Monday 31 July 2017

Wet wet and even more wet!!

Our annual Applecross Norton trip this weekend, We left just after 6.30am Friday to meet Mickey our friend from Ireland at Lochcarron at 1 pm. The first 8 miles were dry then the rain started and never stopped much for the run up, real Scottish rain not the namby pamby rain you get elsewhere, rain that would penetrate the hull of a submarine, rain that eventually no matter how much you spend on quality bike gear gets through to your skin. Our first impromptu stop was at Rumbling bridge about 30 minutes after we had set off to adjust Fi's mirror and while I stopped she reported a clanging noise , further investigation found the right rear indicator (just fitted this week) had vibrated loose and was hanging by the wire (thankfully) I tightened it up the best I could and set off. As we passed Crieff I noticed it vibrating loose again so another impromptu pit stop in the pissing rain (did I mention it was raining?) Petrol at Lix Toll then onward to Ballahullish for breakfast, as we rode up onto Rannoch moor there was a glint of sun which looked hopeful but it lasted about 3 miles before the rain started again but this time in the distance it looked like it was night, I've seen Glencoe pretty black but this was Black as night, as black as a hoer's heart.
We were glad to stop for sustenance at the cafe at Ballahullish before making our way up through the tourist hell that is Forth William, to be honest it was better than I thought as I think the poor tourists were probably hiding in their B&B's, those that weren't though were out driving their Hire cars and camper vans very badly, we were going to stop for fuel at Inverinate but having just passed a load of aforesaid badly driven tourists we pressed on to Lochcarron figuring if Fi ran out of petrol I could transfer some from my bike (bigger tank) and I'd rather do that than risk life and limb to pass these idiots again. Lunch stop at the Riverside cafe and we met up with Mickey, after a catch up, food and tea we were lucky enough to time leaving the cafe with the rain starting again. Up over the Bealach dealing with idiot tourists again and despite it hammering down all the way to the top hairpin the rain stopped at the top and we had a nice descent into the campsite.
We got the tents up in the dry and then done what we normally do in Applecross which is party on! A great turn out despite the conditions with special mention to Mickey who rode from Ireland, Toon and his girlfriend from the Flanders NOC in Belgium who sensibly came in a van and Russell from around Manchester I think who came up for the night on his 88 Dommi and who bumped into Tim and Paddy on the way.
A great weekend in great company, a new addition to the hostelries is the Junction, just at the bottom of the hill (at the junction funnily enough) we ended up there on the Friday and had a great night. Saturday we ate at the walled garden at night, the Inn in the afternoon so we made sure everyone got a taste of the Norton owners club cash. With Applecross being so busy I'm sure there is room for all 3 to coexist and prosper in future.
Sunday it was still raining, we were amongst the last to leave and got Alex down to Laggan where we were staying the night in a B&B, I was glad to call it a day then and get a hot shower and a bit of heat. Today it rained 70% of the way home, I suppose thats good considering the previous days, George Martin abandoned his attempt to join us on Saturday at Kintail as it was getting late and he was drowned, it must have been bad if George didn't make it! Similarly Liz turned back on the Friday due to being scunnered I think which is not in character for her either.
I shall spend the next week drying everything out but once again thanks to all who came along (and those that at least tried ) another great weekend !
Bloody indicators
Bloody Rain
Ballahullish, breakfast
Lochcarron, Fi still in good spirits
Mickey with his giant phone
Applecross bay
People in the water, mental!
Early Friday evening
great banter
Russell, Tim, Philly and Paddy enjoying a beer or 2
Ewan, David and Anne speaking to Alex's head
Bert met up with an old pal
Getting later so more nonsense being talked
Not sure what I was getting the blame for
bikes at rest
Tim Russell and Paddy's choice of mounts
Stag do prelude
What are you looking at
Posing for the camera
Saturday afternoon in the Inn, nice of Norrie and Snibs to join us
Glimmer of blue sky
Not so hopeful
Tim looking for a friend
Paddy and Brother John 
Less Clouds

Sunday 16 July 2017

Busy and some motorcycling

Its been a busy week, picked up the Mk3 Commando from one of my storage locations and my cylinder head from Derek at Engine Resource in Dundee, work started immediately to get the Mk3 ready for an MOT, a service, clean and a check over took until Thursday, some work on my old van to get it also ready for its MOT. Friday a trip to Cherrybank garage to get the bike and van MOT'd, some minor issues with the van which was expected so i took the bike to do some visiting, tax it and by then the van was ready, not a bad morning, 2 vehicles MOT'd and taxed and all by 10.30am.
One good bit of news is my MK3 Commando is now over 40 years old so eligible for historic tax, it was easier than I thought, into the Post Office with my logbook (V5) with a change of taxation class filled in and signed, hand it over with the new mot, a few keystrokes later I got my slip back (The PO will send off the logbook to the DVLA) and tax for a year all for £0 , I smiled, at last all my Nortons are Historic tax now so cost nothing. One good thing about this is I will hopefully be more inclined to have more of the fleet on the road since all it'll cost me is the cost of an MOT test, result!
Today (Sunday) we had an early blast down towards Biggar to see some of the guys from the Vintage club start one of their runs, a brief chat with a few of the guys and a look at the nice bikes topped off with a bacon roll and cup of tea at The Big Red Barn, colder than expected but a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
We have been dog sitting for the last 3 weeks (not my idea!!) so today the dog was returned to its rightful owners, I'm sure it is happy but not as happy as me, a dog in a very small house isn't fair on any of the parties, I'll be sweeping hairs up for the next year I think, mind you it was good at lying outside the garage when I was working and scaring away small children and pests. Normal life has been resumed.

A trio of Nortons at our disposal today
But we took these two
Nice Velo 
A Panther, 600cc single made in Yorkshire, don't challenge the Panther Owners Club to a 5 a side football match (A joke any Bike readers who admired Paul Sample's work will remember)
Honda's are classic now...
Nice pre war Sunbeam with it's STD numberplate 
George Ogg's Velo wearing it's tea cosy
AJS special was interesting
Nice line up
Ariel Red Hunter I think
Plenty Velo Fellow's
Norton & BSA compete for attention
I suspect there has been polishing going on here
The leap of faith
Ready for the off
BSA Single
Scott two stroke making moves
And they're off
The numberplate could be a ticket from the sexual diseases clinic
For Bert
George shouting abuse
Flat tanker getting an assisted start (Mind you a modern BMW also had to get push started!)
I think a beard is compulsory for membership to the Panther club
If you can't bring your classic bike why not tag along in your classic car, very nice