Sunday 18 February 2024

Warming up

 Well that was a braw weekend, starting off on Friday afternoon when Fi managed to get an afternoon off work. We headed up towards Aberfeldy and stopped at Errichel, a posh (ish) kinda place just as you drop down to hill to Aberfeldy for lunch, despite looking like a couple of vagabonds the staff were very nice and the food good. I remember when as a motorcyclist you weren't very welcome at many restaurants or pubs or indeed campsites but thankfully that's changed in the main. The staff looked through our clorty bike gear and realised that Fiona was a nice human and could afford to pay the bill. Stunning view from where we sat and it made for a very pleasant stop. We then headed towards Tummelbridge in glorious sunshine and stopped at the wee layby just beyond the road to Schiehallion where we partook of a home brewed tea while lounging around in the dirt which obviously we are more suited to. A stunning run home and no point in cleaning the bikes because we were going out the following day.

One moan, Winter gear, its shite, no matter how much you spend, multiple zips and layers, it's heavy but it keeps you warm and sometimes dry but I was saying that I cant wait to ditch it and just get back to wearing a leather jacket and not having all the faff with multiple zips and connections to the bike for heated gear, only a small moan, honest.

Saturday and we had a job to do, well Fi had a job to do, she wanted to check a site near Dunkeld for it's performance, that basically means stopping near the site and doing technical stuff on a special test phone, because I USED to do the same I also went along to nod sagely when she commented an anything even though I didn't have much of a clue but the good thing was we included it into a run on the bikes, hurrah, I can do biking! It was wet and miserable but who cares I was out on my bike anyway, we had a braw run around the Sma Glen after and got the bikes even dirtier.

Then Sunday the sun shined and it got to double figures in temperature so that was brilliant, we managed a run over the Glenquaich road which was great and the first run over in 2024! The Polis have been moaning to the newspapers about people getting stuck on the road and have labelled it the "most dangerous road" In Scotland, well done you idiots, now people who have never heard of it will be looking out for it in Summer and what was a quiet well kept secret will be full of idiots in bikes and cars videoing it for you tube and causing chaos. (I've already done it so remember like and subscribe.....NOT)

We decided to give the Bridge of Balgie road a miss as it appeared to be snowy at the top (and we wouldn't like to be charged by PC Plod for driving on a slippy road) stunning along loch Tay to Killin and back to Tullybannocher for a cuppa, but no, it was shut, sunny day and loads of people out on bikes so lets shut the cafe, a quick stop at Cultybraggan and looks like they had the same idea. No point in serving the public it would seem! Luckily we had tea on board so we stopped at Kinkell bridge which seemed to be very warm in the sun for tea and a biscuit, so Cafe's £0 made and Rondelli's at least £25 saved, woo hoo.

Fantastic weekend and a few more miles on the bikes, love it.


Cap park photo
Braw view from the cafe
Braw view from the layby
Ground level
And I climbed a hill to take this!
Fiona from the top of the high hill I climbed
Rainbow
Saturday misty and driech
Interesting graveyard, dating back to the early 1700's 
Fiona laughing at my technical questions, site in the background and test phone in the poly bag, no expense spared
Glenquaich, look no snow but some on the far away mountains
Stunning view
And it's good night from her!

Monday 5 February 2024

February and Spring is nearer

 Well that's us into February now and as I said in the title Spring is approaching, thank Christ. Meanwhile it seems everyone else is trying to kill each other and we are been warned by the media that WW3 is near. Have you ever thought who that would benefit? Not you or I and not any of our family's that's for bloody sure, but the politicians? Many of them will have their fingers in an increasingly greasy pie and like all the controlling classes around the world will profit from it one way or another. Tony Blair the well known War criminal is now a multi Millionaire as well as his kids, war doesn't pay for us but it certainly pays for them. Our own Government in Scotland are too thick and too obsessed with weird stuff to have a say in the world order (anyone want to buy a dodgy campervan? or a almost new Jaguar?) but it doesn't stop them trying to speak on the world stage, what a bloody joke, lets get back to lowering taxes, improving our dire health service and maybe, just maybe, finish a bloody ferry.

All of my rant above is why I love motorcycling, when you are out on the bike you are too busy enjoying yourself and looking out for other idiots in cars and Motorhomes and sometimes meeting up with like minded people which is what we did last weekend. A meeting was organised in the borders and were joined with our good pal Budge for the ride down, it was windy, blustery would be a better description and sometimes the rain would blow through. A pit stop at George Martins house in Peebles for a blether  a braw cup of tea and a gold award winning pie took our minds of the weather for a while but eventually we had to get going. It's a shortish but nice run from Peebles to St Marys Loch which is where we were camping, at one point I stopped to take a photo and could hardly keep the bike straight against the wind. 

We put our new tent up for the first time (apart from when I had it up in the garden) and it took longer than our "normal" tent but not too bad, the porch area isn't great and we had to be careful where we stowed our gear to keep it out of the weather. The turnout was excellent, I knew most of the guys and girls that were there, all die hard rallyists who I've bumped into over the years in several muddy fields around the country, many of them doing big miles to get there and not many in their first flush of youth so good effort to all. Great night on the Saturday, it was a take your own beer gig and I think that worked out well. The owner fed us well on the Saturday night and Sunday morning and joined in the banter which would have been impossible if he was manning the bar.

I hardly slept for the wind (natures wind not mine) and we were up at 7.30 to get the tents packed away before breakfast, one thing became apparent, like many tents , they come out of the bag easily but don't go back in when the tent is damp and your hands are cold! Breakfast over, we set sail back towards Peebles for Petrol and then Edinburgh and Home, Budge was having problems, his R75 was jealous of the two singles and tried to imitate a single now and again however despite some stress no doubt we all got home safely. As always the pictures tell the story........


Ready to go

After our George Martin Pitstop
Georges photo
Windy in the Hills
Plenty bikes
And a few outfits
Tents holding up
getting organised
You can see the rain over the Loch
Bert, Ian and Windy
Ed explaining stuff
What a Crew, Alan on the far right still awake
A motley crew
Jose from Portugal but now from Yorkshire was there in a sidecar with his wife Zoe and their 9 month old baby, youngest rallyist
Kenny, organiser extraordinaire
Grey Goatees seem to be in fashion
And the boss Alistair making sure Alan was still alive and Ian pointing out the fact he had fallen asleep

Monday 22 January 2024

Managed a wee hurl in between storms

 It has been very gold and the roads a bit treacherous but suddenly by Saturday it cleared up and more importantly warmed up. We took the opportunity to get out and visited Cupar Motorcycles, its been years since I've spent a Saturday in a bike shop and we both enjoyed it. Susan in the parts department helped us try helmets on and was full of knowledge you don't get on the interweb, more planning our options than buying on Saturday but she will get the business when we make up our minds. I think the online service you get from Sportbikeshop and their competitors is excellent but you cant beat a local bike shop and I suppose if we stop using them then we'll lose them.

What else would you do on a slightly dreich day but get the bikes out for some fun anyway? We wobbled around the roads less travelled taking a very convoluted way to get home (Some would say we got lost) but we enjoyed being out and made the most of it. The roads were still worth watching though and I actually got stuck in a bit of ice, Fiona, cleaned the section but I jumped off and tried to push through and Fiona had to come back and push, the shame! I also managed to get her covered in dirt from the rear tyre, I'm good that way!

The only downside was the length of time it took to clean the bikes but as they say thats the price you pay for fun.


Posing
Fi took the left side and cleaned it , I got stuck in the pothole and failed
Dreich but good to be out
Avoiding going home by having a cuppa at the side of the road
Note my bike and me clean
Whilst Fi's bike is dirty from following me and muck on her jacket from helping me !

Tuesday 16 January 2024

A Wee hurl

 Saturday looked like the only opportunity to get out so we got the G650's out, Fi spent a while getting all her heated gear working, well actually not working, it's funny modern gear makes riding in the winter more comfortable but it can stress you with the technology. Happy to say we stopped at the Sma Glen, and Fi was warm and happy so that was good.

We met Simon there on a 750 Ural, I jealously looked over the outfit whilst reminiscing about when we were Sidecarists too. A blether and a cup of tea with someone who had been a stranger until we met, that's what I love about motorcycling, meeting people (and a cup of tea at the side of the river isn't to bad either.) We completed the lap around the Sma Glen avoiding the potholes and the ice. Soon  after  we got back Budge arrived for a blether which was great, mair tea and talking but eventually we had to clean the bikes before the salt dissolved them. First proper run out of the year! Come on the Spring! 


It was chilly but braw scenery anyway
Simon's Ural
Fi's bike, note the ice on the verge
And ready for the rest of the lap!

Monday 8 January 2024

2024

 

Happy new year! I hope you all have a wonderful 2024. I know sometimes life throws up moments of sadness but we should all try to remember the happy times, always looking back at the laughs and good times we have had and looking forward to the Future.

My new years resolution remains the same as always, to enjoy myself, especially my motorcycling more.

My wishes for 2024 are that the clowns, thieves and vagabonds in both the Scottish government and Westminster go to jail for stealing from the working man and lining their own pockets.

In a worldwide context my wish is that the rich people who cause wars and misery and deaths the world over have an epiphany and realise that they are only here for a short time, the same as the rest of us and get a grip and do good not evil.

Enough of my political pontificating, when’s the weather going to warm up? I did manage a wee run out on the R100 last week which was great but it’s been dodgy since.

We went to France to bring in the New year, driving in the car, no real issues (Apart from Fiona having to save a wiper arm that sheared on the A1 by hanging out the passenger window) and the run was actually good. France as always was brilliant, the wine was good and reasonable, the food excellent, and the people friendly. It was windy but we did spot a few bikes out and about which made us feel jealous.

Lets all look forward to 2024 with a veil of optimism, see you on the road....somewhere     


Nice Scooter Display
Very nice place
No vandalism here it would seem
Fiona posing for the camera 
To windy for dinghy's thankfully
Church
Motorcyclists , dont you hate them when you are in the car
Nice motorbike roads
The Germans had a gun emplacement here during WW2, what have we learnt?
Cool sailing ship statue
Always the weather suits someone
Like last week when it was only wet
Sunday and our Buddha had grown a mohican
As did the Tin Man
Loch Earn looking good
Like I say everybody likes the weather sometime
Fi Enjoying the sun
The Falls 
And finally, I like this one, the mist on the fields and the mountains in sunshine