Tuesday 26 February 2013

The "Rest & be Thankful"

Any visitor to the West Highlands will be familiar with the "Rest & be Thankful". It is a length of the military road between Loch Long and Loch Fyne. The road was built in the 1740's but by the car age its twists and steep slopes were a problem. A new road was built in the 1930's. The old road was used for car hill climb events from the '40's to the '70's.

The new road has suffered closures due to landslides in recent years. Works to construct steel catch nets is ongoing but the old road has also been resurfaced and will be used in the event of future landslides. It would be fun to have a blast up the old road but this won't happen. It will only be open then the new road is closed and since it's single track a convoy system will be used.

The Rest & be Thankful today with the old & new roads

It was bright but cool. Loch Fyne is partially frozen.

The CBF at Inveraray

Monday 25 February 2013

How Quaint

I like it when you stumble upon something quirky as was the case today in the village of Dunmore, near Stirling. A public well in good condition in a nice little village.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Back on the FJ

I put the FJ off the road at the end of September last year and have been using the CBF since then. The little bike has provided good service over the last five months through all weathers. But with spring around the corner I feel the need for speed and plan to start riding the FJ again soon. Only not the same FJ. The bike I rode last year (the "new" FJ) is still in hibernation. I have resurrected my "old" FJ aka "Big Blue". 

Why two FJs? Well I bought Big Blue way back in 1993 when it was 18 months old with 14,000 miles on the clock. By 2004 it was nearing 100,000 miles and whilst it was going ok I though I should replace it. Since it did everything I needed out of a bike I bought another FJ. But what to do with the old bike? Although it looked and ran ok who would buy it? I didn't want to scrap it for spares so I kept it and ran both bikes. Big Blue hasn't been used for two years but I don't like not using a bike. Things go wrong with a bike that just sits there - a sort of mechanical arthritis. I went for a short spin today to blow away the cobwebs and the bike was going fine - pulling like a train despite its 134,000 miles.

The next step will be to take the bike for its MOT (UK annual vehicle inspection ) & buy a tax disc. By mid March the weather is usually good enough to take Big Blue out for some longer runs.

Old (front) & new (rear)

A bit of heavy braking will shift the rust
I bled the clutch because the lever was feeling spongey
You can't photograph a bike starting - so I made a video for you. A sign of man with too much time on his hands!

Getting my Yamaha FJ 1200 back on the road from Stuart Wade on Vimeo.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Run to Ayrshire

A short run yesterday to Ayrshire in weather conditions that could be described as "spring-like".

 Tarholm Bridge over the River Ayr. South of the village of Annbank the bridge took its name from a tar distilling works formally nearby. As one who toiled in the industry for many years it's obvious that the bridge deck & piers are not contemporary. I guess that the bridge once had a steel girder deck that was replaced with reinforced concrete when the bridge was widened.

The very picturesque Stair Parish Church

 Seems like a nice place for a pint!

The "Auld Brig" (old bridge) at Sorn. Build c1740 by the minister of the church in the background after one of his flock drowned fording the river on his way to worship.

Wednesday 6 February 2013


A run to the Highlands today. Weather was bright and bearable (above freezing, anyway) until Tyndrum were it became windy and astonishingly cold.

Loch Tulla and Beinn an Dothaidh (right) (pronounced Byn an Daw-ee!)

 Lochan na Stainge at Rannoch Moor

After 85 miles I chucked it here at the start of Glen Coe. It was so cold by this time I could hardly work the camera.


An enjoyable day out dispite the cold with the CBF going well - especially on the way home with a brisk northerly wind behind us.