Friday, October 23, 2009

Question Time

I watched "Question Time" on BBC last night.

I am quite a fan of the programme. Watching the main political parties scoring political marks off each other rather than answering the audiences specific questions. For instance, if they were asked the shortest way to a railway station they would reply how they are the best political party in the world and what a mess their opponents made of government thirty years ago. Yes, their answers are usually total irrelevant and they wouldn't know the shortest way to the railway station. Usually the best replies to audience questions are supplied by the invited panel guests who have no apparent political affiliation.

However, last night, the format of the programme seemed to change. Maybe because one of the panel guests was Nick Griffin of the BNP. It seem to become a bullying attack by the panel chairman, David Dimbleby, the rest of the panel and the audience.

I do not support Nick Griffin or his party or for that matter any political party. They all seem to be gangs of self interested, out for what they can grab opportunists. Notwithstanding, Nick Griffin's politics I felt it was a Star Chamber performance by all participants of the programme.

I hope "Question Time" will revert to its normal, well produced programme style. No more bullying, please! Let's discuss current situations of more importantance, Afghanistan - come on Brown get your finger out and shake up the USA president; expenses - let's get the robbing MPs behind bars! If Brown can't handle the situation, though he keeps telling us he can, call a general election!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My New Winter Hack

Not been on line much. Weather, off colour and other little things. What do you mean weather shouldn't keep me off line? Bad weather takes my mind off biking so I meander away to other subjects and other doings.

Thinking about weather conditions and following the way of others I decided to buy " a winter hack". Basically a cheap, easy to handle scooter to use during the winter, saving my main scoot for summer touring and long rides.

After looking around and checking eBay I decided to choose a cheap Chinese scooter from a trusted bike dealer I'd known for years. The scooter I bought was a Keeway 125. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Seemed ok though a bit of aged technology - hub rear brake, even has a carburettor! Just the kind of technology that can be sorted out if anything goes wrong. No need for computers or diagnostic machines to deal with this machine.

Here's a picture. Not the biggest of bikes,
easy to manhandle, a top box that will hold a tin of beans and underseat space that will hold a small set of spanners. The best techie bit is the metal inserts on the footboard.

On the way home with the bike I found I had a problem. Though my legs are long enough on the Burgman they weren't long enough for the Keeway. When I stopped at traffic lights or junctions I had a problem "touching down". I returned to the dealer and the mechanic adjusted the suspension to attempt lowering the seat. Seemed to gain a little bit but not enough. Taking my Burgman for its annual service and MOT, at my local bike shop, I told the shop owner of my problem with the Keeway. He suggested a little outfit called "Cutting Edge" owned by Phil Edge. He tailored car seats, bus seats, bike seats.

I tracked Cutting Edge down and Phil said he could help me. Several days later, Phil called me to say my seat was ready. He had managed to lower the seat by a full inch and narrowed the seat. He had made a beautiful job of it.

Fixed the seat back on the bike and now only need some "fair" weather for a road test.