Sunday 27 October 2019

Stunning weekend

So this weekend marks the start of the long dark nights and even more crap weather than usual but it was also sunny and there's no better place to ride the small roads at this time of year than Scotland (OK the South of France or Spain....or Italy......or anywhere its bloody warmer) but we have the most wonderful colours on display, the tourists have pissed off back to where they came from and the Motorhomes are mainly packed away so there is a short window of opportunity to enjoy the bliss of quiet roads. I think the salt is already down as there was some salt on the bikes but not enough of that rust inducing, brake seizing stuff that the local council seems to love lathering on the roads in winter.
Saturday cooking at the roadside, very satisfying, Sunday a bacon roll at Tullybannocher and a wobble on the very small roads, it was cold though, bloody cold, heated jackets are a lifesaver!
A stop by the burn (stream) 
Cold, this is before Fi's heated jacket stopped working
Masterchef at work
Stunning colours (and the trees aint bad either)
Cold enough for the full balaclava
through the tunnel of trees

Monday 21 October 2019

October Norton meeting

So our traditional end of season Norton meeting at Comrie, now renamed the "Tattie howkers" took place in a typical "tattie howkers" day, fresh , a hint of frost but sunny. We left early meaning we had very quiet roads for the short run to Comrie, quite often this meeting gets the bikes filthy as it can be a bit dreich, not so this year, as the day wore on every motorcyclist in Scotland must have been taking the opportunity to get their bikes out, I've never seen so many bikes, funnily enough next month we will be lucky to see another bike on the road no doubt.
Great to catch up with everybody and at least we had a handful of Nortons in attendance, hopefully everybody got home safe and with their bikes as clean as when they left.
Nice line up
period panniers set this off
Phil brought his Ducati , thing of beauty
Peter appeared on his Laverda (That I sold him about 25 years ago!)
David T's Norton with the heavily customised seat
Our bikes at rest (The red one may be for sale.......) 
Another pic of Phils Duke, braw! 

Thursday 17 October 2019

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Once again we took part in the Perth DGR ride ably organised by Geoff Mumford. The ride isn't really about "the ride" it is to raise awareness into two issues that affect mens health, namely mental health and prostrate cancer and of course to raise funds for these charities. It is a worldwide phenomenon so around the world men and women get dressed and look a bit silly to raise cash, silliness, motorcycles and fun, whats not to like. For some reason the Perth run doesn't attract the numbers it should but its a great day out anyway, if you are a motorcyclist you should give it a try sometime, no need to buy tweeds etc just make a little effort, for me I already have a moustache so I'm halfway there.
Oh and the ignorant couple in Dunkeld who said they had called the police because we had parked our bikes in view of their rented house despite being told we were on a charity run could do with some mental help themselves, or even some soap!

Waiting for the off
eclectic mix of bikes
Fiona and snibs 
Snibs looking the part
Gary and Dana
Our moustachiod trio
Geoff and Heather, matching moustaches
Ready to go
Our team of Dapper riders!

Thursday 10 October 2019

Stunning ride to Lochcarron

Just after our return from holiday we were invited to a meeting in Lochcarron which is around a 200 mile ride up to the North West of Scotland on some of our favourite roads. Firstly I'd upgraded the forks in the Triumph with new springs (an easy less than 1 hour mod) and was interested to see how that affected the bike, as it was right after our Euro trip it was a useful back to back comparison.
Unbelievably the weather was stunning as we set off, avoiding the A9 just North of Perth is a good idea due to roadworks so we did that, the ride up the A9 was ok with the clear sky and sunshine enhancing the beauty of this route, too often we curse this road due to the traffic but actually if you take the time to look the scenery is stunning. A fuel and tea stop at Dalwhinnie and a chat with a fellow motorcyclist and then a chance meeting with the Blair boys set us up for a stunning ride across Loch Laggan, an almost clear run up to Invergarry and then to Eilenn Donnan castle for a tea stop again before the last leg over the single track road to Lochcarron.
The Rally really is a meeting of old friends and a pleasant evening was spent in good company. The run home on the Sunday was OK but it rained from Invergarry, not an unusual occurrence unfortunately, still enjoyable and the verdict on the fork upgrade was that it was £60 well spent, it really transforms the handling and does away with the annoying dive at the front end when braking. Geoff followed us to Invergarry where he obviously got bored of our company and disappeared. A stop at a cafe just after Laggan locks for tea of course and a snack then back to Dalwhinnie and the A9 for the last 60 miles. Coming down the hill at Blair Atholl I spotted a motorcyclist in distress so pulled into the layby, as I pulled in I realised it was in fact a Norton Commando, the rider hunched over the back end, I recognised him straight away, Bill Downie junior (his father Bill Senior had been a friend of mine many years ago) Bill junior had been a Perth man but the pursuit of education and greater things took him to far flung exotic cities such as Glasgow and Thurso, he had been up to Thurso that weekend to see old pals. His stay in exotic cities had obviously taken its toll on his mind as he had set off on this 600 mile round trip with a knackered chain and more importantly a knackered sprocket, when I stopped he was trying to tighten the chain enough to stop it riding over the sprocket! I said "my god, what would your father have said about this ?" His reply was " if you knew my Dad he would have kicked my backside" I took my helmet off and he said "Gino, oh no, the shame" it also transpired he had next to no petrol, we followed him down to Pitlochry but the petrol station was being refurbished and had no fuel, a scavenge around and we managed to cut a bit from the workman's hosepipe and found an empty milk carton, some fuel from Fiona's bike got him enough fuel to get to the next stop, glad to say he got home safely, the moral of the story is, check your bike before you set off and if you don't you will be publicly shamed if I catch you :-)
A great weekend and probably the best run up the road for a while.
Sunshine, bliss
Iconic castle (and bikes)
BUsy site
Bert's newly aquired Commando already green! Laurenne on the bobber
Sunset over the loch
The baldy chap had a full head of long hair and a beard only two hours earlier and got it shaved for charity (Air ambulance) Pictured with the organisers
Cafe on a boat at Laggan
Bill junior 
This used to be a sprocket! 

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Euro trip - Last part

Always good to start or end a trip at the Begonia rally which is run by the Flanders NOC, its a British bike rally really but over the years most of the participants have become good friends and its always a pleasure to spend time with them all and of course drink a beer or two, well it is Belgium so it would be rude not to. The weather was outstanding as was the organisation and it was an excellent way to finish our holiday, the pictures tell the tale better than I can, many thanks to all our friends who made it a great weekend. We bumped into a French couple waiting for the ferry who were from Dijon, Gerald and Isabelle, first time in Scotland and first time riding on our side of the road so we accompanied them part of the way, that's the great thing about motorcycling, you constantly make new friends, an uneventful but busy ride back to Perth and thats it all over for a while again, bikes were excellent and the Triumph was better than I thought it would be, a good choice methinks, around 60mpg, good power, comfortable, brakes that work even in the wet, the only change I've made since is progressive fork springs, an easy and cheap fix for the soggy front end!

The campsite
Love the numberplate
Nice but no thanks
Myself and the Belgians also Benoit from France
More camp photos
The Legendary Essex mob, many are octogenarians and still going strong, an inspiration
Eddie laughing as always
Dutch guys having their own party
Stare off!
Peter and Tom arguing over who sleeps with the green lady tonight
Much nonsense being talked
Less nonsense being talked 
Ferry time
Our new French friends