Well, got home from work a little later than planned, so here it is. The Winner is....John from http://www.bikeshite.com/. Well done that man, one tee shirt on its way. Thanks to you all for having a chuckle and taking part. Darrell, the lamb stew reference was just to give you a clue about time of day....Mrs BC popped me out and still had time for lunch! Maybe the fact that I was born at food time is why I quite like food...and lots of it...
Had a cracking day on Friday, despite getting up at 4am. Was on the plane to Birmingham International Airport by 7am, and in the HQ of the Vintage Motorcycle club in Burton-upon-Trent by 11am, chatting to the Chief Executive Office, James Hewing. I mustn't forget to thank the lovely lady who came and collected me from the station...your name seems to have, er, escaped me, sorry! Hello to all the rest of the ladies in the office who were all working hard, and to Annice in the world famous VMCC library who showed me all the files, folders and shelves full of magazines, books, documents, and reference articles. I've gotta go back there for a better look in the not too distant future. As you can imagine, I was more than a little surprised to discover there was chocolate birthday cake for GBC! The Management Meeting went smoothly and I was chauffeured back to the station by David Davies, Editor of the monthly Journal, in his rather plush 1980s Mercedes. It was only ever so slightly unnerving that he was positioned in what would normally be the passenger seat and that the car appeared to be sweeping along the busy streets without any input from a driver - left hand drive ya see! (Hey, c'mon, I come from the country where we only have tractors, and they don't usually have seats). NEXT VMCC Management Meeting - September.
Made it back to the airport and got checked in for the return flight. For some reason, the airline staff decided to move the passengers who were booked into seats in row 5. The guy before me in the queue was allocated a seat at the rear of the plane, then they ran out of seats. They sent me on board and the hostess instructed me to row 17. Great stuff, got a seat all to myself. Wrong. Turned out to be someone elses seat, so I switched sides and sat by the window on the other side of the isle. Then those seats belonged to an elderly couple, so I moved again to finally find a spare seat in row 7. Not so very far from row 5. Well at least I got a free goodie bag of wine for Mrs BC out it.
Saturday was a day off, and apart from a little bit of Cubbie stuff, I wasn't allowed to do owt; no phones, no emails, no nothing, just rest 'n' relax - at my age I need all the rest I can get. Sunday came too soon and it was up early again. The reason being a long drive out west to Sid's house, where I would undergo a short riding assessment to determine if a) I could start the bike he was going to lend me and b) I could reach the ground. Not necessarily in that order. I passed both tests and soon had the homemade special - a 1951 Matchless SuperHawk burbling along the country lanes behind Sid (AJS Golden Streak) and his brother Ray (Matchless Model X). Can't tell you too much - annoying that, eh? But I can give you a wee tempter...it's a 1929 750cc sidevalve JAP motor in a Matchless frame...with Hurricane zorsts and various bits and pieces. Full road test will be in Old Bike Mart one day. We were heading over to the Loch Ness rally but the first port of call was to Bob's house to assist with his BSA. I didn't assist, but Sid and Ray did. Alas, to no avail as it had serious carby problems and nearly killed us all with it's noxious fumes while it 8-stroked. That's a technical term I've learnt. So Bob jumped on his modern Duke and we finally made it to Inverness for the rally. Over 100 entries, sunshine, good company, great roads alongside Loch Ness, and the Meigle Mafia. What more can you want from a day out? Well, howsabout some balloons with "Happy 30th Birthday" on them, affixed to one's motorcycle, and the presentation of a custom made birthday card with a picture of GBC from some 25 years ago, and signed by loads of friends. I tell ya, Shorty's gotta watch his back. Hehehe, I'll get you for that boyo, just you wait. I could be mean and start by telling them all about that Suzuki you lent me, and how it broke down within the space of two days....but I wouldn't do that...hehehe. The actual ride around the Loch was great, starting off on the slow and bumpy south road I think it is, stopping at the Whitebridge pub for a wee suppy water, and then on to Fort Augustus where it rained a tiddly bit. Ray got the short straw and ended up sitting under the drippy edge of the brolly while we ate sticky buns and chips. Gotta give Neville a mention too - nice to see you again, hope you've stopped fiddling with the Norton now! The ride back to the leisure centre where the rally had started from was fun, even in the rain. A crafty word in Bert's ear earlier resulted in a bit of fun with the prize giving, which I missed 'cos I was too busy eating....but rumour has it that Shorty won yet another prize...but when he went to collect his rosette he was asked to stand on tippy-toes, ha, that'll teach him to mess with me.
But really, who wants to come 3rd????
As well as having all this fun, I had my official hat on too - that of Area Rep - remember, if I'm out and about and you've got a VMCC related issue or question, don't be afraid to mention it. If there is a queue forming (which there was at one point!) you may wish to buy me an ice cream and catch me later.
So all in all, had an absolutly cracking weekend, even with the wee bit o' rain and the early mornings and late nights. The beautiful sunsets and good biker buddies make up for it.
(Don't worry about ID theft, I've scribbled over all your signatures)