Wednesday 28 December 2022

A lookback at 2022

 Well that was a year I'd rather not remember for some reasons but overall we came out stronger, fitter and in a very positive frame of mind. January I got my old pal Ian Murrie's Triumph ready for sale, drove to the very south of Italy in a van with Graham to pick up old truck parts (4000 miles in 5 days) February I was at the Capper rally camping, a week later went down to collect the Velocette I bought from Dave In Newcastle and the week after that I drove down to Wales to pick up a Guzzi I'd also bought (Christ knows why!)

The beginning of March I had a medical issue which to be honest at the time I didn't know how I was going to end up, I even missed the Old Smokie meeting the following weekend as I was still a prisoner in the Hospital. I'm glad to say that I escaped after a week and started to rebuild my strength and speech, luckily I had a Norton engine to rebuild for Wilson, that was my therapy and made me just get on with it, four weeks later I managed out on my own Norton! Hooray for the healing powers of Motorcycles. Easter came and went, the Guzzi Rally at Falkirk came and went and we bought new bikes figuring that a Russia and Mongolia trip wasn't going to happen soon and that because of my medical episode I realised I didn't have enough bikes. May we set off on our V85's to Southern Ireland for the famous Kilmac meeting and then got a boat to France for a couple of days before going to the BBA meeting in Belgium and then Holland and home via Newcastle.

June we had a Norton weekend in Strontian which was excellent, July we went to Sardinia on the V85's and August to the Begonia rally in Belgium (I took the Norton and Fi took the V85) September we done local stuff including the Vintage club run from Blairgowrie, Then October we had a crazy weekend driving to London and back to pick up a Yamaha Fzr750 for Fiona. We then had a few days in the wind and rain across the North of Scotland to see how our waterproofs were doing (They weren't, they are no longer waterproofs) 

In between we went to Norton meetings, Guzzi meetings, classic bike meetings and generally tried to wear out a few of our bikes.

All in all despite a lapse in March we've been busy and enjoyed every mile and more importantly enjoyed meeting up with our friends. I am hopefully fit and fully charged for 2023 so we can get out and do it all again.

A Happy new year to you all, get out there and do it where you can, don't just dream about it.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

A misty run

 As always when it gets to this time of year the weather starts getting less inviting for us motorcyclists, however it would be wrong in my opinion to miss out on my favorite pastime. Or is motorcycling a lifestyle choice, or maybe even a way of life? Or maybe even the meaning of life? Discuss....

Anyway, we shot this on a dreich day mid November and because its now mid December and the weather has turned a bit Arctic like with temperatures barely reaching 0 Degree's C for the last few days making safe motorcycling impossible (There is no way you want to be anywhere near a Hospital just now) Even the workshop is cold which has made my Commando fettling a chore so there was nothing to do apart from sit at the Computer and put this together. 

There was a thought to bugger off to somewhere hotter but the Trains are on strike and the customs guys have effectively imposed their own lockdown due to their strikes! It's like being back in the 70's again apart from the fact that in the 70's I didn't care, nobody cared, we were all having a good time and in my case if there was no motorcycling I could always look at the world through alcohol filled eyes and imagine I was having a good time, and despite no central heating, single glazing, freezing houses, Power cuts, no money, no Internet, no mobile phones we WERE having a good time, I still am although age has brought to me a certain irritation about anyone who wants to stop me living on the happy side of my brain. 

Keep motorcycling, its the best therapy !


Thursday 1 December 2022


 As always I am constantly looking at the weather forecast, even in what we call summer, I am constantly checking to see if I'm going to get wet and cold on the bike. Of Course when we are well into the end of November its not any different, it's normally how wet will we get and how cold will it be. As we have heated Jackets the cold isn't the show stopper it was, you can ride all year round and feel quite warm, sometimes it is actually a thought to stop the bike anywhere because you lose the heat. The main thing I look for now is the frost and ice and obviously the snow, that then becomes dangerous and its time like these that we wish we hadn't sold our Sidecar which was ideal for the snow and icy conditions. This week though has been fine and we managed out on Sunday and I ventured out myself on Monday, as I've said before a couple of hours on the bike is enough to reset any stresses and keep your mind in a positive frame, it should be available on the NHS (It makes more sense than some of the stuff they are championing at the moment!)

The other great news is that the 650 BMW's are still managing 75 -80 miles per gallon, that makes it even more enjoyable. In garage news, I managed to get the Velocette going last week after fitting the Thorspark electronic ignition which was a result and its now parked until Springtime when I finalise the small adjustments to the timing. The Mk3 Commando is on the bench, getting some TLC which was overdue, its been my go to Norton for a while and now needs some fettling before next year when the plan is for Fiona to ride it more whilst I get MVD out of long term hibernation to start wearing that out again!

If you can keep on keeping on, you know it makes sense!

Tea stop
Theraputic view
The road ahead
One less to run out in front of me, how stupid are these things?
Blue sky, November, not bad!
It's always worth stopping to admire the view