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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Chill babe!

Alright, alright! I'm back now so here's a little update for you.

Had a wonderful time in Edinburgh (ahem) at a work briefing. Three days of being stuck indoors while the sun shone and people texted me to say they were off out on the bikes. I shall get my revenge somehow! Managed to get locked out of my room three times, and had a run in with the staff because they kept stealing the fruit from my room and wouldn't let me have a complimentary bottle of water - which seeing as I don't drink tea and coffee, I thought would have been a nice gesture. Apparently the tap water is drinkable. YUK. Sorry, but how many people do you think Edinburgh tap water has been recycled through?

The concrete mixer was due to be fired up today to get the shed floor underway but the weather forecast was for rain so we cancelled. Now of course it's brightened up (although it still feels like minus 8 out there) and I've arranged to go to Forres instead!

I'm rather disappointed that the people I've contacted to discuss sponsorship of Cubbies Counties haven't even bothered to reply even though they've read the email. In that case, I won't even name and shame them as that would only be free publicity!

On a better note, the new goggles from Davida that finally arrived some 5 months after the original order (nothing to do with Davida, but something to do with Citylink who probably couldn't find an alcoholic drink in a public house!) are a much better fit, and for the first time since I started wearing an open face lid, I can see where I'm riding, 'cos they're designed to fit over a pair of specs.

I missed the Glenfarg Spring Gathering this weekend mainly because of the petrol situation and also due to having to travel to Edinburger on the same day. Very kind of Graeme to offer to rent out his spare room to me tho.

Well that's about it for now, I'd best crack on with my Velo test write up - did y'all see Short Stan in the mag this month? Well go and buy a copy then you'll see just how not tall he is hehehehe !

Monday, 21 April 2008

Lunch, anyone?

With a few ups and downs on the farm last week, it was good to get away to the long awaited Perth Autojumble on Sunday. Organised by the Central Scotland Section of the VMCC, Short Stan has been nagging at me for a while to pop down and see how a real jumble is run. With the Foil in the Oil saga out of the way, I grabbed my thermal tee shirt and slung it in the ruck sack before heading off south at 9am. The good old Skorp was running well, although I'm still not really happy with the ContiForce tyres I'm using, either that or the worn bush at the bottom of the shock is playing with the handling a bit, because corners just don't seem that stable these days. Anyway, by the time I got to Aberdeen I had to stop and put the thermal on (good job Asda is open 24/7 these days) and fill up with petrol. Through the toon and out on the A90 the traffic was light, and soon the turning to Coupar Angus appeared. All was well until I got to Perth, and tried to follow the directions that a little short bloke had emailed me. To cut a long story of dead ends and one way roads short (no pun intended) I eventually found the car boot sale at St Johnstone's football ground. I must just say the toilets there are astonishingly foul. Some time later I ended up at the Agricultural centre where the Autojumble was... No sooner was I there then a crowd of hunks approached and started chatting about this 'n' that. Shorty crept up whinging that I was late and had therefore missed lunch - I suspect he sent me duff directions so he could get out of buying.

There were a few stalls outside selling spray paint and rusty Nortons (are all Nortons rusty, Gino?) But inside there was a CUBBIE in trials trim, but the guy wanted £1800 or thereabouts, a wee bitty out of my budget. A quick wander round and I spotted 3 boxes of Cubbie bits in the auction, but the only bit I needed was the primary case outer cover. The bidding went to about £50 so I didn't bother with that. The guy who was sitting next to the guy who was next to me said he has one in his shed I might be lucky yet.

Dave Stewart took pity on me and treated me to lunch, I musta looked all weak and thin, and er, some time later, chatting to Graeme from the Scottish classic club, I must have looked all thin and weak 'cos the kind man that he is, Graeme then treated me to a late lunch. Good job too cos it would be hours before I had any more food.

Meester Rondelli (I think that's how to spell it) was there, so was Hugh from Mintlaw and his mate, both of whom used to do a lot of moto X in their day, George Mair from Aberdeen was spotted but ran off when he saw me, unlike Vic and Bob from the Grampian classic club with whom I had a nice chat. A guy on a BSA recognised me from the mag so we talked about this and that.

Oh John H, how could I forget you! We bumped into each other (but not literally, as he has already stated on another website just in case there is any confusion) whilst browsing. I meant to ask if you wanted to join the Grumpyones when we go to Skye, but I expect you'll be away skiing or summat - I'll drop you a line when we've more of an idea about dates.

So what did I buy? 2 meters of clear plastic pipe. A bargain at £1!

Thought I'd nip in and see Davie & Helen on the way home, luckily I turned up just in time for tea! Then er, when I got home, Mrs BC had cooked up a fine meal of roast chicken and trimmings...

I really must sort out some new gloves, I've been meaning to look for some summer ones but considering I couldn't feel my hands for about an hour after getting home, I think perhaps I'll get another pair of warm winter ones!

Well, it's the Scottish classic club spring gathering on Sunday, and I hope to make it along but may have a logistical problem or two, then the next weekend is the wotcha call it - the VMCC relay rally thingy, and then....the following Sunday is the Cairn O Mount. If you haven't entered and you intend to do so, be warned there are no entries on the day this year so get onto and enter there.

On another note, I do believe little Timmy Hastings was in pole position for his race at Thruxton - wonder how he did. John and the crew from were also away racing, an endurance thing at Angelsey I think.

Right, I'm off to plan Cubbies Counties....again....

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Well here was the plan for today....
Get up early(ish), pop over to club members Derek & Mo who live near Inverurie to pick up a battery for Cubbie.

Come home, fit battery and Cubbie would be restored to full(ish) working order once more.

Fit newly rebuilt Bulto engine (thanks Captain Bill) to frame and get that up and running so I can launch my attack on the world trials scene.

Then if any time left, write blog.

Now here's what I actually did.....
Got up early(ish) for me. After the usual walking of dogs and feeding of sheep, backed the MZ Skorp out of the shed, checked oil level. Topped oil up and just as I was thinking "hmmm, that's about enough...." a piece of the plasticy foily stuff from the neck of the bottle scooted out and jumped in the oil tank. Panic time. Ran for long nose pliers but they were too bulky to fit, nipped indoors and stole some tweezers but there were too short...and by this point, the bit of foil had sunk into the depths of the dark gooey contents.

There is a word to describe my thoughts at that precise moment, but I won't use it 'cos I know you lot are easily offended. Hehe.

I could see no other option than to drain the tank and remove the offender. But that would mean taking the oil tank off, and to do that meant I had to get rid of the fairing, undo all the electrical bits that bolt on to the front of the tank, and disconnect the three hoses in and out. Well, it looked easy. Starting at 10am you'd think I would have been finished long before 4pm. Even with the hairdryer in action to make the hoses pliable enough to pull off, and a length of hosepipe to drain the oil into an old container things didn't go quite to plan.

To cut what could be a very boring story short, I successfully removed and drained the tank, swished it out with petrol and lo and behold there was a huge piece of silver foil in the bottom. Little blighter. I shall enthrall you all with a picture tomorrow if you're lucky.

But the good news is I even managed to put it all back together, and nipped over to pick up the battery for Cubbie. Twas a wee bit chilly out there I tell ya.

I'm still getting the occasional mail about ideas for Cubbies Counties, so thanks to all who are taking the time to get in touch. Ya see, I could sit here and Google "places to go in such 'n' such a county" but that would be a)dull and b)unimaginative and c)would not take into account local knowledge. I want places that are yet to hit Google! Still planning when to set off on the first attack, keep your eyes peeled because I'll post it on here when I know.

Ciao for now dear readers.

PS. If you have one of those w i d e PC screens then chances are, I look a wee bit portly in that there picture (I've just seen myself on one so I know!). I would just like to say I don't look quite like that. No really, I don't.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Oh you canna start a Cubbie fae a car.

Good job I didn't have time to go out on Cubbie today. I say a good job, 'cos that means that I didn't break down, or smugly manage to bump start the bike before realising I'd turned the petrol off and then not being able to locate the tap whilst keeping the throttle pinned, or get wet when the skies opened, or have to wait for Mrs BC to come and collect me in the van, or remove the petrol tap when we got home 'cos it started leaking again but not having to hand a suitable receptacle for the £6 worth of petrol that came gushing out, or use my finger as a bung to stem the flow whilst getting my mobile phone out of my pocket and dialling Mrs BC to come outside and find me another vessel.

It also means I haven't got a sore ankle from pointlessly kicking Cubbie many many times until I realised the battery was flat, or sore legs from paddling down the road trying to build up enough speed to bump it, or sore kidneys from riding some particularly bumpy (but also very nice and twisty) roads.

Tell you what though, I can walk at 3.4mph whilst pushing Cubbie on level ground, and it must be travelling at approximately 7.9mph before it will even consider being bump started.

So, as I say, good job I didn't go anywhere today or I'd have to go and have a lie down.

And maybe some ice cream.

Or better still, some chocolate.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Practice Lap 1

Just like any huge sporting event, practice must be undertaken before Cubbies Counties officially begins. Don't forget, bold as I am for coming up with the idea of riding to all 33 Scottish counties, I haven't actually done that many miles on Cubbie. Yet. Yesterday, after deciding that I'm not going to fix The Noise by riding up and down the drive, I togged up and nipped down to the local garage, some 5 or 6 miles away. you're not going to believe this, but by the time I got there, The Noise had almost ceased. Or at least, it can't be heard when the engine is hot. But the guys humoured me and had a look 'n' listen. billy said it was Henry's department, and Henry said it was Ian's, and Ian said it was Johnny's, and Johnny, bless his Honda socks, came and had a listen. Give him his due, he asked how to start it and then fired it up first kick, even took it for a wee spin around the yard but no noise could be heard. Lee, the head honcho who always wears a woolly hat, got more than slightly distressed by the amount of oil landing on the new forecourt and came out with a rag to mop it up! Apart from that, they were all secretly impressed with the idea of Cubbies Counties.

This morning I fitted a new digital speedo 'cos some numpty broke the original one by taking it apart to glue the needle back of course, I had to take it out for a spin to check it was working. Off to Turra for petrol and a visit to the Vet to pick up some medicine for Goaty, then I was going to head home, but somehow ended up following the road to Cuminestown, through the village and out to New Deer, turn right at the cross roads and across the hills to Methlick, right again towards Fyvie but turned off for Greens, and then finally home. The only problem was the torrent of oil spewing from the primary case (again) and ending up on the rear wheel. Oh, and the faint rumbling sound....but I'm ignoring that until it gets more identifiable. Oh yeah, and the bogging fuel tap has sprung yet another leak, this time from the new washers at the stop where it screws into the tank. Nothing too bad, just a dribble. The speedo seems to work but how accurate it is I won't know until I can get Mrs BC to follow me in the car for a few miles.

So that's 39.6 miles of practice today, and about 12 from yesterday, so I think we're nearly ready. How about making a start on Monday?

Oh, see if you can spot the new piccy hiding on the blog somewhere.

PS it were bally cold today and me bike got affa dirty.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


Oops, there I was, moaning about having nothing interesting to write about during the winter, and now things have started happening, I've not had time to put them on the blog. Typical! So straight to it, wasn't feeling too well last week but managed to poke about with the other Cubbie engine donated to the cause by Kawa from the Scottish classic club. Seems like the big end is more wobbly than it should be, and I can't get clutch off or undo some of the screws that hold the cover on the gearbox - so all in all, I didn't get very far! Still, it was quite relaxing spraying bits with WD40 and half-heartedly trying to prise things apart. Out in the steading (where The Real Cubbie is living temporarily), I stripped the gearbox side down with the intention of simply replacing the bushes. Rumour has it, it might be that the old items are worn and causing that knocka-knocka-knocka sound. It was then that I realised, or should I say remembered, that someone had used a substance called Locktite to hold the old main shaft bush in place..... No matter though, before going to the trouble to extracting it, perhaps popping the new bush on the shaft would tell me if it was any better fit. Well to my untrained brain and eyes, it seems just as slack as the old one. Does that mean the shaft is worn? Or is it meant to have a certain amount of play? Who knows? Do you know? If you do, perhaps you can tell me 'cos I'm getting ever so slightly fed up with this particular Noise. And the other bushes for the clutch rod and something else (the name was reet in my head but now its gone) seem to be a bit on the small side. reckon I'm just going to have to ride it and see how things develop, 'cos Cubbies Counties is already behind schedule!

Sooooo, put the gearbox back together, popped the primary cover off to apply some fresh sealer after emptying the oil out before Ingliston (didn't want a bill for the carpet cleaning) and found it was full of water. Gave it a good rub down, wiped the surface rust off the clutch and sealed it back up. Left it over night to dry and the next day was....wait for it....the Large Lunch at Fyvie. Up early to a white out. Never mind, put oil in the gearbox and primary case, fresh fuel in the tank, freshly charged battery connected up and it didn't even bother to cough, let along start. Finally twigged that I should check the carby was clean only to find a pile of what can only be described as porridgey white sticky stuff in the float bowl, followed by a discovery of more white stuff growing on the slide and the needle. Stripped it down, cleaned it out, put it back together. Forgot to mention, I also set fire to the cork on the tap plunger the day before, on the insistence of the spares guy who said it would stop it leaking....seemed to work! So why, then, was fuel absolutely spewing all over the place when I pulled the tap to the ON position? Probably not wise to attempt to start it just switched it off, too the carby off and noticed I'd left something important out...namely...the float....
By this time, Mrs BC was getting grumpy 'cos we were late for the lunch, and it was snowing again, so I kicked Cubbie into the corner and went off in the car. Humbug. Still, the 9 hardly chaps and lassies who turned up for lunch had a good chuckle about it at my expense, yet again!

On a better, more successful note, with the compression tester removed from the MZ's engine, I took the bike for our first spin of 2008. Just into Turra to fill up and round the lanes, but it were jolly nice to be out on it again. Some nice old wifie in the petrol station came up to me and said she was curious to meet me as she likes to see wimmin riding bikes - in fact, she used to ride pillion many years ago and tried being the 'pilot' but didn't carry on with it. I offered her a wee shotty but she just laughed, said she was over 80 didn't I know!

So what else to say. Not much really. I'm sure there was something else though. If it comes back to me, I'll add it on later. Oh, John, thanks for the comments, really missed yar being away and all lol You must try to log on regularly in future.

Oh yers, thats another thing, those goggles from Davida that City Link couldn't deliver because this address does not exist...Royal Mail managed to deliver them within a day or two from the offices of Classic Bike Guide. So there.

OH my goodness gracious, lordy lordy me! How could I forget!? Captain Bill has FINISHED REBUILDING my BULTO ENGINE and I'm going to collect it tomorrow! Yeeehaaaaa!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Wednesday already...

...and time for a quick update.....CUBBIE IS HOME....and the compression tester is back together and out of the engine - praise be to the inventor of Locktite!

More to dissect my newly acquired spare Cubbie power plant....


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