Originally I booked a holiday in Portugal as a personal incentive for having the Covid19 vaccine. However during Euro 2021, Portugal was moved from the Green countries to the Amber countries. Although double jabbed, I made a call once I finally understood what I would need to do in regards to tests and finally cancelled the trip (the incentive worked, I could cancel most of it and I am generally trying to fly less).
However I still have the time off and started thinking what I could do with the time which is different from my usual days?
Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.
I’ve been thinking what if I travel from Manchester, England to Hollyhead, North Wales, get the ferry across to Dublin, Ireland. Travel up to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Then get a ferry across to Cairnryan, Scotland then travel back to Manchester, England! One massive loop. Going to all of the United Kingdom and a part of Europe on my scooter?
This would knock the long running new years resolution to drive in Europe and also kinda visit a new country.
Its also going to be social distanced if I’m riding my scooter most of the time. Perfect pandemic holiday eh?
Its about 600 miles of travel and two ferries crossings but I think with good weather its possible with a few stops in hotels and with friends.
Its been a difficult time recently. My scooter was damaged once again in a break in on the car park where I park. I say again because in April 2018 exactly the same thing happened. Less that a year!
In April 2018, the motorbikes were targetted but none were taken, if I remember some other things were broken and taken. However between the chains and locks broken, it was clear they tried to break my steering lock by forcing the handle bars. They slightly twisted but not at the fork level lucky, this still costed about £150 to fix.
This time the motorbikes were targetted and looking at the CCTV images from the different cameras across the site its clear they were only after the motorbikes nothing else.
There was some other similarities between the break-ins. The CCTV over looking the motorbikes was covered up in both cases.
They also broke into the car park from the building site next door
Unlike last time however, I spotted 4 men acting very weirdly on the canal side on Monday 14th night/Tuesday 15th morning. They were dressed in black with hoods and scarfs across their mouths and noses. They seemed to be breaking into Islington Wharf Mews by jumping over a wall with a sleeping bag to protect themselves from the spikes on top.
23:49 – Calling the non-emergency number (101) I was put on hold for ages but finally by the time they picked up. The men jumped back over the wall to the canal side, they disappeared from my view.
00:09 – The police took some details and asked where they were now. I happened to catch them breaking into the building site from the road side. Telling the police, they originally said they were going to send someone out. However as I found out later they looked at the public CCTV, which obviously doesn’t point on to the building site plus they were dressed in complete black. Once they looked and saw nothing they closed the logged case
00:45 – Meanwhile I hadn’t noticed but saw later on the garage CCTV a 5th man dressed totally in Black was trying to get into the garage by sneaking in while the roller shutter was coming down after some left or entered the garage. He failed and even got shouted at by residents in a car.
00:48 – I get a short phone call from the police asking if I seen anything else new? I said no.
01:08 – Not long after my original call and 20mins after my call back, some men gain access to the car park via the ground floor car park by breaking the wood slats. I know this for sure because the CCTV confirms the moment they broke through and climbed through.
They headed straight for the motorbikes ignoring all the cars and bicycles. Broke two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins (01:08 – 01:43), All their movements around the carpark are captured on our own CCTV, except the one right above the bikes
01:43 – Finally they leave heading out the car park pedestrian door with 2 motorbikes
0941 – I only found out the next day when I was going to work and saw the damage and the missing motorbikes. This time to tried to get at the scooter ignition instead of trying to break the steering lock. As you can see the damage is pretty bad but the steering is actually fine. I checked all the other locks and chains and they are good.
However 2 other motorbikes are gone and I got lucky. I’ve beefed up my locks and now using my alarm more often now (not just the immobiliser). I also got a crime reference and asked about my early morning call. I’m told the case is on going but police were sent out.
1953 – Later in the evening when I call up again, I’m told the cases are not connected was closed and the police were not sent out because there was nothing on a CCTV (no idea which one they are referring to)
My problem I see is…
The police are not connecting the two cases. Now I understand there is a chance the 4 men dressed head to toe in black on a building site may not be the same 5 people who broke into the garage from the same building site stealing the bikes? Yes it happened with 60 mins of my call but who knows – right? What I don’t understand is why no one was sent out? Even a visit could have prevented a crime. They also lied to me on the phone
I don’t get how the building site isn’t partly to blame for it lack of security not just once but twice now. There is a good chance the men stole tools from the building site to break the locks. I certainly didn’t see them carrying anything when getting into Islington Wharf Mews.
The police still haven’t looked or requested the CCTV from Islington Wharf, The Mews or the building site next door. Yes they are dressed in black but it could be useful to see where they came from and got to with the stolen motorbikes?
Why was I told they will send out a police offer but later told they didn’t? I feel like I was lied to….
I’m doing what I can but its slow going and not being able to get actual CCTV (for good reasons) its kinda impossible to convince the police to follow up. This is partly why I decided to share my frustrations without too much details.
I’ve had an update from a few sources and the timeline includes this..
Tuesday 15 January 2019
00:19 – While I see 4 men getting into Islington Wharf Mews, another man also dressed in black from head to toe is trying to gain entry to the Islington wharf car park by trying to sneak in when someone leaves or enters. Unsuccessfully he returns to his hiding position each time. This also explains why 1 of the 4 men I saw kept looking out from their 1st floor position.
00:45 – They tried to gain entry again but a resident closes the shutter too quickly. 3mins later I get my call from the police, but still no one shows up. On the building site they break a padlock on a tool box, giving them access to stronger tools
01:08 – They break into the car park via the ground floor through the fence using the builders tool.
01:18 – They send 2 of them for an initial scope out of the carpark and then after all 5 of them go into the car park. Breaking two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins
01:43 – One of the Residents tried to drive in to the car park and when the roller shutter goes up they run away pushing the motorcycles.
At 8:30am I received a phone call from the special operations police. They had read my email and were slight shocked at how I’d be treated through this investigation. He massively apologized and agreed based on the research I had done, the cases are linked. Then finally at 1300 they did go and review the footage from the flats and are using it in their ongoing investigation along with other CCTV footage.
Finally part-exchanged my Honda Silverwing 600 which I have had for 13 years for another newer model Honda Silverwing 600 (600cc with ABS). Its a great bike and although I looked for other higher CC maxi-scooters, but decided the Silverwing still has the edge on price, reliability and years on the market. I test rode the Honda NC700D Integra (700cc) and BMW C 650 GT (650cc); but decided the Integra along with a motorbike, lacked everyday storage; the BMW was too expensive with few on the 2nd hand market.
I been to many places on the old Honda Silverwing but it was old and I’ve been told multiple times its going to start costing more to fix than to get another one.
Pretty happy with the bike so far, especially since my old Givi top box, fits the rack and I replaced the horrible Givi black box (one for ebay I think). That and I’m having to work out the fitted alarm which didn’t come with instructions but I found online easily enough.
Just a shame the weather has been so rubbish this weekend, at least tomorrow I get to ride work on it.
I know most of you are saying, so what? But I have never driven so far on my Silverwing scooter before. I use to drive between London and Bristol on the A4 when I moved to London and it use to be a very long trip (4hours). Main reason it took so long is because I was on a 125cc scooter and it was going flat out most of the journey. I couldn’t use the motorway with my L plates and 125cc bike. Such a journey I would need to nap for a hour or so straight away afterwards!
I recorded the journey using my tracks as usual but unfortunately turned it off when stopping at Aberystwyth. I also forgot to turn it on a couple times, hence some small gaps in the journey.
Here is my ride from Manchester to Liverpool to Llandidno to Llarwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog to Barmouth to Dolgellau to Machynlleth to Aberystwyth. Blaenau was impressive, I wished my camera still had enough battery because you swing around a mountain down a beautiful valley into this clearing. The clearing is a mine site with a village in the middle. Barmouth was a mistake because when looking at google maps, I thought the line across the river was a public bridge but it was actually a train bridge. I actually thought I missed it but ended up going back on myself towards Dolgellau. I did stop at Llandidno and try and go around the Great Orme (the wrong way it seems). I also tried to pay at the mersey tunnel but realised it was free for bikes.
Then I stayed at the Queensbridge hotel on the seafront where I got told I was being moving to the Four Seasons in town. Didn’t really matter because it was pretty much the same.
This week I’m on holiday. Unlike most people, I won’t be travelling to some new destination full of sunshine and hot sand. Instead I’m going to drive through Wales down to Bristol.
Its a long ride (300miles!) and I will be stopping over somewhere in the middle (lets hope I don’t end up in a B&B with dogs!). And I’ll be honest I’m a little scared, but I got plenty of time and don’t need to be in Bristol till Wednesday afternoon to meet good friend Claire. I’ll then head over to my parents afterwards.
I’m hoping to film as much of the ride as the battery will allow using my helmet mounted HD camera (you can see a snippit here). But I will be recording the journey with my tracks on my Nexus 5. May just bring the work phone just in-case of emergencies.
Weather looks to be good throughout, wish me luck!
While most people, this weekend were watching the tour de france in Yorkshire. I decided it was time for a ride further a field to the Lake District. Very nice ride with the sunshine beaming down all day… Of course I captured most of it with my head mounted camera and the autographer.
First time ever been to Kendal or the Lake district actually…
I have been on a few longish journeys around but not anything major. So today I went for a long ride in the mountains (well there officially the peaks but…). I keep meaning to go down the famous Snakes Pass. But there seems to be a number of different routes which are interested rides through the peak district.
Using my tracks on my phone I was able to create a map of where I had gone complete with all the riding info. I was surprised to find you could easily export it to Google Drive and therefore easily something/somewhere else.