Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

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Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Radar on Fri May 11 2018, 23:57

Another year, another Weemac successfully done. Preparations the weekend adventure had not gone well: Mandy had decided not to come after all, so I thought I could use the MV and give it a good airing. However all attempts to strap luggage to it proved about as successful as trying to keep hold of a wet bar of soap. Then when I checked the back tyre it was on the verge of being knackered in any case. Bum holes. So back to the trusty Thundercat. The only trouble was it too boasted a knackered rear tyre and brake pads made of dust. This was Wednesday evening and I was leaving Friday. Furiously attempting to get a tyre for the cat failed, so I fitted the pads I already had, hit the ‘F**k it’ button and set off anyway. It will be fine!
It was a crisp warm morning as I pointed the trusty cat northward bound. I couldn’t help but think of the contrasts with the same trip in 2012 when I had to scrap ice of the seat before setting off…brrr. I cut up through Shropshire to give myself a little bit of A and B road fun before the joining the long trudge up the M6. Junction 12 to 44!! But do you know what? I even enjoyed that bit….the last few months have been hectic….a new job, the birth of my first grandchild to name but two major life events recently. The long harsh winter also meant that bike time had been all but non-existent in recent months. So even on the M6 it just felt good to be on a bike….just the regular beat of that tough old engine and whistle of the wind for company. Bliss. I took things gently to preserve the tyres and as the M6 headed past Preston and through the hills the views become ever more spectacular. God I have missed my bike.
I stopped at Tebay services. A family run site free of corporate BS from the likes of McDonalds and the ever more ubiquitous coffee shops. Proper food, and great views over the stunning Tebay Gorge. Perfect.


My view for dinner at Tebay...not your usual services!

Soon I was refreshed and off the motorway and cutting across southern Scotland on the A7. The bike and me were as one as we flowed swiftly across this lovely road….riding my Thundercat again after several months off felt like slipping back into a battered comfy old pair of shoes you had lost but just re-discovered. It felt so good. I rolled up the ever impressive drive of Broadmeadows with another 285 miles added to our adventures. I was the first one here and the sun was out and just sat outside with a mug of tea soaking up the views and peace and quiet in this idyllic location.


Broadmeadows never fails to impress

The rest of the crew gradually began to rock up along with huge food and drink delivery that would fuel our fun over the coming long weekend arrived. A smaller turnout than in recent years, but 8 bikes, one car and a van with Jamie and his Thundercat aboard. Fifteen years after sales stopped it is great to see three Thundercats on the run and the other five bikes were Yamahas too: R1, FZ1S, MT09 Tracer (x2) and a FZ8. Rosco rolled up on his once mint Thundercat (don’t mention Cadwell park, cold tyres or throttles…). It is battered and bruised in places….electrical tape seeming keeping some of the cracked plastic in place and the forks and steering are about as straight as the Village People (It’s fun to be at  the YMCA…). Jamie had been suffering with a bad back, but still got here by bringing his Thundercat up in his Transit.


Gill and Ian roll in


Tesco...every little helps....in fact virtually his entire load was for us. After making his drop the driver skilfully reversed the entire length of the curved driveway!


Jamie and Rebecca had a tough journey up, listening to music, fiddling with their lumbar adjustment...Van envy...who me?? He had been suffering with a bad back. so this was a great option in fairness


The whole crew, 8 bikes a van and a car

Well as is always the case the socials soon got underway and it was good to catch with old friends and new faces too. Jamie was on his first Weemac, having enjoyed BC9 he was keen to join the group again and was joined by his girlfriend for the weekend too. Pizzas were soon ready and the beer and banter flowed all evening. In contrast to previous years the group seemed to focus on the kitchen this year with smaller groups enjoying the spectacular lounge. It sounds odd to say this, but the good weather meant the roaring log fire in the lounge wasn’t needed and I kind of missed it! It was particularly good to have a natter with Rich about our youth, we had both owned RD350s…a nutter’s bike, and we had loads of alarmingly similar hairy tales of our miss-spent youths


Rosco is also a Michelin Star chef....




The stunning kitchen was the hub of the socials this year

The next morning I awoke to the smell of cooking bacon….is this the best smell in the world (apart from 2 stroke oil and Castrol R obviously!!)? The team were prepping a full Scottish breakfast, including haggis and square sausage meat. As usual I acted with restraint and enjoyed a light salad…


Jamie and Rebecca met in restaurant kitchen apparently...they whipped up a cracking brekkie...

It was great to be gathered in the amazing dining room, eating breakfast at a full banquet table is a unique Weemac trademark, as the huge chandelier lights proceedings and the huge mirror which combine to make the room seem even more expansive.
Rosco had planned the ride out in meticulous detail - he had a quick look at his sat nav and phoned his Mrs to check if we could descend on Rosco Manor for a cuppa! But in area blessed with great roads and better views all you really have to do is ride and enjoy…it will all come together.
We headed out on the A708 towards Moffat, sunshine company initially but the infamous Scottish mist soon descended. At one point I couldn’t see beyond the end of my nose! It didn’t stop the usual marker and tail end Charlie system from working well though as Rosco expertly led the way with Rich on his FZ1S dutifully sweeping up at the back. After the traditional chaos in a petrol station as eight bikes filled up simultaneously we head north from Moffat on the A701, then west on the A721 towards Carnwath. Once at the delightfully named Climpy we checked out a magnificent vista bedecked with wind turbines. I know many people object to them, but there is something about a huge turbine looming over the landscape its blades gently sweeping around that captivates me…odd, but there you go! The roads had been universally great fun, twisting, bucking and bending and against a back drop of beautiful views, but man were the pot holes many, varied and BIG!  
By now I was both a bit peckish (I had only had a light salad remember…) and thirsty so it was great to head into Shotts and visit the rambling Rosco Manor for tea and amazing, freshly baked Banana Loaf (thanks Lady R!!!). Rosco opened his west wing for us and the bikes must have impressed all his neighbours parked up outside in near military precision (!) The manor hound (Harley…well you can hardly name a dog after a cat can you?) enjoyed greeting us all and receiving extra treat rations!


Steve and Rosco fine tune our meticulously planned route...


I love wind turbines...


The compulsory all Thundercat shot...


The delightful Mrs.Rosco. I would of taken a picture of the Banana Loaf but is went too quickly!


Harley gets his treat...


The bikes in the staff car park of Rosco Manor

From Rosco Manor we headed even further north towards Airdrie, by now I was getting nervous and looking out for Mel Gibson, bedecked in a kilt, face blued and yelling something about ‘Freedom’, but that soon passed and I got back down to enjoying a rather excellent (if bumpy) ride-out. The rather lovely and delightfully named Campsie Glens overlooking the B822 were next, and for all their beauty I couldn’t help thinking how it would be the perfect place for Julian Clary to live. I digress….again


Somewhere in Scotland

Passing through Abberfoyle and then the Dukes Pass with Lochs of Achray and Venachar looking suitably mystic in the mizzle and mist that had by now descended. Despite the beauty of the area this section was a little frustrating for me. My worn tyre was influencing my ride adversely here as grip on the damp, demanding road was all but non-existent. A slow moving and wide tourist bus also hemmed in Gill, Ian, Rich and me for a long section. A line of classic Jaguar E-Type sports cars coming in the opposite direction also piqued my interest, although I was surprised they were out on such damp and bumpy roads. By the time we got to Challander for a break I was glad of the opportunity to get off the bike and have a stretch for a bit. It was worth it though just to hear how Rosco had been passed by an old boy on a classic Guzzi at one point!


Rob's R1 heads up the line at the halfway point rest halt


Is this the Guzzi that took out Rosco?


The dog had the right idea...

The return to base retraced much of the same route, but by now Rebecca on the back of the Thundercat with Jamie was understandably tiring (it was her first trip on the bike for some time) and they had a longer rest when we stopped for fuel. This means they missed out on witnessing the by traditional Rosco ‘maintenance’ issue with his long suffering Thundercat (there should be a RSPCT!) As we approached Biggaron the B7016 by now (it’s just like New York, only ‘Biggar’….) Rob on the R1 was alarmed to notice that even more bits than usual were bouncing around on Rosco’s Thundercat. His poor old Givi rack, after years of carry loads that an Artic wound struggle with, had declared enough is enough and cracked in two! So it was out with tape, the ever useful tie wraps to effect a running repair. Top work by Rob, Rich, Ian and myself! We shared out the contents of his top box in order to reduce the strain on our makeshift bodge and enable him to get back to base.



The TT stands for Tape and Tie-wraps when referring to Rosco cat2!




This is why we are here...the haunting beauty of Scotland...

We had the time to take in the Talla and Megget Reservoirs that in the sunshine were so blue it was almost painful to look at them, so impressive.
We rolled back into base with another 276 miles added to the clocks. I was tired for sure, but it had been a fabulous day.


No comment...

Lindsay, little Euan, Kevan and Janet family, who had joined us in the car had taken in Edinburgh for the day and also had a great time, young Euan in particular. Even my knackered back tyre seemed to be fine, if anything better than when I left home…not at all sure how that works!!??
Janet and Kev had largely prepared dinner already so we soon tucking in before spending another night enjoying a few (!) drinks in good company.



Rosco and I played a cagey game of snooker in the games room. In masterclass of controlled snooker I think he just edged me out. To the casual observer it might have looked like we are both terrible players who couldn’t pot a ball if the holes were the size of goal mouths, but they just don’t understand the game…philistines!  

Right that’s it for part one! More to follow….including stone lions, stealing sugar and riding across the sea!


Last edited by Radar on Sat May 12 2018, 00:56; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Picture link updates)
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Rosco on Sat May 12 2018, 10:32

Fantastic write up as usual Tony.

Thank You.
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Panzerbuilder on Sat May 12 2018, 11:58

Brill Tony. Part 2 asap please.
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Gillybaby on Sat May 12 2018, 19:16

Great write up Tony, I was there but I'm still looking forward to reading what happens in Part 2 Very Happy
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  terry lees on Sat May 12 2018, 20:22

Bloody hell Rosco you've only gone and done it again haven't you. will this machine become BOS 3 or BOS 4 I've lost count how many BOS'S you've had?
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Robcat on Sun May 13 2018, 05:07

Brilliant writing Tony.

While reading it, I seem to have your voice in my head saying it to me, like the way you tell other stories.
Particular the story of ear plugs as sweets.

Cracking, all the same.
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Wooster on Sun May 13 2018, 11:15

Nice one Radar, excellent write up. Smile Cool

If you're looking to add a couple of hours to that Dukes Pass run from Aberfoyle to Callander, I'd thoroughly recommend taking a left at Kilmahog instead of a right to Callander.
Head for Killin and follow the road along Loch Tay until you see the signs for the Ben Lawers visitor centre and follow that road up the mountain.
Past the lochan the road will get poorer and you'll see a gravelly turn to the right (to Bridge of Balgie) and following that it'll drop you into Glen Lyon, where the road improves.
You'll pop back out of Glen Lyon near Kenmore and you can head back to Callander from there with the option of taking the off route south road along Loch Tay, back to Killin.

The drop into Glen Lyon: https://goo.gl/maps/mGFmtKnhXFu
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  0ldcat on Sun May 13 2018, 12:35

Always a pleasure to read your write ups Tony, along with the photo's it's almost like being there.

I shall make one of the Mac's . . . . promise green smile
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  yamahamad on Tue May 15 2018, 09:27

Great write up tony, educational, interesting & as amusing as usual.

As tel said i will make a mac one year, maybe bring the bike in a van as i am concerned my dodgy crushed discs will not make the ride up a weekend of riding & the ride back down.

Paul
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Radar on Wed May 23 2018, 23:58

Thanks for all the positive feedback folks, it is easy to write when you have such fun in great company in a stunning setting...
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Re: Thundercats in the Mist - WeeMac 2018 - Part 1

Post  Rosco on Thu May 24 2018, 12:57

@yamahamad wrote:Great write up tony, educational, interesting & as amusing as usual.

As tel said i will make a mac one year, maybe bring the bike in a van as i am concerned my dodgy crushed discs will not make the ride up a weekend of riding & the ride back down.

Paul

Sign up is open Paul Smile
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