Showing posts with label motorbike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motorbike. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 March 2010

quick motorbike ride....


early on sunday morning i went a quick motorbike ride... i went a ride up an intended country road loop i used to do nearly every other week around 10 years ago when i lived at the seaside town of dunbar..from the sea town a winding road climbs up into the lammermuirs to crystal rig...a wild bleak windswept hill beside moneynut forest...a seldom visited corner of east lothian where i used to ride my motorbikes offroad on the hills and forest there without attracting any attention...the coming of the windfarm sparked an interest in the area for a while with visitors though nowadays it is again little visited...the pot holed gravel covered single track road going up to moneynut edge puts off the average motorist...
a trailbike though just eats up this surface...unless like what happened today when trying to ride uphill on 6" of iced snow on a rear trail tyre...
the initial climb from the coast at innerwick is quite steep...

and as you crest the hill of west steel the scenery of the huge wind turbines is a bit like something out an HG Wells novel...


as you ride into the forest the road condition gets worse....and so in some ways better!
this is still a maintained county road but hard to believe...


then i reached the snow line and my bike nearly spun to a halt...with hardly any rear grip from the bridgestone claw pattern trail tyre so i had to paddle with my feet and slowly get up hill but the trail was blocked with a fallen tree...

there were MX tyre tracks from recently and footprints from someone walking a bicycle and i thought how pugsley would have cruised up here...however 165KG of motorbike with a slick road trailtyre wasnt going through the 2ft drift over a small ditch off the road around the tree...
i got turned round and headed back down hill out the snow and returned the way i came...

stopping to clean an unbalanced front wheel with snow!


i still had fun even though i couldnt get through the snow..like cycling theres never a bad day out as long as your moving...
i filmed the ride up there with a tachyon helmet camera...

motorcycle ride....moneynut edge,lammermuir hills from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Monday, 8 March 2010

iron curtain motorcycling..


my friend turned up sunday afternoon on his old russian motorcycle..a ural 650 flat twin...

i love this bike,oozing character and built in the days of the cold war these bikes and similar models are the transport backbone for alot of russian people, esp living in the remote countryside...which there is alot of...

made since 1940 after the red army purchased some german BMW R71 flat twins from the swedish army to test they adopted its design as they found it an ideal military high speed offroad motorcycle which could withstand the harsh russian climates...-40C winter to 40C summer...
production was then moved from moscow to the east to the town of irbit deep in siberia after the german Blitzkrieg to keep out of range of german bombers..
built only for the military with 30,000 produced by 1950...then production was moved to the KMZ plant in the ukraine in the late 1950s and domestic consumers bikes were produced...these were imported to the UK like this bike in the 1970s along with a few other soviet makes under the brand `cossack`

sold as a motorbike or tough sidecar outfit with 3 wheel drive they came with sidecars often then modified by owners for transportation of firewood,goods and supplies and also used for powering log cutting saws and water pumps...
i love some of its features...function before style in true russian engineering...
the big toolbox in the tank...

big leather saddle and 90 degree kick start...note bungee retainer!

gear change is on left foot but on RHS is a hand gear change!,

looks like the speedo needs replaced...

steering damper for when fitted with sidecar...

sidecar tyres..incredibly hard compound means will last 1000s of miles but shocking handling...lots of mudgaurd clearance for mud,snow and ice...

as are the drum brakes a bit dodgy...

tupperware box houses rectifier...

for all its faults..well not really faults just 40 years advancement in design of modern motorbikes and tyres since its introduction, this bike is still cool and in its own way iconic as it has stood the test of time just like the india enfield bullet...
built to be stripped and repaired with a simple tool kit and what ever comes to hand of a soviet mechanic...its rough and ready with a few curves... i love its looks...
my yamaha seems so souless beside this old bike...spares are available here in the UK but its cheaper to buy direct from the ukraine...how about £3 for a full gasket set!,or £30 for a complete set of carbs...
i had a quick ride around the square...it sounds lovely too...

click on thumbnail for some film...



if you want to see more heres a factory film of the army ural motorbikes check out the machine gun mounted! and the big jump at 2mins 45secs! lol... here is the ural website
i want the brown camo model!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Not a normal Monday...

Mondays are that day, you know, drag yourself out of bed and into work and just focus on survival.
Make it to home time. Well it often is to me anyway after a busy weekend with often not enough rest and often tired legs.
Today was for some reason different. I woke early and knew it was frosty, i can tell by the bedroom temperature, it was clear Sunday evening with a big full moon after 5 horrible days of wind and very heavy rain which fell as snow in many areas including our local Lammermuir hills, yeah thats snow!!!
Today dawned clear, YES!, sunshine again...
It was so good cycling to work with the sunrise, you just know its going to be a good day. Spring is just round the corner now too, light enough at 7.30am for cycling with out lights and a morning chorus of birdsong that seems to get more every week.
Snow drops have been out for a couple of weeks now and now the daffodil's are poking through and the trees have buds on them..
3 weeks till the clocks change, think it will still be a cold march.
At work it was a glorious morning up on the hill...


What a difference good weather makes to your mind after 5 days grey and overcast...it was lovely and calm too...






I felt energetic and a bit hyper for a Monday..and this was after Saturdays bike a hike in the snow that really drained me riding home the sky was an amazing bright blue with the high pressure...


I wasn't in a hurry cycling home and happy being out in such lovely winter weather...



Once home i did an hours chainsawing firewood then i got the motorbike fired up and went for a spin down the coast road. I stuck a Tachyon camera on with a goggle strap mount and made a quick helmet camera film...
My bike is seriously loud having a near straight through exhaust..i don't ride it off road like this so i don't worry about it. Its like payback for all the car drivers that buzz you when out cycling...`pull over..coming through!` lol...they cant say they didn't hear you coming. Sometimes old folk shake there fists at you, i saw cyclists once plug there ears too!.
The roads still have alot of salt.grit and chippings from holes on them so care is needed. Still fun though.
Love a big single engine on full bore!...



Sunday, 14 February 2010

Ben Nevis 1976...

this film is a piece of history in many ways..
i already posted this film i found trolling youtube on my facebook page a few months ago...
but would like to post it here as i think its a capture of time in many things...
behind the film is an amazing but tragic story...click on the `watch on youtube` icon to read the adjoining information on the right hand side...
film of the great climber john cunningham on ben nevis in winter...
although its part of a film never completed it captures a few things now long gone...
at 1:44 the main road through glencoe below buachaille etive moor...in 1976 it was single track with passing places!...i knew it was originaly built in 1933 but not still in use in 1976...
riding the british motorcycle with no helmet...done just for the film for the hard character he protrayed from glasgow as the helmet law was introduced in 1972 but a throwback to the days of the rockers..or ton-up kids (ton was the reference made to bikers that could exceed the then magic 100mph)
up there in winter..gloveless!...was it just cause they were filming or just because he really was hardcore?...maybe prepping up for the cold climb ahead...
steps off the bike and straight up to climb britains biggest mountain...
at 2:14 crossing the now dissapeared (kinlochleven to fort william) railwayline in glen nevis...closed after the aluminium smelter closed at kinlochleven...
film or not he`s climbing unroped with no helmet...that ice and snow falling on him would be like bricks hitting you...
the pub at the end...i cant place that but wonder if its the kingshouse when the 1933 road passed by the hotel?...
how much is the registration GRS4 worth now?...

Saturday, 23 January 2010

normal mountainbiking.........

today (Saturday) dawned grey skys...forcast was clear and with a midday lowtide i was going to head down the beach for some fun on the pugsley...
rain came on around 10am..oh well...now lacking a bit motivation to go now after the amazing weather last satuarday i decided to take the motorbike a quick spin to charge up the battery as the rain will now be washing alot of the (2 weeks late) salt off the roads,it was heavy rain but what the heck...around the coastroad 15miles from home the bike started to misfire when throttled,it died at a junction and didnt have enough battery power to turn over..either it has a charging problem or more likely the cheap make battery my mate bought when he bought it is goosed...its £50 for a new one,when i bought the bike back from him it had nearly went flat on me a few times when the bike had sat a few weeks,ok so now i have to start it -no kickstart fitted and unlike the honda XR trailbikes the later electric start only XT and TTR yamahas have no decompression lever which lifts a valve enabling them to be kickstart easier...try pushing 160KG + 4 gallons (full tank!) and jumping in 3rd gear...anyway i had to do this at least a dozon times to get home at junctions,luckily i usually had a slight slope but was sweating loads!,once home i ordered a battery,i know it will be this as this model wont run without a certain voltage in the battery and it was fine before when used about 6 weeks ago...
buying cheap parts costs more in the long run...
good news though is i recently got a pair of sidi courier boots...

these are often regaurded as the best boots for the money for dualsport motorcycle riding,they are the hieght of trials boots and have a treaded sole like them too..
there pretty waterproof and comfy to walk in too...my friends and i used to rate good motorbike boots if you can walk to the clachaig inn at glencoe from the red squirrel campsite!,
im lucky in being a half size at size 10 1/2 as i can ware a size 11 allowing a pair of bridgedale socks and army goretex boot liners,warm,cosy and dry...
so i wasnt home untill after 1pm and felt a bit hacked off..the rain and grey skys didnt help too but thats the way the cookie crumbles..

i geared up and for a change grabbed the full suspension cannondale,
despite being a 10 year old frame with a 5 year old shock and forks and build etc i still love the look of this bike,from the drainpipe downtube to the side frametubes around the shock,the super v is a classic in full suspension mtb`s..because it was one that actually worked really well..



i havent ridden this since last down glentress in october,in fact i havent ridden any bike with suspension since then...not just rear suspension but front too!
it felt real wierd,it dosnt bob with the fox RP3 shock when peddeling but the rear movement was just wierd!,i went a ride along the john muir way to north berwick law,

it was throwing it down but i was warming to the old super v again..so i pushed up to the top of north berwick law,it was really wet underfoot and the compacted grass was slick in places,
the jurys out too for me on SPDs..pushing up north berwick law i was slipping on the cleats..and thats wearing shimano MT90 boots,proberly the best SPD shoes to walk in,i used to ride flats for downhill and have them on the pugsley,
i think i will switch to flats on this bike when i start to go back down glentress in the spring- yes GT friends ive enjoyed the break from the routine of going down but will be making the visit monthly as want to do alot of filming this year there and at innerliethen..
up the top the views were a bit grim but i took a couple of pics from inside the WW2 lookout post...


i stuck the tachyon camera on the helmet to film riding down,it was real slick and i proberly dragged the rear brake all the way down!,i just stuck to the main walking path,i took nearly twice as long as in summer to go down!...i plan on reaching 40 with my front teeth...
riding home i was soaked through,wet under the paclite jacket now with sweat...

even in the woods it was too wet for taking pics so it was the usual "pic from inside the garage once home shot"

nice to get out on the full suss bike again..it may be a bit old now (in mtb circles) but it will still run circles around alot of newer stuff..and it keeps on going..single pivot suspension reliability and i think the best brakes hope made-the original (alloy-non anodised) mono`s with cookie cutter discs...
it felt ok riding home and quite comfy!,more fun to have on this old steed...
heres a quick film riding down north berwick law..nothing special and i tried to wipe the lense on the way down!,

click on the thumbnail to watch...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

random stuff...

after the lovely clear cold day of monday 2 days of overcast and wet weather..,riding to work with front light full on now at 7.30am and blinky lights on coming home at 3pm, everywhere is soaking again...,trails-mud and slippy wet leaves,under foot at work,the farm roads i commute..., so... heres a nice film of east lothian i found youtube,heres some of the coast i ride from the air..



did you see the tartan sheep? lol
winter nights is time for being a bookworm..,ive just read this..

a fascinating read about the city that really did exist under todays city of edinburgh.alot of it is still there today and open to the public like mary queens close
there still sometimes tunnels and vaults being found when renovation work is carried out under the ground floors of the old towns buildings..a good read and a real eye opener,like the use of children as chimney sweeps and the famous body snatchers burke and hare,below street level which was ignored by the dignities of edinburgh this is where the saying "criminal underworld" comes from...
now im about to read this...

mark beaumont`s record breaking ride around the world,now been broken twice..
and some random pics..for fellow blogger tommy a pederson bicycle!

one of my last bmx bikes, a 1985 skyway...

a 1930s vincent black shadow,have one of these if my lottery number comes up...

and heres a nice old album of postcards on flickr,click on `random or `recent to see more..

Friday, 27 November 2009

keeping the dream alive!


thats what my friends who i used to ride motorcycles with who dont own a motorbike this now say im doing...today i went out for a spin instead of going cycling,the roads are salt free after all the rain a few days ago,i didnt bother about winter riding and salt damage and used to kill bikes,brand new bikes ridden into the ground after 4-5 years hard use on and offroad,i cant afford a new motorbike every few years anymore so this one has to last (why i bought a bike with a yamaha XT600 motor)..
today i went a ride and filmed up the road from garvald village into the lammermuir hills to the whiteadder reservoir,the biggest reservoir that supplys east lothian,proberly my favourite road on the motorbike and ideal on a trailbike,
the road climbs and dips passing the old and new monastries,you used to see the monks driving there farm tractors in there robes!,guess health and saftey wont allow that now...
past the iron age hillfort at white castle with an outstanding view north across the county including traprain law,north berwick law and the bass rock,my camera dosnt do the view justice...

a layby with information sign gives access to the hill fort...


also to the west is a good view of the pentland hills south of edinburgh...

the climb from garvald village up to here and over the top of is a test for any cyclist...,ive climed it on the pugsley!,and was well out of puff at the top...
over the top of the side of an unnamed hill but marked at 1131ft the road starts to descend above the whiteadder water,this bit of road is great to cycle as the dips give you momentum to ride up the otherside...the film i made dosnt show angles very well but hopefully this pic explains...
looking north from garvald...

and south towards the whiteadder reservoir...

the only hillfarm on the road is johnscleugh (cleugh means summer pasture)
along from the farm acess road is an old railway goods wagon minus its undercarrage once used for a feed store for sheep...

below the wagon the view up the vally to johnscleugh farm...

joining the main road from gifford to duns you roll over a cattlegrid and down over the resevoir on either side on a armco railed causeway...


the resevoir is stocked with trout and theres boat hire too so you can fish on the shore or on the water...

theres loads more to see and do around here,lots of biking with the herring road-a 20 mile fish cadgers route from dunbar on the coast over the lammermuirs to lauder in the borders,then theres all the shooting tracks,sheperds quad tracks etc...,just have to watch at times of year where you go,sheep and grouse moors being the biggest income on the hills i stay off april,may,august,sept,october,
gets a bit wet in winter but ideal on the pugsley,ive ridden all day up here and hardly seen a soul..,saw no cars today on the hillroad!!,busier sundays,
heading home i went the main (gifford) road to see across to the expanding windfarm over to the east of the lammermuirs at crystal rig,theres still turbines going up,need to get up there soon and have a look around...

heres the film i made now on youtube...