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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Oh what fun it is to ride....

.....a classic motorbike! I did a bit of shed prep last Saturday, didn't really get anywhere, just moved more stuff round in circles, then on Sunday I met a couple of fine chaps from Blairgowrie way, Shorty Stan the Man and Bullet Bill for a bike test. It was Bill's 350 RE that was up for comparison with my modern 500 Bullet, and it's a very fine little bike I must say. I also had the privilege of riding Shorty's Suzuki back from the test to the lunch stop. It's a bike we chuckle at, I don't know why, (honest) 'cos it's actually quite nice. It started on the button, clicked into gear nicely and it's got a funky digital gear display for those who can't count. It's quite low, and everything is on the 'correct' side making it easy to hop on and ride away, oh and it's a bit nippy too. Stan's winter hack, perhaps? I reckon it's too good for that - he won a couple of prizes with it at the Cairn this year.

Numpty here ran out of petrol on the way home, and had great fun trying to start the 500 in front of a garage full of spectators! Although one guy was impressed and was asking me all about the bike, as his son has just bought a Royal Enfield 500. I couldn't really be sure if it was an old one or the modern version as there was a bit of a language barrier going on, but he did say it needed a bit of a work doing to it, and that his son has yet to even sit his test. Either way I made sure he knew about the GCMCC so we might see him along sometime.

A while ago I received a DVD from the organisers of the Shetland show. For various reasons I've only just got round to watching it, and what a brilliant vid! I have my 5 seconds of fame, as does my fellow club member Davie Wilson. It covers all aspects of the show, from the arrival of particiapants, to the setting out of the vehicles in the displays, to the scenic run around the island. The weather was varied, some scenes show sheeting rain, but on the Sunday the sun shone from dawn til dusk (well that's how I remember it, I even got a bit of a tan!). They only have a show every two years, and 2008 is the next one so I suggest you make a date in your diary for 6-9th June.....I have.

The other DVD in my collection is a recording of the 2005 Lucas Rally in Norway. That was a good watch too, fine weather, loads of bikes and lots of nice Norwegians, not to mention one little GBC making a fool of herself...

I'm truly amazed that this blog, little old GBC's blog, is doing so well. Since last Thursday it has had over 100 hits - haven't you lot got anything better to do!!! Seriously though I never thought it would take off like this, so thanks for reading......

Monday, 22 October 2007

What did you do on the weekend?

Well my great plan to escape to the hills on the Enfield didn't happen. Saturday was such a beautiful day that I decided to try and do a bit more shed preparation. Using Vic's water level method (a bit of pipe full of water, and a few air bubbles) I messed around for a while trying to work out exactly where to put the shed. The original area does have a bit of a slope to overcome, but at approx 12' x 15' it's a bit too wide to bring forward, as it wouldn't leave much of a gap next to the greenhouse. Then I thought about tweaking it round so that it would be at an angle to the greenhouse, thus letting more light past and allowing more room to get to the steading, but there wasn't enough room. So after measuring and remeasuring, and moving plant pots around several times, I've decided that it's got to go in the original place, parallel to the steading and far enough back so it's out of the way. The first task after that was to strim the remaining grass, but I noticed the trigger needed a bit of lubrication. Easy, you might think. An hour and a half later, I'd finally put the handle / trigger back together! I shifted the pile of turf that came from clearing the plot next (used it to fill in some ruts somewhere else, a lot of wheelbarrowing was involved there!) and then loaded the van up with concrete blocks to get them all over to the site.

On Sunday I figured I deserved a day off, so togged up, fired the Enfield up and set off to visit a friend over at Ballater. Well the weather was bitter! Stopping at Inverurie for fuel, I considered going home it was so cold. Carried on though and called in to see Freddie near Alford where I received a welcome mug of cocoa and biscuits. He's got a 350 Enfield which he's rather pleased with, oh and he's promised me a go on that some day soon. Of course, I had to check out his wee 250 MZ too, and one or two other bikes. Feeling slightly more human I reckoned I could make it to Ballater. It's odd, because the air temp wasn't actually that low, must have just been the wind chill but by the time I rolled up at Chris's pad I was ready for another warming cuppa. For the ride home I went the direct route, via Echt and Dunnect which made a change, haven't been out there for a while. Back at Fyvie I stopped for a paper (there was a free book with it about Scottish place names) and got chatting to a biker with a 125 cruiser style Honda (a Shadow, I think) who took time to admire the RE. He also has a 1930s BSA in his shed, a few Donkeys and it turns out, he lives just down the road from me.

And just for you, BJ, a short report on the RE - it behaved rather well, cruising along nicely at 50 - 60 with that lovely puuuurrrrrrr at gear changes. That's all you're getting because it won't be long before the full story appears in a certain magazine, so you'll have to go buy a copy ;-)

Anyone watch the rugger or the F1? What a waste of time.....

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Well, you know that Cub noise that I was worried about? After chatting to my Cub Hexpert friends one of them got me to go out and make a sound recording of the noise so that he could try and determine where it might be coming from. I think my description of rattling, humming and a bit of whistling wasn't good enough for diagnosis. Eventually I had a brainwave and remembered that the camera I bought before the Canon I use for my work, a Fuji Finepix, has the facility to record movies. They'd be rather short movies because the max film length is about 15mins, that even so thats pretty good for a camera and plenty good enough for rattle recording. So I sent Diggy in NZ a huge file which, as well as capturing the noises, gave him some arty shots of the exhaust pipe and footrests - well to get the mic near to the engine thats what I had to do. I had a vague idea that the clutch was rattling, so it was off with the primary cover and a quick vid of the clutch - which I was able to move up and down, left to right and forward and back. I'm told this should not be possible. Diggy's instruction was to take the clutch apart. Got as far as I could without using violence, and found nothing obvious. Round to the gear box then and pull all the cogs out to check the condition of the bearing and bushes. Due to a rare bit of luck, Fido turned up to look at the RE I've got on long term loan (he's got a Lighting 535 so wanted to compare and contrast a few things) and I roped him into whacking the last bit of the clutch out - its on a taper and I'm only a girl and couldn't hit it hard enough. I don't quite know in which order things happened, but at some point, the nut that holds the front sprocket on fell out. Just like that. All by itself. So we concluded that maybe it was a severe lack of decent thread on the shaft and the nut that has caused the rattle. Too simple? Probably, but if I get a new one and fit it we shall find out. All I've got to do is track down a suitable replacement and then do a complete gearbox rebuild. Looks neat and compact from the vid, don't you think? hopefully this will aid the rebuild proces....
I like the way some of you have picked up on the water cooled theme, some of the feedback I've got about that is a hoot! Thanks.
Camping, anyone? I was planning to head to the hills next weekend but just remembered something else more important is planned, so reckon I might just take off tomorrow. Load her up and away I go. Anyone care to join me?

Monday, 8 October 2007

Uh oh.

I rode the Cub to work in Aberdeen the other day, and much fun it was too. I allowed plenty of time but actually got there in just the same time as I would have by car, if not a little quicker. Filtering was interesting, I think 99% of drivers were scared into moving out of the way by the snarling popping little Cubby. Sitting at traffic lights was a little worrying 'cos each time we stopped, a huge oil slick appeared as if from nowhere - aka the primary case. The place where I had to go for work had quite a new car park with those posh coloured bricks set out in a herring bone pattern....I did try to find a space already oil stained but they were all clean as a clean thing. I felt ever so slightly embarrassed when I returned to the bike, but kitted up and rode off quickly. Going to work hasn't been that much fun for ages. I took the opportunity to nip round to Shirlaws to show Cubby to the eager staff. One of the guys in the shop said it caused quite a stir when I pulled up outside, the others though weren't quite so complimentary. Donald, he of the immaculate old bikes, did find one or two nice things to say about it, like don't worry about the oil leak, they all do that. Hmmmm, have a look at the rear tyre....left handers could be interesting. But moving on a few days I'm distressed to hear lots of knocking and rattling, not to mention a sort of whistling noise emanating from the engine somewhere. I don't know much about this stuff but they sound quite terminal. I've checked all nuts and bolts and everything is tight, so now it's time for a bit of serious investigating. Oh, and I decided to remove the speedo to glue a new needle on and then the sprung bit somehow unsprung itself leaving me to guess how much tension to put back on it. I guessed wrong and now it doesn't work at all! All going well so far then.

Er...piccy to follow...can't find the one I'm looking for right now...

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Back on top of the world

Well chaps and chapesses, my AJS test went well the other day, although the ride to Nairn and back was, shall we say, slightly chilly. I'm going to have to see about getting some new winter gloves, mine are about 3 years old and look in good cond but are letting the autumn chill in. The day after the test, Mrs GBC and I went back to Nairn for the food fair at Cawdor Castle, and very nice it was too, lots of free food on offer!


Sunday, what a lovely day. Hairyplanes buzzing lazily overhead, birds revelling in what could be the last of the summer sun, and I think I saw and heard more bees buzzing busily on that one day than any other through the year. With my electric fencing duties done and dusted, I decided to take Cubby for a wee spin. Oil levels were checked and topped up, petrol form the spare can tipped into the tank and Macduff was our destination. Out through Cuminestown I thought I could hear some weird squealing noise, but only faintly, so carried on. Once at Crudie we hit the main road and the wee beastie kept up with traffic well and added a tractor - a fast one mind, to our list of Overtaken Moving Vehicles. Arriving at Vic's in MacD, I popped it on the centre stand and saw a gallon or so of clear liquid gushing out on the ground. No idea what or where it came from, so it's either the radiator burst, or water has accumulated in some nook or cranny while it's been living outdoors. With my nice *new* horn fitted and working I set off home, going the more scenic route of Luncarty which took us into Turriff on the Foggy road. A quick lap of town and I thought I'd better head home before the popping and spluttering attracted too much attention! A perfect day, finished off nicely with home made sticky toffee pudding and sauce, and home made ice cream.


Monday.....there I was, contemplating rolling from my nice comfy bed, when the puppy started barking his head off. Vic was outside all bright and breezy. He popped in to have a look at the shed and shed site, and after poking around with a spade discovered that most of the area had a nice layer of hardcore down already. We don't usually get luck like that! He then cleared off and left me to carry on digging, and a couple of hours later, I reckon I'm just about half way there. Have to confess it was too hot for digging then - and this, the first day of October, can't believe I got a wee bit o' sunburn.


Club AGM tomorrow.......I could get the sack......


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