20 May 2017

Tomtom 410 - Update

The TomTom came back from its trip to Holland and back.  The new car mount arrived. And...

Success.  We have charging in the car. 

Hopefully the trip to the Dordogne will be accomplished without getting the Urban Rider out of the bag.

13 May 2017

Steam Trains

Who doesn't like a steam train? It might be an age thing but steam was King when I was a boy.

Then in the UK the government employed a guy called Richard Beeching to write a report on reducing the rail network.

But steam lives on at many heritage sites. One of these passes my garden: The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
This weekend had guest engines on the tracks pulling the RHDR stock.

I took some pictures over my back fence. In fact I took about 100 on auto on the Nikon,  but the best pic is from my phone...

By some fluke. The pics are of the same engine in both directions.
References:
http://moneyweek.com/11-august-1968-the-last-steam-passenger-train-in-britain/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeching_cuts
http://www.rhdr.org.uk/


12 May 2017

Insignia - New Tyres


Once I had managed to remember the tyre details for the Insignia's tyres I had a search online for local fitters and get some prices.

Tyres now come with a scale from A to F for their efficiency in two fields, fuel consumption and wet grip. Ideally you will look for AA rated but once you see the prices then you start to go through the list to find the best rated at a price you can afford.

In the end I opted for these CA rated Uniroyals. Most of the online places had them but Asda came out the cheapest with an all-in price, and have a local fitter.  The most local fitters are only open weekdays and so I had to pick the second nearest.. A garage that although I have used for petrol on many occasions, I had no idea they did tyres.  We'll find out tomorrow morning.



Asda Tyres

One of the tyres is the original from when I bought the car in January 2014 and at the last MoT it was noted that it would need replacing although legal.  I've done about 25000 miles in that  time (below average mileage for UK) and it was obviously not brand new then.

The left front is newer. The original was destroyed in the accident of May 2015 when it came in contact with the kerb. They replaced it as part of the repair job to the entire right side of the car wiped out by KFC munching van driver. I've not been entirely pleased with it as it constantly needs the air topping up.. 

Having new valves might sort that out but in truth I have become less and less confident in them as they wear down.  I have never heard of the make either!

Start afresh.

3 May 2017

TomTom 410 Update - Og sagaen fortsetter

Og sagaen fortsetter!!! The saga continues!

With Hella plus in one hand and screwdriver in the other is fixed the power lead to the plug, ensuring a clean and tight connection.

Then out to the garage.  Plug in the bike's power socket.  I didn't fix the ram mount on the bike, preferring to lay it in the seat.  Sliding the 410 into the cradle I had a brief feeling that all would be good.

That lasted less than a second as the half charged 410 showed the battery icon but it was missing the lightning bolt to show it was charging.  A few moments of the air turning blue later I plugged in the Urban Rider's power lead,  Instantly the UR slid into its cradle it switched itself on as the power surged through it. So not the power socket then!

As the 410 won't charge using the car cradle the obvious conclusion is that it it the charging system in the unit itself from the pins on the back that connect via the different cradles.

I updated the call on TomTom Support. A few days later they replied and said to send it back using the labels they had sent before.

So my three month old 410 has never seen action and as the calendar moves on the warranty expires without it ever being used!  Marvellous.

Update 05/05/17

A parcel arrived from TomTom. Seemed a bit heavy.  They had sent the RAM kit in stead of the Car kit!  Doesn't auger well for sending the 410 back.....

Update 08/05/17

I parcelled the unit up in the bubble wrap lined envelope that came the other day from TomTom and with extra bubble wrap and it went back to them using the UPS labels they sent a few weeks ago.

Update 11/05/17

I tried to track the parcel as I reckoned it wouldn't have got there but I wanted to see where it was.

Unfortunately all the links on the UPS website just say the parcel has been sent to the address on the label!  Some tracking that is #UPS!

Update 12/05/17

Today have an email to say they have sent it back with UPS.  They haven;t said what they have done just that there is a letter in the box!  Mysterious.  Maybe it will work on the Dordogne trip after all?

27 April 2017

Tripadvisor?

I guess we all have our own ideas of what makes a great hotel or restaurant, but sometimes I read reviews (before I go somewhere) and pick out places that I think we'd like to go to.

Of course, you have to sift through and discount the reviews written so obviously by the proprietors best friend and at the othe rend of the scale, those written by someone in competition or simply hates them.  These are the usually the over effusive 5* or totally terrible 1* reviews. 

Some are simply weird.

Today I was thumbing through the Dordogne area, by town, for "dog friendly restaurants". We all have an opinion of that. Personally before I was a dog owner again after over 20+ years of not being a dog owner, I didn't really care. As long as Muttley was quiet and not causing a fuss.

This guy obviously thinks it's a dirty European habit. Forget your heritage bud? Has he never been to someone's house where the dog is inside or maybe they own a cat?  As long as the animal isn't in the kitchen where it can be  licking the plates or pissing on the veggies, and is restricted to the public areas, what harm is there.  Maybe in the Republic of California they don't have indoor dogs?

As a general tool Tripadvisor is very useful.  I have quite a few places reviewed. I tend to not be too critical unless it really deserves it.  After all, as they disclaimer says "This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC"

This is my worst review of a hotel in Coventry.  It was in 2011. The manager commented but it looks as though little has changed as there are more recent damning reviews! Second worst!

25 April 2017

Most Popular Post - VX800 Road test

I just had a look at the stats and am quite amazed that a road test report I wrote on the Suzuki Marauder has had over 15800 views.  An article originally written just shy of 20 years ago!

I do this blogging lark as a bit of fun but I'm glad that someone has actually read something I have written and appreciated it.

And here it is.

http://invictamoto.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/roadtest-suzuki-vz800-marauder.html

TomTom 410 Update

It's been a while since the last update in the Saga of the TomTom.  It's not quite as long or as involved as the famous Icelandic Sagas, but the story has to be told.

On the test runs in the car we had several problems where the unit turned itself off. Not simply going into "sleep mode" but actually fully shutdown.

In the settings there is one that can be switched off that covers it going into "sleep mode" when it detects a drop in the power.

Very inconvenient especially on a test where we didn't actually know where the destination was!  When it does that it actually loses the route that it was following.

On the "front" screen it displays the status of the connections and the battery symbol know to all of us with a mobile/cell phone.  When connected to the car mount the battery shows no charging is taking place.  If the power lead is then connected to the unit itself. The battery shows the lightning bolt image.  

I reported this to TomTom and they are sending a new car mount.   

With very little time to get out in the garage at weekends (no power and dark evenings don't help) I have yet to check whether the motorcycle mount is working. The only time that we have tried the unit went crazy and this whole thread and fiasco was kicked off.

At that time I never saw whether the battery shows the lightning bolt or not!

This weekend I have a trip on Sunday into unknown territory and for peace of mind I will use the Urban Rider as I know that the unit works, has the right mapping and the power lead to the Rocket's socket works!

MyDrive App

On a positive note. The 410 connects to a smart phone via the TomTom MyDrive app.  To connect the phone needs to pair with a Bluetooth tether link.  This was simple.  MyDrive mapping is not as easy to use as Google Maps and for some reason is not a richly formatted e.g. there are no overlays.  

For example. Looking for the football ground at Wimbledon for Sunday, Google Maps shows the street and the ground is there to see, but MyDrive shows the streets but not details of what is there in the blank bits.

With the phone and unit both switched on and tethered planning a route on the phone simply needs "send to device" clicking and a few seconds later the unit announces a new destination has been received.  Note. Not a route has been received but a destination.  Planning needs to be sequential. 

Planning a route from A to B is okay, but if you decide to go via C, you need to remove B, add C as B and then re-add B and that becomes C.  You cannot add what the old system terms a waypoint once the start and end points are determined.

That's okay once you realise but frustrating at first.




24 April 2017

The Key

I started using this ticket at the start of the year. For years we have been expecting Southeastern Trains (SET) to replace the paper tickets with a smart card. After all in London they have been using the Oyster card instead of paper and cash for a number of years.

In the photo you can just about detect the discoloration, bottom centre, where there is a little crack. The card now doesn't work at all. Unlike the Oyster it doesn't have an obvious microchip in it.

I reported this on the 7th April and expected a new card in about a week to ten days, this extended in an email from them to two weeks.  I called them today as the replacement hasn't arrived and they had a look. Twelve days ago the card was being tested. Six days ago it was being tested.  Today?  Who knows?

The Key from Southeastern Trains

Until it went wrong it has generally worked okay. I buy a new monthly travelcard that covers train from Kent and tubes/buses in London as well.   It ain't cheap folks. Luckily a kidney regrows each month in time for the next time I have to pay out.

Whilst the train section of my journey is okay, I show the emailed receipt for the kidney, and the conductor laughs it off , and the gate staff grumble and let me through.  But.  The Tube/Bus staff look at me as though I have printed my own non-working ticket and won't let me travel. So instead I have to use my contactless credit card to buy each journey. I can claim this back from SET once the new card is up an running, whenever that will be.

So far pretty poor service.

Update 5/5/17:

A flurry of phone calls after I had logged a complaint that I was still waiting and in the weeks since I had reported it the ticket had expired and I was now using a paper ticket again.

The upshot is that as it has expired, they will cancel the account and I can then order a new one, which has been done and I have ordered a new one.  Whether I use it of course is another question.

As for recovering my out of pocket tube fares, they say there is a form and I need to send my bank statements in with the amounts and they will pay it back.  Now that remains to be seen!


Latics @ AFC Wimbledon

Although I have supported Arsenal since 1965 when we moved down to the South from Oldham when I was ten years old, my first flirtation with football was with Oldham Athletic - The Latics.

This was primarily as they were my local team, and when I say local, from my house less than a mile across the field next to Fernhurst cotton mill. My Dad worked for the club and supporters club as the Pools Promoter and also helped out at the Bingo evenings they ran. These were very vital earnings streams in the 50's and 60's.  

I started to go with him and then with my Aunt Linda and Anne,  a pal of hers.  For a couple of years I had a season ticket and  then we moved south to Surrey.  

My Dad was an Arsenal supporter and many of the family were too.

Over many years as an "exile" I have tried to get to games when they are in the south and accessible. 

Although I have been to games at Wimbledon before, in their original guise as a non-league side playing in the Southern League at their old ground at Plough lane, and then latterly as they made their way to the Premier League and playing home games at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park.  

Then an owner took the club to another city and the new club was born from the angry supported back in south London. They have worked their way through the pyramid as far as League One - the third tier in the English game.

They still share a ground before moving back to Plough Lane where they have taken over the land from the greyhound racing stadium.

I've not been to the current ground, although in the 70's friends and I from school did go often to watch the club the share with, Kingstonian, in the Isthmian League, the 7th tier in the pyramid.




As it is difficult to get to from where I live I intend to ride up on the bike. I have checked that there is parking onsite. They confirmed that there is motorcycle parking at the attached leisure and fitness centre.  So now I hope for better weather!!

23 April 2017

The Adventure Goes On

And the adventure goes on.  

After a disastrous run of games of late that have seen the assault on the league fade and fade with a record, under Wenger, of four consecutive away defeats, Arsenal were definitely underdogs on Sunday in this semi-final. 

In the League trailing their opponents by a considerable margin, the one-off match to reach the final was a different ball game, to coin a phrase.





After a dreadful mistake allowed  Manchester Oil Barons to go ahead in the first half. The Arsenal players managed to rally themselves and equalise through Monreal.

The game went into 30 minutes extra time before Sanchez scored to win the game.

The final beckons on May 27th.

15 April 2017

Walk on the Shingle

Today we had a short drive to Dungeness to take Reggie for a walk.

We go quite often to see the trains and for a walk on the shingle.


As it was a sunny Saturday of the Easter Weekend the place was packed.  Now that some of fishermen are selling their product direct to the public and have small pop-up restaurants, the crowds have increased.

We were lucky to park and then set off across the shingle inland to give Reggie a chance to smell down a few rabbit holes. Luckily for all concerned no rabbits ventured above ground.


Shingle!
The old Lighthouse
The big square building is a nuclear power station!

12 April 2017

11 April 2017

TomTom 410 - Update

The call I logged on the TomTom Support site seems to have fallen into that hole where difficult calls disappear to when no one wants to do them.  Maybe they think that if they ignore me long enough I'll simply write-off the money and forget I bought this piece of crap.

Sadly, they are mistaken.  I have updated the call a few times and maybe asking for it to be replaced as it has never been used has caused them to go silent.

I tried to connect again last evening.  This time I was able to login to My Drive Connect and it went through the "restore" motions and re-booted the unit. But it failed again... and again and again.  In the end I aborted.

I have updated the call, again, on the Support site and also this time added a scan on the invoice from when I bought it on February 1st.

So let's see where this takes us!

P.S. The Urban Rider took me to the parking on the Vimy Trip without a hitch.


UPDATE 12/04/17 11:00

This mornings update is that is had to go back as the internal memory is u/s. TomTom have sent a label and I need to package it up and it has to go UPS to The Netherlands!!   I doubt I'll see it for a while then. They have said 7-10 days round trip. But that will  be longer as we have two Bank Holidays coming up this weekend and May Day.

A little annoying that they simply haven't just replaced it with a new one considering it is brand spanking new.

Better start scrambling around for some bubble wrap and a padded posting bag. Luckily today we had a dog food delivery and that comes with loads of those irritating plastic peanuts to pad the box out. So I might use some of those!  Let the Dutch recycle them!

I might give it one last chance before I box it up. You never know.  Murphy's law will dictate if I don't that it will arrive with TomTom and it will work when they turn it on!


UPDATE 12/04/17 20:00

The law according to Murphy.  I connected the 410 to the same laptop with the same oem cable, and started My Drive Connect and... it connected. The screen didn't come up with the error message but it booted properly!

I have updated the call and said I will keep it until after the Easter holiday weekend and see if there are any problems with it.

7 April 2017

Tomtom 410

A miserable story here.

Ever since it arrived I have been trying to get it up and running.

On the face of it the new software that was supposed to be a step forward seems in fact two steps backwards.

Most of the best functions from the older systems have been lost,  but modern app like functions such as web connections through a mobile phone are better.
Linked to an app on the phone it should mean sending a route to the unit is simpler and does away with having to connect to a computer.

So far so good. Sadly the reality is not as good. The new software doesn't handle waypoints like older TomToms and even my ancient Garmin.  You can add stops though.
When connected to a computer it shows up as a drive but unlike the older generation it can't be browsed.

I spent hours today and all seemed good. I got the route set, and even amended it slightly on the unit itself. Then I fitted the cradle and Ram mounts to Pepe and put the unit on and.... it failed.

Nothing I have tried has made it work and yet another call has been made to their support site. It didn't help that although I could login to the support site, the My Drive Connect desktop app wouldn't accept the password,  even though it is all the same.
Luckily, I still have to Urban Rider available.  Good job I didn't put it on eBay.

A few minutes tinkering and it's setup ready for my trip to Vimy Ridge on Sunday.
The login problem extended to TomTom Home as there were updates to maps but it failed with some connection errors.
Let's see what they come up after the weekend to get the 410 working.

At the moment it is looking like a massive white elephant and waste of money.

The first picture was when it actually worked and shows the route to Vimy. The other is the marvellous screen that popped up when fitted to the bike.

But as they say "The show must go on".

1 April 2017

Aldi bike gear

Once again Aldi have their bike gear on sale.
 
I'm not in the market for jackets or over trousers so I didn't bother going in on Thursday when it went on sale.
 
For those of you that don't know, Aldi is a German supermarket chain. They have become very international and you may find their stores in most European countries.
 
They started off being cheaper than the UK competition and has gradually moved up and with the economy the way it is, people are looking to cut their shopping bill.
 
Anyway,  as well as food they do household stuff and other goods from time to time. This week they have motorcycle gear. Next week caravan accessories.
 
Claire went in in Friday and bought me a Base Layer shirt. In XL it is a tight fit but apparently it's supposed to be that way.
 
Might give it a try out tomorrow if the weather is kind.
 
 
UPDATE: April 9th 2017
 
 I wore this shirt on the Vimy run as it was very sunny all day and although not billed as windproof I didn't feel any windchill as Red Pepé and I cruised at 70 - 80mph on the A26. On the way back I got slightly chilled after the sun went down on the last bit of the run into Calais at about 2200 local time.
 
I'd rate this shirt 5/5 for performance.

30 March 2017

The Shires

Maybe it is something that comes with getting older, correct me if I am wrong, that country music becomes more interesting?
 
Although it's always been there I have only toyed with the music of Willie Nelson etc.
 
Lately we have been toying with George Strait and Zac Brown.  Some really decent stuff. Both have massive back catalogues but we have started with recent productions.
 
And we come to The Shires. A duo from Beds and Herts. Two shire counties to the north of London. They may have got their name from that basis?
 
That two English singers can write music that is accepted in the US and the heartlands of country is amazing.
 
They are on in Folkestone at the Leas Cliff Hall at the end of April and we are going to be there.
 
Looking forward to it

Reggie

This morning Reggie acted a little strangely and seemed "off colour ".

Usually he doesn't need any urging to gulp down his breakfast but this morning he went upstairs and lay next to the bed.

When Claire came to go to work he was very odd and wanted to sit on her lap.

We were both worried he was ill but by lunchtime he was back to normal. Phew.

And here he is this evening asking for a biscuit. Paw up. Something that dogs do and that it is self taught by the boy.

Begging

26 March 2017

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Today once we had had our breakfast we decided to have a run out to one of our favourite National Trust places, Sissinghurst.

The gardens themselves aren't open to our four legged friends but there is plenty of other space to walk about and enjoy.

At this time of the year many of the themed gardens are just awakening from winter but the daffodils and their narcissus cousins are in full bloom. Whilst Reggie and I walked outside, Claire went in to look around.

In a year we perhaps go around four or maybe five times to see the changing gardens.

The Oast Houses
End wall
Daffs
The roof in the old stable area

Made a Mistake

Tried one of the new themes provided by Blogger. MISTAKE!  Not very nice looking and I lost a lot of my gadgets.

Trying to put it back was quite easy so nothing lost in the end.

Aaaaarrgghh.

25 March 2017

24 March 2017

Metallica

As we all get older, the bands we grew up with in the 70's and 80's are still coming out to play and there is always that last swansong tour that I'd like to be a part of. 

I missed the boat with quite a few, the last big one being AC/DC last year. Although we did see Black Sabbath on the next to last tour, we missed the last tour but I wasn't as unhappy about that.

So when I saw that Metallica were out on tour I was eager to get the dates.  October.... and after we get back from Florida.

Then the ridiculous link to a link to a link online booking system before a ticket can be bought.  The even worse system that it decides where you will sit based on how much you want to pay, rather than letting you choose yourself where you want to park your butt.

In the end most areas were sold out less than 25 minutes after booking opened. A box to tick to say you aren't a robot.... and we're in. All booked. 

I last saw Metallica live in Brno at the BOBY FC football stadium in the summer of 1994. There they played the Black album plus a load of favourites from the early albums.  Of course, back then they were all still pretty fresh albums!!!

Since then I have not managed to get a ticket, or they have appeared at festivals where tickets are for the weekend are very expensive.  

So with the No Robots allowed to buy tickets how many will be on the resellers websites already at vastly inflated prices.....?


19 March 2017

Ride out for Kelly

Another ride out to raise money to send Kelly to the US for her lifesaving surgery.

So far she is about half way there. Why operations and care can cost £1m I have no idea.

It seems like madness. I suppose it is a way that doctors can be treated like gods and get the god like renumeration. 

2 March 2017

Apple iPod Classic

After 8 years the iPod I won is still going. I still have to use the tedious iTunes to manage the music that is on it.

Also after these years I have about 45gb used out of the 80gb capacity. The only problem is that it will no longer charge from the mains plug only when connected to a computer!

1 March 2017

The Road to Gobblers Knob - Book Review

The Road to Gobblers Knob: From Chile to Alaska on a MotorbikeThe Road to Gobblers Knob: From Chile to Alaska on a Motorbike by Geoff Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I bought this on the back of a previous bike trip that Geoff Hill written about a ride from India bringing tea home. A good pace and hardly comparable to any truck driving epic. The focus is on riding a motorcycle and the trials of the mode of transport.

Humorous and simply a good tale.


Airbag Revolution - Didn't make the cut!

"Thank you for joining the AirbagRevolution. You are more than 10 000 members and the movement is still increasing.
A few days ago, based on the answers to the questionnaire, we proceeded to the selection of the 500 In&siders: the first users who will test the airbag vest.
The choice was not easy (we would even say Cornelian) and we couldn't retain your profile. "

Oh well.  Their loss.

28 February 2017

MAG meets Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, held a joint session with the Chair of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group (MCRG), Kevin Howells, at MAG’s National Committee meeting on 11th February, 2017, in Warwickshire.

Mr Howells talked about the shocking crime statistics affecting biking. ‘There are over 26,000 bike thefts a year in this country,’ he explained.  ‘That means that during my presentation three or four bikes will have been taken in the UK.  What the MCRG does is find ways to put people off stealing bikes.   Tagging them is the most important one, and it’s got a good track record.  With a system like Datatag your bike is 60% less likely to be stolen, and the recovery rates are a lot better. That’s one thing we can do and the industry has taken that up.’

The meeting looked at what can most effectively reduce crime for bikers.  MAG’s London Representative, Tim Fawthrop, reported that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, has blamed bikers themselves for not being careful enough;  Tim observed that it’s hard to see how you can protect against being pushed off your own bike in a petrol station, likening it to blaming someone for not having chained all their property down in their house in case a burglar breaks in.

Mr Howells surprised the group by revealing that a lot of stolen bikes are built around used frames with log books sold by the insurance industry. These are then sold back into the dealership network.

Selina Lavender, Chair of MAG, said: ‘Kevin’s talk was very informative. Fighting bike theft needs to be a joint initiative so whilst it is encouraging that some manufacturers such as Triumph are fitting additional security as standard, there also needs to be an improvement in crime detection. ’

It was agreed that MAG and the MCRG will continue to work together, with the industry and the police in an effort to reduce bike crime which, suggested Mr Howells, can provoke riders into giving up bikes because they get fed up with losing them.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

21 February 2017

Victoria Concordia Crescit

If Arsenal don't get to the FA Cup Final this year and stake a claim on a record breaking 13th victory it won't be for the want of trying or the draw.

Preston North End from the Championship - level 2 in the pyramid
Southampton from the Premier League - level 1 in the pyramid
Sutton United from the Natinal League - level 5 in the pyramid

All defeated, and all away from home on the opponents grounds. All beaten with various amounts of difficulty and the usual heart stopping moments for us paid up members at Arsenal FC.

Next on the horizon are giant killers Lincoln City. Currently the runaway leaders of the National League (5th tier of the English pyramid) and already the giant killers of three Premier League clubs.  

At least we are at home. Day and date to be decided after TV divvy up the Quarter Final (Last 8 left in it) games.

COYG.

17 February 2017

Routes

Routes not Roots.

Clearing loads of old files off my H-Drive at work revealed some stuff going back to 2003.

It is amazing how much you accumulate and just leave there. A folder here or there that probably not even been looked at for over a decade.

In the personal files section I found a load of tomtom and earlier garmin routes for trips long gone and several never actually undertaken.

Reminders of the past planning and aspirations. 

Delete?

4 February 2017

New Toy - TomTom 410

After five years of service, I have invested in a new TomTom GPS.  It's not the latest model but was at a decent price and comes with the car mount as well as the bike mounting.

The Urban Rider I have had for five years has been reliable most of the time but the mapping limitations have gradually got to annoy me. No, annoy is the wrong word, frustrating. I will reset it back to factory settings and see if I can sell it on eBay.

Getting the new one to work with my phone has been a little fraught as I had no signal. So I have reverted to USB cable and the laptop.  At least now it up to date.  Once the weather improves I'll get the bike fittings sorted.

More to follow........

1 February 2017

Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride UK

The run this year is on July 1st.

I missed the 2015 run as I was recovering from my heart attack and again in 2016 as it clashed with the Somme Centenary.

Prior to that I had been from 2010 to 2014 inclusive.

Hopefully I'll get back on plan and be there this year again.

http://www.alliedride.org/index.php/uk-home/uk-ride

By now it is usually all settled. But with some major road works in the area the route from the service area on the A14 is still to be decided.

5 January 2017

MAG starts the New Year happy after ‘fast and furious’ 2016

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has everything to look forward to in 2017: here’s why.

‘It’s breath-taking how much has happened in the world of riders’ rights over the last three years.’  So says Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, speaking about the prodigious output of the movement over the last twelve months.  ‘Our staff had a fast and furious 2016 with immense challenges.  These included legal, political and logistical issues, and they pretty much defined a year of hard graft.  It also means we begin 2017 far ahead of where we were this time last year.’

What’s on the agenda for 2017?  ‘We’ll be taking the same inclusive and team-spirited approach’ continued Selina.  ‘We’re not looking for fights, we’re looking for allies - and that’s the hallmark of the organisation’s way of operating.  We’ll be visiting the Department for Transport a lot, to discuss everything from how you get a bike licence through to the challenges presented by autonomous vehicles.  There’s the threat of bikes being charged to use Thames crossings, a motorcycle and scooter theft epidemic, especially in London, and the use of overly-restrictive injunctions to control anti-social behaviour, which could potentially harm the freedoms of legitimate riders too.  In every case we engage, debate and propose better solutions to shared concerns.

‘It’s not glamorous work, and it requires a great deal of research. But our team has proven its ability to deliver, and they’re building their credibility all the time.  Let’s be clear: 2017 is going to be a big year for riders’ liberties.  MAG is right up there defending your right to ride.  We also invite dealers and the manufacturing sector to support our work.  What we do sustains the market by defending the freedom to ride.  It’s got to be a team effort, and we hope the sector as a whole will work to protect and promote riding in the years ahead – starting in 2017.  If we can do that, it really will be a happy new year for biking.’

MAG invites riders, dealers, mechanics and manufacturers to join MAG and help create a united voice for the common good of the riding community.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

1 January 2017

Decembeard

Another month of facial hair growing has come to the end and I have not managed to meet my target of £100.

Every penny counts towards the research so I guess that I shouldn't be too disappointed.

At the time of writing  I have raised about £35.


In the UK the SMS page is still working - send a text to 70070 with message:

PAGD99 £1 to send a quid or any amount you like.

PAGD99 £10 sends a tenner.....

Manhattan Bluetooth Headphones

No sooner than I had found the Jabra's than Santa came with a new set of wireless headphones.

They are in a rather fetching purple colour. Connecting them to my phone was very easy.

The sound is very good and clear.  Unlike the Jabra set they don't have bright blue lasers lighting up all around.

Happy New Year

And all that jazz.

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