Wednesday 30 August 2017

The Bays of Galloway

I was planning on going somewhere else but the weatherman said that it would be best in the south west of the country so that's where I headed.

I remembered that there were some impressive bays heading for the Mull of Galloway so I went looking for them.

As usual (for some odd reason) I'm visiting the coast at low tide.

Loch Ryan from Stranraer


Sandhead Bay. I'm standing where the seaweed finishes so the tide goes out a long way here.

Sandhead Bay

Drumantrae Bay

New England Bay. I can't find the reason for the name. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the USA.

I brought some lunch and the bay made a pleasant setting for lunch

Drummore Bay

Drummore Bay

Port Logan Bay

Luce Bay

Thursday 24 August 2017

Journey to the Edge of Britain

Yesterday I took a run to the furthest west point in the British mainland. Ardnamurchan is a peninsular west of Fort William. It is a wild, remote and sparsely populated area. But it is possible for me to do a day visit.

The route

On the way there Glencoe had some low cloud but I hoped that this is would clear.

The SV at Loch Ailort

Glenuig Bay

Loch Moidart

Looking over Loch Sunart

Camas nan Geall (Bay of Strangers)

Near the end of the peninsular I took a diversion to Sanna to see this magnificent sandy beach. On the deserted road there I thought I might have it to myself but the car park was busy and there a fair amount of people enjoying the beach.

Loch Sunart at the village of Strontain

River Gour flows into Loch Linnhe

I took the Corran Ferry over Loch Linnhe to avoid having to go back to Fort William.

This was great day out in a really beautiful and remote area. Progress can be slow because many of the roads are single track and liberally coated in gravel. But worth it for the seclusion, a rare thing in out crowded country.

I've tried to get the locations correct but it is hard in this area of twisting roads, many bodies of water and few towns.

Monday 21 August 2017

Classic Show in Fife

Yesterday I went over to Fife to meet my friend Malcolm at a classic vehicle show in Ladybank. There were a lot of interesting vehicles.

Here are a couple of Yamaha two stroke twins from the early '70's

An AS1 125cc and…

….a YR5 350cc

Mod style scooters

I always feel a twinge of guilt when I see a BSA Bantam having killed one many years ago.

A rare one, I think. A 350cc Norton Navigator(?)

Indian Scout

If you were a kid in the '70's a Raleigh Chopper was the bike to have

An Isetta bubble car. Although an Italian design this one was made by BMW (see badge)

I liked this little crawler tractor. Intended for use in market gardens. It must be like having your own mini tank.

A British sports car I'd never heard of. It's a Healey Elliot. This car has a racing heritage. It won the touring car class in the 1948 Italian road races, the Mille Miglia & Targa Florio.  

This truck took my interest. It's a Sentinel DG4 made in England by the Glasgow engineering company Alley and MacLellan. It's steam powered and amazingly produced until the late 1930's. My mother worked in the Glasgow factory before I was born.

Malcolm thinking - what the hell is this thing? - It's a 1992 Suzuki 250 SW1.

Friday 18 August 2017

Back on the SV

I've enjoyed riding the CBF this summer. It's nice looking at the scenery as you trundle along at a modest pace and getting a whole day's riding on a single tank. But with the SV repaired and a fresh MOT obtained it's time for some speed.

It's not that the SV is crazy fast - it has brisk performance. But with the combination of light weight, great handling and a willing, revvy V-twin engine it just begs to be trashed. Of course I'll be keeping it sensible today. I'm keen to avoid any more dealings with the medical profession for a while.

I headed to the Scottish Borders and Berwick upon Tweed.

This is a favourite view of mine. Looking north from Lammermuir Hills to the Firth of Forth and Fife. (try saying that quickly three times) 

I'm not superstitious but some lucky heather can't do any harm.

I took this photo of a wind farm for the purple heather in bloom


The old bridge in Berwick

Looking across the River Tweed to the town

Another favourite view - the River Tweed near Broughton

Monday 14 August 2017

Back Roads to England

This is the fourth in my "Back Roads" series. It's a simple concept. I pick a destination and figure out a route there and back on minor roads. I'm looking for great biking roads, scenery, history and adventure!

In this episode I'm heading south, to England. The main road is the M74 (in places called the A74(M) for obscure reasons) There is also the old A74 now de-trunked and designated B7076 & B7078. But I'm looking for a more scenic and winding route. 

Studying the map I found a road I'm sure I've never been on. It starts in Carronbridge and heads for the Lowther Hills and the Forest of Ae.

I know I've complained about this before but come on guys, some road signs on  back roads would be helpful. We don't all have satnav.

But I found the way. The weatherman said it would be sunny but this was not really true.
Lost again. I'm sure this sign once contained useful information like "this road is a dead end in 2 miles".

Cattle grid in the hills.

Robert the Bruce statue in Lochmaben.

Silted up harbour in Annan.

This was interesting. The "Devil's Porridge Museum". The what? This is a new  museum on the site of a large First World War munitions factory that produced cordite. Cordite being the propellant in bullets and shells. The place was huge employing 15,000 workers, mostly women, to mix nitro-glycerine and guncotton to produce a paste. This was dubbed "the devil's porridge" by writer Arthur Conan Doyle who visited the factory. I didn't have time to go inside but I'll make a note to return.

Workers making cordite

Near Gretna I came across these cars waiting to race in a rally stage.

The motorway at the Scottish border

The River Esk at Longtown

Heading back into Scotland

The road between Canonbie and Langholm has been closed for some time because of a landslip. The local council don't seem to be in a rush to fix it but this earth mound placed to stop traffic is easy to get past.

They don't bother fixing pot holes either

Suspension footbridge in Langholm

Another excellent "Back Roads" run. I found some new roads and some interesting places. The day was slightly marred by uncharacteristicly bad behaviour from the CBF. It started misfiring and spluttering. Later that evening when I fuelled up it left a pool of petrol on forecourt. Oh well, excuse me, I've got a carburettor to strip……