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Sunday, 22 July 2007

Off to Shetland


So there I was, planning my trip to the Shetland Isles for my ‘day job’, and I suddenly thought of trying to organise some bike tests, or at the very least meet up with some of the chaps I met at their classic show last year. A quick email to my contact up there led to a reply from Geordie who is some sort of head honcho in the classic club. A few mails later and hey presto, there was a list of people to contact once on the island. Irritatingly, the best of the weather most days was when I was working, so only one of the tests happened in full – thick fog and torrential rain stopped play on the rest of them. However, I did get to meet Colin and Carol from the Cruiser club, and they organised a ride out on the Sunday – I was lucky enough to be allowed to ride pillion on the Purple People Eater – aka Colin’s new trike, while Carol rode her Harley Sportster (the Yellow Peril). The route was beautiful; we headed north west to Eshaness, site of the most westerly lighthouse on the mainland (I think but don't quote me on that), and a nice little café. The weather had closed in by the time we got there so the view wasn’t up to much but check out the trike!
It sounds like a cliche to say the people were incredibly friendly and helpful, but it's true. Geordie, Tom and Robbie gave up a Sunday morning to let me test their Ariels, while Joe spent a good few hours letting me look around his collection of old bikes, as did the Johnson family, and the Leasks too let me have a peek in the garage. I was invited to tea a few times, and one of the highlights of the trip has to be being granted an Overseas membership of the Shetland Island Cruiser club! I'm now a SICO - see their site here www.shetlandislandscruisers.com.
Tom is the guy who runs the ferry to the small isle of Mousa and he let me hitch a ride there and back. The crossing is only about 10 minutes and the view looking back to Sandwick House is pretty impressive. I'm having trouble putting pictures on here, but I'll post one of that soon.

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