Sunday, June 14, 2009

First IAM in over a year

Today being the second Sunday of the month it was the Glasgow North Group of the IAM motorcycle run, and a good run it was, albeit the first one I've made this year I have to confess! In fact it's the first one for me for just over a year, because the last one I was on bored me so much by being a slow procession of bikes, apparently unable to overtake anything!

So this morning five of us turned up at the assembly point at PC World at Finnieston for 0930hrs and we decided that the weather forecast suggested Ayrshire as a viable route.

Down via Barrhead, Stewarton and Kilmarnock to the A76 where we then turned off towards Ayr and then headed south past the Electric Brae (negotiating a 35mph car driver on the way!) and Turnberry (where the 2009 Open Golf Championship will take place in July, apparently) to Girvan where we partook of variations on fish and chips in a local cafe, followed by some Nardini's ice cream while we wandered over to look at a substantial (and bright yellow) trike parked at the harbour, which turned out to be for hire. The rider/driver, who was sitting nearby, didn't appear over-friendly it has to be said, since whereas normally bikers will happily chat to each other he sat there five feet away and pretty much ignored us. Prick. And he is, I think, the one sitting on the bike on their homepage, if you followed the link. I suspect he's trying to pretend he's Billy Connolly! Did I ever mention I had lunch with Billy Connolly in Glasgow a few years ago? I'll bore you with that story sometime!

So anyway, after having travelled south to Girvan our route became, ahem, a bit flexible, and we trekked north east a bit to Maybole before heading back down via Kirkmichael and Straiton then across to Dalmellington (which from a personal point of view was nice as my relatively recently passed-away grandmother got married there a number of years ago) before heading to New Cumnock and then Cumnock where we did the usual final starburst and went our separate ways (although we did lose one at a pre-planned split earlier) with three of us continuing east along the A70 to Douglas and finishing with a blast (at a maximum of 70mph, of course, M'lud) up the M74.

I covered almost 200 miles on the day, which was marked by glorious weather for most of the time apart from the stretch from Dalmellington onwards when it rained reasonably heavily, although it had cleared up by the time we were reaching Motherwell on the M74. And I saw a spectacular forked lightning strike at one point on the hills in the distance ahead.

A day well spent, particularly considering that I had forgotten about it and coincidentally passed PC World just after 9am and saw two bikers assembled there so changed my plans and joined in instead

On an unrelated topic, the Glasgow Chamber Choir concerts last weekend were a spectacular success. Glorious music performed, I have to say, bloody well! The fly in the ointment was my overindulgence of Hendrick's Gin after the Sunday concert, leading to the mother of all hangovers on the Monday which at least I'd had the foresight to take off as a day of flexi leave. This was the start of four days when I took no alcohol. Me. Who drinks every day! Never again. Honest. Coincidentally I passed the Hendrick's Gin Distillery today near Girvan, Made me feel queasy when I saw the sign!

Went to see Angels & Demons last night with RE and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good film and good company. Followed by some Mexican food, and a walk along the riverside at Glasgow city centre to the new pedestrian bridge, known apparently as the squiggly bridge, a name presumably linked to the squinty bridge which was opened a year or so ago further down river. A day well spent.

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