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)

Sunday 22 October 2023

What a week (but still ended well)

 Like the title says "what a week" a week where large parts of the world seem to be intent on killing each other, the world seems like a very dangerous place at the moment and for everyone who is involved in the killing and being killed its terrible. No point in philosophising on what is just basic human stupidity and for the most part greed so I'll stop there. This week saw some of the UK and particularly this part of Scotland bearing the brunt of a particular storm, people were killed, peoples houses washed away and peoples livelihoods ruined. It would be easy to sit at home and wring your hands exclaiming ochone ochone woe is me but luckily I have a motorcycle and the weather god stopped the storm and gave us a nice but cold day for our Tattiehowkers meeting  at Tullybannocher.

Fiona and I set off early on my Mk3 850 Commando with Fiona on Pillion (saves me cleaning two bikes) The sun was bright and peace seemed to be restored to the world as I plodded my way to Comrie, the roads a bit mucky, not from the rain but because the Council had decided to salt the roads to exacerbate the mess from storm whatever it was called. A great turnout and as always it was great to see everyone, a good blether was had by all but unfortunately we left after only three hours of talking to get home for another appointment. The ride home was a bit warmer and I had stopped shivering enough to enjoy the wonderful view, once again motorcycles and motorcyclists saved the day! 

Like every storm it eventually has to stop and eventually the good weather returns, let hope the warring factions and very unhappy people in the world get this through their brains so I can start planning more trips to far away places which have so much to offer and who's people deserve a better life.

Pictures tell part of the story, there were many more bikes there but do you ken how much film is these days.........

My Bike
Wilsons bike
A pair of Nortons
Another pair of Nortons, all the way from Edinburgh
Good to see George Gunn for the first time in a while
Davids bike 
Strangely looks cleaner from this side
My brothers Yamaha (terrible photo which he will slag me for)
Peter brought his Morini instead of his Commando and I missed getting a picture of the other Peter's Morini (Sorry Budge, yours is nicer!)
John Hyman would of been glad of the fairing
Bills Ducati
And finally Alan on His Rocket 3 with Marian on the pillion, also saving cleaning two bikes 

Wednesday 18 October 2023

A different bike run and meeting

Thought I would post this, a meeting we were lucky enough to be invited to in Dolceaqua Italy when I was in Italy lately visiting relations and friends. It was on the Sunday we were leaving Rocchetta to head North so we couldn't go on the run (maybe a blessing) but we had breakfast and saw them all off. This is in the main square in Dolceaqua next to the church, I have to say the churchgoers coming out of early morning mass didn't blink an eyelid and merged seamlessly with the motorcyclists for their early morning coffee, the way it should be. 


Monday 16 October 2023

A change in temperature but still good for the wee smokey

 So three weeks since we got home from a hot and mostly sunny Europe and it feels like we have moved continents not just a country or two. It's been cooler than I remember in October, heavy rain and freezing temperatures, not the friend of any motorcyclist. I wonder when the benefit of net zero will kick in, all these windmills generating electricity (at the cost of over a million trees in Scotland alone) all these electric cars helping the environment must mean global warming is slowing down, in fact I would like global freezing to slow down first. Maybe all these electric cars going on fire will at least give us a heat! Meanwhile throughout the world missiles and bombs are being fires at countries, killing many innocent people just so the rich can get richer and increase their hold on the lowly peasants (us), has nobody told them about global warming or in Scotlands case shite weather!

Thank god for Motorcycles and Eric's uncanny knack to ensure we had good weather for our trip to Arbroath for the wee Smokey, we even got home with the bikes almost as clean as when we left and that despite the tractors laying down most of the fields in the road so we can get chips for our weekly Fish supper. A braw day oot and a chance as always to catch up with folk enjoying motorcycling camaraderie at its best. Norton meeting next Sunday at Tullybannocher, my waterproofs have been looked out already!

A wee video to show you what you missed....... 

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Euro tour 2023 Final part

 We left Mandello amd headed due North on the SS36, the Lake always glistening on the Left of us, what a fantastic vista it is for a factory, and once again we were sadly leaving Italy, the people, the food, the wine,  the architecture we will miss but not the crazy driving. Heading for Chiavenna and heading North on the SS36 to the Spuglia Pass, we ended up in a bit of a convoy with motorhomes and some locals which wasn't great so we stopped off at the side of the road for a break before joining a quieter section, the obligatory stop at the top for the photo and the sign is totally covered with stickers now, seems to be a "thing" 

A nice ride down into Switzerland towards Splugen and then via a service station to get royally ripped off for gas and for our Vingettes for both bikes, over 40 Euros per bike use their roads, time we started reciprocal charging. We stopped at the Romantically named Chur (reminded me of sick)  and found the very busy campsite, 40 Euros for our tent but they did have nice toilets and an on site cafe where we got royally ripped off again, don't you just love the Swiss, bankers to the whole (corrupt) world and still manage to maintain a superior attitude over the rest of us, thats why you get ripped off, we are the poor people and have to pay to see and contribute to their wealth, the country who's sole contribution to world peace has been the Swiss Army Knife, anyhow it was nice but the 12 euros for a dash of Bannantines stuck in my throat a bit. 

The following morning we packed up and headed into much cheaper Germany, the Black forest to be precise to the very nice town of  Gengenbach which turned out to be a gem. Reasonable prices and a hotel suite the same size as my house, people were great and it was good to spend a day off the bike looking around

Friday started well and before long we were wrestling with the traffic on the Autobahn past Frankfurt before stopping with our friends Tomas and Andrea for the night, as always with then there was a small party! Great fun and great people which like many we only met through our live of Motorcycling. Saturday we left and had the day of hell through the crazy roadworks through Koln and Dusseldorf, lots of filtering, diversions and a never ending feel of being lost but after a very stressful day we found our digs for the night  in the small town of Wesel, just North of the roadworks from hell and on the German side of the Dutch border before Arnhem. An excellent choice by Fiona, nice people, good food and a nice place to stay.

Sunday we rode through Holland, the roads are limited to 60mph even though they have some 6 lane motorways, cleverly on a Sunday because there are no trucks on the road they close the outside two lanes just to make it feel busy, looks like the politicians are mental everywhere. We made it to the boat and that was the end of another adventure!

The Italian side of the pass before the top
Here we are again
Atmospheric Fiona
Riding into Switzerland
Looking for a swiss army knife
At ease
Expensive beer, lucky we brought our own Dominos
Getting organised in the morning
Opposite our Hotel
Gengenbach, overcast but warm
City centre
Toon hall on the right
Roadworks on the left
Coffee time
And again
Saw this Spanish bike, well used, looked for him in the square but didn't find him
Very orderly
A Black forest?
Tomas has got a sidecar now
Andrea and Fi
Crazy thunderstorm but managed  to miss the lightning
A break from the madness
another welcome break
And Fi explaining stuff to some other Bikers