Monday, 30 June 2014

Applecross Norton weekend (or was it)

Our annual Norton meeting in Applecross had a poor turnout of Nortons I'm afraid, the once mighty Tay Valley branch seem to prefer staying at home to do their knitting instead of having a good time. Those that did go were rewarded with a great run there and back and I have to say quiet roads. A great socialising weekend and a big thanks to those that made the effort to go, ESPECIALLY those on Nortons. There were 6 Nortons in total, my Mk3 Commando, Dave T on smokey Joe, Dave Clark up from Northumbria on his 750, Simon from Coventry on his Blue 850, Bill from Laurencekirk on his green fastback and last but not least Tom Bradley on his 650ss from Glasgow. George Martin gets a special mention for coming up on his 500 BSA with an eye on him that looked like he'd been in the ring with Mike Tyson!
A great weekend in the company of friends enjoying a drink and talking nonsense in one of the most scenic places in Scotland. Our Irish contingent, Martin & Mickey made their annual pilgrimage, Alex and I met them in Lochcarron where I found Judy moonlighting in her sisters cafe instead of minding the Inn, just as well because Fiona & I blagged a cancelled room for the weekend....wimps I know! Fi came up after work becase I'm sure she wanted a blast on her Kawasaki alone after riding the Norton at a more sedate pace recently.
Next time, more Nortons please (or at least a Vincent or two Martin)

The gruesome threesome, Alex, Martin & Mickey in Lochcarron
Alex attacks the Bealach
As does Martin & Mickey
Alan , David & Anne
Sunset aaaah
Davie Clarks Commando at rest in the capsite
The three Amigos pretending to be alcoholics at the top of the Bealach
My favourite pub
This is the view you wake up to, bliss......

Monday, 23 June 2014

Dutch Norton Club 40th anniversary

Well what a weekend that was, this weekend was the 40th anniversary of the Norton Owners club in Holland, unfortunately it also clashed with the National Rally but we felt we had to go visit our friends on the Continent as they have always supported any event we have ran and they always have great parties.
My brother John and Alex joined us for the trip and we took the DFDS ferry from Newcastle to Ijmuiden, its unique in charging a premium price for crap and expensive service. They have a knack of knowing just how badly to treat motorcyclists, every time I've got this boat it has never failed to disappoint, the alternative though is a slightly less crap service from Hull. I'm not sure why but many of the UK ferry companies I've travelled with have this knack of making you feel like a second class citizen, maybe its because being an Island they know we have no choice.
Anyhow despite that rant we had a great time on the ferry and spent way too much drinking way too much, luckily the Friday run to our destination Kampen wasn't too far or difficult, we did catch a bit of rain though, just enough to dirty the bikes a bit.
The rally was fantastic, a great weekend, perfect organisation and great to catch up with our many friends, it was a great party and Millie has to be singled out for praise, she never stopped and made sure it all went smoothly, thanks Millie and to all the organisers, also thanks to our friends for helping drink beer (and whisky)!
Back today on the crap DFDS ferry again, our toilet didn't flush in our cabin and smelled of piss when we arrived so that didn't help the hangover today! I have to mention once again how small a place the world is, as we sat in the cafe in Ijmuiden waiting for our ship to start loading I saw Gary &Amy MacKnight go by, just returning from a tour on their BMW of Sardinia, Gary & Amy are usually on their pristine Norton Rotary but obviously wanted a stress free holiday, see you guys in Germany! To make things even more weird they were talking to Donnie and Linda on their Triumph Explorer who we'd met in a cafe car park earlier in the year, the world is indeed small when you have a motorbike.
I also have to warn you that there seems to be a party of probably more than 100 Germans who seem to be in the one tour group heading North, the way they got lost and caused chaos in the passport control leads me to think they are going to be a travelling traffic jam for the next couple of weeks, hopefully we don't catch up with them going to Applecross next weekend!

Fi waiting to be treated like a 2nd class citizen
John & Alex doing likewise
Fi explaining how the engine works
Holland, the land of incredible sea defences
Lunch stop
Our little corner of Holland for the weekend
Nice in blue
There were a few unmolested bikes like this ridden to the Rally, excellent
A Hedlund Wasp outfit, scarce!
Our Flemish friends, Marc, Karin amd Miki (see you in August)
Hesketh, also rare to see them nowadays
Hangover time, not so rare
Who says no young guys ride Nortons
This is the young guys Mum, she rides this 1929 16H, only the 4th owner of this bike
Norton being worked on always draws a crowd
Kampen, nice place and great weather
And now Camping!!
Praying to the Norton god
Nice bikes everywhere
Eric Joyce's very nice Manx
Fiona & Hessel win the silly hat competition
Brother John didn't get to the gym so practiced with serving us up beer instead
A great weekend, great party atmosphere, thanks to all.....

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Weather again

Beast laid plans went differently this week, our visit to the Bob Mac on Saturday put off as a huge rain front came in so we contented ourselves with a superb party at Bert and Laurennes place. We had a great time, thanks guys for the effort you put in to keep a load of your mates happy (and pissed)
Photos tell the story....
Bike club on Thursday saw this Coventry Eagle turn up
And this
Davie Clark turned up at the party on his latest bike, cool
Ali on her tempremental Guzzi
I took my tempremental Guzzi
Bikes in the garden
Berts cool flat tracker
Windy's new 961....nice
relaxing telling stories
Nice turn out of bikes
And people, Berts makeshift BBQ shelter doing the job
Alan & Susie leave for a trip around Scotland in their 3 wheeled Morgan

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Another weekend

Last weekend was one of those where we had stuff to do and didn't quite manage a decent run out, still a run out but not the usual mile munching that we usually do. Despite that I though I'd share it with you, Saturday down to Gullane on the Guzzi and Fi on her beloved ER6 Kawa, funny every time she rides it she likes it more, so much so that on Sunday when we had a short run out with me on the B emm she made me ride it home to see how good it is.
All bikes are good and its great to experience most of them. Spent Saturday night drinking at my best friends Stag do, had a great night with Johnny Thomson my mechanic from the old racing days, god knows how many laps around the Isle of Man we recounted on Saturday night!
The TT is on just now and despite the tragedy of two riders being killed its been compulsive viewing, the Bob Macintyre memorial races are on this weekend at East Fortune so hopefully I'll get some good pictures from that to share! (Bob Mac was a Legend from Glasgow, TT hero, GP hero, first guy to lap the Isle of Man at 100mph average and general good guy, sadly died in a race crash in 1962 at Oulton park)
Hopefully see some of you there
Gullane Beach, a fine run on the Guzzi

Avoiding the "crowds" I get fed up if there's more than a dozen people

Apprentice Crab..........