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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

And then, at last, there was the Scottish Double Plus1, PART 3

There was hardly time to breathe after the Plus1 was over, and on the Friday, I was back to work and not home til about 10pm. While I was out, Mrs BC had received an instruction from Mr VMCC President, Bill Phelps, via Past Pres Harry Wiles, saying that I "must get Cubbie to Blairgowrie tomorrow for the National". Frown. I was all set to head off early in the morning to accompany Pilot Rae on his Ariel outfit, but not ready to have to extract Cubbie from the shed and devise a safe and suitable way to transport it one hundred miles south. But when The President gives an order, one finds it hard not to comply. So after my tea, Mrs BC and I nipped out to the shed and moved a whole lot of junk around, and wiggled Cubbie free from alongside Skorpy, where it had been sitting since about June, when the MoT expired. The rain was lashing down outside, and the night was of course, pitch black, so rather than load up there and then, we measured the hay trailer and the back of the truck - in case there was any chance it would fit in there. Well it probably could have been made to fit, but not without draining all the oil and petrol and cleaning the muck off, so I came up with a cunning plan, Baldrick. If I screwed some blocks of wood to the floor of the trailer, and wheeled Cubbie on diagonally, it would just about fit and the blocks of wood would stop Cubbie's back wheel from sliding from side to side. At goodness knows what hour, I packed my rucksack, put the camera batteries on charge and got to bed. Up at 5am on Saturday and at least the rain had stopped. Once I managed to get Cubbie out of the shed, backwards, with little room to manoeuvre, it was fairly straightforward to load it onto the trailer and strap it down, and then we were off.

I arrived at Blairgowrie bang on time, just as Pilot Rae was beginning to wonder where I'd got to. Parked the truck and trailer up next to Pat & Jim's caravan, kitted up, persuaded Pilot Rae to buy me brekky, signed on and then jumped onto the sidecar and was ready for the off. The weather was glorious, a thing called the 'sun' was shining in the clear blue sky, and we sped off out of town, straight through the lights before they had a chance to change from green, and out into the countryside. My job was not only to act as ballast, but also to navigate and hoot the horn as necessary. Well I would have done the third part as well as I did the other two parts but someone had failed to fix the audible warning device...although I'm assured it will be working for next year.

The Pilot really was in the mood to fly, and we overtook anyone and anything that threatened to slow us up on the twisty, single track roads that formed most of the morning leg. Even the President Elect, Colin Bell was blasted to one side (er, what I mean to say is he pulled over and let us by with a friendly gesture that only Colin could get away with!) enabling us to make good time and to have a bloomin' good ride. Having reacquainted ourselves with one anothers riding styles on the previous weekend at the S&T, we seemed to gel rather quickly at the National. I've no idea where the route took us, except that it was pretty darn good, and all too soon we were passing the layby near Glamis where Cubbie and I spent some time a couple of years ago when a battery malfunction occurred and we had the humiliation of completing the course on the back of the breakdown trailer. Into Glamis and park up at the Strathmore Arms for lunch - a huge plate of roast beef, just what the Doc ordered, and a good bit of banter with fellow entrants, and then before I knew it, our time was up and the Pilot was anxious to get going again. He really is a stickler for time keeping.

But it paid off, and even the sneaky checkpoint located just a mile or two after lunch didn't stop us from gathering multiple awards that night at the posh dinner-do in Blairgowrie. Talking of which, I must apologise for abandoning Captain Bill & Co at the dinner, as a spare seat next to Mr Pres was duly filled by an anxious GBC who had to find out just exactly what the Pres wanted with my bike!

A fine meal was followed by the prize giving, and after all the years of mickey taking by my good friend Shorty, the tables were finally turned. His previous mocking of a certain gentleman by the name of Mr Coutts had led to an embarrassing moment, as Shorty committed exactly the same little faux pas that Mr Coutts did - he forgot which bike he had booked into the Plus1. It isn't a big deal, but such slip ups don't happen often, so the most had to be made of it. I must thank Alan for announcing the Special Wooden Spoon Award for Shorty, and Mr Pres for presenting it with style. And Shorty of course, for accepting it with good humour. But you should have seen his face!!


I've never been able to stay on for the Sunday social run before, but this year was different, so I once again had the pleasure of accompanying Pilot Rae on the short ride to Bridge of Dun station in Montrose. The sun shone once again, in fact, it was quite hot. We arrived just in time to get a ticket for the ride on the choo-choo train, up the line and back, before having lunch and then heading back to the campsite. I read a fascinating Wikipedia snippet in the lunch carriage all about toilet paper orientation, a pic of which is below - what do you do? No, actually, don't think I want to know too much detail.
Jim from Oban. No, he is not looking for a Cubbie size spanner, he's looking for a Honda one, tee hee!

That'll be Terry, from Northern Ireland, who had to rush off and rescue his relative (son? Son in law?) who'd broken down. Pesky lights sat at red for at least half an hour.

Ah yes, almost forgot to tell you. Met a guy at the National called Bob, who was on his way north, north, north from Cheltenham to Helmsdale in his 1936 AJS Commercial outfit. What a man. The story behind the trip is that in the 1920s/30s, his grandfather worked as a chauffeur for a wealthy family, and was sent up to Helmsdale to 'electrify' a house. Love that phrase. This map is part of the route that Bob's grandfather took, there are pages and pages of it, and if you click on it to enlarge it, you can see it took him right through the centre of a small town called Edinburgh... Bob intended to follow the route to the letter, as much as possible, sticking to the original plans. You there Bob? Giz a shout and let me know how you got on.

So that was it, the Scottish Double Plus1 was over for another year. It was a little hectic, I think next year I might have to take the week off work, or maybe the week after, just to recover. As I write this, Cubbie is back in Scotland, complete with a swingy-thingy, but that's a whole other story. I'd better go and get some paperwork done or there'll be trouble.

Oh, just before I go, I spotted this nifty way of motorcycle transportation. Reckon you could get more than one Cubbie in a car like that....
And just before I go again, couldn't not put these pics up....

Lucky Captain Bill got to ride in John McD's Morgan on the Sunday run, but getting in it was another matter! When I saw him hopping around on one leg trying to climb in, I stupidly said "last one back buys the ice cream..."

And just in case you haven't spotted the new fangled video clippy linky thinky on the left hand side at the top of the page, there's a short video of pics and some onboard Ariel footage from the National over at


Shorty said...

It may take a little time but you will pay, I promise you will pay for the wooden spoon and the photo.

Geordie J. said...

Whoooooosssssh! Ah! The puissance of a big Matchless! Brilliant write-up, by the way!

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

I woodn't (ahh, oops) expect anything less Shorty!

Hello Geordie, you're back!

Stuart said...

Great write-up and a brilliant video GBC, entertaining as always!

Anonymous said...

Darn it! Can't look at your "yoo Tube" stuff here at work...they have it blocked. I had a red Morgan once...(yeah, a little model kit about 8 inches long). Don't see too many three wheel Morgans around here. Great write up and pics...Just looked at "Classic Bike" had some nice green shots of Scotland too. Hairy Larry

Darrell said...

Lovely shots and a great video (as always). I could definitely get into a ride in Scottish countryside, though living as I do in the south, "Dueling Banjoes" and an empty country road has a different meaning.
So that was you with the platter in the sidecar?

Anonymous said...

Double darn! Your "yoo tube" stuff, "not available on mobile"...guess I gotta visit someone with an unblocked computer. Hairy Larry

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Hey Stu, good to see ya!

Sorry you can't see the vid Larry, but waddya mean "Classic Bike"!! Tsk tsk tsk!! Now where's the nearest newsagent....

That be me Darrell!

Anonymous said...

I buy bike mags as I run into them, and usually when some article or pic catches my attention...can't count on the book stores around here to be consistent with the different tiles. I've never seen OBM round here, but did buy one of Tim's (ahem...pricey, yet very slick and well done)Dirt bike mag. Yeah, I even occasionally purchase that one you used to write for. Got stacks of many titles, going back to the 60's. Well you gotta admit, those were some nice shots of "H" and "R.P" pop pop poppin' around Scotland on a couple of sidevalve machines.I might look into getting a sub to OBM. Back to shed building. Hairy Larry

Anonymous said...

I read this a couple of days ago and ended up thinking - 'strange'.

But I've just reread it and it's a damn good read, so it must have been me that was 'strange'.

Good start on Ewe Toob, I particularly liked Big Red, sortov, atmospheric.



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