30 December 2011

Doctor Marten Boots

Hello John Gotta New Motah?An homage to the longevity of the Dr Marten boot. I wear mine in the winter and when I need sure comfortable footing.

I originally bought them to ride on a trip to Spain as I wanted a boot I could ride my bike with and also walk at the other end. Sadly, Catalunya had the worst weather for decades and the boots were useless.

Worn with a waterproof inner sock my feet were dry but the boot was sodden most of the time.

Alexie Sayle singing Dr Marten Boots

29 December 2011


What can I say? After months of my brother sending me invitations to join, workmates extolling the virtues of the "group" buying scheme I succumbed.

What a simple way of getting Christmas presents?

I never believe anything that claims to be a huge saving; either original profit margins are super high or the goods are lesser quality. After some googling and even eyeballing similar items in shops the deals looked good enough, although I still think the RRP claimed is a little high.

In the end I bought some Grip-on fashion watches for Claire. Ideal as she likes a watch that can be worn as a novelty time piece. They took over a month to arrive, rather than the "allow 21 days" the supplier stipulated. They arrived on the 23rd December! 1-0 to the crap side.

The second item, Swarovski crystal earrings. They are silver and look really good. They came well within the "allow 10 days" period and despite my thinking the seller was from Liverpool they actually came from Poland. Doubly good. Quick delivery and from outside the UK. 1-1!

As for the third item. I am still waiting. Ordered on 11th December also with the "allow ten days" clause and now 18. 2-1 to the crap side.  I have emailed and simply got automated replies. Not very good at all I emailed Groupon but didn't get an encouraging reply to the two late orders.

Compare this to a £4.09 (free postage!) eBay purchase of a new  Pama Bluetooth handsfree unit for the car. Two days from order to delivery. Or consider the £80 (postage inclusive) purchase from eBay of an Odyssey battery for my motorcycle. It had an estimated delivery of first week in January, but it arrived December 24th. Thirdly, maybe consider the BMW parts I ordered and that came in three days from Motor Works?

Maybe there were fewer orders for the handsfree or the battery, but once the customer has spent their money with you, it is time to give a shit.  Two of the Groupon companies obviously don't with their poor communication, and it seems Groupon are similarly uninterested.

23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

The beer that I have got in for Christmas.  Most of it is the 99p offering from Aldi called "Bavaria". Despite its name it is actually from Holland.

The others are two large Leffe Blonds and a few Shepherd-Neame  brews.

20 December 2011

Day trip to Mimoyecques V3 Site

I am in the middle of planning a trip across to France to visit the V3 "Revenge Weapon" site at Mimoyecques.  

I originally emailed in the Autumn and the reply was that they would be open in early April.  I took this to be more like the 1st rather than the 16th.... So planned this trip for the 15th.... I think you can see the problem?

We are now going to have to change the date to the 22nd!!!!

More details to follow.


19 December 2011

New Battery - Odyssey PC680

Not having any power in my garage means that I am unable to attach a trickle charger to my battery to keep it in tip top condition.  I then suffer the problems of a dead one and end up jumping the bike a few times from my Punto. 

This has worked successfully for a few winters, but sadly, although it starts, the standard BMW battery is now officially NFG!

So after asking the question "Odyssey or OEM?" on a few forums I have bought an Odyssey PC680 from a UK retailer and hopefully it will arrive between Christmas and New Year.  It's not the kind of expenditure a person needs in the run up to Christmas, but the deal I got saved about £25.

Fingers crossed that god's gift to batteries fits (!) and does what it is supposed to do.

Buy a big dog and hope it can bark loud. That's the Odyssey.  We'll see.

16 December 2011

Last Biker Down 2

Since posting this here, on the Kent Forum and on Facebook there have been a few takers and we have now joined forces with Kent Riders to see if we can get a better turnout.  Altogether there are 5 of us from the Kent Centre.
Any more?

15 December 2011

Christmas baubles

Christmas baubles, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

14 December 2011

Tiger in Wagamama O2

Tiger in Wagamama O2, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Paul Devall

13 December 2011

Londonshire Cream Tea

Londonshire Cream Tea, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Day 2 of the ICT Bake-Day.

12 December 2011


London Cyclists' Problems

The statistic that 16 cyclists have died on London's roads ought to be a stark reminder of how dangerous things can get for users of powered and non-powered two wheeled vehicles alike.

As a fair weather motorcyclist, that now only commutes in the summer to Islington, I have witnessed a few near misses over the last 15 years, both motorcycle/scooter and cycle.

If you want to live longer:
  • Don't ride up the inside of trucks and buses that are in the nearside lane. They may be turning left!
  • Don't ignore their flashing indicators!
  • Don't push to the front into the blind spot under their bumpers where the driver can't see you.
  • Don't cycle along with your iPod blaring in your ears!
  • Don't assume everyone else can see you.

It makes me shudder to see cyclists squeeze between trucks and the railings. The gap barely wider than their handlebars. Crazy.

Do ride defensively and be aware how vulnerable you are. It isn't rocket science. THINK!

Lunchtime walk to the Emirates

I had a walk at lunchtime. 

A brisk promenade across Highbury Fields cutting across to the Drayton Park across behind the library.

Far further than walkng along Holloway Road.  In the end I took the pics in the order they are shown on the left.

Herbert Chapman at the stadium end of the south bride, then round to the front where they have cited Thierry Henry. Then all the way to the opposite corner to the base of the steps at the north bridge end where Tony Adams' new bronze is situated.

Wenger's View - The Official Manager's Email - 12 December


Wenger: 'I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline'

Dear Arsenal supporter,

Our Club celebrated its 125th birthday before the Everton game and I felt it was important that we played to the level of history at Arsenal.

In the end, we won it with an artistic goal from an artist and I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline when you think about it.

The victory put us in the 'virtual' top four because we know if Chelsea get a draw on Monday they will be in front of us.

However we started from so deep this season that nobody could have predicted that we would be where we are now at the beginning of December. We have to keep going though because, in my opinion, we are still far away.

Maybe the turning point was when Andrey Arshavin scored against Swansea because that was a game we absolutely had to win.

After that there was the victory against Chelsea - that helped confidence - and we did well in the Champions League too. In the qualifier, we played Udinese who have been top of the Italian League this season and then we finished top of our Group F. We never got credit because when people decide you are a bad team, you are a bad team. We just have to work slowly and let people talk.

For me, we are a bit more mature these days but we still want to improve and be faithful to our style. On Saturday, Everton looked very good in the middle of the park and stopped us from playing. They have very intelligent players so Robin van Persie's winning goal was vital.

When you are 22 and you do not have the best of games, you rush your moments a little bit. When you are 28, like him, you keep focus and, if you get a chance, get it away.

It is difficult to take a ball over your shoulder like he did. The timing has to be right, you have to lean forward very quickly and your body shape has to be correct. Everybody who has played football understands that is the most technically difficult movement for a striker.

People will say we are 'Van Persie dependent'. But on Saturday, he got us a goal which came at a moment of the game where we were struggling to create chances. He delivered something special and three important points.

Thanks for your support.

Arsene Wenger's signature Arsène Wenger

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7 December 2011

Euro developments and where to now?

The European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted in Brussels yesterday on its report on the proposed regulation and on a raft of tabled amendments. About 35 IMCO members voted around 100 times on compromises, single amendments and blocs of amendments. We still haven't got the breakdown of the voting, to see which amendments were accepted, but in the meantime;

In the view of IMCO, as from 2016 motorcycles will have to become cleaner and manufacturers must fit ABS, even for light motorcycles. As from 2014, measures to prevent power-train modifications (which are still to be developed) must be applied and users shall present their bikes for inspection when carrying out "substantial" modifications. The text is a little ambiguous, so for the UK there may be little change from the current MoT for certain changes.

Yesterday's vote can be seen as a reference and recommendation for the final vote of the European Parliament, which is expected to be held by the beginning of 2012, probably March. We hope it is put back a little further, so that there is more time to organise a Euro wide demo. As soon as there is more info, I'll let you know.
Before the vote was carried, IMCO chairman Malcolm Harbour made reference to an impact assessment which started on November 23rd, dealing with time-lines, emission limits, ABS and anti-tampering measures, and whose outcome is expected to influence Parliament's final vote. This is why we still need to talk to all our MEPs as the process is changing all the time and those research results are in yet.

Remember that the challenge to the Commission about the way the proposal was drafted in the first place, is still to be answered, which is yet another angle of attack we are pursuing through the Ombudsman's office.

With regard to power-train modifications [Article 18] IMCO adopted a compromise in line with the European Commission's logic and propounded by Wim van de Camp's office, with 'delegated acts' laying down measures for manufacturers to prevent subsequent modifications by the user that may have adverse effects on safety or the environment.

Additionally IMCO added a new article 18a which requires that users seek inspection and approval "by the competent authorities" in case of substantial power-train modifications. It may well be that the 'competent authority' in the UK will mean the MoT. "A modification is deemed to be substantial when it renders the original type approval obsolete" or when it harms safety or the environment. Interesting terminology and until we see what 'delegated acts' include, it is hard to comment.

Aline Delhaye, General Secretary of FEMA says: "This regulation contains many good parts FEMA is in line with, like durability requirements and improved access to repair and maintenance information for the user. But if the current text of article 18 is finally adopted, it will mean that all the usual changes motorcyclists make for riding comfort, fuel efficiency, or simply to suit their riding style, will be illegal or will have to be checked and approved. This has not been a problem so far and there is no reason why it should become a problem tomorrow. FEMA will certainly keep on working on this regulation."

Battle Lines Drawn on Type Approval


7 December 2011


Battle Lines Drawn on Type Approval

A key vote by a European Parliament committee has set the scene for a battle royal over the toughest technical proposals yet to threaten European motorcyclists say the BMF.
On Monday the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee voted through stringent proposals for the regulation, approval and market surveillance of motorcycles, three wheelers and quadricycles.
The IMCO committee vote is an early stage of the legislative process and is in effect a recommendation to the European Parliament. If the European Parliament take the same view, it would mean that from 2014, measures to prevent power-train modifications* must be devised and applied by manufacturers and also that owners must present their motorcycles for inspection after carrying out 'substantial' modifications. It would also mean that as from 2016, tighter emission laws would apply and all machines would have to be fitted with ABS, not just those over 125cc as previously tabled.
The European Parliament final vote will be held in the New Year but on the positive side say the BMF, IMCO chairman Malcolm Harbour will conduct an impact assessment dealing with timelines, emission limits, ABS and anti-tampering measures, the outcome of which is expected to influence the European Parliament's final vote.
Speaking after the vote, Chris Hodder, the BMF's Government Relations Executive said: "Rather than protecting the right to enjoy their property, IMCO MEPs are recommending that it be curtailed. Some requirements such as those for durability and improved access to repair and maintenance information are good, but others that restrict the owners right to adapt and modify their own machines strike at the very core of motorcycling and are totally unnecessary."
The BMF is now stepping up its lobbying of UK Government and MEPs through its membership of FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations.
Power-train modifications will mean manufacturers employing measures to prevent subsequent modifications by the user that may have adverse effects on safety or the environment. Additionally IMCO added a new article 18a which requires that users seek inspection and approval 'by the competent authorities' in case of substantial power-train modifications.
A detailed report on the IMCO vote will soon be available on the FEMA website: www.fema-online.eu
Issued by Jeff Stone:  t: 0121 709 1040 m: 07802 763094 e: jeffstone@bmf.co.uk
Details on this and other bmf activities can also be found on our web site: www.bmf.co.uk
BMF (Enterprises) Ltd, 3 Oswin Road, Brailsford Industrial Estate, Braunstone, Leics, LE3 1HR. 
Company Registration No. – 00982171    VAT - 765330921 

2 December 2011

Westenhanger Car-park

Westenhanger Car-park, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Aqua cars and wellies only.

1 December 2011

Last Biker Down

Kent Fire Bike are running a series of evening courses to cover all aspects of what to do if a rider in your group has an accident, or if you come across a rider that has come off and needs your help.

At the moment there are no dates confirmed for 2012 but the organiser would like names and email addresses so he can build a waiting list of interested individuals. If a club can get together between 15 and 25 people, then they will put on a special group session.

So, are you interested?  Names at first to me and then by mid-December I need to give them email addresses as well.

28 November 2011

Westenhanger Dawn

Westenhanger Dawn, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Cold. Frosty. Car. Scrape. Shivver.

25 November 2011


If you are an art expert who specialises in street art, have a look at the pictures and tell me if these are Banksy originals or copies?

The motorcycle jumping picture is higher up on the wall with the little kid with the rocket launcher are pavement level.


14 November 2011

BMW Club Mileage Trophy 2011 - End October

A bit late this month and not all the mileages have come in but here we are anyway.

There is one month to go, or to be precise there are 16 days left and then it is all over and done with.

Updated on the 15th November when the last two entrants sent in their mileages.

13 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

The war memorial in Hythe.

 We had a walk down there after all the services had finished. As well as the large wreaths from local organisations as diverse as the Police to the 1st Bn Gurkha Rifles were those of the Scouts and Guides, plus the personal poppy crosses.

The flowers in the bottom right of the picture were laid by the visitors from one of Hythe's twin town, Berck sur Mer..

11 November 2011

Feel like gettin' active? Here's a couple of things to keep the Eurocrats busy

Another forwarded communication. This is not simply another European pile of crap, once they get it passed, then manufacturers will build bikes to these standards and then the whole world is affected. Please read on. This is no time to be a NIMBY!

I'm sorry I do this before the weekend, and this is a long one, but if you can spare 5 minutes, please have a read. If nothing else you'll have something to talk about down the pub!

You may remember earlier activist mailings highlighting MAG member Jon Strong's fight with the European Commission (EC) which he took through the EU Ombudsman. Among Jon's complaints was that the Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the Type Approval Regulation we are currently fighting, was, frankly, inadequate.

The EU Ombudsman agreed that the EC have a case to answer in respect of Jon's complaint. The EC were given until 30th September to respond to Jon's complaint as part of the process through which he can come to a decision. The Commission requested an extension of the time given to respond.  The extension was granted by the Ombudsman until 31st October. As of the 10th November the EU Ombudsman was still waiting for their response, which he expects soon.

As riders we need our elected representatives to ensure that the EC complies with its own founding laws. We should require our MEPs to point to the supporting evidence in the Impact Assessment or throw out unsubstantiated parts of the draft Regulation.  We should ask our MEPs why the EC has failed to respond to the Ombudsman on Jon's complaint; is it that it would be too embarrassing to admit that they had failed to present evidence to show the proportionality and thus legality of proposed measures before the IMCO committee vote on the 22nd Nov? Were they hoping the vote wouldn't be postponed again, as it just has, to Dec 5th?

In the European Union's founding treaties there is an important principle that any legislation proposed by the EC must be proportionate and must be demonstrably so. The principle of proportionality is considered so important that it is set out in Article 5 of the Treaty of the European Union. That is the treaty that Gordon Brown went to Lisbon to sign. It is not a provision that is buried deep in the Treaty or the accompanying 'Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union' which covers the administration of the EU.

Jon's complaint alleges that the Type Approval legislation fails to meet the legal requirements of proportionality for correctly drafted legislation as set out in the EU treaties Article 5 of the Treaty of the European Union and Protocol 2 Article 5. The grounds of his complaint in respect of Article 5 and the accompanying Protocol is that the detailed Impact Assessment that is required under Protocol 2 fails to provide the evidence required to demonstrate that two critical measures within the draft regulations are proportionate.

The Anti Tampering measures (Article 18) of the Regulation are covered by the Commission's Impact Assessment which states in Annex XVIII, that the EC needs to collect baseline data as to the impact of tampering on emissions and the level of tampering as a problem within motorcycling.

They admit they don't have the data yet, but in the same document say that 13% of the mopeds are tampered. The evidence available to them from TuV Nord is that across the whole fleet including larger motorcycles, only 5% are thought to be "tampered". They wish to impose the additional costs of Anti-tampering measures which may prevent us maintaining and repairing our own machines on 87% of law abiding moped riders and an even higher proportion of all riders. The EC claim this is proportionate!

Jon also found that the Automatic Head-lights On (AHO) measure is not mentioned at all in the Impact Assessment. There is no consideration of the effects on riders of older machines that don't switch their lights on or riders whose bulbs have blown in the event of a SMIDSY accident. There is no consideration as to whether failure to be illuminated would amount to contributory negligence on behalf of the rider in any of the member states and whether the measure creates a new duty of care TO BE seen for the rider, thus absolving the car driver in part for their failure to look. Again there is a lack of evidence as to the proportionality of the regulation.


We need to write to our MEPs and ask them to uphold the same Treaty laws which grant them the power to take part in setting European wide legislation and not allow laws to be made that are disproportionate and seemingly not compliant with the Treaties.

I'll write a possible outline letter next week that you may wish to use, but in the meantime, any opportunity you get, please keep up the pressure on your MEP.

Committee stage votes don't often get postponed this many times, so we are getting through.

Every single MEP can vote when the Regulation goes before the whole Parliament (or Plenary Session) in the spring, so don't let your MEP fob you off by saying they aren't sitting on the IMCO committee. They have a responsibility to represent us. It's what they're paid for.

Maybe before that vote we'll have another opportunity to ride TOGETHER and show our feelings.

Kind regards

Paddy Tyson
Motorcycle Action Group
Campaigns Co-ordinator

10 November 2011

Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) Vote

The crucial committee stage vote by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), into the Type Approval Regulation, has been postponed yet again, to the 5th December. 

MAG welcomes the fact that so much attention is being paid to this piece of legislation, at Committee stage, after the many, many months of lobbying by MAG and FEMA and every one of you who've written a letter to your MEP. 

It shows that the lobbying tactics are working and the postponement comes as no surprise as the vote date had already been postponed several times and we had said this further delay was always a real possibility. 

This delay, as the 305 tabled amendments continue to be discussed, means that the Plenary Session vote, or vote by the whole European Parliament, will now be pushed back to the Spring. 

You may remember that a complaint against the Commission was upheld earlier in the year by the European Ombudsman, that the Commission had failed to provide sufficient evidence for its proposals on Anti-Tampering and Automatic Headlights On, and we have discovered today that the Commission has failed to provide any further supporting evidence. 

These two events exonerate MAG's position that much of the TA Regulation is ill-conceived and highlights the difficulties that our politicians face if they choose to support some of the Commission's more outlandish ideas. 

The battle goes on, and I'm really thankful to all of you for completing the recent UK consultation document, which all adds support to our cause and to our National Government, who are continuing to negotiate on our behalf, at 'Council' stage, negotiations that run alongside the 'Committee' stage. 


Paddy Tyson

8 November 2011


It's only a few days to go to to the first 11-11-11 since the end of the First World War, and it made me think how lucky my generation have been. We have fought many mini-wars, police actions and the current actions in Afghanistan, where our soldiers are still giving their lives, but no whole scale war. 

In facr, we have not had a full scale conflict involving conscripted forces since 1945.  And that has to be seen as a measure of how lucky we have been.

Despite the trend in the late Victorian period for large families, and despite the infant mortality rate being high amongst the inner city working class, my family were generally lucky with only two young men killed on the battlefields of the Western Front.

My father' side of the family were even luckier in WW2 when we had uncles galore in the services, from the RAF to the Army to the Navy, not one was even injured. On my mother's side it was much the same picture, although a small family, there were no casualties.

Thanks gentlemen for your sacrifice.

Riding with MIss Forgotten - My GT750A

Every time I see the posts on the FB group for the GT750 owners I feel guilty that my old girl is lying at the back of the garage in need of some TLC. I guess I lost enthusiasm once I moved house and there was no light and no power available. 

Until then, in the winter months I would sit with a polishing cloth and some metal polish and keep the bike pretty clean. Okay, not as clean as those that are trailered to shows and that have mirrors under them so you can see the original grey of the ally under belly, but clean enough.  Now she languishes, forgotten, well almost forgotten, not exactly unloved, but not really appreciated.  The older lover, replaced by a younger, better built and more modern model. Slowly losing her looks, shut away from the world.

What to do?  As a below average mechanic with tools more suited to trucks rather than delicate Japanese bikes, I have been guilty of letting her fade away.  Now I need to do something.  I had ideas of getting her across to the great John Storrie to work some magic. I don't want her to be a show stopper, but rather a good runner.

Christmas is coming and I will have to send John a card.......

Kent Pet Food Run 2012 - Update

An update already.

The destination is now confirmed as the Blue Cross Animal Rescue Centre  in Northiam, Kent. The date is still the 17th June 2012.

Now that we have a date and destination we have to look for a decent ride out for the riders we intend to invite and therefore a meeting place to accommodate the hundreds that will turn up.

7 November 2011

Kent Pet Food Run 2012

We have a date - 17th June 2012.  The destination of the run is still TBA as is the start point. The latter depends on the former!

Although, I am leaning towards the Blue Cross at Northiam. 

When I started organising the runs in the early 90's we went to the Blue Cross Centre at Kimpton in Hertfordshire. I stopped that in 2000 a year after I moved to Kent. Mainly due to the distance from home but also that the Centre Manager was retiring. It seemed like a convenient time to call it a day.

Since then I've done a few in Kent to different places but I thought the 20th year should be back at the Blue Cross.

I keep saying every year will be my last, but the draw is still there. Maybe 20 years will be enough?
As soon as I have tied up the destination and start point I will update the thread on here and post to the various websites and forums to which I belong.

Thomas Cook Complaints

Have to be seen to be believed:

1. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

2.  "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned

3. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry.  I don't like spicy food at all."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

5. A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".

6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she'd been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the "do not disturb" sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

7. "The beach was too sandy."

8. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

9. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

10. "Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."

11. "We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

12. "No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

13. "There was no egg slicer in the apartment..."

14. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish..."

15. "The roads were uneven.."

16. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it took the Americans only three hours to get home."

17. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."

18. "The brochure stated:  'No hairdressers at the accommodation'. We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying there?"

19.  "There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad'"

20. "We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

21. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

22. "I was bitten by a mosquito - no-one said they could bite."

23. "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."  

4 November 2011

Le Mans MotoGP 2012

Tickets went on sale today and Neill went online and bought them.

We opted for the weekend tickets as they are only €10 more than Sunday only. Also collect on site was €1 rather than €30 for them to be sent DHL.

All in €135.

Hands Off EU Muppets!!!

Still laughing now four eyes?

Had to cut this from the official highlights video showing this "gentleman" laughing and giving RvP the wanker signs after he missed in the early stages of last week's game.

Still laughing now four eyes?

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke!

It's cruel to laugh, but this couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.

The question is.

What did John Terry call Robin van Persie after this incident?

Train Etiquette?

For the last eleven years the bulk of my commuting has been by train.
Why? It's simply distance and time. Although when you take into account the daily cost of my train season ticket, monthly, it works out at about £15 to £17 a day depending on the length of the month.
Before you factor in the other costs of using the bike; tyres, servicing, insurance and road tax as well as petrol, the bike is actually MORE expensive. At the current rip-off rates it costs about £18 to fill the tank everyday.
Okay, back to the train. Etiquette amongst seasoned commuters is that you sit down. First on chooses where. Later arrivals take what's left. If in a seat with the aisle or a table you do not sit opposite the person if seats are free. We all need our leg room.
If someone is sitting on an aisle seat and the window seat is free it is perfectly okay to ask them to let you by. Real words tend to work better than grunting and pointing. You never ask the person to give up their seat by sliding across.
With this in mind, the tripper that got on this morning grunted, pointed and them between shouting down her phone asked me to move to the window seat!
I refused. Why? The window seats are the worst. The wall of the train is freezing except on summer days. The window is cold, but most of all when the train arrives at your station you are trapped and no matter how much of a hurry you are in, you have to wait for the dullard next to you to move before you can get your stuff off the overhead racks!!
More to come!!!

3 November 2011

Sinterklaastreffen 2011 - 3rd December

My first St Nicks was back in 1985. I went with my then partner Audrey on my MZ250ETZ and Tony and Heather Young on, if I remember rightly, a BMW R100RT.

We went for many years and stayed at the Polaris Hotel. Then with wife Claire we went until it closed we dropped weekends to become day-trippers.

The last few years have been less good, breakdowns, sickness and bad weather have all stopped me from going.

I booked on Seafrance for £12.50 return and will go over and see how it is.

Johnny No-Mates?

2 November 2011

Ciao Marco

The picture on the left and those linked below were sent to me in a series of emails by my friend, Ivan Benda, in the Czech Republic.

Ivan's photos are from the Brno Memorial Day for Marco Simoncelli at the Masaryk Automotodrom on October 30th 2011.

To get them seen by a wider audience I created a Flickr account for him and uploaded all the photos. As well as here, with a very limited audience, I have posted it a few Facebook goups.


Marco #58

I've not seen this cartoon before. It was sent by my friend Ivan Benda.

31 October 2011


The latest album from Megadeth.

It's everything we have been waiting for.  As soon as it starts, the familiar heavy riffs and the Dave Mustaine's voice cut in and off we go with "Sudden Death".

All the familar Megadeth favourites are here, political comment, heavy guitar riffs, Mustaine's voice grinding through the lyrics.

28 October 2011

Mobile phone signals?

Is there anyone that can answer this simple question?

How can the signal on my phone vary from "no signal" through the entire range to 3G and back whilst I am totally stationery?

From my basic education I understand the concept of sound and radio waves.

So how does it vary so widely when the phone doesn't move more than a foot (30 cms) in any direction. There are no objects moving that could mask the waves...

E.g. An SMS message comes and is received. It is read but the user is unable to reply as the phone has no connection to the network.

Irritating but how can this happen?

27 October 2011

Planning a trip to MotoGP in France 2012

We are planning a trip across to France for the 2012 GP at Le Mans.  We have been to Assen in 2009/10 and Brno in 2011, and wanted to try another track and GP that we have never been to before.

The next nearest to make a weekend of it is France. So Le Mans it is. This trip so far is just me and my brother, Neill, but I have posted a note on the Kent Centre SOC forum to see if anyone wants to join us this time.

I have started a new blog just for this event - http://thedevallboys.blogspot.com/

26 October 2011

Ride of Respect 2012 - Royal Wootton Bassett

The 2012 Ride of respect will be on March 18th 2012, once again it is Mother's Day.

The organisers have arranged to have the same meeting place at Hullavington Airfield and the ride will once again be through Wootton Bassett.

At the time of writing they haven't released any details of local rides, such as they held in 2011. I am sure these will follow.

I have been on the last two to WB, but maybe the local run would be more sensible next year and let someone else have the experience of the WB run?

Full details can be seen on the official website - http://www.rideofrespect.co.uk/

21 October 2011

MAG address People's Pledge Congress

Nich Brown, General Secretary of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), will deliver a keynote speech tomorrow to the People's Pledge Congress in the Westminster Methodist Central Hall, London, ahead of the Parliamentary debate tabled for Monday.Other speakers at the cross-Party event include Kate Hoey MP, David Davis MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Mark Seddon, Bob Crow. MAG is pleased that the motorcyclists' voice will be heard at the event; an opportunity to demonstrate how the current structure of the EU is anathema to representative democracy and to illustrate the disassociation so many feel attempting to be heard when proposed legislation is to directly impact upon them.

In essence the People's Pledge is:

The EU is now planning to give itself new wide-ranging powers in the form of yet another treaty in relation to the crisis in the eurozone. The choice concerning our relationship with the EU is now clear: either we accept being primarily and increasingly governed from Brussels or we decide to abandon membership and negotiate a new relationship with the EU based on trade and, where this makes sense, voluntary co-operation.

There are 5 key reasons why we must have a referendum on Britain and the EU:
* No one under the age of 54 has had the chance to vote on our relationship with Brussels
* The EU now makes a majority of the laws we must obey
* The UK has less than 10% of the votes in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament
* The EU is costing Britain more and more money
* The EU wants to give itself new powers of ‘economic governance’

MAG's recent day of action saw over 40,000 riders begin a simultaneous slow ride at 1pm on the 25th September across the UK's motorway network as part of it's campaign to highlight the Proposed EU Type Approval and Market Surveillance of 2 and 3 wheeled vehicles Regulation.

15 October 2011

Dover Seafront

Took a drive to Dover to give Claire an outing and to give her some exercise. Ended up at Dover for a walk along the seafront and an ice cream.

Sadly, I didn't have a lens capable of shooting pics of the fly-past by the Spitfire and its pair of helicopter escorts.

Looking on the net shows that a company does these trips and they are a mere £895 a head.
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8 October 2011

Knobs on bikes

Last weekend I had the misfortune to be on the A28 between Tenterden and Ashford and in the car. The clowns on bikes that came zooming up, cutting in and out of the cars, forcing oncoming cars to swerve to their left ruined all the good work we do with the charity runs; pet runs, air ambulance, Easter egg and Christmas toy runs etc.

Double white lines? 30 limits? Mean nothing to these knobs. In Kent you can ride as fast as you like without much chance of seeing a copper or camera.. So why piss along through the villages?

It was a miracle that another biker's family weren't getting the knock on the door and the "sorry for your loss" spiel.

7 October 2011

Everytrail - Coopers to Home

Cooper Motorrad to Home

UPDATE 28/2/2018

Everytrail is another website that has loads of stuff on it and then they kill it off.  Why not just close it to new updates and leave it there to view.

5 October 2011

Handsfree you mongs!!

According the Kent Police, as reported on Radio Kent, 6000 people (is that all?) have been nicked for using a mobile phone whilst driving?


One of these can be bought on eBay for less than a tenner and they work.

25 September 2011

Starobrno Tradiční 4.0% ABV

Action Now! EU Hands Off Biking

My run was as far as Stop 24 via the Airport Cafe. The Airport was chocked full. I saw about half of them at the services later. I assume my deodorant is the wrong sort as the rest of the centre went to the Blue & White.

I ended up at Stop 24 at about 1150, met the organiser and started marshalling the arrivals a while later. My next job was counting the bikes as they left. I missed a few I know but counted 282 inc the coppers and me.

The official count was nearer 400 or so I have been informed.   I must be innumerate.

After everyone had left about a dozen late arrivals turned up and all but one went off to join the column.

My run ended as unpaid PRO for MAG and the run explaining to the people at Stop 24 why we were doing it. At 1.30pm I managed to get away and went home.

24 September 2011

Robin van Persie, he scores when he wants..........

Considering this was taken with my iPhone rather than a proper camera it has come out pretty well!

"Robin van Persie, he scores when he wants......."

21 September 2011

Action Now! EU Hands Off Biking!

The Hythe M20 meeting will set off from Stop 24 Services at 1pm and set off southwards on the M20 and A20 and disperse at Dover Eastern Docks.


The latest:

With just 4 days to go before we all ride on Sunday 25th, we are already making waves.

Another MP, Mark Lancaster has now confirmed he'll be riding from Northampton services on the M1 and 6 MEPs have said they will be at their local runs to show support. This number is likely to grow as more call the office each day.

The IMCO vote has now been postponed again! This time to the 22nd November, which means that the EU Parliament won't now be voting on this Type Approval Regulation until next year.

The great news is that all this delay is directly related to the fuss we are causing. This Regulation will not be rubber stamped.

There appears to be some friction between National Governments and the EU that didn't exist before you all started writing letters.

The standard responses we were receiving from MEPs earlier in the year have now become more focussed.

The Labour block of MEPs now appear to be supporting either a switch on ABS, or no compulsion.

The UK Government is now as concerned as we are, that there hasn't been the research to back much of the content in the Proposal and that the Impact Assessment carried out was not robust.

They are concerned about the impact on consumers (us!), the increased costs and complexity of bikes and the right of the UK to maintain its Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) system, so that one off customs can still be built.

On a less positive note, we've run out of T-shirts!

Orders came in so thick and fast that we had to reorder from the suppliers and they were all sold before we'd even received them! Sorry if you missed out, but some of the start points may still have a few for sale on the day.

The other 'not so helpful' development, is that the Road Safety Authority in Ireland has confirmed that it intends to make hi-viz clothing compulsory for all motorcyclists from 2014.

The Motorcycle Action Group (UK) requested confirmation yesterday after the RSA told a reporter on the Northern Irish newspaper 'NewsLetter';

"...at present the RSA's preference is for the voluntary wearing of high visibility jackets rather than compulsion."

This contradicted the RSA's position in the National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan 2010-14 which proposes the introduction of regulations for the mandatory wearing of high visibility upper body clothing with full sleeves for ride and pillion passenger.

Brian Farrell, Communications Manager at the Road Safety Authority, emailed MAG(UK) in response to a request for clarification, saying;

"I can confirm that the RSA has not dropped the position outlined in the Motorcycle Action plan. We do intend to seek to introduce the measure in 2014, subject to consultation with motorcyclists and industry on the most appropriate type of hi-viz material."

MAG(UK)'s General Secretary Nich Brown said;

"too many riders have been unwilling to believe they will be forced to wear day-glo clothing in the near future.  Until now the RSA has soft-pedalled its determination to legislate, but now there is no doubt that the authorities are serious"

I'm not going to inundate you with mailings before Sunday, so I'd like to say I hope you have a great day, please remember that the rules of the road have not been suspended, respect other road users and don't stop on the hard shoulder if your mate breaks down. Carry on to the next exit.

The Highways Agency will be putting on extra patrols to help out near each start point and they have confirmed that the motorway signs from 6am all across the country, will read 'Think bike!'

Not only are the Police being 'understanding' but I now know quite a few of them will be joining us if they have the day off.

Now, let's hope it doesn't rain!

Kind regards

Paddy Tyson
Campaigns Co-ordinator
MAG (UK) - Motorcycle Action Group

Tel: 01926 844064
Mob: 07717 345605

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