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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

Monday Monday

August 7th, 2006 by sunflowers

Today I am suffering post holiday blues without having had the holiday. This morning all my frustrations with my company started running through my head. Luckily we have internal training this week so it will be a fairly easy week.

How to really ruin a Monday? Our company has arranged a European meeting of all the staff from 17:00-20:00. What kind of time is that to hold a meeting? Usually our company-wide meetings are arranged at that time to accommodate both the Sacramento (California, US) office and the UK office. But seeing as how this time it is just Europe you would think that they would make it a little bit earlier.

On the bike side I am starting to get stomach flutters every time I think about the trip. I spent some time on the weekend getting all the post headings to list along the right-hand side of the page (I don’t know how to make them black though) and some anti spam software installed for the guest book after accidentally deleting all the entries while trying to get rid of all the spam.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Study Leave

July 28th, 2006 by sunflowers

Next week I am on study leave. I recently was accepted to be able to sit the Project Management Institute examination to become a Project Management Professional. In order to apply you have to demonstrate 4500 hours of project management experience. I recently met someone who had studied for two weeks for the exam and failed it. He said that he only knew one person that had passed the exam first time.

I was hoping to do the exam before I left on my trip but now I think it would be stretching myself a bit too far. So I am planning on sitting the exam when I get to the US next May as I have until the 6th June 2007. On the other hand I would hate to die on my trip and have done all that study for nothing. Whenever I say that I might come to grief my family and friends get upset. But as I point out it is a high risk activity and even though I have done my best to mitigate the risks with advanced riding lessons etc, lets face it, having poor coordination I am not a very good driver, rider or even bicycler..Susan and me

Therefore I am officially taking a weekish off writing my blog starting a day early as I have pre wedding drinks tonight for an ex-colleague and tomorrow night my mates leaving drinks.

Toodle pip and see you in August.

ps. the picture is of me sitting next to my mates sister at my mate’s wedding last week

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Bicycle vs. Motorcycle

July 27th, 2006 by sunflowers

Bicycle vs. Motorcycle

There have been lot of emails going around my bike club about bicyclist’s not stopping at red lights. I find it a bit amusing at some of the negative attitudes of motorcyclists against bicycles. Surely it should be both of us against cars?

Yesterday I was almost hit on my bicycle by a car speeding where it shouldn’t have been. Then motor biking out to meet my mate a bicycle zipped in front of me and yelled – I am not quite sure what happened there. Sorta strange to be on both sides in one day. Still I have always said that if I was driving a car and bicycling at the same time I would hit me. My spatial skills aren’t all that and I can get easily distracted thinking about stuff when I am on the road (I am aware of this and do try and pay extra special attention when on the motorbike).

I am glad that someone in my bike club pointed out that even though bicycles and red lights are illegal that so are motorcycles speeding. I wonder which causes more accidents per hour spent on the road?

Still I have to get across 8 miles of the centre of London twice a day and I wouldn’t do it any other way than on my bicycle. Even if it is raining!

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July 26th, 2006 by sunflowers

I am sitting on the side of a street in Isleworth London writing this on my mobile watching my mate do u turns to practice for his DAS this weekend. I tried a couple but it seems to me to be a very narrow road and I was having difficulties doing them so tight on my F650 so I am having a rest before I start to feel like I can’t ride anymore. Before starting the u-turn practice we went to Halfords for a disk lock and a tool kit but they didn’t have either.

u-turn… picture of Jon on a 125cc u-turning

I just tried a few more times and other than some serious revving the bike I managed to get a few u-turns in. I think that I might try and do a few sessions practising u-turns before I go. On the way home the bike stalled again. That is two stalls since the manifold was fixed. I am not sure if it is me or not this time.

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Gelid Gear

July 25th, 2006 by sunflowers

I belong to ELAM (East London Advanced Motorcyclists) and we have a yahoo group. There have been lots of emails going around about the importance of wear suitable clothing. We are going through a heat wave and I think like a lot of motorcyclists in the UK my bike gear is much more suitable to the winter.

Inside Ace CafeI was hoping to get away with wearing jeans for a while over the summer but decided against it after some of the graphic descriptions of lack of flesh left on motorcyclists after accidents. So last night I wore my hated bike trousers to the Ace Cafe in North London. When I got home I had to peel them off due to the amount of sweat that had accumulated between me and the synthetic material. The stupid thing about my trousers is without the winter lining they aren’t even water proof.

A couple of weekends ago I went looking for more suitable gear for the summer but after visiting about five shops I couldn’t find anything. Looking around bike sites last week I came across Carla King’s site www.carlaking.com – one of the first people to bike around China solo. It was an amazing site and had some good biking gear recommendations. I have written to Olympia Moto Sports to find out if they have a UK supplier for this little number www.olympiamotosports.com/ladiesairglide/ladiesairglide.htm.

I dislike clothes shopping with a passion at the best of times. Particularly when ‘Yes’ is the guaranteed answer for does my bum look fat in this.

Posted in Preparation | No Comments »


July 24th, 2006 by sunflowers

I have been trying to come up with something that would make my trip interesting to others to read about. Like the bloke who traded up with a paper clip for a house One Red Paper Clip. But I haven’t gotten any further than betting on my trip to raise money. I had noticed that there aren’t many hits on the donations page where you can bet and my flatmate hadn’t even noticed you can bet on my trip so I have spent the evening updating my site to include statistics to make it more interesting to bet on. I still need to sort out a paypal account or something like that.  I have also added a Links page and put the Project Plan back.

Posted in Preparation | No Comments »

North London Allotment

July 23rd, 2006 by sunflowers

My friend is doing his direct access and I was going to pop into my old school Kick Start to say hi but ended up sleeping in due to a much later than expected night. The afternoon was spent out at the allotment followed by a roast dinner with allotment veggies at my allotment gang mates around the corner before his band The Clientele takes off on tour of the US.

The pictures are of the onions we picked and a frog we found in the compost boxes. I thought I should take a picture before they all die out. Apparently frogs are very sensitive to pollution and the frog populations are rapidly decreasing.

OnionsOrganic Dinner
So other than learning a little bit of Spanish did not manage any trip preparation this weekend.

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Thames Cruise

July 22nd, 2006 by sunflowers

ThamesSomerset HouseWeddingIn the morning I met up with an old friend from New Zealand and we went for lunch at Gabriel’s Wharf followed by sitting in the rain at Somerset House will I waited till two to go on a Thames Cruise. One of my best mates married a girl from the US a few months ago in New York as it was easier for them to obtain a UK visa in the US so their official celebration was a river boat trip down the Thames.

Afterwards I went to some Polish friend’s bbq where I met a guy from Spain who offered to give me private Spanish lessons. I just hope he still honours the offer even though I refused to go home with him later on that evening.

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Tool Time

July 21st, 2006 by sunflowers

This weekend I am going to try and put together a tool kit and I have been told that the best box you can get is a foot long piece of 4″ gas pipe and attach it to your bash plate in order to keep the weight low and the tools accessible.

1. It must be the start of the budget year as I haven’t seen anyone working on the gas lines. If anyone in the London area has access to gas pipe can they please let me know.

2. Does anyone know where I would get the end caps for something like that made up?

3. I am assuming for my tools I just visit a Halfords. If there is a better place can you please let me know. Also at the moment on my list is allen keys, screw drivers, zip ties, air pump, socket set and a spoke key. Is there anything else I should look out for?

4. Spare bits I was going to take include throttle, clutch, cables and levers and tire tube.

Any help would be appreciated.

Posted in Preparation | 2 Comments »

Done Deed

July 20th, 2006 by sunflowers

I am trying to do one thing a day towards the preparation of my trip. So today I bought a one way ticket to Argentina for 30 November 2006. It turned a boring work day into a ‘I can’t believe I am doing this’ heart pounding day.

Posted in Preparation | 2 Comments »

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