April and May 2008

Sandy and Alan looked in on the Honda day at Vic’s shop. It was a good opportunity to test the latest models. We have both expressed an interest in the CBF 1000, and had a test run. Both liked the slightly more upright riding position, but thought the performance was not as good as our VFRs, which are now 5 years old. We’ll stick with the VFRs for now!

We’ve had our first four runs for this year, and thoroughly enjoyed each one.On the first run we headed up to Callander, from there across to the A9, through Braco, and over the B827 to Comrie (a bumpy road! - also a good tearoom at the wildlife park on this section) But we carried on to the tearoom just outside Comrie on the way to Loch Earn (a favourite stop). After that it was through St Fillans and on to Lochearnhead, then back to Callander and home to Glasgow.  A good run, and not too long.

For the second run Sandy and Alan went North from Glasgow, and over the “Rest and Be Thankful” to Inveraray. Then West down Loch Fyne to Lochgilphead; stopping at the “Wooden” tearoom near Furnace for coffee and a bun (we like this tea room with good friendly service!!). After that we headed up to Oban, then back West  down Loch Awe and the Pass of Brander, and over the hill to Inveraray again. On the run back to Glasgow we had another stop for a drink at the tearoom at the converted church as you enter Tarbert.  A great day out and about 200 miles on the clock.

Our third run Vic made up the threesome (on a new VFR). Via Callander and the A9, we headed for Crief. Then took the A822 through the “Small Glen”, and at Amulree we went up Glen Quaich on a narrow single-track road. This is a slow road with a few tight Z bends, but the views were magnificent (still snow on the hills). This took us to Kenmore, and from there we took the quiet Coshieville. From there we intended to take the B846 to the Glengoulandie Deer Park, but were stopped for 30 mins as the road was closed for a cycle race, and had been for 6hours (much to the annoyance of the locals. Perhaps next year they might do the same but make it for motorcycles!  We stopped at Glengoulandie and were welcomed at the tearoom by Leanne and Betty, who remembered us from previous visits. They claim it has the best homemade food in Perthshire, and we would certainly recommend a visit (the soup is particularly good).  The route home took us passed Fortingall (famous Ewe tree) and along Loch Tay to Killin. Then down the A85 to Callander and home to Glasgow.  Another great run and over 200 miles.

On the fourth run Sandy and Alan went over the “Rest and Be Thankful” then turned off on the road to Dunoon at the South side of Loch Long. After a coffee in the tearoom at Strachur we took the B800 toward Otter Ferry. This is a narrow single-track twisting road, and the pace was slow. The VFRs are not the best bikes for this but it was still good fun and the scenery was great. At one point we passed a cyclist, and after that we stopped in a passing place to take a photo of the view. Sandy got ready, but waited until the cyclist caught up and asked him to take the picture with both of us in it.  The cyclist was an amazing man – a real enthusiast – had all the best gear and rode about 3000 miles per year. He was even older than us!! We had a great chat before he headed off. (see the pic)  We continued on the B8000 down to Millhouse, and from there visited Portavadie, where there is a ferry over to Tarbert on the Kintyre Peninsula. Both agreed that we will have to include this ferry trip on another outing! We followed the road round to Kames and Tighnabruaich (easy for you to say – but not easy to spell). We stopped to take a picture at the Kyles of Bute (see pic) before heading back to the A83 and through Arrochar to Tarbert. Stopped again for a drink at the tearoom at Tarbert, and while we were outside resting (and fighting off the midgies) a KTM (two up) zoomed into the carpark. It was a husband and wife travelling to Strachur and they had come from Dublin! They made our run sound a bit feeble. It was good to chat to them, before they “sprinted” out the car park on their way North.  Back in Glasgow we were tired after the miles on the narrow roads (sore wrists!), but it was a great run in an area which we have not tried before.