Biker Vs The World Part 24

If you’ve been following me on YouTube you’ll know all about my infamous ‘Biker Vs The World’ videos.

These are a compilation of ‘incidents’ from my helmet cam footage onboard my bikes.

Whilst the clips everyone wants to see are those where I almost get killed by idiot car drivers, or where I get involved in road rage, I do try to inject a bit of humour and even ‘feels’ into them – you’ll see the trucker at the end of this one!

The first clip in Part 24 is a recent one from a terrible rainy morning. A Mini had sped past me and I was loosely following. He went through a crossroads where a car was waiting, and as I approached I was in direct line of sight to the – let’s call him a Cunt, because he is – Cunt, he waited until I got even closer and then went directly across the road in front of me.

I had to slam on my brakes, and the ONLY reason I didn’t crash right there was because that piece of road is covered in Shell Grip. I was looking for a place to turn around to go and batter the absolute fuck of that Cunt (and I don’t actually know if it was a man or woman driving, because I couldn’t see – I just get the feeling this was a male), but there wasn’t a handy turning place.

There was no excuse.

Incidentally, I almost burst a blood vessel in my neck or something when I shouted. That hurt.

Enjoy:

 

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Braindead Car Drivers With Aids

Braindead Car Drivers With Aids

I went out for a good long ride the other day along the scenic and fun roads around Shropshire, but almost didn’t make it that far because of this incident just a few minutes into my journey:

Now, firstly I need to stress to you how important it is to make sure you’re ‘switched on’ whenever you’re on the bike.  It’s easy to get complacent when you’re only just setting out, and even more so when you’re close to home on your return.

In the video, you see the car ahead of me is positioned over to the right hand side of the road approaching the roundabout.  He is actually up against the right hand curb as he’s going around the roundabout, before suddenly and without indicating he cuts across to take the left exit.  Almost taking me out.

His road positioning and percieved intention to turn right is exagerated even more because the car ahead of him took the correct positioning and line, making his actions even more deceptive.

I had plenty of room to go around the left hand side of the car, but to be honest I was expecting such a stupid move, so hung back.  You could say my Spidey Sense was tingling, and it saved me.

You’ll notice that afterwards I overtake the car.  There are several reasons for this – firstly what you can’t see is that I was gesticulating to the driver as I was alongside.  When I pulled in front I was switching my indicators on and off and pointing at them.  Do you think he learnt anything?  Doubtful.

Secondly, I believe that it’s better to have the idiots as far behind you as possible, where they can’t cause you any damage.  If they’re still in front they’re still dangerous, as they can brake and reverse or do other mental stuff.

What exactly are we doing to educate drivers?  Other than the million to one chance of them getting caught being Nobbers by the Police, we’re creating hundreds of driver aids to make the cars safer.

Sorry?

We’re making the CARS safer, taking even more responsibility away from the driver?!  Meaning they have even less need to concentrate, because the cars will brake, stabilise themselves, keep within the road markings and protect the dumbass occupants when they do end up upside down in a ditch?

Maybe we should be taking all the driver aids away and surrounding the driver with sharpened metal spikes facing inwards, so they might start to learn that their pissing about behind the wheel has CONSEQUENCES.

My Favourite Road – Bridgnorth To Ludlow

My Favourite Road – Bridgnorth To Ludlow

As a biker, I’m happy to just jump on the bike and ride.  It doesn’t matter where I’m going, or for how long.

Much as I hate paying almost £1.40 for a litre of Super Unleaded petrol, I WILL pay it and have fk all to show from it apart from a smile on my face and slightly less rubber on my tyres, and maybe less plastic on my toe and kneesliders.  Yeah, screw you Society!  That’s how I roll!

Of course, I do have my favourite destinations.  The Redditch Cloverleaf is almost impossible to resist anytime I have to ride past and the roads are dry.  I mean, you simply pull off the dual carriageway and scrape your knee around the four corners and then carry on in the direction you were headed as if nothing had happened.  It really is Heaven.

Except this year the road surface on the Cloverleaf is rather shocking… The tarmac is broken and very rough on EXACTLY the line you want to be taking around there!

Anyway, enough about that – what I really wanted to blog about here is one of my favourite roads.

It’s the B4364 that runs from Bridgnorth to Ludlow.  It’s over 22 miles through some of the most beautiful Shropshire countryside, and has everything from open straights and fast sweeping corners to mega-tight OFM (“Oh Fuck Me!”) twisties.

Ludlow itself is a very nice place for a stop-off, as is Bridgnorth – and the Quatt Biker Cafe just outside Bridgnorth is always a mecca for bikers of all kinds who drop in for a bacon sandwich and a coffee.

At the Ludlow end of the B4364, if you head in the opposite direction towards Kidderminster, you cross the stunning Cleehill – where you’ll see a lot of my bike photographs are taken.

This was a lovely sunny day, so I got the Veho HD10+ mounted on the bike and decided to get footage of the whole of the B4364, at legal speeds to show how it is still a lot of fun to ride without being silly.

I hope you enjoy this and don’t criticise my riding too harshly!

Yoke-Mounting The Veho HD10+ And Remote Operation

Yoke-Mounting The Veho HD10+ And Remote Operation

Continuing the saga of how to get the most of my Veho Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+ camera, I again went to the ‘official’ Veho crafted mounts – this time I stuck the slide-in-and-click base pad onto my top yoke.  On my ZX9R this isn’t ideal, because there’s very little space to stick it down, and because of its size it had to be stuck on at a slight angle.

It was about then that I realised any movement of the bars risked pressing the camera against the metal fairing brace!  Unlike the sticky mount with the velcro that I used to mount the camera to my tank reccently, this was intsantly stuck to the yoke as if it had been welded on!  Even after a minute or so it was stuck so hard I can probably lift the bike off the ground and it would still stay stuck!  Great for withstanding high speeds, but make sure you plan out your mounting point for this one very carefully!

Luckily, as it turns out, the camera only just about touches the fairing brace on full left lock.  In the video you’ll hear it vibrate against it as I’m turning the bike around – but obviously when actually riding the bike at speed the bars barely turn, so this isn’t an issue.

There is some vibration, but far less than there was from the fuel tank.  The view is quite good of the clocks and through the screen, but you only get the top half of the speedo and rev counter in view.

Removal is very quick and easy, as you simply push two clips together and slide the mount and camera from the sticky pad, much like a rucksack strap fastener.

You’ll see from the video that I also did a night time test.  The HD10+ performed better than expected – the picture is still very grainy, but where there is a good light source from streetlamps or my headlight, it picks up quite a lot, and also handles oncoming headlights quite well.

I’ve had a few questions lately about the remote operation unit.  This works from radio frequencies, so doesn’t have to be pointing at the camera to operate, and seems to have a good range.  I placed the Veho at one end of my house and it still operated instantly from the remote on the far side of the house and through a wall!  So it should be absolutely fine if you’re going to bury the camera in the depths of your bike/car and operate it this way.

For the very first operation you have to ‘pair’ the remote to your camera by holding down the OK/Shutter button on the HD10+ and then turning the power switch to ‘On’.  Then you hold down the ‘Record’ and ‘Stop’ buttons together on the remote (within 3 secs of the camera powering up) and you’re done.

As ever, if you need any more advice or info on this Veho Vcc005, feel free to ask and I shall do my best to answer or test it!

Tank Mounting The Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+

Tank Mounting The Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+

One problem I’ve been having with my Veho HD10 camera is with the sound.  It seems that the microphone is very sensitive, and will even pick up sounds such as vibrations and movement through the casing if you tape it to anything, like I do.

The way to get around most of the sound issues is to either use the mounts supplied by Veho, or to make your own.  I decided to try using one of the ‘official’ Veho mounts.

This one has a strong sticky pad that I stuck onto the tank.  The glue is very strong and even just plonking it on there in the cold it stayed put confidently.  Ideally, you want to make sure it’s set by sticking it on and leaving it overnight to set properly.  There are several of these types supplied.

The camera and mount attaches to this with a velcro pad.  I chose this for easy removal, but as it turns out the extra ‘give’ of the velcro meant the camera has far too much free movement!  The actual mount itself has two connecting joints (you can add more or remove them as required) – make sure these are screwed in as tight as possible, as they do work loose so the camera position moves!

My petrol tank does move a little with engine vibrations, and this didn’t help matters.  Before I’d screwed the joints up REALLY hard, I found the camera started to lean backwards under acceleration so it was filming the sky, and went forwards under hard braking and over harsh bumps.  My advice is to use as few of the joints as you possibly can for maximum stability.

I have no interest whatsoever in filming my speedometer – I don’t use cameras to show off or prove anything, so I’m not a major fan of this set-up!  You may well love it, and it could be good on track.

To eliminate the excess movement you may also want to stick the camera mount directly to the tank, and not use the velcro pad like I did.  If you do this you can still remove the mount and camera quickly and easily, as they all slide and click in securely anyway.

Oh, and the camera itself screws into the mount nicely, with no need for tape, padding, or anything else.

Overall, the mounts are all very good and very easy to use, plus they’re quite adaptable.  They’re well thought out, but you need to have a think yourself about where best to put them and which to use.

So what’s next?  I didn’t like the tank mounted option because there’s just too much movement on my bike.  I think next I will stick one of the pads onto my top yoke and see how that goes.  I’m also tempted to get the suction mount and put that on the inside of the windscreen… I’m not sure on a bike there’ll be anywhere on the screen flat enough to get good purchase, though?

And I finally got around to putting the supplied CD-ROM into my laptop – there’s nothing special on it apart from an electronic copy of the user manual, so those who can’t get it to load aren’t missing anything here!

I’ll get more pics and video of my next run…

First Knee-Down Of 2011

First Knee-Down Of 2011


I can’t even remember if this is earlier or later than usual, but today was the first day of the year that I heard that distinctive scrape of plastic kneeslider on tarmac!

It’s still only around 8 degree Celsius here, and the roads are colder than a polar bears winkie – but the sun had been shining all day and so it was on with the Buffy neck warmer and away.

I’m still playing with mounting options for the Veho HDd10.  Sound is a major issue, because not only is it picking up far too much wind noise and high end sound, but it seems to pick up vibrations through the casing itself when taped to anything vaguely vibratey.  Yes, that is a word.  Today I used one of the Veho clip mounts, and taped this to my brake reservoir, rather than putting any tape on the actual camera directly.  Sound seems a lot better, but the very loose mounting point meant the camera was a bit wobbly.

It’s looking like a custom mount will be the way to go – possibly similar to the one I made for the micro cams, where you just slot the camera into some foam.

The bikers all over the UK seem to have woken up today, so I’m sure I’m not the first to scrape my knee today!

I was still worried about cold tyres and the mud still on the sides of mine, but I know the Pirelli Angel ST tyres have excellent grip from cold, so it’s more in my head after getting used to looking out for ice patches all Winter.  Just because the sun’s out doesn’t mean the road conditions are good and grippy…

My riding felt a bit off.  Speeds I’d normally think nothing of were feeling fast to me today – most likely thanks to driving a slow-assed car around so I’m more used to that than bikes now.  Consequently I was taking it relatively easy, because I just didn’t feel very comfortable when cornering.

Despite this, on a few roundabouts I put the feelers out and cranked the old ZX9R over enough to scrape the footpegs, and if you can scrape the pegs you can scrape your knees!

I followed someone on a grey BMW GS with hard paniers for a while before overtaking nice and safely when the opportunity arose.  He turned off on a roundabout, and so I was a bit surprised to see him in my mirrors again shortly afterwards.

Coincidence?  Maybe… but he then followed me everywhere I went.  This is a red flag because the Police do like these bikes, and it’s easy to conceal cameras and blue lights in those hard paniers.

As I’ve said, today I was riding sensibly, so this was even more strange… unless maybe he saw my camera as he turned off?  He certainly had a few opportunities when he followed me to get a good view of it, so perhaps he was watching to see me do something stupid for the camera.

I didn’t.

I rode nicely, pretending I hadn’t seen him, and headed towards a favourite place to see if I could get my knee down without much effort.

He followed me all the way, so I turned off early onto some more fast flowing curves.

Most people are surprised at how well a big BMW GS can move compared to a sportsbike, but when it comes to smooth, fast curves NOTHING beats a sportsbike.  It’s the reason for their whole existence.

Even at legal speeds I pulled out a gap, and then as a switchback curve obscured his view of me I tightened my line around a left-hander, shifting my weight over to the left as I gripped between the footpeg and the side of the petrol tank with my right leg.

Reaching out a little with my left knee was all it took for the slider to touch down.

Ahh, that beautiful, addictive sound!

And literally in front of the police?  Could be…


Putting ‘BIKER’ On The Census As Your Religion

Putting ‘BIKER’ On The Census As Your Religion

It’s coming around again soon – the Gubbinment will be sending you a load of questions at great expense to the taxpayers so that… umm… they know more stuff about us?

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Whatever.

The important thing this time around is that when they ask me what religion I am, I am going to say it loud and proud that I am A Biker.

The road is my God, and the pathway there, too.

When I ride my bike it is a spiritual experience.  It’s a comfort to me when I feel lost or down.

Riding ‘in the zone’ is like a form of meditation.  It’s Zanshin – total awareness – as I try to see my surroundings before they happen, listening to every roar and click from my bike and trying my best to make sure as I execute my religion that nobody else is adversely affected by it.

We even have Priests – the mechanics who will fix up our trusty steeds and get us back on track.

A lot of us even just ride on Sundays!  And we have those living Gods amongst us:

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And think of the benefits or getting our religion recognised!

Would a petrol station be allowed to force us to remove our helmet if it’s religious clothing?

Could they continue forcing us to pay such high tax on petrol – essentially taxing our religion?

It is my form of worship.  Being a Biker means I enjoy life, and get more out of it because of my choices.

We’re family out there – nodding a greeting as we pass total strangers simply because they’re on a bike.  Sure, there are different faction within the Biking religion – the Sportbikers have some hostility towards Harley Davidson riders, and everyone dislikes Scooter riders.  Motard riders are just thugs.  We’re not going to go to war over it, though, and many of us treat everyone under the Biker banner equally, as it’s something that unifies us all.

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If you ride a bike, I bet you’ve put more effort into that than you have the made-up-deity, war-causing, only-when-it-suits-you religion that someone decided they’d choose for you before you were out of nappies!

It’s got to be done!

It is the time to show the World what we REALLY believe in!

Just put that single word as your religion: Biker.

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***EDIT***: There is now a Facebook group for this, so get theeself joined and spread the word: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_169227299791835