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Monday, 31 May 2010

Next weekend.

Got a busy weekend ahead, just trying to catch up with work over the next few days to clear some time for the Shetland Classic Show. Hope to post some videos / pics from training day entrants before I go, plus some feedback from the riders - so if you said you'd write something, come on, chop chop, send it in!!

Thanks Mike and UN, got yours and will post it as soon as I can.

So in between going to work and finishing building the lamb shelter so that the little cuties can live outside instead of being taken in at night, and various other jobs like painting my nails (chipped one today), I need to look out the following....

Tent GOT
Tent Poles etc Mrs BC found them!
Sleeping Bag GOT
Pillow GOT one but not the one I want
Blanket GOT
Foam Mat Thing GOT
Torch GOT
Thermals
Hot Water Bottle was only joking really

Plus....
Check Cubbie's chain - DONE
Check oil -TOPPED UP
Check tyre pressures (I'm really bad for not doing that) not done but look ok
OIL CLUTCH CABLE AGAIN - DONE

Er, what else?

Don't fret, I think I've got most things I need now. But I haven't quite done the bike prep work. Or my Area Rep Report for the next VMCC Committee Meeting on 11th June so I'd better get cracking!


I'M REEEEAAAAADDDDDY!!!!!

Yep, Cubbie is all checked and packed, and I'm using panniers for the first time to save the aches and pains on my shoulders. Just got to grab things like camera and rucksack at the last min. Now we're off out to worm the sheep and then lunch and then I'm awa'.

From complete chaos to....

in a matter of hours!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ivan Rhodes and Training Day report.

Right, where to start. Old Bike Mart has requested a feature about The Ivan Rhodes Show, as we shall call it, so that limits me in what I can say on here. I can tell you though, it took many months of phone calls, diary checking, event planning, arranging and finger crossing before it all fell into place, and when it did, boy was it worth it. Ivan, son Grahame and partner Joy set off a couple of days before our event (which was on Sat 22nd May), so as to break their journey with a half way stop. They arrived at Mick & Linda's house (members of the local NE Scottish Section) on Thursday, while I was out running around picking up the projector screen and table from Mr Prodger, and the projector and laptop from Shorty, and just as I was about to start a bit of last minute shopping, I got a call from Mick. "He's here. They're here. The bikes are here! You've got to come and meet them!" So I re-parked the trolley, and sped up the road to Mick's house. Introductions were made and we spent a few hours chatting about, well, stuff really, until we remembered that the plans for Saturday had still to be discussed. This done, Linda came home from work, I had to go and do the shopping before the shops shut, and Ivan, Joy and Grahame were looking forward to heading out for a meal.

Friday - a normal work day for me. Thunder storms and rain galore, phones and internet off, just in case. Many fingers and toes being crossed that the weather for the weekend would improve.

Saturday 22nd May - ROARING DAY at Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Aberdeenshire. Up at 5am, fed the lambs nice and early, about 6am, then gave them an early lunch at 12ish, before I rushed off to Alford in the car and Mrs BC went next door to feed their chickens as they're away for the weekend. She then came on over in the truck, bringing some more bits and pieces that we needed. Ivan and Co. (Co. includes Grahame, Joy, Mick & Linda) were already there, so was our Man on the Gate, Kawa, which was just as well as people were turning up a little on the early side. Whiffling Clara and the Roarer were out of the van and being fettled, and lucky lucky Mick got to do a few laps of the track on one of them, Clara I think, just to warm it up and run it in - other than being started after the rebuild to make sure all was ok with the bike, this was the first time it had been run in about 30 years.

Mrs BC and Linda set out all the food and tables in the hall, and Malc from the Museum had helped set the chairs up in the other hall, and at 2pm silence fell. Ivan made his way to the front, cleared his throat, and captivated the audience of about 70 for a full hour. After the talk, it was time to get the bikes on the track, and helpers were sought from the crowd, to give a little push. As you can imagine, plenty of fit young men volunteered, but no matter how many times they ran up and down, they just could not get the Roarer to start. Grahame was aboard the bike and each time it coughed into life and he gave it some revs it just died again. Ivan has obviously done this sort of thing before so he nipped off and reappeared with Whiffling Clara.
















Several laps of the Alford circuit with Clara kept the people happy, and he came back in just in time as the heavens opened and down came the rain. Heavy rain. VERY heavy rain. Still, we were ready for it and ushered people into the refreshments room, for refreshments, oddly enough. In the background ran a video of the Roarer when it was re-born in 1989 (or was it '86?) and all seemed to enjoy the chance to chat about what they'd just witnessed. Grahame and Mick got the spanners out and as the rain stopped, the Roarer started. Fantabby-tastic. I can't actually describe the sensation as Ivan took to the track again, apart from to say that it is rather well named! Hopefully I got it on video so that will do a better job of conveying the moment that I can.






After a bit more track time, it was back into the pits for more chat, tea, biscuits and cake, and a chance for anyone to speak to Ivan and Grahame. With the hard work over for the day, we all packed up, Mrs BC had to head home to feed the lambs again, plus check all of the other sheep and chickens and feed the dogs and make sure all was ok on the homestead. Meanwhile, the Committee of the NE Scottish Section accompanied the Rhodes family out for a meal as a gesture of thanks.






Pics and vids to follow, and I'd be most grateful if ANY of you wanted to write a wee piece or send me an email about your thoughts on the Rhodes Show.




SUNDAY 23rd May - FIRST EVER SCOTTISH VINTAGE TRAINING DAY



Oh boy, up at 5am again. Fed the lambs, checked the ewes, let the chickens out and fed next doors hens. Zoomed over to the Museum at Alford and got there bang on time. Boy was it hot. Chairman of the Vintage Motorcycle Club Kim Allen and his wife Steph, and Immediate Past President Colin Seaton were present and had things under control. Kim rolled the Reed Scott out of the van and Steph took charge of the signing in. Colin made sure everyone was ready and prepared before giving his Owners and Riders briefing. The two groups were taken aside separately and the rules of the day made clear to everyone. We managed to get the first bikes out on the tack just after 9.30 so all was going nicely to schedule. Colin took up his position at the edge of the track to act as the final traffic control, I had the spot just outside the paddock, trying to keep an eye on bikes coming in, going out and making sure everyone got to try a bike. Some people were, understandably nervous. Crikey, I was nervous and I wasn't even going to be riding the bikes! It took a while for the system to get rolling but once a few brave ones had gone out and come back and moved on to their second bike, others came forward and had a go.

Mrs BC was doing a grand job of filming as much of the activities as possible and I was trying to make sure I got enough photos of everybody and every bike to form a bit of an archive of the event - after all, there will never be another FIRST SCOTTISH TRAINING DAY!! Somehow, I ended up with about 5 cameras round my neck, taking pics for Shorty, Kawa, Iain, someone else and my own. No wonder I've got a sore neck! After the first hour or so, Colin allowed a few more bikes on the track at the same time, starting with 5 to make sure congestion wasn't a problem, and then slipping a few more out whenever possible.




So, how did it all actually work? Each rider had been issued with a numbered bib when they signed on, and also a Rider Card, detailing each bike, with a space for owners to sign them off.



The bikes we had were -

1921 Reed Scott

1930 BSA Sloper

1930 Ariel LG250

1925 Sunbeam Model 7 outfit

1923 Hobart

Royal Enfield K32 outfit

1928 Sunbeam Model 2

1930 Scott

1929 Panther 500cc

1927 Raleigh Model 17

Velocette KTT

1925 Royal Enfield Model 180

1929 BSA E29 outfit

1921 Sunbeam Sporting

1922 Indian Powerplus

1928 Sunbeam Model 6

1925 Sunbeam Model 2

1920 Norton 16H

1912 Rudge TT 500

1915 Calthorpe JAP 300

Autocycle ??



Each time a rider rides a bike, he / she gets the owner to sign it off on their card, so that they don't ride the same bike twice. The owner gives the rider any necessary instructions, shows them the controls, and makes sure they understand how to stop the machine. Starting can be done by the rider or the owner. It seemed to work without any hitches and the best bit was that there was no pressure. No one was watching or waiting to see who could start a bike or who stalled it, no one cared. Everyone was busy having a good time. The nerves at the beginning of the day were palpable. Riders were anxious because for many, if not all of them, these were the oldest and most different bikes they had ever tried, and the owners, well, it's obvious - these machines are their pride and joy!







































And there she was...gone...



Saturday, 22 May 2010

One day down....

OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME. WHAT A DAY. THANKS TO ALL FOR HELP AND SUPPORT AND TO THOSE WHO CAME ALONG TO WITNESS THIS INCREDIBLE EVENT TODAY.

ROLL ON TOMORROW.....

Thursday, 20 May 2010

I've met Ivan.

Well what a day. Out for a business lunch (VMCC duty calls), south to Banchory to collect the digi projector and kit from Shorty's Central Section, back up to Inverurie to get a bit of shopping for the weekend, get a phone call to say Ivan is in the area and wants to see me. Head off there and meet Ivan, Grahame and Joy, three very nice people. Get to sit and chat with them about the ROARER, WHIFFLING CLARA and all the other weird and wonderful bikes in the Rhodes garage, plus hear tales about all the old racers and the things that went on in those days. Wow. Wow. Wow. Can't wait til Saturday.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

And unto us some lambs are born. Plus, a ride on a Velo.

Oops, it's Friday (**actually, it is now the Tuesday after the Friday after the Monday, but never mind**). How did that happen? Last thing I knew it was 4am Monday 10th, and we had just finished in the steading after helping a ewe with her two lambs. Unfortunately, one died within just a few minutes of having hit the ground, but that seems to be a theme this year. Tuesday, well with only 3hrs sleep I felt a little worse for wear, but ploughed on regardless. Had to do a few jobs in the morning, plus make sure all was well with lambie, then it was off to Shorty's to collect his Section's digi projector and laptop, before arriving for tea with Peter & Jane, who live just outside Crieff. As usual, the food and company was good, and I only just had time for my banana and toffee icecream pudding before Big Rab arrived, claxon a-blaring, in his Rab-Mobile, to take us to the meeting in Doune. Why was I going to Doune? Oh keep up! To give a talk about my work as Area Rep of course. It's very hard to convey exactly what I do, after all, the job has no hard and fast description, so I set out some of the aims and tasks I'd like to achieve or have already partly achieved. I can't tell you much about it here, or there would be no point visiting the Clyde Valley Section to give the same talk, but in brief, it's important for an Area Rep to get out and be around. I go to as many shows as is humanly possible, promoting both old bikes and the VMCC. It's not hard to do; all you need is an old bike and a cheery disposition. Youffs are on my target list too. We all know that old bike clubs are made up of a mixture of people, some old-ish, some not so old-ish and yet there are hardly any young ones. Ok, you get the odd exceptions (don't say it) but in general, I think we need to try and encourage more younger people to get involved. To me, it doesn't matter whether they have a vintage, classic or modern bike, Jap, exotic or Brit, I don't care, as long as they're encouraged and welcomed. After all, if I hadn't been made welcome by a certain Mr Hirst, who was Secretary of the Grampian Classic MCC several years ago, I more than likely, wouldn't be Scotland's Area Rep. I only had a Yamaha TDR125 at the time, but he still let me join. Anyway, the talk was fairly interactive; I can't be doing with standing up talking to a wall of blank faces - I like feedback from the audience, and they obliged by commenting on certain topics, coming up with ideas and a couple of points they'd like me to work on. Afterwards I ran a short video / slideshow about some of my trips I'd been on last summer, and because everyone was so nice, I chucked a free entry to either the Plus1 or the Haggis Run into the raffle. Sorted.

The next morning dawned bright, if a little chilly (Mrs BC reported snow on the trees and buildings at Cubbie Towers) but Peter's plan for a blast on the Velos was not to be put off by sub zero temperatures. We were to be accompanied by his neighbour, Ian (although he could be Iain, I'm not sure) on his BSA. We set off shortly after 10.30am and headed for the hills. Through Crieff town centre, avoiding the moronic pedestrians who must have been deaf to miss 3 thumping great old bikes bearing down on them. I confess, I had a minor difficulty with the gear change on the Viper, it being 'upside down', but I did discover that it would pull away in any gear. Ahem. Bounding out of town, along the road to Gilmerton, we took a left there, on the corner, and followed the road out through the hills to Aberdfeldy. The sun popped out once or twice, but on the whole, the higher we climbed, the more it snowed, and hailed and was generally bally cold and windy! We stopped at a viewpoint, clambering off the bikes and the snow that had gathered in the folds of gloves and coats tumbled in lumps to the ground. Brrrrr! The view across to Schiehallion, Cairn Gorm and Cairn Mairg was non-existent so as our various extremities had thawed just a little, we fired the bikes up and sped off down the hill to Aberfeldy.




Home to the Black Watch monument and General Wade's Bridge, Aberfeldy has a busy history stretching back to the early 1700s. Robert Adam's Pa, William, was the designer of the bridge over the Tay, and not a penny was spared when it came to the construction - £4000 is what it cost! Mind you, you wouldn't get 5 glorious stone arches, ornate parapets and four apparently pointless spikes, one at each corner, for much less back then. Iain and Peter argued over the purpose of two stubby little protrusions that looked like canon to me. They seemed to think they were something to do with drainage, and I suspect they might be right, but I prefer the canon idea. Originally, the bridge was built as part of General Wade's network of military roads said to have been built to 'improve communications' with the Highlanders. If you want to know more, google the Jacobite Risings. Nowadays, the bridge is resplendent with traffic lights, something I doubt the Highlanders would have paid much heed to, but being only wide enough for one car, they are rather necessary today. And an interesting fact for you, the monument that was erected to commemorate the first muster in 1740 was split in half by lightning in 1910. Bet you didn't know that!



Guess what? I can start a Velo, nah nah nee nah nah. Ok, so Peter started it most of the time, probably for his convenience, but I had a crack at it, and it's easy, what are you all on about? Just wind the lever fully down, then up, then find compression, then ease it over compression using the little lever on the 'bars, then all the way back up and wallop, give it a big kick and away you go. Well I think it was something like that. Up to the bridge, we sat at the lights until they changed to green, roared over and off we went to Fortingall. The sun had managed to break through by now, and at the lower levels, conditions were good. With Ian in the lead, GBC second and Peter acting as sweeper, we were nipping along at a comfortable pace, making the most of the dry tarmac. The 350cc Viper proved an ideal bike for these roads, where you don't need out and out power to blast from one bend to the next, but instead, each twist of the road can be savoured in a smooth manner. Once I got the hang of those gears, riding along repeating "up for down and down for up", I began to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

There doesn't seem to be much in Fortingall, but what there is, is of interest. In a corner of the churchyard stands the oldest living tree in Europe, aka The Fortingall Yew. They say it could be around 5000 years old, and they say, that in 1769, it's girth measured - wait for it - a massive FIFTY SIX FEET!!! 56feet? That's, er, huge. Sadly there isn't much left of it these days, thanks to kids setting fire to it, and people nicking bits of it as souvenirs, so a wall had to be built around it to protect it. There is also a short row of thatched cottages, and back in the churchyard, there is a plaque that proclaims Pontius Pilate was born in that very hamlet.
Moving hurriedly on from the car park before a woman-driver had a chance to flatten us all, we sped along through Glen Lyon (I think?) on our way to lunch at Bridge of Balgie. The road became quite narrow, lined on each side in the foot of the valley with paddocks full of lambs, who didn't quite appreciate the Velo thump-thump-thump as much as I did. A loose coo on the side of the road seemed quite appalled by it too. Into a tree lined section, the road became very narrow and twisty, with a steep drop to the river on our left, and a high hillside covered in beech trees on the right, and the sun, now a pretty permanent feature, creating a dappled summery sort of effect everywhere. These are the kind of roads where you don't hurry, although it is fun to try and keep up with someone who obviously knows the route like the back of his hand, and the little Velo did everything I asked of it. By the time we arrived at the Post Office / Tea Room at the Bridge, Ian and I were chilled to the core (despite that lovely sunshine) yet Peter wanted to sit outside to eat. Two against one, we won. Mind you, a hot bowl of soup followed by healthy fruit scones and jam soon revived us. I won't mention the generous helping of cream Peter consumed...

With time pressing on, we decided to cut the return route short, and headed over the tiny bridge and out towards I don't know where. There are only so many twisty roads and place names one can remember! Part of the route took us up high across moorland, alongside Lochan Na Lairige reservoir, and along even smaller winding roads, the kind where sheep feel happy to just wander across and lambs are oblivious to the sounds of oncoming traffic. Ah yes, I know where we are now, we've descended into the town of Killin. Quite a nice place, but no time to stop for a look around. It's pedal to the metal all the way back to Peter's, well, as much as you can on old bikes, and soon we were nipping along through Glenogle. Me, me, me, there are some good curves along that road, and it's fairly traffic free, probably 'cos it's midweek. Into Lochearnhead and a sharp left at the main junction. I've been to Lochearnhead once before, on a camping weekend with the Jampot Club, some years ago. Consisting mostly of men, they all slept either in the converted station building, or I seem to recall there were some cabins of some sort for those wishing a little more privacy. Anyway, being the only girl, I pitched my tent on the grass and they all thought I was mad. The road along the loch is tasty too, my one memory of that is from a few years ago when I was coming back from a trip to the west coast (where I feasted upon campfire porridge and watched the sun rise) and my travelling companion was riding one of those R1 things, think they're some sort of sports bike, but well, an MZ Skorpy is faster through the bends. Ah, I also remember poor old Skorpy blew the main fuse after that!

We pulled up in Crieff with about 5 minutes to spare before I had to leave, so I hopped off the bike, collected my bags, did a quick change and was back on the road before you could say boo. I have to say, despite the biting cold, and snowy showers, and bits of ice inside my visor, the day was most enjoyable. The 350cc Velo was right up my street - not too physically challenging (I could get toes down on both sides), and very easy to ride. The clutch was lighter than I expected, and easy to play riding through town. Gear selection proved a bit of an issue, but only because I'm used to the Triumph way, and after a while, it soon became second nature, I even found neutral. Talking such things, there were no false ones in the 'box, and gear selection was positive and reassuring. Third is probably the most useful cog, and it only really became necessary to change up to top at speeds over 40-45mph. The only small negative point I can come up with - and I have to find something or it wouldn't be a valid test, was that the brakes weren't overly responsive, but again, after a few miles of settling in, I began to get used to it, although my little size 6 boot kept missing the rear brake lever, so maybe that's why it felt a bit weak! Not only was the bike fun and easy to ride, but the company, roads and scenery were also superb. Thanks to Peter for entrusting me with the Viper and thanks to Jane for splendid food and hospitality, and thanks to Iain – or Ian for coming along for the trip.

And just for fun, what's the connection between these three pictures....no prizes just the glory of getting it right.....mind you, this is only going to work if the 'comments' thing has been fixed....

Friday, 14 May 2010

STOP PRESS!!! STOP PRESS!!! STOP PRESS!!!

Ivan Rhodes confirmed today that he is not only bringing the mighty ROARER on Sat 22nd May but he will also bring WHIFFLING CLARA!!! This will be a double first for Scotland because neither machine has ever been run north of the border before.

Those who have been quick off the mark and booked tickets are in for a rare treat, and those who are still undecided, well, there are only a few tickets left - you know what to do to get one.

Or you should do by now, but if you don't, drop me a line to cubbies counties AT aultan . com first removing the spaces and changing the AT to @. Go for it.

PS, remember, the Alford talk on the 22nd is the only one where these bikes will be fired up for all to hear, but the talk (complete with pics and possibly a video) will be performed again at Glamis on the following Monday for any members in that area.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Catch up with GBC.

It's a hard thing to do you know, catch up with me. Even I can't manage it sometimes. What with the various seasonal tasks that need to be attended to here at Cubbie Towers (which should really be called Lamb Towers at the moment), my full time employment, my part time employment, running two bike clubs, trying to look after / build bikes, plus a little of the usual eating and sleeping, it's little wonder I'm keeping quiet on the blog. Sorry about that. When I get the time to sit down and rattle off a story, I thoroughly enjoy it, and I especially enjoy the feedback you guys give (when it works). So here's a couple of tales from the last few weeks - pull up a pew and here we go.

VMCC Founders Relay Rally - heck, why do I get such stick for being in the Vintage Motorcycle Club? You all think it's full of grumpy old blokes who do nothing but polish their bikes. Well it is, and it isn't. It's like any other club, whether it be a bike club or a model train club - not that I've ever been to a model train club meeting, honest. So last Sunday, the plan was to leave Cubbie Towers at 9am to head to our NE Scottish Section Checkpoint at Captain Bill's abode, near Keith, meeting up with Slick along the way. Bleary eyed, I reverse Cubbie from The Shed, careful not to get my shin trapped between the bags of rock hard cement that's stacked in there, and Cubbie. I managed that, but lining the back wheel up with the 'temporary' ramp at that hour of the morning was a little more difficult, especially as I also had to swerve around a metal oil drum at the bottom of the ramp, and miss the sticking-out bits of the trailer. Down to the front of the house and out of the wind, I unwrapped the special bundle of Cubbie-spanners - the ones I always strap on the back of the bike as a preventative measure - and started to freeze my fingers off by going around the bike checking all the nuts and bolts were tight. Everything seemed fine, so I squirted some WD40 into the levers and any other moving parts that looked rusty, and set the tools down on a cloth while I nipped in for a hot sausage sarnie. And down came the hail stones. Big ones. By the time I went out again, all the tools were wet, the cloth that I wrap them up in was soaked and Cubbie's seat had a fine layer of soggy hail stones on it. Off with the oil cap, tip a drop of finest Q8 in, same goes for the primary chain, and I almost just poured a few drops into the gearbox, but then decided I'd better check the level first, and do it properly. Remarkably, it only required 50ml to bring it up to max. The lights worked, so did the horn, and I finally remembered to wind some sticky tape around the back light to stop it rattling. I can't stand those annoying little rattles. Just as well I was running a little late, as I came back in to email Slick and found an email from himself, just a-waiting for me. He was going to have to cancel meeting me due to circumstances, but he might make it later. Hmmm, what would I do? I know, I'll have some more breakfast and have a think about it. Some other local members, Tony, Mark, Alan and Bob (I think), had set off at Sparrow O'Clock to venture south to the Checkpoints hosted by the Stirling Castle and Central Scotland Sections at Crieff, Doune and Pitlochry, and they estimated that they would be back up to Captain Bill's by 15:15, after first having called in at the Highland Section at Culloden. I formed a Plan B - I would leave about 1.30 / 2ish and wander over, arriving at the same time as all the rest.

Ah, I forgot to mention. When I'd got Cubbie out of The Shed, the 48 year old spring on the side stand gave way, leaving me with only one option - string plus a bungee as backup. Cubbie fired up first kick, and ran oh so sweetly. We pop-pop-popped up the drive, trying not to frighten the living daylights out of the lambs, and after Mrs BC had assisted with both gates (well I couldn't just hop off the bike and flick the stand down, could I?) the first port of call was Turriff, for fuel. A whopping £5 filled the tank, and after leaning the bike against the brick wall, I went in to receive the customary mouthful of abuse about my rusty old bike, blah blah blah. First kick again and we were off. Out onto the twisty road to Aberchirder, known locally as Foggie, first over, and then alongside the river Deveron - prime salmon water that is - until the two routes split for a while, and then once as far to Bridge of Marnoch, I could see the river again. I couldn't resist stopping for some photos, and even found a convenient telegraph pole to lean Cubbie against.

The sun was rather warming by now, but there was still a nasty chilly breeze. Still, the perfume of the gorse bushes in full flower, combined with being able to sit and watch a buzzard swooping and soaring above the valley, with the sparkling and twinkling river at the very bottom made it quite bearable. I could have sat there all day, but I had a checkpoint to get to. First kick, away we go. After crossing the main A95, up past the small church, the road narrowed to single-plus-a-bit track, with gravel strewn all over the place. Nothing coming though so we're able to plough on down any bit of the road we feel like, slowing by the house that usually has chickens and ducks roaming freely outside, before roaring off and leaving a cloud of dust behind. I have to stop again for more pictures, enticed by the glint of a wind turbine on the far hill - hadn't noticed it before. Down the hill, up the hill, right at the top and there's a sign for Captain Bill's place. Slick is already there, and so is John H (with his smart Douglas) and Paul Tebbet who had come all the way from Spean Bridge, via Culloden on his 350 BSA. It must have been something I said, or maybe it was because I didn't take a cake, but John and Paul upped and left as soon as Cubbie pop-pop-popped into the driveway. What I say??

All was soon a hive of activity as Maurice turned up on his Velo, and we ganged up on Bill and persuaded him to let us have a look in the shed...lots of lovely things in there.... With the day coming to a close, Maurice went home, and Slick waited for me while Bill found a nearly-suitable spring for the sidestand.

It needed a few tweaks and then it was the perfect fit. Slick and I had a great run back to Turriff, along a route I hadn't been down for years - not since Mrs BC and I broke down there when I was learning to drive and we bought some petrol from a garage that unbeknown to us, had a bit of a reputation for having dirty / contaminated fuel. I remember it well, it was a dark, dark night (probably raining too, although I obviously don't remember it that well if I can't recall what the weather was like), and this particular bit of the road was tree lined with tall eerie beech trees. Owls were a hooting....strange sounds could be heard - ok, so that was just the poor car coughing and choking on that dank fuel! It was a much more pleasant experience in daylight, and while Slick stopped for a nicotine boost, we sat and listened to a wood pecker hammering out his tune. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Tony and Mark were the only ones from the other group to make it as far as Bill's, and after clocking up over 400 miles they were in desperate need of a generous helping of the hot soup that was on the stove. The estimated 3.15pm arrival time was a little out, I think they said they got there about 8pm!

So there's the first bit of the catch up, will post some pics when I can - off to check a ewe who might be lambing now (00:24) and then on Monday proper, I'm booked in to give a talk at the Stirling Castle VMCC Section. Also, I apologise now but I haven't had time to re-read this post so it might be a load of rubbish!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Last few Ivan tickets....hurry hurry hurry....

The IVAN RHODES visit to ALFORD, ABERDEENSHIRE – HEAR THE ROARER ROAR!!! - - ONLY A FEW TICKETS LEFT!!!!!

We have now finalised the details for the illustrated Ivan Rhodes presentation on Saturday 22nd May at 2pm, at the Grampian Transport Museum, Alford.

The Velocette ROARER was acquired by Ivan in the early 1980s, and the main job that might have fazed most of us, was a full engine construction – not just a rebuild. Ivan and his son Grahame used old magazine articles and sketches to work out the measurements and fine details, to enable each component to be manufactured.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTwSjBEcT9I
Click on that link for a taster of the ROARER...

Ivan will present a talk about the whole painstaking six-year process, which will be accompanied by photographs to illustrate each step of the rebuild.

He will also have full use of the circuit at Alford, so not only will you get to inspect the famous supercharged "Roarer" and the "Model O" at close quarters, but he will also be firing them both up for your delectation.

Tickets are £10 per person, which will include light refreshments, and can be issued either via email or post, upon receipt of your cheque.

Don't miss this opportunity to see and hear these one-off bikes!

Please make cheques payable to “VMCC NE Scottish” and contact me at cubbies counties AT aultan . com for details of who to send your cheque to.

Closing date Mon 17th May. No refunds will be given after this date.

If you require accommodation, there is a campsite in Alford, just at the back of the Museum - http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/caravanparks/locations/alford.asp and if you prefer a little more comfort, B&B is available at ‘Bydand’, Alford 01975 563613, ‘Macbrae Lodge’, Mongarrie 019755 63421, ‘Frog Marsh’, Mossat 019755 71355.

If you require any further information, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for supporting this unique event, looking forward to seeing you there.

Gorgeous Biker Chick.

PS, in case you need some more info about the ROARER, here it is.....
A supercharged twin cylinder racing bike aimed at winning against
the supercharged contemporary BMW.
One single prototype was manufactured.
2 vertical cylinders, 4 stroke, 2 carburators
2 parallel contra-rotating crankshafts, geared together
(a technical layout which will inspire the Model O)
Cylinder : 497,7 cc
(Bore : 68 mm ; Stroke : 68.25 mm)
Compression rate : 8.78/1 then 7.5/1
Boost pressure : 4 psi
Measured engine power : 54 bhp
3 plate clutch
4 ratio gearbox
shaft driven

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Welcome all ye MZers...

Just having a quick read of 'Thistledown', the newsletter for all things MZ in Scotland - thanks for the link to the blog and also the Ivan Rhodes mention. Welcome to any new faces who might have popped in for a look.....feel free to browse around the archived links on the left (might need to scroll down a bit) and there are a few slide shows that might be of interest too.

Would love to hear your MZ stories, mainly 'cos I know that where there is an MZer, there is a tale to be told. Share it with us, please.

Go on, leave a comment an' all - if you can. Having a bit of bother with the Blogger comment system of late, hopefully sorted now.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

VMCC Relay Rally.

Well that's Cubbie all oiled, fed and watered. I put the bike outside to work on, seeing as someone had put a load more junk in The Shed and there was hardly room to swing a spanner. Topped up the gearbox oil - not bad, only took 50ml, bunged 100ml in the primary chain case and a slurp-glug into the main oil tank. Went round all the nuts and bolts and all were nice and tight, apart from those on the carby that seemed a little on the slack side. Left all the tools strewn across the drive and came in for a sausage sarnie. Just as I was going back out, down came the hail stones! So now all the spanners in my Cubbie Tool Pack are wet and will go even more rusty, and the seat is wet too. Should have been away at 9am but my travelling companion for the day, Mr Slick, just got in touch to say he's been delayed, which gives me time to find my thermals and winter gloves. Anyone else out there partaking of the relay rally today? Send me some pics please...you know the address... cubbies counties AT aultan . com
Have a nice (dry) day.

PS, thanks to those who are trying to leave a comment on here, there seems to be some internal problem with the system. Or maybe it's a plan to do away with all GBC's followers. Well, I don't mean 'do away with' in that sense, oh heck, you know what I mean.

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