Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Blog neglect

Another winter has flown by in the blink of an eye and I haven't bothered with the blog, again!  Here are my excuses...
I have not done much on the bike over the winter, just commuting to work.  However in the dark nights, I did spend a lot of time playing about with video.  I have tinkered with video, uploading a video or two of my travels to my Youtube channel.  They were OK and they did document the highlights of my trips, but I wanted something more.  I had the ideal opportunity as the wife and I had a 3 day trip away in December.  I recorded the whole of the 3 day trip that we did in the car, with the intention of producing a vlog of the entire trip.
I lost count the number of times I started editing the video, scrapping it and starting over.  I finally lost heart with it after 6 weeks, deciding that maybe video was not for me.  All I seem to have is 10s of hours & 10s of Gigabytes of raw video I no longer have the motivation or inclination to do anything with. Maybe it is my past as a photographer that keeps drawing me back to still images.  A still image still has the power to move me in ways video never has and I don't think ever will.

A still from our December trip.  In my opinion, far more atmospheric than video
So my brief fling with video is over.  I'm going to stick with stills and keeping this blog going.  Yeah, yeah I've heard it all before you say.  But, with video out of my system I can concentrate on one social media outlet for my wittering and even if my writing isn't great, I enjoy it!

There should be plenty to write about this year as well...

The first trip of the year is planned for June, 3 nights camping with an old mate who has just got a bike back on the road.  Ride up to Mallaig on day one, a loop of Skye on day two, a loop of the central highlands on the third day and then home on the fourth.

July will see me away with the wife for 3 nights, two in a camping pod on Loch Tay and a final night in a decent hotel.
I never thought I would get Audrey to go camping.  Well, glamping, but you have to understand that this is a woman who is normally never more than 10 minutes from a set of hair straighteners.  At her suggestion, we had two nights on the bike at Strathfillan wigwams in September and she loved it.  I couldn't believe it!

August will see the biggest planned trip of the year.  I will be doing the NC500, clockwise, over 4 days with a couple of mates.  I will be leaving them on day 4 though when we get to Inverness, as I will be making my way to Ullapool to camp overnight before getting the ferry to the Outer Hebrides for a week.  The plan is to get the ferry to Stornoway then spend the week meandering down the islands to Barra before getting the ferry back to Oban and then home.
I tried to get to the Outer Hebrides last year, but the weather had other ideas.

I might try and sneak in a long weekend on the Orkney islands as well.  Orkney is one of my favourite places to be and it would be nice to catch up with a couple of folk up there as well.

A few snaps from the Strathfillan wigwam trip...

Finally, in a fit of madness my mate Andy, see the Tiger Time link on the right, bought a pair of Suzuki FR 80 step-throughs.  In an even greater act of lunacy I agreed to take one of them off him.
So this will be my summer and winter project this year and this blog will document the journey!

FR80, parts are cheap as chips - if you can find them!
Parts seem to be cheap as chips, as long as you can wait 3 weeks for them to arrive from Thailand or Malaysia.  I have ordered a manual so as soon as that arrives I shall start formulating a plan of attack, either that I will just rip it apart and start from the wheels and work up.  I can't get it to mine until the end of May, but I can't wait to start tinkering.
If we get them running well, there may may be a FR 80 trip on the cards next year.
By the way, anyone got an FR80 seat they don't need?