The Scottish Triple 2010
(Click any photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)

Fri 6th Aug to Mon 16th Aug
- This was the week for the three Scottish events, the S&T on the first weekend, the Plus One on the Wednesday/Thursday followed by the National at Blairgowrie on the second weekend. I'd entered the '25 Indian for the S&T and the National, but had put the '36 Nimbus down for the Plus one as the Indian had developed yet another problem before I'd entered the event. So, we set off for Scotland with two bikes in tow, taking the M5/M6 - gee what a mistake. Stop/start all the way. It took us over 11 hours to get to Crieff. Terrific B&B with the cooked breakfasts including haggis - it's a special kind made especially for breakfasts, so I was told by Michael, our host. Nice it was too, although very spicy. Anyway, I'd taken my SLR camera which was just a bit too bulky to carry on the bike - must remember to take my small Fuji next time. Consequently, I didn't get as many photos as I'd have liked - hence, some have been purloined from Jacqui Watson's blog - but I'm sure she won't mind a bit. Jacqui's blog is linked from the general links page in the library, but to save you looking it's here.

The S&T(Strathendrick and Trossachs)
Run by the Stirling Castle section and based at the Crieff Rugby Club, the weather did look promising for the whole weekend. The Saturday run took place in glorious weather with the Indian deciding to wet-sump a bit and cover everyone in smoke at the start. Lucky thing that was, as those with the cameras couldn't see my embarassment as they snapped away. We were soon off to the sound of the bagpipes and after a stop just down the road to adjust the oil pump, the bike then behaved itself all day. What can I say about the Trossachs apart from it really is a beautiful area. Don't miss it, if you ever get to Scotland. We passed through Aberfoyle and took the Dukes pass, it just went up and up. Luckily the Indian had no problem with the two of us on it, even though some of the bends were real hairpins. Lunch was taken at the Clachan Cottage Hotel on the side of Loch Earn whereupon, whilst drinking a coffee outside, a familiar face appeared. It was Nick Jonckheere from Ostend, one of the organising team for the OKP. He was on holiday in Scotland with Patricia, his wife and their two children. Isn't it a small world?

The evening culminated in an outdoor buffet which was extremely pleasurable while watching the sun go down and chatting to like minded enthusiasts. I said a few words and presented the trophies with a fair few going to fellow Welshmen (and women).

For Sunday, I decided against using the Indian as it had developed yet another fuel leak from the tank - so the trusty Nimbus was pressed into service. It sure was a good idea to take it with us. The social run of 65 odd miles took in a coffee stop at Innerpeffray Library, the oldest library in Scotland, having been founded in 1680. We were really priviledged to be able to see some of the oldest books that they had. It was all over far too soon, I must say. Back in Crieff I removed the Indian tank and cleaned the underside to see the problem - soon fix that with a welding torch, I thought. OK, I know, but I'll tell you one day just how to do it safely. Anyhow, no torch available so it was a question of finding some Petropatch to repair it on a temporary basis, a job for Monday.

We were to stay in Crieff for another day, the Monday, so took the opportunity to do some sightseeing whilst the local garage located some Petropatch to repair the leak in the Indian tank.

Jean and I decided to go for a trip on Loch Katrine and sample one of the two boats. One was a Victorian steamer called the 'Sir Walter Scott', the other boat was named after Scott's poem, 'The Lady of the Lake'. It was the beauty of Loch Katrine that inspired Scott to write the words of his poem back in 1810. We didn't make the Loch in time to catch the steamer but were able to photgraph it from the top deck of the other cruiser.
As we cruised along the lake we could see a large Victorian house that was built there for Queen Victoria. It seems that the Queen on her first visit there insisted on a 21 gun salute when she had arrived. That took place and blew all the windows out on the side of the house facing the salute - Victoria never went there again.

On the way back one of the crew recited some of Walter Scott's poem and my jocular comment to him after he had finished was that I didn't understand a word of it. He took it in good stead and laughingly said that he must get another job.

I took some very atmospheric pictures of the Loch as the day had started a bit on the drizzly side but turned out to be one to remember. When we returned to the jetty and disembarked it was back into the car and head for Aberfoyle as we were told that we'd find a fuel station there as the car's 'low fuel' light was on. Very few petrol stations in this part of the UK, I must say. We stayed in Aberfoyle for a few hours and had some lunch before heading, at a leisurely pace - well, we were tourists today - back to Crieff. The Petropatch had arrived and I applied it as per instructions and refitted the tank to the Indian. All seemed ok after I'd added some fuel, so the bike was ready for the Scottish National at Blairgowrie on the next weekend.

That evening Jean and I went to Doune to the evening meeting of the Stirling Castle section. It was a real pleasure to be there alongside Colin and Marion Bell and amongst an excellent turnout of members. Bill Dunlop entertained us all with a slide show and talk on Wooler motorcycles. Afterwards I promised to send him a copy of the slide of a Wooler that I'd taken at the 1963 Banbury run, to add to his slide show.

The Plus One
On the Tuesday we were to move on to Mintlaw for the Plus One. Saying goodbye to Michael, our landlord, I loaded the bikes and we set off, travelling the scenic way, up past Braemar and Balmoral. Arriving at the Aden Country Park, we left the trailer and bikes with Jim and Pat Kirkham and after a cuppa with them we headed off for our B&B at the Country Park Inn. When I made the booking earlier in the year it all seemed a bit off hand, shall I say. The landlady wasn't there to show us our room and when she did eventually arrive adopted a rather surly attitude. Overall, the room we were offered was not made up and dirty. The room we had originally booked was occupied by someone else, plus the outside of the pub hadn't been cleaned for months - not nice at all, especially as the landlady finally told us to 'take it or leave it'. You can guess what we decided to do. So, Jacqui found us, along with Harry and Fran Wiles, other accommodation further down the road. A super hotel and Jean and I fell in lucky and had a four-poster bed in our room. We ate a superb meal there that evening with Andrew Rae plus Harry and Fran Wiles who were also staying at the hotel.

Wednesday dawned and it was raining, wouldn't it just. We set off from the Country Park along the east coast and eventually turned inland stopping for lunch in Inverurie. By that time both Jean and I were soaking - The Nimbus ran fine though. We decided to head straight back to the finish and made that under black skies and with no trouble. Wet clothes were hung all over the bedroom in the hotel as we readied ourselves for the evening dinner and prize giving, which went off in fine manner.

Luckily all our clothes dried out overnight and we were able to use them again for the next day.

The sun did shine for the social run on the Thursday, along the north coast after which the evening was rounded off with a herring and ham supper whilst Hazel sang folk songs. A super two days and well organised by the North East Section with Jacqui and her mum, Mary, who, I must say, downed a few Belgian beers in fine style, deserving special mention.

The Scottish National
Friday saw us travel down to Blairgowrie for the Scottish National event - the Indian was ready with it's tank sporting the petropatch that was showing signs of seepage - not enough to worry about though. A super lunch was taken at a pub, just outside Glamis Castle. Yet again the weather was fine and we had a lovely run on the Indian that day. I reckoned that it was at last becoming a reliable bike.

The evening saw the event dinner, with yours truly presenting the prizes. Stan Williamson had the wooden spoon for forgetting which bike he'd entered and turning up on the wrong one.

Sunday Social Run

We used the Nimbus for the social run to a preserved railway in Brechin the following day, which took place in glorious sunshine.

The tail-end story
I had been talking to Harry on the Friday evening about Jacqui's famous, or is it infamous, Tiger Cub - known as 'cubbie'. 'Where is it?' I asked Harry. 'Back suspension is seized' he replied. I commented that it was an easy fix to replace pin and bushes and if it could be got to us then I'd take it home and fix it for her. Jacqui duly brought the bike to the campsite on the Saturday morning and it was left with Jim and Pat Kirkham to look after until I collected it on the way back home to Wales on the Monday morning. Must say that I wondered just what I'd volunteered for, especially when I heard the list of other things that needed fixing. But all that's all another story.