I’m planning to migrate to this platform, so testing to see where things appear.
Yes, that’s me on a motorbike.
I’m planning to migrate to this platform, so testing to see where things appear.
Yes, that’s me on a motorbike.
I missed a comment from May from David mentioning motorcycle maintenance evening classes and asking about the Edinburgh area.
It would seem that evening classes mirror the school and college semesters so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for schedules as the summer holidays draw to a close and autumn starts coming in.
Edinburgh Council ran a Motorcycle maintenance evening class in Autumn 2014 from Boroughmuir High School and the new schedule may include similar when posted from 12th August 2015
West Lothian College in Livingston have a basic Motorcycle braking, steering and suspension course starting on 2nd September 2015 and on 3rd February 2016 their course on Motorcycle Electrics take place http://www.west-lothian.ac.uk/courses/basic-motorcycle-Electrical-trasmission
I don’t see anything listed in the Borders College prospectus for August 2015.
Looking farther away, North East College in Aberdeen have a motorcycle maintenance course starting 26th April 2016
These are all evening class “adult education” i.e. more recreational than career oriented. There are other day-release and full time courses that are better set up for a career in motorcycle maintenance but you never know!
I know it breaks the principle of doing everything from one device but I have two windows 8 mobile phones. One is my own Nokia Lumia 920, and my work phone is a Nokia Lumia 820.
It does mean carrying two phones but I got my own personal number a few years ago during a period that I didn’t have a work mobile phone and have run with the slight inconvenience of having two with me and the resultant bulk and charging issues.
They both synchronise to my work Outlook e-mail, albeit the personal phone is on manual sync whereas the personal phone is on immediate.
This brings me on to the first issue I hit when I got my work Lumia 820, a few months after my personal phone. Windows Phone 8 introduces some great backup facilities and I have successfully used these on my 920 to recover from a hard reset. I was curious however to understand how this relates to the windows account associated with the phone. To get an answer I pinged a tweet to the rather excellent @WinPhoneSupport to ask whether using the same windows account on both phones would cause problems. Once I got the right question phrasing (the joys of the character limits on twitter) I clarified that unless you use different windows accounts then the backup is not seperate. So to keep the text messages etc seperate from work and personal (as you can guess the personal phone has more chatter) in the backups I had to create a new windows account for the work phone.
This caused an immediate organisational issue for me as a newly avid user of OneNote. Since it appeared on my previous Windows Phone 7 HTC Mozart I have used it as my notes and list maker. This hit a bit of a problem with the SkyDrive storage of notebooks. This would be fine for the storage of photographs but I would need to organise my books to split personal and work again. I had this already at Section level but I had only had one (growing daily) note.
Roll on in time and I have finally split the two books and shared them between accounts so I can see them in onenote on both phones, my work laptop connects using the “work” windows account and I have access everywhere. Perfect. I used the method blogged by Donovan Colbert on TechRepublic on “Collaboration made easy with SkyDrive and OneNote”.
I’ve posted the story of how I chose to go to the EICMA show last year, and having got through the turnstiles the plan was to get to the BMW stand as soon as possible to see the new R1200GS. The show is huge and was quite different to our regular fare at the Scottish Bike Show.
As soon as we got in there were folks handing out fisherman’s friends. Yes you read right, and I still can’t quite believe it. If you don’t know these are menthol cough sweets made in Feetwood, Lancashire. And they were handing them out in Milan, Italy…
It was a long long walk to the BMW Motorrad stand through about three halls and by the time we got there the goody bags had run out, but the scale had to be seen to be appreciated. The stand was very large and there were several hundred people there.
The new GS looked excellent (in the ugly GS way) and my favourite would be the one with the satnav integration, the off-road pegs and the rallye seat to give a bit more height. Unfortunately I didn’t have the scoop on seeing the bike as my pal Joe had seen it at the international dealer launch in Cologne a few weeks earlier, but I was to get a slight scoop in that there was one of the few running GSs at the show – in the car part being thrashed by Chris Pfeiffer. Personally it wasn’t until April 2013 that I would get a ride on the new GS, and that would be on knobbly tyres and mainly off road. I’ve since had a brief ride on road and in Dynamic mode the new bike is quite a step up from the previous model – really likes to rev.
I’ve not been to the Birmingham show so I can’t compare scale but EICMA was huge and very busy, MrsL took a rest at one stage and I wandered around a few of the stands and it was great to see the size of the main manufacturers. They were strategically apart in different halls and this meant that I missed Yamaha completely, managing to see BMW (of course), Honda and others like KTM and Triumph. Of course Ducati was well represented, as were the scooter manufacturers. Wandering around I found the World Superbike stand with two guys called Tom Sykes and Carl Fogarty being interviewed – this was quite hilarious with them being interviewed in Italian – think banal on banal interview questions. The crowd loved it.
All the accessory dealers were there, and Touratech had a big stand – I now have their catalogue in Italian!
Huge and busy is how I would sum it up. Out the back was a show by Chris Pfeiffer which was an unexpected result – he was demonstrating on his usual F800R and a new R1200GS, and there was also a supercross stage which was well impressive. All in all there was too much to see in a day – an excellent result.
Like I mentioned before it is a proper trade show, so you will not find anything to buy – it is open to the public but there is a lot of trade networking going on with new model launches and nothing being sold on the stands. If you like to go to Motorcycle shows to see stuff (but perhaps not buy) then I would go.
Further to my previous post here is a shorter summary post on our Itinerary.
We flew EasyJet from Edinburgh Airport to Milan Malpensa with one item of hold luggage. The Winter schedule is quite light midweek so watch for this adjustment. In hindsight we would travel with proper full size hand luggage and use that instead to be quicker and save the extra cost.
I bought return tickets for the Malpensa Shuttle from Malpensa to Central Rail Station. You can buy tickets on the EasyJet flight for the same amount of money as online. Almost everyone from the flight caught the shuttle so it is very easy to find if you follow the crowd.
To get to the show from Milan we used the Metro Red Line and used the Porta Venezia station direct to the RHO Fieramilano. There is a special zone ticket for 5 Euro Return. The ticket machines in the station are multilingual and take notes, so simply switch the display to English (or your language of choice). The journey is fairly long but it was great to see the train fill up with people going to a Motorcycle show, fantastic. Again at the RHO Fieramilano follow the crowd; there is a huge underground passageway that takes you from the platform to the entrance to the show.
The show was very busy when we got there, fortunately I had my ticket already. MrsL was handed a ticket as soon as we found the queue, and streamed to a turnstile specifically for the visiting “Ladies”. This was a bit hard to see in the scrum at the entrance but look for it if it applies. I joined the rest of the males in the big crown going through, as it was busy I sent MrsL through and she had a chat with another visitor from France who had also left her husband to queue up too.
The show is very very big and we literally stumbled on events and parts of the exhibition, we popped out for some fresh air and found Chris Pfeiffer doing a show. We completely missed Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha stand. It is a tough call to cover in a day but worth the research. It is a proper trade show so as far as I could see you can’t buy the stuff you see, and in a way it was similar to work trade shows in terms the variety of large and small companies.
We stayed at the Ibis Milano Centro and I bought the cultural package online to get breakfast. Breakfast was a continental buffet arrangement and it was interesting to try and guess who else was going to the show. The event is that big and there were at least three groups that I reckon were at the show based on their branded clothing. The front desk staff were great in accommodating me by speaking English and very helpful. Unlike British hotels you don’t get tea & coffee making facilities.
In terms of the locale, the bits we used were:
This was a short stay and on the cheap so don’t expect posh:
I’ve been to a few Motorcycle shows over the years. Our local show is the Scottish Motorcycle Show at Ingliston, about 20 minutes drive from the house and tends to be the first weekend in March. Then a few years ago there was a one off show at the SECC in Glasgow, on a smaller scale. Then I’ve also been to a couple of events that the Police have run, the family and I went to a couple of the Cumbria Police events at Carlisle Race Course – they always seemed to do well with their live bands which went down well with MrsL. I struggle to remember the proper name for the event – RoadSafe rings a bell as it was supposed to be a general road safety event, not just bikes. It was a great venue and speaking to a Lancashire Bike Cop who was also an observer for Morecambe IAM got me on to the IAM instead of Rospa. I’ve also been to Durham BikeWise a few times and will be going this year, MrsL likes the atmosphere and the historical centre of Durham has its own charm.
In terms of proper Motorcycle Events since I got a bike and some kit the only reason for going to the Scottish Motorcycle Show was to see a supplier of earplugs to get moulds taken. The ticket price for MrsL and I of £24 in advance (+ fees) or £31 on the door seemed a bit steep to me, and I’d rather put the money to the bike to keep it on the road or put it towards a meal for me and MrsL. There was also an element of the same old for each visit.
I considered the national show at Birmingham, but again costs of travel and accommodation plus admission fees put me off. And for some reason Birmingham didn’t quite appeal to MrsL as a destination.
Then I read a two page spread in BiKE magazine suggesting things to do – one of these was to attend the EICMA show in Italy. They claimed Milan was well served by Budget Airlines. So I checked, and indeed EasyJet had a direct flight from Edinburgh Airport (next door to Ingliston) to Milan Malpensa. Total flight cost for the trip would be around £133 for MrsL and I, and for some reason Milan was more appealing as a destination for MrsL. It was beginning to shape up, especially as the cost of flights was about the same or less as Birmingham or London would be. And being the great people that they are, the Italian show organisers have what they call a “Ladies Day” on a Friday – women get in free! And the ticket price was 12 Euro – less than the Scottish Scottish show and for one of the biggest shows in Europe. And there was a rumour going that a new BMW boxer GS was about to come out, and EICMA is traditionally a launch show for the big manufacturers.
As I kicked in to planning mode I started looking for Accommodation and connecting transport. The EICMA show is held at Fiera Milana Rho which has a few hotels in the vicinity but as I began to realise is miles out from the centre. Malpensa Airport is a fair distance out from the city too, meaning about 30 minutes by train or 45 minutes by coach. The popular coach service (they sell tickets on the EasyJet Flight) stops off at Fiera Milano Rho so that may have been an option. My favourite, a city metro service, is a strong feature in Milan and looking at the website it strongly featured a ticket to the Fair – Five Euro for a return ticket.
Then I discovered something called a winter schedule which is an adjustment to flights that airlines make in the winter for weather and passenger volumes. In the case of Edinburgh to Milan, it meant a single flight out every other day and similar back. So it would mean an extra day there – we would fly out Wednesday and come back Saturday to be there on a Friday. So that gave us a day for sightseeing, which would be an open top bus tour for as much as we could stand.
So it all shaped up. In the end I chose the Ibis Milano Centro to stay in, having stayed with Ibis or Accor hotels in Reading and Berlin. The price for the room was excellent and they had a package that included breakfast (and tickets to the roof of the Duomo). This hotel was also near to one of the routes of the bus tour, and included a shopping area which again was another feature to sell the idea to MrsL. It was also mid way between two metro stations, one of which was the direct line to the Fiera.
The trip was excellent, although my lack of Italian and experience of travel made it a bit of a stressful experience but the show was massive and a lot better than the UK has to offer. We liked the hotel which was nice and clean and at an excellent price, and I was really glad that I had gone for the “Culture” package that included breakfast. The metro was excellent, though like Berlin they confusingly have their Urban railway network under the ground too. The unitary ticket system doesn’t help either – the ticket we had for the metro got us on to the platform for the railway. The clue was the double decker trains though, the metro is single decker.
A latter discovery exactly round the corner from the Ibis was a small supermarket – which we discovered on the last evening and I’d wished we had noticed sooner as the hotel vending machines were typically on the pricey side at least in comparison. MrsL also told me that the local wine was excellent, as usual the local stuff was cheaper and of better quality than the export stuff we get.
We also had a good run on the city sightseeing tour, after an initial bit of confusion with the online booking I had made – you just use it on the bus –we went round both routes once, and then again and got off at the Duomo.
Other highlights were the ice cream shop we found round the corner on the first night, and it was a bonus that the chap who served us had excellent English. The double plain chocolate ice cream / fondant was amazing. Even on a chilly November evening. And the view of the Alps on the way in to Malpensa was a delightful if obvious surprise.
I’ll follow up with another two posts, a shorter summary of travel and accommodation, and a post about the show itself.
My goodness, almost a year since I posted on my blog. What have I been doing? For one thing my inane chat and comments albeit briefly have been recorded on the currently more trendy Facebook and Twitter. And perhaps I’ve got a bit quieter and less inclined to waffle on about my life and work. Facebook with appropriate privacy settings seems more appropriate for delivering updates to those I know personally, and twitter has settled into brief broadcasts biased to work matters with a smattering of local and other mutterings.
Otherwise a big aspect of my non-work life has been losing weight – I’ve found a diet that works for me and although it appears to be strange on face value, I’m already 3 stones down in weight this year and sticking in to see how far I can go. It has greatly improved my quality of life, my knees don’t hurt like they used to and my motorcycle kit is looser on me and this makes a big difference to my comfort.
I’ll have a think about what more I can say and get back to you here!
Blame twitter and Facebook for the dearth of posts here lately. Anyway, a quick note to say that I’m heading along to Microsoft at Waverley Gate in Edinburgh to see my old colleague Spencer Harbar present on some lovely stuff on SharePoint 2010. Register on the SUGUK forum, and keep track of Spencer on his website.
If you want to start an embedded YouTube video at a certain second, then go check what Matt Cutts writes on his blog.
My goodness, it has been a few months since I posted here and that was after a run of postings every month. So what’s my excuse?
Well for one thing, I mucked up slightly with the blogging software hosting this site. I use SubText and I’ve been quite happy with it. The only thing is that I forgot the password, actually more specifically I deleted the email with the latest password reset, and it was then that I discovered that the version of SubText I was running did not have a functioning password reset. So it has taken me a couple of months to get organised and upgrade the software to then get it to reset and send me a password. I just did that with a bit of a manual merge and a bit of ftp work.
Other than that the last few months have been interesting – I concluded my work on a project in Basingstoke with a week off in London with my wife, followed by a week in Berlin on a course about SharePoint 2010. As you can imagine this was an excellent opportunity and the product is excellent, I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences when the product is released later this year. If you want to learn more about that week then check out my work blog – you should be able to find it easily but drop me a line if you can’t.
While working in Basingstoke I did my best to keep up with my voluntary work, which translated into keeping up with my work with IAM Observing. This is assisting with others working to the IAM advanced test, the weather got a bit bad towards October so this work will resume in the Spring with the better weather. Between now and then I will be trying to catch up with my committee work with the local IAM Motorcycle group and bringing together the annual accounts as treasurer.
This isn’t quite my “Thoughts on 2009, looking to 2010” posting, but I am heart of hearts hoping that I don’t go through a repeat of what happened with my job last year in the opening months. I’m as optimistic as I can be with things under my control, but I’ve held back with any further plans for motorcycle training until I am confident things are stable. So in the summer it could be that I cram in some late bookings with i2imca.
As well as here, you’ll catch me on twitter on work and day to day stuff, facebook for more personal stuff, and my work blog for the official line on what I do in my day job. Catch you soon.