Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Advancedbiker joins a tour to Scotland - The story by Rick

Scotland, Cold wet and utterly brilliant

I don't think i have ever hidden my love of motorcycling in Scotland and try to go as often as possible.

This year i thought it would be a good idea to share my favourite roads and scenery and cake shops with some friends and acquaintances so Andy (Roadcraft rider) and myself opened up our plannned jaunt to others to join in.

The plan being 10 blokes with 10 bikes on a jolly caper to the Highlands. 
Rooms were booked well in advance working on the pack em in and keep it cheap principle.

Sure enough we had plenty of takers and that's when it started to get complicated .....; One bloke decided that he was going to bring his Mrs along as pillion. Another bloke who had never done a tour before wanted a single room ...... then of course we have to take into account Andys snoring which believe me can make Thor put his fingers in his ears, mine and Kevins farting Oh dear........

I was a little concerned at this point as the roads i use and the distances on those roads are fairly tough and for a pillion could be pretty tiresome but hey ho on with the plan ..........

The Suspects their credentials and bikes are:

Andy ( Roadcraft rider) a RoSPA Tutor, GSA 90th aniv. 
Nigel Bowers ( Ex police rider and RoSPA Examiner, no end of other quals and riding God, 1200 GS
Dave Midlands RoSPA and IAM big wig, GS1200later to be re named the Stalker.
Pete W Yorks RoSPA coordinator and tutor, Pan European 
Geoff W Yorks RoSPA Tutor, VFR 1200 
Kevin RoSPA Gold, GS LC
Clint and Mrs Clint, RoSPA Gold ( not Mrs Clint) GSA bought a few weeks ago for not much money and not really tested !
Guy, Ducati 1100 MS qualified in talking a good game 
and Me, A degree in hooliganary and causing trouble on my GSA LC.

As you can see or guess, on paper this would be a good progress making group and so it turned out to be.

Andy and myself set off to the rendezvous at Skipton nice and early, mainly due to being as excited as schoolboys on the first day of conker season, with temperatures soaring to 11 degrees which was as hot as it got for the next 5 days! I was surprised to see Andy wearing his old Neotec rather than his flashy Tour X but as he said tried and trusted ..... More on this later 

We arrived at the Little thief for a bacon sarnie and met up with Clint, Mrs Clint (who i discovered was called Lynn) and Dave who had all travelled up the night before from southern parts.
The rest of the group arrived about half way through the bacon. 

So the route for day 1 was 

Just under 300 miles on great roads.

Extra layers were added as it was down to about 7 degrees and looking like rain, Helmets on, comms tested and sworn at until it worked and then a little after 0900hrs we were off......

We set out over Malham tarn and onto Hawes and the creamery for the first stop of the day and to have a scone! Scones almost became the staple diet. A ride order developed with me leading and Dave at the back. Andy was supposed to be TEC but Dave insisted and proceeded to harrass Andy for the duration and became known as the stalker. The pace was brisk albeit within the legal limits you understand.

From Hawes our next stop was The cafe at Chollerford where we got to chatting bollocks and getting to know each other a bit.
We thought Clint had lost all his clutch fluid but he hadn't so no disasters so far !

Onto Jedburgh for lunch which was more scones and a high tea for some ! 

No Passports required yet !

So far we had encountered a couple brief showers so I considered our selves lucky although the temp was still in single figures and started to think about the heated grips thread and came to the conclusion mine are shit too, at under 8 degrees they are ineffective to sday thye least but feck it Im on a trip so cope with it i did ! 

From Jedbutgh on to the Edinburgh By pass via the tourist route off the M9 at knockhill to Glen Eagles, crief and our digs for the night.
We Stayed in the Royal Dunkeld hotel which wasn't my first choice but as that couldn't accommodate the room requirements here we were and in honesty it was pretty good, the Owner was helpful and welcoming. We were in the Garden rooms (portakabins) We were on the cheap remember ! The food was good as was the Guinness !!

Not my meal as i forgot how much tossers like pics of food
Day 2 to follow

Day 2

Breakfast In Dunkeld was the normal full fry up and was excellent, No pics but you all know what one looks like.
Today's route would take us from Dunkeld to Strathcarron on some of the best roads in the UK IMO.

We lost Guy, the Guy with the Ducati ostensibly to urgent business.

That threw the room organiser (Andy) into a bit of a tizzy but actually made life so much easier for me at any rate as I picked up the paid for single rooms from now on

It would have been easy to hit the A9 but I like to wend around a little and take in some scenery so I always head over Ben Lawyers and this time it was no exception

It was decidedly chilly for the middle of may !

A funny thing happened, Geoff on the VFR could not make the turn back onto the road from the dam and had to turn right instead of left to be able to turn ! Well i thought it was funny any way

Down into Glen Lyon for a brew and some more scones. At this point having descended considerably the temp was warm enough to sit out and enjoy the views and lo and behold the sun shone !

After a while the sun went in so we set off and headed to Dalwhinnie for more tea and scones and of course petrol for the VFR !

The roads from here are just fantastic, fast sweeping things that beg to be ridden fast ( we resisted M'Lud) but here is a strange thing that we noticed, When we see bikes coming toward us we wave and nod like long lost pals but if they are travelling the same way they are hunted down and overtaken ! or is it just me ? Any way if that was you on the GSA on the hill from Invergarry I apologise but you should have been A) going faster and B) looking in your mirrors.

This was a theme that re occurred many times and no bike travelling in our direction was left and passed.
Weather forecast on I phone said it would be raining and chilly My visor and shrivveled gentleman's area agreed with the forecast !

Onwards and forever northward to Spean Bridge and the Commando monument that some had asked to stop at You can get a feel for the weather

Onto the most photographed castle in the world and yes i took pictures !

The weather picked up a bit for the final run over the mountain to Strathcarron which for those who have not been is yet another fantastic bit of road.

We arrived at the Strathcarron Hotel and were greeted like lost brothers by Andrew the owner.
It is a very very bike friendly place Simple but hospitable with decent grub and plenty of beer ! I would recommend this place to any one without fear !

The end of another great day with no disaster !

Day 3

Up and at them for breakfast of course and then a bit of a conflab about the weather !
The plan was to do this route

Doing the belach Na Ba first but after looking out of the door and seeing fresh snow on the tops that are lower than the pass we changed the plan and decided to head to Skye first and re assess later.

This was the view from the hotel door just before we left for Skye

The two Honda riders displaying what i can only call Homosexual traits decided they were staying indoors so the rest of us headed off and bugger me it stopped raining !

So Onto Skye we made our way and to the first stop where the weather yet again betrayed us but tea and more bly Scones cheered us up no end and it stopped raining and brightened right up although it was cold and my heated grips had not improved

The run round Skye is breathtaking in its majesty but alas i have no more photos until we get to the best cake shop in Scotland for more tea and scones and cakes.
Technically these are rock buns !

Andy liked them and was for some reason a bit Smug about it

Heading back to the Sky bridge we encountered on of the worst downpours of rain i have ever ridden in but that was nothing compared to the hail stones which were the size of grapes, well peas at any rate, they bloody hurt and all you could hear over the radio was the sound of them hitting helmets! I was laughing like a sick hyena because i was so enjoying the extremeness of the weather but the heated grips are still shit !

Back to the Hotel to take the piss out of the Honda boys and point out what a great day they had missed and we drank some tea and possibly had a scone !

Then 2 idiots decided that as the day was still young they would ride up Belach Na Ba so Andy and I set off with weather warnings and laughter ringing in our ears

Christ it was cold up there !
1 Degree, Blowing a howling gale and snowing quite heavily, The heated grips were worse than shit ! I nearly called BMW assist ......
As you can see the view was breathtaking

Bloody cyclists get everywhere

We made it back down and sought sanctuary in a few pints of the black stuff before tea and an early night !

Venison Pie and Chranechen

More to follow

Day four
My favourite day as it takes in the A816
I usuall do this and what will be day 5 in one hit but with a group it was decided that an extra night was in order so the route...

The first part is a repeat of previous days but in reverse but who cares as they are such brilliant roads.
If it rained going down Glen shiel on day 2 going up the rain was even worse and by the time we reached Invergarry Andy had had a total Helmet failure ( remember the tried and tested Neotec) It looked like you could put a Goldfish in with his head so wet it was!
Any way the trusty Multitool came out and the Pinlock was sorted by Andy and on we went.

A Hyabusa was dilly dallying along in the rain ( he wasn't very good and was soon hunted down and passed)
Stopped in Spean Bridge for tea and more scones !
and then headed down to Fort William and Oban

The weather app said it would be thunderstorms but it wasn't and so we headed onto the A816 , my favourite road in the world ever !

Nigel decided he would lead !!!!

I went at the back or almost at the back as Dave the stalker was behind me and now i know why Andy called him that ! No matter how fast I went or how hard into a corner or indeed out of it he was always there in the mirror with a big grin on his face !
I am no slouch but now know how Cal Crutchlow or the like feels when Rossi is breathing down their neck!!

Clint with Mrs Clint (Lynn) on board had to back off which is no shame at the pace we were going, his fully loaded and pillioned ADV was grounding out alarmingly and Lynn to her credit was laughing loudly about it !

The A816 is just so fabulous for 30 miles !

Now it started to rain persistently as we entered the Trossachs and over the Dukes pass. The Dukes pass is not my favourite road by a long way and it seems to be worse of late with a shocking surface ! I only put it on the route so people could tick it off the famous roads list.

Our hotel for the night was the Oak tree Inn at Balmaha. Nice enough, in fact very nice but ......
The rooms we had booked were not the rooms we were allocated and Andy Kevin and I found ourselves being moved up the villiage to a lodge which we were not initially happy about but when we saw the rooms we cheered up !

The view over Loch Lomond from my Palatial room

More beer was drunk more bollocks talked and I had Haddock Andy had a very large Burger then retired to my condo and the 50 inch plasma telly with surround sound to watch Braveheart but soon fell asleep !

Day 5

A short easy hop to Moffat ( I usually add this bit on to yesterday but that does make it a long day) With some motorway and a visit to the Falkirk wheel

It was raining somewhat and my heated grips were shit !

Any way we got the Falkirk Wheel which is a marvel of engineering ! And lo there is a cafe and behold they sell tea and scones and cakes !

More cake smugness

Onwards to Moffat and the blast over the Mountain and it wasn't raining !
In fact the weather was so nice and we were so early we went out to St Marys Loch !

Back to the Beclulech for beer and bollocks (many of both) and one of their famous pies for tea ! Andy had Pie Smugness But his wife now has him on a diet due to all the food pics on Facebook !

Many thanks to Rick and Andy for organising everything 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Continued support from Motul Oils

Advanced Motorcycle Training.Com is again being support by Motul during 2015 with it's products, ranging from the 300v oil to Motowash and Helmet cleaners etc....

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The B676 from Melton Mowbray towards the A1

Video footage can now be sent over the internet usually within 48 hrs .......

I have recently completed a couple of courses and then sent the clients footage from the on board video cameras in two formats:
1. All unedited footage on a Flash Drive in MP4 video format
2. Edited footage on DVD's (4 DVD's cover a typical days coaching)

The feedback was that they preferred the Flash Drive for ease of use in the many multimedia devices we now have access to so that could be the way to go, BUT also you could have the footage sent direct via the internet with say Wetransfer or Dropsend.  WATCH this space to see what develops.........

Advanced One Day Course

All one day assessment /coaching workshops / courses start at home with the initial contact either by phone or email. You are encouraged to complete an online rider profile which helps your instructor identify your strengths and weaknesses. The day is then is tailor made to suit your individual requirements. It is based on the Police pursuit style of training and is based on a 1:1 Rider to Instructor ratio.

The day usually starts at 10am, and following an initial assessment ride there is regular breaks for refreshments and debriefs. All courses are recorded with the on board video system on the Instructors BMW and all commentary is recorded aswell via the bike to bike comms.All the information, debriefs etc will be documented and you will receive a training journal at the end of the day. This workshop/course is designed to develop your riding style under the expert guidance of a qualified assessor in a controlled environment.

All video footage can be sent over the internet, but if you prefer can be stored on Flash Drive. (Please supply own Flash Drive) or DVD's still available.

Cost £ 240.00 1 : 1

Cost £150.00 (Per Rider) 2 : 1

Bespoke Motorcycle Courses - Coaching

​Rider Assessment Course (2 hours):​​​​​​​​​​-A riding skills assessment session consisting of initial online assessment, pre ride briefing, assessment ride and debrief. Course will be captured on video.

Cost £ 60.00 1:1 only

​​Half-Day (Max 4 Hours) :- A half day course looking at issues with your riding with a mixture of theory on on road riding. The session will be captured on camera and a written report provided.

Cost £ 120.00 1:1 only

Preparing for the RoSPA Motorcycle Test: -The RoSPA’s advanced motorcycle test has been given the Driving Standards Agency’s seal of approval and has been recognised . The test is regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging available to the public with a RoSPA Gold being the highest civilian riding standard. Have you got the ability to be a master of this art. If you have a good understanding and working knowledge of Roadcraft, the Police Riders Handbook and the Highway Code you are well on your way to taking the next step. The on road practical training and assessment prior to test. As a Rospa examiner Nigel can offer you help and advice to the achieve the ultimate grade.

Cost - Subject to individual requirements of the rider