Wheel alignment

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Still busy times.......

After the huge variety of activities listed in the last post, the level of commitments haven't really slackened off at all.  The weekend before last was spent in Auckland teaching Roadcraft Observer theory and behavioural requirements to a new bunch of IAM Trainee Observers.  Most trainees feel overwhelmed by not only having to ride to a high standard but whilst doing so, observing a new Associate for improvement opportunities, what they do well and remembering everything in order to discuss how their ride went at the debrief!  In practice, a fully-qualified Observer is always present on the training rides to hand-hold so it's not (quite) as traumatic as first thought.  When asked what makes a good Observer,  the answers always focus on technical competence and prompting is needed to draw out the interpersonal stuff.  We all know from our personal experience in business that technical aspects of a job are usually fairly straightforward.  However, if anything is going to cause work to turn to custard, it's almost always people-related problems and their behaviours.  Fair comment?

A mix of people and technical skills make a good Observer

In an informal moment, one of the presenting Observers made an interesting comment about the bikes which were ridden to the course (see the photos below).  It's a bit of a generalisation but further south in NZ, IAM members seem to favour adventure-oriented bikes, even if they do spend most of their time on tar seal.  The words "Bavarian Tractors" were only bandied about in a light-hearted manner, honestly!   The further north you go, there seems to be a wider mix of bike types and certainly more with a sport-oriented bent.  We drew no conclusions from this, principally because we northern types didn't want to be labelled a bunch of Rossi wannabes!

A good mix of bike types on the course

Not an adventure bike in sight in this photo!

A few days later, we collected our new boat from the dealer.  Really impressed with the quality of both the boat and trailer but a few days were needed to fit it out with odds and ends ready for fishing and towing the grandkids on a biscuit in due course.  Along with the new boat came a marine VHF radio which meant that I had to sit a marine radio operator examination.  Sudden panic as I'd been pretty lax about studying and had worries about my 70 year old brain retaining anything.  A bit of solid cramming for a couple of days, sat the exam and mercifully achieved the 100% needed to pass - PHEW!

With that out of the way and with the tides and weather looking favourable, it was time to get serious about putting it in the tide for the first time - not for fishing but simply to get used to everything and how it handled.  Still waiting for the computer-cut radio-call sign lettering and boat name to arrive, but that can wait.  Meet "So-fish-ticated", the name chosen by our daughter!

Stabicraft 1410 Fisher, ready to hook up to the 4x4

Christening it at the end of our street

Jennie skippering it round some of the many islands just off the coast, in flat conditions

Very impressed with the 3 cylinder, 4 stroke injected Yamaha engine. Extremely quiet and bags of torque.  With the light alloy construction, the boat leaps onto the plane almost instantly and can apparently reach 50 km/hr, not that we were interested in trying it out first time up.  Got to watch the deceleration though.  It stops equally quickly if one is a bit quick off the throttle and could lead to bodies and gear flying about!

Leaving one of the island bays and not a soul in sight

Taken by a mate who was fishing in one of the mussel farms

Naming now done!

Next outing will be fishing for real.......... at least from one side of the boat :-) .

Back to motorcycling, it was mentioned in the previous post that at the recent IAM conference, an ex-military paramedic with a passion for motorcycles gave a talk and demo about accident management with an emphasis on motorcycles.  Apart from all the other great aspects of his talk, he mentioned a product called Celox which is hemostatic, i.e. stops bleeding fast. Extensively used by the military in conflict situations, granules can be poured into an open wound or there's a range of dressings and pads which have been impregnated with the special granules and can stop bleeding from an open wound.

I always carry a modest first aid kit on the bike and it has now been supplemented with Celox gauze pads which are easy to use and very effective.  It's the sort of item you hope never to use but in a situation where there is significant blood loss, it might just save someone's life.  Got it in the car too.  Here's the item we bought and Celox products are available pretty much everywhere in the world:

Celox gauze pads

No rest for the wicked - being invaded by the kids and grandkids for Easter weekend, a 1400 km round trip to Wellington the following weekend in the car to visit old friends, then hopefully back to adventures on 2 wheels.



  1. Great looking boat it looks like a lot of fun. You live in such a great spot, you could go riding in the morning and then boating in the afternoon.

    I can see a few tractors and a bus in that first pic....

    1. Hi Steve, Thanks, you'll be happy that I saw the light and bought a Yamaha! Yeah, I could fill up the day quite nicely with fishing and riding if it wasn't for filleting and washing the boat when we get home. Jennie won't do either of those jobs :-( . Yep, one GS and a Crosstourer. The rest are a bit more sporting. The Busa owner really knows how to make it sing!

  2. Bloody hell, Geoff, you put me to shame with all that tearing around.....

    1. Hahaha - don't think so Dave! Would like to take it a bit easier but it's a busy time of the year. Hey, every good wish for the ride mate and I'll be keen to hear how it's going. So will John White!

  3. So-fish-ticated! Awesome name choice. Your daughter was a little bit genius there - did she get there smarts from you or Jennie?

    I wonder if the choice of rides from the north and south has anything to do with road availability or road quality? Better roads to the north equate a more sporty ride and more gravel further south begs for more off-road capabilities? I know, there I go being all logical again.......

    1. Hi Brandy!
      Hahaha, you've really put me on the spot :-) . I'd have to say that Jennie is,the really smart one so there's your answer!

      No doubt Andrew will be here to stir things up shortly but your impeccable logic does have some bearing! The south island in particular has some wonderful dirt roads. So does the north but maybe not as many. The only worry I have is how many of them actually go off road to any extent? Maybe all those dirty Bavarian Tractors on the roads just don't get washed for sheer pose value! Let the stirring begin!!😁

    2. Re road conditions vs bike choice - I reckon the North Island in general has worse (think East Cape Geoff) sealed roads than the South. South Island gravel is also superior as in some places the gravel roads are well travelled so tend to be wider and smoother.

      Perhaps the riders from the South of the North Island just have more sense than those up North near that big parking lot called Auckland ;)

    3. Well Andrew, the Waikato has wonderful back roads which are good for both adventure and sports bikes. It's just that I'd look a proper muppet in my silver and black leathers on a BMW or Yamaha tractor ;-)

    4. Have to agree with Trobairitz ... the boat name was genius.

    5. Thanks Karen! The name clearly doesn't refer to me so it will forever be known as "Jennies's and Victoria's boat" with me merely being the unpaid hand who fillets the fish and occasionally gets to drive it. Will post up a pic when we put the name on it in the near future.

  4. Nice Yamaha, shame about the number of wheels...

    Everyone needs an Adv bike...

    1. I'll paint a couple of wheels on the bottom of the hull :-P

  5. Love the boat. Excellent name choice by the way, and I am sure Jennie will see to it that it serves its purpose to the max. Happy Easter to you and your family, Geoff.

    1. Thanks Sonja! I'm sure you're absolutely right..... It would be embarrassing to keep count of who catches the most :-( . Same to you and Roland!

  6. I chuckled at 'bedside manner', not something I'd associate with motorcycling, demeanor maybe, perhaps empathy, roadside manner, or bike side manner? Now you're going to think of me every time you write that on the board, you're welcome. ;)
    More adventure bikes on the South Island, does that mean they have more Starbucks too? I kid, I kid.
    I certainly like Jennie's new boat, a nice, modest, small craft, not the water displacing behemoths in the reservoirs around here. The name is spot-on, brilliant! That solitary bay is my new favorite spot.
    Thanks for the tip on the Celox, I'll look for it around here as I carry a small first aid kit; I really need more of a trauma kit and hope I never need it.

    1. Hi Brad,
      I guess that it depends who the Trainee Observer who suggested it was thinking of in the bed :-) . I shall indeed think of you and curse you every time, haha! Yeah, the lower north island and south island adventure types are a bunch of softies (snigger) but even they'd draw a line avoiding Starbucks, not that we have many of them.

      Thanks, it's an easy to handle boat just for the two of us and on the first outing, was using about 5.3 litres/hour which is fantastically economical. Seeing as our favourite fishing spot is only 10 minutes from the launch site, we're not going to go broke! Yep, sounds like we both carry a smallish first aid kit and like you, Celox should be pretty handy for trauma. You can cut those pads up too.


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