2018 Vauxhall International Race Day Results & Timings (Saturday 19th May 2018)

2018 North West 200
2018 North West 200

Saturday Race Day – the big day for the annual NW200 and what a day it was.  The weather forecast had promised to be a scorcher and guess what – even for Northern Ireland it delivered!

Thursday’s racing had already been a massive success with no major incidents and all three races running their full distance with real world class racing on display.  Saturday promised another 5 races but could it deliver on what Thursday had already given us?

Well the short answer is yes!  The weather was glorious, a bit breezy, but all that really did was hide the sunburn!  The racing was outstanding and with only one red flag on the first lap of the final race – of which those involved are fine.

The standing of racing was fantastic and the (reported) crowds of 120,000 people loved it!

Glen Irwin was dishing out the lessons on how to ride a superbike, taking 2 wins in the class, meaning he had 3 in a row at the NW200, remembering he took the 2017 Feature Race in fantastic style.  Joey Thompson – a new crowd favourite missed out on taking a Supertwin win being piped at the final Juniper Hill Chicane, it was breath taking stuff and an amazing example of how good the NW200 can be if blessed with a little bit of good fortune and weather.  Really well done to all those involved.

If you missed it the BBC still have the entire day available for viewing – but I don’t know how long it will be available for – find it here :  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/northern-ireland/43801720

And let’s not forget Jonathan Rea popped along for a private lap, evening stopping to say hello a few times!

Jonathan Rea on his Parade Lap of the 2018 North West 200
Jonathan Rea on his Parade Lap of the 2018 North West 200

Check out my full gallery of all the action from the day’s racing here : http://tbni.blog/2018/06/04/2018-vauxhall-international-north-west-200-saturday-race-day-gallery-saturday-19th-may-2018/

Without further delay here are the results of an amazing day’s racing at Northern Ireland’s North Coast :

Read more2018 Vauxhall International Race Day Results & Timings (Saturday 19th May 2018)

2018 Vauxhall International North West Thursday Race Night Results & Timings (Thursday 17th May 2018)

2018 North West 200
2018 North West 200

Thursday Race night at the 2018 International North West 200 wasn’t far away from perfect, with only one 30 minute delay, due to a oil spill, there were no other incidents to report, no other race delays, no red flags and a little bit of hazy cloud meant the lowering sun didn’t effect the racing as in previous years.

The result was a full night’s racing, with all 3 races running the distance.

Check out my full gallery of all the action from the evening’s racing here : http://tbni.blog/2018/06/03/2018-vauxhall-international-north-west-thursday-race-night-gallery-thursday-17th-may-2018/

The results of which follow below :

A little hazy cloud helps ensure the full race programme goes ahead on Thursday Race Night at the 2018 North West 200
A little hazy cloud helps ensure the full race programme goes ahead on Thursday Race Night at the 2018 North West 200

Read more2018 Vauxhall International North West Thursday Race Night Results & Timings (Thursday 17th May 2018)

2018 Cookstown 100 Race Day Gallery

All photographs have been resized to save on load times and bandwidth.  All photographs are available uncropped and in their original size (4896 pixels x 2752 pixels).  If you would like any photos in their original size to have from your own personal use please feel free to email me – Photographs are NOT watermarked and are free to use for personal use – for any other use please request this in your email.  Thanks and enjoy.

The Racing at the 2018 Cookstown 100 got off to an energetic start!
The Racing at the 2018 Cookstown 100 got off to an energetic start!
With big and wee bikes all getting in on the action
With big and wee bikes all getting in on the action
With teams and privateers all staking their claim...
With teams and privateers all staking their claim…
Then in typical Northern Irish fashion the rain came!
Then in typical Northern Irish fashion the rain came!

 

Enjoy the gallery!

Read more2018 Cookstown 100 Race Day Gallery

Lego Speed Champions – Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC – 75885

Lego Ford Fiesta WRC Box
Lego Ford Fiesta WRC Box

Everyone loves Lego, no matter their age Lego is truly a 1-100 product (maybe 4-100) even publications like Time claim it to be a better investment that gold.  Generally there are two types of Lego people – the Collector and the Builder.

The Collector does just that – collects sets, puts them away somewhere safe and then, maybe, one days sells them for a profit – or at least hopes to.

Then you have the Builder – they tear the box open, tip out the contents and have fun building up whatever was inside.

I’m a bit of both- collecting and building.  Some sets I put away, some I build and some I buy a pair of, one to build, one to collect.

This set : 75885, the Lego Speed Champions Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is one such set I doubled on.  Why?  Because I really wanted to build one and then I though it’s only £12.99 and there are an awful lot of both Ford and Lego enthusiasts so it would do no harm to buy a second and keep it pristine.  Who knows someday it might be worth a bit more?

Read moreLego Speed Champions – Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC – 75885

Winter in Wales : Wales in a Weekend : Day 3 : 22/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

Weather forecast for 22/02/2018
Weather forecast for 22/02/2018

Day 3 – the final day of my Wales in Winter trip and this leg takes me from Aberystwyth to Betws-y-Coed then onto the Liverpool for the return overnight ferry back to Northern Ireland.

So far it has been two days of good hardcore rain and this final day won’t be changing that format in any major way.

In fact it is due to get worse at some stage with the approach of Storm Doris bringing more and heavier rain and some gales, gusts and other variants of high winds thrown into the mix.  The biggest question is when will Doris visit?  Whilst on the road or on the boat?

In case you missed it Day 1 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

Day 2 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/26/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-2-21-02-2017/

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

As far as accomodation goes I am absolutely sold on ‘The Glengower’ – clean and comfortable room with good food, a good bar, big TVs for the Sports Channels and a couple of pool tables, all with a sea view.  You need nothing more, but you’ll get it in the form of a delicious breakfast.

The Glengower Breakfast Menu
The Glengower Breakfast Menu

After breakfast, I make the short trip round the back of the hotel to get the bike.  Having turned on all the radiators in the room over night my gear was dry for starting.  After a 50 metre walk I was back to being as soaked as I was when I finished yesterday.  And looking at the forecast this is only the start of the rain.

Read moreWinter in Wales : Wales in a Weekend : Day 3 : 22/02/2017

Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 2 : 21/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this Wales in a Weekend route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

Weather Report Wales 21/02/2017
Weather Report Wales 21/02/2017

It’s Day 2 – although for the Wales in a Weekend Route it is actually Day 1.  Confusing eh?

If you made it to this post via some strange and startling way then the simple explanation is that Day 1 (for me) was actually a travel day from Northern Ireland to the start of this route.

In case you missed it Day 1 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

As I concluded in my write up of Day 1 this first day of the actual route was set to be a wet one.

The overnighter at the Mount Pleasant Hotel was just that – pleasant.  The bed was very comfortable, the place was clean, tidy and friendly.  The shower lacked a bit of power but no doubt the rain that was forecast for arround midday should sort that right out!

However I was experiencing one slight hiccup…

Read moreWales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 2 : 21/02/2017

Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

This time last year (20/02/2017) I set off on a quick trip through Wales.  I was using up the remanants of my leave from work and in an effort to feel that I wasn’t taking time off just for the sake of it, I found a quick route that I could do for very little outlay that would take in the entire length of Wales.

Starting South of Brecon and heading north I would take in the Beacons then head into Snowdownia National Park before crossing into England from North Wales and returning back to Northern Ireland on an overnight ferry.

I found the route on www.adventurebikerider.com and having never seen Wales before, but with the ease and affordability of travel to and from Northern Ireland it seemed like a sensible option.  Accomodation was also easily sorted with a bucket load of options available on sites like Booking.com – and prices ranging from very reasonable to ‘oh that must be quite fancy.’

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Wales in a Weekend Route
Wales in a Weekend Route

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

The route is called Wales in a Weekend – which is realistically two days long especially in the Winter – if you like a good long distance challenge you probably could snort round it in a (long) day, but spread over two it is easily managable and very enjoyable.

Remember to factor in any travel time to get to the ‘Starting Point’ just outside Aberdare.  But from Aberdare to the end of the route at Betws y Coed you should set aside 2 days to complete.

Read moreWales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

DJI Mavic Pro or Mavic Air? How About a Spark?

DJI Spark
DJI Spark

Controversial title there isn’t it?  Well that’s exactly the question I have struggled with since the announcement of the DJI Mavic Air.  Which one should I get the DJI Mavic Pro, or the DJI Mavic Air.  The DJI Spark was truthfully never even in the equation.

I should point out straight away I am a drone novice.  A first time flyer, with no experience whatsoever.  I didn’t know what to expect, whether I would even enjoy flying a drone, or whether I even actually needed one.  To be honest I didn’t ‘need’ one, but I had wanted one for quite some time.  I was constantly checking out the Phantom series, but I really wanted it to take it whilst out and about on the bike, so the Phantom didn’t really cut it.  The anouncement of the Air then made me think this is the one, easy to transport in the top box of the bike, quick to set up, quick to get in the air and user friendly settings for the camera – which is quite nicely spec’d to boot – surely this is the winner.

Then I started doing my research – a lot of research.

Read moreDJI Mavic Pro or Mavic Air? How About a Spark?

Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report :

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report
Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

In the Summer of 2016 I took on another European coastal route :  Scotland’s NC500 :

UPDATED DOWNLOAD LOCATION : Get the GPX File for the Scottish North Coast 500 Route right here :

https://tbni.blog/2016/09/27/scotlands-north-coast-500-gpx-route-file-nc500-gpx/

Scotland's NC500 Coastal Route
Scotland’s NC500 Coastal Route

Disclaimer : Having completed the Wild Atlantic Way in under a week I thought a reasonable time period to complete the North Coast 500 would be two days. However you will notice that this ride report actually covers four days – so what’s that about? Well it’s simply about travel. One day to get to the start and one day takes me home. So really it’s a four day trip to Scotland, during which I completed the NC500 in two.

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 1/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/11/29/scotlands-north-coast-500-in-2-days/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 2/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/07/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-2-4/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 3/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/08/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-3-4/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/08/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-4-4/

For more information on this route have a look here :

https://www.northcoast500.com

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4)

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

Disclaimer : Having completed the Wild Atlantic Way in under a week I thought a reasonable time period to complete the North Coast 500 would be two days. However you will notice that this ride report actually covers four days – so what’s that about? Well it’s simply about travel. One day to get to the start and one day takes me home. So really it’s a four day trip to Scotland, during which I completed the NC500 in two.

Download the NC500 GPS File Here : http://www.tbni.blog/downloads/North-Coast-500.gpx

Day 4 : 01/08/2016 : Inverness – Cairnryan : Day 4 of the trip and yesterday saw the completion of the North Coast 500 (NC500). This final day is simply the dash home from Inverness to Cairnryan Port. It is almost 5 hours down the motorway towards Glasgow then to Cairnryan. No scenic route, no epic country roads like on Day 1 – with the timing of the ferry it really was just a dash to the port.

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : The Route Back
Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : The Route Back

Only one thing needed sorted and that was my brakes. So I knew thanks to my internet buddies where I needed to go and who could help me, I was faced with one further dilemma, it was a bank holiday Monday so businesses were opening a little later than usual or simply not at all.

Read moreScotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4)