Monday, December 22, 2008

My Bike

I went to check out the Virago again and made a deal to buy it! Very soon the XV250V 2006 will be mine in Raven Black. As the money will take a few days to clear I will have it delivered at the start of the New Year. Then I have to think as registration (as it is unregistered) and insurance.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Introduction to Motorcycling Course

I rode my first motorcycle today and it was absolutely brilliant!!! It was in the Introduction to Motorcycling course. It was a 7:45am start with over 4 hours in total, three of them spent on them n a Yamaha 225cc Scorpio. I was very wobbly at first, which made me think that I will never be able to ride, but then suddenly something clicked into place and I was doing the right things – he right amount of throttle, break, I was looking up, my knees were to the bike, etc. I was zooming around the track (or what felt like zooming, I was still of first gear!!) feeling one with the bike (it sounds corny, I know). It was SO cool! The car felt boring afterwords.
Two people dropped out of the course of the course, leaving 3 of us left in total. We were told we had done ¾ of the pre-learners prac stuff. Knowing that I felt better, especially after Helen’s tales of dropping her bike and getting through with a scooter license. I am hoping that won’t happen to me, but I think I will be okay… I happy not dropping the course on the first course.

Total ride time: 3 hours
Total km: about 1 km
Cost of 4 hour course: $90

On and I sat on a very lovely Virago that was for sale. Not sure if I will get it, but it felt so right and lovely to be on, so much nicer than the Scorpion on the course.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Toy Run in the Sunday Mercury

The Sunday Mercury had a little bit about the Toy Run today.

And from their online service...

December 07, 2008 12:00am

A dedicated band of volunteers is setting up a Christmas workshop Santa and his elves would be proud of.

THEY may not always wear red robes or have flowing, grey beards but a dedicated band of volunteers is setting up a Christmas workshop Santa and his elves would be proud of.

For 11 months of the year, the Salvation Army uses its large hall in Moonah as a community meeting place.

But in December, the hall is transformed by 20 volunteers and a full-time co-ordinator into a huge distribution centre for goods collected in the state's Christmas appeals, including the Motorcycle Riders Association's Toy Run.

Salvation Army divisional public relations officer Stuart Foster said more than 9000 children's gifts, 700 gifts for adults and tonnes of food would arrive at the centre for processing.

"It is a huge logistical exercise," he said.

"I don't think people realise how big the task is and how much work it takes to collect and distribute donations gathered through the state's Christmas appeals."

In addition to the volunteers at the centre, up to a dozen others worked as drivers to pick up donations.

"Budget (car hire) gives us a van for December and it operates to a daily running sheet," Mr Foster said.

"We also have other vans and trucks in operation and staff and volunteers in the North and North-West."

At the annual MRA Toy Run, held in Hobart yesterday, the Salvos filled two 2-tonne trucks as well as two vans.

"The amount of donations are so large, we are never able to count each gift as it arrives at the distribution centre," he said.

"All cash donations are audited."

After gifts arrive at the distribution centre, they are unwrapped, sorted into age and sex categories and then laid out as if in a retail store.

"Towards, the end of December, the centre opens for a week so clients registered for assistance can come in and select one main gift and one small gift for each child," he said.

Mr Foster said other agencies also brought clients to the centre.

"While we assume responsibility for the distribution of the MRA Toy Run, the Kmart Wishing Tree and some of the proceeds from the ABC Giving Tree, the donations are split with other services who then distribute them," Mr Foster said.

In addition to collecting and distributing Christmas donations, Salvation Army staff also register clients seeking assistance.

Most charities in Tasmania have a one-agency policy, meaning clients register with just one agency for assistance.

Mr Foster said people needing assistance from the state's Christmas appeals were found in a variety of ways.

Some register with agencies, some are referred by other organisations or schools and some are identified by case workers, he said.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

29th Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run

I had seen a few Toy Runs in the past, but not on purpose, more of catching them as I was on my way somewhere. I always was excited seeing the thousands of bikes passing by, hoping that one day that I would be part of their number rather than a spectator.

Today I made a conscious effort to see the Toy Run, to see the bikes coming all the way from the Derwent Entertainment Centre heading into the city; Sarah came with me. We stopped near the turn off to Moonah, along the Brooker Highway and quickly found a good viewpoint amongst so many others. It was only a few minutes before the first bikes came down the road, which had now been closed by the Police, when dark clouds came over and the rain came down heavily. It didn’t matter at all, when the roar of the bikes came through, and standing on street level, it was amazing!!! There were three lanes of bikes, with usually two bikes in each lane, thundering down the highway. Horns were used happily, bikers waved, you could see their grins even under their helmets.

The rumble, the noise, the smell, it just made my heart race and adrenaline rush. Seeing about 5000 bikes would do that. It was a fantastic hour of bikes and recommend anyone see it if they love motorcycles. Sarah liked afternoon too, and she isn’t that keen on them normally. ☺

Driving home, still high from the buzz, I just thought to myself, wouldn’t it be brilliant to be part of the 30th Toy Run next year? I am going to try.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I have received the documentation for the course today, filled it out and posted it off. I am a little worried about the medical section… I hope they won’t stop me going on the course…

Monday, November 24, 2008

It’s booked!

I have made a booking for the Introduction to Motorcycling course with DECA for the 21st December, 2008. I am very excited, and nervous at the same time. I found about this course through a friend of mine, Keith. He had done it and found it rather good, and I thought it would be good to have as many hours of riding behind me before I do the Pre-Learners.

And so it begins...

I have been thinking about getting a motorcycle for a while, because of the shear fun factor, they look great, and also the economy side of thing. With petrol at $1.65 per litre recently it is extra encouragement! A Masters student of mine, Budi, said to me at the start of the year after talking an hour about his bikes, “Don’t dream, just go out and do it!” Budi, thanks for your encouragement!
Other people I need to thank is Mike M from Otago… Your shear passion for riding was just catching, and I enjoyed when you took me on pillion. …Anton, another colleague and friend from Otago, I still remember your bike in bits in the kitchen! I love listening to you and Mike chatting about bikes, over beers in the Staff Club, wishing I could join in.

I am sure on this journey I will have to thank others too, but I will when the time comes.

So here is the start of my journey of getting two wheels.