Friday 14 September 2012

Of mice and men.....

I'd mentioned in the last post that I was going away for the weekend. The plan was that mr combo, Gareth, and I were going for a camping trip to Applecross (see previous trip report). It was partly that we were offered free breakfasts to entice us to visit at what is the beginning of the end of the 'season', and also Gareth wanted a run on his new bike to see how well it 'toured.'
I'd packed my luggage yesterday, but was starting to get concerned as the weather was getting progressively worse. You expect rain at this time of year, but it was the very strong wind that was causing problems. As Friday is 'bin day' where I live, my neighbours had put their bins out on Thursday night, and before long the street was full of wheely bins running amok! I checked the BBC Weather website and found this for the Bealach na Bá:
The black dot with the arrow and '51' inside it represents windspeed in mph (that's c.80 km/h!) Bearing in mind the problems I had riding in the wind on our last trip, things weren't looking good.
mr combo phoned me early this morning to say that he's heard a report on the radio that various bridges in the Highlands were closed due to high wind, and windspeeds of over 60 mph (100 km/h) had been recorded. This was the point where we decided to abandon the trip!
It had gone from being 'a nice trip with the possibility of poor weather', to 'a miserable trip in windy conditions with a fair chance of being blown off the road on some of the exposed bits'.
It was a shame as I was looking forward to the trip, and it would have been the first time I'd have camped for at least 2 or 3 years, but it had passed from being 'daring' to 'foolhardy.'
Oh well, it'll still be there next year!


  1. The right decision, I think. Just been out and there is a tree blown over at the bottom of my road, the Forth Road Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles and motorcycles, and I watched 3 Harley riders trying to keep their bikes from getting blown all over the road.

  2. I've just been out for a 10 mile round trip to the local hardware store and not only is it very breezy, but there are branches of trees all over the roads.
    I was at the hardware store to buy some methylated spirits* to prepare some of the white Traveller's bodywork for painting. The woman in the shop asked me if I was over 18! I just laughed, and she said she had to ask me as it was 'The Law'. (not true!)
    * For my non UK readers - 'methylated spirits' is cheap industrial alcohol rendered undrinkable by the addition of methanol and purple dye. Very good for cleaning surfaces for painting.

  3. Well you finally found one instance in which you couldn´t tour on a single - or any other bike!

  4. Unfortunately so, Mo! There was a fair chance that I'd end up in an ambulance if I'd carried on!

  5. Discretion, the better part of valor as it's said. I have been blown off the freeway in gale force winds. I knew I was in trouble when I passed by a semi-truck and trailer rig on it's side. A big gust caught the windshield fairing on a CB-350 I was riding, and try as I might I could not turn the bike to the left, and ended up at the bottom of an embankment. Neither the bike or I were hurt, but I had a new appreciation of mother nature after that one.