Holiday Biking Stuff

I’ve been relaxing so much during this holiday that I haven’t been out on the bike – how negligent of me.

I have been taking steps to do something about it though. I just received the revised version of “Not the Blue Book” which is a book on advanced motorcycling. The Blue Book is Motorcycle Roadcraft, an HMSO publication on the police┬ásystem of riding a motorcycle. Dave Jones adds a bit of background to the official book which can be a bit dry at times. If you follow the link to Roadcraft you’ll notice that the book is in fact green, the original versions (pre 1996) had a blue cover.

And I’m in the process of starting the process for the IAM advanced test, I’ve been in touch with the local motorcycle group (Edinburgh and District Advanced Motorcyclists) and I’m waiting for the membership forms to come through. There should be just enough weeks left in the season to do it this year.

Bill Bailey Steampunk at the EICC

And the day after Watson’s Wind Up we went to see Bill Bailey at the EICC on Saturday night. Twas good too, though he doesn’t half wander up and down. I felt the urge to shout at him to stand still, but then he might think there was a sniper in the audience. Last time I was at the EICC was years ago, the first was for an MSDN event with Cedalion doing the regional director bit. And right enough, Bill Bailey kicked off by pretending he was doing a gig at a Computer Conference, oh how I laughed.

Coolest new instrument was a telescopic alp horn, which sounded like an alp horn.

And took the family for a meal before the show at Giuseppe’s across the road, which was nice.

Watsons Wind Up Radio Recording

One of the items on my sometime/maybe list of things to do sometime in my life was to attend the recording of one of my favourite radio shows, Watson’s Wind Up. Jonathan Watson is a Scottish comedian who specialises in impersonations of Scottish footballers, management and political figures. My kids might not have an interest in current affairs, but they know the impersonations of Cathy Jamieson, Tommy Sheridan and Chick Murray.

The recording is made on the Friday of each week of their run, based on news stories in the Scottish Media and wider from the preceeding week. We took a day from our holiday and headed through to the Glasgow Film Theatre, joining the queue. They record in Cinema 2, a fairly small screen with about 100 odd seats at a gentle slope up from the screen. Just in front of the screen was a table, three chairs and three microphones for the voice artists. There were four microphones dotted around to record us (and other folk there too) chuckling along to the jokes.

And we had a good laugh, the producer introduced the session and asked if anyone hadn’t been before – most appeared to be regulars, but one or two including ourselves were there for the first time. Then we got the folks on the proper show, Jonathan Watson who did a bit of a warm up and introduced his fellow performers. Then we had a series of sketches with targets from Scottish MSPs, Hollywood actors, Tommy Sheridan (of course) and a few laughs at ourselves, the Scottish. All compressed into their 30 minute ish slot, I reckon they edited our bit.

And the tickets were free, superb.

Bikesafe assessment route

I did an assessed ride with Lothian and Borders police last Sunday under their part in the national Bikesafe scheme. Here is the route that the ride took:

  1. Started at Peebles Police Station (shared with the Court Buildings) in Rosetta Road, Peebles.
  2. Turned left out of the Police Station onto Rosetta Road.
  3. Followed road to the left (March Street) at no entry signs for the one way street (Young Street).
  4. Followed March Street past Somerfield, to Junction with Edinburgh Road (A703) and turned right.
  5. Followed Edinburgh Road to roundabout at Somerfield Petrol Station, and turned right into Eastgate.
  6. Follow straight on to High Street.
  7. Follow High Street to roundabout, turning right into Old Town (A72).
  8. Follow Old Town on to Neidpath Road (A72) (watch for sharp left hander).
  9. Follow A72 to sign for Stobo Castle, turning left over bridge onto B712.
  10. Follow B712 past Stobo, through Bellspool, through Drumelzier (note sharp right hander).
  11. Follow right onto A701, parking up in layby on right in Broughton for a chat.
  12. Back out on to A701, through villages to Romannobridge.
  13. Turn right on to B7059.
  14. Follow and turn left on to A72.
  15. Back on A72 into Peebles, turn left into Young Street and return to police station.

And then wonder where the other three bikes got to ­čśë