Sunday 29 January 2017

More mud, no tarmac

The last couple of weekends have been devoted to garage time and trials time. Getting the sidecar ready for the forthcoming Dragon Rally in Wales in a couple of weeks, getting the T3 Guzzi ready for an MOT and looking at the parts for MVD in preparation for the rebuild. Thanks to Laurenne for picking up my bits from the powder coaters, looks like a great job. Hopefully soon we will have a Commando rebuild thread.
I have been up and down the A702 a few times lately, a road which is scenic at times and bloody frustrating at others, because of the disaster that is the M8 / M74 I think more trucks are using the 702, 45MPH is no fun no matter how scenic it is!
Managed to get some nice pics over the last few weeks on it though.

En route to the Guzzi post Christmas dinner
Pretty, takes your mind off following a gritter at 30MPH
En route to work, sunrise, very tranquil

This week saw the annual celebration of Burns's birthday and we celebrated with Bert &Laurenne Friday night in Haddington therefore Saturday was not to productive but we did get the trials bikes ready for Sunday, a great day today proving we still have a lot to learn but great fun despite the bruises!!

Thats not right!
Fi having a dab
Climbing the hill
Which you have to go down again, much scarier
I was tired.......
Giving the bikes a clean
Good practice for river crossings

Sunday 8 January 2017

Back to off road

I finished off the holidays by organising powder coating of some parts from MVD that are salvageable and ordering new parts that aren't. Just the wait now before the rebuild commences! Meanwhile after an absence of about 20 months we made a return to Drumcarrow in Fife for some much needed practice on the trials bikes. The little we learn't the last period we were trialling has obviously been well forgotten so it was a day on the nursery slopes for us practicing easy (should be easy but aren't) manoeuvres , Fi's mum and dad came along for a visit so Dan took some photos and its thanks to him for the ones here. A braw day oot riding bikes, blethering and meeting folk, canny whack it. I was a bit concerned about the bikes as I had some difficulty getting them going yesterday and ended up stripping Fi's carb from her bike before realising that I probably didn't have the petrol on!! Much swearing but I'm glad to say they both ran fine today. Just as we were finishing Fi was determined to do a "wheelie" I tried to coach her but she misunderstood when I said open it up and she managed to flip it completely, no harm done , just sorry I didn't film it as it was spectacular. After a day of exertion a well deserved chippy in Queensferry was a fine end to the day.

Fi Concentrating
Me trying to concentrate
Tea break (very necessary)
Fi looking for a difficult bit
And again
Me looking for a rest
Nice view to enjoy oor chippy
New bridge taking shape

Thursday 5 January 2017

MVD stripped

The main job this week apart from heralding in 2017 was to strip and hopefully start putting my old Norton Commando back together, the stripping was the easy part but I realise now it'll take a bit longer to rebuild. Parts have to be cleaned (amazing how much hidden grime can accumulate in the 44 years since it left the factory and the 36 years I've owned it) Although I've had the engine & gearbox out several times this is the first time its been down to the frame. I now realise even more parts will have to be renewed so I'll be playing my part in helping keep the British bike spare parts industry afloat. This bike has helped me tour tens of thousands of miles all over the UK and Europe, it was my commuter bike back in the days when I was racing and couldn't afford to run my old Transit van to work and college and I even raced (and crashed) it at Beveridge park in 85 (I think) after my race bike blew up so it deserves some Tender Loving Care (TLC). I had an ambitious plan of timescales but am beginning to realise it might be too ambitious. Life has to go on, miles have to be ridden, other bikes maintained, camping done etc so the best I'll say is that it should be ready for the Summer. I made this short timelapse movie of the stripdown which I hope you enjoy.


Monday 2 January 2017

A Guid new Year to ane and awe

First I hope you all have a prosperous healthy and great 2017, secondly apologies for the lack of blogging but recent events have been more partying rather than motorcycling (sometimes both) and I wasn't sure if the readers were interested in photos of our friends in various states of drunkenness. I promise to make up for it in 2017 and try to get more interesting stuff on the blog.
We decided to try and finish what we abandoned last year and go camping but this time on Hogmanay (New years eve) to bring in the new year alone (we invited everybody but unbelievably we had no takers) wild camping in the Meldons, the Meldons are some hills just north of Peebles, nothing there except a road, a river and sheep and the very occasional passing car. We stopped for lunch at the Leadburn , most excellent and waited for the wind to gather speed and the rain to start before we set off to our camping spot. The rest is explained within the attached video. Just before Midnight as we pondered the stupidity of our situation Fi said "we've finally become German" a reference to exactly 4 years ago in Ushuaia  at Rio Pipo campsite when we were having a party in the warm and welcoming refuge at the campsite but just before midnight our German contingent left to go outside into the freezing cold to make a fire and stand outside, we couldn't understand it then but I suppose we kinda do now. Oh and a big thanks to George Martin who appeared with chip butties and some hot tea to keep our spirits up.
Anyhoo, here's to a great 2017 may all your miles be trouble free.