• Category Archives Goldwing
  • Driven by the wind… no really….

    Having driven the Nullarbor Plain and haven flown power kites, this story just hit it off for me big time.

    How cool is that?
    I really got a huge kick out of reading this and watching the video… yeah, sure, some of that kick would come from being over here and missing the country so much (I still really miss the bush a lot), and some of it would come from being desk bound so much (no RDO’s to ride up to Uranquinty the back way), but just the same, you gota hand it to these guys for getting off their butts and doing something pretty cool.

    Sorta reminds me of when Hans Thostrup, along with Larry Perkins drove their solar powered car from Perth to Sydney. It really was ground breaking. I still remember the awe I felt when I touched that actual car at the old Melbourne Museum (I read a newspaper (yeah, it was before the Internet) that the car was on display there, I caught a train into the city just to see it). Goosebumps then and now. Terry laughs at me for saving computer programs onto audio cassette, I keep telling him, if it were not for me doing that, he would not have the cool tech he has now…. I mean, if it was not for these two guys, who knows when or where the whole solar challenge might have gone……. And so where would hybrid cars be now?

    Or maybe I am just carrying on because I am watching ‘Long Way Round‘ with Bobbie at the moment and I miss my bike and time to get out and see things…..

    I’ll get out of your face now…. before I …. never mind…..

  • Hang up and drive already!

    I have blogged about this before. I will blog about it again I am sure!!
    Talking on the phone while driving is dangerous!
    Here is yet another study done that shows some interesting data.

    Some of you caught my micro blog about selling the bike…. The main reason is pretty personal and not something that I am likely to blog about any time soon, but the second reason is the topic of this blog.
    I am thinking of selling because I am seeing more and more bad driving here in Temecula because of people who talk and drive.
    The linked article claims that talking on the phone while driving is about the same as having a blood alcohol level of 0.08.
    At 0.05 in Australia you can lose your license. Personally, I think that limit is too high…. I had a few drinks one night over the course of about 4 hours and a good meal, 2 beers, 2 glasses of red wine and a small whiskey…..  I knew in myself that I should not drive. I did not feel too bad, but I was feeling the effect of the alcohol, so Freddy drove…. We went though a breath test about 4 houses from home, so I walked back once we parked the car. I explained to the officers what I had to drink and they were only too happy to breath test me…. The result, I blew 0.02. There was no way known I was comfortable getting behind the wheel at that amount. I shudder to think what 0.05 is like, let alone 0.08!!!!!

    Answer that phone next time it rings while you are driving, and in an instant you have drunk quite a bit!!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, yes, you are right, I chose to ride a bike, yes, I am more exposed, yes, it would be safer if I was wrapped in steel like you, but you chose to weave all over the road. You chose to rear end the vehicle in front, you chose to run the light, to run the stop sign, you chose that talking to your better half / friend / work mate is more important than my life and welfare of my family.
    I make my choice and you force me to make another.

    Hang up and drive already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I probably should stop now, yes, its something that gets me pretty worked up. It so easy to stop, just don’t answer the phone while you are driving. Let your voice mail pick it up.

  • Get off the phone and drive!!!

    I have ranted about the lack of indicator use in Temecula before. I would like to rant some more about that, but for now I will leave it…………

    No, I changed my mind…… By NOT using your indicator, you are slowing the flow of traffic. Americans love their cars, they love to drive, they love to get to where they are going, you would think that they would have discovered  that inconsistent use of their indicators is hurting themselves!
    Here is how it works. You are sitting at an intersection and you want to pull out. There is a car approaching. If he has his indicator on, you can’t pull out, you have to wait to see if he slows down and takes the corner. If he does not have his indicator, you can’t pull out, you have to wait to see what he is going to do. Either way, you are waiting. This happens time and time and time and time again…. and its not just me, I see other people doing the exact same thing at every single intersection. I am driving along, I put my indicator on to turn into a street, and the person there waiting, has to wait some more, because EVERYONE does not indicate, we ALL have to wait!
    Its madding for me because I really focus on doing the right thing, and I help no one. I see people wait till I turn into the street before they pull out, just as I have to do for them. The driving environment over here wants me to stop using it (or put it on in the morning and drive around all day with it flashing away)!!!!

    Ok, no, I don’t feel better, but it gets it out of the way so I can really blog about what I want to blog about with that off my chest…….
    Every morning I read the news while eating my home made muesli (don’t get me started about breakfast cereals over here). I read world news, Temecula news and Australian news (and not always in that order).
    Point is, I try and keep up with whats going on around the place.
    Enter this article from the Herald Sun.
    Its not about the video, but if you have the download bandwidth, feel free to watch it, it is a graphic reminder about what I am on about…….
    I am sick and tired over here of people talking and texting on the phone while they drive. Its actually worse than not using your indicator. At least that just slows people down and clogs up the traffic, using the phone is worse because you are moving, often at speed.
    If you see a car veering all over the road, run a stop sign, run a light, not pull off when the light changes, cut a corner, cut some one off on the freeway, chances are very, very, very high they are on the phone. It seems most people over here do not have home phones, they have cells phones, and they talk, and talk, and talk. They talk while they drive, they talk while they fuel up their cars, they talk while they are shopping.
    Its the driving and talking that bothers me the most. And its not just because I’m on the bike. Yes, that is part of it, I am more exposed to your stupidity than if I was wrapped in a nice steel shell like you. Its the fact that when you are on the phone you close your eyes and shrink your awareness down to the voice on the phone.
    Its hard to say what happens when you are on the phone, but something mental switches in our brains and we lose focus, thus;

    Get off the phone and drive!!!

    To finally get to my point…. Down the bottom of the article, I see that there are some new rules in Australia that they could do with over here.

    From November, all hand-held mobile phones and navigation devices must be fitted in a holder or cradle.

    YAHHHHH. Woza, they should have done that over here…. They passed a law over here about 8 months ago that requires drivers to use a hands free device when on the phone….. So what do I see now? Instead of having the phone to your ear (and driving one handed), they now put the phone on speaker phone and hold it in one hand in front of their mouths (and drive using one hand).
    To my motorcycle brain, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. If you are going to pass a law, make it a worthwhile one.
    The erratic driving that I used to see before the law has not changed. People are still generally driving with one hand on the wheel. (Still just totally ignoring the mental issues of what happens when you have a conversation with some one over the phone).

    The next new rule for Australia? They are going to ban all P-platers from using mobile phones while in the car period!
    YAAAAHHHH. In Australia you currently have 18 year old’s that have just started driving and they can talk on the phone, over here, you have 16 YEAR OLD’S that have just started driving while talking on the phone (and texting as well).
    Do I really need to mention what difference two years of maturity can do for a person?

    Lastly, and not related, so I am not going to dwell on it to much, but from November motorcyclists will be banned from carrying pillion passengers under the age of eight.

    So, the big ones are, you cant have a phone in your hand while behind the wheel of a car, and you cant be on the phone at all if you are a young driver.
    Australia, you are a little late, but I like where you are headed.
    America, wake up and show the world how it should be done.
    In the mean time, someone please come up with a way of limiting phone calls to a maximum of one minute while a car is in motion.

  • What about your shoes Dad?”

    I did not count my kids amoung my readers because generaly, they dont read my blog.
    Duno, they just dont, guess they are living it, dont need to read it……. How ever, having said that, let me say this…. Terry, every now and hardly ever then will read the odd entry….. He happen to catch the one about ‘the corner‘.

    The first thing he said to me after reading it was “What about your shoes Dad?”
    Ahh, yes, the high of the corner totally caused me to slip my mind into neutral about the shoes… See the thing with the shoes is that they are the first things to touch the road, then come the foot pegs, then…..well, lets just leave what comes next, any way, the thing with the shoes… well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and its been a while since there was a picture here, so here is four of them for ya……..

    So. clearly I have put them back to front so you can see the outside edges a bit clearer. I guess the thing to note is that the shoes prove just how amazing that left hand curve on the way to work really is.

    Hows your shoes looking these days Gary??? (Relax, the passangers are no where near touching!)

  • LGS.

    Its a little late….. Hey, I have said it before and I am going to keep saying it, I have never worked so hard in my entire life…. Its both good and bad, the days fly by, but I miss my days off…the bottom line is that things take longer to do! Anyway, if you have been reading my micro blog, you would have known that I headed up to Palomar Mountain for two reasons;
    1. To go for a night ride. I love riding at night and I have not really been out since I put the new globes in the bike……The HID head lights are the go…. they are just fantastic!  I need to do the web page on them, I really do, but I am a tad busy, I mentioned that right? Anyway, went up the short twisty way, came home the long back way. Nice. Got home about 1:45am. Hey, that’s about Gary time, we should go for that same night ride when he comes over….hmmmm…. wonder if he would feel any better about being on the back of the bike if its pitch black except for the cone of ‘daylight’ coming out the front of the Goldwing???

    I went up to look at the LGS. No, not LSD, LGS…. it stands for Laser Guide Star.
    <Warning, light geek content following>
    What happens is that when you take a photo of stuff in the night sky, generally you guide the telescope on a star next to said object. Some times however, there is no nearby star. What to do? Make your own is the answer.
    Get a pretty powerful laser, at just the right color, shoot it into the sky and look at the ‘dot’ at the ‘end’ with said telescope. Hey presto, one star that you can guide the telescope with.

    But wait, there is more.
    Some bright spark figured out that the laser star ‘twinkles’ just the real stars because the fake star has to reflect its light back through the same unstable atmosphere as the real stars.
    Here is where it gets really cool. What if you took that twinkling laser star and used a really thin mirror and connected it to a computer and bunch of actuators and warped the mirror really quick and effectively de-twinkled the star? It would be like you put the telescope into orbit and could take super clear photos of objects .
    So, every now and then, thats what they do at Palomar Observatory.
    I wanted to see it, so I rode up and checked it out.
    Its pretty cool. (Hey, its a geek thing, so just nod your head, smile and pretend to be interested, it will be over soon).

    Besides, it was a nice mild night for a ride and I couldn’t sleep anyway…….

    Here is the start of the photos I took.