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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cairn O Mount, 2011

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've put anything about the Cairn O Mount on here yet. If I have and I'm just going over it all again, then please do forgive me, but I think you'll like the pics. It's organised by the Grampian Classic club, and held in the first half of May, which is not usually too snowy a month, but a lot of the guys who've been attending for many a year reminisce about the time that the Cairn, which is basically a pass at nearly 1500ft high, through the Grampian mountains, was covered in snow. This year, we didn't suffer that particular weather condition, but instead, it absolutely chucked it down with rain on the night before the Cairn, as the event is affectionately known. Luckily, as Recovery Vehicle Driver, I had the use of a borrowed Big Red Truck, and not even a raging river that will stop that. On a thoroughly miserable Sunday morning, some hardy types turned up at the Potarch Hotel just outside of Banchory, and it was still raining as they parked up and signed in. Bacon rolls and cuppas were consumed, and it was still raining.

As they set off following their little route maps, it was still raining, and as we got further and further along the road behind the riders, more and more fields were filling up with water. One small village that used to have a football pitch had, instead, an outdoor swimming pool.
Turning off the main road, my assistant and I were soon confronted with a swathe of muddy water that stretched across the fields to either side of the road, with only the top half of the fence posts showing. Then we spotted some bikes on the far side, all of whom had obviously made it through safely, and a car in the middle of the flood, with Maurice, the Cairn organiser for 2011, wading through it. Dropping the bike trailer on dry land, we backed up to his car and slung a rope out to Maurice and pulled him back out. In terms of rescuing people, it wasn't quite what the recovery vehicle was for, but at least we were able to help, although his car had swallowed too much water and was later declared a write off by his insurers.

The rest of the route to lunch would have been lovely had it not been for the variations between more rain and thick fog.

After lunch we were joined by a bike breakdown, but other than that and more rain, there's not much more to report. Such a shame that so much effort goes into organising these events and not a thing can be done about the weather. Such is life!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Terry, and the Man With No Name.

Thanks for the gentle reminder Stu. The Man With No Name is a member of the Grampian Classic club, and while we were at the Buckie show, he very very very kindly offered to have a look at Terry the Terrier's frame to assess the situation with the lugs for the plungers. I dropped the frame off to him a few days before the Stafford show and after a quick look at it, he suggested that he might make a threaded insert for it, if I were to be able to get the new rods at the show.

So, fast forward to the show, I didn't get the rods because I left it a little late to get in touch with Greystone Enterprises, suppliers of Cub and Terrier spares, to ask them to take a few bits and pieces there for me (to avoid paying postage, scrooge!), so it was back to the Man With No Name empty handed. No matter, an offer from TMWNN and another kind soul to simply make me some new rods, made my day. How good is that? So now you know why I have to call him the Man With No Name, cos if the whole world knew who he was, you'd all be wanting parts made! Ah yes, summat else, in a spare moment between his other engineering jobs, he also cleaned out some of the other threads on Terry and turned a few TITANIUM bolts for me. Teehee, well if nothing else, this is gonna be one light weight little light weight.

The next bit that could prove difficult, is finding the little aluminium fork that fits on the left hand rod. Greystones didn't have any at the show, and don't have any in stock, so in an idle bit of chit chat to the Man With No Name, I suddenly had a bright idea - I know a man who works at a foundry. Ah, bingo! I am fortunate to have a spare fork on another frame, but it would be pointless to use that on Terry, then have to find one for that frame in the future, so an email with pics of what I need has been sent, all fingers are crossed that the man can make such a thing.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Buckie rally.

An email came through a while back saying that there was a new classic rally up in Buckie. That's only about 40mins up the road from Cubbie Towers. I imagined that seeing as the mail from from the Garioch vintage rally organisers, a rally that is mainly cars, that the Buckie rally would be mainly cars. But as it was a new rally, I thought it would be good to try and get some of the Grumpyones to go up there with me to support it. So in the end, there were 3 of us. The Man from Muckle Flugga was on his '81 Yammy XJ650, The Man With No Name (you'll understand the reason for this later) was on his modern BMW after a hiccup involving a wet grassy slope and his Honda 400/4, and I was on my MZ Skorpion. A 1994 model, so nearly a classic.
We had a good run up there, in the dry but chilly conditions, on damp roads, and once in the vicinity of Buckie, the organisers had thoughtfully put up some very clear signage. Just as well, 'cos I didn't have a clue where Linzee Gordon Park was. We pulled in, parked up, and waited for the hoardes of bikes to turn up, cherishing our free tea tickets that had been given to us at the gate. Thoughtfully, again, the organisers had provided bits of wood for the bike stands. Another Grumpy member arrived soon after, with his two Yamahas on a trailer, well, you can only ride one at a time - more about his bikes later (in the Alford report, which will follow soon), and we met a chap and his wife who'd brough their little Raleigh along for show. Another couple of club members turned up later on but were bikeless, but at least they made the effort to pop in, as did a couple of Hinkley Triumph riders. Oh, and then there was the guy who rode in on the BSA but I didn't get a chance to speak to him. And then there was Fido, an ex-Grumpy member who is moving to Hungary. Not much in the way of Brit bikes out there, he reports.
The free tea and butteries with jam (yep, go on, what's a buttery? It's a chewy solid kinda thing that's made in this neck of the woods, traditionally using lard I believe. Yum) were doubly nice cos they were free, and instead of tea I managed to wangle a glass of squash. After wandering round the rows of cars on show several times, I somehow managed to secure a ride in the smart red 1933 Alvis. But not til 3pm.

So as it was only about midday, the Man With No Name decided to wander off home while we other two decided to go Chocolate Hunting. 3pm took a heck of a long time to come around, well, about 3hours I suppose, but soon it was time to squeeze into the Alvis whilst wearing my full biking kit, minus the helmet of course, and owner Hal fired the engine up. Boy what a sound. Verrrrry nice. Twiggy the dog sat on my lap and hung her head out of the window (so did I, to be truthful) while we joined in the parade lap of the town, to show the public the wonderful old cars. Hal obviously enjoyed driving his motor as we listened to the roar of the 2511cc, 6 cylinder beastie, accompanied by the 4 speed crash box.

Upon returning to the field, the rest of the exhibitors were setting off home, so after thanking Hal and Twiggy, it was time to tog up and head back to Cubbie Towers. But first, a word on the rally. The men to thank were Brian Reid, Charles MacKintosh, Ian Ross and the boss himself, John Ferguson. These guys only decided very recently to put on a classic gathering, and in the space of a few weeks, secured the use of the local sports pitch and pavilion, provided free refreshments and sorted all the admin and advertising out, and they arranged for a rain-free day. If only classic bikers would turn out in numbers like the car enthusiasts, we'd be ok for impromptu rallies! Thanks for the show guys.

Oh, I nearly forgot, out of all the classic cars, these ones were my favourites alongside the Alvis, for reasons that are probably obvious...

And as for the Man With No Name, a short post connecting him and Terry the Terrier, will also follow shortly...if it doesn't, you'd better nag me!


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