Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas..

Well it is Christmas eve here in the land of the long white cloud, in just a few hours Christmas day will be upon us.  

I made fudge for you all......but I ate it before I could post it.

So this short blog is just to say I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, and some special times with your loved ones....because that is what is important....not the fudge!

So all the best my lovelies!


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Observer Test

A couple of weeks ago I completed the last of the requirements for me to move ahead and sit the observer test.  Morne has proven to be an excellent teacher and was brilliant  to work with. I had set myself a goal to complete the Observer training and do the test before Christmas.  December 17th was to be the day.

I organised to set the test with Phillip  yesterday at 4:00.   Work suddenly decided to  get busy the week before christmas  which required a four Am start.  I was determined not to cancel my test appointment though.

We actually started a little bit later than that.  First part was to complete the theory questions on Road-craft as well as the New Zealand road code.  I was pleased to get past this point with 100% right.

Next an associate from the club arrived and he was to be my test victim.   Ian, who rides a very cool 800 tiger is a great bloke, a very smooth and accomplished open road rider I knew I would have my work cut out keeping tabs on him.  This part of the ride was about 45 mins and and then a debrief on the side of the road. To be fair to Ian he didn't do much wrong but I managed t scrape up a few things for him to look at.

Then it was my turn to be "Re-Checked" ensure I am still riding to a high standard.

With that complete and some more roadside discussions I was delighted to be informed that I had passed, and had officially become an observer.  I actually don't think I rode my best, in fact I  know I can and have ridden better. Still I was very pleased to have passed.

It has been 18 months from when I went on my first Observed ride with Phillip.  There has been many ups and a few downs.  A few times I had wanted to give up.  But I do believe that what we learn,  and now teach, saves lives.   The skills learnt are a necessity to stay alive on our roads.  It is great to feel that finally I am able to put some thing back into a sport and hobbie I so love.

Through all this I become a better rider, but even better than that, I actually enjoy my riding so much more. I now feel like I control the bike.  I am where I want to be on the road..and better still I have reasons for being there.  I have learnt restraint, patience, understanding of motorcycle control...the list is endless.

Phillip, Morne, Simon have all played a big part in helping through this journey. To the two coolest kids in the world, for letting me "abandon" them while I went t out training.    Geoff, Andy, Richard, and Bruce have been great friends, believing in me when I didn't believe in myself.  Encouraging me every step of the way and riding the waves of self doubt that came with it.   I am very very grateful to all of these people and others who I have not mentioned for there time.  I look forward now to paying it forward.

I still believe I have a lot of skills to learn and sharpen up on, so time now to consolidate where I am at. Then it will be time to set new goals and continue to challenge myself.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In Shape...

I have never been the fittest of people, there have been lucid moments of physical activity and where weight loss has come easy...Although I had to get divorced for that to happen.

So I thought to myself that since I am heading to the states at christmas and would like to explore the taste of "BBQ"..that I should at least make some attempt at dropping a few pounds.  So I took myself off to "my" gym.  You know, the place I have been a member of for the last 8 years and been to  twice.  (Once was Christmas day..and unbelievably it was closed)

Thankfully the car park is close to the front door so I am not completely buggered before I actually get in. Of course once inside I can feel the nausea starting as I peruse the mass of hot sweaty, and in most cases great bodies.  You see, I am the before photo..I am the inspiration that keeps all the other gym goers working so hard.   As I walk pass one of the trainers I casually mention if they know where the defibrillator is, just in case the 19 year old cheer leader that walked in the same time as me requires it.

This is where I start coming up with the excuses.  I mean if some one says the inevitable "we haven't seen you for a while", I need to be prepared with an excuse.  Of course theses excuses can vary from the sublime to the unbelievable.  My favorite of course is that I have been on work transfer to the forests of  Borneo and was unable to join the local gym due to it''s "Anti chubby white guy "policy.  I also consider that my unofficial job as "Vodka Reviewer" can have a detrimental effect on my physique, although from experience this particular excuse is met with disdain.

Once in the gym I am all ready sweating, not from actually doing anything but from knowing that I am about to torture myself.  The treadmill is my tool for warm up, but often my heart rate is all ready above 95 the time I get to it and I consider that the walk alone is adequate.   (Actually playing Sudoku on my IPAD can see my heart rate above 110) After all I don't want to be completely exhausted before I try the circuit.  I have  splashed water on my face before leaving the mens room as this gives gives me that sweaty look...( I also find standing in the means steam room fully clothed has the same desired effect).

And then there is the circuit, thoughtfully invented by a  torture specialist during the middle ages.  Here I am put through a series of tortures especially designed to ensure I never walk like a normal human being again and that when I try to drink my afternoon vodka that I spill most of it  from muscle spasms and shaking hand syndrome.

After all the torture is complete I crawl awkwardly back to the changing room, where I slip into the handicapped shower as I find this is a great place to shower while lying down.

As I leave I am disillusioned to discover that I am actually a kilo heavier than what I was when I walked in. Oh well, I can only hope next months work out has a better result....