Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

On the Third Day Nikos Drives the Bloody Thing

I fit the correct contact lenses today. I trust the tyres. I do not fear narrow wet roads and downhill hairpin bends of decreasing radius with man hole covers positioned at the correct entry point and stone walls. I drive the machine. The man with flip helmet seems pleased. We pass through the spectacular Elan valley and visit the Black Mountains.

Interlude for Little Notes on Scrappy Bits of Paper

Driving in Drizzle

Day 2 and we cannot even see the sheep. This is supposed to be the big day with the 200 mile ride on the A470 up to Betty's Co Ed or as the English say Betws -y- Coed for Welsh Rarebit in a grotty cafe with outside loos for the boys. Drizzle and fog diminish nothing from the virtual redolent charm of Blaenau Ffffffffestiniog and a steam train greets us at Porthmadog. We are battered by gale force wind through Harlech and arrive with soggy numb bums at Rhayader. I'm accused of riding like a car driver...I survive. At dinner I admit to mono vision contact lenses: The man with the flip front helmet literally flips his lid.

A Ride to Rhayader

85% sheep sitting down is favourable according to local knowledge - it's when they sit under the trees that the waterproof oversuit must be donned. I guide my steed gingerely around the car park at the BMW Rider Training facility at Ystradgynlais dodging cones: My self doubt ebbs and flows - an unfamiliar machine and a new travelling companion - an instructor chatting through my ear piece - I long for the first coffee stop.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Grey Weather Forecaster

It cannot be a good omen for the weather prospects looking forward to my 3 day motorcycle tour of Wales when 50% of Today's Forecasters will not reveal themselves...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Napier Deltic

My sadly departed Dad worked for Napier & Son at Acton just before they were absorbed into Rolls-Royce. Napiers were expert at packaging multiple banks of cylinders into compact designs especially for aero engines where low frontal area was needed to reduce drag (actually the cooling system causes more drag - there was a very good book written by LJK Setright on this topic - anyone know what it was called?). They were of course not very reliable but they produced a design called the Nomad that was a compound two stroke diesel and turbine engine - the most thermally efficient engine ever produced. The Deltic diesel is a good example of a design that was used in railway locomotives and patrol boats - my Dad spent a lot of time placating the Indian Navy as there Deltic powered PTBs spent most of their time being towed home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pandering to the Olympics

Not faking it, these pandas are clearly enjoying the coverage.

A Visit to the Cobbler

And it's now official - I'm size 14 (feet that is).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

13.8V and the Top of the Morning to you All.

The new energiser functioned without fault. The ride was accomplished with the top box lid unlatched in best Ted Simon style. Congleton was traversed without drama. The descent from the Cat and Fiddle brought only one muppet moment fumbling for gears on one of the hair pins...(rolling on the throttle is futile in neutral - why is there a neutral between 2nd and 3rd?). Next run will be to Matlock Baths.

Saved by a 4X2

The prologue.

She's off already. Now listen - calm yourself dear, yes you in the curlers 3rd row back.
Without that block of 4X2 to hold it up....
Titter ye not....
I would'nt have been able to slip/shove it in.

Haynes Hint: Battery corrosion can be kept to a minimum by applying a layer of petroleum jelly to the terminals after the cables have been connected.

Thank Destructus (the God of DiY) that the Knutsford Boots was still open at 17:55.
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