SLIDE SHOW ADDED - OR THIS DIRECT LINK SHOULD WORK http://w540.photobucket.com/albums/gg342/GBC_06/Coventry%2009/?action=view¤t=4ed50907.pbw
Don't panic, I'm here, keeping an eye on you lot...
Right then, here I am. Back from a hectic weekend and ready to tell all. Well, not quite 'all', but some. Had to cadge a lift to the airport early on Saturday morning, from Good Old Tricky, in his swanky new eco-enviro-friendly car. I'm afraid my rucksack left a bit of a smudge on the seat, sorry about that Tricky, I'm sure it'll brush off. Got to the airport in plenty of time, despite the thick fog, signed on, logged in, deposited my bottle of water in the bin (t'was more than 100ml ya see, but I had to have some water with me to eat my sarnies with, while I was waiting to go through to departures), removed my shoes 'cos being steel toe capped they always set the alarm off and went through to dispatches. Walked 3 miles to find gate 7 as advised, then found out I had to walk back to gate 4. Nothing like a bit of early morning walking. Anyway....got down to Birmingham International Airport and took the funny levitating train thingy across to the railway station where I met me chum Will, from the http://www.classicbike.net/ site. (That's not as bad as it sounds, you meet some very interesting and mostly 'ok' people through web forums.) After a de-brief at his house and the introductions to his family (April and the sprogs, Nate and 6 month old Rufus) we set off on a major tour of Coventry. Old Triumph sites and factories featured quite a lot, and I think Rudge was mentioned as we went past some nasty modern buildings somewhere. In fact, each time we went past a supermarket or an office block, Will pointed and said such and such a factory used to be there. I knew I wouldn't remember all the names, but I've made up for that by obtaining a list of all the manufacturers who had premises in Coventry since, er, a while ago. And I don't just mean motorcycle ones, but motor vehicles and bicycles too. It's a huuuuuuge list. We also took a drive along one of the roads that Triumph used as a test route for all bikes - including Cubbie. Tis an odd feeling, travelling on the very same bit of road that Cubbie was put through it's paces on, some 47 years ago. After the bike related tour, we popped into the city centre and took a walk around both the modern end of town (I know it's not a town, it's a city, it's just a figure of speech) and then off to the really old part to see two of the three spires the town is famous for; Holy Trinity and Coventry Cathedral. I rather like old buildings and these were no exception, although sadly, much of the old Cathedral lies in ruins, the remnants of a WWII bombing raid by the Luftwaffe that lasted for ten hours, when over three quarters of the factories were wiped out, along with hospitals, hotels, police stations and so on. By the time we'd had lunch, that just left a couple of hours to have a look around the Coventry Transport Museum - very very good - and not just because there was a Triumph Tiger Cub on show! One of the exhibits was a street set in the (could be wrong here) Victorian era, with shop window displays of the time, and a blacksmiths forge complete with ancient smells, followed by a blitz scene with flashing lights, ear splitting sound effects and a blown up vehicle with fire engine in attendance. So that was just Saturday, Will dropped me at my hotel and then offered to pick me up in the morning and we would all (sprogs included) head to the National Motorcycle Museum - location not only of hundreds of bikes, but also home to the Vintage Motor Cycle Club Annual General Meeting. Sunday morning was glorious and I was able to sit on my private balcony and watch the golf in the early misty morning, while I waited for Taxi Will. The museum was fairly quiet, apart from the gathering of Suzuki GXSZTELNDVXXX123456789 owners in the car park. Little Nate ran around on the end of his lead shouting 'bike!' every time he saw....yep....a bike....which as you might imagine, was quite often, bless. He did well though, considering he's only 2, and managed to walk most of the way round the three large halls of bikes, while lucky little Rufus slept through most of it. I think April was getting a little bored after the first dozen Broughs, 10 or so Ariel Square Fours, various arrays of veteran machines and side cars and ooh the list is endless, I'm going to try and stick the pics in a slide show for you. So finally we get on to the AGM, which was just like any other AGM really, oh, except that I was presented with my Official Management Committee Badge. Yippidee, now it's all official. Having been around the country at various events over the years I knew a goodly number of people at the meeting, and a few new faces stopped for a chat to welcome me to the job. After the AGM we had a short committee meeting, which went well, and then I cadged a lift from the Chairman, Kim Allen and his wife, to the airport, and bye bye Birmingham-shire. I only had an hour and a half to wait until I could check in, and it's amazing how interesting the free internet access kiosk was, even though I could only browse the airport's website and keep an eye on the football scores. Home sweet home a few hours later, then off to the local scrappie on Monday to get an alternator for the van, trouble is, I got the wrong one. Then Perth yesterday for a briefing, followed by our club night which was a lesson in route reading - as Mr P pointed out, those who complained of not being able to read the route card on the Haggis run last year, didn't turn up for the lesson. Hmmm. So there y'are, up to date.
Oh no you're not.
Today....Mrs BC and I enjoyed a visit to the opticians, where we were both subjected to such awful tests and humiliations. They have a nasty machine that blows puffs of air into one's eyes with such force that it nearly blows one's brains out of one's ears. And such bright flashes of light too. And so many choices for specs, frames, tints, colours, anti-scratch or not anti-scratch, that is the question. Although when the nice lady saw my old pair of glasses she advised I go down the 'anti' route.
After that, we went to the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford to book the Haggis Run in for Sunday 4th October. Just waiting for Mike to get back to us with the price and details.
So this weekend, what does it have in store? I'm not telling. But I'm looking forward to it.
PS...Hope to get the pics and / or slideshow up over the next couple of days.
PPS...have you noticed? Well over 30,000 hits now! Yeeeeeeehaaaaaa, keep on visiting people!
PPPS...welcome to any readers who have popped over from Facebook - yes, I have sort of set up a sort of 'page' (is that what you call it?) on the ever popular social networking site. Sort of.