Monday, 23 February 2009

Managed a great ride out to Liverpool last week, plus a good days work on Friday visiting clients. Then a real old fashioned Sunday Spin, up to Cennarth Falls, the Salmons Leap, where thousands of gallons of the river Teifi squeezez through some old basalt rocks into a spectacular frothing funnel.

Then found some new tarmac - even to me and I thought I know most every where in a 100 mile radius!

Back tyre now entirely devoid of tread after such a roasting,may replace them as a pair, I reccomed Bridgestone 021's, last great, brill in the wet, and not a moments probs, grip right to the edge. Best tyres I've ever used.

Hoping to hook up with the bike hire people soon and contemplating a serious tune up at local bike shop in the imminent future.

Wish list also takes in a new rear shock, chain, sprockets, alloy cafe racer tank, exhaust bandage...mmm yummy, crummy street racer style.

As soon as the money rolls in, we're cooking. Tune in again soon, or keep an eye on Twitter for updates etc

Monday, 9 February 2009

Business Opportunity - for Bikers

Hearing Protection for motorcyclists - custom made anyone?

Hearing protection for Motorcyclists... Has anyone tried custom made earplugs? See , I'm working on a business plan for them, a mobile fitting service for bikers, by bikers...a business you can carry out on a bike...has it got wings? All comments and observations gratefully accepted extract below..

Hearing protection for bikers - a Quick guide Foam plugs * The well-known ‘foam plugs’ isolate your ear completely. Yes, you will hear less wind noise, but unfortunately you’ll also hear less of your engine and of the traffic that surrounds you. Also many people find the foam plugs uncomfortable to wear, they don’t fit well and they soon loosen. For reasons of hygiene and comfort - our the advice is use new ones on a regularly basis, because they are developed for single use only * Earpods: the customized hearing protector * Earpods are tailor-made hearing protectors. Earpods consist of two components: an earpiece and a filter system. From the print of your ear an optimum fit earpiece is developed in the laboratory. The special wind noise filters are inserted in the earpieces, so that your engine and the traffic that surrounds you (including sounding horns, emergency vehicles etc) is perfectly audible. Your hearing is not isolated. The clinically developed soft material is comfortable to wear, has a longer lifetime (we suggest between 4 and 5 years!) and has a better attenuation.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Motorcyclists - hearing protection..

Motorcycles and your hearing - some interesting (and worrying) Facts

Most motorcyclists understand the effects of dangers associated with the time spent enjoying riding their bikes. Unfortunately, several people still believe the causes of hearing loss are due to how loud the bike sounds, and/or that it affects only the people who do not wear full face helmets. However, this is only true to a certain degree.

Based on several research studies, the major contributor to hearing loss amongst motorcyclists is what's know as "wind noise." Generically termed as the amount of noise turbulence produced around the head while the rider is in motion. Its inherited consequences result in irreversible hearing loss damage over a period of time, when suitable hearing protection is not worn.

Similar to the shooting and aviation industries, if this issue is not addressed correctly from the beginning, the amount of exposure to the inner ear is compounded every time the rider ventures out on his/her bike for hours at a time. Constant duration of harmful noise levels will gradually lead to the rider becoming another statistic.

To put this in perspective, according to OSHA's (USA equivalent of the UK's Health and Safety Executive) regulation of industrial noise exposure, an average worker surrounded by levels around 85-90dB for an eight hour day will not exceed the limits of exposure time within a 24 hour period of time.

However, when the sound levels exceed 100dB, your exposure time is reduced to two hours. When sound levels exceed 115dB, your exposure time is drastically reduced to 15 minutes. This puts riding a bike a whole other realm as "wind noise" at motorway and trunk road speeds can measure up to 103dB, or comparable to a running chainsaw. At these levels the rider is not only tiring physically from the excess noise exposure, but it also puts him into the position of needing a hearing aid later in life.

Another common ailment of motorcycle riding is a condition known as "Temporary Threshold Shift," commonly referred to as TTS by audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals. TTS is caused by excessive noise exposure for a duration of time, which drops your actual acute hearing pattern to a lower level temporarily. Meaning, your hearing is less than what it was before the initial exposure. Continuous TTS exposure will result in permanent damage.

Everyone has experienced this phenomenon at one time or another, whether it is from going to loud dance halls, or concerts, or even work. Even some of today's movie theatres can cause this to happen, but this is a specific certainty for motorcyclists who disregard adequate hearing protection while riding their bike.

Riding position and style of fairing or windshield can help in preventing in relieving some of the noise and buffeting effects. But even the best helmets on today's marketplace provide little help when considering "wind noise" levels at normal highway speeds. Obviously, this factor is increased in open faced helmets, but the common helmets used in today's marketplace are designed to fit entirely over the head providing a snug fit. These types of helmets have the best attenuation value (reduction in noise) regardless of any airflow modifications done to the outside. But these helmets still produce wind noise readings of 110 to 116dB's, from 35mph to highway speeds. When reflecting back to the comparison chart, 116dB will only be suitable for 15 minutes of riding a day. Not a lot of time to enjoy your hobby.... Is it?
Although there are several versions of hearing protection devices on the market, a custom set of earpods is still the best answer in suppressing sound. They provide excellent attenuation values and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They can even be molded with high-grade speakers, which allow for stereo compatibility or intercom communications. There is no significant difference in wind noise level as a function of speed, no matter what the helmet brand or model (all being full coverage). for more

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Here come de snow...the clouds gather...
As the wind hunts around the streets, too lazy to go round you, so it just slices straight through, a biking day it ain't. Yesterday's photo shoot spat me down the heads of the valleys road, to a bleak industrial estate. On in to pretty Abergavenny, where an unlikely duck-egg-blue lot next to the railway station provided the second location of the day.

Yesterday they were hollow and empty former businesses, locked up, cocked up remnants of over ambition and over borrowing. But someone wanted their money back and down came the dominoes. Tomorrow they'll be born again with new owners and new jobs, some glimmer in the gloom for the poor buggers who were laid off Friday.

As I sweep into the carpark, two hardy bikers braving the chill are leaning on the railings and shooting the breeze. A tricked up tart of a harley barks into unexpected life through open pipes right next to them and one jumps so high and hard that I swear I can see daylight under his feet. He see's my laugh through the visor and grins along with the joke.

A toasted bacon and egg butty with a hot sweet tea warms the cockles.

Need to head to the pub from here - strictly business of course. Hook up with a GSXR and a 2 up suzook just past the town limits and harass the A40 for the next 25 miles to Brecon as we duck, dive and drift through stuttering traffic. I'm hard on him deep into the bends, causing him to thruppenny bit the corners. Shouldn't be looking in the mirrors sonny - watch the frigging road!

Longer straights show his horsepower advantage, and the by-pass gives him a chance to show off, 130+ and the 2 up Yellow peril sneaks through between my right shoulder and the crash barrier - damn the boy's keen to get past!

They slip South over the beacons and I stay on course West. Not much in the way as the trees blur into green corridor and all focus is on the road. 100mph flip flopping and swooping through red kite country. 100% concentration, focus and rhythm, in the groove, in the zone, flash past reservoirs high in the mountains, far horizon glaring and thousand yard staring.

Ease off the noise and breathe again as we drop out of the sky and back into the fertile valley, next stop a Butty Bach with a giggling landlord, landlady stomps around the upstairs, fuming at a PC I had hoped to work on..another day then? "yeah - 'er 'eds fucked like". Fag and "I 'ad one of them" from the other ciggy outcasts outside as she tink-tinks cool.

And this is work? bring on the overtime!!!