31 March 2020

New Jacket - Rev'It Eclipse

I have taken a while to buy a new summer jacket. My Joe Rocket has given sterling service since I bought it way back in 2006 but has started to get a bit on the ragged side.  I fitted new elbow armour last year as the original had started to break up.  A few years back, Claire stitched up the front as one side of the zip had started to part company with the body of the jacket.

I looked at a few different designs and had planned to go for a ride to GetGeared's shop in Leatherhead (Surrey) over the Easter holiday to try some on for size. With the coronavirus lockdown and shops shut, that can't happen.

I got the search down to two that I liked the look of and the price I want to pay.

In the end I liked the look of the Rev'It Eclipse. It has smooth lines and doesn't look like I am about to ride across the sahara.  Seems to have enough pockets and a decent manufacturer. Comes with elbow and shoulder armour too.

I liked the look of the brown on and that was available in my size (post chest measurement with jumper on) in black or brown from GetGeared.  I had a look on Rev'It's own site and saw they do other colours.  Silver yuk!  But they do Dark Blue and Dark Green. Claire preferred Dark Blue. Something different to the usual black biker gear.

I couldn't find these on GetGeared but could on Sportsbikeshop! So changed sites. My size in Dark Blue is in stock and I ordered one through PayPal. I can't say that I need it "next day" although I suppose I could stand in the garage wearing it....

Looking at the first post about the Joe Rocket, it is actually only 4p more expensive.... If I can get 14 years wear out of this one......

MAG makes initial comments on the Transport Decarbonisation Plan

The Motorcycle Action Group has given its initial reaction to the low-key launch of Grant Shapps' Transport Decarbonisation Plan, asking why the Department for Transport continues to ignore motorcycles as a separate and crucial mode of transport.

On 26th March the Government quietly published a document stating the current challenges and steps to be taken when developing a transport decarbonisation plan.

In the Ministerial Foreword, Grant Shapps stated "Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we need to take action, and doing so is a clear priority for the Government."

The Government will publish the final plan in Autumn 2020.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, and Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Opik, were asked for their initial reactions to the "Setting the Challenge" document.

Colin said:  "Once again we see a policy document that singularly fails to recognise the fact that motorcycles are not cars.  This continued blind spot exhibited by policy makers is something that MAG unfailingly points out at every opportunity.  It is hard to grasp why this message is not sinking in.  Opportunities are being missed by failing to properly consider the benefits that motorcycles and scooters have to offer.  It is time for the Government to properly consider the role of what is undeniably the most sustainable form of private motorised transport that exists."

Lembit said "MAG has repeatedly called for proof from environmentalists to explain the rationale behind ignoring motorbikes and pinning all hopes on electric motive power. Electrification only cuts emissions with a 'clean power grid.' Wind can't do it, and the last UK nuclear power station to open was in 1995. So electricity does pollute - even ignoring the ecological damage from batteries. We know efficient petrol machines, like motorbikes, create few emissions.  Either the Government backs modal shift to lighter vehicles like motorbikes, or they're doomed to make things worse."

There will be a program of engagement with stakeholders and the public over the coming months. The Motorcycle Action Group has immediately expressed its interest to being involved as a stakeholder group in the conversation, and will be repeating the message that motorcycles and scooters are a solution, not the problem.

30 March 2020

Another isolation day


Stuck with only the garden to walk around and use the camera and I am running out of things to photograph.


I have had a series of comments posted when I have re-posted MAG news posts for all the web to see.  Not everyone follows MAG on social media.

They are always from "anonymous" and always have a go at me or MAG itself. The language used shows the commenter to be pretty much a moron.

I delete them. All comments need moderating before they hit the page.

So in future.  Save yourself the time.....

29 March 2020

Self Isolation Day 16

After a while the confines of the house and gardens begin to pall. Watching TV and sleeping longer aren't helping.

So today I got the D50 camera out. It was a little late so I was using a wide aperture to at least get something.

Here are a couple of results.

Not too bad. Maybe I need to get the tripod out.

25 March 2020

MAG urges bikers to heed Government advice to stay at home

The Motorcycle Action Group has called on all motorcyclists to act responsibly by following Government guidance on Coronavirus to the letter.  Leisure riding should not be considered essential travel, but where travel is essential motorcycling remains a very sensible choice.

Following the most recent escalation in measures to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the Motorcycle Action Group has urged bikers to stay off their bikes unless they are genuinely making an essential journey. Taking a ride purely for leisure must be viewed as socially irresponsible at this time when everyone’s travel is restricted.

Additionally, if the worst happened, a leisure ride could place more burdens on an already stretched NHS and emergency services.

MAG National Chair, Selina Lavender, says: “Now is the time to follow Government advice and stay at home. There will be time later for the biking community to come together, show solidarity and support those small businesses that will need and appreciate our custom once the current crisis is over.  All motorcyclists share a passion for riding, but right now all our passions should be aimed at saving the lives of all those at risk from this deadly virus.”

Riding a motorcycle is still a great way to travel and MAG will continue to actively and enthusiastically promote the mode of transport.  Riding a motorcycle is a sensible method of travel for essential journeys during the pandemic as it maintains social distance from other travellers.

The Motorcycle Action Group has followed the Government advice to the letter, no doubt with the same level of frustration as everyone else. We have closed our Central Office until further notice.  

Our staff and political unit continue to work from home.  The voice of motorcycling remains as loud as ever, and will get back out and about after the temporary restrictions have been lifted.

Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: “this message feels at odds with everything MAG stands for, but we all have to accept that these are not normal times, and life just cannot feel normal right now.”

We can assure all riders in Britain that MAG remains open for business, and is highly experienced in working ‘remotely.’ MAG's mode of operation is therefore entirely compatible with Government guidance - meaning that, even with the travel restrictions, bikers continue to have a powerful voice in Britain in the form of the Motorcycle Action Group.

24 March 2020

MAG Office closed

In light of the latest advice we have closed the office. Our staff continue to work from home which is the norm for Colin & Lembit in our political unit.

To contact the office use email: central-office@mag-uk.org 

We thank all our members for their continued support.

Stay safe everyone.

Selina, MAG National Chair

Whitesnake - 31st May O2

Tickets arrived today from Ticketmaster. Didn't expect it to go ahead but I guess still two months away.

And then, within hours notice on FB and from rock magazines - tour cancelled. Nothing as yet from Ticketmaster!

MAG responds to Asphalt Industry Association Report

The Motorcycle Action Group, the UK's leading riders' rights organisation, commenting on the Asphalt Industry Association's 25th ALARM Report, released today, hopes that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will revisit roads maintenance funding after the current health crisis has passed.

Research carried out by MAG has shown that, on average, four motorcyclists die every year as a result of poor road maintenance and a further 70 per year suffer life-changing injuries.  The research shows that despite representing less than 1% of all road traffic, motorcycles feature in 27.5% of all RTCs where road surface defects are listed as a contributory factor.  Pedal cyclists are also over-represented, being involved in 14.7% of these RTCs.

The Asphalt Industry Association's new Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey shows that the estimated one-time catch-up cost to get roads back into a reasonable, steady state is now £11.14 billion; up from £9.79 billion reported in 2019.  The report shows that the estimated time it would take to clear the maintenance backlog would be 11 years, even if local authorities had the funding and resources available to do the work.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: "For most four-wheeled motorists an encounter with a pothole will result in damage, expense and inconvenience, but for motorcyclists the consequences can be fatal.  This year's ALARM report will bring no comfort to motorcyclists.  Seeing the catch-up cost to get roads back into a reasonable state increase by £1.35 billion in just 12 months clearly shows that the current pledge of £2.5 billion over 5 years will have only limited impact.  As motorcyclists we fully recognise the immediate need to prioritise the Coronavirus pandemic, but we hope that the Chancellor will be in a position to make the necessary funds available when things return to normal.

16 March 2020

MAG prepares to engage on Vehicle Excise Duty plans

The Motorcycle Action Group, the UK’s leading riders rights organisation, has stated that it will be ensuring the voice of riders is fully heard by the Treasury as it considers plans for a major overhaul of Vehicle Excise Duty.

On 11th March, HM Treasury fulfilled the Government commitment to publish a call for evidence seeking views on moving towards a more dynamic system which recognises smaller differences in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

This call for evidence seeks views on how the Government can use VED to further encourage the uptake of zero and ultra-low emissions cars, and reduce overall emissions from road transport, to both help meet its legally binding climate change targets and improve air quality. It also seeks views on the VED treatment of motorcycles.

MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Opik, commented “We are already seeking one-to-one meetings with ministers and senior officials at the Treasury to discuss the published plans.  We feel that the case for motorcycles is very different to that for four-wheeled vehicles and thus needs very careful consideration.  A two-way conversation is vital.”

Colin Brown, Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement for MAG, said; “The current VED system is both confusing and lacking in balance.  We look forward to the opportunity to engage with policy makers in a cooperative and productive manner.  I believe that there is a potential solution that can be both elegant in its simplicity and take into account a wide range of issues in a fair, equitable manner.  We will naturally respond in writing, but having a detailed discussion of our ideas will bring a better result.  We will discuss our ideas at our forthcoming National Committee meeting and urge members to get in touch with their regional representatives with any thoughts, ideas and opinions”

15 March 2020

Nikon D50 Bracketing

I tried to see if the old D50 did bracketing as well as the Canon 1100D.

It has the option in the menu and unlike the Canon it retains the setting when switching off and back in again.

I tried it out on a walk today. It does take three pictures.

This is an example how they came out and in the order above.

It's subjective which is better I guess. 

The last one that is the + image, looks the warmest.

13 March 2020

Canon 1100D - Bracketing

I was reading Adventure Bike Rider and one of the expert sections had a photography masterclass from Simon and Lisa Thomas - www.2ridetheworld.com/

I had seen that in the menu on my Canon but had no idea what it was. I have tried it. It says that it takes three pictures. It did for a couple of tests and then it seemed to only take one.

The setting gets turned off when the camera is switched off and needs resetting every time you turn it on.

I opted for a range of +1 to -1. 

Checking the EXIF information for this picture of Reggie shows that the best one was "Exposure Bias - +1 EV"

The decision is still left to the viewer.

I'll give it a go next time I get the camera out and see what it does.

7 March 2020


The last game in the Premier League before the shutdown imposed by coronavirus.

The previous week had seen a trip in the FA Cup to League One Portsmouth. A much changed and youthful side came through without too much worry.  

Well. A follow through after a tackle broke Lucas Torriera's ankle. 

So a rare Saturday 3pm kick off for us. Train late of course. I'll get my delay/repay clain off to them in the week!  Should get about £4.60 back!

Arsenal laboured away looking like the underdogs and if not for Leno we could have been behind. In the end for the first time ever, VAR was on our side.

A neat cushioned header by Özil was lashed in by Lacazette. Female lino flagged. VAR took ages and gave the goal.

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