photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)
The weekend of the 6th/7th August was the date set for the
S&T(Strathendrick & Trossachs) in Crieff.
Then, on the following Wednesday and Thursday the Plus 1
in Mintlaw was to take place and following that, on the second
Scottish National at Blairgowrie.
year Jean and I were going, along with Terry and Dilys and Glyn Jones.
At the last minute Rob Jones decided that he'd like to tag along with
his new campervan as a spectator. Rob managed to get entries
for the social side of all the events, but not for the rides in the
S&T and the National as their entry lists were full. Terry took
Ariel whilst I took our Indian as our entry bike, along with the
a back up in case the Indian gave problems. The offer was made to Rob
to borrow the Morini - if we didn't need it. Glyn had unfortunately had
to cancel his entries a week or so before, which was a shame.
Arrangements were made
for us all to stay at a B&B in Garstang that Jean and I had
2010 as it was just about halfway up to Scotland. All five of us were
soon booked in and then retired to what I think is one of the best
Chinese restaurants in the country. I always reckon that the sign of a
good restaurant is when they use 'proper' table napkins and not paper
ones. Anyway, the feed sure did not disappoint. Onwards the following
Crieff and the campsite there.
Terry and Rob were going to be the custodians of our two bikes over the
weekend, whilst Jean and I headed off to our B&B.
was away as number 4 on the
Indian whilst Terry and Dilys were riding as number 18 with a total
entry on the programme of 100. Rob borrowed the Morini and just
followed us around the route.
The weather was good but with some cloud - anyway,
it was a super route
that took us out of Crieff and on up to Aberfeldy. From there we headed
on back roads to Kenmore and the Kenmore Hotel on the end of Loch Tay
After leaving the lunch stop we missed
the right turn to the steep climb up and over Glen Quaich. Consequently
we soon found ourselves back in Aberfeldy and so decided
to call it a day
and followed the route back to Crieff, picking up the official route on
the way. Terry and Dilys found the missed turning and passed comments
about just how steep the climb was, with the Ariel struggling in first
gear. So, in a way, I wasn't sorry that we had a more enjoyable ride on
some 'flatter' roads.
delicate minor adjustments were needed to the choke arrangement on the
Schebler carb on the Indian at the end of the day.
The hammers just for
The evening social event included an
excellent buffet and prize giving - all taking place under a temporary
awning. Last year the evening was glorious - this year not so, and you
can see from the one photo that there was an ingress of water at times
but the grub was good, for sure. The other photo shows Terry with the
Trophy that he won for the Ariel.
On Sunday, the day of the social run, the weather decided to be pretty
grotty, so all the South Wales contingent decided to be tourists for
day. We went to the Crieff visitor centre, which was very disappointing
as a visitor centre and was more a cafe with a group pf shops - so next
stop was the Famous Grouse distillery,
just outside and to the north of Crieff.
You can just spot a smiling Rob leaning
on the Grouse's plinth in this photo - not sure if he was smiling at
the thought of
the visit yet to come or after having sampled a few blends. I must say
that the visit was a touch disappointing - we arrived at 1.45 and
bought tickets for the 2.10pm tour. By 2.30 we were still waiting. Then
in came a deluge of 'tourists' on a bus trip. They were ushered
straight in despite the fact that they were booked for 4pm - we were
ignored and just left waiting. It took Rob to complain a few times
before we were
added to the bus party tour. Basically there was nothing going on as we
moved from room to room, ending up in the shop, of course. All in all a
bit disappointing. We spent a pleasant evening in one of the pubs in
Crieff that provided good pub grub.
Monday, and Terry and Rob had to move their campers off the Sports
field. Terry headed on to Mintlaw for the Plus one whilst Rob moved his
Romahome onto the commercial site in Crieff. Jean
and I picked him up and we all set off for Loch
Katrine, the birth place of Rob Roy MacGregor.
There are two pleasure
boats and last year Jean and I had
a sail on the motorboat but this year I wanted to take the steamer. The
SS Walter Scott was built in 1899 in Glasgow and was transported to the
Loch in pieces by ox cart. It was then reassembled and has plied the
Loch ever since, still using the original triple expansion steam
We all did enjoy the trip, for sure. Interestingly, around 1857, along
the south shore of the lake, famous for inspiring
Walter Scott to write his Lady of the Lake poem in 1810, Queen Victoria
had a house
built. On her first visit she insisted on having
a 21 gun salute and the sound waves blew out all the windows on the one
side of The Royal Cottage, as it was known - she didn't stay and never
Tuesday, and in dry weather, we hitched the trailer and collected Rob
the Romahome. We set off on the 150 mile drive to Mintlaw and the Plus
1 travelling the much longer scenic route via Braemar and past
Balmoral. Super scenery with a coffee
stop at the 'Spittal of Glenshee'. After the 100 entries at the
S&T there were only around 25 entered for the Plus 1.
Jacqui and her mum, Mary, were the main stays of the event and Jacqui
did say that they'd have had trouble catering for many more.
One bike caught my eye and that was the
1928 Raleigh model 23 belonging to Paul Feldon. OHV, wired tyres and
two brakes - all the makings of a fast vintage bike that would be great
fun to ride and a real alternative to a Model 9 Sunbeam that I've
always considered to be the epitome of a fast Vintage sports bike.
Willy and Mady from Antwerp had entered the Triple and were at
Mintlaw when we arrived, as were Terry and Dilys.
Wednesday dawned and the weather looked pretty grim - and it was - all
day. Same as last year - and by the time we got to Turrif for lunch we
were all soaking wet. A new friend called Paddy Winter rode with us for
company on a Honda 400/4 but he also had a 1928 Sunbeam, model 8,
for 'best'. Gosh what a day.
was an evening meal arranged in
the cafeteria at the Aden Country Park, which was a good evening. Guess
who won the Bette Barber Trophy for 'the bike I'd like to take
did tell Terry jokingly, that we'd all voted for him - and lo and
behold - he won
the cup, which was presented by the club President, Colin Bell. A nice
off to the day, even though it was still raining when we headed back to
our B&B. During an emergency stop early in the day, to
avoid a tractor and trailer, the Indian's secondary
brake cable lost a nipple and so I lost the use of the brake
altogether. That left
only the one rear wheel brake, which was none too good in the wet and
suffered brake fade on long downhill sections. The Indian has two
brakes on the rear wheel, one internal expanding and the other external
contracting, so it was a case of being a bit more careful for the rest
of the time in Scotland.
The following morning saw the sun
shining and as our motorcycle kit had been dried by the owners of our
B&B I decided that we'd repossess our Morini from Rob and have
an easier ride. The route took us northwards for a lunch stop in
Portsoy on the coast. It was a nice day and the ride quite leisurely.
After lunch, Bill Falconer, the North
East Scottish Section Chairman, gave us a guided tour of the village of
Fordyce where he grew up.The village even had a castle that was now
in parts as holiday accommodation. There was also a small joiners
had been set
up as a museum with some quite interesting items in it.
The evening was set to be a ham
& herring supper. Lovely weather as the sun went down. I even
managed to get Jacqui in a photo - she is certainly one of the
most camera shy girls that I've ever come across.
As we ate the ham and herrings and
downed a few beers a lady named
Hazel played a guitar and sang some folk songs, whilst I spotted a
nice original condition on a trailer outside. Someone said that it was
for sale - I resisted - honest I did!!
With the Plus 1 over we spent the Friday travelling down to Blairgowrie
for the Scottish National event, with the highlight of enduring the
road and it's 13 roundabouts - but then we had all day.
We arrived at the Coupar Sports ground and Terry and Rob sited
their respective campers, whilst Jean and I unloaded the Indian and
Morini. With everything settled we set off to book into our B&B
and clean up. Back at the Sports ground at 7pm, the bar was open, so we
few seats for the others and settled down for the evening. The food
laid on was 'Scottish Stovies', a sort of corned beef hash, but it did
taste good. I was told that there were things in the recipe
than potatoes and corned beef - just can't remember the list now.
There were 119 machines entered in the
programme for the 37th Scottish National, although I fancied there were
a lot more bikes than that lining up on the rugby field. At least the
weather promised to be good for the day, which was good. Terry was
number 29 with us on the Indian as number 31 - both riding the 24mph
This photo, taken by Jacqui Watson -
alias Gorgeous Biker
Chick - at the start of the Saturdays riding shows the South Wales
looking like they're still suffering from the night before. It wasn't
due to the stovies, really it wasn't!!
Some of the entered machines:
The regularity route
took us out into the country and after a couple of hours, stopped at
the Strathmore Arms
Hotel in Glamis for a Sunday lunch. An hour later and we were back on
the road on the return trip to Blairgowrie. All passed without a
hiccup, I'm pleased to say, with Rob and the Morini following. On the
final run into Blair we came across a 1923 Royal Enfield outfit with a
broken primary chain - after checking that we couldn't help we pressed
on to the finish.
Back at the sports field the recovery
came in fully loaded with Ron and
Rosemary Muirhead's Honda 400/4, Jim
Kirkham's newly acquired 1982 Honda 185cc and another
unidentified Honda aboard. Must be something about the Scottish air
that affects Hondas.
Dave Chambers, who had the broken
chain on his Enfield outfit, arrived ok. The Enfield has two primary
chains giving two speeds,
so Dave simply removed the cover and the broken chain and finished by
in bottom gear only on the second chain. At least he wasn't far from
home when we stopped
to offer help.
Jacqui Watson had arrived at the event
on her MZ
Scorpion - affectionately called 'Skorpy'. I had to include the photo
as the bike probably
doesn't get much publicity, despite it being a rather nice machine,
although Jacqui wasn't best pleased with it on this event, as the
motor was not running right at all. Seems it turned out to be a faulty
fuel tap causing fuel starvation.
Nearly the last photo, honest. The
evening saw us all attend the gala dinner and prize giving. Terry
managed second place in the timed event for early post vintage
machines. Luckily there's no pictorial evidence of me getting the 'best
timekeeping' trophy for late Vintage and also the award for 'the bike
the national secretary would like to take home'. What can I say - Dot
obviously has taste. Dot Dewar being the secretary of the meeting.
Sunday run took us up into the Cairngorms and to a coffee stop at -
guess where - the spittal of Glenshee Hotel. The very place
we had stopped at on the way to Mintlaw. This photo was taken by
shows Paddy in the high-vis vest with his 400/4 to the left in the
Luckily all our bikes behaved impeccably.
Final meal in the Chinese in Blaigowrie
that evening before the drive home on Monday for Terry and myself. An
enjoyable eleven days, for sure. Rob and his Romahome was last seen
heading off into the wilds of Northumberland for another weeks