Join Date: May 2007
Location: The Sand Pit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I will be booking into the HART Somerton school in Craigieburn when I get back by the looks of things as it does seem the easiest to get to. Thomastown bit too far and the Tullamarine HART only do training on the weekend and as I will be working shifts including weekends I will need to do the training courses on weekdays as well. I did see the list on the VicRoads site but have been in the UAE too long and am used to everyone being accredited but only 1 in a 100 being able to meet and maintain the standard and then 1 in 10 of those actually being good at their job! As a result I am a tad skeptical when I see the word accredited. I will also have a look on Netrider and see what they have to say.
I think I will try and sell my helmet before I leave (not much time left only 10 days left till I climb aboard the Freedom Bird) and then get another when I get back. If not then will just use it and see what happens I suppose until I can afford another one.
I'm a member of the Desmo Owners Club in the UAE and wanted to join the equivalent back home. I saw the Ducati Owners Club of Vic and have spent a few hours going through the website but will have to wait until I return to Melbourne to join as I don't yet have things like phone numbers, credit cards and most of the other stuff that I needed to register.
I really miss the club, car and bike scene from home. We were heavily involved in Targa Tasmania for the first 5 years as well as the MG clubs in Tasmania and WA. Victoria was always things like Winton Historics, Sandown Historics, Geelong Speed Trials and Philip Island was everything including the Superbikes/MOTOGP. We also did as many touring/navigation/tarmac rally events as we could in our MGB wherever we were living. We have had the MG since '95 but it's spent the last 9 years in the in-laws garage and only been driven 3 times!! Its now been dragged out of her sleeping place and is currently with Steve at Precision Autos in Summerhill, Tas. Great mechanic and one of only a couple of people who have really been able to tune the car properly. My daily transport will be a shared between the MG and the Monster. There is a pic of the MG in my photobucket link.
The car scene is starting to grow in Dubai over the last couple of years with people getting "real" cars (i.e. old stuff like mustangs, escorts, MGs, 260Zs etc but only a few and only for display and the occasional trackday) but the racing tends to be either brand new Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo/KTM/GTR/Lotus etc (way out of my price range) or 30yo Civics ($15,000+ for a car that you use 6 times a year or 12 if you do trackdays as can't register a modified car in Abu Dhabi) and again only really in Dubai. I have done a few trackdays at Yas Island and Dubai Autodrome (they usually have 1 a month in the cooler months) in my R32 Golf but at $200+ for 3 X 30min sessions it's only an occasional thing.
Bikes again have only started in the last couple of years but tend to be either KTM/BMW offroad stuff (they have started a good club and do runs, camps and meals) or the crazy locals on Honda/Suzuki/Yamaha drag-linked things and drag racing at up to 200kph through traffic doing 70kph is not really my idea of fun. Ducati Abu Dhabi started the DesmoOC this year and have had rides and meals etc which have been great but did drive home how much I have missed the bike/car club stuff and also spending spare time outside tinkering with the MGB and anything else I could find.
Sorry for the long posts but I am on "garden leave" until I fly out and only have 2 more small jobs to complete next week. Add to that it's Ramadan so all the food and most of the shops are shut during the day (no eating or drinking in public during daylight hours), my friends over here are either at work or on holiday overseas (you don't stay here during summer unless forced to), the wife and kids have moved home already oh and it's 43deg C outside at 9:30am. All that equates to being bored and having waaaay too much time to spend reading and posting on various boards.