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Friday, 25 October 2013

The Gallop is over...

....long live the Gallop!

I'm sure it will live long in peoples memories, hopefully for all the right reasons.  The Cub Mag will be publishing a Gaffers Gallop Special in the next couple of weeks, and then there will be a report in Old Bike Mart, and probably further coverage in other bike/club mags, so keep your eyes peeled.

There have been numerous pictures and comments posted on the Facebook page "The Gaffers Gallop 2013" so go and have a browse while you wait for Gorgeous Biker Chick to get time to jot down a little summary on this here blog.

Meantime, THANK YOU SO MUCH to all supporters, followers, riders of the 150cc Terriers and their big cousin Cubs, those who turned out to see us (and probably missed us - sorry!), and official sponsors, the Gallop was so much more fun WITH YOU than without you.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Gaffers Gallop UPDATED route with overnight stops....

Little bit of an update on the route and overnight stops for the Gaffers Gallop 2013, plus news of a Gaffers Gallop Northern Isles Excursion - read on....

OFFICIAL route for Gaffers Gallop 2013 – compiled by GBC and Muckle Flugga Man (August 2013).

If anyone has any local knowledge of the roads and areas that we'll be using, please get in touch as we may need your help with getting through or around towns and cities, and if you spot that we've listed a place or a road that didn't exist in 1953, drop us a line to gbc AT thecubmag.com. If you should fancy tagging along for all or some of the way, again, just drop us a line to let us know when and where you plan to meet us.  If you're on FACEBOOK find us at www.facebook.com/groups/gaffersgallop and keep an eye on the bike building progress....or not....!


DAY 1 Sun 6th Oct – morning leg

ROCHE 11:40 > following as much of the old A30 as possible to Redruth > Penzance > LANDS END (lunch @ Land’s End Hotel)

Afternoon leg
Return to Roche on same route > A389 > Bodmin > A30 > Launceston > A388 > (unclassified) Lifton > Bridestowe > Meldon >B3260 > Oakhampton > Ramsley > A382 > Cheriton Bishop > Tedburn St Mary > Five Mile Hill > Tedburn Road into EXETER
Overnight stop Exeter M5 Travelodge. Photoshoot @ Imperial Hotel approx ETA 18:35
Turners mileage = 180

DAY 2 Mon 7th Oct – morning leg
EXETER > B3183 > Jack-in-the-Green > A30 > Honiton > A303 > South Petherton > A303 > Podimore > A37 (Fosse Way) > Shepton Mallet > Oakhill > A367 (Fosse Way) > Bath > A4 Chippenham > A350 > A429 > MALMESBURY (lunch @ Old Bell Hotel)

Afternoon leg
MALMESBURY > A429 > Cirencester >A429 > Stowe-on-the-Wold > A429 > Ettington > A429 >LEAMINGTON SPA
Overnight stop Regent Hotel Travelodge, Leamington Spa. Photoshoot @ Regent Hotel, approx. ETA 16:05
Turners mileage = 163

DAY 3 Tues 8th Oct – morning leg
Leamington Spa 08:00 > the following TBC Meriden > Triumph @ Hinckley > A47 > round Leicester > A46 > Six Hills > Bingham > A6097 > White Post > A614 > Ollerton > A614 > A1 > Blyth > A614 > Bawtry > A638 > Doncaster > A1 > Ferrybridge > old A1 > Wetherby > A168 > BOROUGHBRIDGE (lunch)

Afternoon leg
Boroughbridge > A168 >J49 A1(M) for 12 miles > J50 > A6055 > A1 > Catterick > Scotch Corner > A66 > Bowes > Brough > Appleby-in-Westmoreland (tea stop) > Penrith > A6 > High Hesket > CARLISLE
Overnight stop Carlisle Central Travelodge. Photoshoot @ Crown & Mitre Hotel, approx. ETA 18:00
Turners mileage = 246

DAY 4 Wed 9th Oct – morning leg
Carlisle 08:00 > old road along M6 > Gretna > B7076 > Ecclefechan > Lockerbie > Beattock > A702 > Crawford > A702 > A73 > Lanarak > A73 > Airdrie > A73 > Cumbernauld > A8011 > B816 > Castlecary >A803 > Longcroft > A872 > Denny > A872 > Stirling > Causewayhead Rd (A9) > B8033 > Dunblane > B8033 > A9 > Gleneagles > PERTH (lunch @ Salutation Hotel

Afternoon leg
Perth > A9 (old road where poss) > Dunkeld > Pitlochry > Dalwhinnie (tea stop) > Kingussie > INVERNESS
Overnight stop Inverness Fairways Travelodge. Photoshoot @ Caledonian Hotel, approx. ETA 18:30
Turners mileage = 263

DAY 5 Thur 10th Oct
Inverness 07:00 > A862 > Beauly > Dingwall > A9 > Alness > B9176 > A836 > Bonar Bridge > A949 > A9 > Golspie > Helmsdale > Berriedale Braes > A9 > A99 > Wick > A99 > John O’ Groats > WICK
Photoshoot @ JOG approx. 12pm, photoshoot @ Wick approx. ETA 12:50
Turners mileage = 158

Day 5 continued - 
Ferry from Scrabster (19:00) to Stromness (20:30)
Ferry from Kirkwall (23:45) to Lerwick (07:00 Friday 11th Oct)

Day 6 Fri 11th Oct
Ride north from Lerwick to Skaw, on the isle of Unst, and follow the tarmac until it runs out!  This is the official northerly end of the UK road network, thus completing the true “End to End”!  Join us….if you dare…….

 Thank you to our kind supporters –

Mitas Tyres, RS Bike Paints, ACME Stainless, Ken Shemwell (brake linings), MacSigns, Sheepskinseats.net, Andy @ Classic & Performance Oils, Classic British Motorcycles, Scott’s Dad, Barry the Frame Doctor, Greystone Enterprises, Jean-Marie Guivarc’h (artist), Old Bell Hotel (Malmesbury), Stu (Official Photographer), Scott (painter of GBC’s Terrier), Salutation Hotel (Perth), Saftek clutch relining service, Speedhut Speedos, Meriden Off Road, Improving Classic Motorcycles, Old Bike Mart & The Cub Mag.


If you'd like to come and meet us somewhere along the way, please do, and if you fancy turning up at one of our evening stops to buy us a moral boosting glass of water, even better!  





Thursday, 1 August 2013

Gaffers Gallop 2013 - The Route!

Well, here it is.  This is the latest route plan for the journey compiled after many hours switching between Google Maps for the present day road numbers and the 1950s AA Members Annual Handbook and of course, the Cub Bible for the details of where Turner and his crew actually went.  If anyone has any local knowledge of the roads and areas that we'll be using, please get in touch as we may need your help with getting through or around towns and cities, and if you spot that we've listed a place or a road that didn't exist in 1953, drop us a line to gbc AT thecubmag.com.  If you should fancy tagging along for all or some of the way, again, just drop us a line to let us know when and where you plan to meet us.

DAY 1 Sun 6th Oct – morning leg
ROCHE 11:40 > following as much of the old A30 as possible to Redruth > Penzance > LANDS END (lunch @ Land’s End Hotel)

Afternoon leg
Return to Roche on same route > A389 > Bodmin > A30 > Launceston > A388 > (unclassified) Lifton > Bridestowe > Meldon >B3260 > Oakhampton > Ramsley > A382 > Cheriton Bishop > Tedburn St Mary > Five Mile Hill > Tedburn Road into EXETER
Overnight stop TBC. Photoshoot @ Imperial Hotel approx ETA 18:35
Turners mileage = 180

DAY 2 Mon 7th Oct – morning leg
EXETER > B3183 > Jack-in-the-Green > A30 > Honiton > A303 > South Petherton > A303 > Podimore > A37 (Fosse Way) > Shepton Mallet > Oakhill > A367 (Fosse Way) > Bath > A4 Chippenham > A350 > A429 > MALMESBURY (lunch @ Old Bell Hotel)

Afternoon leg
MALMESBURY > A429 > Cirencester >A429 > Stowe-on-the-Wold > A429 > Ettington > A429 >LEAMINGTON SPA
Overnight stop TBC. Photoshoot @ Regent Hotel, approx. ETA 16:05
Turners mileage = 163

DAY 3 Tues 8th Oct – morning leg
Leamington Spa 08:00 > the following TBC Meriden > Triumph @ Hinkley > A47 > round Leicester > A46 > Six Hills > Bingham > A6097 > White Post > A614 > Ollerton > A614 > A1 > Blyth > A614 > Bawtry > A638 > Doncaster > A1 > Ferrybridge > old A1 > Wetherby > A168 > BOROUGHBRIDGE (lunch)

Afternoon leg
Boroughbridge > A168 >J49 A1(M) for 12 miles > J50 > A6055 > A1 > Catterick > Scotch Corner > A66 > Bowes > Brough > Appleby-in-Westmoreland (tea stop) > Penrith > A6 > High Hesket > CARLISLE
Overnight stop TBC. Photoshoot @ Crown & Mitre Hotel, approx. ETA 18:00
Turners mileage = 246

DAY 4 Wed 9th Oct – morning leg
Carlisle 08:00 > old road along M6 > Gretna > B7076 > Ecclefechan > Lockerbie > Beattock > A702 > Crawford > A702 > A73 > Lanarak > A73 > Airdrie > A73 > Cumbernauld > A8011 > B816 > Castlecary >A803 > Longcroft > A872 > Denny > A872 > Stirling > Causewayhead Rd (A9) > B8033 > Dunblane > B8033 > A9 > Gleneagles > PERTH (lunch @ Salutation Hotel

Afternoon leg
Perth > A9 (old road where poss) > Dunkeld > Pitlochry > Dalwhinnie (tea stop) > Kingussie > INVERNESS
Overnight stop TBC. Photoshoot @ Caledonian Hotel, approx. ETA 18:30
Turners mileage = 263

DAY 5 Thur 10th Oct
Inverness 07:00 > A862 > Beauly > Dingwall > A9 > Alness > B9176 > A836 > Bonar Bridge > A949 > A9 > Golspie > Helmsdale > Berriedale Braes > A9 > A99 > Wick > A99 > John O’ Groats > WICK
Photoshoot @ JOG approx. 12pm, photoshoot @ Wick approx. ETA 12:50

Turners mileage = 158

Day 6 Fri 11th Oct
Cubbie Towers - SLEEPING!

Salutation Hotel, Perth, backs the Gaffers Gallop!!!

On Wednesday 9th Oct, the Gaffers Gallop Gang will be sitting down to lunch in the OLDEST HOTEL IN SCOTLAND - aka the Salutation Hotel in Perth.  This is where Edward Turner lunched exactly 60 years earlier, so it will be fantastic to park the Terriers in the little courtyard and sit where the Great Man Sat to enjoy a hearty lunch in order to prepare and sustain ourselves for the next leg of the journey, which will be Perth to Inverness....263 miles in total on that day....

www.strathmorehotels.com/Salutation+Hotel/Home



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ken & MacSigns come on board.....

And it's another big thank you to two more kind supporters of the Gaffers Gallop - Brake Man Ken, who supplied some brake linings for two of the bikes and MacSigns in Edinburgh who have offered to personalise some hi-viz gear for us riders of slow little old motorcycles.  Pop over to their site www.mac-sign.co.uk for details of the work they can do - house signs, banners, vehicle signs and more!


Monday, 1 July 2013

More support for the Gaffers Gallop!!!

On the 7th day of October 1953, Edward Turner and Co, lunched at the Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury.  No idea what they had to eat but I don't think we need to go quite that far in the authenticity stakes!  Well the good news is that the hotel (which is the oldest hotel in England) will be our lunch stop too, on the exact same date, sixty years on.



Just to update you on the route, we will be starting from Roche, near Bodmin on the 6th Oct at 11:40hrs and riding to Land's End, where hopefully there will be a spot of lunch waiting for us, and then we'll head up to Exeter for an overnight stop.  

Day 2 will take us from Exeter to lunch at the Old Bell, and then on to Leamington Spa (Turner arrived there at 16:05, I wonder how exact we can be in our timings!).  

Day 3 will be the second longest leg (246miles), from Leamington Spa (depart 08:00) to Appleby for afternoon tea, and then on to Carlisle by 18:00 for an overnight stop.

Day 4 and the miles will be stacking up, along with the saddle sores, and it will be Carlisle (08:00) to Perth for lunch, and then to Inverness for the overnight stop - apparently arriving there at 18:30.

Day 5 will see us (hopefully) depart Inverness bright and early, ride to John O Groats for some photos (12:00), and then complete the run by returning to Wick.

As mentioned in Old Bike Mart, we are still welcoming any Terrier and Cub owners who wish to come and do the whole route, or even just part of the trip.  If you ride any other bike, you can still come along and wish us well, wave flags, throw money and chocolate at us, hand us oil as we ride past.....oh, talking of oil....

Andy, supplier of Millers Oils, has kindly agreed to sponsor the 5 bikes doing the whole trip of 1008 miles.  He has plans to try a few experiments with different engine and gear box oils for the different bikes, in order to be able to suggest and provide a good choice of oil to the Tiger Cub or Terrier owner in the future.  He was shocked when I said I run Cubbie on 10/40 cheap oil from the supermarket.....

Someone who also deserves a special thank you for their continued support of the Gallop is Barry the Frame Doctor.  He has helped fix up Terry's frame and now he's been lumbered with a similar fix to Yorkie's frame.  Thank you Barry, your help is much appreciated, and don't worry, we won't tell anyone else your phone number!

So, after I set up the countdown clock to remind us all just how long it is until the Gallop, Muckle Flugga Man started to panic, ran to the shed and started cutting threads on his saddle springs, he fitted his new Mitas tyres to his shiny new rims from Greystones, marvelled at the shiny new head nuts that they sent too, and generally got a few more little jobs done to Yorkie.  I, on the other hand, took all of Terry's boxes of bits outside and tried to work out what I've got and what I need.  The list of 'need' isn't as bad as I thought, but one little task that's puzzling me is how I'm going to fix the tank badges on as there ain't no brackets and it's been painted up all lovely now.  Maybe I'll hand paint TRIUMPH on, instead?






Cracking shade of green, eh Grommit?  

Monday, 20 May 2013

2nd Best In Show!!!

Would you believe it!!  The Scottish Cub Fest won the award for 2nd Best Club Stand at the Lanark bike show!!  Big thanks have to go to Mrs BC for letting us use the garden fence panels, Muckle Flugga Man for helping me carry them and set them up, Scott Connell for bringing a great selection of bikes and making bike stands, and Stu for coming all the way from Doncaster to help on the stand and look after Edward Turner Bear.  Oh, and we mustn't forget all the people who voted for us - thank you very muchly.  Pic and further comment on the show to follow later - as per usual these days, my main computer is rubbish and although I have a Wifi signal on the netbook and the Awesome Fone, and Mrs BC has a connection on her computer, my pooter just doesn't seem to want to play.  If you go on Facebook and look up Gee-Bee Chick you can see some pics there.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Time to renew if you joined in July 2012

If you took out your subscription to The Cub Mag in July 2012, then it's time to renew!  To ensure you don't miss the next issue of the ONLY CUB MAG in the WORLD, please complete the Paypal invoice that has been sent to you, or send a cheque made payable to 'The Cub Mag' for the appropriate amount as detailed in the back of the mag - postal addy also listed in the mag.

ISSUE 6 will include articles on - - -

The Gaffers Gallop Special - profiles of the runners and riders, supporters and sponsors, plus the route details and timings.

Ex-Serco Martyn Adams talks to The Cub Mag.

Mike Estall's Top Tip - fix your wobbly ignition switch.

My First Cub - Aussie style!

Price Watch - keep an eye on those market forces

Controversial Cub - "the Cub was always around and about, normally with a flat battery, a 'tax in post' note in the holder and refusing to start...."

If you have any queries about The Cub Mag, please drop the Editor, Gorgeous Biker Chick, a line to gbc AT thecubmag.com

Friday, 5 April 2013

Life at Cubbie Towers

I bet you're all thinking that Gorgeous Biker Chick is just a lazy little thing, spending all her time painting her nails and idly flicking through picture books of Triumph motorcycles, nibbling chocolate and supping evaporated milk straight from the tin.  Well you wouldn't be far wrong, but generally I only get time to do those things for about 3 seconds a day.  Since the last lot of snow, the days here have been filled from start to finish with animal welfare.  With somewhere in the region of 80 sheep to look after, plus a pony and some fowl, not to mention the dogs and cats, it takes more or less the whole morning to put the feed out (especially if the weather is inclement at the time), lug bales of hay around, carry buckets of fresh water to the different fields and break the ice in the barrels and troughs.  That was the daily grind for the last few weeks, with Mrs BC and I wading through snow at first, and then mud, and now, finally, its drying up underfoot.  By the time we'd done all that, it was usually time for me to go to work - the paid version of it!  And then if you do a bit of maths, you can see that doesn't leave much time (or energy) to build bikes.

The first lot of lambs are now about five weeks old, but until last week, they'd been living in the steading on a full time basis because there just wasn't any point in putting them out in the fields, which were covered in a chilly blanket of frozen snow.  You will have heard many terrible news stories of sheep and ponies (especially in Wales) dying in the snow storms, and we're eternally grateful that we haven't lost any in those circumstances, but sadly we have lost two ewes due to the poor conditions, and last weekend we lost little Number 3 - a triplet lamb who was being bottle fed.  She tried to die once on us, the day after she was born, but we got her through that and thought she would be ok, but sadly it was not to be.

So for this weekend, the plan goes like this....tomorrow we will finish the base for another shed, which is being delivered and erected on Sunday, and at any time over the weekend, there are more ewes due to pop - just hope they can wait until Sunday!

So I haven't been able to do much in relation to the Gaffers Gallop, but I have, of course, been plugging away with the next issue of The Cub Mag (www.thecubmag.com) which will be available sometime around mid-end of April.

And I would post some pics of the lambs but can I get them from my Awesome Phone to the steam powered computer....no, you're right, I can't!!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Gaffers Gallop planned stops


Days and dates of the stops on the Gaffers Gallop 2013.

Day 1
Sun 6th October 2013
Roche > Land’s End > Exeter
Approx 170miles

Day 2
Mon 7th
Exeter > Malmesbury (lunch) > Leamington Spa
Approx 163miles

Day 3
Tues 8th
Leamington Spa > Boroughbridge (lunch) > Carlisle
Approx 246miles

Day 4
Weds 9th
Carlisle > Perth (lunch) > Inverness
Approx 263miles

Day 5
Thurs 10th
Inverness > John O Groats (and possibly back to Wick to crack the 1000 mile barrier)
Approx 158miles

The Gaffers Gallop 2013 will attempt to stay on the roads that Edward Turner used in 1953.  If you know the ‘old’ roads in any of the above areas, please get in touch with the Gaffers Gang so that we can plan accordingly.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Putting us to shame....

No, no progress on Terry (Gorgeous Biker Chick's Terrier) or Yorkie (MFM's plunger Cub) but Scott-Scotty-Scott-Scott is really cracking on with his build for the Gaffers Gallop - 200 days to go..........if you can't be there in person join us on Facebook by searching for Gee-Bee Chick or The Gaffers Gallop 2013....or if you have a Terrier or even a Tiger Cub, why not join us for some of our journey?

Scott's Terrier in the paint shop



Coming together slowly - but not as slowly as our bikes!





And the beginnings of a luggage rack, which by the time I've hit 'post' will probably be completed and fitted!!!


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Gaffers Gallop acquires an Artist!!!

Very pleased to announce that Jean-Marie Guivarch has agreed to work on some sketches to illustrate the Gaffers Gallop 2013.  Personally I'd like to have a transfer made for Terry's tank, but I'm also thinking maybe the riders would like a tee shirt or some such other memorabilia.....

Here is the first sketch to give an idea of what Jean-Marie Guivarch can do - visit the website for more pics of anything to do with motors!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Young Mechanics Group


Here's a copy of an email I sent out to the Grampian Classic MCC today, in case anyone from outside of the Club is interested in getting involved.....

Dear all.

I've been trying to start a group to give young people a chance to try a hands on approach to old bikes - I now have a project bike that is suitable and the insurance is in place, so its all systems GO!!!

This project will start as a restoration (so will include every step from stripping it, to logging work done and pricing and sourcing spares etc) and will run until the bike is back on the road.

I would like YOU to be involved - you all have skills and experiences to share with newcomers to the hobby, so I am asking for any volunteers who would like to give up a few hours every month to help out - if we have a big enough pool of people, it doesn't need to be the same ones helping each time, we can create some sort of rota in line with the work being done on the bike so that your 'specialist subject' is on at a time when you can help.

You don't need to be CRB checked and formal quals are not necessary - all you need is a willingness to share your passion for building and riding old motorbikes.

Please get in touch if you can help out - currently looking for companies to sponsor the group by buying some overalls and a few tools, so if you work for, or know of any local firms who would like to support this idea, please let me know.

Looking forward to hearing from you.........

GBC!
Venue TBC but will be local to GCMCC HQ in Aberdeenshire.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Gaffers Gallop update...


Errrr, well, there hasn't been much in the way of bike building progress yet, for either Muckle Flugga Man or Moi.  MFM is slightly ahead because he's got all the bits he needs to build his heavy duty forks up and I've only just found out that I don't seem to have any forks for my Terrier!  I thought I could 'borrow' a pair that were on another frame but they turned out to be a bit bent....



On the positive side, the brand spanking new MITAS TYRES have arrived, along with some paint from RS BIKE PAINTS and a complete TAP & DIE set for Tiger Cubs (and presumable Terriers!) from ACME STAINLESS so once I get around-toooo-it, I can start cleaning up Terry's threads and reading the instructions on using the various primers etc that RS have sent.  

TWO HUNDRED & TWELVE DAYS TO GO UNTIL THE GAFFERS GALLOP!!!!!

PS I've got lambing as an excuse - have you been on Facebook and seen the pics?  
Look for Gee-Bee Chick and send a friend request.  Go on, I need all the friends I can get.....











Monday, 4 March 2013

VMCC Scottish Area Rep Election

The results of the election for VMCC Scottish Area Rep are in - sadly GBC is no longer your rep. Thanks for all your support over the last 4 years and thanks to all who voted for me - don't worry, I'll still be around and about riding bikes and all the usual stuff. Talking of which, gotta dash, work is a-calling'....

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Terrier Rebuild Begins...

No false alarms this time.  It's Real.  The aim is to get this little Triumph on the road for May and use the Grampian Classic MCC Annual Camping Weekend trip to Skye as a running in test - which is just what I did with Cubbie in 2008.  A round trip of 500+ miles should be enough to establish what's going to fall off or break etc.
Cubbie on the Skye Bridge, May 2008, complete with toilet roll.
Then between May and September, any alterations, updates or repairs will be carried out and more miles added to the clock, in preparation for the Gaffers Gallop.  So, this is the state of play so far....

The frame was cleaned and treated with one of those rust stopping substances a little while ago.  Oh ok, about a year and a bit I think it was!
The front guard has the original paintwork, complete with a few rust spots.   I'm tempted to leave it as it is....
But for some reason, the back guard, at least I assume it is, as it was with the front one, is completely  bare of paint.
As is the nacelle.
The oil tank has been lovingly painted in a rather nice shade of blue.  Again, I'm tempted to leave it but will I get away with it?  The back of the tank is original Terrier red.
This is the tank that came with the bike, its the wrong one, but is anyone bothered?  
Not sure why this tank is in the Terry File, it's supposed to be for the trials project, but hey, it looks smart dunnit!
Terry's bottom end has progressed a little from this, and has been stripped, cleaned up, had new bearings fitted and awaits my attention to put it back together.
Most of the other bits and pieces are present, the head has been fully cleaned up and is tucked up in an oily rag somewhere.  I really need to send off to try and get the original number - I have a log book and a dating certificate so fingers crossed....
Merv sorted the old chrome on the wheels for me. 
It's a lot quicker doing it like this than scrubbing away with a wire brush, or trying to build a cabinet at home and sending blasting medium all over the garden!
They've come up quite good, and the spokes are sound.  A lick of paint will see them right and hopefully, if any are going to cause problems, they'll do it on the running in test to Skye, rather than half way to John O Groats.

And then there's Yorkie, the 1955 plunger Cub that Muckle Flugga Man will be riding.  That's in many parts at the moment too....





And Scott the Cubaholic has also to build his Terrier.  If you want to take bets on who will finish first, I wouldn't bet against Scott!


Monday, 18 February 2013

A little VMCC Adventure....

Had a bit of an epic few days last week - popped down to Crieff for tea with the Orams (thanks for putting up with me again) and then onto the Stirling Castle VMCC Section meeting - quiz night!!  Organised by John Murray, a local chap who recognised me from several years ago when I attended a Christmas meal & quiz at Glencarse with the Scottish Classic MCC.  They had a good turnout, we all got into groups of 4 and then the   fun began.  I think the best bit - and I shall be trying to introduce this into our own GCMCC Xmas Quiz - was the charades type questions.  One member from each team had to pick a bit of paper from John, and on it was written a type of motorcycle.  Then they simply had to convey this type of motorcycle to their team mates without speaking a word.....  There was some crazy acting going on, and I don't know how anyone guessed any of them really - especially our one which was a Vincent Black Shadow.  
Section Chairman Gordon signalling desperately for help in the quiz.
After a great evening's entertainment (oh ok, I confess, our team came joint last, but we all won prizes) it was back to Peter's and then up early the next morning to visit his friend Dougie Doon the Road. 
Dougie has just been lucky enough to be alerted to a completely original BSA A7 (I think its a 1958, I wrote it down somewhere but....) which has had one owner from new, and has been sitting in the garage for umpteen years.....
There is surprisingly little rust - if it was me I'd just clean it up and away we'd go!  Dougie will probably do it properly though, and he'll have a cracking bike at the end.
The bike belonged to a friend of the guy who alerted Dougie to it, and this is the pair of them pictured with their matching BSAs 'back in the day'.  

Then it was onto visit Mr T for a quick look in his workshop and to see the bikes he's working on at the moment.....


And then it was back to Aberdeen for a spot of the day job, before heading south again to the Clyde Valley VMCC Section night.  Despite the chilly temperature and the threat of snow, Secretary Tim Ryan turned up on a bike - his nice little Matchless shown below....

The forecast was for some really heavy snow that night, but as we left the meeting there was no sign of it, so I hot-footed it as far north as I could go before dozing off, and made it to Perth.  They have a very nice Travelodge there.  Or maybe it was just nice because it was very late and I was very tired!
Ah yes, the A90 heading north was a bit tricky in places where it was down to one lane.

Just a little snow in the morning - but the reports from Cubbie Towers weren't good - strong winds and drifting...



I made it as far as the bottom of the Big Hill and then Mrs BC had to come and rescue me with Sharon in 4x4 mode.  Thanks to Clyde Valley & Stirling Castle Sections for making me welcome - and thanks John McM for the loan of the book.



Saturday, 16 February 2013

GBC and the Gaffers Gallop....

Yes, Gorgeous Biker Chick is one of several certified mad people who will be attempting to ride Triumph Terriers from Land's End to John O Groats, just as Edward Turner did, in 1953.  To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of what became known as the Gaffers Gallop, we will be aiming to stick to the original timetable and route as much as possible.  Modern motorways and modern traffic will just befuddle our little bikes so hopefully we can find some nice little back roads that were the main roads in Turner's day.

To give you a rough idea of the task - the original Gallop went like this....

6th Oct - depart Roche, 11:40hrs > Land's End > Exeter for supper. 
7th Oct - Exeter > Leamington Spa with lunch at Malmesbury.  Approx 160 miles.
8th Oct - Leamington Spa > Carlisle with a tea stop at Appleby.  Approx 246 miles
9th Oct - Carlisle > Inverness with luncheon at Perth.  Approx 263 miles.
10th Oct - Inverness > John O Groats, no apparent stop for lunch or anything else!  Approx 158 miles.

I won't be going alone though, oh no, Brett Baxter from B&B Engineering and Mike Estall (need I say he wrote the Tiger Cub Bible???) will be doing part of the 'southern' leg, from Exeter southwards, and Scott Scotty Scotty Scott (that's just one person, not four people called Scott, I couldn't cope with that!) and the Man from Muckle Flugga will be doing the whole route with me - somewhere in the region of 1000 miles.....on Terriers and a plunger Cub....which we all need to crack on and build!

I don't suppose there is any chance in the world that any of the ORIGINAL Terriers from the Gallop are still around and on the road?  Reg numbers - NWD 867, NWD 868 & NWD 869.  Would be brilliant to have some of the three bikes that actually did the run to accompany us.  And quite frankly, if you have a Terrier or Cub we'd love to have your company anyway.  And if you want to come along on Any Other bike to meet us, take some pics, support us in any way, you're more than welcome.  A more detailed timetable of where to find us will be published as soon as its available.

Monday, 11 February 2013

I have a plan...

I think we (as owners and enthusiasts of old motorcycles) need to take time to think what will happen to our bikes when we're long gone.  I mean, is your family interested in the smelly, oily noisy old bike that you've lavished so much care and time on over the years?  Or when you head off to the bikers' pub in the sky, will some dodgy scrap metal dealer knock on what used to be your front door and offer your family a ridiculously insulting sum of pennies to 'take it off their hands'?  More than likely, as I've heard numerous stories of this happening up and down the country.  So my plan is two-fold.  We need to make other people, outside of 'our world' aware that our bikes exist - a little bit of British engineering that's survived anything up to a hundred years, and the main group we need to raise this awareness with is youngsters.  Do you know the accident stats for teenagers and those in their 20s/30s who go and buy a sportsbike straight after passing their test?  Look at the stats for classic and vintage bikes and ok, so you can argue, the older the rider the safer they are in general, but you can't get into quite so much trouble riding a Tiger Cub or a 1923 Triumph SD as you can with a 1000cc plastic rocket, but you can have a good helping of fun nonetheless.  Life, is all about goals and achievements, at least that's what they tell you at school and in work, so why not achieve the goal of riding a bike that you've restored or that you keep on the road using your skills to ride the length of Scotland, or the coast to coast or whatever route you choose?

So, I have a plan.  Sorry, make that a Plan with a Capital P.  The trouble with plans is that while they're in the planning stage, its best not to tell anyone about them in case either they don't happen or someone else thinks that's a great idea and wanders off with your Plan....but now, the time has come!  Inside the front page of the Vintage Motorcycle Club Journal, there is the bit in the pale purple box, above the contents list.  In this box it states : 

"The Vintage Motorcycle Club, with over 17000 members, united by the common appreciation of the engineering skills and vision of those who built the pioneer machines, has ensured that such machines are not preserved as lifeless exhibits in a museum, but are brought to life on frequent occasions in order that a new generation can marvel at the handiwork of the pioneers, and an older generation can once again view with nostalgia the machines they rode in days gone by".

You all know that just about every trade we have in this country is dying out, from building skills to traditional crafts to engineering.  The skill of maintaining old motorbikes is no better off, with many people of my generation (let us just say under the age of about 40) hardly able to even change a plug on a bike nowadays, never mind strip and rebuild the engine!  Well, since joining the Management Committee in 2009, I've had numerous chats with other members about ways to get younger people involved in the world of old bikes, and some of you may recall, I did a bit of a survey with you to gather your thoughts and ideas on how to put this Plan into action.  I think I may have found a way that does just that, and has the opportunity to involve Sections up and down the country, and I should be able to give you more on the ins and outs of it in the not too distant future....so watch this space.....


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Clyde Valley VMCC NEW WEBSITE

The guys down in the valley have a new website - www.clydevalleyvmcc.co.uk so if you're interested in old motorcycles and are in the Clyde Valley area, why not have a look for details of where and when they meet, and pop along.  You can also find out about their *NEW* Rock 'N' Roll run, planned for summer this year.  It's open to members and non-members so make a date in the diary (22nd June) and rock n roll on down to Crossford, Carluke.  First 60 entries only so chop chop!!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Vote for GBC!!!



Uh oh!  Seems there will be a vote to decide who will be the Scottish Area Rep for the Vintage Motorcycle Club for the next two years.  I have been Rep since 2009 - it seems a long time when I write it down but in reality, it's just flown by.  In that time, apart from my general 'duties' of visiting Sections and being a link between them and Allen House, I've been involved in starting four new events in Scotland - the Haggis Run for my own Section, the NE Scottish, the Plus1 to compliment the long standing Scottish Double, the incredibly popular Scottish Vintage Training Day held at Grampian Transport Museum in Alford and the Vintage Gathering organised by the Auld Reekie Section.  In some cases, my job has been to research, plan, and organise from scratch, and then to work on the event right through to the end - take the Haggis Run - a totally new concept for our Section, so a venue had to be found, dates researched, routes and special tests invented, paperwork organised and everything that we would need on the day had to be thought of....and then on the day, its up early, stuff the car full of forms, maps, bike numbers, traffic cones, tennis balls and plant pots (yes, really) and pens and string and....well, you get the picture!  Then its a day spent signing people in, marshaling and helping where I can, taking plenty of photos and afterwards, writing reports for either the VMCC Journal or a section newsletter, or maybe even the likes of Old Bike Mart and a blog update - busy busy, but fun!  Don't get me wrong, being Area Rep isn't always a one-person job and I had loads of help from Mrs BC and our Section Chairman, Captain Bill and together, we got the Haggis set up.  

Peter Donaldson 'Leaders' the way in multitasking at the Haggis...
See, look, it IS fun, says Geoff Hanson!
The guys queue up for the Special Tests at the Haggis.
Lovely weather again...
The same goes for the Plus1.  Working closely with the then Chairman of the Central Scottish Section, a certain Mr Stan Shorty Williamson, the entrants of the Double were quizzed on what they'd like to do in the week between the two big events, and then we created the Plus1 so that they could have a good excuse to visit the north east corner of Scotland and ride our beautiful roads and eat ever so unhealthy home made cakes and sticky buns in places like the great Duff House.  As well as the road run we laid on a formal meal and awards ceremony and on the second night, an informal get together with an al fresco meal and a local singer to entertain.  Creating an event that's 'different' is a load of work but I have to say, all the buzzing around and planning really is quite enjoyable, not to mention rewarding, especially when, on the day, you get lovely weather (hmmm) a nice big turn out of smiling VMCCers taking their old bikes out for a canter,  and members of the public coming up for a chat to find out what all the fun is about.  That's part of the reason I do these things, to give people the opportunity to see and hear and smell the bikes in action.  Don't you just love the stories about "I remember when my Dad had one of those...." or "I learnt to ride on one of those...".
The start of the day at the first Plus1
Bette Barber (VMCC President) sets the riders off at Aden Country Park
Nice bikes and SUNSHINE.  No, it's not Photoshopped!

A stop for tea and cake at Duff House allows the public to see the bikes...

....and what nice bikes there were to see...

With an event like the Vintage Gathering, my involvement couldn't have been more different.  Early on in my Rep-ship I popped down to Edinburgh to see the guys in the Auld Reekie Section.  With little going on VMCC-wise in that area in those days, it was just a handful of chaps meeting for a pint and a natter, and our casual conversation about events or runs they could do in the future sparked an idea which turned into a Scottish Gathering of Vintage machines.  I'm pleased to say that these days they have a greater turnout at Section nights and the enthusiasm for promoting vintage and veteran machines in Scotland, is quite contagious, and it's great to see regular Section Notes appearing in the Journal too.  Not having a suitably old machine, I couldn't ride in the event, but, Johny Johnson came to the rescue (as he often does in these situations) with the offer of a seat in his Sunbeam's sidecar.  A 4am start from England, due to being down there for a Management meeting, saw me arrive just in time.  The route was great and being in the chair allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep....errrrr....I mean it gave me a chance to get some good photos!
Ready for the SPLASH!!!
Tucked up safely in the sidecar, GBC didn't hardly notice the SPLASH!!!
Is that an alternative route to the right?
Ahh, the Scottish Training Day. Do you remember it? Back in the glorious summer of 2010 - the day before the Training Day we had a visit from Ivan Rhodes and his Roarer (more on that later), and the day before that we had tremendous thunder storms and rain of Biblical proportions! With 21 fabulous bikes ranging from an Autocycle to a Hobart to an Indian and including several Sunbeams and oh ok, I might as well list them all -

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

- what a day!!!  You wouldn't believe the amount of organising this one took.  It isn't easy to get people to lend their prized vintage bikes, especially when they don't quite know to whom they are lending them.  But that's just the point of the Training Day, to allow people who have never experienced a bike with a hand gear change and a lever throttle, to have a go.  Liaising with VMCC Past Pressy, Colin Seaton and the Chairman Kim Allen, and the Grampian Transport Museum, the date was set so that the VMCC guys could attend and still make their other commitments at the southern training days.  I've never seen so many cheesy grins. People were a little nervous to start with, but after everyone had put in a few laps on their first steed, it wasn't long before they were literally queuing up for certain bikes and trying to get a 'full house' on their card.  A huge thank you again to all who supplied bikes and spent a day instructing the novices, and all the extra marshals who helped out in the paddock or on the track.

Johny Johnson lends a helping hand.
Cooooey, over here....seems to be a case of really bad camera shyness!  
Mick Elstone tries Alec Stevenson's Indian for size; left hand twistgrip and foot clutch I believe....

"This one for go, this one for stop...."
Bill!  Bill - he's behind you!

Some owners were slightly reluctant to let go.....
GBC was needed as, errrr ,ballast?


The Area Rep work isn't all about big events and starting events and making lots of noise. It's also about being a point of contact for the Sections and visiting them either at a Section night or a rally or run etc, plus there are the Committee meetings at Allen House down in Burton Upon Trent. These happen once every couple or few months and are usually on a weekday. A day off work, you say? Well, yes, but although I work full time I'm lucky to have a fairly flexible job, and the only meetings I've had to miss have been once when I was ill and another time due to bad weather, and I'm proud to say I've been to all of the AGMs while I've been in office - the one in 2012 was a particularly memorable occasion - I was presented with the EE THOMPSON Award which is for "outstanding efforts in promoting or organising Club activities". I don't do the things I do to win awards, but it sure is nice to know that people appreciate my efforts enough to nominate me. Anyway, I like promoting old bikes. I mean, what better excuse can there be to take your old bike out and about? You'll usually find me promoting my 1962 Tiger Cub, but that's only 'cos I don't yet have a vintage bike. But that's changing, sort of, in spring 2013, when I shall become the temporary custodian of the VMCC's 1924 Triumph SD....gulp....


Pic supplied by previous custodian, Tim Britton of Old Bike Mart fame
Outgoing President Colin Bell hands over the trophy


Talking of being a point of contact, something I've done a lot of these last few years, is helping to source motorbikes for various projects.  Film companies or authors or clothing companies often email me to ask if I know of a suitable bike for their shoot - one such occasion was to locate a machine to star in the promotion of Diane Atkinson's book, Elsie and Mairi Go to War, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  What better PR can you get than that???  The number of photographers who want to shoot sidecars is quite unreal, I suppose the person modelling or selling whatever product it is doesn't have to be able to ride a bike because the owner can do that, whilst they concentrate on their job.  More recently, a guy from Sweden needed a bike for display at a trade fair, again, in the capital city of Edinburgh, and through some contacts we managed to get a Tiger Cub out there into the public - and business - eye. 

Many of you will have heard by now that I also publish a magazine.  The Cub Mag is dedicated to what is undeniably my favourite motorcycle and through it, I aim to promote riding, fettling, showing, using and enjoying old bikes.  With subscribers in TEN different countries, it all helps to spread the word.  I've been pleasantly surprised to receive subs from a lot of younger Cub owners & riders lately, and their next step after a Cub might well be something older......clunkier.....and more 'vintagier'....

With Edward 'Turner' Bear in charge of PR, it's gotta be a winner, yes?
Right, time for a break.  Part two of 'Why You Should Vote For GBC' will be coming up soon.  Trying to recall all the things I've done and write down all the things I want to do in the future takes a while, cos there are so many of them....

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