Sunday, 24 November 2019

Sanity restored

Like many others I get a bit fed up at this time of year, the constant cold and darkness grinds the soul. Last weekend I tried to get out on the bike but our street (and therefore most small roads) was sheet ice, not fancying any further injuries or repair bills I abandoned the thought. Today though although bleak was frost free so an excellent chance to bimble along the small roads in Perthshire, the roads were mucky and slippy, rain came and went but so what I was out on the bike, wind in my face and definite sanity restored :-)
In other news, Fiona's BMW is almost completed after its extensive refurbish in preparation for our upcoming Scotland to Siberia tour, once I finish hers mines will be next on the operating table!

At rest
Winter gear on!
Dreich

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Applecross

The decision eventually was to travel to Applecross this weekend by four wheeled transport, the forecast showed snow on the Saturday and having come over the pass before in icy and snowy conditions I have no inclination to repeat it. We did see some bikes on the road and some with luggage including some Europeans, I take my hat off to you all but only for a second as my ears will get cold. I did wish I was on the bike about 90% of the time but as we went over the Bealach in the fading light and with ice in all the puddles and lochans I was glad we made the call. What can I say, stunning scenery and the light was fantastic, 2 hours to get the 17 miles from Perth to Ballinluig was a bit of a pain but that's what happens when you live in a country that's run by idiots, how businesses can work and make a profit around the chaos of our rapidly worsening road network is beyond me.
Great weekend in good company, nice to catch up with the locals who have become good friends over the years, the 46% whisky Judith had us drinking on Friday wasn't so good for my hangover! We ended up with two fellow motorcyclists on the Satuday, Robert from Braemar and Keith who was on an extended stay from the North West of England, we met as strangers and departed as friends, a common trait in the Highlands. Slainte!
Clouds remained as clouds thankfully
Lochaber with a dusting of snow as people in an aluminium tube fly by
The Commando memorial
Fitting on remembrance weekend
The light is impressive this time of year
Loch Carron
Moon rising
The Bealach in the evening
I bet the heating bills are high but what scenery to wake up to
Going back to nature
Trawler heading home across the sound
Herron and his pals looking for their dinner
Heiland coos enjoying the last of the sun
Keith Triumph, not a huge fan of the Scrambler but I was really taken with this one...Hmmm 
And heading home, you can never get enough photos of the Bealach

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Stunning weekend

So this weekend marks the start of the long dark nights and even more crap weather than usual but it was also sunny and there's no better place to ride the small roads at this time of year than Scotland (OK the South of France or Spain....or Italy......or anywhere its bloody warmer) but we have the most wonderful colours on display, the tourists have pissed off back to where they came from and the Motorhomes are mainly packed away so there is a short window of opportunity to enjoy the bliss of quiet roads. I think the salt is already down as there was some salt on the bikes but not enough of that rust inducing, brake seizing stuff that the local council seems to love lathering on the roads in winter.
Saturday cooking at the roadside, very satisfying, Sunday a bacon roll at Tullybannocher and a wobble on the very small roads, it was cold though, bloody cold, heated jackets are a lifesaver!
A stop by the burn (stream) 
Cold, this is before Fi's heated jacket stopped working
Masterchef at work
Stunning colours (and the trees aint bad either)
Smile
Cold enough for the full balaclava
through the tunnel of trees

Monday, 21 October 2019

October Norton meeting

So our traditional end of season Norton meeting at Comrie, now renamed the "Tattie howkers" took place in a typical "tattie howkers" day, fresh , a hint of frost but sunny. We left early meaning we had very quiet roads for the short run to Comrie, quite often this meeting gets the bikes filthy as it can be a bit dreich, not so this year, as the day wore on every motorcyclist in Scotland must have been taking the opportunity to get their bikes out, I've never seen so many bikes, funnily enough next month we will be lucky to see another bike on the road no doubt.
Great to catch up with everybody and at least we had a handful of Nortons in attendance, hopefully everybody got home safe and with their bikes as clean as when they left.
 
Nice line up
period panniers set this off
Phil brought his Ducati , thing of beauty
Peter appeared on his Laverda (That I sold him about 25 years ago!)
David T's Norton with the heavily customised seat
Our bikes at rest (The red one may be for sale.......) 
Another pic of Phils Duke, braw! 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Once again we took part in the Perth DGR ride ably organised by Geoff Mumford. The ride isn't really about "the ride" it is to raise awareness into two issues that affect mens health, namely mental health and prostrate cancer and of course to raise funds for these charities. It is a worldwide phenomenon so around the world men and women get dressed and look a bit silly to raise cash, silliness, motorcycles and fun, whats not to like. For some reason the Perth run doesn't attract the numbers it should but its a great day out anyway, if you are a motorcyclist you should give it a try sometime, no need to buy tweeds etc just make a little effort, for me I already have a moustache so I'm halfway there.
Oh and the ignorant couple in Dunkeld who said they had called the police because we had parked our bikes in view of their rented house despite being told we were on a charity run could do with some mental help themselves, or even some soap!

 
Waiting for the off
eclectic mix of bikes
Fiona and snibs 
Snibs looking the part
Gary and Dana
Our moustachiod trio
Geoff and Heather, matching moustaches
Ready to go
Our team of Dapper riders!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Stunning ride to Lochcarron

Just after our return from holiday we were invited to a meeting in Lochcarron which is around a 200 mile ride up to the North West of Scotland on some of our favourite roads. Firstly I'd upgraded the forks in the Triumph with new springs (an easy less than 1 hour mod) and was interested to see how that affected the bike, as it was right after our Euro trip it was a useful back to back comparison.
Unbelievably the weather was stunning as we set off, avoiding the A9 just North of Perth is a good idea due to roadworks so we did that, the ride up the A9 was ok with the clear sky and sunshine enhancing the beauty of this route, too often we curse this road due to the traffic but actually if you take the time to look the scenery is stunning. A fuel and tea stop at Dalwhinnie and a chat with a fellow motorcyclist and then a chance meeting with the Blair boys set us up for a stunning ride across Loch Laggan, an almost clear run up to Invergarry and then to Eilenn Donnan castle for a tea stop again before the last leg over the single track road to Lochcarron.
The Rally really is a meeting of old friends and a pleasant evening was spent in good company. The run home on the Sunday was OK but it rained from Invergarry, not an unusual occurrence unfortunately, still enjoyable and the verdict on the fork upgrade was that it was £60 well spent, it really transforms the handling and does away with the annoying dive at the front end when braking. Geoff followed us to Invergarry where he obviously got bored of our company and disappeared. A stop at a cafe just after Laggan locks for tea of course and a snack then back to Dalwhinnie and the A9 for the last 60 miles. Coming down the hill at Blair Atholl I spotted a motorcyclist in distress so pulled into the layby, as I pulled in I realised it was in fact a Norton Commando, the rider hunched over the back end, I recognised him straight away, Bill Downie junior (his father Bill Senior had been a friend of mine many years ago) Bill junior had been a Perth man but the pursuit of education and greater things took him to far flung exotic cities such as Glasgow and Thurso, he had been up to Thurso that weekend to see old pals. His stay in exotic cities had obviously taken its toll on his mind as he had set off on this 600 mile round trip with a knackered chain and more importantly a knackered sprocket, when I stopped he was trying to tighten the chain enough to stop it riding over the sprocket! I said "my god, what would your father have said about this ?" His reply was " if you knew my Dad he would have kicked my backside" I took my helmet off and he said "Gino, oh no, the shame" it also transpired he had next to no petrol, we followed him down to Pitlochry but the petrol station was being refurbished and had no fuel, a scavenge around and we managed to cut a bit from the workman's hosepipe and found an empty milk carton, some fuel from Fiona's bike got him enough fuel to get to the next stop, glad to say he got home safely, the moral of the story is, check your bike before you set off and if you don't you will be publicly shamed if I catch you :-)
A great weekend and probably the best run up the road for a while.
Sunshine, bliss
Iconic castle (and bikes)
Pretty
BUsy site
Bert's newly aquired Commando already green! Laurenne on the bobber
Sunset over the loch
The baldy chap had a full head of long hair and a beard only two hours earlier and got it shaved for charity (Air ambulance) Pictured with the organisers
Cafe on a boat at Laggan
Dramatic
Bill junior 
This used to be a sprocket!