03/05/2021

Journal of a newbie biker EP2

Today I did my longest trip so far, around 160 Km, here is what I learned.

Lesson number three: be humble
I know, this may sound obvious but it’s always good to remember.
You have your first bike, you have your license, you have your safety gear, what can go wrong? Well everything.
No, nothing bad happened to me, but the more I ride the more I understand there’s always something to learn, and the moment you feel too comfortable is the moment you’re closer to make mistakes, bad mistakes.
A few days ago I went to a grocery store for buying some stuff, while I was coming back there was a bump in the road and I though I was some sort of enduro superstar, so I was standing on my footpegs just before a turn. I was too fast for it so I started to brake, but while I was braking I was still twisting a little bit the thrust and I almost crushed on the side of the road on a small wall.
Thanks to the ABS I stopped… but I went so close to ruin my day. In that case I don’t think I can get some injury because I was not that fast, I was riding on an empty street and nobody else was involved… but it was a good lesson :’

Lesson number four: your body needs to adjust to riding
Serious adventure riders can ride for hours, hours, hours, and if you look to their fantstic videos you can think that’s a piece of cake, right?
Well, no :)
I’m not speaking about commuting or a small 50Km trip, I’m speaking about riding for 200-300 Km a day, that’s exhausting for your body.
Don’t get me wrong, you can do it, but you need your body to get used to it, you need training and, most important, you need to be patient, Rome was not built in a day, right?
The last time I went to the lake I did about 100Km with one break in the middle, when I returned home I was happy as a child but my legs were really really tired and specially my butt was hurting.
Today I did 160 Km in total, I did 3 breaks; when I stopped for the first break my butt was hurting and I felt my legs tingling a little bit, after a 5 minutes break I was as good as new, same after each of the other breaks.
At the end of the day the trip was fantastic and I was really happy, I felt like I was able to go around the world and more… but no, remember the previous point, be humble, be patient and train yourself :)

28/04/2021

Journal of a newbie biker EP1

I decided to create a new series of posts about my experience as a newbie biker, I thought it can be fun to read it in a few years and maybe It can be useful to other new bikers to avoid my errors or to better understand the most common problems.

Lesson number one: don’t trust the fuel indicator on your bike.
Looking to older bikes without any fuel indicator (only the reserve light) I always thought how people can use them, I mean how can you plan any trip without knowing how much fuel do you have in your tank?!?
Well, my bike has a beautiful fuel indicator on its dashboard, I won’t say it’s useless, but honestly it’s not accurate at all or at least it’s not as useful as in cars.
If you think about it it’s perfectly normal, bikes have smaller tanks than cars (my bike has a 16l tank), bike’s tank has a totally different shape than car’s one, so accelerations and turning around makes the fuel move much more inside the tank and the tank sensors can’t always get the exact amount of fuel in the tank itself.
Don’t get me wrong, fuel indicators are useful but they are not very precise, so one thing you must learn is to reset the trip counter after each refueling, after a while you know how many Km you can travel before the fuel reserve.

Lesson number two: never downshift multiple times without releasing the clutch.
Gears on a bike are different from cars, multiple downshifting on cars is not recommended but it’s not a big deal, on bikes can cause problems or can get shifting stucked.
I usually don’t do it, it happened to me a couple of times while I was stopping suddenly, and after that I noticed that my gear indicator and the shift pedal seems to be stucked; solving the problem was easy, I was standing still and I only had to slowly release the clutch while moving the bike a little bit forward using my feet, in this way the shifting started working again and everything was fine.
I repeat, It can happen specially if you’re new to bikes, but don’t do it on purpose. Each time you make a downshift release the clutch, even for a couple of seconds, the engine will help you to slow down and you’ll make your gears work properly.

And now a pic from my today trip, the longest so far on my biker career, around 100 Km to the nearest lake to my little town ;P

11/04/2021

Welcome Noraly

Finally the day I dreamed for so long arrived!
I waited for so long, with so many doubts “will I use it or it will stay forever in the garage?”, “will I be able to manage it?”, “will I waste my money?” and many more… I waited until my fourties… and then something happened.
I don’t know if the cause was the pandemic, its madness and its sadness, I live right in the middle of the two hottest areas of the first COVID-19 wave in Italy, maybe the most dangerous place in the world one year ago; back then everybody in this regione lost someone because of the virus, maybe this tragedy pushed me and finally I said “let’s do it!”.

However It was a wild ride, when I went to the driving school for the bike driving license everything was shutting down, I had to wait more than 6 months to get the opportunity the do the exam for it, and after that there was a really tiny probability to get the bike in o couple of months, otherwise I would probably had to wait at least 6 months, if not a whole year.

But I was lucky, It took less than two months and finally I had the call from my dealer and now, a week later I got my Ténéré 700.

 

It was love at first sight, I love her lines, I love the technical choices Yamaha did, I love its simplicity, just after viewing some of the first reviews It was clear that she’s the one, the bike that can do everything, the “unicorn” everyone was waiting for.

I don’t want to go into technical details, there a a ton of reviews online, but I read a lot of people saying the T7 is not a good bike for a beginner, in this post I want to give my feedback as a beginner, and why I think the T7 is a wonderful bike for a beginner that want an adventure bike.

Engine.
The Yamaha T7 uses a twin parallel engine with around 74-75 HP, with a lot of torque at low rpms.
The power is well enough for everything, cruising, twisties and off-road; I have no experience with off-road riding (exactly one hour ago I did my first test in the small country roads near my house) but people more experienced says this is perfect for it, from a newbie perspective it’s also perfect because It will give you thrust in every condition, are you messing with the gears and you’re super low on rpms on a high gear? No problem, the T7 will get you out of trouble with a simple twist of your right hand.
I remember the bike I used for my training on the driving school, It was a Kawasaki ER6, and it was a nightmare on those situations. on 2nd gear at low rpms the bike was like a crazy horse jumping around with so many vibrations and force you to work with the clutch to not get stuck; on the T7 it’s a pleasure, seems like another universe.

Riding position
Not a lot to say: It’s simply perfect, it’s comfortable, you have everything on sight and as a beginner it gives you a lot of confidence.

Weight
It’s the lightest between adventure bikes, so it’s absolutely light? No, when you stand still and move the bike left and right you can feel its weight.
Does this change anything between a newbie and an experienced rider? No, the bike weight is still the same, and if you drop it it’s hard for everyone.
From a newbie point of view the only important thing is that the bike is incredibly light when you’re riding, also on really tight turns you always feel everything under control (It was not the same on the ER6, on 180° tight turns I felt the bike almost falling).

Electronics
On this aspect people tend to consider the T7 not a good bike for newbies because it only has ABS, no traction control, no driving maps, no cruise control, in other words no fancy electronics.
As a beginner I disagree, as a beginner I don’t want to get my errors fixed by some automagic fancy eletronics, I want to understand what I’m doing wrong, I want to feel my bike, I want to learn if It’s ok or if I’m pushing too much on my actual limits.
Electronic stuff maybe can help you avoid some danger situations, but I prefer to understand them and fix them myself, hiding problems will not solve them, and I want to learn and be a better rider.
So imho it’s better to have a bike with the right amount of power, with a good riding position, a good design that makes you feel comfortable and (almost, there’s ABS, but you can disable it on the rear wheel for off-road) no electronics, than a too powerful and unpredictable bike with a lot of electronics to make you able to do the same things.

Price
Well price is subjective, imho 10k € for an adventure bike with such a good engine and so capable to do everything is a good price.
Some will argue that It has no electronics (check the previous paragraph), It has no tubeless tires (for someone it’s an advantage, for someone else is a con) or some cheap plastics, honestly I prefer to spend my money for good fundamentals, a good frame, a good engine, and good ride position than for electronics, nice plastics or tubeless tires (you can always convert tube wheels to tubeless if you want).

Cons?
Yes there are cons on the T7, as I said before the weight can be tricky but it’s not something you can solve with experience.
It’s an high bike, but that’s a con only for short people, I bought mine with the rally seat (a couple of cm higher than the standard seat), for me it’s perfect and I’m able to flatfoot in any situation.

Why Noraly?
Well, that’s the name I choosed for my T7, it’s because I wanna thank Noraly “Itchy Boots” an incredible woman that inspired me so much, maybe (or maybe not, who knows? :P) I will not be able to do the incredible travels she did, but she made me dream, and the dream today is come true and I can ride on it. :)
I strongly suggest you to follow here on https://www.itchyboots.com/ and her Youtube channel.

23/03/2021

OVH on fire

As you may heard on march 10th a large fire destroyed part of a big datacenter in Strasbourg owned by OVH (maybe the biggest european service provider), and yes, this blog burned with it.

After the accident there was a huge discussion on the web, flames (sigh…) on Twitter and Reddit about this crazy provider which doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan or some sort of automagic backup, so people get stucked with no options other than start their site/service from scratch…

Some of you may think I’m mad about it and I would run away from this provider… well I’m not and I’ll remain with OVH.

The reasons are very simple, first of all as you can see the blog is back (maybe better than before, things like this always makes you think how can you improve stuff, or at least this is how they work for me) because (surprise surprise!) I had a backup every 6 hours on another location (thanks restic).
The second reason why I decided to stay with OVH is that their vps offer is perfect for my needs, it costs like a shared hosting service and runs so much better, and obviously I can do whatever I want with my private vps, instead of get stucked with only a wordpress hosting service.

And no, I’m not mad with OVH, because even without reading carefully the contract I signed, I knew from the beginning that I had to take care of backups, even if they were included in the service (and they’re not in my case).
Why? Because I want backup made on my way, so I can control them, I can check them, I can figure out the best recovery plan for me.

I understand those who were complaining about backups made in the same location where the burning happened, they payed for a service and it has a flaw (a big one, don’t get me wrong).
But from my perspective there was a bigger flaw, and it was their thinking “ok I paid someone to take care of the backup, job’s done”.
No… no…. NOOOOO!
If you own a service you have the responsibility to take care of the backup, to understand it, to figure out the recovery plan, and to test it; if their backups burned with servers it’s because they missed one, many or all those points.

That’s it, for me the case is closed.

05/05/2020

Eve Online SOTA part 1

It’s been a while since a wrote something about Eve, and to be honest this is not a State Of The Alliance (SOTA) because… well I’m not an alliance executor and not even a corp CEO, I’m just a regular grunt, as my Twitter bio says I’m just another kender exploring New Eden.

This is not only a post about Eve, in some sense this is a milestone for me because my main character reached the symbolic objective of 100.000.000 skill points; If I sum all the skill points of all my toons I’m reaching about 400.000.000 SP, but you know… the first char is always the most beloved.

Last time I wrote something about Eve I was starting to train one of my biggest and most precious objective, the JF pilot, It was exactly 4 years ago, I reached that goal and despite all the other big objectives (dread and carrier pilots well trainer, two maxed rorqual toons, one almost maxed industrial an reprocessing toon, 6 maxed pi toons, etc etc…) that JF was one of the sweetest and maybe the most precious.

The Italian Alliance I started with died almost 6 months after I joined because of too many elite-pvp players inside, with the core group we joined CO2 back in Tribute, I was part of one of the epic siege of M-OEE8, we fought hard, we lost the first real fought Keepstar citadel and became history.
Then with the entire alliance I moved to Catch and Impass, where we suffered the biggest betrayal in the history of Eve aka “the Judgement Day”.

Thanks to some good friends (and awesome human beings) we moved to Test Alliance Please Ignore in Esoteria, one of the most remote regions of the Eve universe.
We spent almost a year in Test and I have to admit that I loved it, my time in CO2 was great, but the alliance really changed during the years, it became more obsessed on pvp and revenge, almost closed to new players, at some point CO2 became the only alliance without allies and against everyone, and honestly I didn’t like it…
Test was really different, even today I think it’s the most organized alliance I ever seen, awesome wiki, doctrines extremely well documented, very friendly for noobs, everything was great for regular grunts like me, can’t say the same thing for our CEO because Test leadeship seems quite… how can I say… tricky.

After that experience our corp moved into another historic alliance, The Initiative. I always heard about them as smaller but more pvp focused alliance, some kind of elite pvp group inside the Imperium coalition.
At first I was not sure at all and was tempted to leave my corp and stay in Test, but I decided to have faith in our former CEO (I repeat an awsome person) so I jumped into Init.
We started living between Querious (which was the first null region when I started playing Eve) and Fountain, It was tough at first because we lost our habits (we made a lot of huge industrial production in Esoteria) but then I found an equilibrium and things started to work pretty well.

After about six months into the trial alliance Initiative Mercenaries we were promoted as full members of The Initiative, and I have to admit that I was really proud of it, we were parte of one of the most skilled and active groups in the history of Eve.
With Init we made history again, we archived something that everyone in the game considered impossibile, something called the “siege of Rage” which took an entire year of work and preparation and concluded with the destruction of the first Keepstar citadel ever built in the game, we made history, again.

Living in Init is quite different from every other alliance I lived before, in Init I found great fleet commanders, awesome people always helpful and willing to do everything, but it’s a more mature alliance, you must be able to get your stuff, you must be more independent from a logistic point of view, don’t expect the alliance will run for you providing everything you need, you asked to be part of Init, not the opposite.

Now I continue to play, yesterday I lost my first capital into a huge brawl (I used them several times during the years but never lost one) that made almost 1 trillion isk in lost ships, It was awsome.
During the last year I had moments when I really never played, when I thought to leave the game, months spent mainly doing PI, putting skills in the queues and nothing else; it was not an alliance fault, nor my corp fault, it was simply the consequence of huge CCP mistakes, but that’s a different story for a new SOTA rant.

o7

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