Monday, June 15, 2009

Willie and Toms Lecht adventure

The route south from the cafe window
The cafe was packed not a seat to be had!

Mountain bikes

Willie has got his bike back on the road so we decided to try out our new "bike to bike" radios which worked very well! We headed for the hills and apart for a couple of heavyish rain showers had a splendid few hours taking in the spectacular Lecht Ski resort,the road past Billy Connollys estate and got home in time for tea!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Re-discovering the fun of cycling ( Non motorised )

The outward leg. My strange facial expression is due to an extremely hard saddle.
The path home

Middle aged macam, Gennasus, bicycles and a Vizsla.

The Hopeman heist ( Villains in the village!!! )

The Memsahib suggested I should try to service and restore her dusty web covered "Velocipede" ( Bicycle ) to a roadworthy condition so we could enjoy the rapidly improving weather and enhance our personal fitness by cycling together whilst exercising our Hungarian gun dog Jana.
Gennasus has an ingenious device to attach said Vizsla to her bicycle to ensure that the bits of the ride which involve other road users are completed safely. It took an incredibly short time to sort the bike out considering how long it had hung on the garage wall and apart from a very slow puncture in the front tyre it was almost as good as new!

Yesterday we ventured out for a shortish ride, a sort of test flight to the local cycle path, not more than five miles (ish) We returned to the village and a scene that would not have been out of place in " The Sweeney" or "Ashes to ashes". Police everywhere, Scene of crime tape across Harbour Street, Helicopters hanging in the sky! the sound of distant automatic gun fire! (Ok so I exaggerate a bit!) Our local post office had been robbed! Such excitement has not been known in Hopeman, at least, not since the chip shop burnt down some years ago! Thankfully no one was injured and the police have good descriptions of the b******s involved so hopefully they will get their just deserves in the fullness of time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chicken Run

Speedy, agile and totally unprepared to surrender!

For the past few weeks there have been suspicious goings on within the flock! Furtive sideways glances when we approached their penned enclosure. One hen would be standing innocently watching for our appearance in the garden, she would then cluck in a particular manner and the other four would appear, covered in soil, whistling the theme from a famous movie starring Steve McQueen as an American POW.

It came as no surprise, therefore, when I received a text whilst at work from the SIPB (slightly insane papillon breeder) I am married to. It informed me she was off to work and one of the hens was missing!

I finished work within the hour and rode home. Whilst parking the bike on the driveway, prior to garaging it for the night, I removed my crash helmet and instantly spotted a hint of movement and two beady little eyes peering at me from next door's garden! Okay, no problem, just hop over the fence, retrieve the chicken and return her to her sisters in the pen!

Fifteen minutes later, my neighbour returned to find a middle-aged, scarlet faced, breathless, leather clad apparition, cursing foul (fowl) threats at a perfectly composed hen, who was trotting along (do hens trot?) just out of reach whilst shrieks of chicken laughter floated over from our garden. No doubt her sisters were cheering her on! Naturally at this point the escapee became totally docile and allowed me to scoop her up while our neighbour looked on with a slightly nervous smile which told me she was considering calling the police if only she could work out what infraction of the law was being committed! I don't blame her as I did resemble an exhausted extra from a leather bondage movie! (not that I have seen one of course). I summoned what dignity I had left and, with chicken clasped under my arm, took my leave via the garden fence.

Thick protective leather and big boots. Ideal clothing for chasing a hen...........NOT!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm so lucky

Just when I get a bit blaise about my life and circumstances, the slightly insane woman I have lived with for 28 summers takes a photo on our local beach ( two minutes walk from the front door.) I then get things into perspective. What a lucky old macam I am!!

Euan and Grandah Macam enjoy the Easter Sunshine

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paul and Chewy

The Easter egg run

We arranged to meet at the main gate of the base at 10 45 ready for an 1100 start. I was one of the first to arrive as I had set out early to refuel the Blackbird prior to setting off.

I hadn't realised there were so many interesting bikes in the club! Apart from the usual Hondas,Kawasakis, BMWs and Yamahas I spotted Ducatis, Triumphs and a Moto Morini which was the pride and joy of a colleague of mine Adam Hardman. Adam I have known for at least three years, he is an amiable" gentle giant" of some 6 foot 6 inches and must weigh in at 16 stones minimum! He is affectionately known as " Chewy" at work, ( Star Wars ) It wasn't until I saw him and Paul Sowden in the local paper advertising the ride out and egg delivery that I found out the big guy shared a christian name with my youngest son.!!That's the Air Force for you!

I refer of course to my twenty something student son Chewbacca Gray currently studying at Edinburgh University.

We set off approx on time into the light rain and cool wind. After an incident free trip south to Grantown on Spey we headed towards Keith. I had volunteered to be " Sweeper" and bring up the rear to ensure none of our number got left behind in the event of breakdowns etc. This was a cunning plan of mine to remove any pressure on me to ride outside my comfort zone, because although I probably had one of the fastest bikes in the group, I am a self confessed "Captain Slow." I should not have worried however as I was behind two law abiding lady riders who only exceeded the legal speed limit a couple of times. Derek, owner of my old Yamaha Diversion kept me company at the rear of the group.

We passed through Rothes then took the twisty road towards Keith, I was behind a Ducati Monster with illegal but lovely sounding exhaust pipes when we entered a sweeping set of double bends and came upon a scene we definitely did not want to see!!

A Kawasaki Ninja at the end of a set of skid marks, on its side on the verge! The rest of the group blocked off the road and we controlled the traffic whilst the now unrideable bike was moved to a safer location. A lady traffic warden appeared from nowhere( passing car we think) to help. Collection was arranged for stricken bike and unhurt, but severely fed up rider. It wasn't until we had to bump start Derek's bike which had flattened its battery on 4 way flashers and main beam with the engine off. ( Doh) That we realised how slippy the road surface was! Wet tarmac and spilled diesel fuel are as bad as ice! We were lucky only one of our number had gone down!

The incident had put us behind schedule for the egg handover so we missed out our coffee stop at Keith and headed straight to the Elgin council offices, via Fochabers.

The van containing over six hundred chocolate eggs was already there, we all helped to unload then some of our number set off to Burger King for a healthy lunch, whilst others decided to get home before the weather got worse, which it did!

Lots of photos were taken so if any come my way I shall include them later.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easter Egg Run

The weather was cool and wet, We delivered in excess of 600 chocolate eggs to the council office in Elgin following an eighty five mile ride out.

Kinloss motorcycle club Easter egg run

This is my old bike with my boss it's owner!
High in the highlands

The Delivery van

The club members start to arrive

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Apparently so!

Something to fill long weekend night shifts then..Good Oh!

First attempt at adding to blog from Work Computer

Don't know if this will work?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Winter Biking

A friend and work mate recently passed his bike test, tactically avoiding the new "Euro" inspired test which sounds a complete pain. I do not think I would pass it! He has bought himself a splendid Suzuki 750 and naturally wanted to go for a longish ride out as the longest ride to date had been Elgin to Lossiemouth. (8 miles) As we were both on stand down we decided on a circular trip from Kinloss via Elgin, Rothes and all in between to Grantown on Spey, Aviemore and back up the A9 to Inverness then back to Kinloss. Approx 100 miles I think.

I met Willie at his house after he had a problem getting his steed to start up, this turned out to be nothing more serious than his unfamiliarity with the choke. One thing you are not taught at bike school as the bikes are usually warm when you get them for lessons. That's his excuse anyway!

The weather was nice and mild with hazy sunshine, great! We got onto the busy a96 towards Elgin and encountered a nose to tail queue of slow moving traffic heading East. Bikes were the the only vehicles making any progress. At Alves we caught up with the problem after several very satisfying overtakes. It was a convoy transporting wind turbines!

After fueling at Tesco we headed South, stopping just short of Grantown for a "Comfort Break" The temperature had plummeted as we progressed and snow was to be seen everywhere except on the roads.

We parked up and had burgers and a drink at a fast food place. No tables to be had at the cafe.

Willie being Willie, he met not one, but two ex- comrades as we were strolling through the town and had a short chat!!!!! NOT!!! I was looking for a place to wee. Finally threw myself on the mercy of the British Legion whose barman was more than nice. My riding companion finally returned to the bikes and we set off to Inverness via the A9 at Aviemore.

The trip north was an exhilarating fast blast but my hands, clad in thin summer gloves, started to get cold so as we crested the Slochd summit I pulled into a parking place to change into winter mitts. Willie pulled in behind me and managed to find a pile of human poo, complete with tissue. With his foot!!! Oh how we laughed!! Well I did anyway.

We stopped at Tesco Inverness for a quick stretch and warm then headed for home. A splendid day out!