30 June 2012

Allied Memorial Rememberance Ride - June 30th 2012

It had been in the diary for about three months, but this year there were only two of us, my brother Neill, and me. 

It was the same as the last ever Wootton Bassett Run back in March.

Maybe the effects of the recession have bitten harder than I had thought.

We were supposed to meet at Nell's Cafe on the A2, but in the end as there were two of us we met at the Esso down the road to fill up for the 120 mile ride up to Cambridge.

The ride was also taking place in the US and Canada.

On our run we had people from across the commonwealth.
Some of those that gave their lives for our freedom are buried here. The walls between the memorial and the flag pole contain the names of over 5000 airmen and women that were lost and never recovered.

One of those is bandleader Glenn Miller.

More pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pauldevall/sets/72157630357764934/

29 June 2012

Euro 2012

Had to share this picture.

I have German friends.
I have Italian friends.

I don't have any Spanish friends.

Forza Italia!!

28 June 2012

Three's a crowd

Three's a crowd, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Another test of the Tamron 70-300mm zoom. In fact, my first photo taken with the new lens after getting home from Jessop's.

The feeder is not level, i.e. not straight up and own as the wind was blowing quite hard. I took this by poking the end of the lens though the kitchen window!

Not too shabby?

RHDR @ Dungeness

One of the many eccentricities of the British is the fascination with steam railways.

Long after the country marched on into the diesel and then the electric age, (mostly) men and boys have kept steam railways alive.

The RHDR isn't simply a toy railway. Although the trains are small, for many years the railway provided transport for people going to work and also as a school service.

Nowadays, it is more for holidaymakers to clamber on and travel from Hythe in the east to Dungeness in the west.

More about their railway and its history can be seen on their website.

I took this picture, at the weekend, from some 75 yards or so as I tested my new toy, a Tamron 70-300mm zoom for my aging Canon 300D.

MAG - More Good News

If you've been on this mailing list for a while, you'll be aware that one of the issues MAG has with the proposed EU Type Approval regulation, is what are called the Delegated Acts.

Because there are so many new laws coming from Europe, EU Parliamentarians really haven't time to look at the details of them (meeting in session as they do, only about 6 days in each month).

As part of the Lisbon Treaty which came into force December 2009, more technical parts of regulations could be included in the Delegated Acts, or parts of the legislation which is delegated to the technocrats, who can continue to write them after the democratic process has ended as they have more time then.

Our concern is that there isn't really any procedure, and certainly no timetabling available, for these delegated acts to be scrutinised by Parliament later. I know many MEPs say that they have the power, but when we've pressed them on the specifics, I haven't yet found one who's been able to tell me how, in practise, that would happen.

So why is this email entitled 'more good news..'?

Well, we've just learnt, that after an EU Commission/Parliament/Council (that's the national governments) meeting at the start of this week, all the specifics of article 52 in the regulation, are now to be removed from delegated acts and will become what are known as 'implementing measures'. Bear with me, this gets good in a minute.

Article 52 is the bit of the regulation that wanted to ban any after market component, system, or technical unit which may alter performance or emissions on a bike. The list of what components were to be specifically effected was to be in a delegated act, meaning we couldn't see the list and couldn't try to alter what may be on it, until it was too late.

This week, that list has been removed from the hands of the technocrats and placed instead, in the hands of our DfT and accountable EU Parliamentarians. Yes, feel free to raise a pint this weekend.

All the campaigning, every letter you've written and the demos we've had in September and last week, when we estimated 10,000 rode across the country, is making a difference. The parliamentary vote is now timetabled for October 25th 2012 having been put back again.

We may not win everything, but bikes over 47bhp are now being exempted from the anti-modification element of this regulation and we will continue to fight for the best deal for riders, so thanks for being a part of it.


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

Halloween Night of Fear

We saw Alice headlining the Saturday night at Download 2011 and he was superb. Tongue in cheek rather than offensive.

Before that I had seen him in the 80's when there was so much fake blood it was a laugh.  

People complained about AC but never bothered with slasher movies that were far more visceral and involved the motive of murdering young girls or dim college boys.

Wembley here we come.

27 June 2012

New Maxxis @ 78065 miles

Called in at FWR near the Oval to get a new tyre. I decided to stick with Maxxis to keep the matching pair. The front is only about 4000 miles old and so they might wear out together this time.

The one that came off was worn out and almost slick in the centre, but the sides were still pretty meaty.

When I checked the figures I managed to get 9005 from it. The one before only managed 8235.

The new one looks just as meaty!!

26 June 2012

Fuel duty freeze

Freeze on fuel duty. RAC welcomes victory for motorists. Motorists can breathe a sigh of relief today, with the news that the 3p increase in fuel duty planned for August has been postponed

RAC have been working with our partners at FairFuelUK for months to persuade government ministers to address ever increasing fuel costs. And today, in a victory for UK motorists, the Government has announced it is freezing fuel duty for the remainder of the year.

Quentin Willson, national spokesman for FairFuelUK said "For months FairFuelUK has pushed, argued, pleaded and proved to the government that scrapping the August duty rise would be essential to the economic future of this country. Thankfully the Government has listened and have acted for the good of struggling consumers across the UK"

David Bizley at RAC commented, "We welcome the news that the Government has deferred the duty increase...finally they have seen sense and listened to the voice of UK drivers who are struggling to meet the cost of motoring and face taxation at every step of the journey."

RAC welcomes this as a step in the right direction, but we would again urge the Government to carry out a thorough review of road taxing in the future to ensure it is fairer for all motorists.

22 June 2012

All the details for Sunday 24th - MAG

I know you'll have been checking the map, (as over 70,000 people now have) but please take a moment to follow this link, which is a pdf of  all the info you'll need.

Remember, the closest start to you may not be within your own EU Parliamentary constituency, but that really doesn't matter. Do have another look at the map if you need to.


Have a great day, ride safe and remember, if someone is blocking the route or riding extremely slowly, please do attempt to overtake them if it is safe to do so. (word on the street is that it may be a little damp on Sunday...)

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

21 June 2012

More Belgian Beers

After drinking a few beers whilst away for the two days in Belgium, the Liefmans and Jupiler, plus a Maes Pils or two.

I bought a couple to bring home that might prove a little on the strong side. We hardly bat an eyelid when we buy wine and the alcohol level is about 11.5% to 13% ABV. So why the surprise with beer? The Kaiser is a mere 7.8% ABV and I am going to theme drink this when I watch the Germans play in the Euro Qtr Final. Ironically, it is actually brewed in the Netherlands, the team sent home after losing to Germany in the championships!

The other is a bit more of a blaster. The Gordon Finest Platinum weighs in at a surprising 12% ABV. Although it comes with a tartan label and a Scottish sounding name it is brewed in Belgium. If I theme drink this one is could mean a long wait until Scotland manage to reach a championship.

As the drink by date is 6th October 2013, they may have qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but I doubt it!

I'll have to see how they both perform!!

And lastly, one for the ladies...... Liefman's Fruitesse 4-pack.

Belgium Beers

It might seem strange to some of us that the Belgians brew beer with fruit added during the process.

Basically it's what we call lager or pilsner, but with added red fruits, often cherries or in some cases raspberries. One I know of has strawberry juice.

The one here is red fruit! Cherry as well as raspberries. It's quite fruity as expected but quite potent.

20 June 2012

DSA demonstrate they are up to speed!

The DSA have just released the bikes that they have approved as test suitable for the new licensing categories that come into forceJan 19th 2013.

Interestingly they state:

For machines not on this list or where an individual machine has been restricted to comply with the minimum
test vehicle requirements it will be accepted for test providing certified proof of compliance or restriction is
available for the examiner.

Unfortunately they haven't managed to include any bikes from those barely known manufacturers, HONDA and BMW, but as a way of proving how closely they keep their fingers on the pulse of motorcycling, you'll be delighted to know that a Brough Superior is an approved test vehicle....

See the whole list here:

Paddy Tyson Campaigns Coordinator Motorcycle Action Group

19 June 2012

Kent Pet Food Run - June 17th 2012

The pet food run was organised back in October 2011 before the dates for MotoGP were confirmed. So of course as well as clashing with Father's Day the GP in GB was going to be a problem.

Thanks to Kent Riders and Kent & Sussex Bikers we had 17 bikes set off from Maidstone Services and Claire joined us at Northiam in her car as she is unable to ride at the moment.

Thanks to Tony Jones for the photo of us assembled by the Blue Cross signs.

16 June 2012

HD 1200

Took this HD for a test ride. I had originally booked the 48 but the guy that had it before me "got lost" and arrived back at Maidstone HD over two and a half hours late.

So I got this one. I have no idea what model it was but it had been modified with the Akropovic pipes and a Screaming Eagle airbox.

Quite loud pipes.  Nice to drop a gear and then whack it open.

Short video taken by my brother on his phone. If we had been somewhere remote I'd have given it more wrist!! As soon as I get a copy of it I will post it here.

15 June 2012

MPGCalc App

Got fed up using Excel to work out the MPG I get from the bike and found the free version of this app on iTunes.  Works okay so I downloaded the 69p (99c) version.

Okay, it's not essential, but it does help keep a track of the economy of the GS!  Won't work for the car as I never top the tank!

Today's Top Job at Jobcentre Plus

14 June 2012

The Old School Song - Non Nobis Domine

For some reason as I rode home tonight I eschewed the usual singalong and found myself singing this little ditty.

No Kylie or Metallica for me.  A bit of Kipling set to music and the school song of my old school Hinchley Wood County Secondary School. Coincidentally, it was my wife Claire's school song too!!


Non Nobis, Domine!
Not unto us, O Lord,
The praise and glory be
Of any deed or word.
For in Thy judgement lies
To crown or bring to nought
All knowledge and device
That man has reached or wrought.

And we confess our blame,
How all too high we hold
That noise which men call fame,
That dross which men call gold.
For these we undergo
Our hot and godless days,
But in our souls we know
Not unto us the praise.

O Power by whom we live
Creator, Judge and Friend,
Upholdingly forgive,
Nor leave us at the end.
But grant us yet to see,
In all our piteous ways,
Non Nobis, Domine,
Not unto us the praise.


Hythe MAG Demo Poster

Hythe MAG Demo Poster, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

EU Type Approval Regulation is now timetabled for 25th October 2012

Although everything is now in place for the MAG demo on 24th June (some ongoing police negotiations aside), we can now confirm that the all important Plenary Session vote in the EU Parliament has been moved yet again!

The vote on the EU Type Approval Regulation is now timetabled for 25th October 2012.

Until last Wednesday, the Council of Ministers (the National Governments) still didn't have a common position, so formal negotiations between them, the EU Commission (who proposed the regulation in the first place) and the EU Parliament couldn't take place.

Last Wednesday, 6th June, they finally agreed, and the first round of negotiations began Thursday 7th.

The plan is that when all these formal negotiations have been completed, the Parliament can vote on the finished text.

MAG's learnt that as things progress, the Socialists are now moving away from their love of compulsory ABS and also that the EU Commission have tried to bring some of their plans for advanced On Board Diagnostics (2) (OBD2) forward and add it to the simpler OBD1 ideas.

Malcolm Harbour's office (chairman of the IMCO committee leading the negotiations) are opposed to the more complicated OBD2 and, I'm delighted to say, kicked up something of a fuss when they noticed this. Negotiations continue.

And it is precisely because negotiations continue that it is important that we conduct ourselves well on the 24th June. We must keep left and ride like an organised lobby to create a spectacle, not block the M-ways, which will be counter productive.

We have confirmed MEPs at a couple of the start points, but feel free to ask yours to attend and to speak to me if they want more info. This is helping to encourage the TV stations to attend, but vast numbers of riders will do that too.

Remember, info is available on http://www.euhandsoffbiking.co.uk/ but who knows what the Great British Summer weather will hold..
Paddy Tyson Campaigns Coordinator Motorcycle Action Group http://www.mag-uk.org/ 01926 844064

Ride to Work Day

Ride to Work Day is actually Monday June 18th.  But as I am on annual leave next week I decided I'd better ride in today.

Sadly no places to stop for a free tea or coffee and a bacon roll as there are supposed to be on Monday.

Our car park is quite self contained and "off road" and the latest additions are the compost bins!  In Islington, the residents have been recycling for many years, with different bins for uneaten foodstuffs, paper and cans.  We have recycle bins in the office kitchens and now compost bins in the car-park garden.

You can just see them in the picture against the wall.

13 June 2012

Do not miss out on the Epic Tour

Superb email from Honda. What it really means is "You entered the comp for a free holiday but hey, you lost, now you can watch the smug bastards that did win enjoying themselves!!!"

Too bloody right I will unsubscribe!!!!

Begin forwarded message:

Hi Paul,

The Epic Tour is coming

When we announced the Epic Tour, we said that we wanted to turn your touring dreams into reality. Now it's time to be true to our word.

Seven lucky participants and their choice of pillion riders won a place on the Epic Tour, and will soon explore some of the best motorcycling routes across Europe. They'll be riding on the all new V4 Crosstourer, on a combination of Dual Clutch Transmission and manual bikes.

You'll see the Crosstourer put to the ultimate test, with its Upgraded Dual Clutch Transmission, superior Traction Control System and powerful 1200cc V4 engine taking on everything from the autobahns, to the alpine ranges.

The riders will depart from the UK on the 13th June and the tour will end in Rome on the 22nd. We'll showcase the best motorcycling highlights of each country, bringing this once in a lifetime experience closer to you throughout our blog.

11 June 2012

New Rear Tyre

After about 9k miles the rear is looking a little close to the end of its life.

The question is what to replace it with?

I have been using Maxxis Detour front and rear and this is the second rear to have come to end of service life.

Originally they went on as a pair, but different wear rates mean that the current front is about 4500 miles old or about 8500 from replacement.

Figures indicate then that when the rear goes on soon, they may both need replacing together again in about 9k miles.

So looks like another Maxxis? Some road tyres look cheaper and as most of my riding is on road, I might go that way.

Always fun though!!!

10 June 2012

Let there be LIGHT!

At last. After months and months of no light, a change of relay and a selection of fuses and the Nippy Norman mini-spots are finally working again.

The blown fuse was 7.5amp.  I emailed Nippy Norman to ask what fuse ought to be in the holder and they replied that it depends on the current being pulled through.  I thought as they put the kit together they may have been able to say!!

In the end I reckon the lights are maybe 55w each, so two will be drawing 110w @ 12v so maybe 9.166666amps? I've bunged a 10amp fuse in. So far so good. 

It's a miracle.

3 June 2012

Shepway Air Show - June 2nd 2012

After 9 years the Shepway Air Show returned to the skies over Folkestone and Hythe Bay.  It was shelved for financial reasons.  As a free air show the costs had simply got too much for the local council to pay for.

This year it came back as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

I don't have a long lens for my venerable old Canon, but Claire has a 70-300mm zoom for her Sony.  In the end we shared photo duties and she took the Red Arrows and I took the others.

I have to say I was underwhelmed with some of the smaller boring aircraft, but the RAF and Naval aircraft were so fantastic. 

Great to see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and of course, the Typhoon.

My best are here.  I tried to be a little arty with the cropping rather than a plane in the middle of the shot!!!

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