Drop of a Crash Hat Run 21-10-12

The weather seems to be improving, and so, at a drop of a crash helmet, with 2 days email notice, we met up at Burnhouse X Roads again. Sorry to those who don’t check their mail daily- but you know what to do in the future!

A grand day out, with only 7 of us. Not that we didn’t nearly collide with Sam on his T110 (I think) coming the other way, when we were en route to lunch at the Stair Inn again!

Finished up at JT’s where lessons were arranged for the uninitiated on the mysteries of our Web Site. Thanks Stewart for your patience.

There seems to be some ratfink knocking off some of our Posts & Galleries. Time for PW changes, I think.

Thanks, JT for organising a super day out.

Spring Run 2012 Aberfoyle 11th–13th May inclusive

As usual the event started off by meeting the P & O Ferry from Larne. Unsurprisingly, it was 2 hours late, AGAIN..

Some sensible ones spent the Thursday night at North West Castle Hotel, where we had negotiated special terms, and these guys kept going on about the great food and the warmth they had enjoyed that morning, while those of us who had left home some 2½ hours earlier were already drookit.

So, no coffee at Creebridge Hotel, Newton Stewart & no run up to Straiton on that fabulous road- just a mad dash to our Lunch stop at Burnhouse Manor Hotel, near Beith where, as usual, the hotel did us proud.

Then on to Aberfoyle & a welcome night at the Rob Roy, where the food is excellent & the refreshments flowing, and altogether a great night.

The local garage, thank goodness has been taken over by the local residents with the lottery helping, otherwise a big problems looming for petrol stops. It’s an absolute disgrace how so many stations have closed.

The morning route was fabulous, via The Dukes Pass, The Trossachs, by-pass Callendar, Doune, Dunblane, Braco, Glen Devon, Yetts o’ Muckhart, the new Forth Crossing to the Falkirk Wheel.

We had organised lunch at The Wheel, and  a whole 96 seater boat plus spaces on the next one- which we didn’t need. You couldn’t stop laughing at the “crack” that went on.

Then back to Aberfoyle by the smallest and bumpiest roads in Scotland, including the Tak me Doon Road out of Kilsyth, Fintry, Arnprior etc. there was also a wee “cock up” by the writer, in losing his way, which caused mayhem, despite all riders having maps. At least we finally all made it.

The weather forecast for Sunday was horrendous, and many riders took the earlier ferries, and some Scottish members who lived north of the Lunch Stop at Gailes Hotel, Irvine went home. They missed a wonderful meal.

So another year passed and planning starts almost immediately for Gretna next year.

Dunbar Weekend 5th, 6th & 7th October 2012

This was Jimmy MacFarlane’s finest hour. My Goodness, it couldn’t have been more perfect!.

This started out originally as Jimmy’s Camping Weekend. Sure enough 11 of the 14 did camp or were softies in Campervans, but 3 very sensible souls stayed at Joy’s splendid establishment, Springfield Guest House, a mere 15 mins from the Site & 20 minutes from Dunbar Town Centre the quickest way, but 40 minutes by the coast path, which was something else.

We watched lobsters & crabs being landed in significant numbers, bound straight for Spain and so on, beautiful community gardens, collies to play with, & fantastic coastal scenery- a real eye opener: with blue skies, the whole weekend- miracle.

However, back to the story- we effectively gathered together (those from the West), in West Linton for lunch/snacks, arriving in Dunbar around 1.30pm

First call after logging in to our Site/Guest House, was to Belhaven Brewery for the (hic) tour.

Neil & Lorna (friends of Jimmy’s), joined us for the weekend, & despite Lorna being what we call a very attractive lady- by God, could she down a Belhaven Black or 2- and I mean pints!

The Tour was very interesting, and Belhaven have been revitalised by the success of Belhaven Best & more recently, Belhaven Black- which in our opinions, knocks Guinness for six.

Jimmy had arranged dinner for us at the Hillside Hotel, where the food was as good as you can get anywhere, with plenty of lubricant to help it down, wine &/ Belhaven!

Some were somewhat embarrassingly lively & proceeded to “entertain” the other diners with Glaswegian ditties, jokes, and very lengthy poems, which they had no chance of remembering had they been sober.

Surprisingly, we were not ejected from the premises, probably because we had not paid at this stage. Eventually, we departed & the sensible 4 took a taxi back.

One of those embarrassing guys was attracted to a somewhat dubious young lady, somewhat the worse for wear, and she, blind as a bat, seemed quite taken by him. He kept telling passers by, who were very suspicious, that he was not her grandfather, rather her toyboy. Thankfully he rejoined us before any damage was done.

Meanwhile, the rest of us were staggering, (as you do) homewards, when some caring souls noted that one of our number was missing.

Not much guessing needed. Dick (the Pimpernel) Bruce had managed to crawl his way to a cash dispenser, presumably to draw cash (it wasn’t a Phone Box); but then, no DicK. His alleged minder, Bill Davies was totally unconcerned, in fact, we suspect he fancied his van for himself that night.

Others were more caring, and spent what seemed like hours of precious drinking time searching Dunbar for him. Luckily, after we had given up, one observant drinker, noticed him passing the pub window from the wrong direction, and lassoed him in.

The next day, we saw the sights of Dunbar in more detail, & joined up for a snack in town. However, our Chairman decided to check out our hostelry for that night, and was persuaded to down a few pints of “The Black”. He was found hanging around the pub, just before we had to leave that afternoon. In the afternoon, the Museum of Flight was our target. Most had been there before, but most had never gone without family and the like. This time no whinging kids or bored wives etc. We spent hours there and still not seen everything. We really tested the knowledge of the staff & sometimes they fell short! Those who have experience of British motorbikes of the past, usually can liken the “engineering” of old planes!

If we thought the Friday dinner was excellent, Saturday’s was as good or even better at the Volunteer Arms. Again, we sat at one long table which made for a very friendly soiree.

Likewise the next day- good old fashioned exercise walking into, round & back from Dunbar, then off to the Mining Museum in Newtongrange.

Some had been there before, but this time we took the extended tours and again, these were first class. Finally, around 4pm we headed home, some via West Linton, some direct by M8.

Dave & Mary Stewart had gone direct from Dunbar to a rally, I believe in Scarborough.

You couldn’t imagine a better & more enjoyable weekend, with PERFECT weather as a bonus.

Jim, you’re a star!

Funny who you run into/over

Thursday, 27th Sept, 3 motorcyclists and one pillion went for a run, as you do.

Compulsory stop at Tarbet, then Crianlarich, stop at Killin to give the bums a rest, or have a fag, or see the waterfalls. Then off we go, JG, then John T with Doreen on the back, guess what- a crazy Irishman, who should know better, given his profession, jumps out in front of John, just the other side of the Bridge.

Grumpy streaks off to retrieve JG, meanwhile Doreen gives this guy mouth to mouth resuscitation, (slight exaggeration). When we’re all sorted out, we find 4 of our friends from the Ulster 30 Club, Harry and Sara Carse, with Rory and Sue McKenna. Great to see them enjoying another holiday in Scotland. They are regulars on the Spring Run.

A long chat, then they followed us to Kenmore at a leisurely pace to view the length of Loch Tay. There we parted company- we lunched at the Kenmore Hotel which was both expensive and unwelcoming.

Being retired is not so bad. However, remember the Law of Diminishing Returns. Make sure to use and enjoy it.