Sunday, 18 June 2017

Grand day oot

Surprisingly warm today and no rain, a most unusual kind of weather for us here in Scotland, Martin visited us this morning and I was surprised to see he hadn't brought the West coast rain with him. Off we set for a bimble around the borders, Fi riding the Commando for the first time this year. In Peebles I spotted two Nortons on the pavement, It happened to be Bill and Campbell from Aberdeen returning from a Norton do in Northumberland, Bills Atlas decided to go sick. Some poking and hoping and we managed to get it running but not sure for how long as we hadn't really identified the issue, anyway was glad to be of some help.
Riding down and then along by St Mary's Loch we spotted George Martin on his pushbike (too tight to put petrol in his Triumph or BSA I think) we stopped for a blether and then he joined us at the cafe for further blethering. Plenty bikes in evidence here. A jaunt then over to Meggat Dam and then to Biggar for another stop for tea (you can't have enough tea on a warm Summers day) we said goodbye to Martin and eventually we wobbled home. A great day out with both Nortons running great, Fi getting about 20mpg than me which is annoying but I put it down to the fact I'm twice the size and she has a fairing.
Nortons being worked on!
Fi happy with the Commando
Martin happy with his ER6 (George pedaling furiously )
Tea stop
George and Fi
This is a nice view but glad Fi stopped where she did as its a bit of a drop!
Martin happy with the run I think

Thursday, 8 June 2017

On the road again

Fi spotted a link on Faceboak for a cafe racer meeting at South Queensferry on Friday so we went along to see what the fuss was about, en route we met a guy on a nice Suzuki cafe racer who asked if we were going, hmmm I thought , this could be busy. In the end it wasn't, some nice bikes but not many cafe racers, great to meet up with the Aberfeldy boys including Geoff Mumford and Mooner, they came down mob handed. Also met Monica a colleague of Fi's and educated her in the ways of motorcycle life. Strangely met up with more people from my past also, funny how things turn out.
Nice GT500 cafe racer (and loud!) Fi's choice of bike for the night behind
Geoff's Harris, nice and ripe for a sidecar!!!
Icons of British design
Katana and Kawa
Old airhead from the days when BMW nmeant quality
New Norton Dommi from the days when ........ oh never mind
Mildly racerised airhead
A brace of Nortons from the mighty Tay Valley NOC no less

Saturday we had a NOC weekend at Fort Augustus, I took the Commando and Fi took the Honda, funny we set off in summer gear but by the time we had passed the tourist hellhole of Bruar It turned cold so waterproofs were donned. When we stopped at Dalwhinnie for fuel the rain couldn't have been heavier so a stop for tea and some food was called for. The rain stopped as soon as we got into the cafe (of course) and started again as soon as we left (of course).
The roads cleared up though and we had a great run all the way along the Laggan road to just south of Fort Augustus when we got stuck behind some traffic, luckily the swing bridge was closed to let a huge ship through so we jumped to the start of the queue followed I noticed by another bike. As we turned of into the campsite it followed us and when we stopped it was none other than Geoff Mumford again! along with Heather out for a run, twice in a weekend, coincidence or what!
The Norton meeting was a quiet affair (quieter because of David forgetting the tent poles and therefore having to spend the equivalent of a small African country's GDP on a hotel to make things right with Anne!) but good craic and luckily we didn't get into the Legion after the pub closed so it was a reasonable head that greeted me Sunday.
Bert was masterchef for breakfast and after a while shooting the shit we all went our separate ways, another great weekend and really enjoyed the Norton but why did it have to rain on the way home as well????

Rain at Dalwhinnie
Fi still smiling
Phil's Norton (of course)
Jim's Norton
Bert serving Ewan
Any more before I close? 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Nepal again, more video

Those of you that commented on the video of the road back into Kathmandu seemed to enjoy it albeit in a scary way so here is just under 30 minutes to give you some idea of how the "roads" were

Enjoy and try not to have nightmares

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Barely got my breath back from the return from Nepal and we were off to Ireland for the "Norton" meet at the Beara peninsula in the deep South West. I opted for the T3 in the hope of hassle free riding, that proved half right! Alex and I left on Wednesday, good run to Cairnryan and a good boat trip to Belfast, we stayed the night with our friend Bernadette in Newry. Her sister and brother in law were also there and a grand night was had by all with genuine Irish hospitality to the fore. Thursday we set off and headed across country avoiding main roads where possible and ended up just South of Limerick in Adare which is a pretty tourist town. Friday we ran down to Kilmackilogue and our place of stay for the weekend. Normally we have a run over the Healey pass on the Saturday but there were 3000 cyclists with that idea. Fiona had to work so flew to Dublin and hired a car arriving at Kilmac at 1am, the bar as always was still open! We had a run into Kenmare on Saturday and enjoyed chilling out having lunch and watching some "queer shapit" folk finishing the cycle race. A great weekend organised by Martin Connachy, great to see everyone again and full marks to John Martin for making the trip over from Texas. Much drinking and hilarity all weekend and Sunday sad to leave to head for Dublin, we took the main road with Fi following in the hire car, my perfect running Guzzi on Friday had turned all temperamental and Italian on me on Sunday so I was glad to get into Dublin without incident. Sunday night and Dublin was still buzzing, a few pints in the Temple area and then we were joined by an old racing pal of mines Richie Gavin who stays in Dublin, we hadn't seen each other since the early 90's when we were both aspiring Isle of Man competitors, plenty craic and great to see Richie again. Fi left for her flight on Monday whilst Alex and I rode back to Belfast in heavy rain, the rain followed us but did let up for the last 25 miles, I arrived home wt, cold but happy to have made it without mechanical incident, good company, good craic, what more can you ask for?
Guzzi still clean
Tony, Bernies brother in law try's Alex's bike for size
Lunch stop, warm & Sunny
Lunch stop Friday, still warm but not so sunny. Bert will be interested in the truck!
Leaden Sky's
But Martin is cheery enough
Saturday sun
Our home for the weekend
Nice spot
Men in Lycra. Not so pretty
Fi meets Minnie and Micky
Cool fishing boat
Tasty Escorts were at the hotel when we got back
Luke on his Condor V twin
A brace of Nortons, old and new
Hugh enjoying a beer and a moan no doubt
Guiness and food, braw
Luke on good form
Nice part of the world
Classic road racer Mark Connoly with one of his sons
Helen, our host for the weekend
Fi try's the Vinnie for size
Fi Martin and Andrea pose with the Vincent
Dublin so it has to be a pub
Alex and Fi at the bar
Then we went here
With Richie, we were both a bit thinner and had blacker hair the last time we met!
Dublin by twilight