Tuesday 25 February 2020

Free Car

There is a new car in my driveway. A silver Citro├źn C3. The strange thing is that I've no idea how it got there. The keys were put through my letterbox. A present from an admirer? Maybe not. There was a service book from a local garage on the passenger seat so I assume that it has been returned to the wrong address.  

***Update*** the guy from the garage came and took it away. He got the right number but the wrong street.

Raintown #2 - Records Broken

Yesterday evening the weatherman confirmed my suspicions. With five days of this month to go it will be the wettest February on record. It seems as if it has rained all day, every day.

He said that the total, so far, was 11 inches (280mm) I downloaded weather data from the Metoffice (Glasgow Airport records since 1959) and with a bit of analysis in Excel I found the following:

Average February rainfall:     95.7mm   (3.8")
Maximum February rainfall: 250.2mm   (9.8") (1997)
Maximum monthly rainfall:   298.9mm (11.8") (December 2006)  

So this could not only be the wettest February but the wettest ever month.

Flooding in Paisley
So how does this affect me? Well I travel by motorcycle almost exclusively and it's mixed. I'm prepared for the Scottish climate so it's not an issue. I have decent waterproofs and although it's not nice, it's tolerable. On the plus side rain tends to mean it's less cold. There has been very little frost and only a couple of days of sleety snow.

Monday 17 February 2020

In the News - "Ghost Ship" in Ireland

We are being battered by winter storms at present but an interesting story has come out of them

The MV Alta, a Tanazanian flagged cargo ship has washed up on the shores of Ireland. 16 months ago its crew were rescued by the US Coast Guard when it lost power in the mid-Atlantic southeast of Bermuda. It is thought to have drifted to the west coast of Africa then north, passing Spain, before making landfall in Ballycotton, County Cork.    

Story here

Saturday 15 February 2020


I've said before that if you ride a bike in Scotland you will not be unfamiliar with rain. But things are particularly grim at the moment.

Weather warnings
As I write it's grey, windy and very wet. Strom Dennis is upon us (with Strom Ciara having just departed). The BBC weather forecast website predicts that it will rain continuously for the next two weeks! (at least) We live some way up a hill so flooding isn't a fear.  

Last year we had a surprisingly warm & sunny February but I'm afraid that isn't going to be repeated. No "Tales from the Road" for a while.  

It's hard to photograph wind & rain but I'm sure you get the idea.

Sunday 9 February 2020

Spare Part

I splashed my way to the annual bike jumble at Lanark last Sunday. Amongst the junk was this gem - a Yamaha FJ1200 engine. Strangely it looks quite small on its own. I have no use for it being in possession of two working engine (one in use, one spare) 

Saturday 1 February 2020

CBF at 70k

My 2006 Honda CBF250 has now reached 70,000 miles. I usually do these posts at 20,000 mile intervals but I thought that I should do one now rather than wait for 80k.  

The last 10,000 miles have not been without incident. At 65k the cam chain tensioner failed resulting in two bent valves. Immediately after this the alternator fried itself. The fixes were not that difficult or expensive but you do have to think whether it's worth the effort & cost to keep the bike going. But I have the time and it's a hobby keeping it on the road. So long as the bike remains otherwise reliable I see no need to replace it.     

After a lay-off bike is back earning its keep and running very well providing me with daily transport over the winter. It's done 1,800 miles since the start of November without (many) problems. I gave the manual cam chain tensioner a slight tighten and that quieted the engine down a bit. The bike is consuming a bit more oil that before. I can't see any smoke from the exhaust but it does need topped up regularly. This bothers me not at all.