Sunday, 8 January 2017

Back to off road

I finished off the holidays by organising powder coating of some parts from MVD that are salvageable and ordering new parts that aren't. Just the wait now before the rebuild commences! Meanwhile after an absence of about 20 months we made a return to Drumcarrow in Fife for some much needed practice on the trials bikes. The little we learn't the last period we were trialling has obviously been well forgotten so it was a day on the nursery slopes for us practicing easy (should be easy but aren't) manoeuvres , Fi's mum and dad came along for a visit so Dan took some photos and its thanks to him for the ones here. A braw day oot riding bikes, blethering and meeting folk, canny whack it. I was a bit concerned about the bikes as I had some difficulty getting them going yesterday and ended up stripping Fi's carb from her bike before realising that I probably didn't have the petrol on!! Much swearing but I'm glad to say they both ran fine today. Just as we were finishing Fi was determined to do a "wheelie" I tried to coach her but she misunderstood when I said open it up and she managed to flip it completely, no harm done , just sorry I didn't film it as it was spectacular. After a day of exertion a well deserved chippy in Queensferry was a fine end to the day.

Fi Concentrating
Me trying to concentrate
Tea break (very necessary)
Fi looking for a difficult bit
And again
Me looking for a rest
Nice view to enjoy oor chippy
New bridge taking shape

Thursday, 5 January 2017

MVD stripped

The main job this week apart from heralding in 2017 was to strip and hopefully start putting my old Norton Commando back together, the stripping was the easy part but I realise now it'll take a bit longer to rebuild. Parts have to be cleaned (amazing how much hidden grime can accumulate in the 44 years since it left the factory and the 36 years I've owned it) Although I've had the engine & gearbox out several times this is the first time its been down to the frame. I now realise even more parts will have to be renewed so I'll be playing my part in helping keep the British bike spare parts industry afloat. This bike has helped me tour tens of thousands of miles all over the UK and Europe, it was my commuter bike back in the days when I was racing and couldn't afford to run my old Transit van to work and college and I even raced (and crashed) it at Beveridge park in 85 (I think) after my race bike blew up so it deserves some Tender Loving Care (TLC). I had an ambitious plan of timescales but am beginning to realise it might be too ambitious. Life has to go on, miles have to be ridden, other bikes maintained, camping done etc so the best I'll say is that it should be ready for the Summer. I made this short timelapse movie of the stripdown which I hope you enjoy.


Monday, 2 January 2017

A Guid new Year to ane and awe

First I hope you all have a prosperous healthy and great 2017, secondly apologies for the lack of blogging but recent events have been more partying rather than motorcycling (sometimes both) and I wasn't sure if the readers were interested in photos of our friends in various states of drunkenness. I promise to make up for it in 2017 and try to get more interesting stuff on the blog.
We decided to try and finish what we abandoned last year and go camping but this time on Hogmanay (New years eve) to bring in the new year alone (we invited everybody but unbelievably we had no takers) wild camping in the Meldons, the Meldons are some hills just north of Peebles, nothing there except a road, a river and sheep and the very occasional passing car. We stopped for lunch at the Leadburn , most excellent and waited for the wind to gather speed and the rain to start before we set off to our camping spot. The rest is explained within the attached video. Just before Midnight as we pondered the stupidity of our situation Fi said "we've finally become German" a reference to exactly 4 years ago in Ushuaia  at Rio Pipo campsite when we were having a party in the warm and welcoming refuge at the campsite but just before midnight our German contingent left to go outside into the freezing cold to make a fire and stand outside, we couldn't understand it then but I suppose we kinda do now. Oh and a big thanks to George Martin who appeared with chip butties and some hot tea to keep our spirits up.
Anyhoo, here's to a great 2017 may all your miles be trouble free.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

December weather ok so far

Saturday spent in the garage fettling the trials bikes, almost there so realistically early January we should be back getting muddy (too much partying beforehand)! The sun this morning was streaming through the window so we got the chair out again and headed to one of our favorite cafe's at Gullane. We were early on the road and the temperature barely above freezing but it was dry, roads were quiet and the sun was out, whats not to like. We made it along the bypass (officially one of the most congested roads in Europe) before the lunatics hit the shops in the annual insanity that is Christmas shopping so even that was bearable. The Firth of Forth at Longniddry was like a millpond, still and very blue reflecting the blue sky in its mirror like surface.
The first (and only) shock was finding the cafe is under new management but good news is the tea and food is still excellent. We paid the £2 parking fee at Gullane very reluctantly, charging people to go to the beach is a poor show, there are facilities but I thought thats what we paid our council tax for, still I suppose we all have to chip in to pay the outrageous salaries of the blood sucking self opinionated and non accountable council executives. That negative thought never took away from a splendid walk along the sunny but cold beach and the most excellent day out!

£2 to park.......
For the 4th of December it was stunning
People enjoying the beach in different ways, no fee for horses, think I'll get me a horse!
Fiona's Happy Birthday Sara message, happy birthday Sara!!
It all looked splendid
My "Just grey" for men is working
I thought santa had a reindeer? Mind you maybe they have to pay parking for reindeer? 

Sunday, 27 November 2016


A wee while since the last posting but the weather is turning wintry, the sidecar has been getting a bit of use though with the two of us sharing the riding. A trip to Coldstream today on a mix of small roads and even smaller roads, a nice but volume lacking cup of tea at the cafe at Hirsel estate, ancestral home to the Douglas-Home's. They charge £2.50 to park which is a bit of a cheek i think considering the land was probably stolen from the local peasants who would also have had to rely on scraps from the table from the big house to live. It has to be said it's a pretty setting though and the great thing about motorcycling at this time of the year is the small roads are much quieter, also much wetter and muddier but thats ok. 130 miles done and a grand day oot!
Outfit looking clean before the off
Fi piloted on the outward leg
Bike getting dirty
I'm always wary of golfers, strange people
Mist on the loch
Actually frozen over, swans standing on water
This guy thought he was getting fed and provided entertainment by falling about on the ice
Get off the grass!!
Nice bird watching
Coming in for a bombing raid
A stop for tea
Pinkie up of course
Off roading.........
We had a cup of tea while waiting for our turn at the car wash

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Guzzi club meeting

Less motorcycling of late, not sure why, just seems to be the way it is however after a run in the car yesterday to pick up Fi's new Halvarssons suit from Perth motorcycles (always good service and a friendly smile) I managed to get along to the Guzzi club meeting at Boness today. Not a long run but enough to blow the cobwebs off and great too see a big turnout. It was cold but the sun was out so no complaints, the banter and food were excellent also so a fun Sunday out, pretty lucky that we have only just got salt on the roads and that the weather is holding up. Winter tyre required for the sidecar though in case it turns bad.
Lunch by Loch Leven yesterday, nice view
Early Guzzi arrivals
Derek's Cali
Russel arrives on the Falcone
A Breva eclipsing the Norton
A brace of 1200 sports
Ian's Griso
Late arrival on a nice mk5 Le mans
More eating than talking at this point
Nice turnout
The new
The slightly older, which do you prefer?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Tay Valley Norton Club Tullybannocher day oot

A great turn out at Comrie today for our end of season meeting, well it's end of season for the sensible but for the crazy one amongst us the riding continues throughout the winter. A bit of rain here and there but the Wormit boys who came mob handed with a big Commando turnout got drookit coming through, sorry lads, your bikes always look too clean anyway.
A big thanks to everyone who came along to spend some time drinking tea or coffee, eating rolls or cakes and talking bikes, great to see so many old bikes getting well used. Funny just as we were leaving a chap struck up a conversation saying he loved the older bikes and said "you never see these things getting ridden these days", quite the opposite from my perception, most of the places I go I see old bikes. The pics tell the story better than I ever can, enjoy.......

The roads were damp but who cares
Former TT racer Tam Willison laughs at the fact there is going to be a lot of bike washing going on later
Jakes mighty Falcone 
My Guzzi (I'll be on a Norton next year, honest)
Tam Broon joined us for a while
A brace of Atlas's
Bert's (of course)
Our latest Tay Valley member's nice Mk3
George Martin explaining to Sandy he had to start braking in Callander to scrub enough speed off on the A7
Wormit crew wondering why this bike is so clean
A great turn out
Nice Rotary air cooled makes an appearance
Geezers talking bikes
Lady's talking bikes
John H on his way home
Nice action shot
Worth a stop, excellent cakes
Chat about bikes I think
George explaining to David and Anne how to get 100 miles per gallon
Bert says bye
And so does Laurenne