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Thursday, 29 January 2009

A few random photos.

Thought I'd better get those winter photos posted - those ones that some of you kindly sent me. But first, some pics from a friend's wedding - or should I say the chariot that his wife arrived at the ceremony in. Taken in Port Appin, Argyle. 2nd Jan this year. Shirley is the blushing bride, Veitch is the chilled bridesmaid / trike pilot, and the grinning groom is Jamie. Check that out folks. Ain't that just the way to do it. Good job the nice trike has a large headlight. PS, you'll have spotted the slide show from the Ayr Classic Bike show last year.

Sorry, but this photo of Grampian Club member Doug, just has to be at the top of the page. Poor chap was attacked by his BSA - that nasty yellow vicious thing there - and I think he's snapped his achilles tendon....owwwwwwww ouch, that's gotta hurt. Good old Slick has kindly supplied Doug with a means of transport though...








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Some nice wintry ones from Jake in the Scottish Classic Club....presumably from somewhere in Perthshire-ish...maybe...










Followed by some from our Shetland correspondent...Geordie...the beautiful blue sky one is Fitful Head (whatever that is - code for a hangover??) the coastline one was taken from Sumburgh Head with the breeze approaching 80mph, and the other one is Jarlshof on the same Very Windy Day!







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Then of course, there is Our Darrell, all the way across the pond in sunny Florida. So sunny in fact that he was able to go diving in the deep blue sea on 3rd January. Most of these are from Panama City and Key Largo....














Ah, here come the late entries. Some from McKwak, no snow in sight but he did send one of the Lesser Spotted Cubbie hoping, I think, for extra points. No chance, that was in the summer!






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Yey, some from BigBob, featuring Finns Point National Cemetery marker for Confederate soldiers who died at Pea Patch Isand (Ft.Delaware POW camp) during US Civil War (over 2500), Ice on the River in Pennsville NJ and another from Finns Point - the WW1 Soldiers Headstones. I'll leave you to work out which is which.







Any more pics to send me? Best one wins an "I LOVE GBC's BLOG" tee shirt. Closing date not yet decided, prize not yet made and rules not yet thought of. Send me your pics. Please. Make this place look pretty.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

County 18 - Perthshire


Yaaaaaaay!!!! We're back on the road people. Friday was a bit of a dodgy day. Up early, fed the sheeps, rescued one of them who had a piece of string wrapped around her horns and throat, managed to get Ringo the Rescue Dog to his vet appointment on time. Then things started going slightly wrong. By the time we came out of the vets, the van had developed a flat tyre at the rear. Luckily I had the 'pumper-upper' with me, so whipped it out and pumped it up. Nipped up to the photographers shop to see if he could shed any light on why my Canon is only returning half a picture. Bad news was the reply, I'll have to send it away to be fixed. Completed our duties in town and made it back home before the tyre when down again. Hooked the trailer up and went out to get some hay. By the time we arrived there, one of the front tyres was nearly flat, as was the other rear. Decided the front would be ok but the rear needed some air. Off with the valve cap, pumped it up, removed the pump thingy, and the air all came bursting straight back out. Oh good. Made it home, had an hour to unload the hay, load Cubbie up, pack a bag and head off to Glamis where I would be presenting another showing of my Cubbies Counties video later that evening. Pumped the tyres up before I set off and crossed everything that they would last long enough. Met up with Shorty and his good lady, Jenny (Jenni? Jennie?) for tea (**Ah, ooops, turns out her name isn't really Jenny, but I was close, tis Janey! Of course!**). Many thanks to them for a very pleasant meal - and yes Shorty, it was miles better then Jimmy Chungs. Shorty made us a wee bitty late for the meeting, due to not being able to resist the spicy duck fingers....but we won't dwell on that. The meeting in question was the Central Scotland (VMCC) section monthly get-together, where I had been booked for some months, to visit. The first showing was Cubbies Counties, which provoked various comments throughout, mostly rude (of course!) but most definitely in good humour. I don't think people realise just what sort of state the bike was in when I got it, way back in 2003. Next up was the Moto Piston video; a selection of photographs and video footage from my trip to Spain. Then, oh yes, then, what happened next? Oh yes, the other candidate running for Area Rep had come to see my presentation, and young Shorty (he da Chairman ya know) kindly granted both of us some time to stand up and talk to the assembled crowd. Gulp. Unaccustomed as I am..... Then, to round off the evening we ran my third video / slide show with heaps and heaps of pictures from the Motorcycle Convention at Alford, the Cairn O' Mount and the bike show at Ingliston (Edinburgh) all from last year. It would seem it was all well received, if the comments afterwards were anything to go by, and the kind and generous members there donated another £60 to the cause, which is very much appreciated chaps.

Stayed down there that night, woke up to a glorious, bright and sunny day. Unfortunately, there was also an incredibly heavy frost over night, making the side / back roads a bit slippy. Popped along to Shorty's to plan my attack, and decided, after being given the verbal guided tour, that Meigle would be one of my places of choice in Perthshire. MacBeth's stone and the old church yard where the burial mound of Queen Guinevere is said to be, were two of the more prominent places in the village that we visited. Will post some pictures tomorrow, but have to go and pack another overnight bag now, as I head off to Edinburgh early tomorrow morning. Yawwn. So that's another county ticked off, a few more pounds raised, and a winter trip to Orkney looming ever closer.
(Oh ok ok, pics done, you lot don't care if I miss my 5am alarm call and miss my train, do ya!)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Why you should vote for GBC...

As you may already know, I'm standing for the post of Area Representative for Scotland, in the VMCC. I thought I'd better try and explain what I would hope to achieve if elected. The main remit of the job, as I understand it, is to visit the various Scottish sections (6 in total, not including the NE Scottish) and listen to what they have to say in order to communicate their views to Head office. There would also obviously be a reciprocal transfer of information back to the sections, so that they would be more fully informed of what is going on in the club.

Alongside this, it would be great to work with any section who would like to do something new in their area, so that we can raise the profile of the club in Scotland, and the old bikes it is trying to keep on the road. With this in mind, I quite fancy starting a "Try A Veteran / Vintage / Classic Bike Day" in the North, as they already have down south, to enable anyone to come along and find out what it's like to own and ride an old bike. It is amazing what a difference talking to owners and seeing the bikes being ridden makes to a person's perception of what it's all about. It is one of those sad facts, that if more young people don't start owning these machines then in years to come there will be no-one to look after them and all the work being done now to restore and use them will come to an end. It's great to see loads of beautiful bikes at events and on rides, but in twenty or thirty - or maybe even as little as ten years time, there may be no-one to care for them. Hopefully, I can bring youth and enthusiasm into the mix to help to prevent what seems like the inevitable - no challenge too big for GBC!!

You'll also know that last year I helped to organise a brand new event in the Northeast of Scotland - The Haggis Run (and if you don't know, where have you been??) This was a fantastic day, and much more successful than we dared to hope. It is now planned as a regular event, and although we can't always expect glorious weather, we have got off to a good start, with a lot of people promising to come back. Another new event is planned for this coming summer - the Plus 1, which will slot in between the National and the S&T - those two great dates in the diary for riders of regularity/reliability events, and I've got loads more ideas for the future to get people out and about on their bikes. Talking of which, I don't just spout on about how one should actually ride one's motorcycles, I do try to get out and about on Cubbie as much as possible, in most weathers, and I'm about half way to completing my Charity Challenge, Cubbies Counties. By the way, that should be back on the road very soon when I head to Orkney in February...

So there you have it, this youthful enthusiasm, and my attempts at journalism are my ways of promoting the use and enjoyment of old bikes. They are, after all, a part of our heritage, and the old British bikes are a part of our industrial and social history, and are therefore worth looking after. It'll be too late when they've gone.

Well, I don't usually get this serious on the blog, but this is a subject that needs some thought. Do you ever wonder what will happen to your collection of old bikes when you're not around to exercise / polish them?

I hope those of you who are VMCC Scotland members and who read this will feel you would like to vote for me when the time comes. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please pass the message on to members who do not have internet access - and remember, don't wait for someone else to vote - pick up your pen and VOTE GBC!!!!



And in other news....HUGE THANKS TO SLIM JIM for sorting out the hot water situation at Cubbie Towers - after we collected the replacement tank on the weekend, Slim arrived to fit it, only to find the new one had different fittings to the old one....and all the DIY / plumbing places shut on a Saturday afternoon, apart from B&Q, but they didn't know what he was talking about. Then the shut off valve broke. So it all went as well as expected, but finally, and fingers crossed...we have a non-leaking hot water tank and the floor is nearly dry. Gosh, more 'other news' - thanks to McKwak for delivering the exhaust manifold to me last week (thanks also for mending it), and I promise not to tell anyone that you drove the trolley round Asda for me. I won't tell a soul. Promise.

PS, BigBob and Darrell has anything nice arrived in the post for you lately?

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

D.I.M

There y'are, all redecorated and spruced up, what do you think? I Did It Meself.

Took Cubbie for a spin today....its great....I just can't help but smile when I'm chugging around the lanes, quite unconcerned that I am probably only doing 40mph but really and truly I haven't got a clue as my speedo seems to have broken - it was fine when I left the house, Officer.....

Got a few things to tell you, been a while since my last post, but its bedtime and I'm all worn out, been shifting timber and stuff today....it fair takes it toll on a little lady ya know.



So where were we? Ah yes, I'm heading down to Perthshire at the end of the month to give a talk to Shorty's VMCC section about Cubbies Counties, show them a few videos (er, Cubbie related ones) and maybe mention to them, once or twice, that they might like to VOTE FOR GBC in the Area Rep ballot in Feb. Then, as I'll be in the area, I hope to tick off a few more counties the following day. Thought I'd stick a copy of the map up for you, the bits in white are the ones I've done, and looking back I'm really quite glad I chose to start with the southerly ones. Rumour is that I have to go to Orkney in Feb for work, so you never know, I might just take Cubbie in the van and could possibly come back via Caithness, up the top, leave the van somewhere and go county hunting. Hope its not windy. So thats the plan, but you know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men and biker chicks...

Got the new hot water tank ordered, hope to collect it on the weekend...then my tame plumber chap can fit it. Apparently, the one we have already is a very rare and unusual type, and would have to be manufactured especially for us, but if we have the slightly bigger one, they're ten a penny. Or at least, one for a couple of hundred quid. Oh, and news on the car exhaust manifold....its ready...gotta meet Mr McKwak soon to collect it then deliver it to the garage...then maybe, just maybe, I'll get my car back...after four months....

It's not only Cubbies speedo that is broken, look at that hit counter. Free, it was, and you lot have probably broken it by visiting so often! Well, don't worry about it, just make sure you keep coming back.

Well, the wind is howling and the rain is beating down, and I've got to go to work now. Y'all stay warm and toasty. Don't mind me, I'll be ok out there. I will, really, see you later.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Have you seen it????

Well???? Have you all seen the FRONT PAGE OF OLD BIKE MART, JAN ISSUE???? I'm not excited or anything, but there's a picture of a wee Cubbie playing in the snow....just thought you might like a look.....

http://www.oldbikemart.co.uk/

Go on, have a peep. YOU CAN EVEN DOWNLOAD THAT PARTICULAR ISSUE. Just for posterity.

Then come right back as I have other news for you too. Most of you will have worked out that I'm quite heavily involved with my local classic bike clubs - the Grumpyones (aka Grampian classic club) and the VMCC NE Scottish section. I'm Secretary of both, but have decided to take things one step further and put myself forward for the post of Area Representative for Scotland, in the VMCC. My application has been accepted but there will have to be a vote as there are two candidates.... So if you're a VMCCer, look out for details in the February Journal, there will probably be a funky little piccie of me as I had to send one in with the application form.... Only members in Scotland can vote, but the rest of you can send me best wishes and chocolates.

Slide show from the Ayr Classic bike show is on the way.... just as soon as I've finished writing something for OBM, oh, and finished reading a book entitled "Improving Classic Motorcycles", by Graham Blighe - review due in OBM. Might even manage to improve the Cubbie Stopping Facilities if I follow the step by step guide on how to fix your brakes.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Had enough yet?

Ok, have you had enough Haggis yet? Do you want the Ayr classic show piccies instead? I think you'll like them....lots of lovely lovely old bikes - saw a nice Cub there too. And some kind of Bantam Cub thing as well....not sure about that one....hehe. I've been a busy bee this hols, the weather has been braw so I've been out chopping trees down, cutting up logs, mending sheds and fences, finishing the shed base - all the usual stuff one does in the Christmas hols. Can't get my van back from the garage in time to go to work today, so I'll have to go to the club night instead....it's our famous Pool Competition tonight, complete with a mystery prize and this year, I thought we could have a few videos to watch too. Short Stan (did you read his latest comment? Looks like he's going to try and be less nasty to me this year) lent us his section's fancy projector and laptop setup - there y'are, he's being kind already! Had a few minor issues setting it up, namely, it needed a password (that somebody forgot to mention to me) and the speakers took a bit of understanding, but its a brilliant bit of kit, and I have to say, the Official Cubbie's Counties Video looks bloomin' good on the 'big screen'! It's a fairly short video, being part 1 and all that, but I've done a Spain video too and have a couple of others up my sleeve for the guys to watch.... 'Scuse me, gotta go catch a sheep then burn a couple of CDs.... Ciao for now....

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