Tuesday 26 May 2015

Canadian Club

After a bleak week at work I decided to call a holiday on Friday to welcome our friends Dan and Sara (www.worldwideride.ca) to our humble abode on Friday. I must say it was weird, here are two fellow travellers (still travelling unlike us!) who we first met for a beer in Panama rolling up to Casa Rondelli on the same bikes. We met them again in Vancouver when Sara was back working for a short while and Dan was…..enjoying himself. Really great to have them in our home for a few days, Friday we took them to Queensferry to see the famous Forth rail bridge which of course they hadn’t heard of. My god, what passes for education in the colonies these days? Neither had they heard of Moniaive so we headed to this bustling metropolis to the sidecar rally, Fiona bravely sitting in the chair whist a complete lunatic piloted it (me). Great time at the rally, worth a mention was the punk / ska bands whose average age was higher than mines, great crack and excessive drinking.
As we took off on Sunday, I tried the crash ability of the outfit by driving directly into some dustbin’s at the side of the road, unknown to me Dan had been up early in the morning and put a huge magnet in one of them to attract the chair to it, minor adjustments alter we were on our way having brightened up everybody’s Sunday morning (except Fiona as she was still in the chair)
Another party night Sunday with Fi’s family visiting, and then a high speed chauffeured tour of Edinburgh on Monday with Fi in the driving seat looking after us. I have to say I reluctantly climbed a mountain as well, I survived without oxygen or a Sherpa to help me and now I can claim to have climbed a small part of Arthurs seat.
Lunch in the town and then a superb dinner at Bert and Laurenne’s house topped off a great weekend. A struggle to keep focused at work today but luckily tomorrow we are off to Ireland for the Norton International Rally, life can be hard.
If you spot a couple of homeless Canadians this week on their BMW’s (the giveaway is the British Colombia numberplates) say hi, the tall blokey one is Dan and the petite girly one is Sara, they’ll be visiting a monument near you soon.   
The Pederson's arrive, both with nice new Bumot panniers
Dan's first ever Irn Bru
It seemed to affect his riding style somewhat
Fi was sitting backwards in the sidecar taking these, very brave
The team do Dinner (very good it was too)
Helped by the wine
Fi just checking Norrie's properly dressed
A panorama of sidecars
The ladies after climbing the mountain
Edinburgh and its not raining ...superb

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Still cold, still wet!

Apologies for the lack of updates recently but apart from getting cold and wet not much has been happening. The starter motor on the outfit has been changed (again) hopefully for the last time in our ownership. BMW quality is really a joke these days, for a starter motor to last about 10 starts before giving up the ghost is shocking, as a one off its acceptable but remember this motor replaced one which had done a maximum of 1000 miles. I do feel we as motorcyclists get taken for mugs quite often. The replacement starter was advertised a direct replacement, no modifications required however guess what, its isn’t and there are mods required, nothing major, in fact the cutting of another hole for the external battery post to mount. But once again we put up with stuff other consumers would baulk at.
Last weekend we took the Nortons up to a Triumph rally at Inveraray, a new event for us but some of the Triumph guys support our get togethers so I thought it was the decent thing to do, great to meet up with Davit T and Anne for a while and a good night was had by all in good company including die hard Triumph / BSA man George Martin. The rock and roll rockabilly band had us all rocking on the Saturday night and let us forget the rain coming down in buckets outside.
A very very wet run home on Sunday wasn’t that enjoyable to be honest, just makes life difficult. Fed up of the cold and wet now, hopefully we will get a bit warmer as this month goes on, if it stays this cold I’m looking to emigrate!!
I thought I’d mention a chap we met at Tarbet on Sunday, we spotted a sidecar outfit outside the cafĂ© and went up to speak to the owner, it was then I noticed the wheelchair stowed between the chair and the bike and the collapsible walking stick on the seat. This chap (I never got his name) was on a tour up from Oxford, he has multiple sclerosis and is slowly using the use of his legs but rather than give up motorcycling was using the sidecar, he recently added an electric gear shifter as his foot movement deteriorates  a more cheery positive guy I’ve not met even despite the weather and his illness. It makes you feel humble and grateful for good health. Rather than sit down and watch telly this weekend, think about it, get a life and get out there and do something!   

Nortons in a rare dry moment
Prizegiving, some left early on the Saturday due to the weather, shame it was a good night!
The one and only George Martin with his prize!
Band were ace
As evidenced with much energetic dancing!!

Monday 4 May 2015

Moto Guzzi Rally

If its May bank holiday it also has to be the Scottish Guzzi Rally, we rode up on Saturday with Fi on the outfit and me on the T3, it was bloody cold, too cold for May. Tent up, catch up with friends, great to see the regulars working hard to make sure it was an enjoyable event for all that attended. As always a fantastic weekend well organised and friendly. The bands on the Saturday and Sunday night were excellent as well so that ensured a wee boogie was in order. The weather was terrible, the poor people who rode home on the Sunday must have got a right soaking, luckily it cleared up today for the ride home. The outfit has now done 177 miles since we got it so just to make sure it keeps BMW's record as Broken Motorcycles worldwide the new starter I fitted 2 weeks ago has chucked it. I reckon its been used about 12 times, shocking quality control or what? I note that if I pay a bit extra I can get one that's made in Japan, guess I'll be paying the extra, with some of my old bikes I accept issues cropping up at times, this is a newish bike with little miles on it and as far as I know this will be the 4th starter I'm about to put on it. The 650's meanwhile have developed a sticky switch for the heated grips, they have felt rubbish since day one, manufactured I believe in China for BMW, I just checked and a second hand switch is £28 !! I can't see a price for a new one. We moan sometimes about the quality of parts for our old Nortons but BMW have managed to surpass themselves, get crap parts made in a Chinese sweat shop , ship them to Europe and charge Gold plated prices for them, who's the mug? We are of course, for sure the next newish bike I buy will not have the Broken Motorcycles emblem on it!

Our bikes next to Ronnie's Breva
T3 seems to be leaking less oil, maybe I should check its still got some left
I keep saying I'm going to drag my Mk1 Le Mans out but seeing this has made me think I should get it ready for next years rally, another deadline to hit 
Guzzi flag flying despite the rain
one of my favourite bits of road is now a beer!!!
Aww Liz and Ewen posing for a shot
Band had people wobbling around on the dance floor
Organising Sunday Brekkie, Cold and very wet
Kates V7 was taking the piss but eventually started to the assembled crowd's cheers
I liked this theme, modern meets old
Look I'm not going sidecar mad but I liked this
This is allegedly the smallest purpose built masonic lodge in the UK
Sunday night rockabilly
Fi and Ali in deep discussion about advance angles on the modern Guzzi's
most excellent event organiser Russell, getting the dregs from the barrel
Suitable drowned, not to be outdone Derek had a go as well!