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Saturday, 31 May 2008

County 2 - Fraserburgh!

Well that was fun. Overslept on Sunday, rushed out to sort the bike, all I had to do was put petrol in and top up the oil. Never so simple though. Tipped a can of petrol in not thinking that the cork plunger would have dried out and shrunk after I drained the tank the previous weekend. So out came a lot of precious fuel all over my foot. Got the rest back in the can, hunted high and low for the spare plungers that Robbo (he's from Wales ya know) sent me. What a star, my hero, my saviour. One of them was a perfect fit so it was back in with the petrol and see what happened.....oh you've no idea how nice it is NOT to have stinking petrol spewing out all over the place! Mind you, still had the leak from the actual tank to deal with, so I stole a bar of soap from the house and rubbed it all over the bit I thought was dribbling. Seemed to stop it a bit but still a drip. Bike started first kick. Finally set off to the Fraserburgh show and can now tick Aberdeenshire off as a county completed. Not the best weather but at least it didn't rain (just as well 'cos I forgot my leaky waterproofs). Met a load of jolly nice people who all sponsored me and came to look at Cubbie. Had a super lunch and spent the afternoon with friends, fending off Cubbie related insults. Westie won the Champion of Champs award for his 1930 Ariel, just pipped Cubbie to that particular post. Well done that man. Cubbie was obviously sulking as it wouldn't start at the end of the show, luckily Shorty was on hand to bump start it around the car park. On the way home something didn't quite feel / sound right and my bottom felt unseasonably warm, or was that just my imagination again? Hope so. Bike seemed to lack a bit of power though and engine didn't sound as crisps us usual. Felt awfully hot by the time I got home, only a short hop up the road, about 25 miles or so. Gonna have to check a few things, Diggie says start with the tappets and timing then begin to worry. Thanks, I do enough of that already.

And some news from down on the farm...two more lambs have appeared but their Ma isn't too well, possibly a case of milk fever, so Mrs BC and I have been out there tonight dosing the poor old ewe up with Calcium. Not a pleasant task as the sheep has to be flipped upside down so that the injections can go behind each leg. Leaves a nasty swollen lump. Hopefully will do the trick and see her back bright as a button. Guess I'll be doing my bit with the rubber rings tomorrow...

So, two down, 31 to go and another corporate sponsor on to be added to the list as soon as it is all confirmed. Roll on Thursday and Shetland...followed by Ayr on Sunday and possibly some surrounding counties.

00:54 and I've just put the finishing touches to my latest article. Hope the boss likes it. I'm off to bed. Ciao.

PS I think I'm going to have to run a master class in 'how to leave a comment on GBC's blog'! If you look at the end of this post, you'll see it says '0 comments'. Click on that, which opens up a comment page, write your message and choose how you wish to sign it - you don't even need an account to sign your name, so just tick the 'name' box or if you're shy like me, go for the 'anon' option. Then click 'publish'. Simple!

Monday, 26 May 2008

I've just come down from the Isle of Skye...

Hi de hi everybody! Home from Skye, few things to sort out then a report to do here and for the mag...pop back shorty, sorry, shortly and check it out.

Ok everybody, I've just been negotiating with the boss at Classic Bike Guide, and I'm afraid I'm going to be slightly limited in what I can say on here about Cubbies First County - INVERNESS-SHIRE. Reason being is that the mag want a full and proper spread about it, detailing where how who what why and when etc. I can however, put some of the extra pics on here and tell you that it was a great success!

The Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire 222 miles from the safety of Cubbie's temporary shed.
Not only did I set off 2.5 hours after the rest of the gang from the club, but I only arrived 2 hours after them. Now work that out bearing in mind they were all on BIG fast MODERN bikes! You should have seen their faces, talk about jaws on the floor! Apart from blind panic on Thursday when I couldn't get the right oil for the oil change and I had the wrong rocker feed pipe (for the second time) and I noticed one of the engine mounts was cracked, and on Friday morning when I realised I didn't have breakdown cover, pretty much everything went to plan. Apart from the petrol tank situation and my new speedo having a teeny problemo......Absolutely worn out by the time I arrived at the pub on Friday, spent the rest of the evening supping water and looking after my elderly comrades. Oh, played a bit of pool too but really need to get some Dennis Taylor glasses. No sleep at all that night due to being surrounded by snoring men. VERY crabbit by Saturday but the sun shone and I visited several places that I can write about, unfortunately didn't make it to the sword maker but that's another story. I did get an ice cream though, so can tick that off the wish list. That night was spent in the pub too making sure none of my lot caused any trouble - have to confess I must have got my eye in for the pool as I started beating the local 'talent'. No, really, I did. Probably something to do with wearing me leather trousers. Sunday, up at 7am, woke Vic from his drunken slumber and set off for a nice ride home at a leisurely pace, up the south side of Loch Ness and over the hills - those roads were just made for Cubbie - - - - whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh!!!!!!! A couple of the lads with me on the way home suffered minor technical hitches, one of whom was riding a Velo, tsk tsk and the other one nearly lost his kick start. Arrived home some 500miles later, worn out but so completely chuffed to bits with the bike and the trip and whole idea of Cubbies Counties, I just know it's gonna be great.

The owner of Uig Bay Campsite kindly donated my camping fees to the Cubbies Counties cause, so that's really kicked the whole thing off nicely. All I need now is for you lot to dig deep and help me make a stack of cash for two worthy charities. In case you're concerned where your money might go, I've set up an official bank account to deposit any money I collect along the way, and if at any time you wish to send your money in, you can either go to your nearest branch of the Alliance & Leicester and put it straight in (account number available from me for this purpose), or send me a cheque and I'll pop in t'bank.

So how about £5 per county and £10 for the islands? Sounds good eh, and there's no way I'll ever complete all 33 counties so you needn't worry about having to shuck out hundreds of pounds.... ;-)

...I’m no very big and I'm awful shy,
And the laddies shout when I go by,
" Gorgeous, where’s your Cubbie."

Friday, 23 May 2008


Oh dear, panic panic latelatelatelate!!!!!!!

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Launch

Well that were braw, as they say. Woke up on Cubbie Launch day to RAIN. But it didn't last long and by the time I set off to meet fellow Grampian classic club members at Fyvie the sun was shining, although it wasn't particularly warm. Met up with Geoff & Julie, Barry and Bob and set off to the Feughside. Noticed a horrible rear end wiggle (oi!) and had to stop at Inverurie to check it out. Discovered most of the rear wheel spokes were a bit slack...oops...checked everything else the day before but not that! The consensus was that it was safe to ride so off again. Arrived early - yep, a first for me and Short Stan and Westie were the last to get there, some excuse about having to stop and view a friends new Ducati. Would just like to name check everyone I can and thank them for turning up to officially launch my crazy fund raising adventure;

Newbus, JT52, Borntobewild, Hagar and two young lads (sorry guys - names escape me!) from the Aberdeenbikers who are all modern motorcyclists but kindly came along to see Cubbie and pledge their support, Eden and his chum George (?) from Georgia, both on a modern Trumpets, Bryan on his beautiful Bonnie, Stan and Westie, a BM and Triumph between them, Malphy from, Royal Enfield pilot Bob, Geoff & Julie on a modern bike today but also Triumph owners, Barry the BM man, Tom on another BMW, Sunbeam rider Allan, Captain Bill on his Armstrong, Briano on a huge Aprillia and not forgetting Mrs BC of course in the back up vehicle which I hasten to add, was not needed! I hope I haven't missed any names out but if I have just shout and I'll sort it out.

The two young nippers with Hagar couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the brakes and 'instruments' on a 1962 bike compared to their pocket rockets. i did offer them a go but they were too scared! Haha!

A nice meal was had by all at the Feughside, and afterwards the mouse in Cubby's engine was tracked down and terminated. Ok, so it wasn't a real mouse, and it wasn't the engine as it turned out but it sounded like one. Bob concluded, after tightening the head bolts (which I'd done on Saturday), that the distributor was a wee bitty on the dry side...a dollop of oil in there sorted that out.

We were going to pop in to the vintage tractor day at Dunecht on the way home but somehow we lost Bob - or should I say, he lost us, and we ended up having to stop for a cuppa, and he went straight home! Never mind. I didn't get an ice cream, didn't manage to get one at the Cairn O Mount on the previous weekend either, wonder if I'll put that right next weekend.

Things are now moving on the charity front, both the ME people and NABD are in communication and keen to help with forms and info, so if you see me in the next 6 months I'd run the other way cos I'm gonna be after you for money money money! All for two very good causes tho.

Things to do before setting off to Skye on Friday -
1. Clean inches of oil and gunk off rear wheel and take to Bob to fix - DONE.
2. Check main bearings by yanking crankshaft thing up and down and side to side - DONE no play there.
3. Oil change...(find supply of either 30, 40 or 50w oil locally)...
4. Fit new oil pipe to rockers...
5. Mend light switch...not likely to happen!
6. Check frame over in case wiggle was down to something more severe...
7. Fit luggage rack...
8. Work out how to fit tent, sleeping bag, supplies and spares on Cubbie if can't fit rack...
9. Collect wheel from Bob and re-fit...
10. Organise bank account for people to donate money to when sponsoring Cubbies Counties...nearly done, appointment tomorrow...
11. Email Castle Keep, swordmakers on Skye to see if I can visit while I'm there...DONE, awaiting reply.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Ooh the nerves...






Nearly Sunday! Well tomorrow is when my quest becomes official, and although I've heard from the ME Association, I have yet to hear back from NABD about raising some cash for them. Hopefully a gang of bikers will be at the Feughside for the photo-opp which will be used to promote Cubbies Counties in all / any mags 'n' rags I can think of, and then next weekend, the first County will be conquered (fingers crossed that someone from Wales has a suitable fuel tap they can send me to replace the drippy one currently on the bike, and that I can replace or fix the seemingly faulty light / ignition switch which seems to be the source of the fuse blowing problem)...what is that county, I hear you cry! Well....Cubbie is going to SKYE!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Saved by the Stones.

Funny how things happen. There I was, driving home from Forres on Saturday after a day up there working, when I was approaching the Halfords roundabout in Elgin, listening to a little bit of the RRRRRRolling Stones when I heard the lyrics "somethingsomethingsomething...dah dah dah a 50amp fuse". Well bingo, I had forgotten I needed to get a new fuse for Cubbie - required, I might add, by 7am the following day! Thanks for reminding me Mr Jaggar. Pulled a quick swing roon the 'bout and picked up two packs of 15amp ones. Late night on Saturday, shouldn't have done that as the alarm going off early on Sunday morning wasn't very welcome! Still, when the Cairn O Mount calls, it sure does call. Can't say too much about the classic side of things as there will be a two page report in the mag soon, but I can bore you to death with Cubbie Tales.

Thick mist and fog outside when I was prepping Cubbie. Topped up the oil and put a can of petrol in, checked the lights and PING! New fuse gone. Odd, stupidly fitted another one and same thing happened. Brake light worked ok but as soon as I switched the headlight on it just blew. Not being one to want to ride in pea soup with no lights my next thought was the van. Sling it in the back and worry about the lights later. Small hitch there though, the van still had quite a lot of sandy ballast in from my concreting activities. Vic phoned then to say there was no fog further down the road so I should be ok....

Odd that 'cos by the time I'd ummed and ahhed and gone back outside, it had lifted completely. Getting on for half 8 by then so time to make a decision and get gone. Togged up in winter woollys despite the forecast for a 21degree scorcher of a day and fired the bike up. Hehe, this is fun! Off down the road, head for Fyvie, cut across to Rothie on the back road which would take me to the far side of Inverurie. Up the bypass - scary on a bike only doing 50mph in the FOG which had made a reappearance. Out on the Echt / Dunnecht road (can't remember which one comes first)and then Banchory for petrol. The twisty road to Strachan from there is quite nice and I even managed to catch up with some modern bikers (I'm sure they were just taking it easy) and arrived at the Feughside bang on time just after 9.30am.

T'was really good to meet up with people and have a chat, being there early meant I didn't have to do my normal thing of rushing around like a blue thingied-wotsit before the off at 11. Agreed to follow Vic on his Triamamamaha and Peter on his Leader, but Vic sped off and Peter was nowhere to be seen so I raced after Vic - sorry Peter! Doug was behind us to keep an eye on things (erm, what sort of things??) and said Cubbie was nipping along at 60mph at times - well we had to to keep up with Vic on his racy little number.

Had a great ride all around the hills and over to Stoney, then we (Vic) decided to go on a short cut to the lunch stop, but we got there after everyone else. Still some grub left though, and the one good thing was we did get there before Westie, Shorty and Martin the sheep runner-over. Sun was out good and proper by then, easily 20degrees, so it was a strip off time but still too hot and no one even bought me an ice cream. Boo hoo.

Short run back to the Feughside for the prize giving, I didn't even win Youngest Rider / Oldest Bike, how bad is that! I think I should have got a prize for depositing the most oil in the car park though.

Right, so that's 192.96 miles yesterday and all set for the Official Launch of Cubbies Counties NEXT SUNDAY 18th MAY!!!! Don't forget to come along to the Feughside for about 12pm, have a bit of lunch then wave us off. Would be great to see as many of you there as possible.

Ta ta for now, all blogged out and off to Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Tired and filthy

Wait - just wait - I know what you're thinking but it ain't like that at all.

In case anyone out there noticed that I'd disappeared for a while, that was down to the thunder storm we had last week, which fried my modem (painful eh!). After a series of calls to the Orange helpline they eventually agreed to send a new one, but with the weekend and a bank holiday getting in the way, it only arrived yesterday.

So back to bike business. The issue of a flat battery was solved by a few friends and some dodgy wiring (from me of course) and soon I had a nice new battery filled up with acid and sporting matching spade terminals. Inevitably, I suppose you could say, blood was shed while I was wielding a knife and chopping bits of wire up, but I'm tough and it didn't stop me. What did make me pause though was the fact that when I'd hooked the battery up and tried the horn and lights, nothing worked. Fetching the multimeter wotsit and checking that the battery was charged didn't help, cos it was charged. Time for a sit down and think. Thought. Ping! Check the fuse - blown. Rush indoors, hunt for a 15amp which luckily was on the table in the spare room with my MZ stuff. Brilliant, a couple of kicks later Cubbie was back to life.

The next task was the liquid metal treatment on Saturday, because I'm fed up with the primary chain case spewing oil out all over the place. Not only does it go all over the rear wheel (which makes for fun cornering) but whenever I'm doing any form of maintenance on the bike (yes, I do occasionally), I get covered in black smelly oil. So I thought I'd try some JB Weld and wodge it in all the gaps - yes, there are many! A simple enough job but one that required 15hours to dry thoroughly. Oops, how many hours between Saturday 5pm and early Sunday morning when I had to set off on the VMCC Relay Rally....hehe, not quite enough but never mind.

Sunday morning dawned and Bob and Alan were going to set off at 9.30am, heading over to Dufftown then up to Culloden for their first checkpoint, and back to Captain Bill's place for the second one. I still had to apply the silicon sealer to the chain case and tweak a few other bits, so opted to head to Bill's, meeting up with Vic on the way. A good time to test my new digital speedo out, Vic went first and I followed, looking for his signal at 45mph. I hit 40 when he was at 45, so not too far out.

Riteo, so we're first at Bill's place after a lovely ride to Foggie, Bridge of Marnoch and across to Grange. While Bill and Mrs Bikerchick (who had volunteered to help with the refreshments) debated some rather boring issues (probably the meaning of life and the universe, or something), Vic decided to strip Cubbie's clutch - luckily I just happened to have the Allen key for the primary case, the correct spanners to remove the footrest and brake lever, oh and some silicon to seal it all up again after....what a stroke of luck.... I have been concerned for some time that the whole clutch assembly wiggles to the side and top and bottom, but apart from tightening the centre nut up (to manly standards I might add) which didn't solve it, there seems to be nothing amiss. Half way through, two chaps from Wales (I think) turned up, said that the clutch is supposed to wiggle like that, had some road kill soup and cake, then headed off to the next checkpoint at Pitlochry. Next to arrive were Bob and Alan, after a gruelling ride around most of Scotland, apparently, followed by a guy from Elgin on a yella Norton of some sort. More on this in the mag some time soon.

Right, so that was sunny Sunday, and the bank hol Monday was set aside for CONCRETING. Tricky arrived a little later than planned to help set up the mixer and make sure I knew what to do, and the first load was poured about 11am. After lunch I realised I wasn't going to be ready to go to work at 4pm, so a couple of quick calls had my schedule changed, although that means I now have to work on Saturday to make up for it, humbug. Still, I'm pleased to say that after Tricky left to pick up wife and daughter, I turned up the pace and completed the first section - a whole third of the area. Man, by 7pm I was soooo tired and filthy like you couldn't imagine, with cement dust everywhere and aches and pains from my toe nails to finger tips. A hot bath just seems to make things hurt even more - especially the sun burn! Don't think I could have picked a hotter day, must have been about 20degrees out there and numpty here was rushing around shovelling sand and stones! Still, good drying weather for it though.

Wednesday - time to do some more CONCRETING, but only after dropping off some trophies at the engraver in Turra - a nice little run on the MZ for that one. Work cancelled, sun out, get that mixer going. Only half a third this time though, due to time constraints...but it's a bigger third than the next one, so I'm leaving a smaller bit for last.

There were a few issues, such as bulging shuttering and those blimmin' stones in the sandy ballast are so big that it makes smoothing it out a bit difficult. The tamping down and see-sawing is kinda awkward on one's own, but I managed (well I had to 'cos Mrs BC was planting peas). Upon inspection today it looks perfectly good enough for a shed floor, complete with cat and dog paw prints across it. So sad am I that I'm off to Endinburgh next week so won't be able to do any more for a week or two...perhaps that'll give the old bones time to recover. Enjoy the piccies.

Jeepers! How could I forget to blog the latest Grampian Classic club meeting! If I'm not careful I'll get the sack....t'was a super night out to the MacDuff boatyard, looking around all the workshops and sheds, seeing below deck on the boats that were being fitted and generally going behind the scenes. Thanks to Vic for sorting that one for us.


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