All The Gear, No Idea.

I had a bit of a to-do when I got my new bike and realised my kit wasn’t appropriate. You need proper race type kit for a race bike, in case of crashes. Previously it was my leather jacket, a stout pair of boots, a stylish (but minimal protection) pair of soft leather gauntlets, and, usually, whatever trousers I was wearing at the time.

If you want to throw the bike into corners you need knee sliders. So that means new leather jeans. Then I might as well update my jacket to suit. And I need proper bike boots. And gloves.

I got my kit. It took a few goes on the trousers as I am the exact perfect height for a man (5′ 6 ½”) but everyone else is freakishly tall, so I had to get short leg. And they flatter us porkers with the waist sizes. I’m, at best, a 34″, I ended up having to get a 30″ waist.

I got all the kit. I was ready for some knee down thrilling heroics. I went out for a few rides. Turns out I’m still crap, but with better kit. Oh. Should have seen that coming, really.

I was a bit sad about that as I can’t do any track day tuition on my bike until next April (I think) when I change to an insurance policy that covers track days. On the off chance I’ve just googled “Knee down course” and there is one run in Wigan. That’s handy. And you train on their bike so no need to worry about insurance! I’ve emailed to see when they have any availability.

It’s a progressive skills course. Teaching you theory, motorcycle handling, more theory, cornering with no hands (body balance steering) more theory, then application in the form of knee down riding.

Until you look like this:

And that is a blue Daytona, so that’s pretty much exactly how I want to look.

So that’s good.

The other thing at the moment is work. I’ve been trying to get the legal maximum of 5 shifts one week, 6 shifts the next for the last 8 weeks. So far I’ve only had one day when I didn’t get any work. That’s pretty amazing for an agency job. I couldn’t get that in my last, full time, job.

There has been a bit of a hoo-ha lately over lorry drivers. A totally unexpected side effect of Brexit, the Hostile Environment, and telling foreigners to go back home, is that the foreigners have gone back home. Nobody could have seen it coming. The upshot of it is panicked newspaper articles where supermarket bosses are saying they have empty shelves because they can’t get the drivers, calling on the government to mobilise the army to do deliveries (as far as I know, the army don’t have artic drivers, they recruit civvies to the TA to drive the artics) and warning of “supply chain collapse”. The government’s response is to rip up the working time directive (a Brexit Bonfire of Rights. Again, who could have seen it coming?) so drivers can work longer. We are already legal to drive 10 hours, and work 15 hours a day. I’ve not been able to find any details on the changes, but apparently they came into force on the 12th. I’m not sure how you can compensate for a lack of foreign drivers by killing the domestic ones. I think this is why I can get every shift I want, though. They just can’t get the drivers. They have their core drivers, loads and loads of agency, and they are still coming up short every weekend and having to have other firms come in to do runs for them. They advertised for full time drivers recently. I’ve applied, and not been formally rejected yet, but it’s been 3 weeks and I’ve not heard anything. Meh. I don’t have to worry about money, the work is there, but it would be nice to have the security of a proper job.

In other good news, Wendy is feeling a lot better. She had taken a turn for the worse, and was starting to feel proper down with it. She’s taken the online advice and is grinding it out. Get out of the house. Get exercise. Get in nature. All of which have been proven to help with the loony. And, obviously, are all the things you least feel like doing when you are scared and depressed. So big-up Wendy for doing it.

She’s taken to driving to a really nice spot down the canal (the prettiest mile I do on my runs in that direction) and communing with nature and big dogs.

She’s also started doing some exercises at home and has broke out her pushbike from a few years ago and has done a few rides on that. Excellent work. She’s a lot better. Still not right, but tons better. That’s movement in the right direction.

Other cheery news is the garden is starting to look nice. More by accident than design. A bunch of those “lucky dip” flowers I got and overwintered have turned into really interesting plants. And considering the “before” shot of a few months ago, it’s looking pretty good.

It will look better when a few more things have started flowering, and when I’ve properly filled in the end of the garden, but it’s definitely an improvement.

The only other thing is I’ve got back to running. After pulling out of the 24hr race I’ve been concentrating on building a solid base of fitness. I’ve managed to get out and do an hour on most days. Even during that beastly hot heatwave. That took some doing. By keeping it small but regular I’m hoping to build my speed and stamina without smashing my foot. So far, so good.

Some Twitter and bed.