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North to Scotland!

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90_IMG_0397.jpg Tuesday 28 July saw us leaving York for Leith, Edinburgh in light rain. We had put in an order for sunshine or at least just cloud cover but we had to put up with the ongoing weather pattern that hovered over our route to our next destination. Bikes loaded, we were on the road by 9:40 and out of the city environs after about 40 minutes. For the next leg of the journey we were accompanied in a Morgan by Claudia and Matthius, our German friends and fellow Indian riders. The ride from York to Edinburgh was about 350kms so we got on the road as early as we could... well it was still raining and the weather forecast was grim so we took our time over breakfast. With the GPS set to "small roads" route, which is for all intents and purposes scenic, we headed for John Wright's house in Cullercoats North Shields. Our aim was to be there about 1:30pm to have lunch.
We went via Ripon to locate the Ure Bank POW camp where Matthius's grandfather had been held during the latter stages of WWII. Unfortunately we did not locate the camp now the site of a caravan park. We rode through steady drizzle at about 55 mph arriving at John's at the time we had estimated. A walk to the local for lunch and the back on the road after Matthius and Jim had a fiddle with the tight throttle on my bike making acceleration so much easier.
At a town called Wooler just south of the Scottish border Jim and Karen (GPS) had a communication breakdown causing the group to head off up Brewers Lane and down a private road that was not designed for our bikes or the Morgan. Jim headed down the track and Kay and Frank followed. I had a feeling this was not going to end well so I stayed where I was, as did the Morgan. When I saw Kay had dropped her bike in the muddy ruts I knew the decision to stay put was pure genius! Frank helped Kay get the bike upright and then we helped her turn it around. Two local ladies came over the crest on a five mile walk and when I asked which way to Edinburgh they pointed back the way we had come! So Frank rode off down the track to locate Jim who by this time had toppled over a couple of times too. In fact the two ladies helped to lift the bike up as they ambled past on their walk. Eamon and Conor also helped get Jim's Chief up and he finally headed back to where the rest of us were waiting. He had burnt out the clutch so adjusted it, got it running and made the 120 kms into Edinburgh where it started slipping again in the traffic. The "short cut" had put us back about an hour so a quick call was put through to the hotel to explain we would not be there till about 8:30pm. This meant that the final leg of our journey was in colder conditions with several showers of rain chucked in for good measure. Suffice it to say we were in need of a hot shower and food when we got to our hotel. We parked, checked in, locked up the bikes and arranged to meet at a local hotel recommended by our hotel host Alan.
There is a licensing law in Scotland that says that under 18s are not allowed in hotels after 10pm, so as we did not get to the hotel till 9:45 this meant that the Murphys and Frank ate at a local pizza joint while Jim and I continued to stay at The Nobles.
Wednesday we put on our tourist hats and went into Edinburgh by bus and visited Edinburgh Castle. Jim got in contact with Alan Forbes who lives just out of Edinburgh and he went to his place, rummaged through his stuff, found a full set of NOS clutch plates and repaired his damaged Chief. "On the road again!" Dinner that night was at the local recommended hotel with Claudia and Matt who we had to say goodbye to at the end of a fun and early night. We were heading North the next morning and they were heading West.

Posted by lyndel.hebden 12:05 Archived in Scotland

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