28 November 2011

Westenhanger Dawn


Westenhanger Dawn, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Cold. Frosty. Car. Scrape. Shivver.

27 November 2011

25 November 2011

Banksy?

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.

SO WHAT TO DO NOW?

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. 


Regards, 


Paddy Tyson

8 November 2011

11-11-11

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.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2strokercz/sets/72157628037175150/

Marco #58

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

Oldham Athletic @ Sarfend United

One of the joys of getting old is being eligible for OAP or senior citizen discounts. My ticket is £15 where any adult up to 59 years a...