Riding into 2005

Two things that I'm determined to do this coming year.

I'd just finished reading Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's Long Way Round book (kindly given by Sue's Mum for my birthday at the end of November) when the DVD pops into my Christmas stocking (this time, nicely gift wrapped for my brother by Amazon (lazy git ;) )).

I'm not sure how well known the guys' trip around the world on motorbikes, from London to New York via Europe, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Alaska and Canada, is outside the UK, but if you haven't seen it yet, it's well worth splashing out a few quid. Given the massive scale of the undertaking (20,000 miles in three months) the account is not quite as detailed as I would like, but it does give an insight into the characters of Ewan and Charley and a welcome look at the cultures of Kazakhstan and Eastern Russia and is very, very funny.

(Ed: So what has this got to do with anything Malarkey?)

New Year's resolutions

I've spent the last seven years working constantly (and I'm very lucky), but sometimes I feel that the line between me and work gets a bit blurred. So this year I'm going to do some stuff for me. I'm not going to ride around the world on a BMW, but there are two things that I'm determined to do this coming year.

I started learning Russian a couple of years ago, and have picked it up and put it down, never really concentrating enough to progress beyond Good morning, two coffees please. So this coming year, I'm going to find a teacher and go for lessons once a week.

Not really inspired by Ewan and Charley, I have always had a fascination for bikes and never owned one. So this year I am going to ignore the faint memory of my Mum telling me how dangerous they are and I'm going to learn to ride a motorbike and then take my test.

Fancy joining me? Got stuff you want to do?


  1. #1 On December 30, 2004 01:23 PM Jeremy Freeman said:

    Well you got just two days to master the language and pass your riding test. Rather ambitious. Give yourself 367 days and you might just do it!

    What do I want to achieve next year - I'll decide tomorrow and report back with my resolutions!

    Happy New Year Andy!

  2. #2 On December 30, 2004 01:23 PM John Oxton said:

    A russian speaking mod on a motorbike... around Abergele, hee hee that may just be too much culture!

    My ambitions this year are to go on a proper holiday for a full two weeks and to learn a little about XSLT.

  3. #3 On December 30, 2004 01:41 PM k. said:

    Good idea in learning to ride a motorbike. The girlfriend and i bought each one last year, and it has been tremendous amounts of fun.

    We're planning to ride the Highlands in Scotland this year (well 2005). Can't wait!

    Happy New Year and let us know how it goes ;)

  4. #4 On December 30, 2004 03:14 PM Jared Christensen said:

    You will really enjoy biking. Here is a picture of me at the track. (image missing from Jared's server)

  5. #5 On December 30, 2004 05:14 PM Richard@Home said:

    My resolution for the year is to install and use linux. Its been the same resolution for the last 3 years :-/

  6. #6 On December 30, 2004 05:57 PM Henri Bergius said:

    Motorcycling is definitely a good choise of a hobby. I'm a biker, just like some others in the office. During the summer it is very nice to get out and let the wind wipe all work thoughts and stress on the bike.

    It is easy to get started by touring the nearby areas (UK definitely has some nice country roads!), and then expand the circles by trips to the continent and beyond...

    Oh, and if I dare to suggest, the British company Triumph makes some nice bikes.



  7. #7 On December 30, 2004 07:01 PM Marco said:

    I wish I could say I was a biker, but alas, I am not. I wish you the best though.

    As for resolutions? Learn more about RSS, RDF and XML. Oh, and to write an article for 'A List Apart'.

    Is that too geeky or what? :)

  8. #8 On December 30, 2004 08:12 PM Malarkey said:

    Ooops! :) Looks like I forgot to turn off images in comments after the Christmas party! Still, if everyone behaves I'll leave them on. (Is this normal?)

    I need to find a motorbike instructor up here in North Wales. If anyone can recommend one... and anyone know a good Russian teacher?

  9. #9 On December 30, 2004 09:49 PM Max said:

    I sat and watched the UK DVD of the show this last Sunday since I missed the US airings halfway through (Damn you Bravo, always changing the times for stupid Celebrity Poker Showdown).

    I loved it! Good luck with your new goals! One of these days I'll get the stones to get a bike also.

  10. #10 On December 31, 2004 01:28 AM Turnip said:

    I could learn to ride a moped, as I turn sweet sixteen in March, but I doubt I will. So here are my ambitions:

    * Do well in my GCSEs, I really must manage to get a grade in French. That would be good.
    * Save up enough cash to buy a Mac.
    * Save up enough cash to buy a nice digital camera.
    * Save up enough cash to buy an iPod.
    * Save up enough cash to take over the world!

  11. #11 On January 1, 2005 12:41 AM Graham Bancroft said:

    S Novim Godom

  12. #12 On January 4, 2005 01:58 AM YoungHistorians said:

    I'd love to learn German beyond "Excuse me, is this table free?"

    I'd also like to race mountain bikes.

  13. #13 On January 4, 2005 11:54 AM Rob Waring said:

    I keep meaning to do the bike thing myself but for now I'll stick to the following:

    Save money for uni final year,
    Pick a project I can do (with some xHTML and CSS in it ;))
    Practise my playboating for next years competitions

    P.S. cool site Malarky :D

  14. #14 On January 4, 2005 06:36 PM Ben Ward said:

    I have a couple of fairly serious aims for the year. Firstly, as with every year, I want to lose a bit of belly (20 years old is not a good age for a beer gut).

    Second, and probably more difficult, is to try and move on in the world and start establishing something professional in my name. I'm working a year in industry inside the Fujitsu Siemens web team (where we whinge about the lack of web standards on the home page and occasionally write software), which is a start, and I periodically contribute to the W3C CSS mailing list, but I envy (not in a dangerous or scarey way) the achievements and respect of the Brit Pack bloggers and want to start building myself a future that means I can do what I love, meet with like-minded people and be nothing short of cool in the eyes of at least one other human being (who isn't my sister).

    I read that again and think "at least it's ambitious". Happy New Year.

  15. #15 On January 5, 2005 02:34 PM Andy Budd said:

    I got "The Long Way Round" book for my girlfriend who has a rather concerning crush on Ewan. She's been watching the series on cable and mentioning how cool she thinks he is every 5 min.

    I assume you'll be getting a scooter then? I can just see you now, zooming around the country roads with a wall or wing mirrors and a racoon tail on your aerial.

    I almost bought an Enfield Bullet in India back in 96 with the plan of riding to China. However as I can't ride a bike and am crap at engineering, I though better of it.