24 June 2018

World Cup - England

After a less than glorious first game against Tunisia where England won 2-1 despite being subject to WWE grappling and tackling, hopes were higher playing the lowest ranked team in the group.

God alone knows how Panama are ranked 55th in the world. It's out of 205....

The WWE tackling continued at corners and free kicks but at least the Egyptian referee was wise and gave the penalties.

England led 5-0 at half term. Could have been more.

The second half less glorious though. A 6th after 76 minutes and then they were a little slack and let Panama score their first ever goal in their first ever finals.

Belgium await on Thursday evening.
posted from Bloggeroid

22 June 2018

MAG News - ‘Billboards Outside City Hall’ secure a meeting with the Mayor

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is looking forward to a meeting with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to discuss questions regarding environmental fairness, crime and road safety regarding motorcyclists in the city.The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has thanked Greater London Authority Assembly Member Keith Prince AM for securing a landmark meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, to discuss motorcycle safety, environmental charging and crime issues. Bikers held up signs outside London's City Hall on Thursday 21st June with words echoing the film 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.' 

The billboards said:




Tim Fawthrop, the Motorcycle Action Group's London Representative, says: 'compared to cyclists, four times more bikers died on London's highways in 2016   with 9 cycling fatalities versus 36 fatally injured motorcyclists. But, while the authorities invest £154 million per year on cycling, there's almost nothing being invested to make roads safer for riders. They've even narrowed the lanes to prevent or deter 'filtering' between lines of stationary traffic by riders - though this is a perfectly legal riding activity, reducing congestion and pollution for everyone by keeping motorbikes out of queues.

'On top of this, they threaten us with new charges on older bikes which, by TfL's own figures, produce almost no pollution at all, and are essential transport for the least wealthy who depend on them to get to low-paid jobs, maybe including at City Hall to clean the Mayor's bins. So we're truly grateful to Keith Prince for getting a meeting for the riding community with the Mayor - and we thank Sadiq Khan for agreeing.'

Keith Prince highlighted the issues facing riders in his contributions at Mayor's Question Time. Afterwards he said, 'I've now spoken with the Mayor and his staff and this meeting will go ahead. We just need to approach it with logic and evidence and seek to ensure the Mayor can see the benefits of a positive approach towards riding. I think he'll do that if we ourselves show a cooperative attitude.'

20 June 2018

MAG News - The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) backs bikes for Clean Air Day

MAG has used Clean Air Day as a good opportunity to underline the fact that a shift from cars to motorbikes will help clean up Britain's air,  and is calling on all those who own motorbikes or scooters to ride to work  on two wheels to help reduce pollution.

MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, says: 'all the evidence shows the more motorbikes there are, the less pollution there is. Bikes also reduce 'secondary' pollution because there is less congestion for cars to sit in. It's a virtuous circle proved time and again by science.

'Really, two wheels are common sense. Bikes are smaller, lighter and generally more economical than cars. Since clean air is something everyone should support, everyone should also support motorbikes and scooters. So, go on, get your bike out and help reduce emissions. It's the simplest way to make your commute cleaner – as well as a lot more enjoyable than sitting in stationary traffic pumping out exhaust fumes.'

MAG is working actively with other groups to ensure that the full benefit of a shift away from higher-polluting vehicles to more frugal motorbikes is included in the country's transport plans. The organisation welcomes cooperation with those environmental groups who share our ambition to clean up the atmosphere in our towns and cities - rather than just charging those users who can afford it to pollute.

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

17 June 2018

MAG News - Off-road racing and riding could be banned

Off-road racing and riding could be banned unless YOU act

The Motorcycle Action Group has backed the Motor Cycle Industry Association's attack on a European Commission edict that could end motorcycle sport. MAG is urgently appealing to riders across the UK to contact their Member of Parliament and help prevent the effective banning of competitive, off-road riding of all kinds in the United Kingdom.

'The threat comes from a European Union Directive,' explains MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik. 'It would require all mechanically propelled vehicles to get full third-party motor insurance to cover injury, damage and loss, on public and private roads or land. By changing what's called the 'Motor Insurance Directive'
(MID), it could end competitive riding in the UK and EU.'

The extreme threat arises from a single legal case regarding liability (known as the 'Vnuk' Judgment). Its consequences would be disastrous because insurance firms would find it economically impossible to insure competitive off-road riding activities, given the realities of damage to machines, collisions and all the elements which are the essence of competitive racing. This could more or less wipe out these sorts of events. The MCIA estimates that this could terminate activities involving over 1.7 million spectators and 55,000 riders annually, at over 4000 off-road and track events. This latest move stems from a broken commitment by the EU to resolve this issue. British Government officials have stated they oppose this unjustified measure.

Tony Campbell, CEO of the MCIA said: "In the UK alone, motorcycle sport is estimated to be worth £1 billion, which rises to around £11 billion across all forms of UK motor sports. We strongly support UK Government efforts, but our message is clear – whatever the outcome of these new proposals Government must take action in order to avoid the catastrophic damage that will be inflicted on Motorsport across the board if this ruling turns into law – even if this means defying Brussels."

Lembit adds: 'The UK Government has actively supported efforts to remove this threat to off-road riding and racing. Please contact your MP, asking them to write to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, to ensure the UK Government will honour its pledge to ignore this draconian and virtually pointless directive from the EU Commission.'

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

MAG News - MAG encourages all bikers to ride to work.

I'd love to.


Once I had passed my motorcycle test in 1978 I have commuted pretty much everyday until around 2014  from wherever I have lived, Surrey, Berkshire, Bedfordshire and Kent.

My daily commute was (and still is) a 160 mile return journey since I moved to South East Kent. Apart from really snowy or icy day, I have commuted by bike for nigh on 40 years.

I only gave up as it was very tiring and post heart attack simply too dangerous. Now I take the train.

However, for more local riders it's okay.


---------- Forwarded message ---------

News from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG)

The third week of June is national Ride to Work week, which is run by the Motorcycle Industry Association and calls on all riders to try commuting to work on their bikes.  MAG's Director of Campaigns Political Engagement, Colin Brown, is encouraging leisure riders to grasp the opportunity and support the initiative to #CommuteHappy.

The reality in the UK is that many riders reserve their riding for days off work.  Motorcycling is a fun, fulfilling hobby, but many riders then miss out on the benefits that their hobby could bring to their daily commute.  You are likely to significantly reduce your journey time, save money, and arrive far less stressed than your non-riding colleagues.

Perhaps more importantly, by riding your motorcycle to work you will be helping to reduce congestion for all road users and playing a significant role in reducing air pollution.  Studies show that a 10% modal shift from single occupancy cars to powered two wheelers will yield a 40% reduction in congestion for all road users and a 6% reduction in overall emissions.  These are benefits that all road users reap from us extending our passion and hobby into a regular transport option.

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, comments "There are many reasons why motorcycles are not the first choice for some of us when it comes to commuting.  Ride to Work Week gives us an opportunity to explore those barriers and see how we can help to make motorcycling a natural choice for more people.  Whether it be concerns over safety, security, convenience, or anything else, give it some thought and let us know the issues that put you off.  We all love riding our bikes, so let's do more of it and save the planet at the same time!"

If you can only make it onto your bike for one day during the week, make it Thursday.  Colin points out: "Thursday 21st June is also Clean Air Day.  A typical 125cc commuter bike emits virtually no emissions, and the reduction in congestion will also help reduce secondary pollution from other vehicles on the road.  Riding to work on a scooter or motorcycle will greatly reduce your exposure to particulate matter in comparison with taking the tube in London.   If you want to go clean, get on your motorbike and #CommuteHappy"

MAG will be running polls and asking for feedback throughout the week on social media, and asks all riders and potential riders to let us know their thoughts, and to share their experiences and ideas for ways to encourage more road users to switch to powered two wheelers.

Find out more about the MCIA campaign at:  http://www.ridetoworkweek.co.uk/

Let us know your opinions and ideas at: https://www.facebook.com/motorcycleactiongroup/

16 June 2018

MPOW "Fitbit"

I decided to get one of these after the crap app, Active 10, and also because I wanted a new watch.

With genuine Fitbits coming in at over £100 I was a little undecided. Okay. Not going to happen...

I had a look on Amazon. Claire has one that tracks steps and distances and it works pretty well and connected to her phone easily.

I decided as a recovering cardiac patient that one that included a heart monitor might be good.

So here we are the MPOW Heart Rate Monitoring version. 4.5 out of 5 stars on review. At £22.99 it is much cheaper than the branded version.

So far I've been wearing it for 24 hours and it accounts for steps but the sleep monitor is eye opening.

How it knows the type of sleep I am having I have no idea. But out of 9 hours I managed less than three as deep sleep.

Almost bedtime of second night. So see how tonight's sleep goes.

Update 3rd July 2018

has been working quite well as a watch and a step counter. I have associated with Google Fit as well as that gives different stats.

posted from Bloggeroid

15 June 2018

Wireless Headphones

I do like to listen to music and have been looking for a decent pair of discreet headphones. Looking like a Cyberman with flashing blue lights is a no-no.

Something without wires. I saw these MPOW Bluetooth headphones. They had a good set of reviews although some reviewers said that they were a bit heavy on the bass.

That doesn't bother me with my different musical tastes.

Currently my phone has some ska from Madness and the Dualers (recommended), The Shires, Joe Bonamassa and plenty of metal with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Metallica...

They connect, pair, to the Samsung Galaxy S6 really easily. The controls are simple.

On the right side is the power/pause button and both + and - volume buttons. And of course the micro-USB socket for the power lead.

I chose the "sports" style with the over ear loop. Not because I am sporty but so the damned things don't fall out of my ear.

When turned on, holding the button in for three or four seconds. A voice pipes up to tell you power is on and whether it is connected to the phone.

The volume is okay but this is more controlled by the volume of the music was stored at on the phone. It's loud enough to hide the phone shouters and tap-tap laptop users.

So are they worth the £19.99? Most assuredly.
posted from Bloggeroid

14 June 2018

Book Reviews: C.M. Sutter "An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller Book"

Another couple of books that I was reading on holiday and of course, as I commute to and from London everyday.

Avenged (An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller #2)Avenged by C.M. Sutter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a second outing as the "main character" for Amber this was another fast paced thriller. The "doh" moments when the officers actually meet the baddies and not realise are a little frustrating but that adds to the tension.

Vendetta: An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller Book 3Vendetta: An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller Book 3 by C.M. Sutter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good read.

View all my reviews

10 June 2018

Cardo Teamset

I charged the Cardo Teamset, or at least the rider unit. Oddly it is sticky and covered in fluff! A bit of soap on toilet paper and I managed to clean most of it off.

I went out for a short, 52 mile, run around East Kent and wore my Shoei instead of the LS2. The LS2 has plumbed in Bluetooth to pick up the TomTom but the Shoei needs the Cardo tacked on the side.

In the end I left the TomTom at home so will need to get it set up in the next week or so.

It will need pairing with the 410 and that should be all. After all these years it looks as though the plastic case is starting to crack. A solution I have been told is clear nail varnish. I expect colour to work as well.

posted from Bloggeroid

8 June 2018

TomTom 410

Finally got around to testing the "new" TomTom mounting kit onto Pepé.

I've used it on a few trips away in the car and to Spain recently and Florida even and used the hire cars there with no problems.

The new kit includes a locking bracket to the handlebars and one to lock the 410 itself to the bracket. It will stop the casual passer-by scumbag thief but the determined thief will get it. It will save me unshipping it at petrol stops and slipping it in my pocket.

I had fitted a Bosch type plug on the end when it first arrived, but didn't test it. I have "sealed" it with my usual foot of insulating tape wrapped tightly so seal the plug where the wire goes in. The same has worked for a long time on the older model.

The 410 doesn't seem to have a battery charging icon on the front page but as a test I took the plug out of the socket. Sliding the unit in had no effect. Popped the plug in and it powered on. The same as it does in the car.

I need to test it with both my LS2 and Shoei helmets and their Bluetooth system before I plan to use it when we go to Assen in a few weeks. Okay. Three weeks today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Migraine Awareness Month

And to "celebrate" I had a really banging one last night that ended up with an early night and then another during the night.

Feeling drained today.

The "migraleve" work to alleviate the attacks but what is the cause?
posted from Bloggeroid

7 June 2018

Woody's North Coast 500 Adventure: Welcome

Woody's North Coast 500 Adventure: Welcome: Crazy, I know. Three blogs on the go at once! Another month though and it'll only be two again. This then, is my North Coast 500 Tour ...

What a difference a D makes......

🎶   "What a difference a D makes" ....    🎶

I'd look even more stupid with a banana on my head. It certainly wouldn't keep the sun off my sparsely thatched dome..

Bought this one expecting it to be sunny at Assen at the end of the month.

6 June 2018

GDPR Again

On a personal note I have yet to see any improvement in the amount of crap I get landing in my Yahoo account inbox. I use Yahoo as a dumping ground. So if I enter a competition I can use that account where I expect to be inundated afterwards.   I use my Gmail account for blogging and emails I care about.

As I ignored or replied "drop me" to loads of emails I had expected post May 25th 2018 to have less in my inbox every morning, but it seems those that I said no to, and that seem to have removed me, were the ones that I hardly hear from or had not heard from for years anyway.

On a work front, I have been given the job of going to schools in the borough and auditing there preparedness for GDPR.

Although May 25th saw the law coming into force in the UK, it is such a massive job that the Information Commissioner has given everyone a break until October 2018 before they will start pursuing any cases.....

See how that all pans out.

Active 10 - The Beginning

My employer, Islington Council,  has signed up to Active 10.  It will run for six weeks and the idea is that we will use an app on our smartphones to measure the amount of walking we do and it calculates the amount of "brisk" walking we are doing.

It's what caring responsible employers do.  

The plan is that everyone should do 30 minutes of brisk walking a day, at least, and the app expects you to do this in three 10 minutes slots.

It has been running since Monday and I signed up yesterday. Too late to join the six person team we have from our team, so we started our own - The Mongolian Folk Metal Ramblers. Currently we have three members. We need to recruit three more or the organisers will give us three from the poor saps that have no friends... and we know where that will end up.  We'll get the nerds that no one else wants.  

Still, all they have to do is follow the link and join us listening to the Mongolian Throat Singers...... not that bad an initiation.

The time is capped at 30 minutes a day and at the end of the week the team captain (me for MFMR) enters the weekly totals for each member into an app on the network and it works out who is the greatest, or at rather, who is desperate to win a rucksack from French sports and outdoor store Decathlon.

Let the walking begin.

5 June 2018

AMRR 2018

UK Registration opened a little later than usual but it's up an running.

This year I will be accompanied by my brother Neill.

I have created it as an event for The Meldrews and maybe someone will turn up.

At least not Johnny No Mates!!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Blogger Theme - Changed Back!

I have no idea why using this theme was a problem a couple of weeks ago when I was forced to change it to a "dynamic" theme -

Although the "dynamic" theme was more modern looking it missed off a few of the things I like to have in the sidebar.

I follow a few other bike/biker oriented blogs and I had no idea how to get that link to show up on the front page of the dynamic blog.

So today, at lunch, I had a look to see if I could fix it and then got thoroughly pissed off and tried my old layout and er..... it looks okay again!

The sidebar with all its contents and links have returned and they aren't located at the bottom of my posts! Yee-hah!

Fingers crossed it doesn't eff up again.

posted from Bloggeroid

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