Monday 25 December 2023

Happy Christmas everyone

 Happy Christmas, on the birthday of the baby Jesus or whatever you believe in. It appears that there are no wise men anymore just people intent on killing each other which is a sad indictment of modern times. Meaningless wars making rich people richer or more powerful whilst the poor serf's (you and I and) pick up the tab either financially or with their lives. 

We are all born the same (Thankfully mostly), the same brain with a blank canvas, the same number of limbs and organs and with a fresh brain to do our best in the very short time we have on Earth, some do better than others due to a whole range of factors and similarly worse, we are not born with hatred, that is something that comes from our parents, government, religion and the media. It appalls me to look at the mess of our world just now, corruption in Government (even in our own back yard) and it makes me wonder what these people who lie, steal, kill and enrich themselves think they have a right to do it. They will not be reading this blog but always remember who is responsible, I feel there is a giant reset coming where the people will eventually go against these people, a revolution maybe. I could go on but I will stop it there.

Remember to stay happy, keep motorcycling (if you can) and ignore the lunatics that are running the asylum, have a great festive period and hopefully 2024 will be a great year for everyone. We were out today just to keep us sane for a while, wet, cold but braw!

Santa never brought us another bike, just as well
Warming up gloves on the engine
Buchanty spout looking braw

Thursday 14 December 2023

The week (and a half) before Christmas

 Well, the weather has relented to let us out in the last week and we only have roughly a week to the shortest day, the day after that the weather will get better and the days will start getting longer. Time to make plans for next year, prepare bikes and think about the first evening run in the heat and sunshine. It's all positive as long as you don't pay attention to the news!

Sunday we had a wee run , no issues with the bikes but issues with electronics and a weird flat tyre led me to believe it was better to head home and fight another day. En route to home we spotted Budge out getting the miles in on his R 75 Beemer, well done mate, somebody has to get out and prove Bikes aren't just for Summer. 

Wednesday I met up with David T at the side of Loch Earn at the old Drum up spot where like minded motorcyclists used to meet

 40+ years ago when I was just a youngster. These days it was Vincent's Triumphs and Nortons along with BMW's and MZ's making up the crowd, yesterday it was one Norton Commando (which sounded great getting thrashed down the Loch) and myself on the Airhead BMW. We spent a while talking nonsense and the occasional sense drinking our tea (or hot water) before realising it was getting cold and going our different ways Home, a grand day out indeed.

Keep on keeping on......

650s at rest in the mist
In Black and white to make it Moody
Wednesday, cold but clear
At the lochside
David arriving, so quick I didn't have time to set the camera to "fast Norton Mode"
And slowing down
A nice bike being used as intended

The two bikes striking a pose
And David striking a pose ( It could be a pose for a 70's winter bike gear catalogue)

Friday 8 December 2023

This weeks masterpiece

 I put together some memories from this year into this short video, left loads out but the main bits are here I think. It's always good to look back at the year and start thinking about next year, you can't let the grass grow under your feet!

George Martin reminded me this week that next year is a leap year so we all have an extra day to enjoy motorcyling, and looking on the bright side we get an extra days road tax for free, don't tell anyone or they will raise it even more if they realise it. Just as well Both the UK and Scottish Government can't count past 10, if they could they would maybe realise to stop wasting our tax money........


Tuesday 5 December 2023

Nae Moans

 So December it is, the weather has been a bit Decemberish which is to be expected, as always at this time of year there are occasions where it isn't clever or sensible to take the bike out (Unless you are going on a long trip) So Sunday saw us out in the Transit, not quite the same, not at all in fact but it was warm and relatively safe. I knew Glenquaich would be dodgy so I decided to try and get over it, the first warning just before the top was when I saw 2 cars abandoned in the ditch, matter of fact the range rover was abandoned on its side with the airbags deployed! We started the descent just at the loch at the top and stopped to take some photos. A guy coming the other way told us that the road into Kenmore was blocked by two cars and they wouldn't be going anywhere soon so we turned round and went back. It reminded me of the time not long ago when we were on the bikes and tried to get over it in snow and Ice, at one point we were struggling for grip so I asked Fiona to watch and see if I could get any further , of course the laws of Physics and the coefficient of friction overcame my foolhardiness and I fell off, Fiona had to walk up to help me and the two of us struggled to manhandle my bike back to the point where we managed to make our way safely home. It just goes to show, idiocy has always been one of my traits and is sometimes encouraged by Fiona.

Looking forward to getting out on two wheels soon and not like the Range Rover who's driver thought that two wheels in the ditch would be good!  


At this point I thought, we should be on the bikes
Now I wasn't
There is a nice feeling when its like this, but better when its warm!
And with that it was time to clench the butt cheeks for the Descent

Monday 27 November 2023

Highway robbery the modern way

 I know its November because our car insurance is due, as if November wasn't depressing enough it also reminds us that it's an anniversary of our return from our Americas Trip, in this case 10 years, really depressing. The title of the blog is because I renewed our car insurance online, it seemed like a good price and today I thought I would check up to see if the policy was ok, I couldn't access it online so had to speak to a person on the phone, the issue was that somehow I had put the Date of Birth down wrong (due to a moment of stupidity using the drop down box online) My birthday was down as May where as I'm sure you all know (take note) it's June. Now to change the date to the correct one I was charged £35 and £25 admin fee, so £60 because I hadn't got the date right (which I would have noticed well before the policy started if they had sent me a printed copy which they didn't) A very bitter phone call later and eventually they waived the £25 admin fee (Mrs R had to take over the call because my power of reasoning had been replaced with rage) So Bank of Scotland who I have banked with since I was 18, paid them thousands in Mortgage repayments in the past never mind about the thousands in interest with personal loans during my racing days and who have quite happily benefited from the cash in the past from my business account and my personal accounts and who as a taxpayer we saved them when all the banks got it wrong in 2008 cant see it as a mistake and still steals money from me, Highway robbery the modern way!

Thieves vagabonds and bankers should all be lumped together under the one umbrella! Oh and politicians!

Anyway despite the weather I got out on the R100 on Wednesday despite the rain and gale force winds, very refreshing it was too and Sunday we got the 650's out despite the near zero temperatures to get to Tullybannocher for lunch, it refreshes the mind and the soul  

Very wet and windy
Dreich even
Bikes looked surprisingly clean
And the frost lifted

Thursday 23 November 2023

Euro Tour part 2 video

 Posted this yesterday on Youtube, an escape from the coming winter and an excuse to figure out next years adventures. Enjoy and keep on keeping on.....

Sorry No dramas, no crisis, just touring about on our bikes.....

Monday 20 November 2023

Escaping reality

 Saturday was hosing it down here, we fortunately managed to take the van to our favourite tearoom at Rait which thankfully was open, Tim the owner has been getting hassle from the landlord and he was shut the last couple of times we tried but thankfully that was because of the weather. So I got my breakfast after all, transpires the evil landlord wants Tim out so he now has until May to make some money and set up another venture, I will keep supporting him until then, if you fancy a cafe try the tearoom at Rait Antique centre, keep Tim busy until May and let me know if you can recommend other cafe's in Perthshire.

Mrs R suggested we do some painting since it was a terrible day, now painting is not a hobby of mine but I couldn't find an excuse to get out of it, fair play, Fiona done most of the work while I sulked in the corner. We were talking that evening (During wine time) about the number of Whales beaching themselves and I suggested it was because they had accidentally heard the news and were depressed about the total arse all the governments are making around the world so thought they would commit suicide to show how pissed off they were. (Either that or it was suggested they could paint the bathroom ) :-)

Sunday normal service was resumed, my bathroom did indeed look better after a coat of paint and even the weather was kind to us so we set off on a run over Glenquaich , at this time of year you are never sure when it will be passable so best to make the most of it. A bit of Drama at Kenmore when the Air Ambulance picked someone up and landed in the football pitch there. They flew up the loch but the mist obviously stopped them finding a landing spot so they landed in the village and waited for the Ambulance, even that looked dodgy enough to me. Why is this service a charity? We waste so much money on shite and yet this essential service is reliant on public subscriptions, answers on a postcard please. The run home was damp in bits but I really didn't care, this is reality, not the boring stuff in my mind , Fi washed the bikes when we got home whilst I gave the bathroom another coat, funnily enough I didn't mind, it's all in the mind.

Just remember to get your biking drug and everything is rosy 

Hairpin 1
Hairpin 2
Still bonny
Usual stop for photos
Very dreich heading down into Kenmore
And very Dull on Loch Tay. the rescue helicopter was trying to find a spot on the Ardeonaig
road , nae chance!

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Escaping the salt

 A weekend escaping the salt really, despite the councils having a shortage of money it seems they still manage to keep the roads salted, funny enough just before a week's rain which will wash it all away. I don't think there is much forward planning on these things or common sense, "the forecast says it might be icy tonight so lets get the gritters out, doesn't matter if its going to be all washed away tomorrow" It's like the blinkered response to the last flood, "Nobody told us it would rain, that's why we didn't close the flood gates"

So funny if it wasn't so tragic, funny I had a strange dream the other night that David Cameron was made a Lord so he could get back in the cabinet through the back door, then I woke up and realised it wasn't a dream and it actually happened. I just wish my other Dreams would come true especially the one where everybody got on and we could travel unhindered and people could live their lives without fear and without war.

Anyway enough nonsense, Saturday I was left to my own devices and had a good run on the R100 BMW, I realised the small roads were salt free and took advantage, some nice photographic opportunities and sunshine made my day, I even saw a couple of other Motorcycles out and about. I then had an idea of trying to take photos without getting off the bike, not the best way you might think but it's the start of what I'm sure will be a world best seller of "Photos from the Saddle". Riding along I spotted a 4x4 off the road and on it's side near Gleneagles, obviously the all terrain capabilities didn't include corners on a small country road! The police had done their bit by putting police tape near it so we, the general public know they are on the case, later on just outside Milnathort there was a Tesla in a field, obviously not on purpose and if it was a note to Driver, they are not off road vehicles. That got me thinking, what happened? did the autopilot think the road was straight? did it fancy a bit of off roading, did it perhaps see a electric tractor in the field and fancy a bit of positive to negative mating or even positive to positive (which would have caused a big explosion no doubt) Anyway, these thoughts go on in my head and blot out the realities of the real world, whatever that is.

Sunday my partner in crime was back in the saddle and we took the 650 BMW's out, they have seen so many things in their short lives it keep both our brains from reality, reliving moments "on the Road" Once again we took the small roads thus avoiding the salt and by and large the general public  and it was wonderful, some photos taken and we turned up at Cultybraggan camp only to be disappointed that the cafe was closed, obviously lack of trade in the winter? Whatever it will be spring before we try again, Luckily Tullybannocher was open and doing a roaring trade, met a couple from Bellshill on a 650 custom type Royal Enfield, the rider had done 5000 miles on it since the end of August, he had only got into Motorcycling a couple of years ago and had over 20,000 miles under his belt, fair play and proves there's hope for the Motorcycle industry after all. We wobbled back on the same roads, avoiding the suicidal Pheasants which seem to get more stupid year on year and Fiona narrowly avoided a huge Buzzard on the Madderty road who flew up with its dinner in its beak and within millimeters of Fiona's front tyre, how it managed to avoid contact I don't know but I'm sure it will have needed a toilet break, 

Weirdly the bikes weren't even that dirty so that ended a great weekend, lets see what nonsense this week brings (and hopefully a stop to the incessant rain and dullness) Get out there and enjoy it, it's better than Eastenders (mind you that's where the next member of the cabinet might come from......)

No salt Dry roads
Such a nice view had to take a photo from the other side
Tesla off road fail 
Sun over Kinnoull Hill
Leaves still nice
Mist on the Hills
Fi wondering where to go for a cuppa
A trio of BMW singles (there must be a name for that)
Before the Buzzard near miss

Sunday 12 November 2023

Euro trip Part 1 video

 It's a bit late but thats life, sometimes riding a bike gets in the way of documenting riding a bike. I enjoy seeing it when its done but sometimes I lack enthusiasm, I know people make a living out of it but I'm lucky, I don't do it for fame or money (Just as well) and sometimes the whole you tube thing gets to me, notice all the videos that start with a "Disaster" "whats going wrong" or "Murdered by a womble" on the opening screen just to try to get people to click on their videos, It's false advertising, the Wombles aren't real (Fiona just told me that yesterday) Anyway here is a boring video, narrated by a boring person about our Holiday, if you don't like it you get your money back, matter of fact since it doesn't cost anything I'll give you double your money back.

Spoiler alert, I'm doing the can can.....just not in the video

Thursday 9 November 2023

Motorcycling to keep me sane

 Well, no sooner had Fionas ER6 left the garage and it was replaced with a BMW. Followers of this blog will realise I am not the biggest fan (even though up until last week we still had 2!)  But i started wondering if the older airheads are a good buy at the moment, I managed to find a very low mileage one on Ebay for a good price and last weekend we went down to Leeds in the van to pick it up. The Journey was uneventful except for taking the road through Bradford, despite the state of the place we found out its a Low emission Zone so I had to pay £9 to travel through their shitty streets full of rubbish and what looked like derelict houses, I was miffed to say the least.

Anyway, Monday I wen't over the bike carefully, it's far from a show queen which is ok as it will be used this Winter but it's in good condition. Tuesday I went for an inaugural run and was quite impressed, it's the 4th airhead I have had , all the others were winter bikes and commuters and to be fair they were very reliable. The bike goes well and even stops as BMW put proper brakes on them in 1980, so far I have been quite impressed (apart from the effort it takes to get it on the centre stand) Lets see how this winter pans out. I also MOT'd the 650 BM's this week so that will be the weekend bikes.

I'm glad to get out anytime to keep me from looking at the depressing news, quite apart from death and disruption there scarcely seems to be a day going by without more wastage from the bunch of clowns in Holyrood (never mind Westminster) MSP expenses have topped 25 Million this year, well done guy's girls and whatever else, this to not deliver ferries, bugger up the NHS and another cracker I heard this week to spend £53 MILLION on the Tomatin to Moy part of the A9 Dualling with not a spade being put in the earth. Of course not to mention some obviously thick Health secretary incurring a £11K phone bill for his holiday to Morocco for using his Ipad (which the tax payer will pay for) , Christ man buy a sim when you get in and it costs £10 for plentiful Data to do whatever you would do on holiday.

Thank God I have a motorbike (or 3) to avoid getting too wound up, BTW also heard that the Cooncil aren't getting an insurance payout for Bells sports centre following the flooding flooded because of the Council's incompetence, ye couldny make it up.....

Bikes. photos now......  and happy face

The scenery detracts from the scabbiness (and reality)
at the old brew up spot
Thursday, heading towards the sma Glen
Clouds to the front of me, sun at the back ( sung to the tune of Jokers to the left of me Jokers to the right)
Sheep enjoying a respite from dreichness
Stop for Tea
And deciding that if I stop at Bill's I would get better tea!

Monday 30 October 2023

Trying to beat the weather (and the News)

 Another wet week but we were determined to get the Nortons out on Saturday despite the rain and flooding. The great news is that I seem to have Fiona's Yellow Commando running smooth, so much so she couldn't believe it and kept commenting on how brilliant the bike was all day, MVD is also in good form and was running well, complete with new oilpump (Second attempt at Andover Norton supplying one that fitted) So last weeks stress dealing with shit Norton spares was worth it. The bad news was we got wet, very wet, but we didn't care, we were both happy to get out on the bikes anyway. 

Sunday and all our gear was wet so we went to St Andrews in 4 wheels, probably just as well as the roads were flooded everywhere, there wasn't much chance of Sunbathing or even a round of Golf (A hobby I gave up when I was 17 due to the lure of Motorcycles) but some crazy windsurfers were out enjoying the weather, another Hobby I won't be taking up any time soon.

The clocks Changed and this morning I was confused, not at the time change but because it was dry and there was a hint of blue sky, after I got up and manually deleted all my whatsapp messages (in case somebody needed them for a public enquiry) I decided not to stay in and rant about why a lengthy jail time would be appropriate for all these politicians who made us commoners suffer during Covid, but decided to take the T3 out to see some of Perthshires finest potholes which was excellent, the Autumnal colours and quiet roads put my mind at rest. So there we have it, another weekend but not all about storms, bikes can be quite waterproof and can be enjoyed even when the rider isn't. Take it easy out there and don't let the weather depress you too much.

A wet MVD ready to get wetter
Fi always smiling
Photo stop
Dunning glen
Nice cafe at Muckart (worth a visit)
Posing with the wet Hay wall
The Earn Valley
Look the sun was coming out (when we were almost home)
St Andrews, stormy sea
Crazy guys
It did look like fun, almost
T3 posing
Sma Glen
The Almond not as wild as I would have thought
Stop for a talk to myself
I like this photo (note the glove drier)