On January 27 & 28th 2017 the ArenaCross UK Tour graced Belfast’s Odyssey Arena for two rounds of the UK Competition. With everyone from 7 year old kids to Europe’s finest indoor Motorcross Racers and a ridiculously skilled Freestyle Team this really is a high octane, completely flat out show from start to finish – and it’s a format that works and this is its fifth year on the bounce in Belfast – and my second.
MontBlanc Writing Instruments need no introduction, and yes they are expensive, but no it is not just a pen. Everyone needs to write with a nice pen,everyone should have a premium pen and you know deep down you actually want one!
We all do it, walking past the shops in the airport or the jewellers on the High Street, you look in the window, and think, ‘yeah…yeah!’
This MontBlanc though breaks the mould a little in my opinion. It has a much more mordern design and look than that of the classic Meisterstück,for example.
The finish as you should expect is impecable, and again as you would expect the writing experience is refined and perfect.
Try it some day and try it in a store, it is an experience. The pen will be presented to you with a pad. The sales person will most likely be wearing gloves as they handle the pen, the pad will be branded, high quality and heavily weighted paper and you will be free to write, sign, doodle…whatever.
And you will enjoy it, the buying experience will add to the overall enjoyment of owning the pen, a premium pen that the most common comment you are likely to hear as you use it, is probably something like, ‘Wow, it that a real one?’
With the imminent release of ticket sales for Motorcycle Live 2016 at the NEC Birmingham I thought I would upload my Gallery from 2015.
MCL 2016 will run from Saturday 19 November 2016 – Sunday 27 November 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham so get those dates in your diary now, and if you are travelling by air, get the tickets booked sooner rather than later to make use of the cheapest fares!
MCL is a show that I make an annual trip to from Northern Ireland, personally I think it is a great show with loads to see and do, which is hopefully reflected in the photos. In 2015 there was a demo from ArenaCross, which was outstanding given the space these guys were working with, enough that I came straight out of the show and booked tickets for the Belfast show.
Time for something just a little different, although different doesn’t necessarily mean bad! In this case different definitely means cool!
Having been a fan of Undead Teds for quite a while I recently bit the bullet and purchased one.
Why ‘bit the bullet’ you may ask? That’s easy, these guys are pretty expensive. By the time you pay for postage and the bear you won’t have much change out of £90 GBP, you may even surpass that mark, the custom bears will put you over £125.
So yeah that definitely is a lot of money for a teddy bear, ‘horrifically cute’ or not, but here’s the thing, when your Undead Ted arrives you will understand the price tag. These guys are supremely well made. Taking the bear itself in account, you can tell before (s)he got infected with whatever zombie virus / fungus got them, s(he) was a quality, plush well put together teddy bear. These guys aren’t some cheap bear, bought on mass, cheaply customised a little and sold for a vast profit. They have started their zombified lives as a quality item and the quality continues through, leaving you with a zombie teddy bear that is exceptionally well put together.
There are alternatives out there, have a look at them, it does become clear quickly that if you are looking for quality this is the bear you need.
Take then the customisation – the blood is horrendous, and blood being horrendous is good! It looks like blood, it has been applied so it looks like the ‘injuries’ the bear has have actually occurred, the blood is coming from all the right places, running and dripping where you would expect, clotting as it should and matting the bear’s fur as it would. It’s pretty gross to be honest, but it’s meant to be. Considering the other injuries the bear may have (as they vary with each hand made bear) they too are graphic! My bear for example is a ‘Tongue Dangler,’ his bottom jaw has been ripped off, no doubt by some other psychotic teddy bear, as a result his tongue is hanging out of his jaw…
As you can see, its a pretty horrific injury, but look a little closer, look at the tongue, the detail and look are of flesh, although in reality it is a hard plastic tongue it has a proper look of moist meat.
The official line from Arai pretty much says it all…
Adventure, grand touring or off road, no matter the riding conditions, the Tour-X4 motorcycle helmet is ready for anything. The Tour-X4 has a complete new outer shell. Redesigned to be tougher, stronger and stiffer than ever. As the Tour-X4 may be used under extreme conditions, the ventilation system has been redeveloped for maximum efficiency. The new Facial Contour System (FCS) offers more support and comfort to the lower jaw and creates a tighter fit. For an even better personal fit, there is a removable 5 mm surface foam layer on the cheek pads and temple pad from the headliner. Wear the Tour-X4 with or without peak, with or without visor and combinations of these two. The large visor opening offers plenty of room for motocross-style goggles when riding without visor.
With the imminent (UK) release of the new Honda Africa Twin (CRF1000L) I thought it only fitting to throw together a little gallery to wet your appitite towards what is one of the most highly anticipated adventure style / dual sport motorcycles to be released in a decade.
As an owner of a 2002 RD07a Africa Twin I am excited, but will it be enough to draw me away from my excellent BMW F800 GSA Travel Edition? Who knows!
In the meantime and on the run up to release here is a little teaser…
2015 marks the second year of Air Waves, the rebranded Northern Ireland International Air Show. 2014 was an excellent year for this show with quality aircraft and outstanding displays so this year has a lot to live up to. With in my opinion even more pressure on its shoulders because of a rather disappointing airshow earlier this year in Newcastle, Co. Down.
So Airwaves 2015 can you do it?
Yes you can. Everything was in favour of the airshow this year most importantly the weather, over the weekend we experienced a little wind on the Saturday but it settled itself, Sunday started off a little wet and grey but as you will see from the gallery as the day went on, the weather also started to thankfully behave itself!
After a great Thursday night racing and the weather being exceptionally kind, Saturday rolled up. When I left the house it was glorious! So sunny it was almost hazy. I had to stop half way there to put my waterproofs on as it looked like it was going to chuck it down, and by the time I arrived although it hadn’t rained it looked like it was going to, big time! It was dark and there was some proper big ass black clouds floating menacingly over head. It did not take long for them to burst! And so began the theme for the day, sunny, windy, cloudy, raining, heavy ass raining, sunny, warm, windy, cloudy… and repeat!
The first race of the day had to be cancelled after a couple of restarts but from about 1.30 -2.00PM we did get some more continuous according to plan racing, it even looked like, for a short while, that the road closure contingencies would be used to get the final race in however as the winds had picked up again the riders and management decided against that.
So all in all it was a great days racing and thankfully, ultimately no one was fatally injured. A rider was critically injured as was a spectator when a bike left the track and hit her in a garden, a tragic freak accident, however thankfully and mercifully all involved and injured people are now well on the mend, and all are expected to make a full recovery.
With Thursday now being the 1st Official Race Night of the NW200 I am happy to bring you the official results and the a nice photo gallery of some of the action from the Juniper Hill Chicane near Portstewart. This is a decent vantage point for taking some decent photographs as the bikes are well slowed down for reaching the chicane, something the riders aren’t to fond off! Guy Martin for example started a bit of controversy for being ‘Bored to the back teeth!’
Unfortunately tonight we only got two of the three races completed, a red flag halted the 3rd race, thankfully no one was injured badly, however following consultation with the riders a low evening sun (as pictured), and time constraints meant the third and final race could not be run and was postponed until Saturday’s racing.