Monday, 21 November 2022

A wee hurl over same favorite roads

 The weekend didn't look too promising after a very wet and stormy week, floods seemed to be everywhere and the ground is now totally saturated meaning the fields are just running off into the roads, the roads cant cope as the cooncil seems to have stopped any attempt at maintaining drainage as they have no money. Mind you plenty money for "vanity" projects like building a new bridge over the Tay (I am all for new roads where it's sensible) which involves more deforestation and farming land being covered in tarmac, plenty money for new traffic lights in the city which do nothing but create holdups and frustration for road users trying to get into the town to spend money or to do their work, the same traffic lights which also increase the fumes from vehicles for pedestrians, and the same traffic lights which give cyclists carte blanche to jump queues and create others because the think they are the most important road users on the planet. Meanwhile our cash strapped government (!!!!) rather than doing sensible stuff like upgrading the A9 would rather spend money on complete nonsense (which I will not go into here)

Now that sounded like a rant, sorry, the amount of insanity in the world gets to me sometimes because all I want to do is selfishly enjoy myself and motorcycling is a huge part of that.

So back to Sunday, a damp but brighter day so we took out the BMW's for a run, topped up the fuel and met fellow Norton and Guzzi Owner Ian at the petrol station, he was in the car although I didn't get the impression he would rather be on the bike, heated gear Ian, makes all the difference. The wonderful thing about motorcycling is the ability to make it up as you go along, we headed through Crieff and Comrie, we then saw that Tullybannocher was open so a coffee and for me two bacon rolls followed, It appeared to be the consensus that would be closed until the end of January. It looked clear towards Loch Earn so we headed that way and then up Glen Ogle to Killin, the roads were quiet and despite the wet roads it was excellent. We headed along Loch Tay and took the GlenQuaich road back to the Sma Glen, Glenalmond and home, almost 100 miles and excellent! Glen Quaich was a bit of a challenge as the water running down the road made it feel we were riding up a river, be careful if you get over there soon, the associated gravel can make it a bit treacherous. Hopefully the "Winter" stays away for a while yet, there is still fun to be had even though it is Cooler (although a heated jacket helps) Stay safe, enjoy yourself and try not to let the insanity of the modern world get to you. 


Loch Tay and blue sky
and again
Looking towards Kenmore on the Glen Quaich road
Towards Amulree

Monday, 14 November 2022

Almost the middle of November

 We were lucky in that it didn't rain and the sun actually made an appearance, despite the gritters been spotted the roads although filthy aren't full of salt so that is a result. Saturday breakfast at Rait antique centre, usual excellent food from Tim, we then went via Dunkeld where the queue to get onto the A9 was busy so we turned left and headed to the train station to turn around, we had been told there was a good burger van there so we stopped for a coffee. We had just had breakfast so a coffee was enough, the coffee was pretty rank, it was warm and looked like coffee and at £2 a cup wasn't too pricey. The train station is a magnificent building but is all locked up, it would make a fantastic cafe but instead we are eating outside! Of course there are no toilets which is why Scotland smells of urine quite often and if your unlucky worse, welcome to a magnificent country with great scenery but with no facilities. I suppose its because of Brexit, maybe the fuel crisis, war in the Ukraine, or any number of things that spring to mind except of course a completely broken political system and a complete lack of "get up and go" from the Councils and the higher political echelons.

Rant over, it was a glorious day and finished off with a welcome cup of tea at Myreside (Thanks Bill and Kat) 

Sunday was very misty but we left prepared with provisions for a day out, the mist never lifted until we descended down Glen Quaich  into Kenmore. We were actually wet from the mist, it doesn't have to rain here to get wet!   The distant view of Loch Tay looked brighter so we rode along and up over the hill to Glenlyon, it was excellent and when we stopped for a cuppa and a sandwich it was actually very nice. There were a few bikes out which was a surprise including a nice sounding Velocette and AJS twin  obviously taking advantage of the late sun. So a great weekend and a few miles done of the 650 BMW's which have been dragged out for winter duty, long may the weather hold and get out there if you can, its really good fun. 

Saturday breakfast
Sun coming out
and again
Brahan wood
short stop
Sunday, mist clearing
still keeping the helmet on though
Loch Tay
Sun almost through in bits
Its behind you
still nice
Suntrap at Bridge of Balgie
Tea time

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Back in time to 2009

 Well that was 13 glorious years ago, the days when you organised stuff and people turned up and enjoyed themselves, pubs were always happy to see you and pleased for the extra trade. How times have changed, even before the Covid debacle it had changed, the NC500 had turned Scotland into a destination for adrenalin junkies, motorhome fanatics and various people "Doing" the NC500. Covid of course gave us another kick in the balls and sorry to say its just not the same, hopefully it will  return to normality some time (Before the ECO Zealots have us going back to horse and carts) The good times are coming back, its up to us, thats me and you to ensure that they do! Get out on the bike, meet up with like minded souls and party on!

This is a brilliant example of what it used to be like, the Norton meet in Applecross in 2009,  it can be again just non illegitimi carborundum !

Saturday morning outside the pub ready for the run!
What a setting
What a crew! Dave Allen nearest the camera sadly not with us anymore
Not a bad backdrop
And again
Martin on the Bealach
Hector chasing someone up the pass
Nortons coming over the hill
This was funny, not my 100th party and at the bottom it said folk music....wrong!
Sound check
Before it got crazy
Guy and Karin and Tomas and Andrea getting warmed up 
Me talking shite
part of the old rally crew!
George showing Fiona how its done
Alex and Guy , The day after
Tomas only came in to say hello and didn't drink this (he had plenty the night before)

Monday, 31 October 2022

Very Wet for the last weekend in October

 The Scottish branch of the Moto Guzzi club had an end of season get together in Aberfoyle this weekend, it happened to coincide with Halloween time, now dressing up in anything other than my bike gear as not my thing but we went along and took part. I was surprised just how much effort people put into this Halloween lark but it was great to see everyone despite the scary faces! Of course as we headed West on the V85's it rained, especially over the Dukes pass, the roads were bad enough with leaves but that just gave it a slight edge. We arrived in a dreich day in Aberfoyle and managed to get a cup of tea and a sandwich moments before the food stopped, remember NOBODY can eat after 3pm, why would people expect such a thing?

The evening went well, food was average but served super quickly and efficiently, we then retired to the corner of the bar to talk nonsense for the rest of the night. Sunday dawned with false hope, there were glimpses of sun in the sky but fortunately by the time we had breakfast it was full on heavy rain, just as well, wouldn't want to be accused of having an easy time. 

We headed to Tullybannocher to see who made it to the Norton year end meeting, and after several near death experiences (caused mainly by Range rovers and vans going too fast including one which submerged me as it drove through a small lake on the road in a corner) we made it and surprisingly the East was dry. Some of the Guzzi friends came along (In cars) and there was actually a great turnout.

Too many to mention but have to commend Campbell for coming on his rotary from Aberdeen, down the long way over the Lecht where he almost got blown off! Bill made it down from just South of Aberdeen and John Hyman made it only to spent the day trying to get his Commando going so he could make it back to Dundee. David T had problems no doubt due to the rain and turned back and was spotted in the West by our spy, Jim who was heading off on a family holiday, there is no escape! All in all a good turnout and good to see everyone, braw, and the rain even stopped on the way home! We will keep an eye on the weather and hopefully meet up in a layby over the winter months.  

The pictures tell the story as always. 

Ready to go
Jake and Ally taking it serious
George & Mrs George 
Martin and Sue, up from Oxford to dress like this
The Gruesome threesome (Maureen)
Bill and Kat Arrived almost Dry
Still smiling
Dennis turned up on his nice Dommi
Very smart
John H at the spanners
Bill overseeing the repair
John still looking Happy
Even when it rained 
Nigels Dommi, sweet runner!
Budge turned up on his BMW
And brought me this momento from the 90's, nothing changes apart from the news medium!, Postcards, then txt's and now Electronic versions
Johnny T on his Tiger, I feel like a classic may be in his radar soon
Martin from Dundee brought his sweet 16H
Alan won the short distance award
Marion's Trident
And Hubby Alan's rocket 3
Another Bonnie
Phil's Norton
And Campbells Rotary, 150 miles to get there!
Tay Valley spies spot David turning back
And Sunday night dinner with the Norton Girls, Fiona and Savi