Sunday, September 30, 2007

A tale of very Mixed Transport Modes and Grommet

It started at Woking Station at 17:25 on Friday - there we all stood a motley collection of expectant Railair passengers with flights to catch at Heathrow that evening. Whilst I savour fresh air, standing in the rain with water dribbling down by neck next to an informative notice stating "This Room is Closed" on the door of the waiting room was unpleasant and made only slightly tolerable by the excuse for me to examine closely two BMW G650 models parked behind the building - one was a 2004 model Dakar that looked somehow nicer than the current model and the other a 2000 standard model with funny looking engine casings and front fairing.

It had transpired that 17:30 bus had departed at 17:20, according to a Virgin pilot - he had seen it driving out of the station courtyard as he had emerged. Station staff were clueless - operated by National Express. Naional Express staff said nothing to do with us - it's Railair. I have only ever missed a flight once before - from Stansted and that was the M25's fault. At 18:30 I raised a shout from the taxi rank "anyone for Heathrow? - we can split the fare!". The Virgin pilot and a smartly dressed management consultant type lunged forward and we arranged to pay the cooperative driver £10 each. The Virgin pilot was meeting his daughter at Heathrow to fly her to New York! The Management consultant type was returning home to Gozo, where he is able to live for £200 a month! He commutes to England every month and stays for8 days a to work. I do enjoy these chance enounters. It's started me thinking...Anyway, British Airways were 4 cabin attendants short so the flight was delayed 2 hours. Total Journey time Guildford to Frankfurt 7 hours.

The reason for today's picture? Simple - the second notable sight of today's motorway drive from Germany to Surrey was observed somewhere near Bruges where I chanced upon a motorcycle and side car driven by a bearded man bespectacled in goggles, sporting a jet style helmet, and with a dog standing nose to wind in the side car thoroughly enjoying herself. The Belgiums are eccentric and that's great! The first notable sight was a LJK Setrightesque figure clad in smart one piece leathers and sporting a Ducati 749 who swept into the service area where I was sipping a coffee, hopped off his machine . After dehelmeting, he lit up his pipe and puffed contentedly for 5 minutes before jumping back on the 749 and performing an extremely accelerative exit onto the E40 probably hitting the ton on the slip road. Very nice to watch. He was probably stopping off on his way back from Church.
Oh yes, journey time Frankfurt to Guildford via Norfolk Lines 11 hours.

Monday, September 24, 2007

BMW Club Forum (oilheads tech q+a)

Don't you just love forums:

PAULY750 asks
"I have a 98 R850R, love the bike but the slow speed steering is rather directional......"

Nikos says - What else do you expect from steering? The ability to knock up a meal for four people from a piece of mouldy cheese and a rust encrusted tin of sardines 15 years and 3 weeks past its sell buy date?
R1100RMAN responds
"........ The R models are very quick steering compared with the other models....."

Nikos says - Stone the crows, the "other models" must handle like the Titanic!
"....When you say "directional" I assume you're talking quick steering and needing little input to move away from a straight line?"

Nikos says - He probably means that the bike is so sodding top heavy that it keeps falling over!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

RBR Sortie #1

I have realised that it is admittedly a little late in the calender to start RBR : I am nevertheless determined to score more than a duck. I set off at crack of dawn (09:30) to bag some landmarks close to home. I'm borrowing the verb "to bag" for this activity from a fellow blogger - I'm actually taking up an invitation to visit suggested landmarks on the "enclosed" list. By 11:00 two landmarks bagged - Holmbury St. Mary and Handcross. Maybe I would have gone for Cooling too had my ABS warning lights not started blinking (actually that was only part of the reason because they stopped again - other excuses include a headache brought on by very noisy visor seal, not pre-planning a route properly and not finding Cooling on the rather inadequate map that came in my my tank bag - and the distance seemed a bit of a there and back slog for 20 points). I now realise that this RBR thing is a good thing to do!
I need to address a rather annoying sartorial and waterproofing issue that came to light this morning when I put on my expensive REV'IT! overtrousers, size 156 long for the first time in anger - there appears to be an annoying 1/2 inch ventilation and water scooping gap between the top of my boots and the lower seam of the trousers (Editor: This is caused by crotch lift syndrome caused by sitting down and bending legs): Could it be that I need gaiters? Today's picture is courtesy of the wraps-chaps knee-necks website and these fine leather creations look rather nicer than the Goretex (tm) gaiters for sale in Millets.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yes We Have No Ping F***its

Well we do actually, there's a little spring thing that lets the footpeg articulate and return and I need to replace the plastic bush that locates the spring (I had to modify the existing bush for the the footpeg lowering kit but cut far too much off). At least the new shift lever retaining bolt aka countersunk head screw part number 46521454158 went in OK.

Flemish Breakfast

Not bad for €1.90 the pair - kept me going from Gent to Wiesbaden. I normally take XXL so I bought two.....

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fawlty Mechanic

"What's the bloody point of having a countersunk head screw part number 46521454158? It's there for bloody months and when you need to unscrew it to replace your shift lever, It just bloody blows your head of! " oops no meant to say ..."it just bloody knackers your tools and won't shift for love nor cursing".
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