Saturday, 18 March 2023

Guzzi out for a run

 So although the 650 BMW's have done great service over the winter I have been missing the big twins. The 750 Fastback tank is back from the painter and I'm looking forward to using it this year (I've been preparing it today) But yesterday turned out nice so I got the T3 out for a run, I filmed it so you can enjoy my spoken nonsense and that V twin rumble.

Saturday, 11 March 2023


 It looks like most of the UK has suffered some poor weather this week as another "beast from the east" rolls in but Perthshire has had sunshine all week. It has been cold but the fact the roads are dry its been ok to get out. I have been getting the Guzzi V85's ready for next month, new tyres on both which were a PITA but that's another story, thanks to Stephen Marshal at Sandy Bloys and to Hamish (and Jimmy) at Cherrybank for their help. Normally I get stuck in with the tyre levers but the wheels on the new Guzzi's are too new for me to attack plus the fact that my bike came with tyre pressure sensors in the wheels and I didn't fancy buggering them up. I have asked the main dealer to find out about disconnecting the system so I can go back to kicking the tyres before I go out rather some computer telling me its not safe. Technology we don't need adding a cost to our hobby and profits to the dealer and manufacturers, anyway its only been 4 Months and its obviously too difficult for the dealer or Guzzi to answer.

When I was a bit younger (ok a lot younger) I was a sad child who liked to look at bike instruction manuals, they gave owners pretty comprehensive instructions on how to rebuild engines, fix electrics and change tyres and tubes. Modern bikes instruction manuals now tell you to go to a dealer if any warning comes up on the screen. I wonder then if the young mechanics who have been brought up on video games and the Internet get a huge shock on the first day at work when they are shown a spanner rather than a laptop and its explained to them that the engine isn't all fixed by software but will need human intervention with spanners and maybe feeler gauges, just thinking about that maybe "feeler gauges" will have to be called something else in case people take offence and thing its a form of sexual deviancy. I digress....

Like I said it was a braw morning with the temperature the right side of zero so we were out for a wee hurl just to get my head straight, it's funny how motorcycling is a very calming influence, the worries and the complete nonsense that goes on in life disappear as soon as you are out on the open road! We only wen't as far as Tullybannocher to sample a bit of Cake and a Coffee and to check it was OK for our Norton Meeting on the 2nd of April. The cake and coffee as always was excellent, we probably stayed longer than we originally thought we would as first we met an old pal Steve Pirie (a motorcyclist of course) and then just as we were leaving we met Alan from Kinross who brokered a deal for me to sell my original John Player Norton back in the 80's (I think) Good crack and then a very nice run home to give the bikes a good clean and still no snow!! I suppose we could have gone to the Scottish bike show in Edinburgh but as always I'd rather be out riding my bike than paying someone to look at bikes.....    


Sun shining ready for the off
Ok Petrol first!
Cake and Coffee
No snow thankfully

Thursday, 2 March 2023


 You would think that living in Scotland it was cold enough in wintertime but Fiona decided to take her Mum and Dad to Iceland obviously because they like cold weather. A wee spoiler alert, I am not a fan of the cold and wet and miserable and neither is Fiona so we weren't sure how it would go. Iceland is billed as a great place to see unspoiled wilderness but then again so is Alaska and Patagonia but then Iceland is only a 2 1/2 hour flight away. Fiona and I had one "Must do" and that was a Snowmobile ride so that was in itself worth the trip.

We arrived in Iceland on a cold and damp Thursday Morning, it looked a lot like a dreich day in the North of Scotland but maybe a bit even more depressing. A bus took us into Reykjavik  and Fi and I booked the tour the next day for the Glacier Snowmobile ride which also included a stop at a fault line and at a geyser and waterfall. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but I am not a fan of Busses, unfortunately a Bus is the only way to get around if you don't want to break the bank but at least the Bus to the Glacier was very cool, much like some buses we saw in Patagonia so that was OK. 

Reykjavik is a nice and interesting place to spend a day or two but to be honest after that you would be bored just aimlessly wandering around which is what I saw most people doing. I would recommend a trip but go for the maximum things to see in a day, Iceland is big and it takes a while to get around things so maximise on things to see and minimise on sitting on a bus. 

We were there for 4 days which in Wintertime is enough in my opinion, we saw what we wanted (except for the Northern lights as it was cloudy) We didn't sample the delights of Puffin or Reindeer , Fish and chips to eat out is good and only £20 each, (I won't complain about the prices in a chippy in Scotland again) Everywhere you go inside its warm, very warm, which suited me, the geothermal springs supply copious amounts of hot water for heating, funnily enough everybody has the windows open to let the heat out! And they grow their own vegetables and fruit in huge greenhouses which is weird considering we are in a dire shortage at the moment.

So Iceland, wrap up well, take plenty money, enjoy the nature and when you are on the plane home enjoy what seems to be very cheap prices. Our pilot did a 360 degree loop to let us see the Northern Lights which was good (I still didn't see them) and I have to say Easyjet was a nice experience!

Back on 2 wheels now and avoiding bus trips for a long long long time, enjoy the pictures which tell the story better than I do!

Not the shop!
The focal point of Reykjavik
Buildings are painted in bright colours
The bay
Snow on the hills
Reykjavik , a modern town
Out in the country
A fault line
A small Geyser
And a big one, if the sky had been blue it would have been better
Spectacular waterfall
Proof we were there
Cool bus
On the Glacier
Tea break
glad we done this 
Getting colder
very cold
Some famous guy
The town
Lunchtime on Saturday, dreich
Danny posing for a photo

Rainbow street?
Almost time to go home and the sun comes out
Street view
Remember when our shops had these
near our house
Also near where we stayed
Fi posing
The church could do with some ornate windows at least
The fire Hydrants are cool
Fi captured this out of the plane window!

And finally, I thought this was rude!

Monday, 6 February 2023

The Capper Rally

 Well you know it's special when the badge actually say's "The Last One" after 40 years of organising the Special K MCC have decided thats it, finito, no more lying in a field in February. When you look around most of the regulars are getting a bit older and less and less people are prepared to sleep in a tent (In February) To be honest like many rallies more and more people are taking the easy way out and sleeping in vans or motorhomes which to me kind off defeats the whole ethos of "Bike rallies".  It's difficult for the organisers to refuse people who have been going for years and decide to take their cars and vans despite the "No Cars or vans" rider on the invite. Luckily there are still "hard core " rallies for people who really want to experience traditional rallies.

There are limited numbers of youngsters going to rallies and one argument is that its a bit of a closed shop, the invites are sent out to a select few so how does that person get on the list? If the "older guys " want to take vans and motorhomes then maybe the younger guys will look and decide a hybrid Motorhome / bike rally isn't for them? Anyway despite all that we had a great weekend in great company and although its a shame it's the end, maybe its time, after all there is nothing to stop anyone going out to camp on their own in the Winter (if they are mad enough) 

We had a wee run on Saturday and stopped at George Martins house to scrounge our dinner and get heated up a bit and then almost got back to the site before the rain. Slider played on the Friday night and were on great form, Saturday nights band has less of an audience but were still enjoyed. A frosty night Saturday and ice still on the tent Sunday made me think "I should have brought the van" actually it didn't , what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! A windy a chilly run home and straight into the shower to thaw out, wonderful, when are we doing it again!

Ready for the off
regulars enjoying the weather
Fi enjoying the weather
The rally site
Putting the tent up
Webby with the new hat
Mr Mumford and myself
Slider in full flow
Fi asking if its cold!
Tent collection
Bike Collection
Geoff's Harris holding up the wall
Two Guzzi's from Birmingham (Bart and Sid)
oot for a run
Nice scenery
I was too lazy to get of my bike to take a photo
Geoff winning the best bike award
Sunday, frost on the tent
Frost on the bike and ready to go home!