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  1. This feels more like a miracle than a result. I have new hearing aids and I can fucking hear!!!!! Mr Slowly started talking to me as we went through some doors and usually if someone’s behind me I can’t hear what they’re saying, maybe a muffled noise but no actual words. I hadn’t realised I heard all of it when I replied and he said you just heard what I said even though you couldn’t see my face. He then suggested I connected them to my phone and put some music on. I love music. Going deaf and not being able to hear music has been most painful so I was reluctant to spoil such a win by highlighting a loss. Curiosity got the better of me and I played a tune with a prolonged percussion section that contains cymbals, hi-hat cowbells etc all mixed in. I haven’t heard a cymbal for about 10 years but I could hear it all. Every instrument was distinct, the clarity is fantastic, I cried for so long my head started to hurt. I can’t believe it. I know it’s temporary and eventually I’ll get deafer but right now I feel so happy I could cry. Oh look at that I am
    12 points
  2. This is the story of two events that came together, in a happy, match on the first days of January 2023: I turned 50 and did my first Moto tour! The idea to combine the 2 started a couple of months ago, when my friend Barbara said she would love to come over from the UK for my birthday, I immediately thought it would be great to do a test run of my Motor tours and organise the very first one! She was up for being a guinea-pig and it was decided to start in Lisbon and end in Faro, to be even more special and try to find the better weather! As it happens, December was full of work and stress and by the time I picked her up from Lisbon Airport on a dark and gloomy evening of January, my head was in bits and I felt like I had been run over by a train!! 3 days before “launch” and I hadn’t organised a thing, not even dog seating so we could actually go away without the dogs! I motivated myself somehow and called the Bike rental company the day Barbara landed and secured a bike from this lovely guy that laughed at how short the short notice was! Hey-ho, someone with a good sense of humour is always a blessing!! He was amazing, bringing the bike to us and collecting it from us in Algarve, offering for us to use it more days free of charge if we wanted saying January is slow for his business, make the most of it, he said! The company is MOTORENTOUR - Motorcycle Rental & Tours and I highly recommend it. We will work together in my business endeavour @Turtle_Mototours, a great partner to have. So we had a bike, check, I then booked the Hotel, check, and after that got a dog sitter, with even shorter notice, to look after the pooches, everything checked!! NOTE: Thank you @trustedhousesitters for being the best thing ever when it comes to pet sitting while we go on holiday. And on the 7th of January, we were ready to go but not before I had to see a doggie with an inflamed eye on a last minute call... because I cannot say no and because I am a one woman band and have to work on all fronts. The weather had been great the days leading up to our trip, only somehow it turned spectacularly on a downward spiral and we set off under all sorts of warnings, of all colours and descriptions and we sure got it!! Fully kitted up in several layers of water proofs, we used up all my extensive gear resources between us, and being made of stern stuff, we faced the big storm, with its heavy winds and lashes of sideways rain, the rivers of water on the motorway and the sliding drains across it, Barbara on the rented Benelli TRX 500 with its 45 HP and me on the solid Speed Triple with Michelin 2CT Sports tyres. The tyres were the least of my worries, Michelin does rain like no other, even Cup tyres stick somehow (!), my issue was the darkness, seeing I totally forgot to put the clear visor on..., not only IT IS clear, dahhh, but also has a pin lock, very useful in damp conditions and it was damp! Anyway, after 1 hour and a half of rain pounding our spirits, undeterred as they were, we were in need of refreshments and something nice in our bellies. The service station toilets had Dyson hand dryers and we took great advantage of those magical machines as much as possible, warming up our hands and drying the gloves insides. This is me next to the Dyson feeling delight to be out on the bike with my best friend!! I really was!! We hung our jackets on the chairs and by the end of lunch I am sure some ducklings could have swam in the puddle under the chair!!! We got a break in the weather after refuelling our stomachs, the rest of the afternoon, dark as it was ( although it could have been my visor!!), the weather relented a little and we reached the winery estate safe and sound and with just the odd spot of rain. Its a place I absolutely love, those of you that follow mine and @pedros reports, have seen it before, a few years back I made a video there for your annoyance/entertainment! Its called Herdade do Sobroso, a very nice hotel, in a traditional Alentejo farm house and the wine they make there is absolutely divine. The food is off the scale delicious! The room had underfloor heating, so we spread our gear on the floor, taking advantage of some serious hot spots and the next day there was no water in sight!! The Dinner was great!! Nothing like overcoming difficult conditions to make us feel superhuman and chuffed with ourselves! Plus a bottle of gorgeous wine also helps! They brought us the starters, just little things they said… in reality that could have been the meal already! Wonderful scramble eggs with wild asparagus, grilled cheese in a coquette, mini chicken pies and tempura prawns were “the little things” before the main meal. For me came a soup made from a fish that is a “cousin” of the shark, delish, and for Barbara pork cheeks, something her grandmother used to cook, but somehow those survivors of WW II rationing didn’t pass-on the knowledge of using and cooking every scrap of food and modern Britain as no idea what a pork cheek is or how it tastes, unless its in a sausage! Barbara, being a lady from Cheshire and farming background, loved it!!! #noveganshere Dessert were 2 deceivingly small cakes, specialities developed in Convents where bored Nuns converted their lust into the sweetest of sweets using kilos of sugar, eggs and almonds. Not for the faint hearted ( or diabetic!), on a normal day not ideal after such a meal, but in that setting, with that wine and after the giddiness of the day, another 1000 calories was not going to harm anyone! OK, maybe the liver got slightly harmed… That house is, for me, the perfect kind of home. The one story building, with high ceilings, showing the inside of the roof and its wooden beams, the enormous fireplace, made that way to smoke the chouricos and salamis in the olden days, now burning the most lovely fire and giving us a hug of warmth and comfort that only a real log fire on a stormy night can give. The staff did a great job of keeping us topped up while we melted into the sofas and I felt like my Grandmother was going to pop round the corner at any given moment, that's how much I felt at home! Dolce far niente… We woke up on the day of my birthday and, unlike what is normal on my birthday, it was very gloomy and actually raining! It never rains on my birthday!! On arrival the day before, we had encountered the owner of the Estate and on knowing of my special birthday, he requested us to stay fora birthday lunch and kindly offered me a bottle of bubbly, so we were already half way to staying... Again this place wraps itself around me like a snake and enchants me to stay!! We looked at the sky, not looking good… We then headed to the breakfast table and it didn't take us long ( not even 5 minutes!) to decide we would have the lunch, the bubbles, the afternoon tea and also the diner!! We were definitely staying another night and celebrate my birthday in style by doing nothing! Not something that comes natural to me, but it was exactly what was needed and I accept, there is something very nice in the Dolce far niente way of life, must practise it more. Breakfast was delicious and very well presented! After breakfast we had a leisurely stroll around the house, not straying to far, not wanting to exhaust ourselves!! Lunch was wild boar roast with vegetables and migas, a unique speciality of this region that I will refrain myself from explain, it needs a post of its own!! What followed next was the loveliest of surprises, organised in secrecy by the two best people in my life, Barbara and @Pedro. They colluded together to organise a birthday cake, with candles (!!) and the staff made a chorus of 2 singing the happy birthday song! I was beyond embarrassed and also very grateful for all the thought and care they had put into the whole thing. As birthdays go, it is very hard to have a better one. We proceed to eat the cake and drink the sparkling wine all afternoon, next to the fire, dragging ourselves for a little walk before dinner to say hello to the bikes and laugh at everything, funny or not so funny, in a way that only a whole bottle of bubbles can do! Especially considering Barbara actually paid a lot of money to rent the bike and we did around 250 kms in total so far! We laughed at this realisation and our motorcycling achievement, the best thing for it really! They had promised us a light meal for dinner, after 24 hours of solid eating and drinking, and one might say it was… lighter…fair enough! Delicious yet again and followed by fruit, not the infamous Catholic cakes intended to make celibacy a little more bearable! Morning came with heavy rain but the Weather App was adamant that it would clear after 10am, so we took our time with the great breakfast, ordering scrambled eggs and bacon and filling ourselves with bread with tomato jam, very traditional in the South of Portugal, and more orange cake, my absolute favourite. We somehow managed to get into our trousers, a difficult endeavour I have to say… packed, loaded the bikes and, as forecasted, blue sky forced its way between the dark clouds and we set off totally and utterly like new people, feeling relaxed and years younger, , which in my case, was a great way to start a new year, a new decade even!!! We were going direction South, to Algarve, searching for its famous Winter warmth, soft light and general pleasantness all round. There is a reason Brits have been moving there since the 60s, following Cliff Richard, the very first to buy a Villa and spend Winter enjoying the delights of this stretch of land, many times more akin with the other side of the Water in its mannerisms, architecture and personality then with the Continent it is solidly attached to. You can feel Northern Africa there, the sand is different, the houses have flat roofs, the people are darker and even after almost 8 centuries of Christianity, you can easily confuse the typical Algarve chimney with a minaret from a mosque. Algarve comes from Al Garbe, meaning Occidental, because it was the Westerly part of the Al Andalus, the moor Kingdom in the South of the Iberia peninsula. It has a geographic border with the rest of Portugal, 2 ridges of mountainous terrain that made it hard to capture from the moors and give it a distinct ambience, so marked that until Portugal become a Republic in 1910, it was always referred to as “The Kingdom of Algarve”, so the Portuguese Kings were titled as “King of Portugal and the Algarve”. Never had a King of its own, but throughout the centuries it always enjoyed a deference no other part of Portugal had, not even Lisbon! Algarve is also defined geographically by water, in the East the River Guadiana that separates it from Spain, in the South and West the Atlantic Ocean in all its force and glory. While the East side of Algarve is mellow and romantic like the River Guadiana, a strong favourite of the Arab Poets that populated Al Andalus before it was destroyed by the Christian Conquest, the West is Wild, windy, salty and unforgiving. Sagres, where the land ends and the Sea begins, the most Westerly point in Europe, could not be more fierce and violent when the Gods of the Sea so decide, a magical place with the always enchanting and alluring energy of all “finis terra” locations. Algarve is by no means my favourite part of the small country that is “Portucale”, but it's aloof nature and the influence of a culture I like to study and understand, fascinates me. Unfortunately it's become a one trick pony to the majority of visitors that only do the beach, the bars and the hangover, overlooking its amazing history, visible in its castles and roman ruins and in the writing of erudite moors that studied the stars from their Sheikh Palaces, where they also wrote beautiful poetry. In fairness, the beaches are the best and we enjoyed good walks on them on our last day! @Pedro has a specific point on the road entering Algarve via the mountains where he feels like Africa is calling and the wind feels warmer and everything gets better! For us it was a little like that too, we travelled down avoiding the majority of the rain, going between downpours and drying out pretty fast and once over the ridge, indeed the temperature went up and the rain stopped, letting us enjoy the views and taste the Sea in our mouth even if we could not see it yet! The lovely people at the Wine Estate made us a “pack lunch” each and we stopped at the entrance to Algarve to eat and relax a little before heading to Triumph Algarve to look for some gloves for Barbara. Unfortunately when we got there it was closed, so we proceeded to meet a friend of mine that has moved to Algarve and kindly invited us to stay at her house. For those of you that do Golf, we stayed right next to ( inside even…) one of the most famous Golf Courts in the World! Famous why, you may ask?! Because it's on the cliff and one can Golf right to the edge and if one misses the putt, the ball either lands on the beach 30 metres below or it actually goes in the Sea! I find that particularly funny!! As nice as it is to enjoy a day in a super luxurious place, with the greenest of greens around you wherever you look, it's very “resortie”, not very genuine and hard to walk a dog when they keep knicking the golfers balls from the Ts or jumping in the Golf Course manicured ponds and lakes!! Funny, but not for long, those golfing guys get very angry ( look at Trump!) and they have weapons in the Golf bags and buggies to chase us!!! The last thing we did together was to visit the beach in Faro, where I had been previously with Pedro and once at the famous motorcycle meet that happens every year around June/July time. Barbara also became a little in love with Algarve and must have really missed it, flying home from Faro to a very cold and snowy Manchester!! The 2 of us have been friends for 21 years, we have shared so many amazing motorcycle trips together and also not so amazing life events, we can talk non stop for hours and now that we travel with intercoms, the chat can continue on our travels, amusing on the onlookers when 2 women go past gesticulating while riding a motorcycle!! We said goodbye at the airport and 1 hour later her rented bike was collected and thus ended my 1st moto tour!! It was a test run of the bike rental, the hotel booking and the invoice making, and it all went really well, so I am a lot more confident Turtle Mototours will kick off in 2023 and will be successful! I stayed in Algarve for another night and the next day set off relatively early with the intention of reaching Estremoz!! I have a lot of roots in this town, but more than that, I have a 2nd family as well. Before moving to the UK it was where I settled working in farm practice with a great vet that was already 76 years old when I started working with him! He retired at 92 and now, carrying 98 years on his shoulders, he is still as mentally sharp as ever and a joy to be with. I visit as much as I can, every minute counts when the journey has been that long… In 1999, when I started my life there, I just fitted in like a jigsaw piece that was missing and in spite of wandering off to the lands of Northern Europe and the years that have passed, it's still the same and so I just turn up unannounced and there is always a seat at the table and a bed ready to sleep in. Life is good to me!!! Had to fill up before starting the day and the Hipster in me actually asked the owner of this beauty if wanted to swap!! Luckily he decline saying his drivers licence is only up to 50cc!! To reach Estremoz was a full day's riding, all little roads over the mountains in Algarve first and they are stunning at the moment!! Again there were some serious showers that gave me a good soaking because I had no waterproofs determined as I was my optimism would beat the rain and it did!!! After 2pm no more rain, my non waterproof clothing dried out and I was happy! And hungry!! Decided to do a Pedro and go into a little village looking for some food and BUM! Found a cool, mega traditional restaurant. I went in and there was that moment of a Cowboy movie when the stranger walks in the Saloon and everyone goes quiet and stares at the unknown character standing at the bar!! In my case the staring is more intense given I am a woman, alone, ON A MOTORCYCLE!! This stuff doesn't happen in these parts, where men are men and women are, mainly, in the kitchen!! It's the interior and south, a very small village and like anywhere, a smile goes a long way, so I smile and it's all good. Turns out the owner also has a Triumph and, inevitably, bikes brought us together and we discussed motorcycling and motorcycles for a while. The food was simple, but gorgeously home made! This is a land I know well and I absolutely love! I even start talking with their accent without realising it, which used to leave Pedro, and others, a bit baffled, but, my roots are in Alentejo, it's like I go back in time!. So after smiling and asking for my food, I sat down next to 2 old men and we talked about sheep and cows and crops, because deep inside I am a countryside lass!! After, 2 doggies came, an 18 year old, must be tough as old boots to survive so long in a place no one will ever take her to a vet (!) and after that, a 1 year old gorgeous Collie, with whom I shared some food and that for sure had fleas… Made me think next time I will take a vet kit with me! That was one of the most beautiful afternoons riding I have ever had. The fields are so, so beautiful… Thanks to the miraculous amount of water that has blessed this land of constant drought, the fields are green with grass and peppered with yellow, purple and white from little flowers blooming, a little early in fairness, making the whole thing look like Turner painted it himself!! No one does countryside like Turner, fact! The funny moment of the afternoon, stupidly I did not stop to photograph, was finding a game of Cricket in the middle of a small village buried in the Portuguese deep South! I almost fell off the motorcycle in amazement!! And laughing! Good or bad, not sure yet, we now have in Portugal a lot of intensive production of vegetables in greenhouses. In the South some towns, previously empty and abandoned, have found a new life with this industry and the manual labourers it hires. Well, I hope they hire and pay them, not enslave like in other parts of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly in Spain!! They come and they settle and they play cricket, which is so extraordinary and nice!! These are people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South East Asia and I have nothing but respect for them and for the, mainly very old, locals that were sitting around the ex-football field watching this impromptu game of an incomprehensible sport for anyone in the World other than British or Countries where Britain left a flag! At this point I was racing the Sun, trying to arrive before it set, because after that my visor is woefully inadequate and it goes bloody cold!! For that reason there are no pictures to show you and no amount of words will ever transmit the beauty of a January evening and its soft light illuminating the mountain I had to cross, bringing cork trees alive in oranges and greys and kissing the earth goodnight till the following day. I do have some photos of the next morning on my way home for your enjoyment! Sometimes all we need is a friend; Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery and a challenge; Sometimes all we need is to do nothing for a day; Sometimes all we need is love and kindness; Sometimes all we need is a great day-ride alone; And sometimes life gives you all of the above in 5 days!!! Thank you for reading.
    11 points
  3. And by 11 all the wall paper will fall off the walls
    11 points
  4. Stuffed now ……..
    11 points
  5. My Son Ashton, our bikes and where my father's ashes were spread at the rivers crossing on Sarn Helen A few more pics from the day
    10 points
  6. I got my new sleeping bag yesterday, unpacked it last night, layer it out and thought I would check it for size and see how quickly it warms up. I didn’t zip it up completely or use the drawstring on the hood. About two minutes after getting in the bag and realising how comfortable it was I woke up an hour and twenty minutes later wondering where the fuck I was.
    10 points
  7. Royal Enfield entered, they expect it to finish sometime in May.
    10 points
  8. Finished my truck … was a Tesco delivery van ,… I’ll do another once this sells
    10 points
  9. The cafe / very nice restaurant near the factory i work with in Galicia
    10 points
  10. Got out for a couple of ours on the tiger this afternoon, overcast and dampish but pleasantly positive temperatures. I rode Northwards into the Forét D'Othe and had a troll round just following my nose. I only stopped a couple of times cos I'm using my phone for pics and it's a palaver with winter gloves etc. I found some nice, not too wet, gravel tracksnorth of Esnon and followed it round in a loop bringing me back alomost to it's starting point about 8 or 10 km later Having been northish for about 45 minutes, I turned east and rode towards what would have been a nice sunset had the clouds not been quite so thick Light was failing so I turned southwards and left a bit back towards Home along some nice open back roads Got home just as dusk started setting in.
    10 points
  11. Photos of photos, so not great. My XS250, My 1st and 2nd GPz750 (yes, I am overtaking on the hard shoulder of the motorway), My first FJ1200, My first Africa Twin and my second Africa Twin (with shiny new knobbly tyres just before leaving for Morocco) And the back end of my CX500.
    9 points
  12. Unfortunately I'm still here...just busy with life...and now I can relax after clenching my TOTY title back from goat face.
    9 points
  13. Just picked my bike up from its 6 month service. I had my heated grips fitted at the same time. Had perfect weather to try them out. Absolute game changer. I had forgotten how much more comfortable you feel with warm hands. I almost forgot how terrifying the road conditions were riding home. Several of the roads out in the clay country were unsalted, read fecking slippery.
    9 points
  14. I just tried it in the compression sack compared to my other bag and added a bottle of cider for comparison. Green one is the new bag. Will make a huge difference to luggage space.
    9 points
  15. 9 points
  16. I’ve improvised a satnav holder to get me through the back roads to Gatwick
    9 points
  17. @Earache Quite happy with the first session considering I’ve never used any of the tools (apart from scissors) before, so the base is nearly ready. Started off with a layer of nylon with foam attached that crumbled to a choking dust when you touched it, rubber webbing that had degraded to the point of disintegration and some bizarre packing tape repair which only farmer genetics would consider ok oh and so many awful staples. New webbing, a layer of hessian and some recycled felt, just one more layer before tackling the big stuff.
    9 points
  18. Party at my house - I'll get the booze ...
    9 points
  19. Mum is in fact a lady
    9 points
  20. The Bristol Avon is approx 83 miles long, it rises in the Cotswold hills and flows in a circular fashion until it eventually flows into the Bristol Channel at Avonmouth. I have grown up with the Avon and in the last 50 years I have swum in it, canoed, fished it, travelled over it by truck, car , motorcycle and cycle and even ridden through it on a motorcycle. For a while I have wanted to follow the Avon from source to sea and so in January 2023 I started the journey. There are many claims to the precise source of the river but Ordnance Survey maps give it as Joyce's Pool at Didmarton so that's where I started my journey. It had been raining for several days beforehand so there was plenty of water when I arrived at Didmarton , I stopped for a while and had a coffee on one of the benches at the site. This was the road junction next to the site, it was about 8 inches deep .................... I then set off over the A433 towards Sopworth and came across the first bridge nearby... and then onto a bridge near Sherston............
    9 points
  21. Got the clutch out of the XR tonight, i think it has been a little warm at some point comparing it to the new parts. Oddly enough everything is all within spec but it was riding when i started pushing on a bit The clutch change is a 10 minute job if i do it the correct way as there is a small cover to take off on the crankcase cover specifically for changing the clutch plates but i wanted to check the gauze filter in the sump, all clean as it has always been
    8 points
  22. A couple of yellow photos I have. My first Bonneville and my mates CBX that I babysat for him.
    8 points
  23. i have a few photos but 35mil film at the time was like an orange colour and that made the photos look crap
    8 points
  24. I'm working on building a metal version of the chain guard off of an alleged pre-war prototype Ducati that was found in a barn after someone's grandfather died. He was married to an Italian woman he called "Fantsasma" who was related to or maybe dating the guy who had Taglioni's job before Taglioni did so it was probably stolen or at least hidden by someone she knew before the factory got bombed. The grandpa died before I was born so I can't ask about details. Rumor has it Ducati was working on a big single before the war broke out, but got distracted by bombs going off and stuff. When the war ended there wasn't a market for a big single so they started out producing smaller bikes, then broke out the old drawings and got back to the bigger singles later on. Of course by then a hard tail wouldn't sell so it had a rear suspension when it reached production, but you can see the similarities between it and the production bikes. Obviously being a prototype a lot of the original parts are unobtainable, so I've used later parts where they fit and fabricated details and parts where nothing was available. No color pictures exist of the bike so it's anyone's guess how it might have looked if it had ever been built. In fact not much info at all exists on the bike, so a lot of what is being said is open to conjecture. Another opinion is it's a bike that started life as a joke but that's just crazy talk. Who in the hell would start building a bike just because someone offered him a free, damaged frame after he joked he had almost enough spare parts to build a counterpoint to the over sized, under braked, over priced choppers that were so popular in the US for a few minutes back in the day? That's just stupid. No one would do THAT. Pre-war prototype is the only thing that makes sense.
    8 points
  25. Portugal ended summer in a profound draught, water levels all across the country were at warring levels, rain had been very scarce for over a year and while in previous years we had a nice winter but water flowed from Spain, this year Spain was suffering too so most of the main rivers entering Portugal were a very sorry sight. The day in which I returned from Morocco, though, started a spell of very heavy and intense rain. I don't remember so much water coming down over a sustained period as December and early January. We went from worrying about not having enough water for people to use at home to seeing all the major reservoirs at their peak capacity in 1 month, obviously there were floods and other problems but a few days ago rain stopped for the foreseeable couple of weeks and I decided to take the chance to go south and take the bike for a little ride. When the forecasts turned from heavy rain to very cold the sky opened and I took this chance to go on a little ride to the south of Portugal. My original idea was to start with the Serra da Estrela, it's great to go there with clear skies, but the previous days saw heavy snow fall there, coupled with the first sunny weekend in weeks this would mean thousands of people going up there to "see the snow", and I wasn't keen on traffic jams. On sunday, I left sort of early for a sunny but cold winter day and by 08:30 I was leaving the door. Got on the motorway heading south for an hour or so, then said goodbye to the A1 and headed to the inland, small roads from now all the way down! By 10:15 I was cold, the 3,5 and 4ºC on the motorway wasn't pleasant, so I stopped for breakfast since something in your belly is the first way to not shiver. The plan was to not even take any pictures of roads and views or anything like that, I wasn't even going to post a ride report since most of these places are already on previous ones, but by 11:20 I got out of the main road and climbed a hill for a scenic pee, and the habit of starting to take pictures of pretty scenery creeped in. 5,5ºC at 11:30 is a cold day in Portugal! Headed south and southeast, through lovely clean recently washed twisty roads. The N2 is Portugal's longest road, at 742km, it starts in Chaves on the North border, and goes all the way to Faro through the center of the country. They're trying to make it a tourist attraction, like Portugal's Route66 of sorts, but for the most part it's not the best road or the most scenic, in some parts it is though, like here around Gois. Gois is the second most important motorcycle rally in Portugal, less of an international even than Faro. Here you are at the heart of the country, it's a proudly portuguese event. Gois' motorcycle club headquarters had about 50 bikes up for a casual sunday morning get together, and on these parts you saw bikes everywhere, the roads are great and twisty, and the midday sun brought temperatures a little closer to 10ºC so people were coming out. Didn't take a picture of anything like that, though, but even saw sports bikes being ridden like they're meant to on roads that could have been meant for it too. Most bikes were sports bikes or fast nakeds, a contrast to city life where big trails are much more the norm. Stopping and looking back on Pampilhosa da Serra, you could hear bikes in the distance: Brief encounter with the Zezere river, one of the most important ones in Portugal, down there in the valley. The Zezere at full capacity almost coming up to this road, this is the highest it's ever been according to a local fisherman that saw me take this picture below and contributed the information. Brief stop in Oleiros to get my bearings, Oleiros is a very nice small town with a charming center. Unfortunately it lacked a place where I could seat outside for a snack, so carried on. Didn't leave without checking out the riverside camping. I'll probably go back and stay a day or two on one of those cabins, the river below with that clear water makes for an amazing location. Little dude was soaking in the sunshine. A few kms after, and the mountain range is crossed: Center Portugal quaintness, lush green and wavy narrow roads: I had already decided where to sleep for the night, and was in no rush to get there with plenty of daylight to go. Saw on google maps that there was a smaller crossing of the Tejo and decided to take that. It's not a bridge, but I hadn't put the bike on a barge yet, so was looking forward to it. I hanged around for a little: There was a flaw in my plans, though, which became clear when I saw the barge on dry land. There's a dam a couple of kms upstream, and I suppose that they don't use the barge when it's big discharge season. Heading back on the road, I made a stop just for @XTreme: My lunch was the cheese sandwich I had for breakfast, so now starting to feel like something else to warm me up, and stopped for an expresso. The day had started really cold and my energy was now starting to drop. Stopped and spent a few moments in Crato, typical Alentejo town on a slow sunday afternoon, the only thing moving fast there was this puppy trying to catch sparrows while his owner was inside the cafe. On I went, I was about 20 or something kms from my destination for the night, not without a last stop to look at some cool olive trees and breathe in the Alentejo country vibe. Rode into Alter do Chão and into one of my favourite hotels, a refurbished and converted convent. They're cool guys and I park the GS safe inside a warehouse, away from the night frost, it's supposed to go to -1º that night. After a properly hot shower, I watched the sunset and went out for a pre dinner walk. I'll take you on a walk around Alter do Chão on a very cold sunday evening. After it was an appropriate time for dinner, I went into a small rural cafe and ate. Portugal lost to Sweden on handball, much to the local fans dislike, I had never been in a cafe / bar where people were so into handball Doesn't look like much, and it isn't much, but I like it. A little wine was consumed, and a long conversation was had on the many different kinds of bread based cookings in Portugal along with how tall was the Swedish goalkeeper. Somehow this had gone from a "not a ride report", to full ride report mode. The next day will be epic so stay tuned.
    8 points
  26. Crap photos (2) could not be arsed to take any more...cos they always look rubbish
    8 points
  27. Some pics so you lot don’t start up about the lack thereof. Sun, snow n cider cos it’s my civic duty coming from the West Country to test other countries offerings don’t you know. The view from the breakfast room. Some pics from skiing today. Just for Bob the two ciders I’ve sampled so far, both very nice but nothing for Somerset to be concerned about The obscured label is called la mordue (the death) glad I didn’t have that one before I ski’d A wee nap after all the exertion. The fifty layers I was wearing held me upright Now G&T time before food. I like the coasters!
    8 points
  28. I give in @XTreme here's a vid of me getting on the bike this is the way to do it now shut up
    8 points
  29. Is it just me seeing this …
    8 points
  30. the atmosphere at home is electric at the mo, one of the twins passed her driving licence theory test missing a 100% score by just one point whilst the other one flunked it! ( lazy cow didn't think she'd need to actually work for it and learn stuff...) so she's 30€ out of pocket cos I said I'll pay for the one they pass. she's also just twigged that I'm only supplying 1 vehicle and her sister's looking like getting there first...
    8 points
  31. Costa, exercising his puppy eyes and bringing cuteness to the food thread:
    8 points
  32. Did 8.5k with the Dear Boy today. Bloody cold but some interesting skys.
    8 points
  33. Postie brought me some goodies
    8 points
  34. Over the last couple of days the little seeds started really shooting out a proper root, and suddenly becoming sort of greenish in places, so today they went on vases. Tenderly placed on non compacted fresh black soil just below the surface, around 1cm. Am very curious as to if they make it.
    8 points
  35. I do have a camera on it, but it's only to monitor what's going on. I have pretty much given up on doing timelapses since I never did anything with them anyway. That said here are a couple I did when it was set up to do it automatically - obviously I didn't optimize anything to make them look good. There are a ton of choices to make it look different, you can freeze the extruder so it looks like it's just moving straight up, or move it off to the side entirely, or let it move around, or a bunch of other crap. Some of them have an effect on the quality of the print so my default is now "off". Also the webcam I use sucks (doesn't handle anything less than ideal lighting very well, doesn't auto focus, etc) and the position of the camera isn't great for this sort of thing. I guess the second one is recent, I updated some software and reset some defaults, but it's been turned off again already. http://teamyikes.com/Hardtail/06_Phil_A_Ment_20210115052430.mp4 http://teamyikes.com/Hardtail/Tail Light Housing v4.aw_20230107011406.mp4 Anywhos... last week I was working on tail lights. The light I wanted to use was made for a larger fender, it didn't fit the radii of the smaller fender very well so I printed an adapter to make it fit. I thought I liked it but every time I left it a while and came back I decided I didn't like it after all and tried to change it. I've printed so many of them in so many materials and designs it's embarrassing. I finally accepted it wasn't going to work and I may as well do the entire light. It will require sanding and painting but should work. I started out thinking I'd use an incandescent bulb because an LED would look out of place on the bike it's going on, then decided to use an LED panel I had for another light/bike. With an LED I can go smaller and won't have to deal with heat. Here's a family shot of the changes that were made long the way. I forgot, this place doesn't let me hotlink photos from my website cuz it's not https... so the first pic is the family of tail lights. Second is the stl file (digital model basically) for the "final" version. Last pic is the earliest version sitting on the fender. This week's project is a chain guard. It's too long to fit the printer bed so it needs to be done in pieces. I'm on the third iteration now and as per usual, as soon as I start printing it I think of something I want to change. It's now 3;20 am here and the shim I printed to mimic the latest change I want to make just finished printing so the last piece that took two hours to print isn't for naught... no pictures of any of that stuff. It's still ugly. It will be a while before that one's done, each change so far has involved starting over from the beginning, not minor tweaks.
    8 points
  36. Out for a spin on the trusty mountain bike…….it’s been a while so I’m going to ache tomorrow
    8 points
  37. Exactly. If someone has never heard anything from birth they don’t develop that sensory part of the brain so they won’t suddenly be able to hear later if technology/medicine can restore it. They would have to learn it from new like a baby, connecting sounds to objects, actions and spoken words which takes forever and is why childrens speech is so far away from adult level for so long and the reason why cochlear implants often fail because the plasticity of the brain isn’t good. If a deaf baby is given hearing aids whilst their brain is in super growth mode the stimulation will develop the hearing centres and provide a library of sounds they do understand (maybe albeit in a muffled way) and a base for any improvement to connect to. The people in the vid all must of had some degree of hearing at some point to be able to join up the muffled crap to the new louder sharper sound. Thats the shock, that’s what produces the long long pause while you go “is that.. urr that sound? Oh my god it is” then it hits you hard that this new sharp clearer sound is what its supposed to sound like and you connect it up with the dull nearly nonexistent noise you heard before. I’ve spent a lot of the last two days agog. On a lighter note since Thursday afternoon I’ve periodically heard this really odd sound, not a nice sound, almost like a machine its quite methodical and has the occasional slap/snap sound in there. Every time I look for it it stops. Found it today. My dog is having a right royal time ‘cleaning’ herself. Now thats one sound I can live without
    8 points
  38. Just before I found the entrance to hell in the middle of Tredegar Road I had 30 minutes to kill before meeting an 'Anthony', so I popped on to the Isle of Dogs, parked my bike by the old slip way of the Great Eastern and had a cup of coffee from my flask. As you can see, there is the preserved bit inside the river wall and the rapidly wearing away bit still in the Thames. A lot of the timber was bought by Mr Brunel on the cheap, it came from scrapped naval ships of the line that fought at Trafalgar.
    8 points
  39. Went out for a bimble to book my bike in for a service. Could have done it in on the phone but took the excuse to look at the shiny stuff.
    8 points
  40. If only I had a van!
    8 points
  41. I may go to Morocco again, this time with a different take on things and to revisit the desert with a better understanding of myself and the bike. I'd like to go somewhere new on the motorcycle too, that would mean Spain or France or the Nurburgring or Italy, the Via del Sale. Thing is I don't like crowds. A summer week to go somewhere sunny in Portugal would be very much appreciated, too. What I do plan on doing is taking a few short trips, go somewhere specific and return the same day or with a single overnight stay. I have been meaning to do this often since I started riding but somehow quick trips seem to never really have the pull to get the bike going.
    8 points
  42. So from Sherston I made a slight detour down to Brook End ford at Luckington. It was deep and flowing really fast today and I reckon the depth was 3-4 feet so I didn't make an attempt to ride through it ............. I have ridden this ford many times in the past .................... but not everyone gets it right ............. and there are historical photos of good efforts and bad Next stop was a bridge just south of Sherston .................... From there I made my way up to the B4040 and then further down the road I went to the beautiful village of Easton Grey .............. Next up was a short section of the Fosseway (a roman road) which is unsurfaced along this stretch ................ It was also the site of a roman village in the past .............. I rode a bit more of the Fosseway and turned right to head into the market town of Malmesbury , this is where the Tetbury Avon joins the main river .............
    8 points
  43. Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2023 is a good year for you, well balanced with a healthy amount of smiles and adventures.
    8 points
  44. Our flying visit to the UK earlier last week actually went without a hitch! Well, apart from having to get out of bed at 03:30 on boxing day! But it was a bit hectic! But..........when did beer go over £5 a pint?! A pint of bitter in Cambridge was £5.35 and a bottle of Sharpe's Atlantic was £5.65 in the Premier Inn at Stansted! Then we had friends from the village over for dinner yesterday evening, which went pretty well, but they didn't leave until a bit after 2am. So, after tidying up and loading the dishwasher, we didn't get to bed until 3am! Consequently nothing much got done today! Looking forward to a rest next week!
    8 points
  45. My day today was good, not only did I manage to get out on the bike for a couple of hours, but whilst out I saw a couple of things that really made me smile. The first was as I rode slowly through a very small village, I saw, almost out of the corner of my eye, a girl ( about 15 i'd guess) pusing a scooter out of her yard onto the street. It was obviously a very new scooter and she had a grin from ear to ear, which would clearly have been even bigger had her ears only been further apart. My imagination decided that she'd got the scooter for Christmas and apart from a quick whizz round the yard, this was her first time out alone on it andd she was off to see her mates in the next village. I remembered the first few miles on my first scooter and the joy at the sudden freedom and autonomy it brought at 16 years old. That made me smile. 2nd thing was ridng through Auxerre, nearly home, light failing fast into dusk, that time of day they call "Entre Chien et Loup" ( between dog and wolf) here. I heard him before I saw him, that bane of the French towns and cities, the Breeeeeeeeeeet, Breeeeeet, breet, breeeeeeeeeeeet, of a home tuned baffle-less 50cc 2-stroke moped, mostly black and dressed in black he was not easy to see as he had no headlight on either. The speed limit along the quays in auxerre is 20kph and he undertook me doing about 50 I guess. I caught him up as we left the town limits and the speed indicated increased to 70kph, which he could just about manage though God knows what rpm he was pulling to do so ( they're only legally allowed to do 50kph max,). I saw he had a number plate, but no rear light on. I overtook him and pointed to the front of his bike and to my eyes to tell him to switch his lights on ( easy mistake to make under street lights when your headlight is only about 6watts. I slowed to give way ath the roundabout and he pulled up alongside me asking mw what I meant, but I had a closer look at his machine I just laughed and said " I was trying to tell you to switch your lights on, but I now see you don'e even have any..." "Naah" he said " spoils the look, no lights no indicators, no mirrors" and off he went "Breeeeeeeeeeet, breet,Breeeeeeeeeet..." in a cloud of 2 stroke fumes and into the rapidly falling night, up the road towards Chablis. That made me smile.
    8 points
  46. Took @Sofia’s bike for a post wash bimble yesterday. It is a cool bike! And did me good after a very sad morning in which I helped with putting a big dog to sleep. He was a big 45kg Serra da Estrela shepherd, they’re shepherds but more dedicated to protecting lifestock from wolfs in the mountains than actually herding sheep. He was a fierce dog and an absolute killer of a guard dog, he looked like a wild thing yet had the most amazing relationship with his human. Having visited their farm a few times he never even pretended to like me and was the reason I never got out of the car without checking for him. He also gave you proper eye contact while growling instead of acting cowardly. He died a proper dog, almost completely paralized but still giving me a serious growl in the distance, only distracted by his owner lovingly giving him steak pieces. I appreciated his spirit, that he kept to the last second.
    8 points
  47. On the second day of the real trip, we kept heading north into Scotland. First stop was Hadrian's Wall: Coming from a relatively young country, it has always been exciting to me to see all those places only read about in school. Its even more interesting to hear the true story from the locals to see how it jives with our school books. One thing the books dont mention is that the wall keeps all the midges in the north . I have to say, I loved the English countryside and back roads, but it was Scotland that has really stuck in my mind. I've always liked places that are sparsely populated as the people tend to be friendlier and the scenery more intense. Scotland didnt disappoint (England really didnt either) Crossing into Scotland: Coffee stop: Got to talking to a lady rider in the plaza. Bikes have a tendency to break down communication barriers. You get to find out those great motorcycle roads! Some other travelers we crossed paths on: Our buddy, Chris, kept the wick turned up so there arent many pics along the way, just when we stopped for coffee or the night. This night's BnB: As you can tell, the weather continued to stay nice! (i'm going to have to pick his brain to get the route info and which towns we stayed in. will update these when i get that)
    8 points
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