20 January 2018

Think Floyd

Simply marvellous. Think Floyd.

As a tribute band they let the music if Pink Floyd take centre stage.

Unlike some tributes they don't try to look lie the band they are copying.  Nor do they try to be soundalikes.  But saying that the musicianship is excellent.

I knew most of the tracks they played and once they hit "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wish You Were Here" I was at my era again.

Fantastic.

18 January 2018

MAG News - Motorcycles Matter!

Join our Awareness Ride in London on Saturday 21st April 2018

All motorcycle, scooter and moped riders are invited to come to London on 21st April to make the point that "Motorcycles Matter".

Motorcycles play an important role in our congested cities.

The problem is that the people running things don't get it. Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London refuse to acknowledge this.

It's not just London: there are another 28 authorities around the country looking into Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and charging vehicles for entering them.


In London, it will cost £12.50 a day to pass the North and South Circular into central London. 

Your Local Authority should be doing more to make it safe to park your bike by supplying more motorcycle parking bays with security. Manufacturers should be doing more to build in better security. Insurance companies should not be punishing the owners. 


The government should be doing more to support the Police in their fight against theft and increasing the penalties so that owners are not financially punished due to increased premiums.


We are not a 'cash cow' to bolster failing finances due to government cutbacks. 

So it's time for motorcyclists to hit the road for a "Motorcycles Matter" awareness ride!


Keep an eye on social media for updates on this event.

Get passionate! Get involved!


Because Motorcycles Matter!




17 January 2018

As Seen from the Sidecar - Week 11 & 12



Week 11 and 12

 2 Country. 1518 miles. 45 hours.
.
We're in Sudan! Sorry we skipped a week on the updates - the internet was next to non-existent as we travelled through Southern Egypt and in to Sudan. Since we last updated you we've racked up a whopping (for us) 1500 miles. That's a quarter of our total distance so far...

That's usually because we stop, see things and chat to people, you can't do that in most of Northern Sudan. There's nothing there. Just a huge amount of desert. It's an incredible place to ride through. We rode these huge stretches of hundreds of kilometres where you just see nothing but sand (and the odd camel). After a while you hit the Nile and life springs up again. The villages don't feel like they've changed since the dawn of time. All you find is really friendly people happily getting on with farming.

Wild camping here felt so safe and we stumbled on some absolutely idyllic spots but this leg wasn't without it's challenges. We had a ruined tyre, a tug of war with a lot of sand (after dark), and sign language warnings of crocodiles outside our tent.

Too many stories for one email so check out the below video for an update and follow our Facebook page for the full story. 
Week 11 & 12 Sizzling Sahara roads down through Egypt and Sudan
Week 11 & 12: Sizzling Sahara roads down through Egypt and Sudan.
Thanks for reading - catch you next week when we should be Ethiopia!

Matt and Reece 
P.S. Check our most recent blog post on modern slavery in Egypt.
New Blog post: Slavery in Egypt and not the Ancient kind. 

16 January 2018

MAG News - Future of Motorcycling in London

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) met the Chair of the Greater London Authority (GLA) Transport Committee, Keith Prince, to begin a serious dialogue about the future of motorcycling in London.

MAG's Chair, Selina Lavender, and London Rep, Tim Fawthrop, met GLA Transport Committee Chair, Keith Prince, in a high-level meeting to discuss the Committee's attitude and approach towards motorcycle and scooter use in the city.  

The meeting, held on 10th January 2018 at the GLA's City Hall headquarters, covered a number of policy areas which have been of major concern to MAG in recent months.  MAG's Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, was also there to support the delegation.
Selina observes: 'we covered four key areas of work with Mr Prince. 

These were bike-related crime, secure parking, charging riders for using the roads and the case for promoting motorbikes as a net reducer of congestion and pollution.   As Keith himself is a rider, it made him easy to talk with and meant there was little need to explain the benefits we all get from the freedom of two wheels. This enabled us to focus the meeting as he could see our viewpoint. Keith was most supportive of riders and I look forward to MAG maintaining an open dialogue with him and the GLA.'

As a specific next step, MAG will be providing some detailed technical information to justify the benefits that motorcycles bring to the city in reducing congestion and pollution, as well as increasing mobility for less wealthy citizens.

Tim Fawthrop also raised the question of access to bus lanes.  'We keep being told that Transport for London wants to enable motorbikes to use bus lanes across the city.  Mr Prince was supportive of this, and gave us very good advice on how to proceed.  The specific steps he proposed – and offered to support - really make sense. We've created a lot of work for ourselves in meeting the Chair of the committee, and this kind of investment will undoubtedly generate a much more powerful voice for the riding community in London.'

Central Office
MAG - Motorcycle Action Group

Tel: 01926 844064
Fax: 01926 844065

www.mag-uk.org

15 January 2018

More Wild Hogs

The Wild Hogs, my brother Neill and his mate Patrick, are off again in 2018.

Not as far as Norway or even Route 66, but to Northern Ireland for the North West 200 road races.

The trip blog is https://whnw200.blogspot.co.uk

The official site is http://northwest200.org

12 January 2018

More old tech 3 - Sanyo CG10

Another trash can digital camera. This one had no battery and no accessories. 

It was dumped in the big bins outside work along with assorted other out of date and badly looked after equipment.

It was probably there that it became detached from its battery and charger.

As ever. I took a punt on it actually working once I had sourced the bits and bobs it needed. Once again it was eBay to the rescue.  I managed to get a battery and charger block for about £8.

It uses a kettle lead (the common 8 shaped one) to connect to the mains.  I'm sure that most people have one or two loafing around. It's very common. Both my Canon 1100D and Claire's Sony dslr have charging blocks that need the same lead.

As for memory.  It takes an SD card. I have a couple of small capacity ones. They sufficed until I decided that it was worth saving.

Latterly I have substituted the SD with an adapter and a MicroSD card combo. Currently 32Gb.

What's it like to use?

All the controls require a very dexterous right thumb.

In video mode it's pretty decent. It has some anti-shake software. The zoom is also quite powerful. Quality of movie is also quite stable.

When in "still shot" mode it oddly changes the view on the screen changing the picture shape and size. What you see is not quite what you get. Sanyo claim 10 megapixel.

The LCD screen folds out from the side and the camera is held like a pistol grip. I am left handed. But as the screen folds out from the left it has to be used right handed!!

Something that left handed we have to get used to.

Another archive picture!


This one is actually not from my "Shoebox Archive" but is from a massive collection of 35mm slides that my brother, Neill, has been working his way through and scanning to computer. 

They are all from the collection of slides amassed by our Dad over around 30 years.

This is Neill, left, and me in the bath.  Neill joined me whilst fully clothed.  It would have been taken sometime like 1962/63.


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