Sunday, 12 June 2016

Bill's 130th birthday bash

So we realised at the end of season meeting last year in the borders that this year Bill Reith from Aberdeen would turn 80 and his Norton Atlas will have been in his ownership for 50 years so we thought we should celebrate this occasion by having a camping weekend in his honour. A great turnout at the Camp site at Fort Augustus as well, plenty of older guys on older bikes as well, some of us let the side down by bringing modern bikes but I think we got away with it. Longest distance would be Simon I think on his Blue Commando all the way from Coventry although Gary Bloy was up from even further South but on a BMW so I'll exclude him from the results. Some went up on the Friday, seemingly it rained like hell, Phil & Simon went to the pub before putting their tents up and ended up sleeping in the bike shelter!
Fiona, Alex , Gill and myself trundled up on the Saturday, very wet but really enjoyed the ride. I had Gill as a pillion as her Suzuki isn't well at the moment. I used this as a shakedown to make sure the V11 is good to go to Sicily soon and it is so I'm happy. Great to see the regulars, and glad that George Martin Sandy Bloy and Tam Bradley made it up on their bikes as well. Tam just got back from the Italian Rally on Tuesday so good effort.
David booked a table at one of the pubs and we passed the night talking nonsense and drinking and eating heartily, a great night despite our incursion to the Legion for more drink that nobody really needed. 
The Birthday boy was on good form and of course bore the brunt of the miserable Aberdonian jokes. As always I am inspired by our senior riders, four septuagenarians and one octogenarian still riding, camping and taking a dram, fantastic!
The rain couldn't have come down harder today after Dalwhinnie but who cares, it was a great weekend anyway.
Gill & Alex preparing for the off
Ducks were happy with the weather
The Ladies less so
Alex is now Mr Dayglo
Bert was on the new Indian
Phils Commando looking well
Davids Commando with the same seat mod as my MK3 (you could have used black tape David!)
Tam explaining why the Italian rally was crap
One half of the birthday duo
Phil happy at being ripped off for a new camping mat
Simon's long distance commando
Bert & David talking technical, or was it bobbed Vincents
The 130 year duo, Bill and Atlas
Silly hat competition
Bert & Ernie (I like Bert's badge)
Gone fishin
The impressive Locks at Fort Augustus
The assembled throng
Part of the senior end of the table and don't be fooled by George's coffee he was drinking something stronger later
Bill telling David his Atlas still has the original air in the tyres (dae ye ken the price o air Loon)
David & Anne departing
George and Tam disappear
And finally Bill gives his Atlas a good kicking


  1. Whit a rerr terr..It disnae get ony better..Gino summed it up weel.Great location..nice 'n warm wi'aw the guid bletherin...A' wis et Applecross couple o'weeks ago.Auld guy frae the sooth says" Good to see old bike doing what it was made for",No a bad idea..thanks fur the invite

  2. Excellent stuff; query re last photo. If neither stand is down, and left foot's on the peg, and right foot's kicking, why doesn't he fall over....? Is it 50 years of practice?

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