Friday, 29 June 2012

International Norton extravaganza

Well actually its the Tay Valley Brach camping weekend, July 20 -22 at Applecross Wester Ross, possibly the best roads in the UK and one (if not the) of the best pubs also. All Norton owners welcome, lesser makes also welcome and we'll try to convert you!
No Band or organisation, get yourself along to talk bikes and introduce yourself!
If you want to know what its like, the video from 2008 is here

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I hate public transport

Why you may ask? Well its not the comfort, the train I got this morning to Glasgow was comfortable enough, no the journey was spoiled by the public. Now this is an unfortunate problem with the public in general, they tend to have some ignorant people amongst them. Todays prize goes to the fat guy in a suit who seemed to be terribly important sitting next to me. He was so important that despite the train being busy and having nowhere else to sit that when I sat next to him he never moved a millimetre, he continued to take up 1 1/2 seats and spoke in his phone in between doing the crossword in his paper that took up 70% of the table.
I did consider emptying my cup of tea in his lap, or even having a word but he was an ignorant son of a bitch and wouldn't probably have realised why I was complaining, the upshot  was I suffered in silence and put a small curse on him instead.
Please note the following;
Wearing a suit, shirt and tie doesn't give you any more rights than anyone else
If you are too fat to fit on a seat, consider your other passengers or pay for 2 seats!
If you think you are so important, go in first class!!
We (the silent majority) do not want to hear your terribly important phone conversations, consider this when you speak!
Rant over! Although I am pleased I never resorted to my base behaviour which would have been to have a go, to be honest I couldn't be bothered and felt sorry for the sad fat short guy really!! 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Making the most of it.

Far too nice an evening to stay in so after a bit of adjustment to the isolastics I took the Norton to South queen ferry for a chippy. Met a photographer from the states who is over to do a wedding here, pretty high profile guy, done Bill Clinton's birthday apparently. Strange he wanted a photo of us and not the bike! Me, i just like bike photo's.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A most excellent time!

Well thats us back from Applecross, we were so lucky with the weather, virtually a dry run up there and then it was hot enough to sunbathe for a while on Saturday afternoon before heading to the walled garden for afternoon tea and then back to the campsite for a couple of pints. Met a couple of guys from Lancashire, one of them on a T150 trident (one of four he's got) good banter followed in the pub later, they turned in about 10, the pub got quiet then busy again, we left about 1 am so plentiful drink was taken and since it was my birthday Judy (hostess of the year) got me a bit of cake with candles just to embarass me and a very nice dram (which didn't embarass me)
Again today a great run home, the roads were wet in bits but we got no rain, roads were quiet and most people moved over to let us through, doesn't get better really. Its funny, on Friday the roads were flooded and I wasn't really relishing the trip but it turned out great, the rain's always worse through the window, get out there on your bike and enjoy it! 
Just to prove it, sunshine over the Applecross area, fantastic

 I think this lamb was playing hide and seek!
The guys getting a feed in before the Saturday night Stag party!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Weather holding up.

We left Edinburgh last night just after another heavy downpour, I must admit I did think about taking the car but sense prevailed. What a brilliant run we had, dry roads all the way and apart from the 6 sets of traffic lights on the main roads, 3 on the A9, it really was an epic run,one of those that i'll remember. An overnight stop at invergarry hostel and today we're stopped at loch carron having a cuppa before heading to Applecross. Here's hoping our luck holds.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Monday, 18 June 2012

Back from Sunny Shrewsbury

We just had a overnight trip to see my daughter Micheala in a dance show she's in. I was very impressed, now theatre and modern dance aren't usually my thing but the show was excellent and of course I thought Micky was the star (well I would wouldn't I)
As we drove (no bikes this weekend) down the road we left a very wet and cold Edinburgh to magically arrive in a very pleasant and warm Shrewsbury 300 miles South, the temperature seemed to go up about 1 degree (C) per 50 miles. I have to say that I was impressed with Shropshire as a nice area, there is a recession on but judging from the amount of fancy motors we saw, Ferrari's, Lamborgini's, Bentley's not to mention a myriad of expensive looking Classic cars there are parts of the country where the recession appears to have missed.
I never knew until last night that Shrewsbury was the birthplace of Charles Darwin, it is and they have a very large and strange statue to him overlooking the river, the statue is supposed to represent DNA, I thought it was a fish skeleton until told otherwise! Oh well maybe I should stick to bikes rather than trying to be sophisticated! 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Quiet and back to rain

Well its been a quiet week bike wise, managed a short run out on Wednesday night on the Commando to restore my sanity after a particularly trying day at work. Apart from that its quiet, rain is hissing down outside and not looking great for the weekend so thats a bit unfortunate. Thought I'd share some more photos of the recent trip from the South of Ireland with you, just to show the sun does shine sometimes.
 Now how confusing is this corner if your looking for a sign!
Fi actually managed to start it but didn't take a run on it!

 The yellow Commando overlooking the Healey pass area
 This is the life, sunshine, motorbikes, good beer and good company!
The famous McCarthy's bar at Castletownbere made famous by the book of the same name

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Back to normal

Well thats it, the holidays a faint memory and nose back to the grindstone, need to concentrate on getting the Mk3 fixed up after its "hit and run" and debating whether or not to put the 1100 on the road. I would but I'm in a bit of a quandry, I grudge adding to the coffers of the taxman with road tax for it as I'd probably only manage a coupe of thousand miles on it this year, mainly because the Norton's are being used just now (so much fun.....well when bits aren't falling off!) and the B emm will get used for the trip to the Ukraine in August.
Our roads are now officially (in my mind) no better than third world so why should I give him any more money?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Hairdryer laps at over 104MPH

So listening to todays TT race Michael Rutter lapped on his electic bike at over 104MPH, thats an impessive average for a battery powered bike over 37 3/4 miles. Also the good news that my old friend Budge finished the second sidecar race this week. The Isle of Man is a place where even finishing is an achievement, especially for privateers who don't have deep pockets, well done Budge!!

 Budge (in the chair) in action in Saturdays race
 A very trick ER6
 John McGuiness saving tyres
 Jimmy Storrar also saving tyres!
 Murrays MC Museum

Sidecar action from Kirkmichael

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Eventful run home

Well I have in the past often criticised the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company but today they surpassed themselves for bad service, unfortunately its the only ferry company running to the IOM so they charge you a fortune (£200 for bike and rider for a return trip which takes 2 hours on a fast boat or 4 on the usual tug they put you on).
We were asked to book in 3 hours before sailing so that would have been 5.45AM, we were up at 5 , broke camp and made it into Douglas for just after 6, we were told to come back at 7.30 as they were in a bit of chaos loading an earlier boat! The usual ridiculous boarding melee and then they use an old rope to tie 3 bikes together , the inner one tied to a railing! The boat was so busy that I reckon 25% of people on board had no seat for the 4 hour journey, disembarking was a nightmare, especially when a serious dickhead on a GS BMW decided to drive off while still attached to my Norton, at this point I couldn't get near it as all the bikes were packed like sardines, I saw it go sideways then on its side and get dragged along the deck!! I'm not sure what happened next but I managed to get over the barrier and grab the guy who I thought was responsible, I stopped short of assaulting him as my bike was still on the deck and none of the fellow motorcyclists were looking like picking it up, I ran back to pick the bike up while Fiona took over my role of trying to stop the guy from leaving, the crew at this point seemed to melt away, nobody either crew or fellow "motorcylists" tried to help (except our group of course)
Bottom line the middle aged guy on the BMW said it wasnt his fault despite Fi pointing to the rope still attached to his bike, in the melee he rode off. The Steam Racket company then filled in a form and took photos and told me I'd have to pursue a claim via my insurer, as the cause of this Norton assault had dissapeared they said they weren't resposible, tempers were frayed (understandably) but at the end of the day the damage seems to be limited to a indicator, headlight bracket, mirror, a bent footrest and then just a while later the centre stand snapped I suspect because of the violent knock it took, so I guess I'll fix it myself at my cost.
I do hope Mr GS man gets home to find his wife being rodgered by a Somali refugee with AIDS, then in the morning he loses his job.
How anybody who purports to be a motorcyclist could just dissapear after having being responsible for this I really don't know, it proves my theory that motorcyclists are a dissapearing breed, complete Dickheads with bikes though seem to be on the increase, hopefully at some point in the future I'll meet him again, then we can discuss the finer points of having basic decency and taking responsibility for your actions.
 The "Works Norton" being worked on
 The Norton at Ballaugh
 John McGuiness's electric bike (made by a subsidiary of Honda)
I managed to get a shot of this Hairdrier with its clothes off!
Apologies for the rant, hope you enjoy the photos, more to come when I get some time!     

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hairdryer goes fast shock

So today we witnessed an electric bike breaking the 100mph average around the isle of man. Michael Rutter lapped at 102 and went through the speed trap at 153mph. Thats is incredible but the fact all you hear is the wind noise as they pass is very strange. The marshall's even wear rubber gloves during the race to protect from static shock if they have to pick one up. Another great day at the races but an early ferry tomorrow means it'll be an early night.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Another good day.

A trip into Douglas today for an interesting walk around. Frantic activity everywhere, met up with Budge who seems happy enough with the weeks practice, his first as a sidecar passenger. Full marks for his effort. Race day tomorrow.