Thursday, 22 July 2021

A wee run out

 The weather has been outstanding lately, everyone is saying "its too hot" but its not, in my opinion its fine. Last Sunday was cooler, so much so we had to resort to Scottish riding gear rather than our Mesh jackets normally used for sunnier climes.

The Pandemic continues to affect our lives, we are now meant to be in level zero whatever that means but its by no means normal, we still can't get abroad without quarantine and jumping through expensive hoops, Scotland is rammed full with "staycationers" who seem to be everywhere in Motorhomes and vans, some campsites are still not accepting tents. In my opinion Campsites should by law provide facilities for tents or lose their licence to run a campsite. Even Applecross was on the news saying they cannot cope with the numbers of tourists, what they probably mean is the roads can't! 

Meanwhile everyone has their heads in the sand,

Just thought of a song;

"Meanwhile everyone has their heads in the sand

Scotland has become mighty bland

The roads are full, the toilets closed

The rubbish everywhere forces you to hold your nose"


Ach well its a start, need to get back on the road to see new stuff, sometimes I feel without the adventure we are just burning tyres and petrol. 

  

A road somewhere
The same somewhere road
And again, not telling you or everyone will be here
Lunch stop, somewhere else, facilities provided by the estate, massive thanks!
Look , no rubbish, because there are buckets and toilets, funny that!

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Wee Smokey, first Classic meeting in a while

 So the drama goes on, thousands, tens of thousands can go and watch Football, Horse Racing, Rugby and Tennis but no more than 1000 spectators at Knockhill race circuit to watch BSB last weekend. Knockhill is set in acres of ground at the top of a hill, 1000 people could have 50 metre separation and still not fill the place, its a bloody disgrace, rules for the idiot hordes but different rules for everyone else, this is tyranny of the highest degree make no mistake about that. There is now no science at all in the enforcement or setting of these rules and I defy anyone else to convince me otherwise. Most people have been vaccinated now, the youths that haven't have probably caught it. We cannot still travel freely and yet we have been poisoned with vaccines twice (I say poisoned because that is what it is) Why do we not have our freedom back? 

Anyhoo, I had a trip up to Arbroath to the first Wee Smokey for a while, what a crowd , incredible but everyone was being careful as almost all attendee's had a brain in their head, a bit of a sad note in that it was in honour of a recently departed Committee member from the Classic club Derek Horne, a former Senior Policeman, wonder what he thought about this nonsense from our leaders? anyway a short video of the Event, and remember Nil Illigitimi Carborundum! 


Monday, 5 July 2021

Weekend away (Guzzi content)

 Our friends Martin & Sure from Oxford were holidaying in Scotland last week with some of the Scottish Guzzisti so it would have been rude not to join them for a night at their planned stop at Kinlochleven. A nice run up the A82 and not too crazy busy, long lines of traffic following unconsiderate Motorhome drivers were the norm though but in general easy enough to pass on a motorcycle. The weather forecast wasn't good but it was pleasant and dry all the way however, after booking into our wooden shed the rain started and it meant the rest of the crew arrived pretty wet.

I thought we were meant to be back to some kind of normality but thanks to some of the staff at the McDonald Hotel they are still determined to make it abnormal, we got thrown off the table we sat at as it was needed for food service (there were other spare tables) then we were told we couldn't get a beer until we were sat down for food, staff making up their own rules again, we were all pretty pissed off with their attitude but we were stuck, luckily the travelling Guzzisti had copious beer supplies so we stood in the campsite and had a beer whilst enjoying the hordes of midges. The midges were beyond a joke, as I write this a couple of days after I have at least 100 midge bites, not funny. 

Anyhoo when we did get inside we had a fine night but the 10pm last orders thing caught us out as usual, unfortunately Sue and Martin provided us with a nightcap so we felt sufficiently rough in the morning. Goodbyes said, waterproofs on and a reasonable run home with a rainstorm of biblical proportions as we neared home. Great weekend, could have done without the rain and the midges but hey ho, what would have been the fun in that? 

Tea stop in Rannoch Moor
Bleak but warm and dry at this point
Usually a strong wind here but not today
View from the campsite isn't bad at all
Arrival of the touring Guzzisti
Wet
Wet
Wet
Wet
Ians Griso
Wet
Fi's bike developed a misfire on the way home, pretty sure its to do with the rain
Donalds Breva gets a rare outing
Yong Deer
Inside away from the midges
Stopped for adjustments
Group photo

Friday, 2 July 2021

Short trip in the Sunshine

 So just after midsummer we decided to have a few days away before the Guzzi rally at Skipton, the rally was cancelled due to ongoing Coronavirus restrictions which meant 100 of us couldn't get together camping in a field, meanwhile 6000 football fans were ok to make merry together in Glasgow, 20,000 idiots were ok to travel to London to cause chaos and bring back at least 2000 extra cases of the virus, 45,000 idiots could watch a game in Wembley because we all know the virus is ok if its about football or Rugby or Royal Ascot but not if it involves Motorcycles! Now the Indian variant (so called because its a mutation which occured in India and was brought back from India and Pakistan by  people, thousands of them, who had to go "home " for important life events like weddings and funerals which we here have all missed out on) its running rife but now it seems thats OK. What a fecking mess we have made of this. 

Anyhoo, rant over, we rode via Peebles to visit George and Margaret Martin for a nice cuppa and a cake, thanks George! down by St Mary's Loch and to Moffat to stay at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel, a wonderful place under the patronage of Dave Smith and his family who are keen motorcyclists and who look after their guests like no other establishment I've stayed in, garages are available to rent to keep your bike secure (although in the yard its pretty secure anyway) the rooms are nice and the food great. Dave also knows all the roads around so is happy to give guests suggestions for their ride outs even to the extent of providing print outs of maps and loading GPS's with the routes, now that's service. I'd highly recommend staying here for a few days to enjoy the wonderful border routes   https://www.buccleucharmshotel.com/

Dave gave us a suggestion for our ride to Penrith, around 160 miles of mainly empty roads some of which I have never been on but now glad we took him up on his route planning advice, empty roads, nice views and it helped that the sun was shining, a fantastic day meandering along and then over the border, even Keilder forest wasn't busy, a pleasant stay in our Hotel in Penrith that night but we were the odd ones out, the poor motorcyclists in the corner. 

The plan was then to camp in South Dumfrieshire but Friday arrived with a bang, wet and at least 12 degrees colder, a breakfast conference and we decided to head home as the weather in Perthshire was to be sunny, so that's what we did. Brilliant couple of days away from the homestead and back with recharged batteries.

Normally we might have just gone and camped anyway but the restrictions mean you cant "hang around" in a cafe or bar watching the rain, sitting in your tent in the pissing rain can at times be therapeutic but knowing there is no alternative takes the fun away somewhat . Roll on normality, whatever that means! 

 


Photo stop on the road from Peebles to St Mary's Loch
St Mary's Loch
New helmets!
Saying goodbye to our hosts at https://www.buccleucharmshotel.com/
Empty roads
Guzzi's at rest
No rush , we stopped here for at least 15 minutes and saw nobody else
Lunch stop
Still quiet
Church in Keilder forest
Most excellent tearoom in Simonburn
Sunny day and nice surroundings, good food as well!
Last picture in the sun
Abingdon on the way home, colder but the rain stopped!

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Solstice Rally Aberfoyle, Norton Owners Club

 Well that worked out very well, the Solstice rally staged by the National club at the Rob Roy Hotel Aberfoyle. We managed to get a place at the last minute having been on the waiting list due to the Dutch contingent having to call off because of the bloody disease. We were supposed to be at a family party in Italy at the same time so didn't enter but of course it was made impossible by the bloody disease so the rally was in effect a second choice but I am so glad we got in and full marks to the organisers.

If I am being honest at first I didn't much fancy it, a rally in a hotel, whatever next! It worked out far better than expected and I think it was so good to catch up with lots of people we hadn't seen for at least two years, the problem is none of the club are getting any younger so its important to meet up regularly before the time comes when it isn't possible. Great to see so many hardened regulars turning up and a special mention for Bill and Campbell who camped down the road and scranned up their own food by the tent, mind you I'm not sure if that was an attempt to keep old traditions alive or just down to the fact they are canny Aberdonians. 

I couldn't fault the hotel, the meals were excellent and the rooms clean, the social distancing thing was adhered to (I suppose) and it almost felt like a welcome return to "normal times" The bar closed at 10 for last orders and although this caught us out our group (or bubble) agreed it probably wasn't a bad thing allowing for a freshness in the morning not normally associated with Norton meetings.

Lets hope the strive for proper normal times continues despite the complete bollocks our ruling classes have made of it. Not as many pics as normal due to the fact I was obviously too exited to be talking to real people again not on Zoom!

 

Ready for the off
A well ridden Norton, used and ridden daily by the same owner since new
Mad Max's nice Manx
Commander
Manx again
Lots of Featherbeds appeared 
Campbell and Bill down from Aberdeen
More Mk3 Commandos than normal
Atlas
650ss

A well used and original pre war 16H
Love the patina
Nice fastback next to Laurennes biscuit Triumph
Solvol being used methinks
Bert's latest incarnation of the Commando