welsh National Rally 2010 (3)

The route as it pans out in Tyre (http://www.tyre.tk/). The route takes us in a clockwise direction.

After a few weeks of warm dry weather this BH weekend has turned nasty and cold with the forecast for the week to be cold and rainy. What joy.

May Day BH (2)

Part one went off okay with an afternoon at the football.

Today is a complete washout.  Pouring rain all day and a day of TV and Films.

1 May 2010

Folkestone Invicta - Promoted

Today's game was the Ryman League Division One South Play-Off Final against Godalming Town.

Invicta started off with a flurry of activity and then the game settled down to being fairly end to end stuff and came alive with some interplay on the left, a perfect cross and a superb diving header from Josh Vincent that wouldn't have looked out of place on Sky Sports and the Barclay's Premiership! Invicta 1-0.

They says that teams that have scored are vulnerable and they are right. Godalming equalised two minutes later. The ref gave the Godalming right back the okay to take a free kick nowhere near where it should have been taken despite the howls of disbelief from the crowd. The ball was flung into the box and the centre forward nodded in from close range.

For a while Godalming looked to have the initiative and Invicta clawed their way back into the game and were soon 2-1 off from a corner, the ball dropped to Simon Austin and he banged it home.

The second half saw both sides squander chances and the ref waved away a succession of penalty claims as Godalming's forwards went down far too easily. It was a case of third time lucky when their centre-forward went face down. After some exchanges with the ref he was persuaded to speak to his lino and changed his decision. No penalty.

The game fizzled away with Invicta spurning another chance to kill it off and the four minutes of added time was over and Invicta are back in the Premier Division.

Pivo Herold

Pivovar Herold.

Very nice and only £1.12 a bottle from Asda.

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More Flower Macros

These were also taken down by West Hythe Bridge over the Royal Military Canal.

Dandelion Macros

Took this macro picture of a dandelion clock whilst on a walk alongside the Royal Military Canal.

I saw this one as well.... both are close together on the same patch.

29 April 2010

GS Register Secretary

When the Register was first created two years ago I tossed my hat in the ring. The job eventually went to Terry Ryan.

Terry recently stepped down and I put my name forward again. The BMW Club asked me to do the job f or the next 12 months.

Okay I don't have experience of riding the Long Way Round. I am not an actor or his mate. I am not called Sanders.

But I do have over 25 years of organising rides and holiday trips for the Suzuki Owners Club. As well as the Invader Rally, I have about 125 events to my name.

Over the last two weekends I have organised and led two successful runs to France for the SOC and around Kent for the GS Register.

So where do we go from here?

May Day BH

The next bank holiday is on us already. After weeks of pretty much summer weather in the South East the forecast is for doom and gloom.

Saturday is football at Folkestone. So what about Sunday?

A ride on the GS to satisfy both me and Claire. Maybe a National Trust place?

Not too far away. That's limiting us a bit but Sheffield Park might be okay.. Gardens for her and steam trains for me.

Let's see what forth Mother Nature brings!

Arsenal Season Ticket Time

With two league games to go before the end of the 2009/10 season, the Gold Membership renewals have gone out.

As well as no increase on the basic price, the club have refunded the cost of the 26th game that we didn't get to see at the Emirates.

So this year for the absolutely cheapest seats in the stadium it is the mind boggling amount of £893.

I'm lucky that I share my seat with another guy and we do 13 games each plus any Carling Cup games that are charged extra.

But, it is still a big wedge.

Welsh National Rally 2010 (2)

The route Andrew has planned covers over 320 miles of Welsh roads.

Sadly the route misses out a section I was looking forward to, across the mountains between Tregaron and Abergwesyn. When we did it many years ago it was too dark to check out the scenery and the enjoy the fords!!

I'll have to check a bit deeper to see if we are going through Llanddewi Brefi, home of Daffyd, of "the only gay in the village" fame.

After the Rally finishes in Castle Caereinon (also where it started!) we go our separate ways. I want to set off back towards London and looked at another youth hostel but in the end fell for the charms of a Travelodge in Walsall. Okay, maybe it's not that splendid sounding, but it is only £12 a night!!

As in 2006, Sunday morning it's up bright and early (not!) for the ride to London to see the Arsenal's last game of the season. In 2006 it was the very last game at the old Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. This year it will be less of a "must be there" experience as the 2009/10 season fizzles to a close at the Emirates Stadium against Fulham.

28 April 2010

Welsh National Rally 2010

The WNR kicks off this year at 0830 from Castle Caereinon near Welshpool on May 8th. Once again this year it will be a day time only rally. I didn't say daylight rally!

The last time I did the rally was with Dave Clark in 2006, and we did the north Wales loop that went as far as LlanfairPG on Anglesey. It was a later start back then and so the mileage had to be compressed into a shorter time. By the time I got to my hotel at the M6 Services formerly known as Hilton Park it was after midnight and I was a little sodden.

This year there are three of us. "The Three Amigos" are Andrew, me and Steve Hazlehurst. Once again I have merely toyed with planning a route and have left it to Andrew again. The route he has come up with for us to enter the Platinum Award plus Dragon Award takes in a more southerly route this time. It's a while since wew went south.

My plan is to have the day off on Friday and ride up to Coalport near Telford to stay in the Youth Hostel. The others will meet me there.

The hostel is housed in part of the old china works and from the picture looks pretty different to many I have stayed in across the years... http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/heart-of-england/hostels/Coalport/index.aspx

I'll write up the weekend when I get back.

Real Football 2

The Champions' League semi-finals were done and dusted tonight. Inter Milan sorted out Barcelona at the Camp Nou to join Bayern Munich in the Final to be played in Madrid in May.

On a more local level, Saturday sees the Ryman Division One South play-off final between Folkestone Invicta and Godalming.

It will be the first of two finals that will feature Invicta.

After Saturday's game, Invicta will play Sittingbourne in the Kent Senior Cup Final.

I hope to be at both games!!

Real football

Last night I had another trip to Folkestone to watch Invicta in the play-off for promotion to the Ryman Premier.

Grass roots local football with all the passion on the terraces that would shame 99% of Premier League clubs.
Invicta shouldn't have been there though. As the side that have won the most games in the division they should have been Champions after last week's draw with Croydon. Instead they were penalised with a ten point reduction for going into administration.

How docking points does anything more than kick a dog when it is down is anyone's guess. Why should the loyal supporters and the players be penalised? In the current economic climate we should be supporting clubs and the communities they represent.

Invicta have teams right through from small boys to the girls team to the youths and the Ryman side. They even have a side for the disabled.

It's a shame that those in charge of football in this country are so out of touch with the game they make a living out of. Maybe it is time we cleared out all the old tossers at the FA? Get rid of the parasites that jet round the world at the game's expense.

And use the money to support the grass routes instead.

Another source of income would be for the glory hunters who despite buying the latest Manchester United or Chelsea shirt never actually go to a game, and couldn't put a pin in the city where "their" team play on a map, got off their arses and went to a local non-league game once in a while.

In the end the game swung from end to end with Invicta taking the tie on penalties.

Harsh on the night for Leatherhead. But to be fair they were 5th and a long way back on points after the regular season finished.

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