Wheel alignment

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Cabin fever!

I haven't ridden the Triple for nearly 3 weeks and I'm like a bear with a sore head and a bit stressed too!  It's winter Down Under and although it doesn't get particularly cold where we live, boy - we've had some rain. Today, this is all we can see of Coromandel Harbour from our deck..... it's early afternoon, dark as heck and liquid sunshine is falling like there's no tomorrow.  Of course, it doesn't help that a lot of our overseas blogging mates are all together currently enjoying great weather at the moto-blogging convention in Oregon.  I wish.....

Rain, rain......go away

It hasn't just been the weather which has put paid to riding recently.  Jennie and I are volunteer tutors for SeniorNet, a nationwide voluntary organisation which provides support for senior citizens wanting to learn about computers or needing tuition in particular computer topics.  The workload has been pretty heavy for a while now and as we've been doing it for the last 4 years, it might be getting close to the time when someone else in our region has to step up.  Immensely rewarding but there are only so many hours in the day.....

All this non-riding activity has added to stress levels as next weekend, there's a 2 day intensive Institute of Advanced Motorists training camp for trainee instructors (Observers).  It's a mixture of theory and practical riding under the eagle eyes of some of the very best riders anywhere - IAM Examiners and experienced IAM Observers. I feel extremely rusty and way below the top of my game which is a real worry.  Just going to have to bite the bullet and get out in the atrocious weather for some practice if  conditions don't improve.  As mentioned in previous posts, there is never any compromise in IAM standards.  Having battled so hard and for so long to meet the membership standards, none of us would have it any other way but sure is a worry when you feel out of sorts.  Fellow mate and blogger Rogey is on the course too so I dare say that there will be a public report in the next couple of weeks!

Anyway, enough of the grizzling!  There was a break in the weather yesterday so Jennie and I drove down the coast road in her sports car with the top down (and heater on to generate a hot air cocoon, haha). It's a good time for planting so we visited a specialist garden centre down the coast.  I'm a great fan of bromeliads which grow well in our garden with varieties for both deep shade and full sun.  The colourful leaves are really attractive and some have flowers which look like they're an alien mutation! All of them grow "pups" which you simply cut off and plant elsewhere.

For fellow bloggers who are keen on gardening, here's what we bought......

Alcantarea Vinicolour - grows to nearly 800mm high and across with crimson leaves.  Currently about half that size.

Viresia Dark Knight.  Has really attractive leaves and grows to about 800mm.

Guzmania Lingulata.  Grows to about 500mm and centre leaves turn bright scarlet.

And I've saved the weirdest for last!  This is Aechmea Blue Rain.  It has plain green leaves but throws out a crimson near-metre-long flower stalk with the most intense blue profusion of flowers.  This is a close-up of the top of the flower stalk.

After the buying spree, we stopped off at a waterside cafe for lunch.  I had grilled Portobello mushrooms topped with blue cheese and served with a spinach and chilli salad.  Jennie had creamy button mushrooms served with bacon and a mixed salad - simply wonderful.  No photos as our moto-blogging mates from the Americas photograph food so much better!  I'll just settle for a shot of the C.E.O reading magazines on the verandah of the cafe whilst waiting for lunch!

Blissfully unaware......

Addendum:  Bugger!  After 260mm of rain in the last 48 hours, our village is cut off from the rest of the world with landslips.  Wonder how long it's going to take to clear them???


  1. As much as I hate heading off for a ride in the rain, if it rains when I'm out and I'm in the right state of mind I can ride for hours and still be quite happy being out riding. However, strong winds will bring me home, I hate em!

    1. Jules,
      Yeah, it's starting off in the rain without dialing in first which is a pain. Often used to commute 200 k's in bad weather on aFriday night to thr place we live in now

  2. I feel your pain Geoff, hard not to really when stuck inside all day. I suppose we can not grip to much, at least as soon as the sun comes out and can go for a ride....if not a chilly one.

    I am looking forward to next weekend but like you feel a bit rusty as well. Maybe a quick blat around the loop about four in the morning before would get us tuned.

    1. Rog,
      I'll be in Hastings on Thurs and Fri so it looks like a ride in the rain in the next couple of days is a racing certainty! Weekend forecast looks good though.

  3. Your weather looks like its been as bad as ours. We did have some good days during the week but I had to work unfortunately.

    I know exactly what you mean when you haven't been out on the bike for a while. It doesn't take long to get rusty.

    1. Steve,
      Yeah, when it was nice, I had other commitments too. I think I'll be doing a running commentary to myself to dial in again first time out.

  4. Geoff,

    Our winters are very similar to yours rain and more rain, unfortunately though they get cold. Good luck on your IAMS course, I am sure a few days in the saddle will help. You will do great!

    The plants look lovely, how do the flowers smell? Sometimes weird looking plants can be stinky & not sweet.

    1. Thanks Dar, a bit apprehensive but that's better than being too confident. I'm not sure that bromeliads smell at all! However, we have orchids in the garden which smell wonderful on still evenings.

  5. Hey, isnt part of the IAM being experienced?? ;)

    I can understand not wanting to leave the house in the rain, but on the positive side, you are putting you rain fear on in the dry garage instead of in the rain under a tree or awning. That has to mean something, right? Hehe

    Love the flowers. Good luck getting out and clearing the cobwebs.

    1. Hi Lori,

      Hahaha! Actually, being an experienced rider simply means you've been riding for a long time and in all likelihood, repeat the same mistakes. An advanced rider is something rather different and currently, I think I'm falling into the former category rather than the latter!

      Definitely an advantage to kit up in the dry, I'll give you that!


  6. I LOVE bromeliads, too! The Dark Knight is exquisite. And the Blue Rain! Outrageous! Beautiful! I used to have a very small bromeliad that was truly black and silver. Sadly, it didn't survive me.

    I can't imagine a winter where you can actually plant things outside. Lunch sounds great. What's a "chili salad"?

  7. Hi Martha,
    Good to hear of another enthusiast! We've probably got 50-odd broms of different types planted in the garden and one fairly exotic one in a pot and we're waiting for it to pup, then try the pup directly in the garden. We only get the odd slight ground frost in winter so they do well outside.

    The salad was finely shredded young spinach leaves mixed with finely sliced chilli rings. The chillies were spicy but not mouth-blisteringly hot. The mix was tossed with a honey dressing. Just divine with the thick, juicy grilled mushrooms!

  8. Winter is planting time, eh? Rain? Get it over with, remove the cobwebs from the rain gear and off you go? I can very much relate to the cabin fever, I thought the rainy season would never end, and so it seems. We just came back from Oregon, and once we hit the Canadian border again... guess what happened...

    I remember the smell of your garden. I hope I will see the lovely bromeliads one day.

    1. Hiya mate!
      Tomorrow with any luck if they clear the landslips in time!

      Are you sure it was the garden? Maybe I hadn't showered for a few days :-).

      It was lovely seeing you, Roland and the crew on some of the other blog sites - made it hard sitting indoors listening to the rain! Look forward to your report and photos.

  9. I didn't realize that your weather was so poor right now and then to add landslides into the mix.......

    On a side note the bromeliads look so interesting. Wish it was tropical enough to grow them here. I don't think they could handle our winters.

    Hope you are out and riding soon.

  10. Hi Brandy,
    July is our wettest month but world-wide, we seem to get more extremes these days!

    People who live in colder climates still grow Bromeliads. They grow just fine in pots so they can be outside in the summer and indoors or in a sheltered spot in the winter.

    Thank you - haven't been able to get out for a practice ride before the IAM pressure cooker course this coming weekend but the forecast is good!


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