Tuesday 30 May 2017

CBF at 60k

This is a post I have not anticipated making. 60,000 miles on a 250? But three years after posting "CBF at 40k" there I am.

The bike required a bit of money & time spent on it last year to fix the clutch and a stripped spark plug thread. But after that it's running fine. It doesn't make any strange noises and it consumes only a tiny amount of oil. This suggests the motor is still in good condition.

The CBF in an important bike for me. It is my sole transport between November and March and I use for my day to day running about. But the bike is also fun to ride, especially on the back roads where its light weight and punchy engine work well.

In three years or so will I be writing a "CBF at 80k"? - don't bet against it.

Friday 19 May 2017

Southern Scotland - As the Crow Flies - Part#3

Smailholm Tower, a 16th century tower house

On the back roads looking for….

….Hume Castle

The castle is not what it seems. It's a fake. Well, there was a castle here built about 1300 but this was destroyed in the 17th century. It was re-built as a folly in 1789.

The castellations are far to big and pointless without a platform behind them. I think the wall in the centre is the only original part.

A good view to the south to look out for the English approaching

I was chased from the grounds of the castle by these sheep! I don't know what breed they are but they're as ugly as sin. Even the lamb was huge but can't be more than ten weeks old. Thinking about it they were probably just looking for me to feed them.

It's raining on someone….

Just over the border to Berwick upon Tweed

Seems a good way to exercise the dog

Southern Scotland - As the Crow Flies - Part#2

Telford Manor House, Beattock was a coaching inn, now hoilday apartments. Beattock was the first stop on the three day journey from Dumfries to Edinburgh (2 hours now!)

Another hotel, the Buccleugh Arms in Moffat

Moffat Water

The Grey Mare's Tail waterfall

Sheep on the road are a hazard in these parts. This will not be the last sheep-related incident today…..

My SV could have been built for roads like this

Loch of the Lowes

The Gordon Arms is an inn in a remote location. Last time I passed it had burned down but is now back in business

Yarrow Water

Sir Walter Scott statue in Selkirk

Oil seed rape

The River Tweed at St Boswells

Scott's View

Old petrol pumps at Clintmains

Southern Scotland - As the Crow Flies - Part#1

I've mentioned previously that southern Scotland, the regions of Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, contains some of my favourite biking roads. The area extends from Portpartick in the west to Berwick upon Tweed in the east and that gave me an idea for a run.

I decided to ride from Portpatrick to Berwick on roads, as close as possible, to a straight line between the towns. This journey, from my home, would be about 380 miles. Possible but a bit further than I would like. This is for pleasure not an endurance test. Luckily the M74 motorway bisects the route and provided a way of splitting the trip into two 250 mile days.

(This posting will be in three parts. I usually spread them over a few days but we're going away tomorrow for a week so here's all three - enjoy!)

My route


SV at the Harbour

Ireland is 23 miles away and I think I could just about see the coast

Pity you don't have smell-o-vision - the woods were full of bluebells. Soon to be replaced by ferns.

Heading away from the coast

A real back road - on the way to New Luce

Church in New Luce

Newton Stewart

Clatteringshaws Loch

Water of Ken, New Galloway



Dalveen Pass

Daer Water Bridge. I passed this old job of mine. About 25 years ago the bridge was found to be under strength and I was told to fix it "as cheaply as possible" My design was to drive in pairs of steel piles with a cross beam between them to support the deck. It's rusting away slowly but should last another few decades.

Is it just me or is there something odd about this plantation of trees near Crawford?

Thursday 18 May 2017

Featured Car - Jowett Javelin/Jupiter

I came across this nice pair in Peebles recently. They were advertising a rally for Jowett Cars. Jowett made vehicles in Bradford in West Yorkshire from 1906 to 1954 and these cars represent their post-war models. They are a Javelin saloon and a Jupiter sports car.

Cute as they are what is more interesting are the engines. It is an aluminium 1500cc water cooled flat 4. This was an advanced design for the era and the cars were quite fast - 80mph for the saloon and 85 mph for the open car.


You don't get this anymore! The whole front part of the bodywork folds back for excellent access (the radiator is behind the engine)

When I showed interest in the cars a lady rushed out of a café and gave me this flyer for their rally at the end of the month. So if this sort of thing interests you I'm sure they will be a friendly bunch.

Sunday 14 May 2017

More Santander

We loved walking along this beach

On a trail

"I told you, don't plant ivy!"

Sometimes I get this 3D face and sometimes I don't

Lots of bike parking places

I imagine the owner of the old blue house saying "there's no way I'm selling out to the developers". 

Where we are

It's gin-o'clock!

One day it got stormy - this is the Bay of Biscay after all.

People seem to have been rubbing the mermaid statue for, uh, luck?

Palacio de la Magdalena, a royal palace

The view from the palace