Lucky to be here. 

No not a new crash. 

Now and then again I see something that drives it home again just how lucky I was 2 years ago in my bike crash. Today I watched some of a YouTube video where a bike ran a red light and hit a car. These guys were being complete wankers stunting on the street and rode through the lights at speed. I don’t have a problem with the stunting, its when these riders are blocking traffic, running lights or on the wrong side that they’re just being dickheads and giving riders a bad name. 

While the first bike made it cleanly the second collected a car and the rider and his pillion were thrown across the bonnet and down. The pillion’s foot is either completely torn off or hanging by a thread. I didn’t look too closely. If you’ve a stronger stomach than me go and check it out

I hit the road at a higher speed than these two and was lucky not to get thrown off more violently. I could have gotten tangled in the bike or the roo or slid heavily into the fence. I might have landed differently and torn part of myself apart as I slid 100m along the road. I might have been run over. 

I wore a mix of good and great gear. I had a kept a fair bit of space around me in the very light traffic. But when the roo was there – there was NOTHING I could have done to avoid it. 

But I was also lucky. Very lucky. 

And now and then there’s something that makes a cold chill run down my back and remind me. 

Study – Changing degrees

So I’ve spent about 3/4 of a year studying online. It’s the first year of a 4 year bachelor degree. I already have a bachelor but there were not any postgraduate options available online. Certainly if I took 2 years off work I could have attended a local university and studied full time. I even applied and was offered a place in my preferred university. 

But that would have put unimaginable strain on my family’s financial situation so wasn’t really an option.

In late February, just as I was finishing a unit for my study I discovered that starting this year there is now an online post graduate degree available in the field I am studying. Still be finalised but open for enrolment. 

By the time I found out, it was already a week past the application closing date, but with some advice from the university I submitted the application and was accepted. And then, with less than a week to go before classes started I managed to get enrolled in classes.

Now it is a bit of a risk. The degree isn’t yet accredited (it has had preliminary accreditation) and is under development. It is also significantly more expense (each unit is $2000 rather than $700) per term. And because my previous study was at Bachelor level and this is a Masters, even though the subject matter is the same, it cannot be counted for prior study.

However being able to finish around a year earlier than the other, which fits in well with my timeline is a huge positive. 

And the previous study isn’t completely lost. Even though its a long way from anything I have done before I found the first year really interesting and I’m happy with my choice. I have also gotten a lot better at managing my study and somewhat better in my essay writing. There is some initial overlap in what I have studied as well. 

The assessments are harder and the units cover twice as much material as the Bachelor ones, but it is Master level after all. 

Week 2 has started now and I’m encouraged with how it is going (and so far no assignments are essays! Or concept maps!).

Love tap

Wasn’t because he loved me… it was because he wasn’t paying attention.

I was commenting in on the Daytona the other morning and had stopped at a give way. The car behind then proceeded to drive into me. Not hard enough to knock me over, but hard enough to bend things.

It looks like the other guy (and he’s someone at my work too!) has gotten away with about $100 in damage – a bent bobbin (the little knob that is used with a paddock stand) and a bent indicator. I’ll be replacing both of them.

He claimed the sun was in his eyes etc etc. Rubbish he wasn’t paying attention.

Living on the Sun

img_1783So its about 44C here today. This is the second day in a row and it has been a record breaking summer here. A large number of days over 35C, many in a row. But life goes on, even with the threat of rolling blackouts (hasn’t happened yet).

Back to work in 2017. Not much change there.

Back to study in 2017. Not much change there. There is an opportunity that I may be able to shorten my overall study by switching from Bachelor to Masters, but not sure it’s happening yet.

img_1701Kids are back to school. Settling in for another year. Starting to be serious about searching out high schools.

The iMac still fights on!

img_1495

 

No rest over Christmas

Another study period is coming to a close. I think I have done okay in this session, but we’ll see in about 2 weeks when the last results start to filter in. One unit was very different from my others – Performing Arts had me writing AND singing a song and ALSO making up and dancing a dance. Very different from anything I have done before. But actually an enjoyable unit. The other unit was alright, but the assessments were somewhat vague (though I did get 75% on the first one).

I’m not sure that I wrote about this, but I did end up failing a unit in the previous session, so I have decided to repeat that unit this next period. I’ll only do one unit as it appears that there is no break over Christmas. With each period being 13 weeks, there are only 52 weeks in a year… do the maths…. there are only about 3 days free all year.

So by my calculations, my first assessment for the next unit will be due on December 30. Ouch.

So doing one unit, and it being a repeat I hope to be able to get stuck into the assessment early and really make a solid start of it well before then.

A busy lead up to Christmas then.

Watching the traffic

Something you can’t help but pay attention to while riding is other drivers. For obvious reasons, a rider’s life is much more dependent upon being aware of what the cars (and other vehicles) around you are doing.

So after a few years in traffic you get to pick up signs of what people are planning to do, often even before they even realise it themselves. The guy glancing to his right – there’s a strong chance he’s going to be changing lanes. The car slow or moving about in their lane – probably on their phone, all these signs are there and sometimes you don’t even realise you’re seeing them. But you’re slowing or checking your escape options.

So when the the guy in the ute next to me is driving along with his hand on his indicator I was pretty certain he was just waiting for a chance to change into my lane. I had only a car length a bit in front of me, so when the ute moved forward a bit and indicated right (into my lane) I was not surprised or very happy. I held my ground as there was plenty of room behind and there was no reason for him to cut in so tightly.

And I’m well glad I did, the ute dropped back and changed behind me. Immediately he then changed further right, slowing for a turn lane.

So if I had let him in, he would have immediately slowed with me less than a car length behind him, and changed lanes again. A good chance that I might have crashed into him.

Assignment Success

75%

30/40

That’s the mark on my most recent essay.

Pretty sure that it’s the best mark I have ever got in an essay. I mean ever! 

So I was pretty stoked with that. I think it might be the best I get but it was sure nice to get such a positive response.

Only the first assignment of 3 for that unit, and there’s a whole other unit right now, so onwards….

Post Track Day

It didn’t go how I expected at all. There weather was warm but fine, if a little windy. I didn’t crash and that was an excellent result. I also made it up to 195kmh and I am confident that the bike could go a lot faster, I wasn’t very good at fully opening the throttle as quick as I could. 

But I hated it. 

I was terrified the whole time. Not so much about the possibility of crashing or even of getting hurt so much. 

I think I was terrified that my bike would be damaged. 

I felt a lot of pressure from the other riders and I know that was only perceived pressure, not actual pressure and that didn’t help. 

I kind of feel that it was a combination of all of the things I don’t like about group rides and the only positive was the lack of things to run into. 

There were a couple of small niggles about my bike that could have been hurting my confidence, but if it had been a ride out the Putty or something they wouldn’t have bothered me so I don’t think they were a big factor, certainly apart from a single moment in one turn the bike was flawless. 

But coming down the main straight at 190kmh looking at the turn that others were taking at probably 180kmh I was terrified, slowing ages before the turn to I guess something like 100kmh. 

It’s even got me to the point that I am considering changing bikes – getting a VFR or something rather than having a supersport. I do miss the VFR terribly (yes silly I know, it’s just a bike). 

Do I try a track day again? I’m not sure. If I did I would want to fix those couple of things and they’re easy fixes. 

See how we go.