29 May 2012

EU Hands Offf Biking T-shirts are here- only £5!

A retail opportunity and a plea for help!

'EU Hands off Biking' T-shirts are now available for only £5, so if you want to support the 24th June demo event (and look very smart all summer), please click here http://www.euhandsoffbiking.co.uk/

Shirts are available in 3 sizes for now, Medium, Large and 2XL

Postage and packing is £2 for the first one and £1 thereafter if you want to place a multiple order, which is still a bargain, but which brings me to my next point...

Do you live within striking distance of Warwick and would you be able to give MAG Central any of your free time to help process the orders and pack the shirts?

We'll give you lunch, cups of tea/coffee and undying gratitude, but very little else, it's very much a volunteer opportunity.


Please call the office if you are and ask for Julie

01926 844064


Paddy Tyson Campaigns Coordinator Motorcycle Action Group http://www.mag-uk.org/ 01926 844064
mag-uk-activists-list mailing list

At the Emirates

22 May 2012

Adelscott. Bière aromatisée au Malt à Whisky. 5.8% ABV.

Bought this in France. Liked the idea of the Whisky taste. Very nice. Should have bought more, but on the bike I was space limited.

21 May 2012

L'hotel F1 par nuit

On the way back to our hotel from the Campanile down the street. It looks quite good by night.

When we decided to do Le Mans, the F1 here in Alencon was the only hotel at a decent price (budget!!) in the area for a 50 mile range of Le Mans itself.

BMW Water Collector

20 May 2012

MotoGP - Day 2 & 3

No photos this time as I used the Canon and the Sony cameras rather than the iPhone. Have to wait until I get home to use the laptop.

After breakfast Saturday we took the non-toll route to Le Mans. Woody leading as my TomTom was misbehaving. (http://invictamoto.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/tomtom.html)

At the track they affix a sticker to the headlamp and give you the other half. On leaving both have to match. They also want to see the biker's log book. French ones are small, our are four pages of A4 and paper. As it is peezing down there is no way I am getting mine out of the topbox!

We arrived in time for the Moto2 free session and all three classes qualifying.

All the commentary in French. A summary in English at the end is spoken by a guy that learned English in a vacuum.

It drizzled all day. Rained hard at times. Almost trench foot.

Sunday. Up earlier, same route, same rigmarole to park, same logbook stays in topbox. Found a space near where we were yesterday. There are plenty of grandstands and about half of them are free. They were chock full.

We saw the warm-up and then all three races.

Of course we were supporting the British riders with backups of Valentino Rossi in GP.

In Moto2 our riders Scott Redding and Bradley Smith were pressing for the podium and after a scare Bradders dropped way back and fought back to 8th. Scott did better and as the last British rider to win a GP, got another podium.

Sadly in MotoGP we had a disappointment when Cal Crutchlow came a cropper when contesting for third with Rossi and Dovicioso.

The ride for James Ellison was more successful as he was first across the line to be the CRT class winner.

The weather looked up and it was drying as we left for "home", but it didn't last. Raining again for the last twenty miles or so.

We have been wearing waterproof over clothes for almost three days. Luckily trenchfoot hasn't set in

A brief dry spell in the evening meant we could go and get dinner but the rain soon came back.

Tomorrow we are looking at a WW2 monument near Argentan and maybe Camembert. Weather dependent of course.

19 May 2012


The Gros Horloge, as the clock is called, is in an area where there are plenty of old buildings.

You can see where post 1945 the town rebuilt the areas where it was heavily bombed in the days around D-Day 1944.

But many still there in the area near the clock and the cathedral.

These interesting ladies adorn the wall of an adjacent building now an optician's shop.

Adjacent to the Gros Horloge is this pair of buildings and the narrow alley.

Le Mans - Day 1

Gros Horloge

The day started well. Sunny. Met Woody at the Stop 24 services and fuelled up and the had 3 mile ride tithe Shuttle.

The train was packed with bikes all heading one way or another the 250 miles to Le Mans or thereabouts.

Our first stop was Rouen for lunch and a look around the old city.

The cathedral was being renovated and we were unable to see the statue of Joan of Arc.

We did see the old clock down a side street and went to have a look.

The final hundred or so miles off toll roads took us in a strange loop when we expected the N138.

We arrived at the hotel about 5pm. A quick change and we were out again to the supermarket to buy provisions for Saturday's practice day.

18 May 2012

TomTom kaput!


Why did I buy a TomTom?  I have only had it three months and it's only it's third trip out and it has gone wrong.

It was working on the bike all the way here to Alençon. But when I came to set the route for tomorrow for the run to Le Mans,  it was dead. I thought it may have been simply discharged.  But the problem seems to be when it is turned off it fires up again, so the battery flattens itself, unseen, in the case.

I had already logged a call with them for a rattle, some screw loose or something.

Now I am one day into the long GP weekend and it is not working.  Fantastic.

Almost Rouen

Made reasonable progress on off/on drizzle.

More later.

At the Shuttle

Arrived in good time. Loads of bikes ranging from normal blokes to clowns revving the balls off their cock replacements.

Paul Devall
Sent from my iPhone

17 May 2012

Changes regarding 'anti-tampering'

Changes are afoot in Europe, as they so often are, which makes it difficult to ensure information stays up to date. Meetings are on-going, both in the UK and in Brussels so I'll try and bring you up to speed without sending you to sleep.


I had another MEP meeting yesterday when it was agreed that a question would be put to the EU Commission in an attempt to discover their justification for some of the EU Type Approval Regulation which has no evidential base. I refer specifically here to the 'anti-tampering' clauses. The European Ombudsman has found that the Commission does have a case to answer on this subject and the UK Government questioned the validity of the claims too, conducting its own assessment of the situation.


Article 18 as the wording in the public domain still states, wishes to impose anti-tampering measures on all new motorcycles. This already exists for mopeds and up to 125cc bikes (known as A1), so, much as we may feel it's unjustified and the EU Commission are yet to provide evidence that it was a problem, or that the existing legislation solved that 'problem', it would be a difficult political case to argue for its overthrow.


What we have said all along, and it remains our position, is that MAG is not in favour of anti-tampering legislation on any bikes, but especially when the attempted introduction of that legislation has not been justified.


You may have heard that another 'high level' meeting took place recently in Brussels (15th May) and indeed it did, between EU Parl representatives, the Commission and the Council, but nothing was decided. One reason is that the Council (all the member states) have not agreed their own common position, so they aren't in a position to enter formal negotiations with the Parliament and Commission. Indeed they probably won't have an agreed position until after 6th of June.


Still with me?


To clarify developments I have just finished a consultation with our Dept for Transport and can tell you that UK Gov, like us, is still very concerned with article 18, even though the text of it is still under negotiation. As we've mentioned before, the modified article 18a that the IMCO committee wrote, has now been side-lined which is good because as MAG said at the time, it had gone even further than the original proposal.


The latest incarnation of the text in Article 18 (and remember it is not final yet) does at last exempt the biggest bikes (those over 48bhp) but that isn't good enough and MAG will continue to work with those MEPs who have agreed to table an amendment exempting all bikes over 125cc. We have got this far because you have all actively campaigned and written letters, contributing to the campaign, so keep up the good work. But a brand new paragraph has been added to the text which makes it very clear that users (us) will still not be allowed to modify a bike's powertrain "unless such modifications or adjustments are explicitly declared and contained in the information folder and thus covered by the type-approval."


This particularly concerns our Government because it in effect means that anything we choose to do as end users will not be tolerated and it puts the onus on manufacturers, through best engineering practise; to do everything they can to limit our tinkering. At its simplest, anti-tampering could have been a sticker that said 'please don't modify this bit', but now it looks like manufacturers will have to do what they can, through engineering, to stop us.


The on-going concern we have, like the British and French Governments and just about every MEP we speak to, is that the Delegated Acts will still contain technical info that won't be seen until after the vote in EU Parliament. Negotiations in Brussels continue on this point to pull more of the detail out of the technical Delegated Acts and into the domain of parliamentarians and government negotiators.


The next 6 weeks will be hectic and in all probability the Parliamentary vote will be moved to September/ October, but it was originally timetabled for last March, so that demonstrates just how dynamic the situation remains.

Paddy Tyson Campaigns Coordinator Motorcycle Action Group www.mag-uk.org 01926 844064

16 May 2012

Washed and Ready

Just put a few extra pounds in the tyres front and rear to take it more towards the loaded fast tour pressures.

I usually run 32psi at the front and 36psi at the back but gone to 34/40 for the run to Le Mans.

Once back inside the house will switch to battery charge mode to get the camera and TomTom charged for the weekend. Next to sort out clothes. Will be in bike gear most of the time so will need jeans and a few tshirts. Plus caks and socks.

Toying with netbook as well as the hotel allegedly has free wifi.

Mr Baloo (pic) has been my mascot since 2004 and has brushed up well considering he has been in the beak area for about 8 years now. When they gave him away at a McDonald's they never expected him to last long as a kid's toy.

Wash and Brush up before the off.

15 May 2012

When waterproof isn't waterproof!

Last year I bought a pair of cordura waterproof trousers to replace a pair I'd had for two years.

They arrived in time for the Welsh National Rally in early May the weather was appalling on the way back from Wales. To make things worse the crotch split.
I emailed the shop from my hotel on the way back.

They were good and replaced them.

For one reason or another I wore them for the first time in April. Luckily it didn't rain.

Unluckily, the second time of wearing them, resulted in what crotch syndrome. Soaked through. Can't see where it is getting in but this is so annoying.

It's cutting it fine but this pair are less than a year old, so I emailed them to see what happens!

Even if they see it my way and replace them they won't be here until after the Le Mans trip.

Let's see how it goes.....

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