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Old 03-29-2013, 10:01 AM   #256
miepiechief
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Congrats
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #257
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Congrats Matt

If you feel like going for a ride send us a PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:22 AM   #258
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Great thread. Thanks for the awesome pics!
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:12 PM   #259
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Congratulations Matt!

The route looks great to, the same as I did last year when I came up just in reverse!

Here's to a great biking future!

Subscribed!
It's the way to do it I think. Looking at the map there, I made a small mistake in that I'd be avoiding Fort William but it's more or less how I'll do it. Looking back at your thread I think my return route will be similar to your northern one. I'll be avoiding the A9 for the most part but need to cross over near Inverness to come down through Cairngorms.



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3 minors is a v.good pass mate, 7 I believe is the UK average. yes the thrid one is harsh, I would of given it as 2nd exit for edinburgh as thats how its signed. anyway, not like you get an bonus's for how many minors so top job and keep riding(and pic taking). Never know I may get up your way this year on the Versys, was twice last yr(once on the bike to aberdeen and once in a minibus for the 3 peaks challenge to nevis)
That would be good. I could send you up the hills to take photos while I wait at the bottom. Save me loads of hassle!


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Here's to ya, Matt! Nice work putting that test behind you! And now the world's opened up a bit more! Your ride up to Johnny Groats looks fabulous. 'Course all your rides and reports are excellent! Thanks again for letting us catch a lift with you!
Thanks man. Just glad to hear you're enjoying my ramblings. Loads more to come.


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Congrats
TYVM!


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Congrats Matt

If you feel like going for a ride send us a PM.
Will do fella. You get free time during the week or would it only be on weekends? I'm jobless just now so got more spare time than I need.


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Great thread. Thanks for the awesome pics!
Thanks for posting dude. It's genuinely good to hear from folk.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #260
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Clackmannan Tower

From the moment I set out on my test, there has been a noticeable upturn in the weather. It was cold and wet this morning but by midday things had sorted themselves out and I was looking at blue skies. I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to get out on the bike again so out I went. I would be leaving much later than I usually do (about 3pm) so I needed something fairly close to home.

Everytime I go visit my wee Granny in her nursing home in Alloa I see a castle-y looking thing on top of a nearby hill. A bit of net research and I find out I was looking at Clackmannan Tower. It's only 12 miles away. That would do nicely.

Built in the 14th century by King David II it seems to have had a fairly unremarkable history, though it was at one point owned by Robert Bruce which is pretty cool until you realise that Robert Bruce is just some guy with a similar name to Robert the Bruce. He's probably a relation of some sort.

It saw no battles and according to the info boards it "may have been a royal residence". My house may have been a royal residence too. Maybe I'll put up a plaque.

One thing they're certain happened here was that one of Bruce's descendants knighted Robert Burns in the tower. This was an unofficial Scottish one though as Burns is not a 'Sir'.

I realise I'm not exactly selling this tower as the centre of all things heritage in Scotland. Despite its relatively unexciting past it's a pretty cool thing to visit. You get a great view of the Forth Valley and a close up view of a 14th century castle without hordes of tourists, or shops selling shortbread in tartan tins. The castle looks ok from the outside but is too dangerous to enter. It would have been cool to get up top and take in the view but of course if you could get inside and get a look you'd be fighting your way through tourists.

Clackmannan itself is pretty weird. It's hidden away from main roads and has the most bizarre junction I've ever seen. It was basically a roundabout without the roundabout. I'm glad I was there alone as I would have had no idea who was giving way to who. The road in was quite cool though. Just a little backroad through some fields but you got quite a good view of things around you.

Road to Clackmannan:



Stopping to park there was a little kid waving at me, as kids are prone to do. I waved back. He was on his dad's shoulders and I got the impression that the dad thought I was waving at him instead of the kid as he looked at me kinda funny and didn't do the (high pitched voice) "are you waving to the motorbike man?" thing that most parents do. As I was getting off the bike and removing my helmet he was walking past me. He looked at me the whole time, clearly thinking, "do I know this guy?". I politely said hello and busied myself with my camera to avoid further confusion.

The guy and his two kids were also there to see the tower and they wandered about a minute or two ahead of me. At first I was going to walk round the tower in the opposite direction to them to allow me to take photos without them in the pictures but I decided against that when I realised that would mean us walking passed each other again and having to go for that awkward, second 'hello'. Maybe even engage in some small talk.

Getting the tower in between me and them meant I had people free photos and didn't have to discuss the weather or where I live. Bonus. I'm such an unsociable sod.

The view from up around the tower is great. I know these things are high up for strategic reasons but I wondered if the view from up there reminded people what they were fighting for and partly explains why Scots have fought so passionately for their country throughout the centuries. Once the bagpipes and sound of distant drums in my head had faded I remembered that the location also helped the tower owner lord it over the poor bastards in the town unfortunate enough not to have 'Bruce' as a surname.

The view from King's Seat Hill:








Clackmannan Tower:











A road I'd never been on before to a town I'd never been in before to see a castle I'd never seen before. Can't ask for much more than that.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #261
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Fantastic castle pic!
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:08 AM   #262
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I cannot beleive you have less snow up there than I have in Brum
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:32 AM   #263
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I did consider a name change, but it's only a Honda Deauville.
Nothing wrong with the Deauville - it gets a bit of a putting down in the boy racer motorcycle press, but don't let that put you off. It is ideal at doing what it was designed for, long distance cruising at a leisurely pace. I'm sure it will be fine for what you want to do. This guy is enjoying his;

http://www.adventurebikerider.com/re...review/id:399/

Re the cold face with your visor up, if you're getting a bit wind blast you could try raising the screen, or if that doesn't work, consider one of those add-ons you can buy to extend the height of the screen. Hitting a swarm of midgies up north at 50mph with your visor up wouldn't be fun, to say the least

r1d1 screwed with this post 03-30-2013 at 05:38 AM Reason: added link
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:08 AM   #264
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Fantastic castle pic!
Wait, so only one is fantastic? Are the rest rubbish?


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I cannot beleive you have less snow up there than I have in Brum
Mate we've hardly had any all winter. In fact the morning of my test was the worst and even that was localised. The last week or two it's been snowing but wasn't lying at all. It's been pretty weird actually.


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Nothing wrong with the Deauville - it gets a bit of a putting down in the boy racer motorcycle press, but don't let that put you off. It is ideal at doing what it was designed for, long distance cruising at a leisurely pace. I'm sure it will be fine for what you want to do. This guy is enjoying his;

http://www.adventurebikerider.com/re...review/id:399/

Re the cold face with your visor up, if you're getting a bit wind blast you could try raising the screen, or if that doesn't work, consider one of those add-ons you can buy to extend the height of the screen. Hitting a swarm of midgies up north at 50mph with your visor up wouldn't be fun, to say the least
I joke about the Deauville but I know it's a damn good bike. And yes it's more or less ideal for what I'm doing. I certainly don't need or want more horse power. It accelerates plenty, believe me.

I know I've only had it a few days but I can already see that what that guy's saying is pretty much spot on.

The windshield on mine simply directs more wind into my face so I'll need to sort/replace that.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:13 AM   #265
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Will do fella. You get free time during the week or would it only be on weekends? I'm jobless just now so got more spare time than I need.
I'm working away Mon-Thursday for the next few months so evening runs would be out of the question, however I can do Friday, Saturday or Sunday's. Let me know what suits.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #266
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Great write up.


Some consider their home a castle
Some build a castle for their home.
Seems the latter happens more in Scotland.

Would be great to explore it in its current pre-touristic 'n hazardous, state.
Any signs of ghostly activity?
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #267
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Great write up.


Some consider their home a castle
Some build a castle for their home.
Seems the latter happens more in Scotland.

Would be great to explore it in its current pre-touristic 'n hazardous, state.
Any signs of ghostly activity?
These tower house style 'castles' are everywhere in Scotland. There's another one a few miles up the road in Alloa that's in use as a museum. I was thinking about going on Monday but just remembered it's Easter Monday so will be swamped with school kids. I'm sure it'll still be there later in the week.

I'm kinda miffed about Monday actually. It's to be sunny all day so would normally go for a longer ride but I have a wedding tomorrow night so getting up early on Monday to go for for an all day ride would be foolish.

Anywhere you find a building over a 50 years old you'll find someone telling you about ghosts. Clackmannan Tower is no different. The information I found suggested that Ghost Hunters would be visiting the tower to investigate. The info seems to be out of date though as the people they claim are investigating appear to have given up Ghost Hunting and moved on to weight loss information.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:00 PM   #268
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I get all the news I need from the weather report...

That'll do me nicely.

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Old 04-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #269
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Belated congratulations, I have been away, so missed the Great Day. I think the Deauvlle looks great and I'm betting 45mph won't last long! "only a Deuaville" indeed.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #270
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congratulations mate!!

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Looks like I'm a real boy now!
Congratulations Mate!! Or should that be Laddie? Congratulations, regardless. Cannae wait tae do some rides

Bring on a great Scottish summer and weeks of perfect riding weather!
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