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Friday, 30 October 2009

Mobile Blogging!!!

Woohooo hello my little chickerie-boooos!!!!!!! Blogging this from my new netbook complete with mobile dongley broadband in deepest, haziest Royal Deeside. Not that I actually have anything much to say, apart from I'm just about to go into the UCAN meeting to discuss the recent charity motorcycle event that we helped out at. Ta ra my little lovelies.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Your top tips please!

Cubbie got a bit damp in the shed during the last week and a half of rain.

I've WD40'd everything in sight.

Performed my usual checks of lights, horn and spark - all present and correct.

But Cubbie still won't start.

Is it perhaps some moisture in the fuel that's causing a problem?

Your top tips for staring damp motorcycles would be much appreciated.

*EDIT* Left it in the sun while we caught and tended to some more sheep, and when I came back, second kick it spluttered into life. Didn't have time to go for a run to dry it out but ran it a while til the popping and coughing cleared. Now, about those doors....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My apologies

Been a bit busy, been catching sheep in the rain and sorting the 'front room / workshop' out and such like. Oh, went out for tea again last week. More later.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Special extra post.

Which is more than the Royal Mail are providing today! Got this pic through from Kawa as a follow up to the man from Improving Classic Motorcycles comment about the artwork... Neat huh? I see all kinds of ideas for Cubbie's new paint job....

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Windy. Wet. Not nice at all.

Ah well, that's depressing. Just nipped out to make sure all was ok outside - it's blowing an absolute gale and the rain is lashing sideways across the fields. Happily, the felt on The Shed is still all there (touch wood, fingers crossed, go away wind and leave my shed alone) but the inside is quite well soaked again, due to the rain being blasted in the gaps around the front doors. Someone is going to have to finish what they started there!
Time for one of these me thinks...

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Wee Iain Run. By Kawa.

The Wee Iain run was started in 2002, a year after Iain a very good friend of mine died. The first run was a get together of people that we had met on (older) bikes over the years, we had a fairly good turn out. Over the next five years the numbers increased, but the format of the run remained the same, just a slow run with a lot of stops over the seventy or so miles.The route its self had basically remained the same, taking in some really good "old bike" roads.

I had stopped doing the run a couple of years ago due to one thing or another, but after some arm twisting from a few old regulars the run was on for this year. A few phone calls and a couple of visits and we had a nice wee group together. Pre-run route check done, just to make sure all the roads were still there. A call to the Brig O Turk Tea Room, the half way stop, just to make sure it would be open and we were sorted.

Sunday morning arrived and by the time I turned up there were already a few keen people, by eleven everyone was there. We left Denny and headed up through the Carron Valley, one of my favourite areas. Not long till we were over the other end
and heading towards the village of Kippen, with a stop off at a lay by a couple of miles before it. Old John, one of the Stars of Britain's Best Drives he tells me (never heard of it myself) refers to this place as the "view", and I've got to say on a good day you get a great view of the mountains to the north. Twenty minutes later and we were off again, down through the village and over towards Thornhill and over towards Callander via some nice wee back roads. The Trossachs were next, great section of road with the long awaited stop at The Tea Room near the end of it. More catching
up with what folk had been up to the last while. Then they were back on their bikes and heading off over the Dukes pass, a brilliant bit of road to get the best out of your bike, just imagine a road with hardly any flat bits an no straights.

The last part of the route heads back to Thornhill, Kippen and on towards the Carron Valley with a stop in the Village of Fintry at a pub strangely called the Fintry Inn. After we had something to eat and a good blether about the day we split up and headed in our own directions. Good day out, only down side was I had to go round in the car due to having injured my hand. It'll be on next year, so I've been told...

Great write up Kawa, thanks for sharing it and the pics.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Out for tea. Now with pics.

**Here's a tip for you. Never try to catch a falling cheese grater. **

Did you know, there was a 4 degree temperature difference between Cubbie Towers and Crieffshire on Monday? Well there was, it was 10degrees C here when I left, and 14C by the time I arrived some 150 miles south at Peter's Pad. I was a little on the early side, which was handy as it meant I had time to look at the two Velos and one BSA in his shed - which gave me an idea for my shed floor. I was dithering about whether to put some old carpet down, or put up with a nasty, cold, very hard on the knees, concrete floor. Now I realise, all I need is some old lino - anyone got a few square feet of the stuff going spare? Tea, cooked by Jane, was grand, and at 7pm, Peter's neighbour, Ian arrived. The poor man, I had to give him a lift to the Stirling Castle VMCC Section AGM in Doune. He was very a good passenger and hardly complained at all. The AGM passed quickly, the main news being that Ted Haworth stepped down from his post as Chairman, and Harry Doy has taken up the mantle. I volunteered to give the Section a talk about sheep, they can't wait.

Next day, Peter and I popped round to Ian's shed. I don't know how anyone can accumulate such an array of handlebar levers in one lifetime!

Next, the hunt was on for some wheels for my off road Cub project, so we set off to see Frankie. No luck, he wasn't selling, but he did go to all the trouble of extracting his two Cubs from their hibernation places and firing them up for us. One of them is an off road-ish looking Cub, with a 42 (or was it 48) tooth rear sprocket, which he reckons its good for both road and off road riding. The other one on show was a Sports Cub. Mmmm, nice. No nacelle, a few meatier bits and pieces, and a sharp crackle to its engine note. I wouldn't mind one of those as Cubbie MkIII.... Mrs BC wouldn't notice, would she? After all, one Cub is much the same as any other....I could paint them all black and silver...
Recognise anyone in this pic?
After Frankie's it was back to Crieff and a quick visit to Bill, the guy I got the Cub MkII frame from, to see what other goodies he might have, but I'd just missed him. Then it was time to head north and get back for my own NE Scottish Section AGM. Zoomed home, picked Mrs BC up, turned around and went back out. Our meeting was a good one, some useful comments and suggestions were made about both the Plus1 and Haggis. Watch this space.

Right, up to speed. The rain stayed away long enough this morning for the outside of the shed roof to dry off, the stiff breeze certainly helped. The inside though was still incredibly soggy and beginning to grow little white, furry patches on it. So it was out with the fan heater, and an old convector heater that costs a fortune to run. But a few quid for a few hours is surely cheaper and less inconvenient than a new roof. Between us, Mrs BC and I managed to get all the felt back on and securely fixed down with batons. Hope to get some box profile sheeting soon.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Catching up...

I'm sure you don't want to hear about how the recent gale force winds ripped the felt from the shed roof, and how the rain has been pouring in, and how I've had to cover everything inside with a tarp and store tools in the tumble dryer. Yesterday, Mrs BC and I managed to get a replacement strip of felt on, but before we could get the other two done the rain came down again, making the boards too soggy, not to mention slippery and dangerous. Still, the felt that is on is securely fastened down with wide batons so at least that shouldn't go anywhere. I'm still waiting for my farmer friend to sort out some box profile sheeting for me, but the harvest got in the way.

Now that all the riding events are just about finished, my job as Area Rep will be taking me to the winter meetings. I'm starting off tonight with the Stirling Castle AGM, followed by our own NE Scottish one tomorrow. Then it'll be down to Glamis for Central Scotland and hopefully, I'll make it over to Clyde Valley in the not too distant future, with another trip to Auld Reekie before the year is out. The Highland guys require a talk from me too, and those lads and lassies on Shetland are looking forward to my winter visit.

Gotta go, got to be at Peter's for tea.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Just a quick hi, hello, how are you, to anyone new who might be peeking in here for the first time. Have had word from Slick that some of his contacts in the US are trying to post comments but are encountering difficulties - I'll look into that.

Have a browse around, watch the Cubbies Counties slide show, check out the links to the tales from each county (left hand side, under the slide show) and generally have a good old nosey around. I find the 'Archive' quite interesting - but then I guess I would, I wrote it.

Thanks for joining us.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


You can now view the 'Cubbies Counties Part 1' video on YouTube by clicking on the this link and then selecting 'full screen' mode.

Or you can watch the small screen version right here on the blog. If your internet connection is anything like mine (jumpy and bitty), click play, then as soon as it starts, click pause, and let it stream a bit before you start watching.

Oh, and turn up the volume ;-)

The 2nd Haggis Run : Results

Our 2nd Haggis Run was on Sunday. This Sunday just gone. The Saturday before was absolutely awful, weather wise. There was a severe weather warning from the Met Office, gusts of wind up to 70mph, sheeting rain at times, snow forecast on the hills, trees and branches coming down all over the place and the felt on the 'Cubbie Hole' was ripped off and the rain poured in. A huge tarpaulin was hastily thrown over as much of the contents as possible. I haven't been in since. So, moving on to Sunday morning, if you read the post below, which I made at a little after 6am on Sunday, you'd know that the weather had improved somewhat, although it was still very cold and a bit breezy. Before Mrs BC and I could set off to Alford, we had to check the sheep, say hello to Horse, feed the chickens, ducks and geese, make sure the dogs had done what they had to do outside, have one last check of the things we had to take with us (just as well 'cos I'd left something of great importance in the workshop / front room) and then finally we were away. Malc, who works at the museum, was already there with the kettle on and packets of chocolate biccies, Captain Bill was there and so was Kawa who had volunteered to help out after a few issues with his suitably aged motorcycle meant he wasn't able to ride in the event. Cossack Mannie from the local sporty bike orientated group, Aberdeen Bikers, arrived to do his duties as a Checkpoint Marshal, and then there was Ian from the Grampian Classic MCC, also on CP duties. John H from the NE Scottish VMCC section arrived bang on time to sign in, and soon we were all ready to roll. We had a few more helpers due, but they wouldn't arrive until later on.

Our merry marshals getting warmed up for a cold stint on the CPs.

In any VMCC event, the riders must sign in and show their membership cards. This commenced at 9am, and the riders all started to wander in, one by one. Mrs BC and I dished out their packs, gave them a specially commissioned Haggis Badge, then they got a hot cuppa and a croissant and Kawa told them (politely, I'm sure) where to park their bikes. We had a better system this year and parked them in number order which allowed a better starting procedure. The weather by now was bright and sunny, with just a hint of chilly winter in the air. Sid from Cawdor was talking of snow....we soon put a stop to that though....and with all the bikes neatly lined up, and the first Checkpoint set up around the corner...Captain Bill gave his pre-Haggis speech. Don't speed, don't race, watch out for fallen trees and newly laid road surfaces, and have a nice time! As well as taking photos and video footage, my job was to send the bikes away at 2 minute intervals. I felt a bit mean as no sooner had I sent them off, then had to stop around the corner and answer their first lot of questions at the CP operated by Cossack Mannie and Ian.

The route we sent them on took them out to the Lord's Throat, an absolute peach of a road alongside the River Don. I bet the autumn colours through there were a picture - if there were any leaves left on the trees after the storm. Somewhere along that road was another CP, manned by Captain Bill and John H, and after that, they were free to ride like the wind, up to Chapel of Garioch before cutting across on the Maiden Stone road to Oyne, past the pre-history park Archaeolink and out to Insch. Finding a safe place for 30 old bikes to cross the busy main A96 is always a difficult one, so the route had to work around a big staggered cross roads, where visibility was good and there was a bit of a slip road for them to get out of the way of traffic. Then it was north, up to Fisherford, Ythanwells and the Bognie area for some really beautiful and typical north east farming scenery. When we ran the route, the fields were full of golden crops, lined with big deciduous trees, the leaves just thinking about turning into all shades of orange and brown. I'm not sure what was left by the time the Haggis chasers got there, but one or two reported back at the end and said they nearly left the road at times for they were too busy looking at the views. The lunch stop was at the Huntly Hotel, and d'you know where that was? Er, Huntly! Two more Grampian club members, Geoff & Julie, were on duty there, making sure the bikes were safely parked and that everyone had their lunch tickets...

Meanwhile, some of us were still at Alford, working hard to set up the Special Tests on the track, and marking the answers that had come in from CP1 and 2. No rest for us ya know. We had to practise knocking skittles over with a tennis ball, and work out the optimum distance at which to make the bikes stop, Kawa had to be the guinea pig for the wheel revolutions test that GCMCC Ian would administer - ride forwards for 3 revs of the rear he also had to ride through our little chicane on his MZ Skorpion. If you can do it on a Skorp, you can do it on a small, nimble classic. The funniest bit of the day was trying to work out how we could get the riders to do an egg and spoon game. We had the spoons. We had the golf balls / eggs. But by this time the wind was sufficient to blow the egg from the spoon, plus we wondered how they would manage to operate the clutch / throttle whilst holding a spoon...we'll work on that for next time. Thank you Malc for helping with the cones and table and 'stuff'.

After the lunch stop, the route took our intrepid adventurers towards Dufftown before a sudden left turn led them through a wonderful valley alongside the River Deveron and what we believe to be the old retting ponds, where the bundles of flax would have been left to rot as part of the process of making linen. In the 18th Century, Huntly's linen production accounted for a third of all Scottish linen. Once through the Haugh of Glass the road climbed up up up up and over the Cabrach; a wide and vast area of bare and sparse moorland. Remember the place I mentioned in a previous post that was home to grouse and rare plants and weird rocks, a site of special scientific interest? Well this is it. A gorgeous place to be on a calm, sunny day, and I just hope it wasn't too breezy up there. At least there was no snow. Another big industry in this area is whisky (still can't remember the Scottish spelling, did I get it right?), and the road we chose practically borders on the Glenfiddich Forrest in one direction, and the Braes o' Glelivet in the other.
While the guys were out and after the games were set up, I couldn't resist a peek at the Museum's chuff-chuff engine.

Grampian Classic club member Briano, and MZ riding Kawa, were due to head off to their CP any time now. It was situated on the Suie Hill, just north of Alford. Briano arrived in his car, thinking, quite sensibly, that he would need somewhere warm to sit and wait, and Kawa's job was be a motorcycle courier after the CP closed and bring the results back to base. As Captain Bill was at a lose end, he decided to show them the way to the CP, and because he so enjoyed his earlier duties, it was decided he would do the questions, and Kawa would be my Chief Photographer. Although they had a longer wait than planned, it all worked out well in the end and Kwak got some good shots with his broken camera. Hope you're able to get it fixed, but don't blame it on our Haggis Badge.

Pics look ok to me, thanks for letting me use them Kwak...

By mid afternoon, the sun was shining good and warm, and as Ian took to his position on the track (for the wheel revolutions test) and Coassack Mannie waited patiently by the skittles, Geoff & Julie arrived from lunch duties to take up their place at the chicane. All was well. Until a bus appeared on the track. Ho hum. He didn't stay for long, was just testing a repair he had made. Good job, for the bikes were back and ready to undertake the Special Tests. It's all in good spirits, and most people wanted to give them a go. The title of Oldest Bike to Complete the Course was rather furiously contested, between Mick on his 1925 RE 180 and Sid on his 1936 AJS Special.

We really appreciate Mick opting to complete the tests, but he said that with all the slowness and clutch playing required, it would probably cause havoc with his clutch, so he did them on foot. That would have been fine, until The Sid came on the scene, putting down his coffee and cake, he fired the Ajay up, making the windows in the museum tremble, and he rumbled off to the first test. Ian reported that he managed the 3 revs, no problem, then he proceeded to strike one skittle, before weaving his way through the chicane with ease. The Cameron Autotech trophy for Youngest Rider went, again, to Alistair Mackie from the NE Scottish VMCC, and the Overall Haggis Champeeno trophy was stolen just by a whisker from last years winner, by Velocette man Maurice Clarke. Peter O from the Crieff area won the Furthest Travelled to the event BY BIKE again, he's a crafty man, he even brought a few mates with his this year (good to see you guys) but made sure no one lived further away then he! Now, if the Spencers from the north of England were to ride their Triumph 5T up next there wouldn't be many to beat that. We didn't have any lady riders this year, so come on ladies, make sure you come along to the 3rd Haggis Run in 2010!

Thanks to...
All of our helpers and marshals - it really is YOU that makes the day go so well.
The entrants. Well, without you guys and girls, we wouldn't have a Haggis Run.
Malc for his assistance throughout the day.
Mike and Grampian Transport Museum for allowing us to take the place over for a day.

PS. Shame you couldn't be with us Shorty, but I'm sure Westie and Couttzer (I don't know how to spell that one either) will tell you all about it.


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