Thursday, 22 December 2011

2011 Moto-Blogging Awards. And the award goes to....

Another blogging year is coming to an end.

I have enjoyed reading many people’s motorcycle related blogs again this year, so much in fact that that I have decided announce the 'Flies in your Teeth 2011 Moto-Blogging Awards'. Sort of like the Oscars for Motorcycle Blogging, but not really.

These are just for fun, carry no prizes and the judge’s decision is final !!!!

If you are not mentioned, then that is probably due to my bad memory.

So, in no particular order......

The blogger that made me laugh the most in 2011. Jack Riepe of Twisted Roads. Keep it up Jack.

With all of his food pictures, the blogger that constantly made me feel hungry, Bobskoot of Wet Coast Scootin, with a special mention also for Lucky on his Pizza Crusade

The person with the coolest blog name. Brady from Behind Bars.

The blogger that gets more exercise than most and makes me feel guilty for not doing more myself, is bluekat, who writes about bluekat’s journeys be they by bicycle, kayak, on foot, or on a motorcycle.

The blogger that makes me feel cold, due to his Polar Bear rides. Chris (where's that snow?) Luhman of Everyday Riding. Brrrrr!

The bloggers that are nearly always on the road. Donna and Stu, who are hauling it around while they take a 5th.

For posting pictures that make me want to travel half way around the world to ride on another island. Roger, aka Raftnn, who has All Things Rogey.

A blogger that doesn't post often, but when he does, I always read it. The Arizona Harley Dude.

The blogger that has finally seen sense and bought a Harley-Davidson. And she takes great photos too.... . Sonja. who has (re-)discovered motorcycle riding.

The blogger that I want to meet on the salt. George was originally from Mozambique, now living in the USA, who writes about Riding the USA.

Canajun, who is the Ottawan blogger On Two Wheels that has a happy humidor.

My favourite blogging couple. Troubadour and Trobairitz

The blogger that I so want to pass his IAM qualification. Geoff, who shares his confessions here.

The blogger with a great balance between ride reports and life in general, motoroz who isn't just an ordinary biker.

The blogger that does the best interviews. Stephanie, the Iowa Harley Girl.

The top sidecar blogger (and the blogger with the most names). Dom/Redleg/Charlie6. of Redlegs rides.

The most technical blogger and Chapter photographer. Axel, of Road King UK.

The blogger that took the most inspiring trip in 2011. V-Star Lady. What a great adventure she had, riding her V-Star.

The terrific writer that often makes me sit back and think about what he has written, FLHX Dave from the Road Grits Cafe. He also makes great coffee!

The fun-loving brand-loyal blogger. BeemerGirl, who has the Love of a Motorbike.

A new biking blogger that enjoys sharing as he learns. Circle Blue who has Twists and Leanings.

The blogger that moved from a warm place to a cold one, that used to write about exercise, but now mainly writes about riding his BMW, Richard.

The blogger with attitude who says what she thinks. mq01 from over at Ms M's Place.

The blogger that I learn from, irondad, The Intrepid Commuter.

The blogger with the coolest custom motorcycles. Ian Solley, of 7 Ages Custom Motorcycles.

The blogger with the most impressive beard, WooleyBugger of Wooley’s Rants and Sonic Cleaning.

A very keen moto-blogger, who writes about riding her Scooter experiences, Princess Scooterpie.

The blogger that disappeared for a while and then came back. Baron.

The blogger that is on the mend. Jimbo, who will hopefully soon be back to Premeditated Scootin'.

The blogger with many years of biking experience, Doug, who has spent more than Forty Years On Two Wheels.

Plus of course, all other bloggers that I have failed to mention.

and finally, my favourite blogger that doesn't even write a blog. Mrs France.

Thank you all for your terrific blogs and I look forward to reading more about you and your adventures in the year ahead.

It only leaves me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a terrific New Year. I hope you all have many great rides in 2012.

Monday, 19 December 2011

I need your help - what cars are these?

When I was on my ride through the USA last year, I saw and photographed two cars.  I want to refer to these in my book about the trip but I am afraid I don't know what they are.  Does anyone out there know?

I believe the lighter car might be a Chevrolet Impala, but I am not certain and I don't have a clue what the green car is.  I will be very grateful for any information!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

It won’t look like this for long....

The design stage of my new custom bike is progressing well and should be finished within a week or so.

I am not going to give anything away about what it might eventually look like, but there are some pictures below showing what the donor bike currently looks like.

So, what will we be keeping from the existing bike?  Just two things.  The engine and the frame.  A whole bunch of spare parts will be going on eBay soon!

The completed bike should be ready by the middle of April, so I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How and Why did you get into Motorbikes?

I have read a few motorcycling blogs recently that I haven't seen before.  With almost all of them, I was left wondering how the authors of those blogs initially got into biking, and why?

This wondering has got the better of me, so I thought I would ask.

Keen to set the ball rolling, I have set out below my reasons.  I would like to know your reasons, so if you want to participate in this, then write something on your own blog about 'How and Why I got into Motorbikes'.  Then, so we can keep track of the responses, please add a comment to this post, with a link to your own post.

Here is my biking background....

I can remember that when I was really young, maybe at around the age of four, that my Father had a motorbike with a sidecar. Rather frustratingly, that is all I can remember of this.

At about the age of 13, I was taken to some motorcycle races and I really enjoyed these.  I went for a couple of seasons and at the time, it was the Yamaha's and Suzuki's that prevailed and I watched the end of the Norton racing decline.  Racers like Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts dominated and produced exciting racing.

Money was short in our family as my wonderful mother was raising us four kids on her own.  My father had died when I was 11 years old and as the eldest boy, I felt the need to start working as soon as possible to help out financially. I was sixteen when I left school and got my first job, full time.  The only form of transport I could afford was a pedal cycle and I rode that 13 miles to work and 13 miles home again each day. This kept me fit and I was as thin as a rake back then!

At 17, continuing to ride a bicycle was becoming impractical in all seasons, so I decided to buy a small motorbike (a Honda C90) as a necessity to travel to and from work. I bought a small motorbike because it was the only form of vehicle I could afford and I rode that bike along with its two replacements every day for about five years, in all weathers. Really good gloves and waterproofs were unusual and cost way too much for my limited budget, so I used to suffer really badly with the cold.  Riding in snow is not much fun if you have to because it is the only way to get to work.

Like many others, marriage and children put an end to my early motorcycling days and it wasn't until many years later that I bought my next bike.  Early for a meeting in London, I had about 45 minutes to waste, so I went to see a nearby Harley-Davidson dealer.  I admired the shiny gleaming machines so much that I arranged to rent a Road King for a weekend. Within an hour of riding the bike, I had decided to buy one.  Returning the rental bike saw me ordering one for myself.  That was six years ago and since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed my re-introduction to biking.  I guess I am a born-again biker!

What's your story?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Protest Ride

I don’t often protest. In fact, I cannot remember ever joining a public protest.

I did last Tuesday though because it was about something that I care a lot about – motorbikes!

The European Parliament makes laws that affect all of Europe and sometimes these laws are just plain stupid. It was becoming clear that the law makers were considering draft proposals that could mean home maintenance and the fitting of non-standard parts on motorbikes would not be allowed. If passed, this anti-biking legislation could severely restrict what for some is a common practice. Imagine not being able to modify, say, a Harley-Davidson with different exhaust pipes, or not being able to change the shocks on your sports bike, not being able to maintain the chain, brakes or doing the tuning on your own bike yourself. This proposed legislation is clearly a nonsense, and we needed to do something about this.

Motorcycle News, the weekly UK biking newspaper, had organised a protest ride at the centre of the European Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium. Previous protest rides had taken place in various UK locations, but while these had helped to consolidate feelings in this country, they lacked impact where it really mattered, in Brussels. I was able to attend, so at 4.30am on Tuesday morning my alarm clock rattled me awake and after making coffee for the ride, I hit the road at 5.00am on my way to Belguim.

The ride to the coast at Folkestone was in the dark the whole way. Worse, it was 98 miles of fog that meant keeping the speed down while having to crack on in order to get the bike onto the right Channel Tunnel train to France. I just made it in time and drank my previously made coffee while waiting in line to board the train....

I recognised a fellow rider in the train as we journeyed under the sea and five of us agreed to ride together to Brussels. Stopping for fuel and supplies replenishment, we pressed on riding through France and soon crossed the border into Belgium. Arriving in Brussels caused some confusion as at the last minute, the assembly point was changed and after struggling to find it for a while, we eventually arrived in good time.

A midweek protest ride in late November in another country that meant you would have to take your bike abroad, was never going to attract huge numbers, but we were pleased to see between 150 and 200 bikes had made the journey from the UK.

Me in Brussels with the Leading ladies....

Brief speeches were made by MCN’s Steve Farrell, Motorcycle Action Group’s Ian Mutch, British Motorcyclist’s Federation’s Chris Hodder and MP Mike Weatherley. Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules was also there. This is Ian Mutch talking to the assembled bikers.....

The bikes start the protest ride....

I have to say the Belgium police were fantastic. They lead the ride in their vehicles and at every junction and traffic light on the 5 mile route around the city, police stopped all traffic and waved the bikes through.

Here is MCN’s video of the protest....

The bikes arriving outside the European Parliament....

Marta Andreasen, a supportive MEP, talking to some of the bikers....

The bikes rode back to the assembly point before setting off back to the UK. All of the police motorcyclists and those in vans and other vehicles also went back to the assembly area as well. As they left, the protesting bikers spontaneously applauded the police for the great job they had done. The police smiled, waved back and blew their horns in recognition – an unusual and great moment.

The journey back to Calais and the train was uneventful and we arrived in time to get the planned train. I arrived back home at about 8pm having completed 476 miles on the trip.

I will keep you posted regarding what happens with the proposed legislation. Let’s hope these meddling politicians change their minds!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Survey about the future of motorcycles

I was contacted recently to complete a survey about the future of motorcycles, especially in respect of drive trains. Part of some research by Triumph Motorcyles, the survey is about people’s expectations of new motorbikes, so that it can help Triumph to specify the next generation of bikes.

Tim, the guy doing the survey said “This is an opportunity to let your opinions reach the people who actually make the big decision on future motorcycle models so please make the most of it! We would appreciate it if you could forward this on to as many other fellow riders as possible.”

If you want to take part in this anonymous survey, here is the link.

Feel free to re-post this on your own blog.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

For those that don't know how do it manually

I recently changed the name of my blog and some of you have noticed the link from you own blog back to mine is still called USA Tour on a Harley-Davidson.

I assumed that these links back to my blog would automatically update to the new name somehow, but they don’t. You have to change it manually on your own blog and I have noticed that many of you have already done that in your own blog so the link to mine reads correctly. Thank you for doing that.

If you don’t know how to do make this change manually, here is how you do that, assuming you are using Blogger....

You know where you add a new link to your blog list? That is also where you change the name of a blog on your list

It is in your dashboard (which is also called Design, depending on which version of Blogger you are using), go there and click on ‘Layout’ (which again depending on the version of Blogger, may be in a drop-down menu) and this takes you to how you have laid out the various elements of your own blog page. On that layout page, find whatever you have called your blog list – some may call it, ‘The Blogs I Read’, ‘Blogs of Interest’, or something like that. Click on edit and that takes you to where you add new blogs to that list.

Next to the names of the existing blogs, you can edit or remove the existing blogs on your list. Find ‘USA Tour on a Harley-Davidson’ and rename it to “Flies in your Teeth”. Then click on Save to close the box and then it’s all done.

Many have already done this, so try it. I will be checking up on you to see if you have successfully changed the name!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

We went to lay a wreath

Each year on Remembrance Sunday, the H-D dealer I use, Warr’s, organises a ride out to honour the war dead.

I had never been before, so I thought it about time I did.

That was last Sunday and we were blessed with a warm and sunny autumn day.  About 35 bikes had arrived at Warr’s for the ride.  As usual with most H-D ride outs, there was the obligatory pre-ride safety briefing beforehand and unlike the last ride out, I was there in plenty of time to get a cup of coffee and to listen to the briefing before we left.

If you have never been on a H-D ride out before, it is an impressive sight.  By some standards, this was not a large gathering, but 35 Harley-Davidsons riding along any road is an impressive sight and it turns many heads. Lead by Scottie, we rumbled through the busy roads of south-west London and some waved to about the same number of scooters heading in the other direction as they rode into the capital for what was probably a scooter meeting of some sort.  The familiar smell of two-stroke engine exhaust wafted through the air, reminding some of us of our earlier riding years.

Soon, we reached the leafy scenic lanes of Surrey and encountered some slippery steep downhill roads that needed more attention than usual.  I was riding three bikes back behind a guy I didn’t recognise and he was being more careful than most as he made his way through the twisting winding roads and his slightly slower pace meant we were falling back from the main group a little, not that this mattered.  It wasn’t until later I discovered he had only taken his bike test three weeks earlier and this was one of his first long-ish rides, so my full admiration goes to him!

We stopped for a break and a coffee at a place called Forest Green and re-assembled for the traditional two minutes of silence at exactly 11am to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow countrymen.  We bowed our heads and stood still as a mark of respect of those soldiers from around the world that fought on behalf of others.

11am is the time chosen in many parts of the world to remember the war dead as it was the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918 that the Armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne in France,  took effect to formally cease the hostilities of World War I.  Remembrance Sunday has of course gone on to remember the war dead from all wars, not only WWI.

The ride continued to Elstead where there is a small war memorial and we laid a wreath.  Our group of 35 or so were from many different nationalities as so it was appropriate that a few words were said that we should remember the dead from all countries.

Nearby is the Mill at Elstead, a pub and restaurant , where we stopped for lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Marvelous!

Wikipedia tells me that Elstead Mill, was occupied by Oliver Cromwell’s ‘roundhead’ army during the English Civil War of 1642-1651, but subsequently burnt down. The present structure is therefore thought to date back to the 17th century.  The river flows through the mill at can be seen from inside the building.

We broke up as a group and made our own way back from there and as I rode, I thought about what a good day it had been.  I promised myself I would go on the same Warr’s ride next year.  After arriving home, it didn’t take me long to fall asleep on the sofa....

Monday, 14 November 2011

Time for a Change

When I started this blog, I gave it a very specific name to reflect the tour of the USA I was about to undertake. Now that that trip is well and truly over, the title long longer fits, so it is time for a change.

I hope you like the new title.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Seven Day Challenge

Trobairitz threw down a challenge to fellow Bloggers.

“If you had unlimited funds and could have one bike for every day of the week, what bikes would you choose? Please do a blog post listing which bike you would choose for which day of the week and why”.

As a biking Blogger, how could I resist this? The simple answer is, I couldn’t. Here is my list....


I would have to start the week with what is probably the bike that started this bug of motorcycling for me. As a kid, I used to go watch motorcycling at a race circuit called Brands Hatch and the single rider that made the most impression on me was Barry Sheene. I idolised this guy with his outstanding riding style, long hair, good looks and a seemingly endless supply of beautiful women by his side. The bike I remember watching him ride the most and the bike he won his two 500cc World Championships on was a Heron-Suzuki like the one in the picture below. I would love to own this bike and would ride it every Monday in honour of my early-age hero, Barry Sheene....


On a Tuesday, I would like to pay homage to a guy called Larry Desmedt. Like many, he became interested in motorcycles at an early age. His early life was full of trouble and after being convicted of bank robbery and spending time in prison, he turned his life around by concentrating on building motorcycles. Indian Larry as he became known crafted some of the most beautiful custom motorcycles the world has ever seen. Larger than life itself, Indian Larry was a true master of building bikes. His talents are sorely missed by all in the custom bike industry. This is one of his wonderful bikes, which I would love to own and would cherish every Tuesday....


On a Wednesday, I would look to the past and want to ride a Brough Superior SS100. Just 3048 Superiors were made between 1919 to 1940 and about 1000 still exist today. Each individual SS100 bike was test ridden to more than 100mph before delivery. Lawrence of Arabia owned seven of these bikes and died from injuries sustained while crashing one, and one of the doctors attending him was so affected by the incident he began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle riders. His research led to the use of crash helmets. I have seen four Brough Superiors in one collection and I would definately want one as part of my seven day rides....


By Thursday, I would want to move away from nostalgia and have some fun. I have never owned a dirt bike, but I would want one. I don’t know much about them and have no preference regarding which make or model, so I chose one at random from the web. I am sure one of my biking buddies would teach me the finer points of riding one....


Each Friday, I would look at my bikes and wonder what to ride just before the weekend. Because it carried me around the USA without complaint or problem, I would have to keep my 2006 Harley-Davidson Road King called the Leading Ladies and ride this bike each Friday to celebrate that once in a lifetime ride of 20,000 miles in such a great country....


Saturday is a day to ride and be seen, so having an eye catching bike would be my Saturday choice. For me, it would have to be a custom bike and I would want to combine a classic bike from the past with the modern styling of today. I have admired the work of California based bike builder Matt Hotch and last year he produced a custom bike with a Vincent Black Shadow engine. The bike is a stunning collaboration of old and new and I can see myself cruising through London on the bike on a Saturday evening. How cool is this bike.....


I have saved the best until last, for this bike combines my two true motorcycling loves – touring and customs.  It is a bike that will allow me to go touring on a true custom bike.  The trouble is, I cannot show you a picture yet, because building it has only just started. You will have to wait until the Spring to see what it looks like....

Okay, that is only six bikes really, so here goes with my seventh, until my new custom tourer is ready.  I would go for the MV Augusta F4 Corse because it is the sexiest bike I think I have ever seen.  This is pure art....

Great idea, Trob!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Is winter a problem for bikers? I love it.

For those of us in more northerly places, the onset of winter normally brings the blues. The weather we have enjoyed in the summer and autumn slips away and the rain, cold and even snow and frost appear.  Once the clocks go back and darkness falls ridiculously early, we tend to put our bikes away until the spring.  We tend to miss our motorcycling passion and a mild form of depression normally sets in.

Not for me!

I love this time of year!

That is because It is around now I am planning my rides for the following year.  This is what I have planned so far....

10 days riding around Cuba in February.  I cannot wait to see all the old cars and motorbikes in this very unusual country.

In May, I will be returning to St. Tropez for the Harley-Davidson Euro Festival. Jackie and I will be driving in a car (our Cobra) on our way to take the car all the way back to southern Spain from London and we will be stopping in St. Tropez in southern France on the way.  I will be shipping a bike to St. Tropez to use while we are there.

In June, four of us will be getting. Ferry from England to northern Spain and the riding our custom bikes about 900 miles to Cascais in southern Portugal for the main H-D European Rally, then back again.  My son Charlie will be joining us on that ride along with friends Paul (who joined me for part of my USA tour last year) and Ian who I went to Croatia with.

At some stage I want to ride to St. Petersburg in Russia, but that might have to wait until 2013.

Planning these trips is great fun and keeps me sane at this time of year. It does however drive Jackie a little crazy as our office is often covered in maps and books and other stuff needed for road trip planning.

Is anyone else planning for next year already?

Friday, 4 November 2011

My son gets a cool bike

My eldest son, Charles (or Charlie as he likes to be called) used to ride small motorbikes, but as he never took his motorcycle test, these were limited in size to under 125cc. He stopped riding them a few years ago and has recently shown a revived new interest in bikes.

I recently told him that it would be good if he could come on some rides with me, but this would mean having to take his bike test in order to get a decent sized bike. I made him the rather rash promise that if he took and passed his test, he could ride to Portugal with a few of us next year. He said he would and so far has completed two of the four required parts of the test....

Part 1 – CBT or Compulsory Basic Training. This comprises the basic elements you need to master riding a motorbike. He took this course last week.
Part 2 – The Theory Test. A multiple choice question and answer paper covering the law, safety, road signs, plus a hazard perception test. Charlie took and passed this earlier this week.
Part 3 – Practical Riding Test (module 1) – Off Road. This tests your bike handling skills.
Part 4 – Practical Riding Test (module 2) – On Road. The road riding element of the test.

He is hoping to take both of the practical riding tests by the end of next week.  That will then see him getting a full bike licence and he will then be able to ride any bike.

However, the imminent passing of his motorcycle test presented me with a problem. If Charlie was to ride to Portugal next year, what bike would he ride? Was I prepared to let him take one of my bikes? Hmmn. Maybe. Maybe not. We are of course talking either of my precious Leading Ladies, or gulp, my red custom bike, Tradewinds.

We could rent a bike, but most rental companies require you to be at least 25 years old and have been riding for at least 12 months. Hmmmn. He would meet neither of these requirements.

The third and most likely option was to buy him a bike. That would also prevent him from needing to ask to borrow one of mine. So, I started looking and found a perfect bike for him. A neat looking, customised bobber with a fair degree of style at a reasonable price. A saw it on the Facebook page of a Michael Noble, who runs the customisation side of Guildford Harley-Davidson.  He wasn’t selling it himself, but a friend of his was, but when I called the next day, the bike had been sold just 30 minutes earlier.

Disappointed in missing such a perfect bike for Charlie, two days later I looked on e-Bay and found the very same bike for sale. A dealer had bought it and was re-selling it. I went to see them straight away and after test-riding it, I bought the bike. So, my son is now the proud owner of a very nice Bobber.... As you can see from the first picture, he looks great sitting on the bike and it suits him very well.....

Cool bike, huh?

It is a Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH1200 BOBBER 1200cc, from 1988 (the same year Charlie was born) that has done just 24000 miles. It is green and white and is tastefully Bobbed in traditional 60/70's style, with new whitewalls, new rear shocks, a new battery, new paintwork, keystone bars, a white solo seat and grips, wrapped pipes and is very clean in great condition for a 24 years old bike.  I could only spot a couple of small, easiy fixed problems.

All he has to do now is pass his bike test! If he doesn’t pass, I will keep the bike for myself !!

Good luck, Charlie!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Birthday? Let’s go to Las Vegas!!

Jackie and I just got back from a quick trip to the USA. It was her birthday and on the day before, her daughter’s birthday, so where could we go for a joint birthday celebration? Why, Las Vegas of course!

As it was a family holiday with Jackie and myself, son Jeremy, daughter Mish and her husband Des, along with their son Talon, we rented a house in south Las Vegas and treated ourselves to a week of fun and Oh Boy, did we have some fun!

Never having been to Vegas before, Jeremy seemed to enjoy himself mixing with the locals....

We rented a 1959 Cadillac Convertible, which sadly after just 24 hours developed a huge gas leak. It was great fun driving it around for that first day, although, well lets be polite and just say it was well worn....

I didn’t realise kitty litter was a fantastic way of soaking up leaking fuel! There was so much fuel coming out of the car, the gas station called the fire service!

The house we rented had a putting green in the yard....

Jackie watching the majestic fountains at the Bellagio...

I adore these fountains and could stand there and watch them for hours. Instead, I took a video of one of the shows.....

The Paris hotel, seen from the Bellagio.....

Caesars Palace is a spectacular hotel inside, especially the shopping areas....

Curved escalators, an engineering wonder (as in, I wonder how they work)....

What is this a picture of?.....

I hope you said a parking garage, or something similar. Actually it isn’t, it is a model car shop....

Me, standing in front of the famous Las Vegas sign, holding a headlight that I collected for a pal of mine (you cannot buy these LED headlights in the UK)....

Hoover Dam, with a shadow of the new bridge we were standing on....

We went to see a classic car collection at the Imperial Palace Hotel. I fell in love with this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible. Some of the cars were for sale and this Bel Air was in immaculate condition although the $145,000 price tag turned as many heads as the car....

Do you remember the film American Graffiti? Richard Dreyfuss played a young guy who fell in love with a mysterious blonde driving a white Ford Thunderbird. Here is a 1957 T-Bird that was for sale at the car collection. I was VERY tempted to buy this car.... it was a truly beautiful car....

Mish wanted to go zip lining on her birthday, so we trooped off to the Nevada mountains and went to Bootleg Canyon. The zip lining was bloody marvellous! Here is a short video....

Of course the main event of the trip was Jackie’s and Mish’s birthdays. Happy birthday girls!.....

We crammed a lot into a week’s trip and I think it is fair to say, everyone had a great time. Now, were shall we go next year....?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Protest Ride in Brussels

Many of my biker buddies will have heard of the crazy European Union draft proposals that could mean home maintenance and the fitting of non-standard parts on motorbikes would not be allowed.  If passed, this anti-biking legislation could severely restrict what for some is a common practice.  Imagine not being able to modify, say, a Harley-Davidson with different exhaust pipes, or not being able to change the shocks on your sports bike, not being able to maintain the chain, brakes or doing the tuning on your own bike yourself.  One interpretation of the draft could mean you might not even be allowed to change a tyre!  This proposed legislation is clearly a nonsense, and we need to do something about this.

On Tuesday 22nd November, there is a protest ride and demonstration against these proposals right at the heart of the EU beurocrats, in Brussels.  This is being organised by Motorcycle News.  I will be going on my bike via the channel tunnel, making the two hour ride to Brussels from Calais and taking part.  Then getting the Channel Tunnel train back later that day.  Anyone from the UK want to join me? It will mean a very early start!

If not, then please sign the electronic petition to stop this bullshit.  This can be found at .....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

100,000 and counting!


I just noticed the counter on my blog has clicked over the 100,000 hits mark.

When I started this little blog I wondered if anyone would read my stuff.  It is just about a guy travelling on a motorbike.

Many thanks to all of you that have taken to time to look at my blog and sometimes write a comment about it.  Without my readers, it wouldn’t be worthwhile doing, so a BIG THANKS to you!