43rd Spring Run Gretna 26th May 2017

Yup- only 43 years, seems like yesterday to some, including our new Chairman & his Virgin SR. You see Johnny has been there from the start & fotos of him, in black & white, are included in the Gallery in this web site- worth a look & a laff.DSC05097

We met the troops from the Province, via Belfast to Cairnryan- no “issues”At the Ferry 1Kirkcubright 2Kirkcudbright 1 (3)Landscape

So, along the Solway coast via Wigtown, Kirkcudbright, Creetown, Castle Douglas & Dalbeattie to our lunch stop at the Clonyard Hotel. We were fair minging- it was bl—dy fffrying, so it was.Clonyard Hotel 2Clonyard Hotel 1

We chilled out, as can be seen, & there was a reluctance to put on our gear again.

So onward to Dumfries where we experienced our first hiccup- we got split in half & it could have been worser! No matter, we all arrived intact at our destination, the Gretna Halls Hotel, where we’ve stayed before.Hotel

Did we murder a shandy?- you bet we did. Geo & JG got the very best room (I seriously don’t know how), with a patio with furniture. They had to turn away many seemingly thirsty people & finally moved the “furniture” to the main drag.

Note the Immediate Past Chairman- VERY relaxed- as a neut & asking Heather where her pigtails had gone?

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The Friday dinner was fine, however, our Chairman started mixing with some guys as big as himself- and that takes some doing. They happened to be Dutch Harley (ioyhnbirhtj) riders, with very large Harleys. One sported a rear tyre that wouldn’t have embarrassed a big truck. Good guys really & we listened to them leaving the next morning- like 10 tractors moving off at once.The Boys from HollandSome Friends from Holland

Great merriment all evening with very acceptable menu & quality. The next day start was not till 10.15, which got us acclimatised to an extent. Temperature. around 100F, or so it seemed. Somewhat lower than the day before.

Put that man down- Emma. You need to put a helmet on, at least!

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A fab morning run via Langholm where we stopped for a while. The route continued to be terrific, finishing at Kielder Castle. Outstanding views of the huge Kielder Reservoir, which serves right down to Newcastle & beyond- we export some of our water to keep it topped up! Bet you didn’t know that Nikki!DSC05176Castle 1

The lunch & setting were very impressive. We were well looked after. Again, we didn’t want to move- but needs must.IMG_6493

The return journey headed for Hexham, but we skirted it heading for Haltwhistle. Again a great road, which HAS to be revisited.The bikes were let through at a junction, but not the cars by a belligerent Hummer driver & his very wide caravan. Did that deter our breakdown driver? Not a bit of it; Alan passed on a very narrow piece of road, & the writer anticipated a Glasgow Kiss from the bouncing trailer as it passed the ‘van. Then, the bold Sam, just blew it away- as he tends to do. 

A stop for ice cream etc level with Haltwhistle & then off home. Some got drookit, but it could have been worse, as can been through Sam’s windscreen.20170527_163905

Recovery phase & then off to dinner. Again the food was very good & the wine flowed, especially at the top table! All went according to plan, with the exception of a presentation to John, in recognition of his years being involved in the running of WSVMCC. Much appreciated.IMG_6529

Allegedly, there was the sounds of a MURDER happening at about 2am outside. Most commented on this, but we did a roll-call after breakfast, but it wisna one of us

Sunday’s return trip was also excellent. We skirted Dumfries & went off piste (A75) at Crocketford & headed for New Galloway & then to Newton Stewart, having stopped at Clattering Falls (see fotos)Clattering shaw Loch 2Clatteringshaws Loch 1 (1)

Creebridge House Hotel again was first class, & we had a great lunch, again in sunshine, but in far more pleasant temperature.Group

This is where most of us split up from the ferry guys- with fond farewells & the odd tear in the eye & wailing

A great SR, thanks go to the organisers who dun good.Davids 1Davids 2Davids 3Untitled-2Untitled-3Untitled-4Untitled-5Untitled-6Untitled-7

 

 

 

Ian’s Invitation Sunday 7th May 2017

(Remember to click once or twice to enlarge Photos)

Finally, we met at Burnhouse X Roads as intended. A good turnout with newly admitted Members who were introduced to our way of organising a run, e.g. marking of corners etc., I think a total of 15 bodies, including 4 ladies- always welcome & tend, in some cases, to encourage more dignified riding!!!IMG_6362

Through Ayrshire by way of Dunlop, Stewarton, Crosshouse, to Hayes Garden Centre for breakfast. Sam & Liz met us there.IMG_6366

Great weather, and then set off by Drongan, Dalmellington and Carsphairn. This is where we turned off towards Moniaive, after a pit stop,IMG_6373 and on this route 2 of our number took a wrong turning (somehow) and had to catch up some 10 minutes, and only just made it- phew—great!!!

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Then a great run to Carsphairn & an even better one to Moniaive. Some took a wrong turning & had to catch up- great fun, heh, Sam?IMG_6391All Photos by David McDonald, Thank you. ( with a few adjustments)

 

We reached Moniaive & ate outside at our usual. Had to be in the shade, fair roasting.IMG_6376IMG_6377

There seemed to be some sort of Folk Festival  judging by the wailing protest songs. The female singer was encouraging all to slash their wrists, not only strident, but piercing. The male soloist was far better & you could actually decipher the words.  Loadsa bodies draped over the grass, maybe some smoking it.

Reluctantly, we departed, towards Thornhill & then to the A74 via great roads, VERY tempting & too tempting for some!

To Abington & met up (minus 5) at Gouldings Nursery in the Clyde Valley for a final scoff.

What a grand day out- thanks to Ian & Johnny

Ron Gow’s Bike-athon Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The bold Ron was languishing on a park bench as I arrived about 10.05am. No one arrived thereafter till Johnny, who had taken a “short cut”, arrived about 40 minutes late, with the bonny Cathy on board.

Then the bombshell- Ron had devised a “short” run to Bamburgh!  I kid you not, and with a straight face! So we compromised with “we’ll see how we get on”.20170503_123636_resized

Great roads after stopping at Broughton for the usual, via Stobo, Peebles, keeping to great roads free of traffic. Stopping at a view point/toilet as far as your Chairman is concerned.Ron`s Panorama

Finally arrived in Kelso. THEN THE DISCUSSION. However, JG noticed a sign for Wooler. So he pleaded with the rest to go there instead of going home & certainly not BamburghWooler 1

Now Wooller is the English Border town where John & Jan lived for about 15 months, when he, John in his mid 20s, ran the garage depicted & lived in the very large house adjoining. Too long a story for here, but this was by way of a pilgrimage which Jan & John will revisit very shortly.20170503_153043Wooler 3

We lunched just short of Wooler, see fotos, & eat your heart out Grumpy- yes Dover Sole!20170503_141919 We returned, more or less the way we came via Kelso etc. The weather was fantastic the whole day- see what you all missed. We finally arrived at Ron’s splendid house in Biggar. Drooled over his various vehicles & were refreshed by Ron & Joe (-sephine), in case you’re confused with T & naughties.. Very welcome to a certain old fart.

In due course this tired old fart & Johnny headed home arriving around 8.00pm. A really short run- my ass!

All the same, a great day, fab roads & even fabber weather. Thanks Ron. The rest of you- shame & lost out.