New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours

Combining Motorbike Touring with Training


July 2015

Not biking, but informative – phone scams – no swearing in front of children!

Just had one of those nuisance callers purporting to be from my network provider, TalkTalk.

How to deal and recognise a fake caller:

1. No number came up on my caller identification screen on the phone – it said “Private number” – this could be genuine of course so need to be mindful of that.

2. The caller (to be known as “scumbag”) started by stating he was from TalkTalk and asking if this is “Genet” ie me!

3. The line was rather noisy so immediately my suspicions were aroused. The “scumbag” on the end of the line was Indian. Scumbags such as this come from all over, just happened he was Indian this time.

4. “scumbag” then went on to say that the reason for the call is that TalkTalk had noticed someone else was using my network connection and that TalkTalk only provided this service to me. “scumbag” also stated that he wanted to stop this extra use.

5. Ok, at this point (actually I realised straight away what was coming) I knew what “scumbag” wanted to do next! Basically “scumbag” wanted to take control of my computer to do some checks for me. Once “scumbag” had access to my computer he would then go through all my files and pick out anything that would provide him with bank account details, logins, passwords etc – these are all stored in files within the computer.

There are two ways of dealing with this sort of call:

1. The “Sally” way of just putting the phone down
2. The “Peter” way – let rip with all the expletives you can! “scumbag” then put the phone down on me!!!

The only trouble with point 2 is that it is the school holidays and I forgot the children were at home and heard me!

And another one!! That’s two in one day. Though this time, she held out much longer than her colleague; I asked her that if the anti-virus software was allowing dodgy software to load onto my computer then it wasn’t working so am I not owed a refund?

Anyway, she gave me a number to call back on, 01618187865 which when you look it up is a scam line, or is that scum line? Her name was Catherine but I didn’t ask if that was with a “C” or “K” – I’ll ask next time though.

She too put the phone down on me. Must have been something I said 🙂

Just be careful about who calls you. No bank, telephone or reputable company will ask for your details. if they do, simply put the phone down.

My way also works, I enjoy it. I don’t care about how they feel and the so called “do gooders” who say they are just doing a job! Anyone cold calling me from any call centre selling me something I haven’t asked for or claiming I am owed compensation or PPI gets very short shrift.

Right, back to the day job!

RoADAR Rideout – learnt a few things today!

First time out with the riders from RoADAR; a little apprehensive as these guys know how to ride and I’m a newbie. But, anyway, the best way to learn is through experience.

Meeting at the southern meet up point, Budgens just outside of Marlborough, we headed back into Marlblorough turning right halfway up the hill at the crossroads. Plan was to go towards Newbury, Alton, Basingstoke, and home again via some scenic country lanes and a tea stop or two along the way.

Our first stop was Nelson’s diner where we had coffee and tea. This is a ‘50’s style diner with the look and feel of an American diner as it would have been; including the music and the girls dressed in their ’50’s stlyle skirts and make-up. I don’t really know where this was, but somewhere halfway between Newbury and Basingstoke.

From here we followed the back roads to our next stop a BMW garage – ok, now I know what I want next! Next stop a garden centre for lunch and some really good homemade food. Think we were now near Winchester.
And from here, we headed back home. I did recognise some of the place names, such as Crawley but must admit the exact route we took is still a mystery to me 

All in all, there were six of us. We used the drop off routine which was explained to me at the start, though I must admit I need to get used to it a bit more. Similarly, I need to get used to being in a convoy of bikes. I found it hard to see sometimes where the leader was and which turning he took. By trying to follow too hard and keep up and not ride at my own pace and style, I made many riding mistakes. This will improve with experience.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day’s ride with some very nice people most of whom I had never met before. Julian, Jo, Jed, James and Mike.

Total ride in miles was approx 125 by the time I got home. Time in saddle – who knows – it doesn’t really matter!

RoADAR – what’s that?

Attended a RoADAR meeting this evening. Rospa Advanced Drivers And Riders group hold a monthly meeting (except August) up at Liddington village hall. This evening was a very interesting talk about the inner workings of ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – no, they are not the killjoys, that’s the insurance companies!)


Anyway, they’ve been good to me. Almost free advanced rider training which has enabled me to ride safely whilst making good progress – and yes, sometimes fast too!

Why not pop along? We are a friendly bunch; both tea and coffees are available 🙂 My style of riding has changed – more like the Police now but without the blue flashing lights!

Come and meet the team at the Calne bike meet 24-25 July, the largest free bike meet in Europe

Ross-on-Wye – Spandau Gold!

What a cracking day! Nice bright and early start, Richard and me. Surprised no-one else came along for the ride – literally!

Anyway, plan to head out to Ross-on-Wye as I thought I had been there before and knew of a coffee/tea stop.

So, heading out of Cricklade north bound, we took the A419 and A417 to Gloucester. For our convenience, Ross-on-Wye was signposted which we duly followed! However, roadworks meant there was a deviation so we went via Tewksbury instead. Nice looking market town all ready for its carnival that day with colourful bunting strung across the road.

No signs for Ross-on-Wye further along though so we “found” the M5 and thoughtfully sped along here for one junction (or was it 2?). Now Ross was marked and at the Ross turning we took the M50. 12 miles to go – seemed like a long 12 miles though.

Arrived at Ross-on-Wye, and no, I didn’t recognise it at all. I have never been here before so I think I got my towns mixed up. Anyway, it was pleasant enough. Stopping for a coffee using the car park behind Sainsbury’s, we had a nice coffee bar in a small courtyard. Sorry, can’t remember the name, but it could have been Cafe Eazz?

Mentioned to Richard that evening my wife, Sally, and I were heading out to see Spandau Ballet at Westonbirt Arboretum. Jealous? Yes, I think he was – ah ha ha haaaaa, ah ha! One of those gold moments!

Anyway, to cut a long story short and suitably refreshed, we left Ross-on-Wye following signs to Gloucester. Turned out to be a rather nice route home. Good bendy windy roads to provide some challenge to the ride. Motorways are ok, but sooooooo boring!

Got home around 11.30am. All in all, a nice ride of around 78 miles including a couple of detours and tours around a town I didn’t know. KES also clocked 60,000 miles this trip! Going strong still!

Thoughts are turning to our next ride out which will hopefully be in August and as its Summer, we need to head to the coast for fish’n’chips. Swanage perhaps? Nice ride down there! Down the A419, A4 to Marlborough, onto Salisbury and winding our way through the Dorset countryside on an early August morning – hope it stays dry!

Ride tomorrow!

Looking rather good for a ride first thing tomorrow morning. No rain! Only sunshine forecast! Can’t wait for a spin now.

As I left work last week to go freelance, I’ve spent a lot of time at home getting my new business sorted that I haven’t been out and about as much as I would have liked, if at all!

So, that means a nice long blast tomorrow to remove some of these cobwebs!

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