Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Do you suffer from memory loss? (I can't remember)

"Training", is about providing hooks to which you can hang facts, figures, words and deeds. This is because we tend to think in images not letters. You make a learning point by associating it with an image, an action, a funny story, an interesting anecdote, the more outrageous the better. Making it memorable is the job of the trainer.
I know this works because someone asked a now senior police officer if they ever knew me. The chap said, "Hmm, 1983, I was a probationary officer on a regular training week at the police training school. Motor Vehicle Construction and Use regulations practical. He was our instructor. He appeared around the corner riding a motorcycle, no hands, with his crash helmet on back to front. Yes, I remember him". That made oi larrf
(Funny thing is, I can't remember it!)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland the Brave

I support the Union and I congratulate Scotland, even those who said they'd sooner vote for the Taliban than The Union - I forgive the Scot that I actually heard say that - for he knew not what he was really saying (and was possibly thinking `rugby`). As for that pugnacious tosser Salmond, I have nothing to say and will keep my personal thoughts of him to myself.

Thank you, Scotland. I will always respect you.

Friend? If you see these flags you are among friends.
Enemy? Best you keep moving.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

! "IT WASN'T MY F A U L T" !

Chatting to a biker a while back, my old riding buddy Jim was on his Paris Dakar 1000GS re-fuelling when a sport bike pulled up behind him at the fuel pumps. 
Race-rep-man says’ “They’re good those old Beemers with all the metal luggage and stuff. Whats it go like?”
Jim says, “It gets me from here to Morocco and back no bother, but it can be a bit tricky when loaded up”.
Race man says, “Have you dropped it?”
Jim says, “Only when stationary, getting it off the centre stand, but then I’ve dropped every bike I’ve ever owned at some time or other, usually when loaded”.
Race man; “Why couldn’t you hold it up”?
Jim, “Have you ever held a fully loaded bike, with 7 gallons of fuel in it, and have your foot slip on diesel or gravel”?
Race rep, “No, but I dropped my last bike a couple of weeks ago. This is a spare while i wait for the insurance. I was having a really good progressive ride but as I came off the motorway I hit a very uneven patch of road surface which caused me to lose it and the bike slammed into a Volvo estate at the top of the slip. Bloody road maintenance”.
Jim, “What speed were you doing when you got the wobble”?
Race rep, “Well I left the motorway at about 140 but I was just below 100 when I hit the ruts. Anyway, I might get a GS when I’m an old geezer”.
Jim, “I doubt you will”.
Race rep, “No, seriously, I like GS’s”
Jim, “No, I meant you won’t ever be an old geezer”.

Cheery wave and off Jim went.
I wonder if the Race replica man got it?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My Kingdom for a horse (or an MRI)

I had a great week at the Police Rehabilitation Centre. Many of the physiotherapists were former NHS employees and they were brilliant (as I'm sure they were when they were with the NHS). All the health care professionals I saw during the last 10 months were also truly impressive, but I got my physio treatment as quickly as I did because I paid into the police welfare fund for 32 years and as a retiree I am still entitled to apply for treatment.

Now, take Richard the Third, beaten to death at the battle of Bosworth, 1485, the location of his remains undiscovered until 2012. After extensive scientific forensic examinations including X-Rays, CT and MRI scans, the news re King Richard III has just been released.

Taking into account the lack of health care in 1485, but factoring in his position in society (he was `King` after all), the population increase over the following 500 years and the added complication that his remains were unknown and I roughly calculate that, all things considered, he still got his MRI before I did

Friday, 12 September 2014

It's been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time (drum roll)

House moving, head injury, week in police rehab centre...it all mounts up. So here's a little post to no one in particular, as all my regular passing visitors have probably all found jobs by now....

Re-posted from social media elsewhere. Its a lazy way to get back to blogging but just like a sunken ship full of jihadist terrorists....it's a start.

Our destiny, as bikers, is not always in our own hands, we all know that. The statistics alone are bad enough to make us realise this. 

In my last week of work I was at a fatal crash of a biker. No other vehicle involved. Massive impact into a lamp post, at high speed, on an urban 40 mph restricted road. The poor lad was not `unlucky` (no inference re the above video is intended) , unless you include the lamp post in his way after he lost control, which caused his body to go from 70 to zero in a second. Had he missed the lamp post, he would have piled into bushes and trees, the former which may have slowed him or the latter which may still have killed him. The luck he needed was after he lost the bike. 

I put his severed left leg into the body bag with the rest of him, once the investigators allowed it. Limbs are really heavy, legs especially. I can still remember the surprise I got when I lifted it off the road. It was still clad in leather from mid thigh down, and wearing a boot. It was severed just below the groin. The blood and gristle didn't make me feel sick, it was the tragic waste of a life and my thoughts of his family that did that. This memory lingers on because I used to occasionally ride with a group that included his Dad. I rode out with him the following week. Dad said it was a cathartic experience for him. I never told him I was at the crash as I couldn't see the point. He didn't know what I used to do. 

I am a `libertarian` at heart. I don't like excessive law. I don't like to preach or judge in cases like this either so I'm taking care just to speak for myself. These crashes, these deaths of strangers, still get to me. That brave, dignified mother's words got to me, as did the words I've heard from other parents whose tragedies I had to share but the tiniest part of, for the death is just the beginning for them. After 45 years in the saddle I still try and do what ever I reasonably can, as a biker, to try not to add to the odds already stacked against me. I hope that what I do actually swings the stats in my favour. Even a few percentage points might help as you never know which ones you'll need. I just don't want to waste whats left in my lucky bag of life. I wish peace for his family and his friends and to all my unknown riding pals out there.