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Fatjoe Latest content

Planning The Best UK Based Adventure

Planning The Best UK Based Adventure

Gaining the opportunity to take some time out from the usual hustle and bustle of life can be such a rewarding experience, yet far too many people believe they have to jet off out of the UK to find the perfect holiday destination. Rather than spending excessive amounts of money on flights to another country, there’s never been a better time to book an affordable adventure within the comfort of your home country. So, if you want to find out more about how you can plan the very best trip around the United Kingdom, then read on to uncover some of the best ideas and concepts that you can make the most of today! 

Yorkshire is a wonderful wilderness to explore
There are some breath-taking destinations right in our own home country

Get Outdoors

One of the biggest attractions of the UK is it’s lush green landscape, with mountains, moors, beaches and other reserves dotting the map left, right and centre. Getting outdoors can be a wonderful experience for many reasons, from the opportunity to simply get a little fresh air and sunshine to the chance to see native wildlife up close and personal. Making the most of Mother Nature needn’t be a difficult task, as you can plan a whole host of different activities to please every holidaymaker.

Motorcycle camping with Harleys
Get out camping with the motorcycles

From camping trips that offer the opportunity to sleep beneath the stars, to extreme sporting events such as rafting or cycling, there’s bound to be something out there that you will enjoy. If you would like to challenge yourself during your trip around the UK, then search for a little more information about how far from lands ends to John o groats to perform one of the most amazing bike journeys around the island. 

Do Your Research 

There are thousands of different ways to entertain yourself across the UK with a UK based adventure, but it may just take a bit of research to uncover the best activities for you to sample. Each location will boast its own specific traditions and cultures, some of which you may not be able to pick up on by simply visiting your destination. Doing some research will enable you to uncover every feature on offer in whichever area you choose, whether this might be taking a tour of a mining facility or tasting the delicious authentic food of the British isles. Get online to find out more information, or head down to your local library to pick up a few books that can provide you with the information you need. 

Planning the best UK based adventure has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above. Ensure that you utilise your trip by spending as much time outdoors as you can, experience the beauty of British Mother Nature including landscapes and wildlife. Be sure to do your research before you hit the road, as this can give you a much better sense of direction when visiting different spots up and down the island. You can save money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time, so now’s a great time to say goodbye to abroad!

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

 

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Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition review – what is it?

Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition

Launched July 28th 2020 the Packtalk Black edition is a slick new version of the known and trusted Packtalk from Cardo Systems – the leader in intercoms. As a Cardo user for several years I’m a huge fan and certainly recommend, but what’s this new Black edition? Read on to find out!

Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition
Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition

Utilising the latest Cardo technology, the Packtalk Black ups the styling with a slick new all black design, upgraded sound and robust waterproof unit.

Here are the Packtalk Black edition key features:

  • Dynamic mech communications
  • Waterproof
  • Sound by JBL as standard
  • Natural Voice Operation

Plus

  • Three-year warranty
  • Stylish and sleek Black design

Here’s my full Cardo Systems Packtalk Black review:

Dynamic mech communications

Dynamic mech communications [DMC] mean the Cardo Packtalk Black, like with all Packtalk models, utilises the latest in intercom technology. Providing a superior range, audio quality and reliability the DMC allows for up to 15 riders in a self-healing mesh. Each unit in the mesh becomes a hub with a hub-to-hub range of 1600m in perfect conditions, or 1000m more practical real-life range. These hubs form a chain that can span up to 1000m apart – that’s a long chain! If someone drops out of range the rest of the group can continue unimpacted, with automatic re-joining the moment range allows. You can also have private subgroups within the main DMC group, allowing for private chats with chosen buddies or pillion in your group. The simple app enables group creation in a few clicks, which will then forever be remembered by each unit, connecting automatically in the future.

This technology makes for the ultimate in reliable riding communications for riding with friends.

Waterproof

Designed to go wherever you take it, the Packtalk family is waterproof and ready for the adventure. Whether its sleet, dust, mud or rain the unit will be happy. I’ve even fallen in a river before and the intercom was definitely less bothered than my motorcycle.

Robust and ready for the adventure.

Sound by JBL as standard

Previously the JBL speakers have been an optional upgrade for an additional cost, however the Packtalk Black comes with the high quality JBL 45mm speakers as standard. Enjoy deeper tones, more rounded music and crisper voices from the highly reputable JBL speakers. Suitable for most motorcycle helmets from road, adv, off road, trials and hard enduro riding!

Yes they really do make a difference, well worth it if you like your music.

Natural Voice Operation

With motorcycles ideally needing two hands on the bars to safely operate, the Cardo natural voice recognition is there to ensure that is not compromised. With highly tested software and a range of languages simply speak inputs “hey Cardo…” to your headset and let it do the work for you. I’ve personally not got on too well with voice control as I’ve found my voice confuses it. I’ve found it starts doing things when I was actually talking to someone else. But it is very handy – or not handy as you say – when I am actually speaking to it.

Voice control, leaving your hands where they should be – on the bars.

Cardo Packtalk Black Design

The slick black styling of the Packtalk Black is a key feature of this special edition model. With slick lines and all black finish will match any motorcycle style – especially if you love black!

Charge and use

Never worry about running out of juice for two reasons

  1. The Cardo has superb market leading battery life – I’ve never had it run out before my day was up, and I’ve done some long days!
  2. Should you run low or be unable to charge over night you can plug in and use the Cardo while using it

Coming with a 3-year warranty rest assured you’ll be looked after with Cardo. I’ve had my unit’s years and never had any issues.

For Cardo Systems discount code use link and get 20% off Cardo products http://cardosystems.refr.cc/thegirlonabike

If you’re unsure as to whether intercoms are for you please see my video here:

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Latest content Vitiligo

Vitiligo on face – psychologically manifestations

Vitiligo on my face – psychologically manifestations

While vitiligo is a physical condition changing the pigmentation of the skin, it has far more psychologically manifestations. Coping with the noticeable difference in appearance to what society perceives as “normal” in perfectly poised social posts can be tough. But we all have battles and with vitiligo, for me, getting to grips with the 1st patch was just the start. Every time it spreads, it was a whole new acceptance cycle.

World Vitiligo Day
World Vitiligo Day

The day it hit my face, that was hard. I still recall the tears. The hate I felt looking in the mirror. But I was wrong! It’s not ugly, it’s just different, it is beautiful and these quirky marks just make me unique.

I love my skin, I rock my body patches, I even have a patch that looks like a dinosaur.

World Vitiligo Day
Standing proud with my vitiligo, including vitiligo on face

I choose to camouflage my face, and that’s okay. Finding a process that works took time. It’s a combination of reducing the vitiligo contrast by having no tan, and then a colour base to bring my natural skin tone back. I like a no make-up feel for this colour so use Zanderm wide applicator. It means I can put it on and not be wearing anything, no stains on sheets, fake tans or waking up conscious of no make-up. I then add normal foundation or stay natural, depending on the look I’m after.

MY REQUEST ❤️ Let’s all be a little kinder to each other, don’t look and judge. Let’s teach our children that differences are beautiful and we’ll be one step closer to a better world, not just for vitiligo.

I would love to hear your battles and any vitiligo questions? All Qs welcome – how I cope, toughest part, bonus of having it, yes there are some, what products I use or simply share your experiences?

Use VR10 for 10% off Zanderm

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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Jarvis Signature Tours Spain Review

Jarvis Signature Tours Spain Review

Graham Jarvis, the legend Extreme Enduro rider and probably the first name that comes to most riders’ minds when they think of the crème de le crème of enduro talent. And it just got better…the legend has started a series of Jarvis signature Tours, with the first in Spain.

Set up by an absolute legend, if you want riding progression and an epic adventure this is the place to go.

Riding progression and an epic adventure GUARANTEED

The first thing to mention is that by going to Jarvis Signature it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to ride with the man himself, Graham – you can but the dates are limited and you of course pay more. I had an absolutely incredible time there even without him. Graham has years of riding experience to teach, however he’s also still a full-time professional rider and so had equipped his school with some absolutely nails riders to stand in and deliver the ultimate hard enduro coaching.

The Team

The main guy to mention here is Luke Copestake. He’s an experienced hard enduro rider and more akin to a mountain goat on a bike than one of us mere mortals. Luke has a great knack at being able to translate what he does riding into tuition and steps that you can apply. For the very, very large majority of riders you’re going to learn as much progression from Graham’s team as you will from him as he really has employed a fantastic calibre of guys so don’t threat if you can’t get a date with Jarvis.

Taking your riding to the next level

Depending on your goals they’ll push you as little or as much as you like. Nail some new skills or simply enjoy some chilled riding, either way you’ll have one hell of a time.

They’ve cornered the market for guided tuition trail riding for sure and I think the tuition really is the reason to head to Jarvis. Yes, it’s an amazing experience riding in Spain, but the big push for me is the riding development. Many tour operators can give you the odd tip but being able to really push you, spot your bad habits and take you to the next level is rather unique for the Jarvis offering.

Jarvis Signature hard enduro training
Yes… I rode up that!

The team will push you as hard as you’re wanting to go!

Here’s a video from my Jarvis Signature Tours experience:

You can see how hard they pushed me, within my limits but outside my comfort zone. It was incredible.

Bikes

In terms of bikes Jarvis of course has his factory racing hat on, opting for a fleet of the latest Husqvarna enduro bikes from across the range of sizes. They’re made of hard enduro!

Facilities

In terms of location they couldn’t be close to the trails, in fact, you don’t even need to set a foot on roads. Straight out of the private compound and the trails start. They’ve got an ace setup too in a beautiful Spanish villa set in the remote mountains. I think the only thing they’re lacking after a tough day hard enduro riding is a pool or hot tub but then again, a few days our enduro riding certainly isn’t a spa break.

Jarvis Signature tours villa
Jarvis villa in Spain

Jarvis Signature Tours Spain Facilities:

  • Gorgeous villa
  • Rockstar energy fridge
  • Latest Husqvarna enduro bikes
  • Full kit rental
  • Experienced hard enduro team including Luke Copestake
  • Onsite breakfast
  • Enjoy lunch at local restaurants
  • On side hard enduro course
  • Access to Andalucia trails straight from base

Terrain at Jarvis Signature Tours

You’re off-road immediately from the house with a mix of large fire tracks, small single track, technical and sweeping riverbeds and more hill climbs and descents that you can shake a stick at. You even have the chance to hard enduro style conquer rocky riverbeds, it’s incredible.

How far can you push it with Jarvis Signature Tours?

A huge attraction to me here is that Graham’s team know what it takes to push your riding to the next level. That means the guys know and are familiar with putting you into terrains that can at times be a big step up for you. But it’s ok, they are right there with you! They assess your capabilities and quickly know where they can safely push you. It’s not about reckless fun as at the end of the day no one wants to come home broken, and they certainly don’t want damaged bikes. But they do know how to safely push the limits and will talk you through exactly what needs to be done.

How to get there

Fly into Malaga in southern Spain and the team will collect you from the airport.

Check flight cost and availability here.

Summary

In four days riding I learned more like a few months’ worth of progression. Graham Jarvis you’ve made something special here! Just a short flight to Malaga and you’re there. This is the place to train!

Jarvis Signature Tours Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/Jarvissignaturetoursspain

Here are some of my favourite photos from our trip with Jarvis Signature Tours Spain:

Here’s some video from my Jarvis Signature Tour hard enduro training

If you’ve had any similar life challenges, then I would love to hear from you. I’d also love to know if there are any topics you’d love to see me cover! Get in touch with me via email or Instagram!

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold review

Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold review

Why the Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold is my must have helmet accessory of choice

If you’re wondering about if intercoms are for you then this is will help answer that question. In my review I talk through why I choose to use intercoms from the safety, social and practical reasons, and then also discuss why the Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold is my helmet accessory of choice – it has to be Cardo.

Full Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold review for road, adv, off road, trials and hard enduro riding!

Use link HERE for 20% off Cardo http://cardosystems.refr.cc/thegirlonabike

 

Utilising the latest Cardo technology, the Packtalk Bold offers a compact design with a rugged performances to meet all your on and off-road riding needs, whatever the conditions.

Here are the Packtalk Bold edition key features:

  • Dynamic mech communications
  • Waterproof
  • Natural Voice Operation
  • Three-year warranty
  • Stylish compact design

Here’s my full Cardo Systems Packtalk review and why I use Cardo intercoms:

 

Dynamic mech communications in Cardo Packtalk

Dynamic mech communications [DMC] mean the Cardo Packtalk Bold, like with all Cardo Packtalk models, utilises the latest in intercom technology. Providing a superior range, audio quality and reliability the DMC allows for up to 15 riders in a self-healing mesh. Each unit in the mesh becomes a hub with a hub-to-hub range of 1600m in perfect conditions, or 1000m more practical real-life range. These hubs form a chain that can span up to 1000m apart – that’s a long chain! If someone drops out of range the rest of the group can continue unimpacted, with automatic re-joining the moment range allows. You can also have private subgroups within the main DMC group, allowing for private chats with chosen buddies or pillion in your group. The simple app enables group creation in a few clicks, which will then forever be remembered by each unit, connecting automatically in the future.

This technology makes for the ultimate in reliable riding communications for riding with friends.

Waterproof

Designed to go wherever you take it, the Packtalk family is waterproof and ready for the adventure. Whether its sleet, dust, mud or rain the unit will be happy. I’ve even fallen in a river before and the intercom was definitely less bothered than my motorcycle.

Robust and ready for the adventure.

Sound by JBL as standard

Previously the JBL speakers have been an optional upgrade for an additional cost, however the Packtalk Black comes with the high quality JBL 45mm speakers as standard. Enjoy deeper tones, more rounded music and crisper voices from the highly reputable JBL speakers. Suitable for most motorcycle helmets from road, adv, off road, trials and hard enduro riding!

Yes they really do make a difference, well worth it if you like your music.

Natural Voice Operation

With motorcycles ideally needing two hands on the bars to safely operate, the Cardo natural voice recognition is there to ensure that is not compromised. With highly tested software and a range of languages simply speak inputs “hey Cardo…” to your headset and let it do the work for you. I’ve personally not got on too well with voice control as I’ve found my voice confuses it. I’ve found it starts doing things when I was actually talking to someone else. But it is very handy – or not handy as you say – when I am actually speaking to it.

Voice control, leaving your hands where they should be – on the bars.

Card Packtalk Design

The two tone black styling of the Packtalk Bold is a key feature for its compact look. With slick lines it will match any motorcycle style.

Charge and use

Never worry about running out of juice for two reasons

  1. The Cardo has superb market leading battery life – I’ve never had it run out before my day was up, and I’ve done some long days! They say 13 hour talk time and I wouldn’t argue that from my experience
  2. Should you run low or be unable to charge over night you can plug in and use the Cardo while using it

Coming with a 3-year warranty rest assured you’ll be looked after with Cardo. I’ve had my unit’s years and never had any issues.

If you’re unsure as to whether you’re after the Packtalk Bold or Black, here is my Black review:

For more on Cardo Systems please see CardoSystems.com

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harley’s and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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Physiolab review – S1 is a recover must have

Physiolab review S1 icing unit is a recovery must have

If you’re wanting to really maximise your recovery post-surgery then the Physiolab is a must have in your rehab programme, here’s my story and Physiolab review:

How it started

I’ve had a pretty tough few years battling injuries following being hit by a red-light-jumping car whilst cycling in 2014. It was life changing and the recovery has been long. You can read the full accident story here, but in brief I’ve had 7 surgeries over 6 years including a fully reconstructed shoulder and hip. It’s been a battle, that’s for sure. However, along my journey I’ve discovered things that really make the difference in terms of recovery, and one of those things is Physiolab [I also highly recommend active collagen – read more].

Here I’m going to talk about what Physiolab is, how it works, how I’ve used it and of course whether I would recommend it – my full Physiolab review.

£25 off with VR25

What is Physiolab?

The Physiolab is a class 2a medical device for managing pain, swelling and inflammation. This means it is ideal for post-surgery rehabilitation and also recovery from sports. Though an intensive form of icing it aids and accelerates the body’s healing process. Something called cryotherapy, which all sounds a little technical – but it is effectively a technique that involves applying an extremely cold temperate to a localised area of the body for several minutes. The Physiolab gives this application of cooling and compression, which is very widely known and commonly used for the treatment of pain, swelling and inflammation.

To simplify that, the Physiolab straps around you with a special pack for different body parts and using a combination of air and water compresses on to you. This applies a very even pressure to your body and then the ice-cold water is pumped, providing localised cooling.

Why not just use ice packs?

Ice packs do provide great cooling, however they are limited in the ability to apply them evenly to the body. Icing with a traditional bag of peas or ice also tends to cool just the surface and can very easily cause an ice burn to the skin. The Physiolab provides an even pressure and distribution of the cooling at a controlled temperature to prevent any skin damage, while also enabling the compression application of cooling to penetrate far deeper into the body. It’s just far more effective, goes much deeper into the tissues and without any risks. My Physiolab review comes from genuine experience through three surgery recoveries using it.

What do you need?

  • Physiolab with correct body pack
  • Power source
  • Water
  • Ice [in large volumes – more below on how to make high volume ice for free at home]
  • A warm jumper as it is cold to use
  • Time

How to use the Physiolab

Physiolab offer various different body packs depending on your injury, such as knee, elbow, ankle, hip, shoulder. I’ve always used the hip as I had unfortunately not heard of PhysioLab at the time of my shoulder reconstruction.  You fill the PhysioLab tank with around 1 litre of ice and then fill to the line with tap water, apply the pack, select the correct setting before sitting back and enjoying the freeze! It’s genuinely very COLD but that’s what you’re after.

I’ve always used the device for 30 minutes every 2 hours, aiming for 6 sessions a day. Please discuss the recommended usage volumes and times with Physiolab as this might vary for other injuries. It is time consuming however for most surgeries you’re off work for a period of time anyway. Saying that, I used the Physio lab for 3 weeks in the office and my work were very considerate and happy for me to plug in. I brought ice in from home and keep my treatments going. Generally, if you have the will to make it work, you’ll find a way as health is such a priority.

Physiolab review for post surgery
Accelerated healing with Physiolab

Making the ice

Each treatment requires around 1 litre of ice, which is a lot of ice cubs! Making the volume of ice the Physiolab needs would be a huge task if you were using ice trays. Instead I use plastic tupperware tubs, old peanut butter tubs, plastic containers and put them on a tray in a freezer. Some are larger than the hole in the Physiolab so I just grab a hammer or knife and crack them in two. It means you can easily create high volumes of ice for free at home. Another option if you’re not worried about money is buying ice bags from the supermarket, around £1 a bag, but over a month that would add up.

Size

The Physiolab is in a large pelican case so it’s very well protected for taking it around with you. I would say its’ a large brief vase size or similar to an airport hand luggage allowance. It is possible to get a battery pack for them too, however this is a special request should you need to be on the road with it.

Physiolab mobile treatment
Physiolab is mobile to come with you where your rehab needs are reqired

Limitations

  • The hip pack as been ‘upgraded’ and now only provides exterior hip cooling, whereas the previous provided full 360 hip cooling including the groin. Sadly a step back in my opinion but it does still support hip recovery
  • It is a relatively large machine so while it is transportable it is a big devise to lug around and you do of course need a freezer with ice handy
  • The only other limitation is going to be your dedication to use it, it’s cold but it works so you must find the time and energy to get the full benefits.

£££

You’re looking at around £330 for a 4-week period with the Physiolab. They will ship it out to you and collect as part of this, and provide you with the correct body pack for your injury. Given the healing benefits I would say this is a bargain for such a long period. Reduce pain and accelerated healing is worth parting with the money.

Get £25 off with Physiolab using code “GIRLONABIKE” at www.Physiolab.com

Physiolab treatment
I’ve used Physiolab post three hip surgerys and would not battle a recovery without it

Highlights

  1. Accelerated healing
  2. Easy home application for frequent effortless healing
  3. No running costs, just recovery

Tips From Experience

  • It’s pretty chilly icing but your body does get use to it, over the first few days it will start to feel less cold and uncomfortable, wear a warm jumper and woolly hat if you’re cold. I like being under the duvet in bed doing my hip
  • The breakdown of inflammation can be painful so don’t be surprised if the pain gets a little bit worse when you first start icing. Go with it. The break-down of inflammation can be painful, but in time you should start to feel an improvement, this can take a few weeks which is why Physiolab recommend a 4-week rental

Overall Rating

If you’re in post-surgery recovery the Physiolab is an absolute must have to accelerate your recover. Icing is a well-known treatment and the Physiolab brings a class 2a medical device to your home. Here’s my review.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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Pause for thought – the power of a simple hello

Pause for thought – the power of a simple hello

As heard on BBC Radio Oxford

My pause for thought stems from a simple hello. I remember as a child growing up, we lived on a cul de sac, we knew all the neighbours, parents chatted, kids roamed from garden to garden. All happily bonding as a community. You’d walk to the local shop and say hello to people simply because you both lived there, not necessarily because you knew them. Fast forward 25 years, yes, I’m giving my age away, but the world feels  really different. People busy going about their own business, no time to stop or even pause to smile. Head down, often with headphones or eyes glued to screens. An aerial video would probably look like the organised chaos of ants, all going about their own business, seamlessly passing and ignoring each other. But then something happened…

Lock-down hit and the world was turned to four walls at home. Human contact was removed from our every day lives. Yes, video calling boomed but that animal instinct need for physical interactions was not taken away. I noticed something magical though, at least in Oxfordshire, when social distancing for walks in the park and essential trips started to pick up, interactions seemed to change. A once almost awkward hello from an over friendly stranger has now become something of the norm. I go out for a walk now and everyone seems to smile, people even use their voices and say hello. Hello to total strangers. It’s almost the total opposite, before the odd person who said hi was strange, now it’s the odd person who doesn’t say hi that comes across as strange! We’re all waving, nodding, smiling and actually acknowledging each other. It’s almost like the lack of connection has awoken a whole new appreciation for human interactions, even if it is with a stranger. It is lovely.

I like to think of it as the smile ripple. Just like a drop in the pod rippling across the surface of the water, so too can our smiles spread. My mum would tell me a smile costs nothing but can bring so much joy, so much so it can totally uplift a person’s day. And, smiling at one person, will most likely lead to them feeling a little warm glow, which leads to another smile, and another. And before you know it one smile has brightened up the lives of a whole handful of people, just from a friendly hello.

As life returns to a new form of normal, I hope this new energy for politeness and positive human interaction will continue. Let us all smile at the next person we see.

Thank you for reading my pause for thought as heard on BBC Radio Oxford

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harley’s and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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Praep ProPilot trainer review

Praep ProPilot trainer review

Is the Praep ProPilot core balance trainer a gimmick?

No definitely not and here’s why! This magic kit gives fun, motivation and unbelievable fitness at home. I thought it might be a gimmick, but it’s actually nails and really enjoyable. The Praep ProPilot has been designed to keep you motivated with this fun app, setting training goals and tracking your progress. But the key is its connection with moto and bike fitness. Life often means we can’t ride quite as much as we wish but with the ProPilot we can get some serious bike endurance going from our living rooms. The set-up mimics that faced on the bike, homing in on the core muscle groups and giving you a serious pump without being on the bike.

For 15% off Praep use “VR15” shop at Praep.com

What is the Praep ProPilot?

In short, it’s a bike handlebar balancing device, but in reality, it is so much more. The handlebar is mounted on a central unit with three difficulty settings, each giving more or less stability and wobble. The harder the setting the tougher the workout. Designed by bikers the ProPilot is designed specifically to support off the bike, bike fitness. There is a free app to use in conjunction which provides a selection of workouts, exercises, challenges and games! Yes games. My favourite is Game of B.I.K.E.

Praep Pro Pilot
ProPilot trainer

What is Game of B.I.K.E.?

This is a plank balancing game. You hold a blank, balancing on the Praep ProPilot so it’s far more than just a normal plank and then using the app you have to ride the bike down either a dirt track or street. The game plays a rolling display as you ride and random obstacles appear forcing you to weave and manoeuvre past them. You do this by leaning on the bars, adding to the strength and core stability required.

I challenge you to your best score in a Game of B.I.K.E!

Will the Praep ProPilot get boring?

With all thing there’s the risk of things getting old but I genuinely can’t see this happening.

There are loads of variation workouts in the app and the key for me is that it makes doing stuff that’s amazing for the body fun. Simple things like holding a balance blank…boring…but when you’re riding a downhill track it’s suddenly fun!

It also tracks your progress and gives you challenges, all bait to getting that workout done when the motivation might be lacking. But I really think the key for me is the enjoyment and the feeling of being on a bike. Ok, it’s not like actually riding a bike but you really can feel the similarities and thus know it is going to help your riding fitness.

What’s next for Praep?

Praep is a relatively new company too so given the app offering already I can almost guarantee there are going to be some epic updates coming soon. More content, more games, more challenges and an even more intelligent interface. I’m excited for what is to come and getting in early is always a good thing.

Can you use your own handlebars?

Absolutely! Praep offer a few variations:

  • ProPilot – this is just the central unit and you can attach this to any moto / bike handlebars. This is a big saving if you have an old handlebar sat around
  • ProPilot Moto Kit – this is the full handlebar set up with moto style grips
  • ProPilot Home Kit – here you get all the extras for the ultimate home workout. Such as skid plates for your feet and work out bands to add new moves to the workouts. This is what I have.
  • Gym-Edition comes with a handlebar that gives you numerous grip positions to train certain muscle groups even more intensely.

The App is completely free and there is no subscription cost.

What is the difference between doing normal push-ups and Praep ProPilot push-ups?

With the need to balance and hold the core the push up is considerably more intense and using more of the body’s strength and muscle groups. So the main difference is the instability and the muscles it triggers: the deep muscles. These are not the classic bulking muscle pumped in the gym or with regular push-ups. It’s the muscles that ensure stability, strength, and endurance. The core.

Generally, we all have two different kinds of muscle fibres. The ones that burn sugar and get sore when engaged too hard and too long, and the ones that are close to your joints that burn oxygen and have a better long-term performance. They are called deep muscles and this is what we are triggering. The ProPilot isn’t going to bulk you up, it’s going to give you some serious core strength and toning!

Praep push-ups adding a huge core workout

Can you do more than just planks and push-ups?

Absolutely! Praep have been creative working with pro athletes and real riders to work out lots of ways to use the ProPilot. It’s not just planks and push-ups. Add a band for arms or use skip plates on the feet to give an even more intense all body workout. Keep any eye on the Praep YouTube for inspiration.

Band workout

with ProPilot

How does the Praep ProPilot connect with the app and phones?

Praep have a free app, simply download, sign up and go! With modern iPhones having various motion detections and sensors the app utilises these. You sit the device on the ProPilot [it comes with a small magnet to ensure it doesn’t slide off but it’s not vital] and the iphone sensors feed the app with what’s happening. It can feel the balance point knowing when you’re learning, when your face is near for a push-up count and takes in this information.

You can watch downhill YouTube videos, where you can enjoy virtual trail riding in the plank position and weave around obstacles. Something you need to try out. It makes the whole training more gamified, distracting the mind as the muscles start to burn.

Why is the ProPilot not counting my push ups?

This is something I noticed at first but it’s down to technique. For the pump push ups the ProPilot app uses the proximity sensor of your phone. This is the same features used by the phone to know when the device is next to your ear for a call, and thus turning the screen off. It ensures that the display is switched off as soon as you have the phone on your ear. However, this also means that it only triggers when you are really close to the display (1-3 cm). You can easily test this with your palm by holding it very close to the front camera. Here, however, the sensors of the various telephones react differently. In addition, the mode is programmed so that it ends the session after 5 seconds without contact. So put your chest / face down to the display and don’t pause too long.

You need to do reps in less than 5 seconds and go all the way down or it will time out or not count.

Overall Rating

The ProPilot turns monotonous workouts into fun and efficient training sessions, improving your coordination and stamina on the bike. I’m full on addicted, playing daily and seeing some serious strength gains in a short period of time.

Get one ordered and start the fun!

For 15% off Praep ProPilot use “VR15”

The Girl On A Bike with the ProPilot

*I do make a small commission if you buy so thank you in advance for the support and I hope you enjoy the Praep burn too.

See more discount codes I have to offer

Latest content

CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT Review

CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT Review

Keep reading to find out why I highly rate the CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT and would never have a vehicle without one.

CTEK CT5
CTEK CT5

Setting the scene

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and you’re off for a ride. What is the most disappointing thing that could happen? Finding you have a flat battery!

With a CT5 POWERSPORT here’s how to:

  • never face a flat battery again
  • make your battery last considerably longer and
  • perform more reliably
https://youtu.be/dj4rx6xW4sA

Introducing the CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT providing fully automatic charging for a range of vehicles.

With lock-down, winter, injury or just life taking over seeing many motorcycles and cars parked up for prolonged periods of time keeping their battery health up is important for a few reasons:

  • ensuring the vehicle will start when you decide to use it
  • keeping the battery health up and charged to capacity
  • helping ensure longevity of the battery
  • guaranteeing your battery is ready to go when you are

Unfortunately, if left unused a battery will lose charge and when a battery loses is full charge it dramatically reduces the long-term life of the unit. The CTEK devices are designed to live on your battery when not in use. They are perfectly engineered to provide the perfect level of current to keep the battery life in the ready and happy range. It’s actually possible to keep a battery running for many years longer when properly maintained with a CTEK too. That is a big saving.

The CT5 POWERSPORT has been designed specifically to charge and maintain powersport batteries using advanced technology to give you three fully automatic charging and maintenance programs:

  • Normal
  • AGM
  • Recond


Why CTEK?

They are the leaders in the market and they’ve got years of R&D to ensure the optimum performance int heir produces. The most important property of a battery charger is that it reaches the exact voltage during the charging cycle. Ge this wrong and your battery is in trouble. If the voltage is too high, the battery boils. The battery then becomes unusable due to dried-out cells and crevice corrosion, which occur when there’s high acid concentration and overheating during charging. If the voltage is too low, you end up with an incompletely charged battery that will lose more and more capacity until it gradually becomes unusable.

CTEK have designed a range of products fit for purpose. Many times a vehicle is going to be parked outside when needing charging, leaving you at risk with the elements and electrical products. However, CTEK know battery chargers are often used in damp and dusty environments, such as:

  • Outdoors
  • In garages
  • On caravans and campers
  • Around harbours and on boats

All CTEK battery chargers are approved for outdoor use (IP65 and IP44). If you’re using a cheaper rival and you’re using a battery charger outdoors, you must use a charger that’s approved for outdoor use or you could run into trouble.

Why battery charging should be on your maintenance list

As vehicle technology continues to develop, more and more strain is placed on the battery. As a result, battery charging has become an essential part of bike and car maintenance which should be considered as important as checking tyre pressures and oil levels.

There are various types of battery charger currently available – mostly smart chargers and trickle chargers. However, smart chargers present a much safer and efficient way of maintaining and prolonging the life of the battery.

How a trickle charger works and why you don’t want one

With a trickle charger once a battery has reached its optimum charge levels, a trickle charger will simply send in a level of charge for a certain amount of time and then switch itself off. It will continually repeating the process until it is removed from the battery. This method of battery charging can potentially overcharge the battery, causing it to dry out or even start to gas, and could ultimately kill the battery.

This is why I recommend a smart charger.

How a CTEK smart charger works

CTEK’s smart chargers move into a pulse maintenance mode once the battery is fully charged. Rather than sending in a charge and estimating what the battery needs, a CTEK charger will stay in constant communication with the battery, reacting and charging only when it is needed.

In pulse maintenance mode, the battery will be allowed to naturally self discharge to a certain level before being fully charged once again. Not only does this avoid the risk of overcharging but, as the battery is being exercised as it would be during normal use, the lifespan of the battery is extended considerably.

BATTERY FAILURE

Battery failure

If you look at the statistics, battery failure is often considered the number one cause for breakdowns around the world. This is both a big cost for possible call outs to get you home but also in the cost of new and replacement batteries due to failure from lack of maintenance.

Our modern vehicles have pretty complex and sensitive electrical equipment that constantly draws current from the battery, which means there is an ever-increasing number of mechanical faults that are battery related. The good news is that the expense and inconvenience of battery failure could be heavily reduced by regular battery maintenance.

CTEK’s unique range of smart chargers optimise the performance of lead-acid batteries through accurate readings of a battery’s charge levels, then ensuring the appropriate action is taken so the battery is always ready for use.

CTEK chargers extend the battery’s life and eliminates the problem of battery failure. More importantly, it makes sure that vehicles start first time, every time and the problem of battery failure is eliminated.

How CTEK chargers connect

Our chargers are easy to connect, spark proof and reverse polarity protected, so you can use them unsupervised and there’s no need to even disconnect it from the battery – simply ‘plug and play’ and the charger will do the rest.

CTEK connections
CTEK connections

What vehicles can CTEK work on?

CTEK designs and manufactures a range of smart battery chargers and accessories to suit all types of lead-acid batteries for vehicles including cars, bikes / motorcycles, marine vessels, agricultural vehicles and even lawnmowers.

Types of vehicles
Types of vehicles

What do these mean?

Normal – this is for living on your battery and maintains the correct charge to be ready for action. The units come with small battery connections that can be fitted and left discreetly on the bike. You can then clip the CTEK on and off in seconds giving you no excuses to not pop it on when you park up.

Recond – if your battery has run flat or is losing charge rapidly, the CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT can be put on an intelligent mode than will effectively recondition your battery. It’s not guaranteed to bring it back to live but I’ve many, many a battery living on after a CTEK recond.

What is the CTEK CT5 Powersport

The CT5 is a smart charger to optimise the performance of lead-acid batteries through accurate readings of a battery’s charge levels, then ensuring the appropriate action is taken so the battery is always ready for use. It effectively charges and maintains your battery when not in use.

 

Ease of use

Attached using two battery connections you simply install these once and you’re then good to go. You can leave it on for endless amounts of time. I’ve left my Harley for 10 months before and she started first turn over having had the CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT on to keep the battery maintained and ready for action.

The Techy Bits – CTEK CT5 Powersport (40-138) General Information

  • Comfort Connect compatible: Yes.
  • Rated voltage: 220-240v AC 50-60Hz.
  • Charging current: 2.3 amps.
  • Current, mains: 0.5 amps RMS (at full charge current).
  • Back current drain: <1.5 Ah/month.
  • Ambient temperature: -20 deg.C to +50 deg.C. Output power is reduced automatically at high temperature.
  • Battery types: All types of 12v lead acid batteries (wet, MF, GEL, Ca/Ca and AGM).
  • Battery capacity: 5-25Ah
  • Dimensions: 292 x 132 x 102 mm
  • Insulation class: IP65.

In the EU, all battery chargers must be CE marked. Third party testing and approval of equipment is required for your safety.

Limitations

Honestly, as someone who has owned a CTEK charger for over 12 years with the original unit still working, I have not found a single limitation. Having correctly maintained batteries with a CTEK unit installed on each vehicle, I would never be without them.

Maybe the limitation is on the human. If you forget to connect your CTEK you’re going to regret it….

Photo by Victoria Bowers

£££

You’re looking at £60-75 for a unit that comes with a warranty and is likely to last 10 plus years. You’ll have a ready for action bike or car and the piece of mind that you’re properly maintaining them. Avoiding the disappointment of a ‘sputter, sputter, sputter’ is worth every penny.  Also, by monitoring your battery condition, you can prevent a deep discharge occurring, which will result in loss of performance and early replacement.

See CTEK chargers on Amazon

Highlights

  1. Works on all 12V batteries (lead acid) and newer models also to lithium batteries
  2. Ensures your battery is ready to go when you are
  3. Increased battery life to save you money

Tips From Experience

  • The sooner you get one the sooner you’ll keep your battery health up
  • Get in the habit of having it permanently connected when parked up, it’s designed to be so it won’t over or under charge.
  • It’s kind of magic how a totally dead battery that you thought was only destined for scrap can be fully reconditioned and live on reliably after a CT5 revamp – saves you money on battery’s.

Overall Rating

Small but highly powerful and practical device giving you the confidence that you’re ride will be ready to go when you are. Looks after your battery for the longest life possible to give the most reliable performance so that nothing can come between you and that adventure. Must have for anyone with a vehicle with a battery!

Where to by – Amazon

I recommend shopping on Amazon to find a CTEK:

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Latest content

Tour Enduro Sardegna, Sardinia Review

Tour Enduro Sardegna, Sardinia Review

Sardinia is definitely a hidden gem in Europe for enduro and hard enduro riding and Tour Enduro Sardegna have it nailed!

The varied landscape and ability to ride so much terrain unhinged really exceeded my expectations. Tour Enduro Sardinia have an incredible knowledge of the local terrain, navigating seamlessly and knowing a huge mix of trails. Terrain included highly technical rocks, mountain passes, rocky riverbeds, valley bottoms, highlands, forest trails and all largely single track, plus some big fast sweeping fire tracks. Everything from steps, hill climbs, descents. waterfalls and mud to keep you on your toes. One day even enabled a mega loop to the coast for lunch.

More on Tour Enduro Sardegna here: TourEnduroSardegna.com

Enduro sardinia Sardegna
Incredible Sardinian landscape for enduro heaven

The accommodation was a beautiful ‘farmhouse’ villa block with onsite breakfast and dinner. I had a lovely comfortable big room and nice bathroom, set with views of the mountains. It was gorgeous. Lunch was in local restaurants, where I thoroughly enjoyed the local Sardinian cuisine.

Marco, the man behind Tours Enduro Sarginia is an absolutely fantastic rider! Akin to a mountain goat, so the ideal guy to show you around.

Tour Enduro Sardegna group riding
Tour Enduro Sardegna riding

I choose to rent a Husqvarna TE300i from Marco and it was fantastic. The perfect weapon and in great well-kept condition. You can also bring your own bikes if preferred.

Marco doesn’t have kit to hire but I always take my own so that was not a problem.

Would I go back to Sardinia? 100% I think it’s officially my favourite hard enduro riding location in Europe now. It has such a mix of terrain, the skill development and training is superb.

Tour Enduro Sardegna is a massive thumbs up from me!

Here are some of my favourite photos from my trip with Tour Enduro Sardegna:

Here’s some video from my Tour Enduro Sardegna trip:

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.