Wed 14th June
Well we all (Stewart, Davie, Stephen) set off on Wednesday 14th June this time a bit later at 11:00 from Morrisons and the weather was good and after a brief stop for a coffee and a wee we made it in good time to Aberdeen and then got the bikes onto the Ferry with no issues. However since you cannot get into the rest of the Ferry until boarding time we went for a few beers in a drinking establishment that Davie led us to. It had rustic charm..
Right onto the Ferry, gear into the Cabin and off to sample some more beers – you can spot a theme here.. The Ferry crossing at night was calm.
Thur 15th June
Ok turfed off Ferry in Lerwick at 07:00 and then the trek out to Oldaberry for the rally. We parked the bikes up ok and decided to get our tents up as it was already busy – how come?.. Anyway the ground was soft as there must have been a lot of rain, but we got the tents were up and all our gear installed and then booked in. No issues and we took a stroll about as we decided that this was going to be a “quiet day” – e.g. relaxed drinking. Stewart produced a nice bottle of wine and that helped pass the time.
There was the famous Boot Party Drinking game on and the last three contestants were three women – drinking hard as well! Band on at night and they were not good, so we went to out tents – however they played on until 5:00..
Fri 16th June
Right better weather and off to the west coast and it was a good run! The roads were somewhat narrow for an A road but the scenery was great. So once we found what we thought would be a reasonable sized place with a café that turned out to be a house and a pier, we decided to head back towards Lerwick,
In Lerwick we had some lunch, a wander about, some photies etc. we then headed back to the campsite and some more drinks and more damn music!
Sat 17th June
It pissed down last night with high winds and my sleeping back got slightly wet – but only at my feet as it was touching the wall of the tent, so I thought I will lift the end of the sleeping bag off the end of the camp bed and into the middle of the tent. It was a good idea as next morning I found that I had put the sleeping bag into a puddle, what a silly!
So we hung about the campsite more beer, bottles of wine and watched the silly games and then the Vikings turned up and they were good, their singing was top notch and were much better than the bands!
We used up the remaining beer tickets for drinks for the ferry and home and that worked out quite well, if not adding some more load onto the bikes!
Sun 18th June
Up early and some breakfast and then tents all down and packed away and off we sets. It was dry, if a bit windy and we gets to the ferry terminal and dumps the bikes in the car park. Right a walk into Lerwick and grub, a visit to a museum – very good, and a pint and then back to the bikes. God it was slow loading the bikes into the ferry, but eventually we managed it! Then off the Ferry and into the Departures Lounge to get scanned for illegal Puffins etc. then and onto the boat.
We did a customer satisfaction survey, we all mentioned the delay in loading the bikes – it got us a free coffee! Then the Captain came on the tannoy and apologised for the delay in loading the bikes – see they do pay attention! I will certainly be using Northlink Ferries again and will recommend to all my friends.
Back to the cabin as we had a TV – not sure how that happened.. And we watched a few films and a few beers.. Stewart lost his underpants during the night – I did wonder if Alex had been on the boat..
Crossing was ok and we all slept well.
Mon 19th June
So off we gets and after filling up made our way back home. Weather was good all the way.
A special thank you to Alex and Ian Rankin for both the organising the event and helping with transportation of equipment, this in turn allowed the Club to hold a very successful event.
Thanks also to those who helped out on the day Alex, Ian R, Iain C, Fiona, Johnny, Carol, Robert, Stephen etc. We also had some club members who went on the Ride Out (Parade) and then arrived to help things along at the stall during the day, John, Martin, Stewart and Jim.
We set up the stall at 10:00 and were finished for about 16:30. Not long after we had arrived the sun came out and by the of the day we were all quite frazzled, apart from Johnny who seemed to have acquired a Yamaha Cap from the MCS stall.
At the stall we had free badges for the kids, flyers, handouts, helmets and kit to try on etc. The highlight of our stall was the bikes to allow the kids and sometimes grannies to sit on them, get their photies taken sometimes with the helmets on.
A special word of thanks to Carol and Fiona who managed that area very well! We also had the Club flags out and the noticeboard with photies of Club events and Activities we have carried out over the years.
We seemed to get a good bit of interest from visitors to the stall, so we will see how much that interest translates into new members!.
For the 50’s look that is so popular in Johnstone since the 50’s, Alex had managed to secure the services of the “Strathettes” and “very pretty they all looked in their blue dresses and white Bobby Socks”, said Alex once we put his tongue back in.
As usual the generosity of the Treasurer knew no bounds and two rounds of coffees (yes two) were paid out of Club Funds, rather expensive right enough..
Well it was a very good turnout considering the weather and we had 5 bikes and 7 folk - Stewart, Sharon, Johnnie, Fiona, Alex, Ian and Stephen.
We did however get a chance to see the Morran semi automatic step-up pllion assistance device. The retrieval mechanism needs a bit of development but I have little doubt that Stannah Lifts will be on the phone soon to market it.
It was just wet all the way to Killin but we had no major incidents that I remember. We only had one daft bat in a red car doing 30 mph on the twisty bits into Strathyre but we got past eventually.
Stewart was sporting what looked like a sheepskin gilet and I am afraid while it would look cool on a sheep it just didn't cut it as a waterproof. Johnny and Ian also seemed to be slightly damp. Sharon god love her, let us know that her large pink knickers, with love hearts on. were bone dry - well theres a first..
Off again via Crianlarich and then down via the Lochside. It was remarkably quiet and we moved on a reasonable pace considering the wet roads, only once about Luss did two cars overtake us - only to then sit behind the traffic in front of us - still they did mange to gain about 100 yards in 15 miles!
No mishaps and good to get out on the bikes - plus driving in the rain sharpens your skills - honest. Oh and it tests out your waterproof gear!
Well it was a bit grey and damp when we met, but the sun came out and we had a good turn out of 7 bikes and 9 folk. We had Stewart, Johnny, Fiona, Miah, Alex, Ian R, Sharon, Jim and Stephen. It was a trouble free run up to Balmaha apart from the roads being filthy and to think the time that you spent washing that trike as well Alex!
Sharon had a problem however in that she had now got a wet bum and her rather large knickers were now soaking. I think she meant they were granny style knickers rather than the size or her arse. Alex went for a look but he got out of breath half way round.
There was a good sized car park in Balmaha with plenty of space, so we parked on some double yellow lines, I despair sometimes. We then piled into the Oak Tree Inn - very nice as well, really good service and quality grub as well!.
All too soon I was forced to chip in £45 of the Clubs hard earned cash towards the cost of this feast. Alex reckons by his calculations that I owed him 5p as he just had the roll and soup - you also had a coffee you old git. But it was a nice place and I would go back there again now that I know where the car park is.
So off we sets for home via the Stockiemuir Rd and all went well until I missed the turning for the Erskine Bridge and half of us ended heading for the Clyde Tunnel - while the rest I assume went for the Bridge.. A good day - need to wash the bike right enough..
Well it was a short run and a mixture of bikes and cars. I have an excuse as my VFR is having its plumbing replaced.
We went to Luss and it was heaving! However we went to the place we were at last year and got a big table and the food was good and the Club chipped in £20 towards the cost.
For the record we had Ian, Johnny, Alex, Fiona and Stephen in a car and Stewart, Jim and Davy on the bikes.
The Xmas Night Out was in “Habbies” and it was the first time there – so we live and learn! It was bigger than the Trust, recently decorated and it was actually OK!
We had a really good turnout of 19 folk, some folk smartly dressed as well! We had as usual a free raffle and we got an amazing 38 prizes donated and for those who did Arithmetic (or “sums” if you are from Paisley) we had an ideal number of prizes!
I don’t know who wrapped up all the presents with the gold paper as they seemed to have access to a huge stock of pregnancy testing kits.. and there were some nice flavoured condoms - I noticed you swapping them Helen! The raspberry ones are ok.
John looked rather dashing with his “stick on” black moustache and Eddie won a talking vibrator and it really was a toss-up with Robert on what made the most sense.
I won a pink "savings piggy" and large pack of “Tenna Lady” and these are much appreciated as they also have the wings and they should not show through my leathers. I intend to take up rock climbing and Zumba classes in tight white shorts just to make sure. Thanks to Eddie for helping with the Raffle Draw and issuing the prizes.
The Club stood a round of drinks – well its Xmas and thanks to Fiona for organising this ordering and distribution! Unfortunately they made us pay for them, we will soon find another £65..
Now the food was not as was proposed, plus it arrived late – that in itself was not really an issue as we had enough and it was hot enough, but it was definitely not the oriental mixture that was ordered and agreed – I will complain more formally if I am billed for the food. If not billed then it was brilliant – wasn’t really..
Right this was a pretty easy run (if you could navigate Kilmarnock that is). On the run were Carol, Martin, Stewart, Ian Rankin and Stephen.
The run down to Sorn was fine and we arrived outside the pub before opening time, however they opened the doors and we sat in the bar area – and very nice it was too! So some coffees and then something to eat. It was a bit early for food with some folk, but the gannets tucked into Steak Pie and others had soup and Martin just didn’t bother as he was not feeling well. I think he said it was the “change” and nothing at all to do with drink.
So a nice relaxing lunchtime then off home, now it had started to rain, but we seemed to have avoided most of it judging by the puddles at the side of the road on the way back and riding in the wet with leaves everywhere just sharpens up your riding skills.
On the way into Kilmarnock, Stewart and Ian decided to take the A77 and I am sure that they really meant to do that.. While the rest us went headed into Kilmarnock and a slightly different route back home when we reached Dunlop. However we hit those roadworks at Beith though, as I watched my temperature gauge hit 102 before the lights changed.
I have new new silicon coolant hoses (14 separate ones, I kid you not) to go on it and a fan off a Honda VTR 1000 to be fitted along with a LED that should help keep the thing cool and also tell me when the fans are coming on. We shall see!..
Since we had arrived early there wasn't much set up, so we headed off to North Berwick for some lunch. We parked at the harbour and walked to the main street (or so it seemed) for some grub. Found a nice restaurant and food was really good. Sharon went on the back of my VFR and behaved herself and did well considering it was the first time she had been on a bike. So a top up with petrol and back to the campsite.
So the afternoon drinks were dispensed and we had a good time then into the Hotel hall where the bands would be playing.
"Trog" was doing the DJ bit and he was as good as last time.. Ian and Alex Rankin has arrived and Stewart had left for home. So we piled into the drinks. The band came on, the girls did some lap dancing, Carol and myself did a new dance routine and this was greatly appreaciated.. But we did manage to go back to the tents before flinging out time - must be getting old.
A new day and Jesus I don't feel well. Quite what I had eaten to make me feel unwell I do not know but it was a real struggle to force down my full Scottish Breakfast! The rest were much the same, so we recovered a bit and headed off on the bikes to Kelso.
Sharon came on the back of my bike again, which I suppose was good, however I thought I had a flat tyre.
This was a nice run in good weather we parked up in the and sat outside Greggs with grub, coffee and in my case some Paracetamol..
We didnt stay long and headed back to the campsite, however Carol ran out of petrol and could not get onto reserve. So a brief stop to free up the reserve tap and we all got some petrol on the way back. I had a nasty moment as a wasp ended up in my helmet as I had my visor slightly open. The wasps were a damn nuisance as Johnny was to find out later.
We decided to go for an evening meal in the pub in Pathhead - it was ok! We were sitting under a dartboard that didn't help when some of the tipsy locals thought it would be good time for a game.. Anyway we all eventually got served and the food was good. So a walk back to the campsite for the band.
Because we were a bit late getting into the hall we ended up at a table near where the band would be playing. However "Trog" once more played on odd selection of records until the Raffle Draw and award of prizes and Strathgryffe won the best supported Club by two members - well done folks!. Johnny up once more a flash to get the trophy.
Then the band started.. For the sake of my hearing I waiting until the first song was over and then retired to the bar, as did the rest shortly after! We then retired even further away to a lounge with decent seats - ah bliss. So I had a few more pints and off to my tent.
Now "most" of us tried to get some sleep, however Sharon was in party mode and visited the other tented areas spreading the gospel and Strongbow Cider until the early hours..
Well most of us were up early, got some breakfast and then got the tents down and gear all packed up and ready for the off. However Johnny had been sting by a wasp on the head and was not looking good - I know.. but even more so.
Sharon offered to suck out the poison, but a luckily a first aider arrived in time and gave him some antihistamine and he then fell asleep!. So since the lad would hopefully recover Davie and myself headed off, an hour of so later Martin and Carol set off and at lunchtime or so Johnny, Fiona and Sharon also set off for home.
Weather was good all weekend and everybody had a good time!
So at 12:00 we were all fuelled up and ready for the off from Morrison's. Going on bikes were Stephen, Martin, Robert and Johnnie. Alex and Ian came in Alex's car as did a lot of the gear and Jim joined us at a roundabout as we went through Perth!. We stopped off at Bankfoot just beyond Perth for some bacon rolls and cups of tea to keep us going
The weather was ok, a bit windy in places, but we made good time. We stopped off at Blair Atholl for some petrol then onto Aviemore and met up with Iain Cameron . We seemed to have been allocated one large and one smaller room and I ended up with Martin, Iain, Robert and Jim (he had the King size bed) and we had bunks - it was "cosy". Alex, Ian and Johnnie were in the other room.
So we heads off with Stewart, Andy, Martin, Barrie and Stephen up the A82 to Glencoe where we stopped off at pub / cafe place. It was very nice and I thought it would be a nice gesture to buy all the boys a coffee and a wee scone.
While we waited Stewart banged out a few good tunes on the house guitar. No idea what tunes they were right enough.
So off to the local Hotel just next to the campsite, now this was nothing to write home about. We got some food but the portions were small, the place was cold and the electric went off for the pumps for the beer. But it passed the time!.
To be continued..
Well considering the weather - we did well to get 7 bikes out and 8 folk in total, plus 2 other bikers who tagged along with us from Arrochar. The weather was just miserable and it wasnt really until getting into Tignabruaich that it stopped. The food in the Royal Bar was as usual very good - and as usual we were the only people in the bar!
So rain off and a trip back across the peninsula to Sandbank,via a petrol fill up for Ian Rankin, then some cheap tickets for the ferry and ferry home - pity about the rain but a good run - just as well I never washed my bike after Great Yarmouth then..
So.. we set off in good formation at 9:00 sharp for Edinburgh and then down the A1. The weather wasn't so great until we were about half way to Edinburgh then it dried up and it was good all the way down for our first petrol stop and some grub. On again and we stopped off at Blyth for our overnight stop in a Travel Lodge - this was about 300 miles down the road. Rooms were ok and I shared a room with Alex and Iain. Johnny and Martin snuggled up together in their room.
Naturally I inquired from the young lady at reception where was the nearest boozer.. So armed with this essential information I informed the boys - "Oh that's too far", "I cannot walk anymore" etc.. - complete fannies, anyway we did find a few pubs in Blyth and had some great food and the walk back seemed so much quicker!.
Right time for some sleep, however I awoke to hear what I thought was an energetic rubbing sound from Alex's direction only to find the lad sitting starkers facing me. I asked him in a concerned manner if he was ok, he answered me, but not in any form of English that I could understand and the next time I looked he had vanished.. "Jings", I thought, "he is sleep walking and he must be off to see Johnny and Martin, failing that, he is aiming for the A1" - I just hoped he headed South.
OK all up reasonably early and on we goes after a breakfast in Greggs - they seem to be at every Services now. Anyway on down the A1 and we are lookikng for the A17.. Yes that was the exit we just passed.. So Iain and myself headed off looking for the A17 and the other three headed off for London.
So we were split up, but both groups made our own ways to Great Yarmouth and the caravan park was at a place called California (true..) just north of Great Yarmouth. The A17 and A47 were horrible roads - and were to get even worse on thw way back.
The caravan was pretty good, however I was forced to share a small room with Iain - just what I had done wrong! Anyway it seems he was filming me during the night as he claims I was snoring - aye tell that to the Court ya perv.. Anyway he moved out after the first night to be with "Scuddy Rankin"..
However at last I had a decent kitchen and oven to work with - It's a wonder I am still single.. We went for a meal at night in the local pub and had a few beers.
So after hearty breakfast in which I burnt my finger and cremated the bacon, we set off for David Silvers Honda Museum that had opened the day before. We found it eventually, but oh how I enjoyed those country lanes as we weaved our way mostly in the wrong direction.. The Honda display was very good and worth going to visit as it only cost me £5 as I have a nice Honda - well nearly true.. Iain got some spares for his Gold Wing that he had previously ordered - So we went all that way so he could save on the delivery charge!..
We went back to Great Yarmouth to see some of the place and it was better than Scarborough! We decided to have some lunch and whilst most of us had a bacon sannie and coffee, Iain however chose the "Wacaday - I have been very good today" cake. Plus you got a badge with it..
Back via Asda - or was it Tesco, getting lost in Great Yarmouth in very congested traffic was always so much fun. Anyway we got all the essentials from the store Tequila, Baileys, Coke etc.. then back to the caravan. Off for a meal at night - but the chef wasn't in OFFS. So we went to the chippy - I had a singe Saveloy as I was watching my figure, just incase Cameron sneaked back during the night for more filming.. But the pub was still open and we just had to have some beer!.
OK time for something more dangerous and we headed for Pleasure Hills Theme Park and we were getting used to the local roads (and traffic jams) now. It wasn't too busy as the English Schools had not broken up for the summer hols - so hardly any queues. In some cases we were the only ones on the rides! We just about went on all the big rides and we also did the Go Carts - and that cost an additional £4 but it was a good laugh. Johnny ended up in the tyres until freed - he says it was a freak gust of wind blew him off line - aye right!.
There was no doubt about it the weather was getting hot, so we decided to go on the Log Flumes and Slides to get some water spray - Now I dont know about you dear readers, but there seems to be a distinct lack of water around Martin and Iain in that photo..
A coffee and off to the caravan and we decided to get a Chinky at night as there was one just outside the caravan park - was ok! Then off to the pub.
Weather is good and we went to a Transport Museum - didn't take too long to get there and again wasnt very busy. The place was all manned by enthusiastic old punters who kept all the stuff going as a hobby. There was lots to see and they even opened up some of the sheds so we could see inside some of the vehicles being renovated.
I offered a free coffee and something to eat as I am a good person bad move as the buggers filled their boots at my exepnse..
Well all good things have to come to an end and we had a long ride ahead of us as we were unable to book anything at a reasonable cost for a half way stop. Quick breakfast, shower and packed up - off he go.. err no.
Iain Camerons Kawasaki Z1000 would not start and it had rained heavily through the night, anyway a bump start and we got it going - "here we go".. etc.
40 miles later we lost Alex - far too far back from the rest of us and some cars pulled in front of Alex and he was lost from view when we went from a dual carrigeway to a single road. Johnny and then Iain and Martin stopped along the road to wait for Alex and I pressed on, up the A47 to Kings Lynn then A17 to the A1. I stopped at the first Services and met up with Iain and Alex. On we goes and the two of them fell back.
Going up the A1 I hit some horrible road works with narrow lanes and stopped queues of cars and trucks that went on for miles - I hate it, but I could not sit forever and just had to squeeze through the gaps as the VFR heats up quickly if it just sits ticking over. Then I spots Johnny and Martin behind me and the three of us managed to get though.. God help us..
We left tha A1 at Scotch Corner and that was a nightmare in itself and we lost Johnny so Martin and myself headed over the A66 to Penrith - once we negotiated the traffic accidents that is.. The Brough Moor winds were really fun through and Martin enjoyed that bit! We made it to Penrith and fuelled up and then onto the M6 / M74 where we stopped for some grub and a drink - that was 300 miles without a break.. Martin could hardly eat he was so shattered.
Johnny arrived at the Services and they decided to wait for Alex and Iain. I pressed on again. They waited for 40 minutes at the Services and no sign of Alex or Iain so Johnny and Martin pressed on for home as well.
It was a grind getting home but I made it home at 19:30 after 470 miles. Johnny and Martin about 20:15. As for Iain he got back to Linwood about 21:00 and he need a bump start at one of the Services. Alex was stuck in queues for hours, ran out of petrol before Penrith and I am not sure what day he got home.
However Great Yarmouth was really good and thanks to Johnny for organising.
Iain's bike went back from Linwood to Inverness in a breakdown van as it seems to have a starter motor issue.G
Well this was some event! Setting off on Wednesday 15th and not getting back until Sunday 20th. I will do a proper write-up on the activities as I remember them in a day or so, however this was the best Rally I have been to for ages and would recommend that you all pencil it in for next year - not the cheapest, but I still could not drink my way through the "vouchers" that were handed out when we arrived. So maybe in balance it was cheaper than some of the others!
I met some great folk and had a few good runs on the bike while we were up there. No complaints apart from an arsehole that was managing the lanes of bikes onto the Boat in Lerwick and basically was more concerned with flicking his hair than doing his job properly. I was quite cross.. I did suggest to his sensible assistant that the arsehole lie down in front of the other lane to stop the bikes jumping the queue but this did not seem a viable option.
Anyway here is some of the photies of the event. There are more to follow.
Write up to follow - however here some photies
Members Stephen McKenzie, Alex Rankin, Alex Rankin, Stewart Brown, Davie Hynds, Andy Hynds, Darren Rees, Ben Smith and John Hamilton
Good run up the Loch side and stoppod off at the Pit Stop in Arrochar for a drink then on again for the road down to Dunoon - well most of did apart from Stewart and Davie who following in the footsteps of Alex and Iain a few years back decided that a continuing on to Inveraray was the best way..
Right down to Strachur and we waited for Stewart and Davie, however by this time they were no doubt having a whale of a time with the Loch Lomond Bikers in Inveraray car park - we headed on. It was getting really sunny and warm as well - however it was probably overcast in Inveraray..
We reached Tignabruaich after stopping for a nice photie and the onto the Royal Hotel Bar for some grub - we had the place to ourselves and had some cracking food - if slightly pricey. Darren had mussels and Stewart had the Pheasant soup - see you get a better class of biker in Strathgryffe
So all fed headed back in great sunshine and stopped off at a viewpoint for some more photies. Iain Morton was there on Harley thing and I reminded him his membership lapsed in 2004. So over to Sandbank via a resurfaced B836 - well done Argyll & Bute Council and after a top up of fuel and then purchase of the cheap ferry tickets, it was straight onto the ferry at Hunters Quay and quick few pints in the bar and then off at Gourock and home - about 120 miles and 6.5 hours away on the bike.