Thursday, 29 May 2008

Iron Sky - Teaser

Well, I must admit that bar my unhealthy anticipation of the upcoming Batman movie 'The Dark Knight' this trailer I came across below had really set my pulse rushing. The movie is 'Iron Sky' and you can get further information from going to their website by CLICKING HERE.

The trailer seems to sum up fairly well what should be expected and though this is obviously a relatively small production the work done for the trailer alone looks amazing and I really am looking forward to the finished product!

Hopefully you enjoyed as much as I did!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Castles, Tombs and Open Roads

Today the summer touring season began with a quick Sunday tour around some local sights, namely Trim Castle and Newgrange, both in County Meath, Ireland. My current ride is still the Kawasaki ER-6N hire bike while I await my ER-6F to be returned to me.

So to start with I should point out that the Er-6n is restricted to 33bhp, basically because hiring a bike in Ireland is near impossible and when it is available the insurance companies find it more convenient to keep a fleet of restricted bikes. I seemingly find myself in the unusual position of having only a motorcycle licence and only one bike!

Onto the trip...the roads around Trim are 'full of character', essentially meaning that they are of less then average quality except for the work being carried out between Navan and Trim. While the new Trim to Summerhill road has been improved, but get off any of the main routes and you will have to take it easy. Which you should also find very rewarding as the scenery on some of the stretches of road is outstanding, especially along the Boyne Valley.

Trim Castle is an excellent location to visit, the link should explain more but if any of you have sat through the Mel Gibson movie 'Braveheart' then you may find it interesting that most of the film was filmed here at Trim Castle and the various battles in the film took place locally. Also at one stage in the movie you briefly see a castle burning, that is once again Trim castle.

After Trim castle I headed out to Newgrange. The roads may not allow for very spirited riding but they are very rewarding allowing you the time to soak up the scenery as you take your favourite ride through picturesque tree and hedge lined roads. The were some strong winds that kept me slightly off balance at times but nothing very surprising.

You can follow the signs to the Newgrange visitors centre. Here you will learn the history of this tomb built around 3200BC. For the minimal entrance fee you get free parking, plenty of picnic spots, the full history of the site and local tombs, all with regular audio visual shows. Also there is a guided tour that takes you by bus to the Newgrange tomb. Of course there is a gift shop and cafeteria available. If like me you get there too late in the day you will find that the guided tours of the tomb are all booked up...but if you are a local like me you will also know how to get up to the tomb (though not inside) with local roads. The location should be on the route map.

Heading back to Trim I took the road past Slane castle to Navan, adding some time to the journey back to Trim, though it is a great road for motorcycles, being smooth and flowing. By time you reach Navan you will be sorry it was over but still have a very big grin. Even on the restricted Er-6n it is a great run, though the curse of the 'Sunday driver' will frustrate.

I highly recommend this run for anyone visiting the area, it is a great way to spend the day and a lot of fun. Hopefully all the Flickr pictures will encourage you to give it a shot.

As always, keep the rubber side down.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Motorcycle Bloggers Unite!

My postings have been slack of late, busy time at university and having my bike in the workshop have left me running around trying to meet deadlines and submit 'volumes' of insurance paperwork...if the accident had been disputed or my fault then I dare not imagine what they would put you through.

Some good news the end of next week I should have Karma (my Kawasaki ER-6F/Ninja 650R) back and looking brand new!

More good news...I have just been accepted as a member to 'Motorcycle Bloggers International'. I had applied almost 2 weeks ago and must admit I doubted if I would end up as a member especially judging from some of the standards of the other members. Looks like they liked something on my little blog and hopefully I can only improve. Basically MBI is a 'community' of bikers who blog about their motorcycling lives. You will find a permanent link down to the left with the other motorcycle links. If you are a biker please go and have a look.

Some bad motorcycle trip to the Barcelona MotoGP is now off due to all this bother of late yet hopefully my partner and I will get to fly out. Then following that a few weekend trips around the country during the summer to compensate. So expect pictures and write-ups!

Right, hope you have all had a bit more luck then I have had of late...and of course still keeping the rubber side down.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Karma Falls

I was paying for petrol...standing in line with a bottle of water in my hand. I like looking at my Karma (my Kawasaki ER-6F), from a distance she bares a passing resemblance to the Triumph Sprint ST, but today was slightly different as it was the dirty white pick-up that caught my eye. Only because after he had gone around Karma and pulled up to the free set of pumps in front of her he decided to reverse.

I saw him hit her and thought, "you twat". Yet he did not stop! Just kept reversing, knocked her over and then pushed her along the ground. By this stage I was waiting for the automatic doors to a set of gates swinging open to release an angry bull that had seen red. Except this big black bull was also wearing a day-glow vest! I think the driver of the van was aware of me before he was the state of the bike as I charged towards him.

He was hesitant to get out of the cab at first, maybe there was something about my demeanor that concerned him? Maybe he was right to give me those few seconds. Staring at my poor Karma on the ground, like some wounded animal I was feeling her pain. After 10 years of riding this was the closest I had ever come to an accident and there was nothing I could have done.

As the red mist cleared from my eyes and the panic/anxiety kicked in I could just hear this voice in the back of my head saying "sorry, I did not see it"..."it"..."IT"...that "it" is my pride and joy, my mistress, my escape from this word. I spend every Sunday cleaning, lubing and giving praise for another week of mile munching. Before I opened my mouth in response the chap who had been fuelling his car on the other side responded with a laugh, "what do you mean you could not see that?".

I got under her and got her up onto the rubber. Only then did the damage become apparent. The scars, cracks and twisted metal. My poor Karma. The pick-up man kept talking at me, finally I responded, "I do not f*@$king care, just get me your details and piss off". After he obliged with shaking hands I wheeled her out to the side of the petrol station. Sitting down on the grass verge beside my wounded companion I reached for my mobile and started dialling.

The insurance company, Carole Nash, were very good and we were both recovered within the hour. At home and in the garage I could spend some time reviewing the damage while trying to console both of us. That night my partner would come around and the first thing she said upon seeing Karma was "she looks sad"...indeed, we all did.

It has been 2 weeks now since this happened. Has taken me this long to be able to piece it all together in my mind and to get over the shock. I hate myself whenever I sell a bike, but this felt even worse. Every day I have to contend with being invisible on the roads while every other driver seems hell bent on trying to kill me. Yet with some degree of apprehension I have accepted this as the norm, I swerve, dodge, brake & sound my horn just to keep rubber side down & paint side up. Yet for this accident to happen to my bike like this! Without a doubt we on two wheels truly go unnoticed in this world, like a minority of free spirits who legislators would rather get off the roads then actually recognise us.

The good news from this is that all the damage was superficial, Karma will be back with me within the next 3 weeks with all the plastics replaced. For this period I have been given a Kawasaki ER-6N as a hire bike, though it is restricted to 33bhp, so expect my first road test in the near future.

So with that please try to keep the rubber side down and the paint side up!