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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Clocks!

My clock is wrong!


;-)



Got a Cubbie update coming for you this week - after I get back from a couple of days in Glasgow for work. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Save the old BSA building

Here's a link you might be interested in...and some great historical photos at the bottom of the page - www.bsatrust.org

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Stafford - pics up.

Pics added to post below for Stafford. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Stafford; been there, done that, and I got a tee shirt!

Well, what a weekend. Up at 5am, Mrs BC ran me to the station, hopped on a train to Dundee, met Shorty, picked Bill C up, and zoomed off south to Uttoxeter to meet Muckle Flugga Man for tea. Sat'day, off to the show, weather lovely, blue sky, sort of 'English' in atmosphere. Left Pete and MFM to queue at the gate while I swanned in with my advance ticket. No sooner was I in the grounds then people started to contact me to arrange meeting up. Some were new faces and people I've only 'known' through the blog, while others were people I've known for a while but hardly ever see. So in no particular order it was great to meet you / see you again - SFB and Gus, Robin of Wales, Ivan Rhodes and his lovely lady Joy, Mr Pres of the VMCC (had to drop a Cubbie souvenir off to him), Stuart and his good lady, Pilot Rae and his neighbour (the poor chap is being initiated into the world of 2-stroke MZs), Editor Britton from Old Bike Mart / Classic Dirt Bike fame, Slick Vic from Scotland, plus PeterO from Scotland (you go all the way to England and bump into people from your own backyard), Annice from the VMCC Library and Moz, and Rick Parkington of, shhhh, Classic Bike fame, oh there are too many to list! Who else did I meet? It'll come to me.




OH, and I bumped into the guys from Greystone Enterprises, Adrian and Derek. Never met them before, but spoken to one or both on the phone and they're always helpful with advice and Cub knowledge, not to mention being one of the main suppliers of spares. What to my wondering eyes should I spot on their stall as I chatted to them but a big white envelope with "GBC" written on the front. Hmmm. Sensing danger, I enquired, "what does GBC stand for?". The answer was obvious, it was me. Apparently, I must have said something last Christmas about the lack of a festive card from the guys and somehow, word must have ping-ponged its way back to them, so lo and behold, here was my first Xmas card for 2010! Thanks guys!

Ivan Rhodes kindly took the time to introduce me to his friends on the Pioneer Motorcyclists stand, and that was the first chance I'd had to sit down all day, plus I met a load of the Velo Owners too.

I missed out on a look at the MZ stand as I had to retreat from that hall and witness my Editor popping his B40 trials bike up and over a scrap car. The trials display that followed was quite good, with Tim providing commentary on the bikes and riders. The chips, it has to be said, were hideously overpriced, and I thank all those who treated me to elevenses / lunch / afternoon tea / food. I do need feeding up ya know. At some point over the weekend I managed a visit to the Real Classic stand where I met Rowena H, and then finally made it up to the balcony above the main hall for a look. And what did I see? A lovely little Tiger Cub, all dressed up in shiny chromey bits and looking good. Also saw the new Jawas, wouldn't mind a shotty on one of them. Ah yes, how could one forget. PeterO lent me and MFM his Bonhams catalogue so that we could have a look in the secret hall - the place were hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of Vincents were up for auction, along with lots of other perhaps less hyped up machines. We got there just as the Vinnies were going under the hammer, and had to sit down; silly, SILLY prices for these things. Surely no lump of metal is worth 20k, 30k, 40k??? Especially the rusty project ones.

In the auction room...



Up on the balcony...





And around and about again...



Go on, it's a 'Onda, that's for sure, but what do you think it is? No cheating, if you were there and saw it keep quiet!

Saturday was mostly taken up with chatting and a general browse around. There were so many people it was nearly impossible to stop and look at anything, so Sunday proved the best day for looking at project bikes and raking through rusty bits and pieces, and buying boxes of mixed washers, nuts and O rings. Oh, I bought Cubbie a special pressie - a new cork for the fuel tap. Last of the big spenders eh! Just got to get round to fitting it now.


Sorry, couldn't resist that one!

So after a day off on Monday for sightseeing, it was time to hot foot it back to Cubbie Towers where work work work and more work of one kind or another, awaited me. Plus the exciting news that after Mrs BC had dropped me at the station on Friday, the fuel tank went and detached itself from the truck and the truck was stuck at a garage down the road that we've never used. Ho hum, back to the grind!

THANKS again to all who took time to meet up and have a chat, must do it again some time.

Winter.

Oh Lordy, that's the first lot of snow for this winter. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

It ain't much, but it's enough to say winter is just around the corner.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Stafford.

I nearly, oh so nearly, made it to the April Stafford show, apparently that's THE show to go to, but illness intervened and I couldn't go. I even had my accommodation arranged and a lift booked. But anyway, I've got plans to be there this weekend - accommodation sorted and travel sort of sorted, just need to get me a train ticket and we're off. There is one small problem at the moment; I don't have anything to, er, wear. I mean, I'm bound to be able to find something suitable in the pile of clean washing that passes for the contents of my wardrobe, but the tee shirt I really, really need is out on the line in the rain. Along with my jeans. Oh dear, the trials and tribulations, you don't understand.

So what am I after at Stafford? Well, a trials 'zorst and petrol tank for a Cub would be good, and some kind of 'seat' to go on a trials Cub, plus any Terrier bits and pieces would make my eyes light up, and maybe some odds and ends that you've just got to buy when you go to these jumbley places, you know, mixed nuts and bolts, bungeeeees, Cub projects, nothing big ya know...

And I quite fancy seeing the Classic Dirt Bike hall where my editor from Old Bike Mart (incidentally, have you seen the Suzuki test www.oldbikemart.co.uk/news/bike-test-stepping-stone in there this month?) who is also the Ed of Classic Dirt Bike, will be demonstrating how to ride a trials bike over a car. Hooligan. I suspect he might make the odd couple of dabs on that one, but we shall see. He certainly couldn't compete with the World-International-Ariel-Trials-ish-Sidecar-Champ (aka GBC) in such matters. NO, that is NOT a challenge!

So keep your fingers crossed for a fine day tomorrow and if you're really unlucky, you might see me hanging around the VMCC stand at some point on the weekend.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Gee-Bee Chick

So, now what? I'm on that Fleecebook thing as Gee-Bee Chick, thinking that no one would know me and I wouldn't have any friends, but oh no, as soon as I got logged in about 300 names were listed for me to select my 'friends'. Scarily, most of these names were people I was at school with. How do 'they' know who Gee-Bee Chick is for goodness sake? Anyway, I've got A Page now, don't know what to do with it, don't know how to direct you to it (not that there's anything on there to look at, cos I've got a blog for that) but I'll see how useful it can be in the future. I'd better keep an eye on the hit counter and see what happens....

So welcome to any of you who have popped over here from over there, feel free to browse around, hit the archives and see what you've been missing. Please also feel free to leave a comment and let me know you've been here.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Facewhat?

Well there y'are, I tried to set up a Facebook thingy for the bike club, and one for someone with the initials GBC, but on both accounts they've failed to send the necessary confirmation emails. How bizarre. Any of you lot on the dreaded Facebook?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

And then, at last, there was the Scottish Double Plus1, PART 3

There was hardly time to breathe after the Plus1 was over, and on the Friday, I was back to work and not home til about 10pm. While I was out, Mrs BC had received an instruction from Mr VMCC President, Bill Phelps, via Past Pres Harry Wiles, saying that I "must get Cubbie to Blairgowrie tomorrow for the National". Frown. I was all set to head off early in the morning to accompany Pilot Rae on his Ariel outfit, but not ready to have to extract Cubbie from the shed and devise a safe and suitable way to transport it one hundred miles south. But when The President gives an order, one finds it hard not to comply. So after my tea, Mrs BC and I nipped out to the shed and moved a whole lot of junk around, and wiggled Cubbie free from alongside Skorpy, where it had been sitting since about June, when the MoT expired. The rain was lashing down outside, and the night was of course, pitch black, so rather than load up there and then, we measured the hay trailer and the back of the truck - in case there was any chance it would fit in there. Well it probably could have been made to fit, but not without draining all the oil and petrol and cleaning the muck off, so I came up with a cunning plan, Baldrick. If I screwed some blocks of wood to the floor of the trailer, and wheeled Cubbie on diagonally, it would just about fit and the blocks of wood would stop Cubbie's back wheel from sliding from side to side. At goodness knows what hour, I packed my rucksack, put the camera batteries on charge and got to bed. Up at 5am on Saturday and at least the rain had stopped. Once I managed to get Cubbie out of the shed, backwards, with little room to manoeuvre, it was fairly straightforward to load it onto the trailer and strap it down, and then we were off.

I arrived at Blairgowrie bang on time, just as Pilot Rae was beginning to wonder where I'd got to. Parked the truck and trailer up next to Pat & Jim's caravan, kitted up, persuaded Pilot Rae to buy me brekky, signed on and then jumped onto the sidecar and was ready for the off. The weather was glorious, a thing called the 'sun' was shining in the clear blue sky, and we sped off out of town, straight through the lights before they had a chance to change from green, and out into the countryside. My job was not only to act as ballast, but also to navigate and hoot the horn as necessary. Well I would have done the third part as well as I did the other two parts but someone had failed to fix the audible warning device...although I'm assured it will be working for next year.



The Pilot really was in the mood to fly, and we overtook anyone and anything that threatened to slow us up on the twisty, single track roads that formed most of the morning leg. Even the President Elect, Colin Bell was blasted to one side (er, what I mean to say is he pulled over and let us by with a friendly gesture that only Colin could get away with!) enabling us to make good time and to have a bloomin' good ride. Having reacquainted ourselves with one anothers riding styles on the previous weekend at the S&T, we seemed to gel rather quickly at the National. I've no idea where the route took us, except that it was pretty darn good, and all too soon we were passing the layby near Glamis where Cubbie and I spent some time a couple of years ago when a battery malfunction occurred and we had the humiliation of completing the course on the back of the breakdown trailer. Into Glamis and park up at the Strathmore Arms for lunch - a huge plate of roast beef, just what the Doc ordered, and a good bit of banter with fellow entrants, and then before I knew it, our time was up and the Pilot was anxious to get going again. He really is a stickler for time keeping.



But it paid off, and even the sneaky checkpoint located just a mile or two after lunch didn't stop us from gathering multiple awards that night at the posh dinner-do in Blairgowrie. Talking of which, I must apologise for abandoning Captain Bill & Co at the dinner, as a spare seat next to Mr Pres was duly filled by an anxious GBC who had to find out just exactly what the Pres wanted with my bike!

A fine meal was followed by the prize giving, and after all the years of mickey taking by my good friend Shorty, the tables were finally turned. His previous mocking of a certain gentleman by the name of Mr Coutts had led to an embarrassing moment, as Shorty committed exactly the same little faux pas that Mr Coutts did - he forgot which bike he had booked into the Plus1. It isn't a big deal, but such slip ups don't happen often, so the most had to be made of it. I must thank Alan for announcing the Special Wooden Spoon Award for Shorty, and Mr Pres for presenting it with style. And Shorty of course, for accepting it with good humour. But you should have seen his face!!

SOME OF THE PRIZE WINNERS....




THE SUNDAY AFTER THE NATIONAL
I've never been able to stay on for the Sunday social run before, but this year was different, so I once again had the pleasure of accompanying Pilot Rae on the short ride to Bridge of Dun station in Montrose. The sun shone once again, in fact, it was quite hot. We arrived just in time to get a ticket for the ride on the choo-choo train, up the line and back, before having lunch and then heading back to the campsite. I read a fascinating Wikipedia snippet in the lunch carriage all about toilet paper orientation, a pic of which is below - what do you do? No, actually, don't think I want to know too much detail.
Jim from Oban. No, he is not looking for a Cubbie size spanner, he's looking for a Honda one, tee hee!

That'll be Terry, from Northern Ireland, who had to rush off and rescue his relative (son? Son in law?) who'd broken down. Pesky lights sat at red for at least half an hour.

Ah yes, almost forgot to tell you. Met a guy at the National called Bob, who was on his way north, north, north from Cheltenham to Helmsdale in his 1936 AJS Commercial outfit. What a man. The story behind the trip is that in the 1920s/30s, his grandfather worked as a chauffeur for a wealthy family, and was sent up to Helmsdale to 'electrify' a house. Love that phrase. This map is part of the route that Bob's grandfather took, there are pages and pages of it, and if you click on it to enlarge it, you can see it took him right through the centre of a small town called Edinburgh... Bob intended to follow the route to the letter, as much as possible, sticking to the original plans. You there Bob? Giz a shout and let me know how you got on.

So that was it, the Scottish Double Plus1 was over for another year. It was a little hectic, I think next year I might have to take the week off work, or maybe the week after, just to recover. As I write this, Cubbie is back in Scotland, complete with a swingy-thingy, but that's a whole other story. I'd better go and get some paperwork done or there'll be trouble.

Oh, just before I go, I spotted this nifty way of motorcycle transportation. Reckon you could get more than one Cubbie in a car like that....
And just before I go again, couldn't not put these pics up....

Lucky Captain Bill got to ride in John McD's Morgan on the Sunday run, but getting in it was another matter! When I saw him hopping around on one leg trying to climb in, I stupidly said "last one back buys the ice cream..."
WHOOOOOSSSSSSHHHH!!!!

And just in case you haven't spotted the new fangled video clippy linky thinky on the left hand side at the top of the page, there's a short video of pics and some onboard Ariel footage from the National over at www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRIpmIat7qE

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