Monday, October 13, 2014

Newly Qualified Rider -First Session with Advancedbiker

Friday, June 27, 2014

Advancedbiker - Radio Communication for clients - Kenwood and Baofeng

Over the years I have used a number of radios for communicating with my clients, from Icom, Cobra, Wintec and most recently Kenwood Protalk and Baofeng F888s.  All these radios operate on the UK pmr446 frequency.
I have bought a Kenwwod Protalk as all the riders on the Normandy tour had them and in the long run, it is easier to change channels.  The Baofeng radios, were less than £15.00 on E Bay and once programmed to the PMR 446 frequency work fine.  (Not used for transmitting - Still use my Bike mounted Icom for this).

The question I often get asked is what helmet speakers do you use ?


Well I got rid of the D Type single speakers a long time ago, as they were very uncomfortable, so I found these - Twin stereo speakers, that fit easily into most helmets and found on E Bay for about £6.99 delivered - UK Stock.

They can be either fixed to the lining of the helmet as the come 'Velcro' backed or slid inside the helmet.

The problem I had with these speakers is that they are stereo and the radio, whatever type I use is a mono output.  So if plugged directly into a radio, only one of the two speakers work.

Back onto E Bay to search for a Mono to Stereo convertor...


Found on E Bay for around £1.75 gives sound to both speakers.........

The next problem..... Kenwood and Baofeng radios appear to differ form the majority of other PMR 446 units, in that the audio is a 2.5mm socket.  Other PMR's seem to be 3.5mm.  
Back to E Bay and source a 2.5mm to 3.5mm - Uk supplier about £1.58 delivered.

Next wait for the post and see if it all fits together....



So far so good.....


All connected, now will it work with the Kenwood and Baofeng.......



YES ! Clear communication at a fraction of the cost of buying the many 'Covert' earpieces as advertised, which have only one speaker.

Total Cost for twin speaker Earpiece with adaptors - £ 10.32

Monday, June 09, 2014

Feedback from client - Advanced Motorcycle Training May 2014

Flash Drive versus DVD ?
During 2013 I was experimenting with HD1080p video footage and invested in a Hd Drift and Hd Drift Ghost camera, initially to run along side my existing video system (Bullet cameras and Sony Video camera recording onto Digital cassettes.)
I am now using the Drifts more and more and instead of producing a DVD of the training I supply a flash drive with the days footage to the client for them to download. This has saved me hours of editing and with Wetransfer.com I can download the footage over the internet.
I do miss the opportunity to use front and rear cameras, but will work on that.

Here is a letter off a client who had the footage posted to him on a flash drive:
Hi Nigel,
Great video, with some excellent footage - Thanks again.
It's good to be able to replay various parts and consider ways to improve on what you have done.
It's all about continuous learning.
I love it !!!
Ill be in touch again soon,
All the best,
Ian


Footage from the session

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Advancedbiker in Normandy - Day Three - 11th May 2014 -Last Training Day - Where shall we go.

After a very pleasant evening spent at a local restaurant in Arromanches and then a walk round it was time for our final training day - Free Sunday... 

I call it that as I had nothing planned and usually it was answered by the following - 'Where do you fancy going today?'

Answer.......

Can we do the D911 again.....

Oh go on then, some maps  out and sat navs sorted we were off heading inland towards Aunay....
Just need to organise Coffee - Tea stops.....

After Aunay, we revisit one of the roads we have used in the past that takes us to Vire.  A great place where we always park the motorcycles under the clock tower.


We arrive in time for dinner, but there is a problem, it is Sunday, nothing much open expect our usual bar....  To our surprise the host tells us if we go across the square there is a bakery that sell sandwiches and cakes.  You can eat them in our cafe...... 

Would you get that in the United Kingdom - I think not !

Well you guessed it after the damp start the sun was trying to break through the clouds and the roads were drying out, just in time for our run down the D911.  A completely different roads through the wooded section as it is down hill this time.... 
Time to get ready as I had been having a few technical with the remote on the HD Drift Ghost camera, so I was making sure everything was working this time.  So helmet camera on - Front mounted camera on and Dave eager to get going and film me as I head off with a client down the D911...
Mainly the D911 from Sourdeval to Brecey

We arrive in Brecey and we have a request - Can we do some slow riding, so the car park in the town was put to use, before change of rider and heading back up the D991 to Sourdeval.  When we arrived at Suordeval a debrief and then time to lead the 'squad' back to base......  So onto Vire for a coffee and quick map and sat nav check as I needed to find the D54 out to Tessy sur Vire........

My thanks to Kevin for this Video Blog as we headed back......


I lead most of the way to Tessy until that it I had an unfortunate incident.  My mobile phone flew out of my tank bag and appeared to shatter on the road.  Told the 'squad' to carry on to Tessy as I looked for the remains of my Samsung Galaxy 3.....  Found the battery and case in the roadway with a small dink in the battery and the main phone in the grass verge......Wait for it NO DAMAGE....  Put it back together, switched it on and it still works.......





A bit of a run from Tessy.....

Last day tomorrow - Run to the ferry

Advancedbiker in Normandy - Day Two 10th May 2014 - Training day in search of the Tiger !

Another damp start, but planned the route today, with the help of Rick, who was going to be the leader as we headed out of Arromanches to find a Tiger Tank somewhere near to Falaise.

Early tea - coffee stop in Villers Bocage and to regroup and look at the skies...... A bit of  mixture, but some blue about, so not all that bad.  Despite the damp conditions, spirits are up and everyone learning by KEEPING IT SMOOTH, we can still make progress when safe.
Although Rick was our 'Pathfinder' I was familiar with the roads and had planned a possible dinner stop at Falaise.  The problem was getting to Falaise......
A few sat nav issues.......

See what I mean.....

We managed to get to Falaise and went into a restaurant that looked very promising, good menu, snacks etc so we ordered.....  No Crepes, no sandwiches, but we do have Sausage and chips.......... What seemed like a lifetime, we left and all my timing were out.  Never mind head for the Tiger tank at Vimoutiers and then back to the coast and Pegasus Bridge.
We found the Tiger Tank......


Time for a photo shoot and then North to Pegasus Bridge, now too late to do Merville Battery, so made straight for the bridge and our annual coffee....
We have been going to Pegasus for the past 10 years and every time we always meet a veteran of the second world war campaign.  This year was no exception, we shook his hand and had a chat......

He then gave a 'Gun' drill with his umbrella........

Grand Chap.....




Parked up ready for the off and run across the bridge and back to Adrian's via the 360 cinema above Arromanches.....
Tail End Charlie - Thumbs up for great day

The sun was out but the wind was a bit strong

All parked up......

The BMW LC Boys......

Overlooking Mulberry Harbour 70 years after it arrived following D Day


Back at base. a bit dirtier than when we started the day....










Sunday, May 25, 2014

Advancedbiker in Normandy - The Training begins - Day One Friday 9th May 2014

After a good nights sleep and hearty breakfast, time for some training, but first to the petrol station to fill and then organise the days training.

The group consisted of 10 riders, which included 4 trainers and 6 clients.  So I arranged for small groups of three to start off with, with a ratio of one trainer to two clients.
This gave me the flexibility to use 'Tail End Charlie' Bob as an extra pairs of eyes.

The day started a bit overcast and yes the rains came down as we headed out of Bayeaux along the D6 and eventually onto Balleroy for meeting with a rider we met up with a couple of years ago - Ron Young

Ron used to own a bed and breakfast and contacted me to arrange a meet as he wanted to have another ride out with us......

We were on time, so was a heavy down pour, but great to meet up as he had volunteered to take us on a route for our first tea stop at Balleroy, at Les Roches de Ham from there. 

So Ron became our temporary leader as the weather improved and he roads started to dry out.

The first tea stop - Fantastic location overlooking the valley with the Vire river below - Closed....
Plan B - Head for a cup of Tetley tea at Villedieu Les Poeles before heading off to find one of our favourite roads the D999 to Brecey and the D911 to Sourdeval.
So I lead off with my group and we had a great controlled progressive run along the D999, stopping at Brecey for a debrief and change of lead rider.  All captured on video, by at least four video motorcycles.  Footage will appear on Youtube soon......

Video Motorcycle Andy Griffiths



We usually stop in Villedieu Les Poeles for dinner, buyt Ron through his connections and knowledge of the area suggested we make the dinner time stop at Sourdeval.  A place called Zone Creative......

I booked us in using Facebook, and it was a great find.  Freshly made sandwiches or soup, which some of us followed up with Clotted cream scones.....


The weather had picked up and we were able to use the out door terrace area........
Suitably refreshed, it was on to the D911 again out towards Tinchebray, before heading north tworads the coast and the final tea stop of the day at Aunay Sur Odon.  We said our farewells to Ron who headed back home, leaving us to head towards Arromaches.  We had a little time in hand so we headed for Longres Battery to do a little bit of World War Two site seeing.

A great day, bit damp to start with, but the weather picked up and we all got back.......


Looking forward to Saturday and the planned visit to find a Tiger Tank, and then onto Pegasus Bridge for Coffee.......

Advancedbiker - Advanced Motorcycle Training in Normandy May 2014 The run to Portsmouth

Well after all the planning and a few administration issues, we made it to Normandy again this year for our annual Advanced Motorcycle Workshop, which this year ran from Thursday 8th May to Monday 12th May.
So on a very wet Thursday morning we all set off from different location around the United Kingdom and met up at prearranged meeting points mainly around the M6 and M1 motorway network.  Our aim to get to Portsmouth for the Ferry to Normandy.


The Team Bmw R1200 GS's x 4, Bmw R1200 GS's LC x 2, Bmw R1200R, Bmw F800GT 
and a Honda ST1300
The team is all together, a little wet, in their respective wet weather gear, Hein Gericke, Rukka, Klim to name a few.  Well where did we all meet up, well at Jacks Hill Cafe near to Towcester and I had to sample to all day breakfast......Rude not to......
All fed and watered, next stop Portsmouth for the 14.45hrs Brittany Ferries crossing the Ouistreham - a cruise, arriving 21.30 hrs local time.

After an eventful run to Portsmouth, in other words, who has pinched the petrol station at Winchester and having to find one in Portsmouth.  I was cutting it a bit fine, 21 litre tank, put 20.5 litres in it.  Never mind still in a good positive mood - made all the better by the way the staff at Brittany Ferris booked us all in.  I had booked on line and filled in all the vehicle details, so when we got to port, it was just a matter of matching the riders names to the appropriate registration numbers. Having seen all the motorcycles through, it left me and Bob....... And you must have guessed what was going to happen next - SECURITY check.....Question from G4S,' Can we check your motorcycle?', reply; 'What are you looking for?'....Reply;' Guns, Knives etc'....Come on, I couldn't pack an extra paper clip in one of my panniers, but had to open them and they checked my clothes etc.

Anyway safely on the ferry, tied down and ready to go........Next stop Normandy, France.

Arrived in Normandy on time, no rain and a steady run to our bed and breakfast for the next four night.  Normandy Beach - Arromanches Les Bains........

Time for some light snacks and bed before the training starts in the morning.....



Monday, May 19, 2014

The Snake Pass with Advancedbiker - Rider own commentary

Advancedbiker gets Bluetooth to work with Interphone F5 and Tribe radio