Fatal Accident Enquiry – Steve Hislop

Its over three years since Steve Hislop, the motorcycle racer, died in a helicopter crash in the Scottish Borders. The BBC website has a news item saying an FAI is to be held.

He was an interesting chap, quite focussed like motorcycle racers are, and had a mixed career. When he was good, he was very very good, the rest of the time his demons held him back from the kind of success he had potential for. Last time I saw him was giving a television interview at Knockhill during qualifying for the British Superbike round – he was resting up after an accident, it was later that week that they discovered he had a broken neck.

There’s a good biography of him that has been out for a few years now, and the family and I visited the room dedicated to him in Hawick a few years ago.

2007 Evening Class programme at Borders College

Just had a brochure through the post from Borders College, listing out their evening class programme for September 2007. There is a range of classes at their places in the Borders, from the Know Your Motorcycle course which I did earlier in the year to Belly dancing.

Another one that looks really interesting is mountain bike maintenance at Glentress – I know quite a few folks that go down there to use the trails.

Advanced Motoring – the next chapter

Either I’m a badge collector, or I really value road safety (or I’m a glutton for punishment), but I’ve registered to go along to the introduction session for the last course of the year with Edinburgh Advanced Motorists.

I’m hoping to benefit my car driving (obviously) but mainly my bike riding by learning how to do a proper commentary which will hopefully improve my observing even more for the motorbike.

I’m going to bite the bullet and get the clutch replaced on the R1100RS which should improve my confidence no end for overtakes and other accelleration situations. The fact it slips in 4th and 5th is really annoying, and I’ll get the gear position switch fixed at the same time too. That should sort the RID (Rider Information Display) display which only shows 2 or 3 at optional times.

Server fun

Apologies if you see error messages over the next few weeks, for some reason the existing platform threw a bit of a wobbly yesterday. I suspect it might again while I consider the upgrade.

Subtext almost but not quite upgrade

Tried an upgrade to subtext last night, but it didn’t work and I wasn’t getting enough diagnostic information back to lead me on a troubleshooting path.

Like a few of these things, the instructions are great if you have access to the box admin (terminal services etc) but I’m on a cheapy shared hosting arrangement and this puts a web UI in front of a lot of the admin stuff.

I’ve not given up though, I just can’t be bothered spending all the time fixing it at the moment. But I like the idea of subtext so much that I’ll be giving it another go soon.

And I am so relieved that I managed to get .Text back and working – phew!

New server fun

My hosting provider has just switched web and database servers, so for the first time in about 3 years or so I had to change some settings. Needless to say there were two connection strings in the web config, and I only changed one of them (yes – the first one I found). But cheers to WilliamW for spotting the blog was barfing and letting everyone know the database login account it uses to connect to the database – oops :).

Top weekend run – Saturday morning

Went on my longest trip on the motorbike on Saturday morning with Joe, one of the associates from EDAM. Joe is technically an associate, but he’s a lot more experienced rider than I am, and really knows how to make the most of his bikes – at the moment he has two to choose from in his garage, either a K1200S or a K1200GT. Passing his IAM test is a matter of time, he just tends to be a bit busy!

Met up with Joe and John at South Queensferry, John was up visiting and was on Joe’s K1200GT, with Joe on his week old K1200S. The route was up the M90, cut off at the Kelty Junction then up the A823 through Glen eagles, up to Crieff. Then along Loch Earn to Lochearnhead, north on the A85 then East along the North of Loch Tay.

An excellent route, lots of different types of road, and absolutely stunning scenery – which could be a bit of a distraction. The other two guys got away from me a few times, Joe really knows the road, and the two K’s have the latest in BMW motorcycle suspension and engine technology – but he was charitable enough to say I wasn’t too far behind! They were good and stopped at junctions so I wouldn’t get lost – hats off to them.

It was good to go for a blast, and I only tripped my “survival reactions” once, and being about 150 miles I was able to see the difference that relaxing in corners makes, practice straightlining and just get some more miles in.