Daily Archives: November 11, 2021

A Proper TT Racer —

A few years back I put a post together on here titled ‘Building a TT Racer’ – from memory – which isn’t as good as it once was – the post centred on a Kawasaki twin I was doing something to in Bill Simpson’s race workshop at Dalbeattie —

I have no idea where this pic turned up from but it arrived in my WordPress account today and if anyone knows how to put these Kawasaki twins together it’s the guy on our left – Ryan Farquar BEM – who virtually invented the class. That’s Kieth Amor alongside him in the pic – for many years another top racer on the roads —

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Posted by on November 11, 2021 in out and about


Old Stones of Balmerino —

It wasn’t all about riding along admiring the views on south Tayside yesterday —

As I approached Wormit I spotted a lane heading down towards the shore and followed it until a number of PRIVATE signs as I neared the estuary encouraged me to take heed. The road sign at the junction had pointed to Balmerino – a new one on me – didn’t even sound like a place in Fife —

After wrestling the brute around on the narrow muddy road – she does weigh in the region of 250kgs and probably more – I mean what’s the point of underseat storage if you aren’t going to fill it with ‘just-in-case’ stuff’ like footpump + proper spanners and suchlike – so let’s say more like 375kgs plus rider – bet that got you sweating —

No worries – after backtracking for a hundred yards or so I spotted a hole in the roadside wall leading to a set of wooden access stairs and some interesting ruins —
Turns out the ruins were what was left of Balmerino Abbey – founded in 1229 by a group of Cistertian monks who had walked here from Melrose Abbey to spread the word about their branch of Christianity —

Sorry about that last pic – I’m going to blame technical difficulties – let’s go for something easier – like a 470 years old sweet chestnut tree still alive in the grounds —

Isn’t she a beauty —

and here’s the proof —

Around 1540 the abbey became a casualty of the War of the Wooing and the building was virtually destroyed. Local gentry appear to have nicked most of the stonework for the winning side to build their own farms and country houses – turbulent times back then —

With King Henry V111 up to his tricks – Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed as a two year old to a six years old English prince in an effort to combine the thrones of Scotland and England – not much has changed since. Boris would be a fit for Henry’s wicked ways in his ermine and crown but I’m not sure how Nicola would do as Mary Queen of Scots — she will need to get the striking binmen back to work first —

Best to leave the politics to those who get paid to do it – just ride your bike son —

you know it makes sense —

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Posted by on November 11, 2021 in out and about