Sunday 26 April 2015


Major step forward this week as we got the new starter motor delivered and fitted by Wednesday, so once again we have a fully functioning sidecar outfit. This week has been great weather wise and it heated up a bit which was fantastic however Friday the wind changed and 12 degrees C is about all we can muster at the moment which is disappointing.
Got the cylinder head re torqued on the Commando and spent some time fettling the Guzzi T3 (just as well I did as the engine bolts were almost falling out) It seems if you buy an old bike then you are certainly buying other peoples bodges, I must remember that the next time I take a spur of the moment notion to buy another bike!!
Fiona got a chance to give the outfit a good try out today with me following on the Guzzi, we were lucky enough to avoid the wintry showers and although it looks nice in the photos we need that wind to change again so we can get the heat back.
Whilst we were at Gullane I spotted the DFDS cargo boat heading for Belgium, why did our government let the operators of the passenger ferry to Europe close down what was for us a great route to access mainland Europe, the money we're wasting building hundreds of miles of cycle track would have been better spent supporting access to Europe for tourists and hauliers. And while I'm on the subject how environmentally friendly is it to build hundreds of miles of tracks, taking down trees and planting more asphalt all over the place just so the lycra mafia who contribute hee haw to F8ck all can use them for the odd run whilst most of them stick to the roads anyway ? As long as we all realise real cyclists probably don't care for these tracks and would rather use the roads anyway but the "Government" have decided its a great "green" policy to harp on about during one of their many holier than thou moments we seem to see more often these days. The election will soon be on us and I for one will use my vote wisely to elect the least halfwitted of the multiple halfwits standing to ensure we continue to squander money on nonsense and ruin what used to be a great country.
Here's a thought, perhaps rather than elect politicians we should just hold a giant lottery to select a group of random people to run the country for the next 5 years, now that would be interesting don't you think?  

Our bikes at rest in Gullane 
Madness, too cold for this carry on but full marks anyway
Come to Scotland, great beaches, clean and empty (because its so cold!)
This used to take passengers, DFDS have not helped themselves in my opinion

Sunday 19 April 2015

Mixed fortunes

It's been sunny of late but there's still a bite to the wind making sure we don't get lulled into a false sense of summer. Saturday morning (well lunchtime) we presented two Nortons for MOT's (annual test) and thankfully they both passed. Always a relief when you get the pass ticket, as I've said before I always feel nervous about this annual ritual and always glad when its over.
Big excitement this weekend was picking up our sidecar, up to Leven in Fife to pick it up from Kenny, we set off (Fi on the Norton, me piloting the chair) trying to remember all the advice Kenny had given us, all well we made it to Anstruther for a chippy, and very good it was too. Then the wobble back down to Edinburgh, to be honest my forearms were pumped up from hanging on so hard, reminded me of my first ride on a big bike but it was a great experience, We stopped at Morrisons for beer (see when you've got a sidecar you can carry plenty beer!) Fi piloted it the last mile home but disaster struck when the bike wouldn't start again. We managed to bump start it and get it home, preliminary investigation showed it to be the starter but I left it alone until today to check it our properly.
A day of much swearing and cursing, pushing (to try to start it but it was Fi who pushed, at one point aided by neighbour John) all to no avail, I couldn't get a tune out of it at all. So the BMW name continued to live up to its Broken Motorcycles Worldwide meaning. Kenny is organising a new starter so hopefully soon we will have a functioning bike again. Just what I needed another bike to work on............!!!!! NOT!!
As always look on the bright side, we saved some money on petrol and tyre wear today

Pretty Nortons resting after the nice tester man gave them a clean bill of health
Anstruther, the town of fish suppers
Side car and Norton resting in the sun
Plenty room for beer (just after this we had to bump start it so we needed the beer!!!)

Sunday 12 April 2015

Easter showers, some sun, snow and sleet

As always holidaying in Scotland at Easter is a bit of a gamble especially if you are motorcycling and camping but all in all we got away with it. Easter Friday saw the run up to Strontian (The place not the element) in much rain, matter of fact when we got there we decided it wasn't worth getting changed, wet bike gear is warmer than what would have been wet clothes so we got the tent up and went to the pub decidedly damp. It happened there was an Adventure bike meeting at the campsite so we made some new friends, in particular Ian and Colin from Gairloch, handy Colin has a hotel in Gairloch so we decided to meet them there later in the week. A wet and cold run up to Applecross and the snow and mist over the Bealach did nothing to warm us up but after we pitched the tent and had a hot shower the world was good again. Bert and Laurenne appeared so a boozy night was enjoyed by all, also joined by a German motorcyclist Heiko who joined us for some of the evening but who drank less.
Sunday was like summer so we spent the day drying our gear out and getting ourselves wet on the inside with copious amounts of beer and whisky. It was so good we decided to stay on Monday but Monday it cooled down again but hey ho to be in such a great place it was worth it, just meant we had to go to the pub for a heat.
Tuesday arrived as it often does after Monday and a slightly warmer run over the hill and a stunning ride to Gairloch for a night with Ian & Colin, good crack as always. We got the bonus ball on Wednesday with a stunning ride from Gairloch to Fort Augustus, fantastic deserted roads and warm weather, another nights camping before heading to Port Appin, sad to say first time I've visited there but I'll be back, the view is amazing, the roads excellent and the hotel there (The Boathouse) 5 star!  When I arrived I realised that this place is where an old work colleague and friend Peter and his wife Elaine had escaped to when he opted out of the corporate rat race, the lady at the hotel let him know we  were there so another very sociable evening ensued. Friday Lunch and afternoon tea with the Templetons at Minard, outstanding motorcycling again and then a weekend in Crianlarich before a cold ride home.
A great week which reinforced my feeling that we live in the best motorcycling country anywhere, just that you need to find the roads away from the Motorhomes, Caravans and hire cars!!!! Just wish the temperature was a tad higher and the rain and wind a little less biting but that's life. As always the pics will sum it up better than my mindless drivel.

Ballahullish for petrol and a cuppa to warm up
On the Coran ferry, Fiona's boots had leaked which in turn killed her heated socks!
Fine day for the ducks
Saturday morning, Breakfast before we leave, still wet
The Bealach, not able to see anything
Woo Hoo Sun's out!!
Applecross bay
More wind damage
This cow had just given birth hours earlier
Highland cows with their young
Appplecross sunset alert
There it is
Drying off our stuff looking at the nasty black clouds
The run into Gairloch, stunning
Ian and Colin discuss karate
The view over the bay from Gairloch
It doesn't get better
Well maybe a bit
great motorcycling
The boat locks at Fort Augustus, from the days when we could build stuff
Power Nap
Castle Stalker
Port Appin
Ferry from Lismore makes it last run of the day
Port Appin sunset
The boathouse, recommended
Another castle
Fiona saying hurry up you!!