Suicide Mission Saturday 15th Sept 2018

The writer was invited by Johnny to join him, Ron, Ian & Drew on a gentle run to the Borders

Never one to refuse such a kind offer, one met Johnny & Ian at the start of the Clyde Valley & headed for Biggar to rendez-vous with Ron. We did this in about 10 minutes, or so it seemed!

Even then, it appeared that the red mist was still in view and we flew to Tibie Shiels by the Meggat reservoirs as if the the roads were A category instead of single track. Ron had some sympathy for one who had 33.3% of the other bikes’ horsepower, or maybe his tank wasn’t comfortable either. I wish I could tell you how fab the scenery was, however—

When we arrived at the revamped Cafe in Tibie Shiels, the air was blue, with a certain party being given a rocket, for driving like a rocket!!! So there!

There we met Drew, and after a wee refreshment, headed for Selkirk with Drew leading. Now Drew knows his stuff-  well behaved on the straights & challenging on the bends- perfect. THANK YOU DREW!!20180915_134717

Fletchers Cafe just South of Selkirk town was a revelation; loadsa bikes, with some 15+ from Belgium.20180915_125049 20180915_125109 20180915_125119 The food was fine, but the Gent’s Toilet was shite- literaly!! What the tourists thought-  God knows.

We invited Stephen, a friend of Ron’s, to join us with his Indian built BMW R310 GS. It looked great & sounded even better & it went very well.20180915_152130_1537345173381

So home via Peebles at a sensible speed, very enjoyable. 

Johnny, you will be forgiven in due course.

Irish Weekend 6th-9th September 2018

Most of our crowd gathered at Dobbies, Ayr & then travelled at a “leisurely” pace to the ferry- this on the Thursday. Our routine, nowadays, (thanks to Aly & Fiona Baird) is to get over on the Thurs & enjoy an evening etc. at the Dunsilly Hotel. As usual, really good with excellent food.DSC02332

This mostly by George Shilliday-
On Friday – Chris Holmes and Alan Houston (Ulster 30) met John and Heather Sykes and Jim and Catriona McGugan at 10am from the Ferry.Magheraboy Hotel
Jim and Catriona headed direct for Magherabuoy Hotel, and the others joined the group at Dunsilly Hotel for the official start.Tony`s pre-run talk
Our secretary Tony Ross had organised two great runs, morning and afternoon. Philip Smith from Strabane joined us for the day on his very nice 500 Vincent.DSC02367
The morning run used only a couple of hundred yards of main road before we turned off on to minor roads going northwards through Randalstown, Ahoghill, Clough, a stop at Cloughmills,DSC02346 then on by Corkey, Loughguile, Armoy (racing) and into Ballycastle for lunch at the Marine Hotel. Nice lunch.Marine Hotel
Afternoon run was anti clockwise from Ballycastle, back to near Armoy, across the Antrim plateau to Cushendun,Cushendun back round the coast to Ballycastle and onwards round the coast to the hotel.
Ian Cunningham and Rubekka arrived later at 6pm in Belfast (I shot down and escorted them to the hotel) and we got to Portrush for 7.05pm, 5 minutes later than I had estimated, not bad though.
Dinner was 4 course carvery followed by much conversation and merriment.

Saturday – great breakfast, light rain overnight and early morning but it had stopped before we left.
Jack Moore had planned the route but was unable to ride due to an injury and his son Brian filled in expertly.
We headed to Coleraine, round the ring road and then off on to a B road through rural farming and forestry country, bypassed Limavady, had a very nice stop at Roe Valley Country Park where we were able to use the facilities, get coffee and scones (only a few did this) and view some vintage and classic cars who were doing a similar type of thing to us.Old CarsRoe Valley 1 Then on to Feeney, Moneyneany to the Oak Leaf Restaurant for soup and sandwiches. Some of the Mad Dog boys were with us for the day as well as others from our club.Oak Leaf Restaurant
Also there was a friend Terry Hamill, an ex-bike and kart racer- he had borrowed an original kart medal from Gordon Crossett 8 years ago to get replicas made and not returned it. So after lunch, after kidding him that he had lost it, he made an official presentation of the medal to Gordon amid much laughter.IMG_0803
Afternoon run was up the Glenshane Pass to Dungiven then back to Coleraine via minor roads and on to the hotel – another great days run.
Some wine taken before dinner which was a 4 course served meal again very good.IMG_0805
Time for the speeches, Johnny asked to speak first and said he had a surprise, I introduced him, he had a surprise! – he told us of his parents in Germany and getting to Scotland and the hard times they had – very moving, you could have heard a pin drop. He also did the usual vote of thanks etc. I followed Johnny’s revelations and found it tough going getting started.
Again much merriment afterwards.Speech TimeSat. Dinner

Sunday – great breakfast again, there had been some rain overnight but again we had a dry start.
I led and was taking mostly B class roads to the Dunsilly hotel where we were having a buffet lunch. The route was through Cloughmills, Clough, Broughshane, Kells to lunch, but I did a detour to Armoy not long after the start to give the boys a chance to do a couple of laps of the course. Quite a few did this, Ian Hamilton was behind me on his VFR and had a good run but I showed him the way! Your friend enjoyed it too and commented that I must have done a few hundred laps previously! Johnny reminded me before the flag dropped that his boys had to get to the boat!! . I hear a certain 80 year old moaner also excelled himself.
Buffet at Dunsilly was excellent, we were in good time and then escorted our visitors to the boat arriving at the terminal at 2.30
Roy and Margaret Fenton did back up trailer, great job, thankfully it was not needed.Roy`s Breakdown Trailer
Great weekend, should be recovered by Friday.

Thanks for helping out with our web page , George. Absence makes the heart go fonder!

JohnGroup PhotoKinbane 1 Kinbane 2

David’s Misty-erious Run 2nd Sept 2018

Good turnout met at Monkton, ahead of the Ayr Air Show- note!DSC02291

A steady run down the A77  via Crosshill & Dailly to Girvan- oh Joy!

Just beyond Girvan we stopped for “breakfast” outside & ate reasonably well. A Jackdaw/very large crow took a shine to Ian. They could not be separated for a while-  could have been something to do with bacon roll Ian was tempting it with, or with which he was tempting him.DSC02295 DSC02297

Then we took the A714 to Barrhill & then (for G’s Sake, the beautiful moor road with allegedly stunning views)- oh really?

Indeed I was mesmerised by the number plate ahead of me, which I could only detect when I was dangerously close to it.

Everyone seemed to have a sore bum by the time we reached (a very long time) the very bonny village of New Luce. A really lovely spot.New Luce 1 New Luce

Finally by a marginally better road, more or less devoid of mist, we reached the A75 at Castle Kennedy, & then thru Straraer (which looked better than i remembered) it to Soleburn Garden Centre for lunch, some 4 miles South.DSC02307 Lunch

This was a winner & we spent a good hour plus chatting & eating outdoors- great.

Your writer departed at this point. However news from others mentioned a journey thru Kilcolm to Corsewall Lighthouse just in time to see the ferry passing. Is this where the road was a shambles, David?DSC02310 Lighthouse road

Returned to Portpatrick for ice cream etc & then home via Stranraer & the horrendous Ayr by-pass-  remember my first sentence? The Ayr Air Show was disgorging from mid afternoon on. A good job we were on motorcycles & following 3 cops on bikes, who seemed to be Moses like parting the lines of traffic for our benefit

Thanks, David, a great day out.DSC02318 DSC02319 DSC02326