Well this time it was a trip away for work, followed by the Ingliston bike show, followed by work, but now I'm back, laden with new clothes, chocs and aching feet and legs. Will attempt a report later on, just got a few admin issues to deal with.
Ok here we go. Can't write too much as Old Bike Mart would like a report too. Saturday, and I arrived early before the doors were open to the public, had a quick wander along one side of the hall and ended up at the Bikers Gearbox stall. For about the last five years, I've attempted to buy a pair of Kevlar-type trousers, but either I haven't found a pair I liked or could afford or, as I absolutely hate clothes shopping with more of a vengeance than you can imagine, I've given up when I've seen the hoards of people pushing and shoving and queueing in a hot stuffy hall, all after the same alleged show bargains. But this time, because it was before the crowds came in, and I quite enjoyed a bit a banter with the Geordie sales lad, I decided to try a couple of pairs on. The improvised changing room (hallway at the rear of the hall, cold, concrete floor, two sets of double doors...) was, well, let's just say that it made for a quick change, and after trying on the medium pair which were way, way, way too huge - they fell down even when fully buttoned up, I was resigned to not getting any after all, because a) these places hardly ever have the clothes in small sizes and b) even if they did, I assumed they would be too small. But the helpful Geordie found a pair in small and after being walked in on by a guy when I was mid-way through trying them, I did a few turns, assumed the 'sitting on a motorcycle' position and decided that they did fit rather nicely, not too tight and loose enough to be comfortable on a bike or walking around. And I managed to get a fiver knocked off the price for the embarrassing interruption. So that was the only time I managed to get a little walk around during Saturday; the entire day was taken up with recruiting entrants for the Vintage Training Day and taking turns with Shorty in demonstrating how David M's Ner-a-Car worked - as UN put it, a left hand twist grip clutch, lever throttle and centre hub steering, what could be more simple? Johny J's Hobart - soon to be GBC's Hobart, albeit temporarily, was also on my portion of the Central Scottish VMCC stand (thank you Shorty for allowing me to have the little teeny bit of the stand on the end, all to myself), and a goodly amount of people I think were somewhat calmed by the tour of the Hobart's controls after having the Ner-a-Car demo. Thanks to both owners for putting the bikes on show. So I was that busy that I didn't eat until gone 3pm, and then it was only a packet of crisps, and boy was I starving! A scrummy Indian takeaway later that evening soon put things right though, when I eventually found the place, and found parking, and found my way back to my hotel.
Sunday, and it was up fairly early again and back to the grind. I had a quick march around the rest of the show on my way in to the classic hall. Not much to talk about, the usual array of modern shiny bikes with the usual array of middle aged men who should know better perched upon them. The usual troops of almost naked girls advertising, er, what were they advertising? I don't know, the shade of fake tan put me off from looking for too long. Anyone know? The Man from Muckle Flugga did a stint on the stall and assisted with signing people up and going through the Ner-a-Car routine, almost losing his voice in the process, then UN turned up for our luncheon date, bringing with him a set of lovely thermal undies which will come in handy should this wintry weather hang around. I reckon with that kit on and my new troos I won't ever get cold on a bike again. An hour or two before the end of the show I finally got a chance to nip round and speak to a few people and see some of the other stands. Had a nice chat with George Beer, the new organiser of the classic & club hall, also met one of my predecessors, Mr C, ex-Scottish Area Rep and had a good old natter with Doug Young, who, with his wife Paula, ran the classic hall for many years. Ah yes, mustn't forget Rick Parkington! He stopped off for a chat and gave me some instructions on riding the Hobart, all I can say is I hope the instructions that Johny J is going to give aren't quite so scary! I'll have to check my notebook for details of anyone else I spoke to - apologies if I haven't added you to the list yet!
So there you have it, the Ingliston bike show in a nutshell, but the nitty gritty will be in OBM in the near future...watch that space...
Now, whose idiotic idea was it to give up chocolate for Lent.....it seemed like a good idea a week ago, but now I'm getting bored (read CRABBIT) with the idea. Most people who choose to give up, for example, drinking or smoking, at least have smoking or drinking to fall back on when times are testing, but I don't do either, so what do I fall back on? And to cap it all, I've got more chocolate in my possession than is good for me. And to cap it all again, I've just read that Lent is in fact 46 days long this year. What happened to the good old fashioned 40 days?