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First, an apology to everyone who has written me email, PM, etc. in the past couple of weeks and who has not (yet) gotten an answer. I've got over 600 emails backlogged yet to wade through.

Second, I just got back from a two-week vacation with my family in the UK - 4 days in the Lake District, 4 days in Aberfeldy Scotland, and 4 days on a rented 32 foot boat on and about the Lochs around Inverness. An incredible vacation, and we loved every minute of it.

A few quick observations:

I saw two Goldwings the entire time I was there. Both were 1500's, and both had sidecars.

I saw two Harleys. Very big difference to Ohio, where it seems 99.5% of the bikes on the road are Harleys.

The rest was about 20% crotch rockets, and 80% BMW's. I did not see a SINGLE rider without full protective gear, usually full leathers, gloves, boots, and full-face helmets.

The BMW owners there apparently have some sort of contest going on as to who can attach the most hideous looking, unaerodynamic, and ridiculous looking saddlebags (saddleBOXES is more like it) to their motorcycles.
 

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Glad you liked the vacation. You sure did pick some nice areas to visit. As to your comments I can confirm that most bikers wear protective gear over here. 60 odd million people on an island only 600ish miles by 200miles means at some time you will fall off or more often the case, get knocked off. The hospitals here do not like bikers and often leave you for some time (if your injuries are not life threataning)whilst they treat others. Riders have over the years adopted the 'Be as safe as you can' policy which includes wearing suitable gear. As for the ugly BMW bikes, this is all born from the 'LONG WAY ROUND' epic ride around the world on 2 BMW's by Charlie Boreman and Ewan Mc Greggor. Before this televised event BMW's had a small market in the UK. The power of TV shows through???
 

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Glad you enjoyed your vacation GSM, what a shame it wasn't possible for some of us to meet up with you. :(



The ratio of makes of bikes is not too far off the mark, although the leaning towards the BMW's will likely have been because of the locations you were visiting, the Beemers are more popular the more rugged the terrain, even when it isn't really that rugged.

Down here in the South East there are a couple of large Harley Dealers and because of that we perhaps tend to see more Harleys on the road. Mainly the sports/ tourers are the main bike of choice for UK riders, who tend to be weekend riders, going out for a quick blast in their spare time. Rarely are higher millages put on these machines, unless they are the ones who go off into Europe for the motorcycle racing.

As Jemj says, protective clothing is the norm here and of course helmets are compulsory and have been since the early 70's. In hot weather sometimes I see an odd one or two riders who are prepared to risk it and wear shorts and trainers, and just a T shirt, but it is usually the novice riders who have probably not experienced a spill yet. I cringe when I see them, often riding in heavy traffic, but hey ho, it is their choice.

Had you travelled on some of our motorways, you may have been more likely to have spotted some Wings, it is usual for me to see some on a motorway journey.
 

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glad to see you enjoyed your trip to god's country (Scotland) Thought you might have given me a pm before you came over and we could have met up at some point. I'm only 8 miles away from the start of Loch Ness and regularly run round the loch (66miles)on a quick run out. You might even have been given the honour of driving my steed on Scottish roads. Too late now though. Maybe next time your over we can arrange something.

Most of the bikes in this area are crotch rockets. Given the twisty roads around here they are great for it but we regularly hear about fatal crashes in the area involving bikes. Lately it has been single bike crashes with no cages involved. riders driving outwith their capabilities etc.

As our weather is so damn changeable, we can get all four seasons in one day here, you always make sure you have the kit on when out. the rain can come on so sudden you dont have time to stop and put on the gear coz by then your already soaking. Must admit I use the wind daily back and fore to work and although i always use the helmet and jacket I tend to be in uniform trousers on the bottom half but then it is only a 5 minute drive from the house and back.

There are a few wings up in this area but you don't see them about much. hope to see a few at Thunder in the Glens this weekend in Aviemore. It's a Harley event but there is a mix of bikes there and also at the motor mile in Grantown in a couple of weeks. hoping to see a few othere wingers to see if we can get a club restarted in this area. There was one a few years ago but it disbanded a long time back. Fingers crossed.

Back to the main subject, did you see my mother in law in the loch when you were cruising??????? lol
 

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We actually did spend a bit of time on the motorways - although when we didn't have time constraints, I told my GPS to take us on the back roads, and as such ended up doing a wonderful 20 miles or so from Aberfeldy to Menstrie on a single track lane in some of the most gorgeous scenery I've ever seen. The two wings that I did see were both on motorways.

We unfortunately had a fairly tight schedule, and even with the time we had, we didn't get to see everything we would have liked to have seen. We're just going to have to come back and do it again, obviously.

By far our favorite part of the whole trip was cruising the Lochs (and the Locks!) out of Inverness. We left from the marina in Inverness, through the canal into Loch Ness, traversed the length of Loch Ness and back into the canal, then through and to the end of Loch Oich, where, due to time constraints, we had to turn around and come back. That took us four full days to do, cruising daytime hours only.
 

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Welcome Home!!!

GSMacLean wrote:
The BMW owners there apparently have some sort of contest going on as to who can attach the most hideous looking, unaerodynamic, and ridiculous looking saddlebags (saddleBOXES is more like it) to their motorcycles.
Huh. Did they look anything like these? :cheeky1:

 

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Blackdog wrote:
Welcome Home!!!

GSMacLean wrote:
The BMW owners there apparently have some sort of contest going on as to who can attach the most hideous looking, unaerodynamic, and ridiculous looking saddlebags (saddleBOXES is more like it) to their motorcycles.
Huh. Did they look anything like these? :cheeky1:

Gad, those ugly things look strangely familar..... stupid is as stupid does, I reckon.... wait a minute! Those are mine! Hey! I am now offended.....!

:cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:
 

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Cousin Jack wrote:
Blackdog wrote:
Welcome Home!!!

GSMacLean wrote:
The BMW owners there apparently have some sort of contest going on as to who can attach the most hideous looking, unaerodynamic, and ridiculous looking saddlebags (saddleBOXES is more like it) to their motorcycles.
Huh. Did they look anything like these? :cheeky1:

Gad, those ugly things look strangely familar..... stupid is as stupid does, I reckon.... wait a minute! Those are mine! Hey! I am now offended.....!

:cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:
Sorry CJ - I couldn't resist!! :action:
 

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good to see you enjoyed the time up here. you must have rented from Caley Marina and cruised the Caledonian Canal. Must be an eye opener having to go through all the locks on the canal to get into the lochs themselves. The canal was designed by Thomas Telfer and built by hand. Occasionally they drain the canal to carry out maintenance work on it and it is a definite feat of engineering to see all the stonework that went into the building of it.

The Caley Marina is only 2 miles from where I stay. Pity we couldn't link up. If you are ever over this way again, please get in touch and if you have the time you can drive on roads with scenery that will stop your heart. The roads to Ullapool and over Achnasheen and Loch Marie are unbelievable. I'm organising our end of season run out with the guys from work just now. we are leaving Inverness, travelling down the side of Loch Ness to Ft William, then up to Mallaig, a small fishing port. Catching a small ferryboat over to the butt end of the Isle of Skye and then cruising up to Portree on Skye for an overnight stop. Next day after numerous libations the previous night, we travel over the Skye bridge which replaced the ferry to Kyle of Lochalsh and then return to Inverness via Applecross and Achnasheen. Don't know what the mileage is for the trip but it should be a goodun. Last rtip out we went Inverness to Achnasheen, up via ullapool and Gairloch toDurness and visited the old smugglers cave (Smoo Cave) then onto Bettyhill where we stayed in the hotel for the night. Not much there really but all we needed was a bed for the night, a restuarant to eat and a bar to get a head of steam up in. It had it all. Next day onto John O'Groats and down to Dornoch. From Dornoch to Inverness ther sports bike riders never caught me up as my wing was a singing all the way down. First sight I saw of them was just outside Inverness. The wing can go when it wants...lol

You really need to experience the roads in the north of Scotland m8. They really are something to behold. We don't really appreciate it all as it's on our doorstep.

mind and post up a few pics if you get the chance and hope to meet up with you sometime.

Gordie
 

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Blackdog wrote:
Welcome Home!!!

GSMacLean wrote:
The BMW owners there apparently have some sort of contest going on as to who can attach the most hideous looking, unaerodynamic, and ridiculous looking saddlebags (saddleBOXES is more like it) to their motorcycles.
Huh. Did they look anything like these? :cheeky1:
Nope, far uglier. Seemed like aluminum, or chrome diamondplate was the most popular, something like this:

 

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gogs11uk wrote:
good to see you enjoyed the time up here. you must have rented from Caley Marina and cruised the Caledonian Canal. Must be an eye opener having to go through all the locks on the canal to get into the lochs themselves. The canal was designed by Thomas Telfer and built by hand. Occasionally they drain the canal to carry out maintenance work on it and it is a definite feat of engineering to see all the stonework that went into the building of it.
That's exactly what we did. We hired one of these boats from Caley Cruisers. My ex-father-in-law is a huge fan of old steam engines, and gave me a recent issue of Old Glory magazine, where they had a feature article on the history and building of the Caledonian Canal - very interesting reading.


You really need to experience the roads in the north of Scotland m8. They really are something to behold. We don't really appreciate it all as it's on our doorstep.

mind and post up a few pics if you get the chance and hope to meet up with you sometime.
We definitely want to get back up to the area, we simply didn't have enough time to see everything we would have liked to. I do however have a ton of pictures (over 1300) to sort through, and I'll post some once I've sorted through them all.
 

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Well I managed to get all of the videos I took processed and uploaded.

Each one links to the YouTube video that I uploaded. My camera takes HD video, so if you have a fast enough Internet connection, you can click the little "HD" button when you get to the YouTube page to watch the videos in HD.

I also included a link to Google Maps for each video, that shows the location of where the video was taken. If it shows only road maps, click the "Satellite" button to view the aerial photos of the area.


August 9: Top of the hill, overlooking Sabden
Looking at the scenery and Pendle Hill with Alex Lilly and Holly as we stand at the top of the hill overlooking Sabden
Map of this video location

August 11: Waterfall while climbing Pike of Stickle, Great Langdale
Looking at a cascade of water falling down the mountain as we climb up
Map of this video location

August 11: Looking across Stickle Tarn at climbers, Great Langdale
Having climbed to the top of Pike of Stickle, we looked across Stickle Tarn (small lake at top of the mountain) and saw climbers climbing the sheer cliff face on the opposite side
Map of this video location

August 13: Riding a horse drawn carriage, Blackpool
Alex, Holly, Lilly and Scott riding in a horse-drawn carriage down the main drag in Blackpool
Map of this video location

August 14: Driving through twisty roads, Langdale
Holly hangs on tight as we drive through the twisty roads leading away from the Langdale resort in the Lake District
Map of this video location

August 15: Castle Menzies turret interior
A look out the window and at the interior of a turret at Castle Menzies in Aberfeldy, Scotland
Map of this video location

August 16: Beautiful Scottish scenery outside Aberfeldy
Pulling over at the side of the road to try to take in some of the beautiful scenery as we leave Aberfeldy, Scotland
Map of this video location

August 17: Dochgarroch Lock gates closing
Watching the lock gates close at Dochgarroch Lock as we wait in the boat for the water to rise
Map of this video location

August 17: Scott driving the boat onto Loch Ness
Me driving our boat onto Loch Ness for the first time
Map of this video location

August 17: Holly riding front of boat on Loch Ness
Holly goes to ride out on the front of the boat as we hit some 2-3 foot swells on Loch Ness, and the kids poke their heads out of the forward hatch.
Map of this video location

August 17: Front of the boat hitting waves on Loch Ness
Hitting some gentle 2-3 foot swells on Loch Ness, Alex and Lilly loved the pitching of the boat as we drove into them.
Map of this video location

August 17: Highland Cattle at Drumnadrochit
Berthing for our first night at Urquhart Harbor, we walk towards Drumnadrochit and finally encounter some Highland Cattle.
Map of this video location

August 18: Holly sings a Loch Ness song
While cruising across Loch Ness, Holly breaks out a song for the occasion
Map of this video location

August 18: Turbulent water coming into the lock at Fort Augustus
Watching the turbulent water come into the first lock when the gate sluices were opened at Fort Augustus in Scotland, as we pull our boat through
Map of this video location

August 18: Aberchalder swing bridge closing behind us
The Aberchalder swing bridge closes behind us as we pass out into Loch Oich.
Map of this video location

August 19: Alex driving the boat on Loch Oich
Alex navigates the boat from Loch Oich, through the buoys and into the canal.
Map of this video location

August 19: Holly driving the boat on the canal while singing
Holly sings as she drives the boat along the Caledonian Canal
Map of this video location

August 20: Maneuvering the boat in Fort Augustus locks in the rain
Alex, Scott and Lilly pull the boat through one of the locks at Fort Augustus in the pouring rain
Map of this video location

August 20: Alex and Lilly fishing off the dock
Alex and Lilly fish from the dock at Dochgarroch, without much luck
Map of this video location

August 20: Feeding ducks in Dochgarroch Lock
Lilly feeds the opportunistic ducks that wait around Dochgarroch Lock for boats full of tourists
Map of this video location

August 21: Driving a single track lane above Sabden at night
Holly squealing as we drive along a single track lane above Sabden at night
Map of this video location
 

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Excellent video's m8. Pity you didn't get the weather as when it's nice here the loch is awesome.
 

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Despite what you might see there, out of the two weeks we were over, we only had two days rain, and only one of them was while we were on the Loch. There were a couple days where it threatened rain, and might have encountered spotty showers for a minute or two, but that doesn't really count. Other than that, the weather was fine!
 

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Summer has not been good here this year. it's been very damp. Don't know where this global warming crap is but we ain't seeing it here anyway.

Glad you had some good weather. It's been hissing down for the last 2 days here now.
 
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