In 2012 we all enjoyed Jubilee celebrations and Olympic Games successes. For past members of the Leicester Phoenix MCC there were all kinds of events and activities.
Many past members continue to take an active part in motorcycling. We received badges for some 2012 rallies from John Newitt. Ian Bower took a ride up the the Arctic Circle (to get away from our summer?) Others take every opportunity to recce for the cycle group.
We still enjoy visiting the main motorcycle shows including the BMF Show, Stafford Classic and Motorcycle Live. Motorcycles remain our primary interest although you could be forgiven for believing they come third after birds and breakfast!
Past members and friends again manned a Control for the National Rally at the beginning of July. Typical of the ... er ... summer weather, the rally included heavy rain, blustery winds and a cold night. There is a full review of this annual endeavour and random thoughts from Dave Smith who competed once again. We will be looking for even more support to meet new challenges in 2013.
Later in July there was a big gathering to celebrate milestone birthdays with Tony Loach and Tony Bradley.
Big success of 2012 has undoubtedly been our cycling programme: A growing band of retired members is determined to keep body and soul in shape with a weekly outing. The best weather came in the spring but we
puddled pedalled on through the summer knowing that every Cloud Trail ride may not have a silver lining but there is always a pub along the way.
As more past members reach retirement we hope that our group will expand. Please join us and we'll break you in gently!
LPMCC.net has made strong progress through 2012 thanks to the many contributors who have sent badges, photos and reports. There were no less than 67 new pages added taking the total to over 1300. Beside full pages there were 147 additions to existing pages, over 2000 new photos and nearly 200 more badges.
But it's not all about numbers - you can find those in the Statistics - it is about community and value. And there was no better value than the definitive Rally List from Hans Veenendaal. In 2012 the number of rallies reached just under 3000 and they were arranged by date, country, mapped and linked to the organisers. An absolute tour de force from Hans and his industrious team of researchers. We added a table of totals by country and month (and got the totals to add up!) In 2013 the list will be even more useful because you can include rallies in your own list for planning your weekend campaigns.
With the club in its 51st year it is no surprise that many past members think their contribution was fleeting. Nonsense! Everyone contributed to our unique spirit of companionship and their legacy is continued with the friends they made at the time ... and since. To help make the connections across the years we added tables at the bottom of many of the reunion pages that indicate who were contemporaries. Of course these don't indicate the new links forged since then by shared activities and cemented by our shared heritage.
We made contact with John Beccles who provided some club membership registers from the 1980s. A lot of names were added to the Past Members lists. I hope they will find they are remembered, make contact and rejoin the fun.
We continue to use Skype to hold virtual club nights on the last Wednesday of every month. In 2012 we also embraced Facebook as an additional way to communicate. It came in handy when LPMCC.net went down in November so add it to your favorites/bookmarks in case of future trouble.
Many new features were introduced during the year or prepared for use next year.
- You can "save" your own badges, either for fun, or to print onto a T‑shirt.
- After you have spent time working out your National Rally Matrix route it will be saved for when you return to the page on LPMCC.net.
- The 2012 National Rally photo album of competitors narrows down the identity of riders by comparing the time they signed in at Kegworth with the time the photographs were taken.
- Recording a route has been greatly improved by using Google Maps' latest API. Pity no-one has used it yet!
Many improvements make better use of the Contact Centre by using it to show options for seeing information, saving your own notes, badges, rallies and bookmarks and sending information to LPMCC.net.
Over the year visits have increases by about 50% and average daily bandwidth use has steadily climbed from 130MB to over 200MB.
I suspect I put far too much into running LPMCC.net (at the expense of failing to put my Trident back on the road) so through 2012 I made an effort to count the time I spend squinting at my computer monitor. The exercise is illuminating and will form the basis of efforts to be better organised and control my enthusiasm.
Hours Worked per Week
Continuing our strategy of "Work Smarter - Not Longer" I developed, extended and reorganised the Administration files that write and update construction data and navigation pages. Administration tasks are now clearly grouped into ...
- Tasks done every time new content is added (daily) such as updating the site navigation maps, RSS and mobile phone pages, search engine index files and checking thumbnail photos.
- Weekly work such as writing the News and updating the photo records.
- Updating the statistics at the beginning of every month so I can check that we are heading in the right direction.
- Special pages are in place to check badges, geocode rallies, add new rear observation results and plot routes.
- Cross checking data about pages, rallies, badges, events and people to make sure everything is consistent and then writing simple pages that search engines have no difficulty indexing.
- Off-site resources are linked from the same administration index to make sure they are easily accessible.
- Some hidden data is displayed so I can keep a wary eye on the works.
Errors still occur on LPMCC.net and I'm grateful when you report them. They are not just corrected on a firefighting basis; causes are considered and processes introduced to try to eliminate their reoccurance.
The Bad News
Regretably we again lost old friends towards the close of the year. Norman Leatherland and Martyn Green both died in December. We will miss them with sadness but remember them with joy.
This year the website went off line from 10 to 12 November. This was due to a problem with the server at our hosting company. It all went pear‑shape on Saturday evening so repair work didn't start until the following Monday. Luckily it seems to have had little ill effects on LPMCC.net but it did raise my stress level.
I'll not set targets that are merely predictions or unrealistically challenging. So here is a wish list that you are invited to assist with.
The cycle group is going well and I'd like to see new riders taking part. When numbers turning out become unmanagable we'll come up with a solution.
There is no reason we cannot have an equally successful motorcycle group. We already have the kernal of one taking regular rides but it isn't widely publicised. Get in touch if you want to be added to the contact loop.
There must still be lots of photos gathering dust in shoeboxes and biscuit tins. If you took photos the chances are you were on the other side of the lens. Post your photos to us so that the friends shown on them can find themselves on snaps they probably don't even know about.
We are still searching for many more old friends. Look through the lists and help our search with any leads you have. I'd also like to increase the Profile Updates so I'll be coming looking for people in 2013. If you are willing to implicate your accomplices we'll do a plea bargain.