Another sunny Sunday, another shoreline spin. From Kilmuirs to Largs, nice fast roads, (even though we went no faster than the speed limit.) Largs on a dry Sunday is always busy, and you have always got other keen bikers coming up to chat to you about your bike, bike clothing, bike trips, bike modifications and bike everything else, as long as it’s about bikes. While the bikes were parked up and being admired (not that my bike is special, it’s got two wheels, so it’s going to get looked at) thought we would go to get chips, it’s a biker tradition to get a local chippy. so tried “the fish works” and it was a decent portion, and hit the spot.
From Largs we went up the coast to Greenock, which was a non eventful journey. Over the Erskine bridge and up to Loch Lomond. Turning off the A82 to take the Haul Road to Garelochhead. The Haul Road is one of my favourite roads, it’s like a rollercoaster of tarmac, it is sometimes difficult to tell if you are going up or down hill. Stopping at a parking spot, you get an amazing view of the Faslane navil base, home if the imfamous Trident Missles, and Gare Loch. After looking at the view far to long, we headed down to ride past the rich areas of Helensburgh and then back over the Erskine Bridge.
Easter Sunday, haven’t been a good run all year, so decide to head south. I haven’t ventured south much on the bike, except for a run down to Stranraer. Started from McDonalds at the Bellfield Interchange, (eh! had a coffee, honest) Got onto the A76 and followed it all the way to Dumfries, for a single road, it wasn’t too bad. had some corners and passed through some interesting places. Would have went to the see the Crawick Multiverse, but it was shut. So headed south of Dumfries to Caerlaverock Castle, a twin tower, 17th century medieval stronghold, surrounded by a moat. very nice and different to typical castles in Scotland.
A long time being talked about, finally got the ferry booked to go to Arran. It didn’t disappoint, it turned our to be a nice sunny day, and because it was during the week, it was pretty quiet too. Once off the ferry we headed south to Lamlash, a small village that has beautiful views of Holy Isle. On the south of the Island everywhere you look has spectacular views like (above) the lighthouse on the island of Pladda looking onto Aisla Craig. We could have stopped everywhere for photos, but we didn’t have all day, so we battered on to Blackwaterfoot for a spot of lunch by the sea. On to the North of the Island where the Isle of Arran distillery is situated. But that’s for another time, when I don’t have the motorbike with me. Heading south from Lochranza gives you amazing views of Goatfell, and Brodick Castle. Before getting back to the ferry, a must stop location, the Arran Brewery, to pick up some beers for “feet up time” later. Can’t wait to go back.
Aberfoyle is the start of the West Highland Way, but we headed south on a beautiful stretch of road that takes you through Fintry and down to Lennoxtown. The road is the B8034 and then onto the B822. It is a lovely twisty road through the Campsies. With many stopping places to enjoy your flask of coffee. It takes about 40 minutes and even if you do it in reverse both towns have nice places to grab something to eat at the end of your journey.
The sun was out, well, it wasn’t raining, and after a long winter, thats as good as a day gets, so, a wee nights camping down near the Galloway Forest Park was needed. Getting to the campsite located on a farm called “Balloch O’Dee” is a nice run through the Galloway Forest Park, which has beautiful sights and a nice single track winding road. The campsite is a nice small farm that you share a field with dogs, chickens and horses. It has a few hook-up points and a lot of fire pits to do some nice BBQ cooking. The road back involved heading to Strararer and up through Girvan, a very nice road on a sunny day with beautiful views of Ailsa Craig.
It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s dark, all the car drivers are forgetting the rules of the road because it’s cold and wet. Going out on your bike is not the problem, it’s what to do when you get to your destination, as it’s cold, wet and dark. How about just sit in put on the xbox or playstation and play Ride 2. This game has all your dream bikes, over 200 of them, (so if your dream bike is not in it, you have a unique (weird) taste). The game is set over 30 tracks all over the world, but don’t get too addicted, it’ll be spring time soon, and you can go out for real. See the website here
The world of scooters have taken a surprising turn, for years they have remained the same formula, urban, with a hint of super sport (if in colour only). Over the years they have only changed in size, with some companies bringing out larger engines. Now Honda have broken all the rules and made a adventure style scooter, and it looks cool. It’s got adventure style trimmings, including an large 745cc engine, higher ride height and chunky multispoke wheels. I’m not sure it would be my first choice for the Paris to Dakar rally.
For a few years the car industry has been going back in time, bring out classic cars with a up-to-date twist. The same can be said for the motorbike industry. So no surprise that BMW have jumped onto the bandwagon. The RnineT has been out for a few years, but recently updated with this beautiful 70’s style look. The RnineT Racer, is straight out the years of classic sports bike, but with all the new tech that BMW put on their bikes these days, and probably some of the comfort too. 1170cc boxer engine, shaft drive and motorred ABS are just some of the standard kit this 2016-70’s icon comes with. Here
It’s coming into winter time, long gone are the long sunny days and dry roads, now comes the cold dark nights and hazardous mother nature, here are some things to look out for.
Ice on shaded roads It might feel like the sun has heated the day up to an acceptable level, but the nights are a lot colder and brings frost. With the short days and low sun, some parts of the road don’t see light at all, so the frosty parts stay there.
Leaves on corners All the lovely colours on the trees, eventually they fall off and cover the roads, and they are slippy too.
Thicker gloves Yeah, it’s still warm enough, just take the bike out, but it’s cold enough to freeze you fingers off at 70 mph, get the winter gloves looked out again, your fingers will thank you.
Low sun glare Shorter days come with low sun, this makes it hard to see but also makes it harder to be seen.
Must be nice to be Gotham City’s billionaire, with your own research and development department, head of your own company, have a mansion and be Batman. He famously got on this crazy looking “bike” in the Dark Knight, to battle the Joker and his goons. It looked the business. I think if he lived in a nice wet country like Scotland, the bike would have some kind of front and rear hugger to keep the spray from those tyres from covering you, the fund would be a nice touch though.