Sunday 23 September 2018

DRG- 1 week to go!

Only a week to go to the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride where thousands of riders around the world don their most dapper clothes and raise funds for prostate cancer and mental health charities.

I'll be riding in the Glasgow Ride again and spent today giving my bike a good clean and polish.

This year I'll have my friend Jane riding pillion and her daughter Summer (age 8) will be doing some home baking for the after ride party.

Weather looks a bit more promising than last year (couldn't be much worse!), so we should have a good time.

Still time to enter, there are hundreds of rides taking place, so there should be one near you. If not, you can donate on my fundraising page.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Holiday cabin for sale

A friend is selling a two bedroom 'off grid' (not connected to services) cabin just outside the town of West Kilbride, North Ayrshire (within walking distance of railway station). Following the birth of a child earlier this year, they've not used the cabin, so it's up for sale.

Cabin consists of an open plan lounge/kitchen/dining area, two bedrooms, and a shower room.

Lounge area with wood burning stove

Kitchen/dining area (Note: cabin has low wattage LED lighting throughout and a battery/inverter power supply system backed up by a remote control diesel generator. The generator usually lives in an outside shed but has been brought indoors whilst the cabin hasn't been in use.)

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Electric shower

Cassette toilet

The cabin has a good, well surfaced access road

Cabin is offered for sale with all furniture, television, cooker, generator, etc as shown in the photos. Well insulated and all windows double glazed. Very good mobile phone signal (mast is about 200m away!), so Internet access available using a dongle. They are looking for offers around £25,000, contact me on including a telephone number and I'll pass it on to the sellers.

You know I'd leave the best to last - here's the view from the window!

View over West Kilbride, Seamill and the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran - impressive!

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Stolen bike

Saw this post by a German visitor who's bike was stolen. Please keep a look out for it.

Hello. My name is Heiner, I'm from Germany and my motorcycle is in the night of 05.08. was stolen from the Oxford Carpark in Newcastle Upon Tyne on 06.08.2018 while I slept in the hotel next door to take the ferry to Amsterdam. I had some nice days in England and Scotland before and unfortunately this trip had to end like this. Would it be possible to start a witness call, if someone has noticed something or if someone has my dull white BMW R 1150 GS or vllt the German license plate EL VG 14 has seen. It would also help if I could find the case that was still on the back. it is a black BMW suitcase. thanks a lot for your efforts

Owner can be contacted via Facebook here, or I can forward a message on to him.

Feel free to copy and post this message.

Monday 6 August 2018

Saturday 4 August 2018

GoPro found

Saw this posted on Facebook. A GoPro camera was found in Dornoch, Scotland. If anyone knows who's it is, contact me and I'll put them in contact with the poster.

Friday 3 August 2018

Friday bike (haven't had one of these for a while!)

Harley Davidson 1250 Pan American

Yes - A 1250cc watercooled  adventure sport bike from HD. They say it'll be available from 2020.

No doubt some of you will have some comments to make!

Sunday 29 July 2018

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2018

Once again I'll be taking part in the Glasgow ride of The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. This is a world wide event held in numerous cities to raise funds for prostate cancer research and men's mental health.
I took part in last year's ride, hopefully it'll be a bit drier this time!

If you want to sponsor me my fundraising page is here.

Even better, dress up and take part in a ride yourself! 

Ride Dapper!

More about the ride here, and a list of rides here.

Thursday 12 July 2018

I'm still here!

Sorry I've been very quiet recently but I've been very busy going to bike events, etc, so haven't had time to post. Will post a catch up soon.
Big news is that I retired last Friday and started a new job on Monday! More later...
I've also bought a new scooter, Honda Forza 300, as the commute to my new job is a bit too much for my PCX 125.

Watch this space!

Honda Forza 300

Sunday 15 April 2018

Another day in the garage

Have managed a bit more work on my 1972 Honda CL350 'project'.
I'd put my saddle into a local company called Baillie Car Trimmers and got it back a couple of weeks ago. They had done a wonderful job, copying as closely as they could the original design.

The original Honda cover had cast on 'stitching', but Baillies duplicated the pattern with 'real' stitching.

They also fitted standard looking studs round the edge, and where the original saddle had the word Honda stencilled on the back, Baillies embroidered it on.

The cover is of very high quality vinyl, and the fit is superb. They normally do mostly car upholstery, but have done a lot of custom bikes. Price for the job was a reasonable £160.

Today I spent a day in the garage working on the bike. First job was replacing the swingarm bushes. When I'd put the swingarm back in following painting, I could feel there was some movement indicating worn bushes. I bought some pattern bushes from a company that makes parts for racing CB350s that appear to be made from some kind of phosphor or sintered bronze (Original Hnda bushes seemed to me made of cast iron). These were fitted along with some pattern inner sleeves, (the spindle was in good enough condition to reuse).

You can see the difference between new and old!

Old bushes came out easily enough.

And new ones were tapped in with a rubber mallet.

Whole job from wheel out to wheel back in only took about half an hour, and that included stopping to clean my hands so I could take photos.

Rest of the day was spent doing lots of small but time consuming jobs. Footrest bar was painted and refitted, oil filter cover had some scratches polished out and refitted, and the rear brake lever and rod went back in as well.

Saddle has been stored in the house to keep it clean, and there's plenty more small jobs still to be done.
At last it feels like this project is moving forwards at last, although there's still plenty to do!

Monday 2 April 2018

Easter Egg Run 2018 (and alien abduction!)

In Britain there is a tradition of motorcyclists taking part in organised runs at Easter to raise money for children's charities. Back in 2015 I took part in the local run to Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow. This was a really well organised run that took us through a number of areas in the West of Glasgow and local people came out to wave and cheer us on. It finished at the hospital where there was entertainment, food, and children were brought out of the hospital to see the bikes. It was a great day out that raised a lot of money for the hospital.

By the following year, Yorkhill Hospital had closed and children's treatment had moved to the new Royal Hospital for Children. I had intended taking part in this run, but was too unwell and only went to the end of the run only to see everyone leaving. Speaking to people later, the run had been a disappointment – much shorter and through largely non residential parts of the city, and ended up at a muddy carpark outside the hospital where there was no entertainment, no food, and no interaction with the hospital or its patients.

Because of this, I didn't bother going last year, but the subject came up again this year and some members of the Triumph Owners Club Glasgow Branch were going to an Easter Egg run starting in Falkirk organised by the Carronvalley MCC  in aid of Children's Hospices Across Scotland.

Meeting at Cumbernauld

We met up a café in Cumbernauld for coffee and rolls, then rather than make the 15 minute journey to the starting point at the Falkirk Wheel, it was suggested that we take a backroad route through some villages. This is where things started to get weird!

Now, it should have taken no more than 20 minutes for us to do this journey, but it ended up taking an hour and we had to do a number of U-turns, ask directions, etc before we got to our destination. I don't want to say that nobody knew where we were going and we got lost, but it all went wrong after we passed Bonnybridge, Britain's centre for UFO sightings! I can only assume that we were abducted by aliens, had our minds probed, our memories wiped, then deposited on a country road with no idea where we were!

 Long time since I've seen one of these!

We eventually got to the Falkirk Wheel where there were hundreds of bikes gathered.

We got the signal to start, and the run was incredibly well organised – Police motorcycles travelled with us and arranged 'rolling roadblocks' at roundabouts and junctions so the bikes could stay together, and when we arrived at the motorway, one lane was coned off so we could enter without having to give way.

The route went from Falkirk to the Clackmannan Bridge and along the A736 to the M90 Services at Kinross, a journey of about 25 miles/40 km, in bright dry weather. As we passed through each village, people lined the streets waving to us and cheering us on.

Once at the Services, I got something to eat and wandered around looking at the hundreds of bikes there.

 Interesting arrangement of the registration number!

A good day out, no idea how much money was raised, but it must have been thousands of pounds.

Many thanks to Carronvalley MCC, Falkirk Wheel, Kinross Services, Police Scotland, the various councils, and everybody else who helped make this such a good event.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Bikes on the Beach - St Andrews

The weekend was the first sunny weekend of the year, so I looked around for something to go to and saw the Bikes on the Beach meeting in St Andrews.

This was a combined run and get together organised by The Scotorian Biker who organises similar events throughout the year.

They had meeting points in South Queensferry and Kirkcaldy, but I rode directly to St Andrews as I'm not a great fan of group runs.

It was a nice sunny day, not too cold and with a slight breeze, so the run over was very pleasant. Once in St Andrews I hit the first problem - the meeting was advertised as being by the beach, but how do you get to it? Signposting in St Andrews is very poor so I had ride round the town a few times before I found the right road. 
Eventually I got to the beach and found a few bikes already there. When I stopped the riders asked me if they were in the right place as they'd seen a number of bikes riding past them along the coast. I waited a while then rode along the coast to another parking area where there was a group of bikes and was asked the same question. I rode back to the first car park and left the bike and walked into town to get something to eat.
There were a number of bikes riding up and down and I was asked three times where the meeting was.

I was taking a photo of a particularly pretty street when this rider came into view. I'd seen him riding up and down, obviously lost.

I walked back down to carpark 1 where more bikes had arrived.

When's the last time you saw this many Yamaha 2 strokes?

There were a lot of bikes riding past so I went to carpark 2 which seemed to have the bulk of the bikes, but some were parked on the grass and some in a turning circle.

We had a visitor from 1969 who had brought his bike in his time machine!

A bit overcast at this point

My Bonnie

More 2 strokes - where have they come from!

Another one!

Not really my 'thing', but the coolest bike there.

I had a good look at the bikes and waited to see if anyone I knew turned up. I didn't see anyone, so rode back to carpark 1 for a look at the bikes there. Eventually I started for home and saw a group of about a dozen bikes in a parking space in the town. One rider signalled to me so I stopped and he asked where the meeting was. I started to explain, but his friends decided they had been there long enough without finding it and had decided to leave.

My journey home was fairly uneventful, to vary the route I rode via Kirkcaldy and over the new Queensferry Crossing over the River Forth (my first time over it).
A good day out and no rain!

Confusion over the meeting point aside, it was a good day and the Bikes on the Beach meetings are well worth attending. List of this year's meetings here.