Saturday, 1 September 2012

From Russia with love...

I have to admit, I had been looking forward to the Russian round of the WSBK season as soon as I had seen it on the calendar. I couldn't wait to go and see what the country was like and most of all the brand new race track that I had heard so much about... before I knew it there was on the plane on my way there!

With just a few rounds to go before the end of the season I am making sure that I experience as much of the countries I visit as I can within the time I am there and luckily for me, the press conference was being held in Moscow city centre. The traffic was an absolute nightmare so it took a while to get there but once I was there it was great! Check out the 'Sightseeing with Leon Haslam' video I put together to have a look around Red Square.

Over in Moscow there was a shift in the championship with Melandri taking the championship lead by 18.5 points ahead of Biaggi. I was lucky enough to have my picture taken with his trophy from his 2nd place finish in race one:

I know I must say it in every single blog I write, but I really am having the best year of my life and will be disappointed when the season comes to an end. However I have made some great friends and I will have great memories from every round that I have been to. It's a great year for BMW and I am really pleased to have been part of it - they're currently leading both the riders championship and the manufacturers championship and that's credit to the team and riders.

Here are the other videos from Moscow Raceway:

Superpole Reaction 

Race Reaction

Race Action

Next stop : Nurbergring - never been before, so super excited! (As usual....) :-)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Ron Haslam Race School

You know those things that you have always wanted to do? For some people it might be going to a festival or climbing a mountain...but for me it was to do the Ron Haslam race school and finally have the experience of going out on the track. Was it as good as I imagined? Nope, sounds a cliche, but it was better.

I had been crossing my fingers for days before for good weather on the day and my wishes had paid off, the sun was shining and there I was, driving to Silverstone ready to jump on a bike and go round the track.

If you take your own helmet, remember to clean your visor! Having my own bike I had taken my own leathers and helmet with me - clothing and equipment is available there though and you have the chance to try out an Arai lid - everyone else had gleaming helmets with clean visors....mine still had flies on it from the last time I had been out to Squires...shameful!

I met my lovely instructor, Darren Jones, who explained more about the itinerary of the day and introduced me to my bike for the day. There were three separate sessions out on track, each of which increased in speed and the bike got further and further over. I was taught about body positioning on the bike, opening the throttle A LOT, leaning your shoulder into corners and just how much fun bikes could be on the track.

At the end of your three sessions you are given your assessment filled out by your instructor, where you are given tips to improve even more, as well as a certificate to say you have completed the day successfully.

Before I knew it I was back in my car driving home. My whole body was buzzing with excitement and adrenaline from the day and I kept thinking about how much fun I had. I am lucky enough to go and watch the WSBK but doing the race school gave me a new respect for the guys out there. It's easy to forget when you watch the riders round track the amount of fitness required and how much the riders have to think about - I have even more respect for them now!

It sounds stupid to say but I honestly had the best time ever and I have already started thinking about when I can go again...

I have put together three tips though if you are planning on doing it:

  1. Listen - it is so important to listen to the instructors, whether you have done a track day before or not,  these guys know what they are talking about. 
  2. Remember the road is different - on the track there is nothing else to worry about, no bumps in the road, nothing coming the other way and no road regulations
  3. Make the most of it - It's easy to rush through a session and not make the most of every minute out on track but make sure you do as it's over before you know it.  

So, if you haven't do the Ron Haslam race school already....why the hell not?!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

BMW Motorrad Days 2012

Well well well! I have just returned from a trip to BMW Motorrad Days in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany and I have to say...I didn't want to come back! What an amazing event.

The weather was forecast to be thunderstorms so in my suitcase were a number of sweatshirts and waterproof jackets...I should know not to trust weather men because after a storm on the Thursday the rest of the weekend was glorious - I even got a bit of sunburn on the back of my neck!

I was lucky enough to travel from Munich to Garmisch on the back of a GS and had the opportunity to see the wonderful scenery on the trip - check out the picture above.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings - feel free to have a look at the videos I made while I was out there!

Day One and Two

Day Three and Four

If I were you I would book for next year...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sunshine, football and darn good racing...

From the title it would suggest that I had been on a stag weekend… I haven't! 

I have just returned from the seventh round of the World Superbikes over in Aragon and I can honestly say it has been one of the best weekends ever! 

The racing just seems to be getting better and better in the WSBK series with non stop action and every rider giving it his all until the final corner. Biaggi took the win in race one with Melandri and Checa filling 2nd and 3rd respectively. Race two saw Melandri take the top step for the third time this season for BMW Motorrad Motorsport with Laverty and Davies sharing the podium with him. 

It was great to see some new faces on the podium and it was a nail-biting fight for first place between Melandri and Laverty.

For those that are interested check out the videos I made whilst I was out there: 

So why the football reference? One of the highlights for me this weekend was strangely enough having the opportunity to watch the final of Euro 2012 in a tiny pub out in a Spanish village where we were the only english speakers…there was a great atmosphere- its certainly not something I will forget for a while. And strictly speaking, I don't even like football! 

Back to rainy England now, but it is good to be home - even if it is only for a few days before I fly out to Garmisch for the BMW Motorrad Days which I have heard are A LOT of fun! Will report when I get back :-) 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Time flies when you're having fun...

Time flies when you're having fun...or flying round the World! And I am pleased to say I am doing both!

Since I last updated you I have been lucky enough to travel to Australia, America, Holland and Italy all in the name of work.

I have been working for RBP International now for just over a year and can honestly say I have had the best year of my life. There have been lots of changes - I have bought a house, got a dog, worked very VERY hard and flown on around 16 flights.

I am working on accounts that I only dreamed of and have met nearly a lot of my motorcycle racing idols and would count some of them as friends.

So what do I do?

I work alongside the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team and produce video content for their YouTube channel. I film, edit and present videos and have a whale of a time doing it. I used to dream of attending all the WSBK meets and wondered how people were lucky enough to watch the races from the garages, but now that's me!

I am very much looking forward to seeing where I am in a year from now and the adventures I get up to, but I would like to share them. I will therefore be updating this blog regularly to keep you all in the loop with what I am up to and will share links to the videos I have put together!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

3 months and still standing!

Admittedly I’ve been terribly anti social lately – but I have a good reason - within the space of three months I have started my dream job, left University after three years, bought a house, acquired a puppy and graduated. So needless to say one of the first things to disappear was the time to update my blog. However during this time I have made some startling conclusions which I thought I would share so that those entering the job market could gain something from my three months head start – and those heading back to University can realise how lucky they are to see episodes of ‘This Morning’ and ‘Jeremy Kyle’.

I have learnt a million things since starting work but there are six major things that have really stood out to me:

- Your Facebook will become dormant

When at University my Facebook was stupidly active and I constantly had it on in the background whilst I was working on assignments and/or getting ready to go out. I haven’t been on my Facebook for around two months now and am pretty unsure when I will next go on and update my status…

- You’ll realise how much you can get done in one day

I’ve always been proactive and managed to keep myself busy at University between lectures and seminars. At work you will be amazed at how much you get done in one day and the time will fly by.

- That 9am lecture isn’t that early

Due to the commute to work I am setting off every morning at 7:30am. When I was at University I was aware there were two 7:30’s in one day but I rarely saw both. Now, I am awake, dressed and in the car and on my way to work. There are other people up at that time too…

- You’ll see your work colleagues more than you’ll see your friends

Spending over 9 hours a day with colleagues will mean that they will inevitably become the people who you spend the most time with. I am very lucky and work with fantastic people who I get on with very well. So make sure that when you’re looking for jobs consider the type of work environment you want to go into and ensure it matches with your personality.

- Deadlines?! What deadlines?!

At University I was the Marketing student representative and sat in on meetings were students were moaning about having deadlines on the same day. At work you have a million deadlines on the same day and to be honest, it would be better if everything was done yesterday. There is no such thing as ASAP as everything needs to be done ASAP. I simply cannot stress enough the importance of planning your time properly and being organised. I never imagined that I would have so many folders in my email inbox, but without them I would be screwed and wouldn’t be able to find everything.

- A good cup of tea (and team treats) can make your day

Often when everyone has their heads down and is focusing on their work it is easy to lose track of time. So by offering people a cup of tea it is a great time to take a breather and refocus on what you need to get done. And when you make someone a good cup of tea they really appreciate it. It's the small things that make your day - like having a joke with your work mates or getting a phonecall from a client who say thank you.

It’s been a great adventure so far and it seems strange that I am not heading back to University this September. I have met some really great people and am working with some brilliant clients so I'm in a very lucky situation.

I would be interested to hear other graduates experiences if they have started work – or if any employers have tips about making the transition from University into the work place feel free to share!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

@PRprofessionals - To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question #dilemma

It’s not an uncommon sight to see an individual nearly ran over because of mindlessly crossing the road whilst tapping away on their phones….I say this because it has happened to me, on numerous occasions. When I first got my Blackberry I was amazed at the amount of tasks I could do on it but has this fascination with multi-tasking gone too far?

I attended a conference in London and a comment was made about no one tweeting about the event. I personally was amazed with this, new to the whole ‘tweeting from conferences’ it felt completely alien to me to get my phone out and type on it whilst listening to someone talking.

But it’s not as strange as I first thought…

Rob Dyson (@RobmDyson), PR Manager at Whizz-Kidz, said: “I tweet from conferences. To share resources, tips and advice from the speakers with those who can't be there. Whenever I do, I always get people saying "thanks" so I keep it up.”

The more I have used Twitter the more I have followed conferences by searching for their hashtags, and the more useful I have found it!

There are plenty of advantages to tweeting from conferences such as:

- Speakers feel like they are making valid points which can be motivating and a confidence boost.
- Those who can’t attend the event feel involved and can keep up with the action.

-Could be seen as the new way to make notes. You could use them as a reference to look back on.

-It can be interesting to get an input from others and allows those who can’t attend attendance to get their pressing questions answered.

But is it in the spirit of sharing information or is it just an excuse not to concentrate?

The disadvantages can be:

- There is a high chance you could miss vital information.

- It is not guaranteed that the individual will just tweet as they might reply to an email or a text. There was a discussion by Richard Bailey (@behindthespin), a lecturer at Leeds University who decided to test out what would happen. It was met with contrasting responses…

So, we have established there are pros and cons but I think it raises a bigger question: Should it be socially acceptable?

I completely understand the benefit of tweeting from a conference and the insights that can be gained. The whole beauty of social media is the fact that you can gain hundreds of points of view in real time instead of waiting for an ‘official’ blog post which may not include questions that weren’t answered or the reaction of the room.

But if I told my grandma that I used my phone when someone was speaking to me she would clip me around the ear! Whatever happened to good old fashioned eye contact when someone is speaking to you?

However, it is completely dependant on the situation; it is different when being spoken to directly when compared with attending a conference with over 100 people in the room.

What do you find acceptable? Would you mind if someone tweeted whilst you were speaking? Do you actively encourage tweets during your presentations? Do you tweet from conferences? What’s your secret to multitasking?

For general phone use I have identified 4 types of phone ‘multi-taskers’, which one are you?!

The Ignorers:
They blatantly ignore you and concentrate on their phone. They don’t hear what you say and probably wouldn’t be interested even if they could.

The Pretenders: They are looking at you but they attempt to use their phone in their pocket or by placing it under the table. Another breed of the pretender tends to draw out sentences and fill them with ‘ermmmm’ whilst they try and finish whatever they are doing on their phone.

The Postponers: Their phone goes, they raise their hand and stop you from speaking and you must remain silent until they have finished. For me, the most irritating of them all...

The Touch Typers: This breed exhibits a high level of skill and practice. They maintain eye contact as they know exactly which buttons to press.