Pensioners Day Oot 6½ Sunday 28th Sept 2014

Why 6½?

Well, some poor souls are working during the week- however, the weather was scheduled to be kind again, so the usual suspects invited all & sundry to join us.

The all & sundry only produced Ian & David Kerr, however, Heather & Harvey joined us at our first food stop, viz Broughton.

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We had gathered at Lanark before feasting at Broughton, scones to die for, probably.

Heather had her own 125ccs Honda, and that helped to make up our minds as below. In practice, Heather did not hold us up at all, & probably saved us from a fate worse than death (damaging the bikes) as the roads were a tad slippery.

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We decided to go the scenic route to Tibie Shiels via the 3 reservoirs (Megget etc). This was going to be especially interesting as we have had virtually no rain this Summer. Sure enough, one reservoir (Tala) was essentially empty, but the other 2 were not too bad. Neither was St Mary’s Loch.

This is a great road with fab views. At Tibie, we met various bikers, and as usual, there was the occasional, “my God, look at that bike” moment. This was a Paul Smart tribute Ducati with all the goodies, including Ohlins, special swinging arm, & an oil breather to make sure your tackle stayed moist!

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Reluctantly, after about an hour we left, (the Ducati had gone), and travelled the well known bikers death trap, the road to Moffat. Remarkably, we arrived intact & lunched at The Balmoral Hotel/Pub (see about 4-5 news items back). Splendid again.

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So another result- back home by the old A74, which is free of traffic & other nuisances!

What a wonder, enjoying the weather in late September. Beware next weekend’s Camping at Glentrool!!!!

 

September Surprise Sunday

Well it was billed as a surprise Sunday and it certainly did not turn out to be ordinary.

It all started fairly normally (with the addition of two new faces – Grant & George – more of them later) with a 9:30am assembly at the Milton garage, although the weather was exceptionally good. This possibly helped with the numbers as 17 had arrived ready for the day’s adventures – it would have been 19 if AP had not shown a bit too much hospitality to an unannounced guest the evening before!

The first point of note was the run through Glen Fruin – no traffic other than cyclists and the occasional sheep.Glen Fruin It was at the end of this road where we had our first casualty of the day, Robert’s foot went down awkwardly at the junction with the resulting shooting pain in his back forcing him to turn for home a little later as the pain was too much to bear.

On to Kilcreggan where brunch was taken in the sun at the local cafe. From there we carried on round towards Coulport drinking in the tremendous views across the sea lochs.IMG_3005IMG_3002

Then it was up the small road towards Arrochar but this time turning right into Glen Douglas before the end. Here we had our second mishap (which had knock on consequences through the rest of the day) when John G picked up a rear puncture. Riding at the front he stopped and was heard to ask if anyone else was finding their bikes handling a bit strange?John`s Puncture 2Waiting for JohnIMG_3027

The conversation ranged from fill it with tyre sealant to get the tyre off and fix the tube (although I’m sure I heard John mutter something about an insurance claim) – however the final decision was to leave it where it was for the breakdown company to pick it up and take it home for him.IMG_3028

Off we went with John now pillion on the back of Wullie’s Triumph – the unplanned detour to drop the key off at the Tarbet tearoom throwing the next spanner in the works. TarbetSomehow George had arrived at the tearoom but Grant had disappeared, after a quick discussion George decided that Grant had probably turned right at the hotel and he would shoot on ahead of the rest of us to catch him up before Crianlarich. Somebody commented that Grant may have got mixed up in the wrong group of bikes and would end up as the evening’s entertainment at the Blue Oyster Bar but I’m sure they were hoping they were wrong.

Arriving at Crianlarich there was no sign of Grant… or George!! We assembled in the carpark to allow everyone to get back together before continuing towards Callander – we had started as 17 and were now down to 13.At CrianlarichCrianlarich

Arriving in Callander who did we find parked up but Grant – it turned out that he had indeed latched on to the back of another bike and had happily sat behind him all the way to Callander only realising something was wrong when the bike in front pulled off into a parking spot. Luckily George had reached him by mobile phone and the group was reunited as we left Callander heading for the lunch stop at the Killearn Hotel.The Killearn Hotel

The food was good but that was almost irrelevant as by the time we arrived most were ready to gnaw at the table legs.IMG_3044

And so it turned out that this Surprise Sunday was anything but ordinary!

Thanks to Ian for the story & many, many thanks to Carole Nash for their first class recovery service- beyond the call of duty.

Thanks also to Willie for the extended “backy” on his totie dual seat. Going in for 2 new hip joints soon.

John G

 

 

Irish Run 5th-7th September 2014

 

 

On the way to NWCastleAs usual a number of us stayed at North West Castle Hotel on the Thursday, where the food, as normal, was abfab. Staying ahead of the departure date. gave us about ½ hour extra in bed, & no dishes to wash.010

It was very pleasing to see Jim McGugan and his very large brood (3 generations) going on this trip & savouring the nosh at NWC.167

We left the hotel at around 6.15 am, very drowsy, & met with others from the Club at  the P & O terminal at Cairnryan.

All went well, good journey & met in the usual fashion on the other side.Windy Gap (1)Windy Gap (4)

Our destination for lunch was the Anglers’ Rest in Banbridge. We had to travel through Belfast, but no worries- marking was perfect, & we travelled via Lisburn to The Rest

Excellent lunch then for the focus of the day- bloody Nora, The Mercers!John and Helen`s 2John and Helen`s 4John and Streaky

This is an experience not easily replicated. Once we had navigated round the Pot Bellied Pig, and his many cousin Guinea Pigs of varying varieties, avoided the dozens of pigeons & doves that were determined to leave their marks on us, we settled down & smelled the coffee???? By the way- Grumpy has been cloning the pig- no, its not your eyesight.

John has been a collector of everything & anything since he was born. On the writer’s previous visit, he not only had motorcycles in the house, but huge furniture & numerous items from the far East, which he had visited many times while in the Merchant Navy.

Helen has brought a significant semblance of near normality to the proceedings, while, at the same time building a menagerie of some proportion- did I not mention the pussies?039

However, the main thrust of the visit was to see his collection of bikes- some really rare & very sought after, others needing some tender loving care. No numbers given, but I estimate around 50. Nevertheless, very interesting and these bikes are in the main, properly housed.

We turned North by Lough Neagh, to near Antrim and our destination for the Weekend, the Dunsilly Hotel. A rare find, well done George & his team.Dunsilly Car Park 3Dunsilly Car Park 4

The writer was sharing a room with 2 bearded able bodied men, which helped with time for shaving, but I kept one eye open for most of the night & my cheeks firmly clenched!

On Saturday, we had a significant number of visitors, from Ulster 30 and a number of Mad Dogs.

The focus of the morning was to visit memorials- the first “Joe Craig lived here”. You will recall the father of the Norton single & the “dead against” the Norton twin. ‘Nuff said.Joe Craig HouseLine up at Joe Craig`s120a

Thereafter, further North to Armoy where there was a triple memorial, including Wm Dunlop (father, I presume) and another memorial, which I missed. We were not far from Ballymoney, & could have spent the whole day visiting memorials & graves. Those Road Racers never learn or never mind!130Dunlop Memorial

George had sneaked off to the road racing circuit nearby, ensuring not many real riders knew about it, so he could win. By dint of ensuring a tractor delayed Johnny Haynes (who is quite a fast rider), George proclaimed himself the fastest- oh really!

We then headed due North to Ballycastle & the Marine Hotel for lunch. This was excellent, as usual, and so was this seaside town. A wander around in the lovely weather, with ice creams dribbling down our hands- what could be better.CushendallCushendall 2

Better was the route back to Dunsilly, along the coast road to Carnlough, where we headed inland. this was a fab route back to our hotel

The evening’s proceedings followed the usual pattern. By way of a surprise, and a very expensive one, George had managed to get to speak to Simon Cowal, who as you know, is a keen motorcyclist (as long as it makes him money). He lent us at a reasonable cost, his reserve Il Divo Trio.168 They were bloody awful & George is trying to get his money back- Good Luck- nae chance!

Dinner GroupFood was great, company most pleasant, “absent friends” toasted and a couple of really funny jokes from George, & doom & despondency from John, worrying about The Referendum.

Sunday, a relatively late start, & just as well, as JG had a nail in his rear tyre, & not to be outdone Harvey had 2. But he was staying behind so he could get it fixed locally. JG was also fortunate as Grumpy had a battery operated inflater, Ronnie had the know how, & Jack Torrens had the Tyre Viagra, which kept the tyre hard, long enough or just long.

Paul of course, had to trump it all by doing a Marc Marques on leaving the car park, but his elbows failed to keep him & his bike tyre side down. No damage other than to pride, now that I’ve exposed him!

The highlight of the day was our visit to a motorcycle museum.Ireland 2014203Bike Museum (1)Bike MuseumBike Museum (2) We were all enthralled, and spent nearly 2 hours there, & could have spent longer with such emotive bikes, going back to the late fifties: plus an older Scott.Motorcycle Museum ArmoyThe New and the Old

We were given eats & made very welcome. A great experience.

Lunch was towards the coast, at The Thatch.207 Plenty to eat. Thereafter. the coast road to Larne where the usual “goodbyes” were exchanged. It must have been one of the best Irish Runs ever, partly because of the excellent weather and the work put in by George and his team. Thanks a million.