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Monthly Archives: September 2011

XJR at Eskdalemuir

With rain promised from this evening till Monday I didn’t need much persuading to go for a ride when Phil phoned. He has had self-confessed lazyitus where bikes are concerned since he came back from his ‘long-weekend’ thrash to Austria and it was good to feel the road beneath our wheels again.

St Mary’s Loch tearoom was our target but we took the ‘long way round’ by Lockerbie and Eskdalemuir. A good choice despite the fact the hill road was officially closed after passing the Yeti’s Temple.

Dali Lama 028

After the Yeti’s Temple it got a bit muddy but no problem really and we just chilled out and enjoyed the ride through the beautiful Border hills. When we came to the road closed section the JCB operator moved his machine off to the side and we were waved through.

Dali Lama 026

The little church in Capercleuch by St Mary’s Loch caught my eye sitting there in full sun so the camera came out again. Turns out it is now a house and the owner came down for a natter over the gate. To my surprise we knew him! He was the previous operator of St Mary’s Loch tearoom which was our next port of call. When my pie and chips were served I was wishing he was still the proprietor. It was poor tucker!

Dali Lama 030

With me muttering into my helmet about the nosh we backtracked to Capercleuch and swung left on to the Meggat Dam single-track road. After a photo sesh at the top of Broad Law we followed it all the way through to Tweedsmuir.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in out and about

 

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Stone Clock at Cairn Holly

Next Friday 22nd October will be the autumn equinox and a good time to go look at the heap of stones called Cairn Holy not too far from here.

I say ‘heap of stones’ but that’s hardly fair —

stone clock July 075

These stones were assembled by man about four thousand years ago and prove that someone back then had a good knowledge of time and how to measure it. They may look like a random collection but in fact when the sun shines – particularly at any one of the four equinox we have each year – various features of the stones come into play —

stone clock July 043

It’s really the shadows cast by the stones that do the work which makes the whole subject all the more of a mystery.

 

It’s a fact that the stones once were put in place with marks and indentations that throw shadows one to the other in perfect timing which to this day equate to within 14 seconds of our own clocks and calenders. They were then covered over and formed burial mounds. It sure is a puzzle.

I have a theory that there was one opening left in the mound that would allow a direct shaft of sunlight to penetrate all the way to the central tomb at noon on a certain equinox but how do I prove it?

The old people certainly had the knowledge to do it.

 

 

Stone Clock at Cairn Holly

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in out and about

 

XJR at The Viaduct

After yet more work to clear the carbs of my XJR I grabbed the excuse to take her for a test ride when I was done. First stop was Skyreburn tearoom on the A75 for a cuppa then along to Creetown – famous for it’s Country & Western extravaganza every summer.

xjr test 006

There were no stagecoachs being held up as I took the hill road up past the Gem Stone Museum & Workshop. Well worth a visit on it’s own if you are down that way with a tidy coffee shop, sales area and clean toilets. I love the singletrack road from Creetown over to the long since closed Gatehouse of Fleet railway station and I don’t need much excuse to stop by this bridge and get the camera out —

xjr test 014

The road itself has been resurfaced using the cheap tar & chip method and has a generous covering of loose chippings. They aren’t a problem for my Tenere with it’s semi-knobblies but the XJR has normal road tyres so it pays to take care. From the junction by the defunct railway siding an unfenced road runs down to the usefull visitor centre by the farm. The centre is un-manned but it has video info – leaflets and again – clean toilets.

After the farm a dirt road goes by Cairnsmoor of Fleet viaduct all the way through to Clatteringshaws Loch but it’s really only for hikers and cyclists after the viaduct.

The picture below from an earlier visit with my Tenere gives a better view of the viaduct —

March bike 007

My last pic shows the XJR at Clatteringshaws Loch near the northern end of that dirt track running up through the forest from the viaduct —

clarrerinshaws XJR 001

That’s another Post rescued – I’m almost done 🙂

The Viaduct.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in out and about

 

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Hello world!

Hi folks – my first post! Where do I start? Perhaps with a little about myself.

I’m a single, retired gent having worked throughout the UK and overseas. My main hobbies are motorcycling and walking. In south west Scotland where I live now the hills are quite gentle and there’s an abundance of cliff walks – some forested and some open so there’s usually a walk to suit the wind and weather as long as you don’t mind a bit of mud!

Dee walk 25_10 007

 

Motorcycling has been part of my life since I rode my grandfather’s girder forked Ariel Colt at the age of twelve. Last time I counted I’ve owned and ridden over a hundred bikes in the years since then. Everything from field bikes – trials – green lanes – road and race bikes and I’m sure that my Posts on this Blog will reflect my experiences to date and on future rides.

gixxer at Wigton 020

 

I usually have a compact camera in my pocket so photographs will no doubt be a feature of these pages when I run out of words 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in out and about