Tuesday 26 February 2019

Summer Comes Early

The amazing spell of weather continues in the UK. Records are being broken - the first time 20C/68F has been recorded in winter. Not quite that warm here but very pleasant riding weather. I'm out on the FJ again for a run to Galloway in the south west. 

If you seek solitude this is the place - south of Straiton

The River Bladnoch near Wigtown

The British red phone box will soon be a thing of the past

I'm always up for exploring an old graveyard.

I've featured it before but it's worth another photo - Sorbie tower.

On my way to the tower I was surprised to see a WW1 tank. It looked real but is made of plywood.

Isle of Whithorn

It's not an island now. It's connected to the mainland by a causeway.

A welcome sign of spring.

Scotland in February - a tropical paradise!

Cruggleton Old Church. I've passed this before but I could see it better today because the trees are bare. It has an odd location in the middle of a field with no access path and no houses nearby. The building seems to be in good conditions and is apparently used occasionally.
The coast road near Port William

Port William

Definitely an ice cream day!

Luce Bay

A cheery message at the Gospel Hall in Glenluce

Saturday 23 February 2019

Getting the FJ out

We are currently enjoying a long spell of very mild weather - 14C/57F today. I tried firing up the FJ a few days ago…… and there was a feeble click from the starter motor relay. With a new battery fitted it started fine.

Today I took the old bus out for a run to the Borders.   

Near Biggar

Peebles panorama

Back road near Hawick

Heading towards Moffat

Thursday 21 February 2019

In the News - Balmy Scotland

The UK is currently enjoying an unseasonably mild spell of weather thanks to a stream of air from the south.

Today the record temperature for February in Scotland was broken. It reached 18.3C (65C) in Aboyne beating the old record of 17.9C (64F) set in nearby Aberdeen in 1897.

Thursday 7 February 2019

Featured Bike - Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 (2018)

I've been watching some YouTube reviews of the new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and am pleased that they have been generally favourable.   

Firstly a bit of history. Royal Enfield were a British bike company that went bust in 1971. In 1955 the Indian government ordered a large number of Bullet 350cc singles for use by the police and army. This was beyond the capability of the company so they sold the design to a subsidiary, Enfield India, to be manufactured there.

The Bullet, in 350 & 500cc capacity, has been built in Indian ever since. In about 1990 they started to be imported to the UK. Not my cup of tea but I guess if you want a new 1950's Brit bike…..   

I first saw the Interceptor at the Scottish bike show in 2017. It was quite impressive being a neatly styled bike closely resembling a classic '60's Brit twin. With retro styled bikes very popular (Bonneville, Guzzi V7, CB1100, etc) it seems reasonable that Enfield would want a bigger bike to compete in this sector.

The Interceptor has a new 650cc air-cooled parallel twin with eight valves and a single overhead camshaft. The firing interval is 270 degrees so it had the feel of a V twin. Reviewers praise the smoothness of the engine (it has balance shafts), its grunty power delivery and the simple "back to basics" philosophy. I think the bike will be easy to maintain and repair and it will give plenty of scope for customisation.   

Another strong point is the price - £5,500 in the UK. That's less than a Honda CRF250 Rally.

As well as the Interceptor Enfield have revived another name - Continental GT for a café racer version of the bike with a sporty seat and longer tank.   

Please note that I started biking with Japanese two stokes in the mid-'70's and Royal Enfield were a mystery to me. I researched the history and it might not be completely accurate. 

The original Interceptor - a 1960 700cc. You have to admit there is a similarity.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

More Seville

Such a great city it's worth another post.   

Marathon runners at the Plaza de España

In the Plaza de España there are tiled alcoves depicting the history of Spain's provinces.

The sun over the river

Painter Diego Velázquez was a local boy

Memorial to Christopher Columbus. He's buried in the cathedral.

Near our hotel were these Roman relics. The columns date from the 2nd century.

Seville is known for oranges and they are on trees everywhere.
Plaza de Toros - Bullfighting is still a thing down here sadly.

Folk dancing

Period tiled advert

One of the many great old shop fronts

Ceramics are a local industry

Impressive building

Saturday 2 February 2019

Snow Run

We had a little snow recently and today it was bright & sunny so I went for a short run locally and took some snaps. It was just above freezing so not too cold and the council had done a good job of keeping the roads free from ice & snow. My CBF250 is ideal for this time of year being very light & manageable.