September 30, 2018
There was a time when punctures were a common occurrence. Roads were in a worse condition than they are now and there were many carts carrying small sharp objects such as nails, tacks, glass splinters and fragments of metal that could drop onto the tarmac. Today there are so many wheels traversing the highways and tyre quality has improved so much that the odds on your tyre coming into contact with a sharp object that can cause harm is remote. But punctures do happen and as it is now a rare occurrence it can catch any traveller unprepared.
The other day I felt my front driver’s side wheel scrape the curb and stepping out of the car to examine it thought the tyre looked flat. I still had some miles to drive that day so as a precaution I strove to change the wheel but try as I might with the onboard wheel brace I could not shift the wheel nuts. In the end I ruined the edges of the wheel locking nut which according to the RAC rescue service man I was forced to phone for help rendered it unusable. He also told me that whoever it was changed the wheel when I last renewed the tyre had over tightened the wheel nuts so that I had no chance of moving them with my wheel brace. The only option was to inflate the tyre and hope it remained inflated until I got home. This I duly did and to my astonishment the tyre remained inflated for several weeks afterwards.
These days it is quicker and easier for garages to use airguns to remove and replace wheels when renewing tyres. As a result a badly trained mechanic can pay little attention to the torque that should be applied and over tighten the wheel nuts. I now know that if I cannot loosen the nuts myself I must call an expert. I have since replaced the locking nut with one I obtained from my car dealer. I have also bought a can of tyre sealant foam to carry in the car as an emergency measure to get me home. In my motorcycling days I carried such a canister in a side pannier as it was too complicated to carry out roadside puncture repairs and of course there was no spare wheel. It is heartening to remember that precautions I took while touring the roads of the UK and abroad on two wheels around forty years ago still stand me in good stead now I journey on four.
Bike Travelling Man: a life with two motorcycles can be found at
January 15, 2018
A week before Christmas 2017 I found that I was unable to open the boot door of my Nissan Note. I googled this problem and found out that a number of others had experienced the same difficulty and that this was a well known problem with Nissan’s. The suggested solution was to lower the back seats, climb into the boot space, prise off the door panel and release the door mechanically. It then seemed that there was probably something wrong with the wiring to the electronic lock which needed addressing.
Years ago I would have tried to fix it myself, but I feel those days are long gone as I am not as agile or as confident as I once was of working on cars in confined spaces. So I phoned a local dealer and discovered that they were all booked up and was also told that I needed to pay them £50 to diagnose the problem. It seemed to me I had already diagnosed the problem. The door was jammed and it should not take a specialised dealer mechanic long to fix it.
However, modern cars are different animals to the vehicles I drove twenty or even fifteen years ago. They are electronically controlled moving machines regulated by micro computerised systems. Car doors used to be opened by simple lock and keys, but now they are mostly unlocked, as is the case of my Nissan, by pressing a button on a key fob which can be done several meters away. These convenient innovations are useful as usually a noise sounds and the indicator lights flash, which make it easier to locate a vehicle in a busy car park that. Useful, that is until something goes wrong.
In my motorcycling days in the 1970s and 1980s, I was able to fix most minor mechanical problems myself. Spares were readily available and there were printed manuals that could guide your way (For those, interested check out my ebook Bike Travelling Man: a life with two motorcycles at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W1S92K8). But modern vehicles are governed by computerised engine management systems and on-board communications gadgets link your mobile telephone and satellite navigation devices to controls on the dashboard. It is small wonder that when something seemingly simple goes wrong the average motorist has not got a clue how to fix it. Thus, it seems that the vehicle owner who is readily able to repair his own means of transport is now a creature of the past.
August 18, 2015
I am excited that my book, “Bike Travelling Man,” made the top 20 best seller list (#20) for Motorcycle ebooks Amazon UK Kindle Store. http://tinyurl.com/oulupn5. At the time of writing it is now in the top 30 because like the pop music charts the hits never stay in the same place for long.
Bike Travelling Man is published by Peatmore Press
and available on Amazon UK for £0.99 & Amazon.com for $1.56
July 2, 2015
The Peatmore Press five day promotion period for its latest ebook, Bike Travelling Man (BTM) under Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Program, has ended. It seems that 75 free kindle books have been downloaded by customers. Just one copy of BTM was purchased after the period was stopped prematurely at day 4. The ebook, American Road, is the only other Peatmore Press publication which has been selling consistently during the last year and one copy was sold at day 5. It is still early days but it looks like the book promotion has had no effect on the number of sold books. But the situation may improve if or when the 75 customers have had a chance to read their free copies and hopefully they will find their reading of BTM such an enjoyable experience that they will purchase other Peatmore Press books.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Report for all book Titles
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Report for Bike Travelling Man
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Report for American Road
The five day campaign has been a useful experience. It was hard work posting promotional material to websites, facebook groups and twitter accounts that accepted and agreed to promote BTM to their followers. Only two independent reviews were obtained before the book was entered into the promotion cycle. This was clearly not enough and more effort should be made to address this issue. One promising outcome of the campaign was that Book Goodies. com offered me an author interview which was gladly accepted you can check it out at http://bookgoodies.com/interview-with-author-keith-jahans.
Finally I wish all you writers and self publishers out there good luck with your book promotions. Your efforts deserve to succeed.
Editor, Peatmore Press
June 27, 2015
My latest book is free on Amazon Kindle Today. Grab it here! http://tinyurl.com/oapa5mu