29 February 2012

IMCO met yesterday to discuss the results of the impact assessment into ABS et al

Well, IMCO (the EU Internal market and consumer protection committee) had a bit of a debate yesterday about the findings of the new Impact Assessment into ABS, On Board Diagnostics and the timeline for the introduction of new emissions limits.

Remember, they elected to vote back in December, ahead of seeing these results.

When the results came out last week, they broadly found against the decisions IMCO had taken, for example, that cost/benefit of compulsory ABS was negative and by a big margin and shouldn't be imposed on all bikes from 50cc up as MAG has always said.

Yesterday's debate was interesting in that pretty much every MEP who spoke criticised the Impact assessment, said its findings should be ignored and that it was a waste of time and money! And voting before it was even completed wasn't?

So in essence, they were prepared to vote based on assumptions, but when a report that they commissioned found against their decision, they don't want to listen to it!

In fairness, they are correct in many ways that the Impact Assessment was not a quality one, but then they commissioned it and chose who would carry it out...

This opens a huge can of worms now though, because parts of it are very closely based on the original assessment the EU Commission conducted in support of the introduction of whole Regulation in the first place.

Everyone acknowledged that it was substandard then and the UK Government even conducted its own because it had no faith in the findings. The IA is of course only one part of the supporting evidence which is necessary to support the introduction of legislation and we know that most of the other research is flawed too - the EU Commission itself stating that it didn't have baseline data for much of what it wants to introduce - so this leaves us in a funny place, where MEPs appear to accept something substandard one minute, but refuse to the next, even if in some cases, the findings are based on the same shoddy work!

The good news (because there always is some) is that this disarray looks like we are going to get more time to lobby our MEPs, as the whole Parliamentary vote is now bound to be delayed into the summer, leaving MAG the opportunity to express ourselves on the streets as well... It has to be a multi-pronged attack to keep the pressure up.

You've gotta laugh - in the way I laughed this morning when I came out of the house to find that my bike had been nicked.

If anyone offers you a black GSF 1250 Bandit with scratches on the left side of the frame (it was a cat D), please let me know. WN57DVC.

Cheers.

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

The Route to Le Mans

The MotoGP season is due to start and this year we have out annual trip acrossd the sea to Europe and we have chosen the French Grand Prix.

Despite looking for hotels before the date of May 20th was confirmed and unless you are Richard Branson, hotels are out of site. In the end we have three nights in an F1 in Alencon about 50kms away.

27 February 2012

New Toy - TomTom Urban Rider Europe


I bought a new satnav to replace the still working but out of date Garmin Quest.

The Quest has been perfectly good since I bought it in late 2004. But since 2009 there have been no map updates as Garmin decided that they would no longer supply maps and support the device.

I looked at another Garmin but they were so expensive that I had a look around on Google and then the TomTom website and found the outlet store.

The one I bought came in three days from Holland, is refurbished but there is no sign that it's not new. The Ram mount is unmarked as it all of it.

The decision to go to TomTom was motivated not just by the fact that it was half price as a refurb, but also that I was not happy with Garmin's attitude to selling the map upgrades for the Quest.


French Government at it again- another thing to carry?

Although the new Hi-viz rules in France aren't due to be enforced until Jan next year, the necessity to carry a disposable breathalyser will be live from 1st July this year.

Alcohol is a factor in more French accidents  than speed is, but generally involves those extreme offenders who are 2 or 3 times over the limit. The French limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood, as opposed to our UK 80mg level, so it is remarkably easy to be over the limit with perhaps one drink, dependant on circumstance.

Obviously not drinking at all before riding, is the best practise, but now you will be penalised regardless of alcohol consumption, but rather the carrying of something to test whether or not you are over the limit! Even T-Totallers are going to fall foul of this one.

The fine will be 11 Euros so is clearly just an income stream as compliance can be checked in association with any other offence or stop and check situation. The units themselves can be bought for about 2 Euros and will be available at ports and on ferries.

Bear in mind, many of these new laws affecting motoring in France may be in jeopardy anyway, depending on the results of the elections that will be running in April. The opposition are aware just how unpopular they are and may well overthrow them before they are enacted.

If you are planning a trip this summer, please remember that as things stand, compulsory headlight use exists, as does carrying a set of spare bulbs and you should probably ride on the right.... The 4 reflective stickers on your helmet is a rule that has been in for about 10 years, but I've never heard of a case of the police enforcing it for non-French Nationals.





From Paddy Tyson MAG UK.

24 February 2012

La Poste


Post Box, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.

Pretty good deal on P&O

So far it has cost £19 to cross (return) to France on the Spirit of Britain. Plus the fiver on two Costa coffees.

So the six free bottles of Gallo Family California Rose looks like a bargain.

This boat is a vast improvement on the older ones but we'll see how easy it is to get off as we are on the upper car deck - deck 7.

Paul Devall
Sent from my iPhone

22 February 2012

Mimoyecques V3 Trip (Revision) - 22 April 2012

There was suggestion that some people wanted to go on the Shuttle as the price was very similar to the Ferry. Since then, P&O have dropped the ferry fare back to £16!

We have two separate groups, Boaters and Shuttlers,  going over who will meet up in Calais. You need to book the crossing for yourself. Times below.

The idea is that the Boaters will gorge themselves on a P&O breakfast and the Shuttlers will be far more refined and eat in France (if we haven't pogged out in the Shuttle terminal!)

So, it looks as though lunch at lunch time might nor really be needed, hence this change.
The plan:
  • Shuttle, meet @ 0815 in Terminal Building for 0850 or P&O Ferry, meet at entrance to Dover Eastern Docks @  0740 for 0825 boat.
  • Both groups meet at Place des Armes in Calais at around 1115 local.
  • Off motorway ride to Eperlecques Blockhaus (Refreshments available on site)
  • Ride cross country to Mimoyecques V3 site.
  • Run to Wimereux and back roads for late lunch/dinner.
  • D940 coast run back to Calais to return to Shuttle @1915 for 1950 train or P&O Ferry @1915 for 1955 boat

An aerial view of the Eperlecques site.


An idea of the route for the day.

As well as the visits to the two sites, there is about 88 miles of riding to do!

20 February 2012

Only fools and horses

No lunch, no tea
Just a cuppa coffee

Here all day
Starving hungray....


The IT man's lament sung to the theme tune of BBC's "Only Fools and Horses".

19 February 2012

Summer 2012 - Czech?

Thinking about another trip, not for the GP this year, but to visit friend's and a wedding anniversary party.  Maybe even the chance to ride Jiri's Jawas and CZ's.


View Larger Map

Canterbury - Mod & Rock



Canterbury - Mod & Rock, originally uploaded by InvictaMoto.
A nice little shop just a few doors down from the entrance to the Cathedral.

17 February 2012

Disappointed @ Kipfler


A work colleague, Stephanie, told me about a Viennese coffee house in Islington. Although I had been around the area for years I didn't know it existed.

A check on the menu had me thinking. Sausages.

I fancied some sacherwürstel for lunch tomorrow. A small detour and I was in Camden Passage at Kipferl. Sadly, they didn't have any of the sausages on the "sausage menu"!

Mouth still watering I set off for the Angel station and home.

I Superbiker

I am looking forward to seeing this film of the 2011 British Superbike season at the cinema in Ashford on Tuesday evening.

This is the second film in the series and if it is only half as good as TT3D it will be bang tidy!

http://www.isuperbiker.com/

Day Trip to France

I am hoping the current mild weather extends into the remainder of the month and definitely as far as next Friday.

Friday is Claire's birthday and we are off to lunch in France in the CC.

We are going over on P&O's 0925 crossing and then down to Wimereux for lunch.

As with most trips I have been looking on Tripadvisor to find a recommended restaurant. There are many to choose from and we wanted somewhere we'd not been to before.

In the end we are going to check out Chez Yann in Wimereux.

The set menus and carte look pretty good and the reviews are also tipping it into our favour.

http://www.chezyann.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/MobileRestaurantSearch?sortOrder=popHigh&longitude=&latitude=&q=Wimereux%2C+France&cat=0&pid=&locationSubmit=Find+Restaurants

15 February 2012

Mimoyecques V3 Trip - 22 April 2012

The plan for this year's SOC (and others!) Spring Day trip is to visit the V3 "Revenge Weapon" site at Mimoyecques near Calais. The date is April 22nd 2012.

My plan is to go as early as humanly possible to get t the V3 site before lunch.  This might be the 0825 P&O crossing or even earlier at 0735, depending on where everyione is coming from.  It also depends on the cost (at the time of writing P&O not accepting day ticket sales), the Shuttle maybe better for timing and cost.  The Shuttle is much quicker.

The ride is all off motorway and is in all about 55 miles.  The plan was to attract those that may have little or no experience of riding abroad and who also may have a smaller capacity motorcycle.


View Larger Map

The V3 Site is here:


View Larger Map

Following the visit, the plan is then to head across country to Wimereux (or Boulogne itself) , for lunch.  Wimereux has an abundance of restaurants and they should cater well for us.


View Larger Map

After lunch we can have a ride back towards Calais and the boat home along the (mostly) coast hugging D940. This is one of the finest roads in the area and is usually pretty full of local bikers enjoying a ride out.

Also, there are two further WW2 museums at Ambleteuse. The best is the Todt Battery, housed in a massive German Blockhaus.

10 February 2012

Smile before the weekend

Smile before the weekend

Because it's important to smile on a Friday and prepare for the weekend, I thought you'd like a little good news.


Firstly, AMM (Asociacion Mutua Motera) our partner organisation in Spain, has convinced the government to make filtering legal and the wearing of earplugs. Yes, you read that right, wearing earplugs has been illegal in Spain. So next summer maybe you'll choose Brittany Ferries and sail round France to Spain for your holidays.


Secondly, you may remember taking part in an EU Consultation on PTI or Periodic Technical Inspections (MoTs) over 18 months ago. The consultation was released online and in English only, even though it would be affecting countries where English is not the first language and the questions were dreadfully constructed (leading to an official complaint). The website 'suffered technical issues' when all you activists started responding so it was pulled, but FEMA got it reinstated a few days later. Then we heard that because so many British people responded, who said their main mode of transport was motorcycle, the results may have to be weighted as it wouldn't be fair!A public consultation that the public dared to respond to!


Anyway, I can't tell you that the PTI regulation has died, because the EU Commission never announces that they've withdrawn a proposal, but I can tell you that most EU Impact Assessments on proposed regulations are completed within 12 months of a Consultation closing.
It's been 18 months since the Consultation closed and most of the staff involved in the early days of this legislation have moved to greener pastures...


The hardest thing about this job, is that a success can be measured when nothing happens..


And finally, we always reiterate that MAG is non partisan, but just occasionally it's good to laugh, so please see below a fantastic recent MEP reply from Plaid Cymru in Wales


Many thanks for getting in touch, there have been many of you and it's clearly an important issue. There is currently ongoing negotiation between the Parliament and the Commission on this issue, with my group in the Parliament supporting the calls you have made regarding tractors, agricultural vehicles and quad bikes. These talks are ongoing, but I will continue to make sure your voice is heard in those discussions. I will update you of any progress as and when it happens. Regards, Jill Evans MEP Plaid Cymru

I don't want to hear any jokes about Harleys, but it's good to know she read the letter

Colditz

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ColditzColditzColditzColditzColditz CastleColditz Castle

Colditz, a set on Flickr.

Much better now than it was when it was turned into a PoW Camp.

No need to climb out of the windows with knotted sheets, but if you want you can still impersonate a German.

9 February 2012

Hythe Snow

Snow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in Hythe
Snow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in HytheSnow Day in Hythe
Snow No!!!!Snow gardenGarden snowSnow on pyracantha

Hythe Snow 05-02-2012, a set on Flickr.

It snowed just a little bit over Friday night into Saturday, enough to mean the GS stayed in the garage and missed out on its new battery and MoT.

Overnight into Sunday it snowed harder and harder until we had about 6 inches.

Star Wars - The Last Jedi

After all the build up.  Next week. Booked tickets for Friday 22nd.