Sunday, 5 January 2014

First meeting of the year

A few of us had arranged to meet up at the Falkirk Wheel on an 'if it's good enough weather, go by bike – if not, go by car' basis. I got up at 07:00 and it was fairly cold outside, cold enough for parked cars to have frost on their windows. I did a few things then noticed that not only was the house a bit cold, but there was no hot water. I checked to see if the gas boiler's flame had gone out (this has happened when it's been very windy), and found water on the floor of the boiler cupboard. It appeared to be dripping out of the boiler itself, so I had a mad search to see if it was possible to turn the water supply off to the boiler without having to turn it off to the whole house. Luckily it is, so it was turned off, electricity disconnected, and the water mopped up. Guess who'll be phoning Scottish Gas tomorrow!
I went out to the garage and this is what I saw on the temperature display on the white Traveller.

I got the bike out and went for petrol. It wasn't too bad, and by 11:00 it got up to a reasonable 7 degrees. Warm clothes on and met with my friend David for the ride to Falkirk. It's about 35 miles (56 km), almost entirely on motorway, so wasn't too bad. It was a bit drizzly and spray from other vehicles was annoying, but the traffic was very light and we were there in about 40 minutes, and ready for a nice, warm cup of coffee.
My Traveller, and David with his BMW

Stuart was already there, (he had thought we were meeting at 11:00 rather than 12:00), so we sat and had a chat whilst waiting for the others to turn up.
The café has a sloping glass side which allows good views of the Wheel when it is rotating. Even though it was a miserable day, they were enough people going on the boats to make this a regular occurrence.
The others soon turned up and we spent a good afternoon chatting about bikes, trips past and future, etc., etc. Turned out that David and I were the only two to come on our bikes, the others chose their cars.

(l to r: Stuart, Gareth, mr.combo, David, Bill, Donnie and Kawa)

David and I headed back home and the weather was a bit wetter than on the way over. Not 'proper' rain, but that annoying drizzle that means you have to keep wiping your visor. Again the traffic was fairly light, so we made good progress.
A good start to the year, and hopefully the first of many trips and meetings.

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift that moves boats between two canals of differing heights. Here's some video explaining it:

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