Friday 30 June 2017

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Back on the Road

My collar bone has got a lot better over the last week. Good enough for a  spin to Ayrshire on the CBF. Riding the Honda is a breeze. The little bike is light and manageable and has a relaxed riding position.  


Sunday 25 June 2017

In the News - America invents the Sausage Roll

There is outrage in Britain at the claim that the American grocery store chain, Trader Joe's, has invented a new food product. As their website says;

"Trader Joe’s…. takes this classic dog-meets-dough pairing to the next level: each uncured, all-beef dog is instead swaddled in a perfectly flaky-when-cooked puff pastry". Trader Joe's calls their new invention "the Puff Dog".

British people will recognise this as a sausage roll. Available in every bakers and very much a staple food here. The sausage roll became popular in this country during the Napoleonic Wars so over two hundred years before Trader Joe's "invented" it.

My good lady works in the town of Kilmarnock and once told me that that she saw a baby in a pram there eating a Gregg's sausage roll by holding it above itself supporting the roll with its hands and feet!

Thursday 22 June 2017

In the News - School Skirt Protest

The UK has been enjoying a spell of warm weather recently. This prompted boy pupils at a school in Exeter to ask if they could wear shorts rather than the regulation long trousers. When their request was denied thirty of them wore the only other approved option - plaid skirts.

SV Accident Damage Repairs

I should probably be resting my shoulder allowing my collar bone to heal but I can't resist starting the repairs on my SV.

The damage isn't extensive. I managed to hold the bike upright until we were going quite slowly.

There are a number of areas of light scraping like here on the grabrail.

A handy tool for this kind of work is a power file

Buffed down

I prime the bare steel. This will prevent corrosion and the paint fills any remaining scrapes

The final result. I did this to the engine bars and bar end weights

The next thing I looked at was a sagging footpeg

The mounting plate had bent (right). Why do I have a spare? By luck an extra one came with the bike. The previous owner, my friend Malcolm, had thought about lowering the pegs and bought this to use but never got round to it.

The screen was scuffed....

....I just sprayed it matt black. It would be cheap to replace but since it's a dark tint and you don't look through it I gave this a try. This may not stay on.

This is where things get interesting. The rear brake pads have anti-squeal shims. The inner one was damaged but when I removed the caliper I noticed deep gouges in the inner pad. I guessed that this must have been where the strap (and buckle?) from the rug were dragged into the caliper. I replaced the pads but something wasn't right. The wheel was sticking at a part of its revolution. I was going to set up a dial gauge to check the disc but instead I ran the bike in gear and applied the brake. The caliper shook from side to side!

I removed the wheel & spun it on a stand. The disc had a run out of about 3mm! Whatever was dragged into the caliper created enough force to bend the disc. No wonder I heard a bang when the bike locked up. (Removing the wheel caused a bit of pain so I stopped work here)

I needed a new master cylinder cover and brake lever. I got this unit from eBay.

That's all for now. There are some other issues but I'll deal with them later.

Saturday 17 June 2017

Getting Out and About (In the Countryside)

As I've said I find that walking makes me feel better during my convalescence. My good lady and her friend were going for a short horse ride today so I went along. I had a pleasant stroll in the countryside but became aware that horses are much better that people at covering the ground.

Gwen & Fritz, Tina & Cally. The wee fellow has uveitis - a condition where his eyes are affected by sunlight. The mask is his sunglasses.  

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Getting Out and About

The worst thing about being ill (broken collar bone - healing, brain damage - suspected but not confirmed - I doubt it) is boredom. What do I do?. My solution is get out of the house and consume some alcohol. Is this possible? I'm in Glasgow, we have good public transport and pubs everywhere - so let's go!

My portal to the world is my local bus stop

Bang on time the bus arrives

First stop is the Clockwork in Cathcart, a pub, diner, microbewery

The first of the day - a pint of Runabout Stout (brewed in-house). The prices are for a 5 litre keg.

This building is the Battlefield rest. Now an Italian restaurant it was built in 1915 as an ornate waiting room for the tram service,

Why is this area called "Battlefield"? Because there was a battle here in 1568. I'm interested in Scottish history but this one is boring. "A family quarrel" according to Wikipedia. Look for "Battle of Langside" if you're interested.

An impressive building. "The Church on the Hill"? I wonder of they serve booze?….
They sure do!

A pint of Amstel

I'm told that white socks with sandals is a fashion faux pas. I say anything goes when you're ill.

While in Shawlands I passed the first house that we owned. A typical Glasgow sandstone tenement dating to the start of the last century. I common purchase for the young. They were affordable and spacey. After a few years people, like us, sold on and bought a bigger place.

This brings back memories. I lived here as a child and this was the local cinema. On Saturday mornings they had "ABC Minors" a club for kids that showed cartoons and old American serials. It was a riot with kids running about and shouting. My favourite was " Commando Cody". A kind of 1950's Iron Man with a flying suit.

There is now a bar called "The Waverley Tearoom"

My tipple - a couple of Estrella. A very minor pub crawl by Scottish standards but all things in moderation, eh?

Saturday 10 June 2017

Accident - Update #2 - The Damage

I've got my bike back!

The cops inspected it on Friday then released it.

I was hoping that the damage wouldn't be too serious. As I've said the rear wheel locked up at about 50 mph but I managed to hold the bike upright until we were going fairly slowly. At this point I was thrown up in the air and the bike fell over. It scraped up the road for only a short distance. 
The bike looks ok. I removed the seat to charge the battery. It was flat probably because the ignition was left on.

Some scrapes to the brake reserve, lever & screen

The handlebar dented the tank. This is too bad but I've never liked the colour of the bike. This might be an excuse to re-spray the bike

The engine bars were only slightly scraped. This indicates that the bike was going fairly slowly when it hit the ground.

I got the horse rug back. I was expecting it to be chewed up where it had jammed the chain or rear wheel but it has very little damage. Strange - I'll investigate further then I'm better.

So the damage is minor and easily repairable. SVs are common in the UK and there are plenty of parts on eBay. The cause of the accident is not yet clear. I fired up the engine and the bike ran fine through the gears on its centre stand. So no issues with seizing.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Accident - Update

Firstly thanks to all of you who sent me supportive messages, these are much appreciated.

So, back to the two questions I posed.

Firstly "what happened?".

Until I get the bike back I can't say for sure. When the cops heard that I had a head injury they impounded the bike for inspection. Turns out they are a lot better at the "impounding" part than the "inspecting" part. Friday hopefully.

The wheel locked up and I skidded for a considerable distance. Near the end the rear came round and I "highsided". This means I was thrown upwards and landed on my head & shoulder. I don't think I was going that fast by this time.

The landing broke my collar bone.
I'm in a simple sling
 I got a whack on the head hard enough for me to lose a couple of hours. I think I was conscious during this time but have no memory of it.

My helmet split but note that there are no abrasion marks.

My old combat jacket was cut off (I have no recollection of this)  

Secondly "am I ok"?

I returned to the hospital on Monday for an MRI scan. I dozed in a waiting room for a couple of hours then they sent me home saying they'd contact me later. I think I'm ok head-wise and I'm sure they do too otherwise they'd have scanned me.

I went to the fracture clinic today and got an X ray. Ideally the treatment for a broken collar bone is just putting your arm in a sling until it heals. There was some talk of a surgical operation to plate the bone but since I had good movement and strength and no nerve damage I'm sticking with the sling which suits me.

I was treated in Hairmyres hospital in East Kilbride and I would like to thank the staff there who made my stay as pleasant as possible. I had been in Hairmyres before, in 1981, when I had a much more serious accident that required me to spent 3 months there. I am pleased to report that the hospital has been re-built and is much better than when I was there previously. It was old back then with still traces of the red crosses painted on the roof. They were there to try to persuade the Germans not to bomb it during WW2. The hospital's most famous patient was George Orwell who was treated for tuberculosis there while he was writing "Nineteen Eighty Four". 

I don't usually sit about in my garden but I suppose I'll have to get used to it

Saturday 3 June 2017

A Very Strange Wednesday.

I'll tell you it as I remember it. Gwen had dumped some of the horse's turnout rugs in the garage and they were stinking the place out. It was my job to take them to the saddlery in nearby East Kilbride to get them cleaned. I strapped one onto the back of my SV and set off. I was on the main road and just about to take a turn off then it happened. "It" being a bang followed by the bike skidding up the road with the rear wheel locked solid.

I would have been doing 50-60 mph when the skid started but I managed to hold on until the bike was going fairly slowly before I flew off. The next thing I remember was being in hospital getting moved between beds with a sharp pain in my shoulder. I think I must have landed on my head & shoulder. I was dazed but, I think, conscious I just can't remember anything. Turns out I have a broken collar bone and my helmet was split up the back indicating a fair blow was sustained. The ambulance crew came to see me and I thanked them but said I couldn't remember them. They said I was conscious but confused.

Due to the head injury I got a CT scan and something suspicious was found. I had bleeding or a bruise on the brain. I stayed in hospital for two days without really any treatment. The consultant said I was on observation but he didn't think I had a brain injury because I was not showing signs. They hoped for a MRI scan but that could not be arranged until Monday so I was sent home.

My bike was taken to a vehicle pound and they wouldn't release it until the cops have had a look at it.

So now I'm at home thinking about things.

Firstly "what happened?". At first I thought that the rug had slipped and jammed the wheel. But I've carried rugs many times without problems and, thinking back, there was a metallic "bang!" - so maybe the snapped chain? Gwen said that at location there was 60 feet of skid marks followed by 6 feet of scraping. If the bike was upright most of the time damage could be limited but a snapped chain can cause carnage itself.

Secondly "am I ok"? The collar bone is inconvenient and sore at times but not a concern. Do I have brain damage? I don't think so, the consultant said that the scan could have shown up old injuries dating back decades, he wasn't worried because I wasn't showing any signs. I did get a whack on the head bad enough to lose a few hours though. I just feel a bit tired but otherwise compos mentis. See, I'm using Latin, brain damaged folk don't do that, do they?

No doubt all will be revealed in the days to come.