Saturday, 24 February 2018

New toy and 2018 plans

It has been a miserable biking winter.  The seemingly non-stop rain has coated our local roads with a never ending slick of muddy run off.  When the rain occasionally stopped the frost gets under the rutted road surface, freezing the flood waters and opening up potholes that you could loose the bike in.  It all seems so much harder to deal with after the stunning NC500 & Outer Hebrides trip late last year.
 The Suzuki FR80 project went south as well, I would have been cheaper buying a new one!

To console myself I bough a wee winter bike.  A 'Y' reg Yamaha XT600.  Light enough to throw about, so underpowered you have to work hard for your laughs, under-braked enough to make you shit yourself at least once every ride and all this propped up with 80s trail bike suspension made from knicker elastic.  In short, it's as much fun as you can have on two wheels!  It has also let me explore some of the tracks and woods I used to bounce around as a teenager.

I also had a bit of a trip booking spree as well...

Altnaharra is a place name that seems to crop up every winter, usually as the coldest place in the UK.  Might as well go and have a look then.  At the start of June I have booked a couple of nights at Sleeperzzz. Travel up past Loch Ness on the Friday, a loop around the highlands taking in Altnaharra and some roads I have not been on yet on Saturday and then back home past Glenshee on the Sunday.

Later in June, 4 of the Wee Touring Club are heading to Normandy and the D-Day beaches.  It's going to be a whistle stop tour over 4 nights.  Nearly 1800 miles and 4 nights camping, should be interesting!

At the end of July the ferry is booked for a long weekend in Orkney.  It has been 3 years since I have been on the Islands.  It has been too long since my last Orkney fix.

My big trip in August will see me back in France.  After the D-Day beaches in June, I am heading for the Somme and the WWII battlefields.  No camping this time, I'm going for the comfort of a B&B.
On the way back I am breaking the trip home in Oswestry.  The wife is coming down and we will have a quick tour around north Wales before heading back to Scotland.

After a week of September sun with the wife, we will still have a few days before we go back to work.  If the weather is good to us, we will get a few days touring together on the bike as well.

Throw in a few first Sunday of the month runs with the boys, a bit of trail riding on the XT, a couple of long distance rallies and it is shaping up to be a pretty good year.

Winter, what winter?