Iron Butt Association Ireland 2019 Photo Rally : Going Underground

Iron Butt Association Ireland 2019 Photo Rally :

Iron Butt Association Ireland 2019 Photo Rally
Iron Butt Association Ireland 2019 Photo Rally

You Still Have Time to Enter the 2020 Event :

I know the 2020 IBA Ireland Photo Rally is already, sort of, underway however with the current travel restrictions in place it is likely that most entrants and would be / will be participants haven’t got too far into the competition, yet.

However that is all about to change because as of 29th June 2020 Ireland will enter Phase 3 of it’s Coronavirus Recovery schedule and as such all travel restrictions within the island of Ireland will be lifted, enabling the 2020 IBA Ireland Photo Rally to get well and truly underway.

Entries are being accepted for the 2020 until 31st July 2020 – so you still have time : https://www.ibaireland.org/wolfhoundrally?fbclid=IwAR2zuxax_RrGMQZfALzd4WWd3Dqh3H-lUKxm_15izGIlEP9aF_NueqtSvA8


2020 Coronavirus Restrictions : Ireland & Northern Ireland :

You can check any restrictions currently in place in the Republic of Ireland here : https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d06271-easing-the-covid-19-restrictions-on-29-june-phase-3/#transport-and-travel

Northern Ireland Restrictions can be found here : https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-and-what-they-mean-you


I have previously posted the 2019 IBA Ireland Photo Rally Slideshow in the Motorcycling Section of the site but in case you missed it I am mentioning it again.

So if you are undecided and in order to wet your appetite have a look at where the 2019 Iron Butt Association Ireland Photo Rally would have taken you…

Read moreIron Butt Association Ireland 2019 Photo Rally : Going Underground

2019 Cookstown 100 Photos (Race Day)

Derek McGee looking for another win at the 2019 Cookstown 100
Derek McGee looking for another win at the 2019 Cookstown 100

The 2019 Cookstown 100 was a cracking’ event, even though the weather didn’t play nice.

Next up is the 2019 Tandragee 100 – practice and qualifying starts tomorrow – followed by Race Day on Saturday (04/05/2019).

So to wet your appetite and have a quick look back at last week, here are a few images from the 2019 Cookstown 100.  (Apologies – the quality could be better but due to other commitments I was restricted to just using my camera phone .

See you in Tandragee!

The full results of the 2019 Cookstown 100 can be found here :

2019 Cookstown 100 Friday Results : 26/04/2019

2019 Cookstown 100 Results

Read more2019 Cookstown 100 Photos (Race Day)

Download All Your Photobucket Images / Galleries (Mac Solution)

If like me Photobucket (I won’t even link to the trash) has shafted you by deciding to effectively take ownership of your photographs and content – and break who knows how many of your internet links, whether they be on social media, blogs, albums from yesteryear – we are running out of time until their next shafting!

It is a long story behind this saga but it can basically be summed up as follows – of course this is just my opinion – but here goes…

The Photobucket Story So Far:

  1.  Photobucket Got Greedy.
  2. Photobucket froze millions of users out of their accounts – then decided to charge extortionate prices to let people back in.  In the region of $400 a year to be a Premium member!  Or if you didn’t want to be Premium you could pay $99 / year to be ‘allowed’ to link to your own photos elsewhere – such as on this blog!  The result was the internet became flooded with this image :

    Photobucket held the internet to ransom in 2017 - 2019
    Photobucket held the internet to ransom in 2017 – 2019
  3. The internet obviously reacted with fury as billions of images had just been effectively deleted.  Well established forums lost years of valuable photos and posts – imagine a Tutorial on a car site with no photos – that is the reality!  Only that car site with the tutorial – was actually millions of sites and millions of tutorials, threads, content that could never be replaced.  Original Posters (OPs) abandoned threads, abandoned writing content, it was a disaster for many really decent sites – all Photobuckets fault.
  4. Photobucket reacted – they allowed the ‘hotlinking’ of images again – and the internet got its content back – but honestly the damage was done.  There was a caveat though – the images were only back temporarily.  The Photobucket fat cats decided to give users a ‘grace period’ to get their accounts in order and more importantly pay up!

    Photobucket Price Plans 2019
    Photobucket Price Plans 2019
  5. If you didn’t pay up you went to a free account – which they claim to be approximately 250 images.

To be fair – at those prices I would have paid.  But the disgraceful, underhanded behaviour displayed by Photobucket means I never will!

Read moreDownload All Your Photobucket Images / Galleries (Mac Solution)

Casio G-Shock Gorillaz Collaboration : Released November / December 2018 :

Casio G-Shock X Gorillaz
Casio G-Shock X Gorillaz

2018 marks the 35th anniversary of Casio G-Shock and one of the final releases of a year full to bursting of collaborations – is the G-Shock Gorillaz Collab.

Consisting of 4 watches, (one of each member of the virtual group) we are brought 3 DW5600 variants and one GX56 ‘KING’.  This Collab was highly advertised on social media for many months prior to its release and the result was a set of watches in huge demand that was highly limited in numbers.

The official press releases consistently refer to only ‘1000 pieces’ but there is some confusion as to whether this is 1000 pieces of each watch, or 250 of each giving a total number of pieces to 1000.  I remember the Casio website referenceing 250 of each variant, but the pages have since been removed in relation to the individual models.

I have reached out to Casio for clarification but as yet their Support people have not answered my rather simple question…

With so much publicity and so few pieces the result was, basically chaos.

The Casio website was brought to its knees almost instantly.  The lucky few got their orders placed and confirmed – the release was done in two parts 15/11/2018 for the Murdoc and 2-D variants and 15/12/2018 for the Noodle and Russel Hobbs and preorders were initially available on 15/11/2018 for phase 2.

Casio G-Shock X Gorillaz
Casio G-Shock X Gorillaz

Then Armageddon – the website collapsed and no more orders / preorders were accepted.  Casio promised an online option for phase 2, this never materialised and the only option for the Noodle and Russel Hobbs variants in the UK were in store in London.  Only London.

I was one of the lucky few managing to secure both releases online, and both have now been delivered.

Forgetting about the absolute carnage that was the release, everything else is positive.  The quality is good, the printing on the bands seems long lasting and hard wearing.  The rear plates of the watch are beautifully engraved with the silhouettes of the band members and the watch faces themselves are discreet enough without being understanded and not gaudy enough to be ‘in your face.’  A genuinely good design that when initially revealed seemed a bit ‘meh’ – like ‘is that it?  Surely you could have done more?’  The designs work well and do need to be seen in the flesh to be truly appreciated.

Overall – a really nice collaboration, that was so well marketed it is easily one of the most sought after collections I have seen in a number of years.  It did break the Casio website after all!  IF you are lucky enough to have the set – well done you, if not act fast as I reckon it will only get more desirable!

Read moreCasio G-Shock Gorillaz Collaboration : Released November / December 2018 :

Flickr Goes Premium – Another image hosting upheaval on route.

Flickr Goes Premium
Flickr Goes Premium

UPDATE : 05/12/2018 : I have managed to bring my image count to under 1000 on the Flickr platform.  That should mean the rest of the galleries are safe, however I will be moving them all off Flickr.  Their unbelievable greed has made them a non-entity of a platform to me.  Good luck to all who continue to use it, but honestly there are alternatives!

Flickr 1000 image limit
Flickr 1000 image limit

First it was Photobucket – now Flickr has went down the pay to use model and has DOUBLED its prices from its previous Pro Option.

That puts it out of my price band – and means I need to find an alternative.

Remember this is not a commercial blog and is funded from my own pocket.

After a couple of days of testing and setting it up I believe I have got it so that I can link Google Photos Galleries into my posts.  Hopefully.  Please Google – stay blog friendly!  Please!

Read moreFlickr Goes Premium – Another image hosting upheaval on route.

Motorcycle Live 2018 : Birmingham NEC

Motorcycle Live 2018
Motorcycle Live 2018

Motorcycle Live 2018 ran this year from 17th – 25th November, so now that is over I can post up a few photographs along with my thoughts on the show and what I saw this year without having to issue a spoiler.

This year saw 4 halls filled with the current (and upcoming) offerings of 40 manufacturers along with a chance to test ride numerous machines both on the road and on the ever popular Adventure course where you can test on the most popular adventure bikes on a well thought indoor track.  It’s not taxing, not difficult at all, but it is fun.

The Live Arena was also present and what was previously a showcase for Arena Cross this year was taken over by Moto Cirque and what these guys can do on such a small stage really is spectacular.  If you get that the chance to see their show in full, take it.

Other than that it is all about the bikes and I have composed a gallery of over 100 photos for your viewing pleasure but first I am going to point out a few of my highlights…

Read moreMotorcycle Live 2018 : Birmingham NEC

Iron Butt Association Ireland : 2018 Photo Rally : A Bridge Too Far

Iron Butt Association:

Have you ever thought that you fancy trying something other than the usual Sunday run out on the bike, along the same route, with your head down and bum up?

If so have you ever considered long distance motorcycling?

That is what the Iron Butt Association is all about.  Safe, enjoyable long distance motorcycle riding that gets you out and about to places you probably haven’t seen before, or take routes or challenges that you probably had never even thought of before.

“The 60,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Although based in the United States, we have thousands of enthusiastic members throughout the globe! One of our more popular slogans is, “The World Is Our Playground.”

Check out out the IBA Website here : http://ironbutt.com

Check out the IBA Ireland Website here : https://www.ibaireland.org

Check out the IBA UK Website here : https://www.ironbutt.co.uk

IBA Ireland : 2018 Photo Rally : A Bridge Too Far IBA Ireland : 2018 Photo Rally : A Bridge Too Far

A Bridge Too Far :

Having been a member of the Iron Butt Association for a few years now I thought I would give their 2018 Photo Rally a go.

The info on their site sums it up pretty well :

Iron Butt Association Ireland Photo Rally 2018
Iron Butt Association Ireland Photo Rally 2018

The locations are spread all over the island of Ireland and the route between them amounts to many thousands of miles.

I’m sure you could plan a route and tackle every location across a few days (reducing the mileage), but personally I used my free time over the summer months and probably took about 5 or 6 individual day trips to gather up all the checkpoints.

Some of those days trips were very long.  For example my final trip took in the far west and south west of Ireland  coming from Northern Ireland that specific trip, which took in 4 bridges started at 7.00am and finished at 1.30am and consumed about 780 miles.

But long mileage is all part of the Iron Butt Challenge, so if you enjoy full days in the saddle, seeing parts of the country (world even) that you probably didn’t even know about Photo Rallies are a good way to go about it and there are plenty of them about.  Most motorcycle clubs, and the bigger Internet forums all offer Photo Rallies, so now that winter is here have a good look about and see what may take your fancy for the next year.

Read moreIron Butt Association Ireland : 2018 Photo Rally : A Bridge Too Far

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster : GWG-100-1AER : Unboxing & Review

G-Shock Mudmaster : GWG-100-1AER :

The Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Range is probably one of the most popular series of the G-Shock range at the moment.

There are three distinct variants of this ‘Master of G’ Series ;

  1.  Mudmaster GWG-1000
  2.  Mudmaster GG-1000
  3. Mudmaster GWG-100

The Mudmaster GWG-1000 :

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000

The Mudmaster GG-1000 :Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000

The Mudmaster GWG-100 :

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-100
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-100

So what’s the difference?  And what one is for you?

Read moreCasio G-Shock Mudmaster : GWG-100-1AER : Unboxing & Review

Seiko Black Series SRPC49J1 Unboxing – The ‘Ninja Turtle’

The Seiko Black Series
The Seiko Black Series

Seiko recently announced three new limited edition “Black Series” Prospex dive watches, which were released in the first quarter of 2018. 

These three Prospex watches take existing vintage designs and redo them in a modern and popular black scheme – a design idea that is unlikely to fail.  

Aggressive, legible, and handsome, the black dials, tan hour markers, and white & orange hands (done in Seiko’s Lumibrite) keep from messing up the original aesthetic of the pieces. 

Seiko state that the Black Series watches are inspired by night diving and are designed to achieve maximum legibility. 

With a reported (but unnumbered) sole batch of 300, these limited editions are sure to be much sought after by any Seiko collector.  Some have reported a mere 30 items were initially made available to the UK – that however I can not confirm.

Read moreSeiko Black Series SRPC49J1 Unboxing – The ‘Ninja Turtle’

29/05/2018 Isle of Man TT Practice / Qualifying Sessions Gallery

2018 Isle of Man TT Practice Session 29/05/2018 :

Another glorious day on the Isle of Man.  So it was off to the course to have a few runs round the Mountain Road before heading to a new vantage point to watch the evening’s qualifying / practice sessions.

The first thing I noticed was the iconic house that I knew as the ‘PokerStars House’ was now the ‘Honda House.’

Isle of Man TT Races – Honda House

Missing getting over the mountain in 2016 I watched the session from this park – it is a good viewing area if you ever visit.

If you look towards the house you will see lots of bikes parked up.  That’s because the Mountain section was closed due to a collision, unfortunately this year this was an all too common occurrence.

Read more29/05/2018 Isle of Man TT Practice / Qualifying Sessions Gallery