Friday, January 18, 2013

Sydney Melts in heat, too hot to ride

Sydney has sweltered through its hottest day in history(well since records have been kept at least), causing scores of heat-related illnesses, transport chaos, melting roads and bet a whole heap of air conditioning units crapped themselves today.
The temperature hit 45.8°C(114°F) at Sydney's Observatory Hill at 2.55pm today, exceeding the previous record of 45.3°C(113°F) set on January 14, 1939 making it our hottest day in 74 years.
That was topped by temperatures in Penrith, in western Sydney not to far from where I live, which reached 46.5°C(117°F).
Far to hot to be riding motorcycles in although I did see a guy commuting home this afternoon on his bike, he was wearing shorts and Tee shirt, helmet and no gloves. He must have been roasting in the heat poor guy.

My new camera arrived in the mail last week so I'll have to get out for a ride soon when its not so bloody hot and test it out. I ended up choosing another cannon IXUS camera for a number of reasons which were

1)  I wanted a small camera I could fit in my pocket, so no DSLR cameras. Can't carry much on an R1 and I'd probably not stop to use it if I had to unpack it.

2)  I was happy with the previous camera and not wanting to learn everything from scratch again on how the whole bloody camera operated if I got the same brand it would most likely work the same. And after playing with the new camera for 5 minutes it has confirmed that opinion with all the same icons and settings etc that the previous camera had albeit in slightly different spots. Still not to much to learn. I already know how to use it.

3)  I had accumulated enough points on our credit card rewards to order the camera for nothing - so in effect it was a free camera. Win Win.

Here's the little bad boy here.16 b'jillion pixels, HD video blah blah blah..... all in snazzy blue.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blurred Vision

Between Christmas and New Year we went on the Saturday morning on the spur of the moment to visit my parents who live out in the country about a 5 hour drive from Sydney. A quick phone call to them and we decided to meet up for lunch in bathurst, roughly half way for each of us to travel. So we quickly bundled the kids in the car and got going at about 10:30am.

We got there by about 1:00pm and then met at one of the local pubs for lunch. At the pub we saw several bikes up from Sydney for a counter lunch, and what a fantastic day it was to be out for a ride. After saying our goodbyes I decided that we should go for a drive up to Mount Panorama. For those non down under readers Mount Panorama is Australia's premier car racing street circuit(they used to race bikes here but was discontinued due to it being to dangerous - coincidentally Micheal Doohan won superbike races at this circuit before he became 5 times 500cc World Champ).

Mt Panorama
Bikes lapping the circuit

When there are no racing events on, the circuit is actually a public road with a 60kph speed limit which is enforced, we saw a highway patrol car on the circuit during our 2 lap stint. The circuit is 6.213 km long and has an elevation change of 174m with grades as steep as 1:6. The track is run in an anti clockwise direction during races but during non race days traffic can go in both directions so we did a lap in each direction.

Mountain Straight looking back at Pits
Mountain Straight

The drive to the top of the mountain is always fun and there are spectacular views from the top. I was wishing that I had my bike today and not the car.

View from the top of the mountain

We stopped at the top of the mountain for a few pictures before continuing around the circuit. It was here that the blurry vision started. What the heck is going on, this hasn't happened to me before. Oh and no it wasn't me that had the blurry vision as you can see in the next 2 pictures.....

To many beers perhaps....
Yup it looks like after 5 and bit years my faithful point and shoot camera had finally given up the ghost. It was no longer refocusing after taking the previous photo. So I came home with a bunch of blurred photos which were pretty useless. My old Canon IXUS 7.1mp camera was no more. At least I would be able to now upgrade to a newer camera with better image and video quality as they are all HD video quality now. A new camera has been ordered and I eagerly await its arrival.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Year in Review

Wow what a year it was. What the hell happened to it? It seemed to go by so fast and here we are again at the start of another year. 2012 was certainly a very busy year for me personally, both on and off the bike. There were many highlights throughout the year and not to mention a few low lights.

 The Lows
There are a couple of noteable downers from last year and one of those has been that horrible little four lettered word, work. I've spent far to much time at work, starting back in may up until December which has stopped me from doing some of the things that I like the most like riding on some of our sweet twisty roads and the other being with my fantastic little family.

The low point on the bike had to be the 2 times whilst out in the middle of nowhere that I'd broken down, but luckily managed to make it home with some dodgy roadside fixing. The culprit being a dodgy battery terminal and a stuffed regulator. One of these probably instigated the other.
OH Dear

The Highs

I got to ride on some new roads in January that I hadn't been on before, the Road through Taralga from Oberon. Its a beaut ride.

Fun Plus

 In May I got to ride on some old roads that I hadn't riden on in years.

The biggest highlight of the year for me was this little cutie who came along late in August.

Milk costs money....Oh my gosh!

Phillip Island was also another highlight in October.

The year ended on a massive high in November, with 2000km's of winding roads in the NSW snowy mountains with a group of friends. Awesome riding.

My riding for the year was not big km's but they were nearly all quality twisty roads, and when you own an R1 that's what counts. I didn't buy it to ride long distances on straight highways.

2012 starting km's 50,579
2012 finishing km's 57,053

By far the most riding I've done in the last couple of years. Its been great easing back into it. Now just to get some updated technology underneath me. Will it be this year. Only time will tell.

Happy new year to you all and safe riding for 2013.