Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sweet Sound of Rain

Yep tis raining ... and more rain on the way apparently. I can't complain, we've had a very dry season and the rain is pretty welcome. But it has to stop by ... ooooh, the middle of next week would do. For now it can pour as much as it likes as I'm working nearly every day this week and half of next week, from Thursday I'm officially on holidays! And I'm gonna ride ... rain, hail or shine .. I'm getting on my bike and going ... somewhere, not sure where I guess I'll know when I get there. OK hail might be a bit much ... even rain if it's as heavy as it is now will probably stop me. But if the sun's shining that's it .. I'm riding!!

Felt strange picking up the little point and click to take this pic.

I have had stuff to do though, I got my new camera yesterday after work and spent a couple of hours playing with it last night, working out the menus a bit, that wasn't too hard as they are very similar to all the other canon cameras that I've owned recently. And I played with it a bit more this afternoon, trying to keep the camera dry but get some pics of the rain. That was interesting.

I've filled the rest of my time browsing around on Ebay, I'm trying so hard to restrain myself there but that is how I got myself the camera and since then I've found myself just going for a look quite often. Tis fun and I even got myself a nice retro 50's tablecloth. Not thrilling I know but I can't wait til that one comes in the mail!

I've been doing a bit of the last minute things for when the Shadow Riders  come to visit us. I've set up a ride of a lifetime for them with the help of the awesome crew of the local Dragon Boat, they are going to take a bunch of the bikers in the dragon boat and see if they can paddle as well as they peddle (OK I know they ride not peddle but I couldn't go with 'row as well as they ride' cause I have been told quite emphatically that it's "paddling" NOT "rowing" and I don't wanna get into trouble).

Photo from Outback Dragons Inc

I've been keeping a good eye on my favourite blogs and I even got a mention on one of them. Shybiker posted all about my photography efforts on the last day that we saw blue sky. That was exciting!

The famous moto blogger FuzzyGalore recently posted about a book she got, filled with places she wants to go look at, she finds the best places and shares them all with her loyal followers so I cant wait to see where she ends up. That post got me thinking about where I want to go for my next big ride.

I tried to embed the map here of where I wanna go but it wouldn't work so you can follow this link if you are interested in maps. Otherwise let me tell you where I wanna go. I would like to make a big kinda loop of outback NSW. I've always been fascinated with those towns in outback NSW and one of the ones I've always wanted to visit is Broken Hill. Broken Hill is a mining town close to the New South Wales/South Australia border which has a fascinating heritage that I have wanted to explore for ages. While I'm up that way I want to head up to White Cliffs where they mine Opals. They have some amazing underground living arrangements there including an underground motel

So I figured if I was going all the way out there then I may as well make a trip of it by going down to the Victorian Border and checking out the wonderful Murray River at Mildura then just to make it a round trip come home via Hay. It's about 2000km worth of riding, not that far really if we took it easy. Now all I have to do is talk to Terry til he gets as excited about this idea as I am!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Going Backwards

The reason we were going for a ride  ... we need to check out a road ... well we need to check out a couple of roads. So originally we were going for a longish ride, bout 2 hours or so with stops, then we decided to check out another road that's shorter only bout 40 minutes of riding. That suited both of us nicely.

Both of these rides are part of something exciting that's happening in March (oh wow that's not very far away is it?!?), The Shadow Riders Australia are having their first Eastern States Meet in Dubbo in March. Terry and I offered to help out with it any way we could and one of the things we are doing to help is to organise a couple of rides for the guys and gals while they are here.

We have one longer one planned as a Poker Run, stopping at a few of the local pubs in villages surrounding Dubbo, that one is going to be awesome but we need to ride the whole route we have planned out as we've only done some of the roads on bikes, one of the roads is one that we've only done in the car. Not to mention we need to get out to the pubs and make sure they are happy for us to descend on them for a half hour or so.

That was the ride we were going to do today, but it made sense as we are both a bit under the weather lately that we did the shorter ride. This one is just a bit of a trip to one of the outlying villages near town then back in a big loop.

At first Terry said he didn't think he'd go for a ride after all, so I asked him to get my bike out of it's tricky parking spot for me and I'd just go for a quick turn around town. I had an itch.

Hmm I guess he did feel better today after all .. he went and took the cover off his bike and checked his chain .. yay we're going for a ride!!

That wasn't the only reason I wanted to go for a ride, I also had an idea that I wanted to try out with the GoPro. I know you are going to be amazed and astounded when you hear this ... I put it on backwards. Yep you heard me right .. I was hoping to get some backwards pics. Alright not that astounding .. but I was keen anyway. I wanted to try to get some pics of Terry riding towards me and I'd woken up in the middle of the night about a week ago with the bright idea to just turn the GoPro around so that it was taking pics behind me. Seemed so simple it was silly .. I was really keen to try it out.

Of course the first pics I got were of Terry moving Roxy while I sat on a bench under a tree watching. The next photo I got was a series of this ...

Hmm at least it wasn't all just photos of the sun although I got plenty of those too. We headed down the road for petrol first, where I got heaps of pics of the bowser and the driveway .. but when I put my helmet on the backrest just before I turned the camera off I caught this ...

I was starting to see how useful this could be, not only can I get some cool pics of Terry riding, I can check to see if there's any cheekiness happening behind my back.

There are a lot of photos, you have no idea how hard it is just to pick a few favourites, the GoPro was set to take pics every two seconds ... I have nearly 2000 photos to choose from ... ugh too hard to choose!!

Terry taking a roundabout like a pro, my first thought when I saw this pic was 'do I lean that much?' So I asked Terry 'do I lean that much on roundabouts?' 'Nope' he said 'but that's cause your bike handles differently to mine' 'Oh .. OK'

We soon hit the country road and somehow I left Terry behind so I didn't get the shots of him coming over the rises that I wanted. I slowed down and let him catch up cause I knew that there was an interesting little S bend thingy coming up and I knew I wanted to get him on that.

First there's the right hander as the road goes down under a train bridge.

Then there's the left hander coming back up from underneath the bridge.

When I first looked at these photos you couldn't really get a sense of how much Terry was leaning round these bends, cause I was leaning too and the horizon was at a massive angle ... soon fixed that.

Yep it's turning into another photo heavy post, I just loved so many of the photos .. this is the best one I got of Terry coming over a rise .. look closely he's there.

'Oh oops ...' was what I heard over the Sena, just as Terry overtook me looking for a photo opportunity.

I overtook him back when we got over the next rise, but we were under some clouds so you can't see him shaking his fist at me :-D

Yep .. your blinkers working .. how's mine. I still haven't replaced my back blinkers, the new ones should arrive tomorrow hopefully early enough for me to spend the afternoon fitting them. That's another reason I didn't really want to ride too far today, even though I've been riding for months with water and rust in them without knowing it, I still don't like tempt fate. I did check them before we left and there was no condensation in there, we haven't had any rain since I emptied the water out of them last weekend.

The next bit of road was along the highway for maybe 5 km's, not really interesting for photos I thought, until I came across this photo ...

Terry just seemed to be bringing the sun with him.

Back onto the back roads and corners started again ..

Here's one where I didn't correct the angle of the horizon.

When the road is straight it just seems like you can see for miles, I think it's fisheye lens effect but the sky and the fields just seem to go forever in a lot of the shots along this road.

It's a good road, and fun to ride but we only passed one bike along here today .. this guy just kinda amazed me.

Back to the cool pics of Terry ...

Back in town, we headed towards McDonalds for a bite cause it's the only thing open at this time on a Sunday and we didn't really feel like trying to find a pub still serving food.

Last pic of the day ....

Yep that ride will do just fine for the Shadow Riders .. I think they'll enjoy it :)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Just a Little Dribble of Water, but It's Rusty

Rusty water doesn't sound good when it's coming out of a part of your precious bike eh.

Here's the story .... I finally got off my padded bit today and went to the famous Tony to see if he could fix my new(ish) number plate frame to my number plate. I knew it wouldn't fit when I bought it in November but I got the closest that I could get in size and they were supposed to be adjustable to fit any plate. It wasn't adjustable at all and when I got it and I put it up against my number plate I just knew it was going to need a little bit of work from a professional to make it fit. So after talking about it for ages I finally rang Tony and made a time to go show him what I had and see if he could work out what needed to be done. I pulled into his driveway and we stood around in the baking sun looking at it. It was decided eventually that the frame wouldn't cover anything important and that I'd still be legal with it on .. yay! All he had to do was drill a few holes for me in the number plate so that the (adjustable) screws on the frame could be attached. Easy peasy.

It was done in minutes really, although as with everything with Tony it took a bit longer cause ya just gotta chat about anything and everything while your working. It's always entertaining getting stuff done by Tony. So he drilled some holes, with me watching him like a hawk to make sure that drill didn't touch any part of the bike it wasn't supposed to touch. He's a champion with a drill and it all went to plan until ...

He took off the number plate to do something with some holes or to fit the bolts in or something and when that was loosened the bracket that I had my blinkers on also came loose. Yep it's all attached together there cause it's the relocation plate thingy that I was so happy with way back in June last year so I wasn't worried .. tis gonna come loose ..

... then Tony said: 'oh water'

Me from across the other side of the shed where I was sitting: 'hmm?'

Tony: 'There's water coming from somewhere'

Me, leaning forward a bit in my seat: 'oh...?'

Tony: 'the blinker is leaking water'

Me, peering over towards him to see if I could spot something 'what... ?'

Tony: 'both blinkers are leaking water'

Me standing up: 'What??'

Tony: 'it's rusty'

Me rushing over to eye off the waterfall: 'WHAT??'

Yep there was a little puddle of rusty water sitting underneath one of the blinkers and with just a little bit of gentle jiggling more emerged from both of them. Ugh

I knew the blinkers got a bit of condensation in them from time to time, I've seen it and had it pointed out to me more than once by people eyeing off the baby. But sheesh there's a lake in there!

So Tony pulled the lens off, carefully removing the rubber seal ... hmm I have no idea what the rubber seal was actually doing cause it certainly wasn't sealing. We peered into the cavity to find ..

Now before we go on any ride I check everything works the way it should, the last few times that I've done this I kinda thought maybe that the blinkers were a bit dimmer .. it wasn't really that noticeable just something I had thought maybe, might be, could be .. you know what I mean. They still worked and they were certainly bright enough to be seen or I would have really noticed. I wasn't even sure if they were dimmer than before or if that's the way they had always been. Looking at that rust covered globe melded into the socket I figured that yep I was right, they were dimmer. Geez.

Where the blinker bracket is mounted is on the back guard along with the number plate bracket, all sort of following the line of the guard angling outwards a touch, so the number plate and the blinkers follow that angle and kinda tilt up a bit. I've noticed that upward tilt of the blinkers and thought nothing of it, actually I thought it would make them a bit more visible for cars as it was pretty well angled straight into their line of sight. I now also think that along with leaking rubber seals I contributed to the problem by making the blinkers into little buckets, tilted up so that the water could pool in the bottom of them nicely.

Tony then tried to pull out the globe, he wanted to see if there was any way he could tilt them onto a more even keel by twisting something at the back of the assembly or something .. nope the glass came out and the metal bit stayed in the socket, it was truly attached to it's rusty little home. He got some pliers and approached it in a more meaningful manner and it finally came lose. The globe was a throw away but the actual socket looked alright. At least I could put a new globe in there so that I can actually ride the bike, and I did that as soon as I got home. It still works yay!

The whole while Tony was coming up with solutions to the new little conundrum that we'd had uncovered. I'm pretty happy that I'd found this out now as if it had've been left for too long I'm sure things could have started going haywire with shorts and stuff. At least now I know I can work towards fixing it. The plan is to get the blinkers that I've been eyeing off for ages and Tony is going to make up a new bracket for me that will not tilt the blinkers, it's also going to lift them a bit and make it all a bit more streamlined. Awesome .. now I just have to get the blinkers, of course the ones I want are expensive, but I figure that I'd rather get expensive than have to go buy new ones in another years time.

These are the blinkers I've always liked but now I want clear lenses with the amber globes instead.
So after a planning with Tony what needed to be done and promising that I would return I am still very happy to say that I now have the pretty bling on Roxy where it was always intended to be.

It's legal, you can just see the letters and numbers clearly enough that I'm confident that I wont get into trouble and the most important thing ... Roxy is looking sexy !!