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!