Club History

What's on?















14th - 21st May 2011

Day One

Jedward in Jesmond

  The first day of the tour took us to the east coast of England and the Holiday Inn in Jesmond, Newcastle.

  The forecast for the week of our holiday was, to use a meteorological term, occasional showers separated by occasional downpours, or to use a more exact definition, ‘A typical summer in Scotland.’

  To be fair the journey from the land of the sheep to the land of the Cheryl Cole wannabe’s was surprisingly dry and uneventful, and the hotel offered a covered parking area in case the threatened cloud juice appeared during the night.

  First we decided to sample a few pints of the Irish black stuff and a few ‘large’ chardonnay’s in Chris’s case, then it was off to Fratello’s Italian restaurant located 15 yards from the bar (remember the plan was to tour on the bike, not on foot).

  When we were fully satisfied in the gastronomic term it was a slower, more of a waddle than a walk, back the 15 yards to the bar. While re-engaging in assisting the Irish economy claw it’s way back into the colour of it’s best know export, we sat down to watch TV only to discover the preselected channel was tuned into the annual European fest for tone deaf no-hopers commonly called the ‘We all hate the UK, European Song? Contest’.

  Since the choices were, listen to the Cheryl Cole wannabe’s who were attending a wedding in the adjoining function room, or listen to Graham Norton humorous account of how Jedward the Irish spiky haired twats (oops sorry I meant Twins) were out performing the UK’s twat (oops sorry I meant pathetic twat) of a middle aged ‘boy’ band for the coveted prize of best support act to the rest of Europe and Israel (how did they get into Europe, not another illegal settlement I hope). The option was simple, bring it on Graham!!!.

  When we finally realised that as a nation we sucked better than a Big Brother has- been on a footballer’s injunction, we retired to slumber land planning to re-ignite the sparks of patriotism tomorrow.

The arrival at the Holiday Inn Express in Leith, Edinburgh was accompanied by numerous mental renditions of The Proclaimers ‘Sunshine on Leith’ it also dawned on me how far superior the ‘Scottish Twins’ are compared to the afore mentioned Irish ones.

  Berthed within a close walk from the hotel (remember it’s a bike tour), and discretely hidden by a shopping mall, is Lizzie & Phil’s auld boat The HMY Britannia.

  Day 2

Tea with the Queen (well nearly)

  Morning broke with the same weather promises as the previous day, only this time it did manage the occasional spit at us. Our planned route was up the east coast to Edinburgh, taking in as much of the coastal roads as possible, this meant the road took us past the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

  Taking the short diversion to the islands causeway, we discovered that we had missed the last advisable time to cross the causeway without having to wait on the island until the incoming tide receded. At this point it did cross my mind to try and become a modern day Moses and endeavour to part the now incoming waters to enable a safe (and more importantly dry) return crossing.

However having finally managed to afford the purchase of my dream Harley I was not prepared to biblically sacrifice it in the vain attempt to become the new messiah.

  So, with the customary photo taken with the island in the background it was off to the coffee shop for a warming drink and a slice of compulsory cake. The rest of the journey to our next hotel bed was spectacular in its scenery and enjoyable in its ride, never having entered Scotland by the ‘back’ door it was worth every mile. With the walled grandeur of Berwick upon Tweed still standing proud considering it’s perpetual life as an orphan being fought over by two warring parents.

 So having first sampled a pint of good old Scottish Boddingtons (??) we set off to have tea on deck. Unfortunately Lizzie and Phil couldn’t join us due to the fact they were still suffering form some recent family shindig that no doubt left the Cheryl Cole wannabe’s wedding slightly in the shade.

  The self guided tour of the Royal Yacht was extremely informative and interesting. It gave ‘one’ a smug feeling that the list of world dignitaries that had been welcomed on board now included one of the most significant visitors -  ‘A Founding member of the EVICTED MCC’.

  The only fitting way to round off our state visit was to partake of a curry at the world renowned (in Leith anyway) Britannia Spice Indian restaurant which surprisingly was next to the hotel and well worth the massive 50 yard hike.



  Back on the road we started to climb up to where the highest distillery in Scotland (Dalwhinnie) meets the clouds, and where we met the rain. It only lasted about 10 minutes but it reminded us as to why there are so many whisky making plants in Scotland. Well they have to make something useful out of all that water.


Day 3

Here Nessie, Nessie

  The following morning saw us riding in more familiar territory, over the Forth road bridge. I don’t know what happened to the first three, but if the wind was any indication they are probably somewhere in Iceland, then onto the M90 heading for the A9 and a lunch stop in the very familiar (for us anyway) town of Pitlochry.

  It was the first time we had been in Pitlochry without visiting either Edradour or Blair Athol (or both) distilleries. We did however visit McKays bar for soup and an alcoholic beverage, followed by a trip to the Christmas shop to buy a tree decoration, well there is only 223 shopping days until Santa comes (no wonder his sack is bulging!!).

By the time we reached the Holiday Inn Express (notice a pattern emerging here) in Inverness we had dried out enough so that we could quickly settle into the room and then make our way to the bar for a ‘large’ chardonnay (if they knew Chris they wouldn’t keep asking what size of glass) and a pint of local Boddingtons again. WHERE ARE ALL THE LOCAL BEERS??

Thankfully the local eatery (remember there is a distance limit here), The Snow Goose was conveniently built within the same car park as the hotel, and served draught Belhaven all the way from Dunbar. Finally local Scottish beer, tastefully accompanied by some well cooked pub-grub, after which we commandeered a couple of comfy armchairs in the pub lounge and continued to indulge in our choice tipples, Jack and Coke for Chris and Single Malt recycled water for me.

If you’re ever in Inverness, trust me it’s far better looking for ‘The Snow Goose’ than some mythical monster, that if it is ever found will probably turn out to be some highlander’s mother-in-law.

Day 4

A wee hoose by the sea

  Our final leg of the outward journey took us the relatively short run, approx 80 miles to our little cottage home. The cottage in question is in Poolewe and is owned by a work colleague of Chris, who has let us stay there before. However this was the first time we had been there on our own and the first time on the bike.

  Being on well known territory it did not take us long to unpack the bike and head back the 6 miles to the local supermarket and butchers in Gairloch.

Where we reloaded the bike with the required necessities Jack, Coke, Wine, Whisky, Beer and some food then headed back to Poolewe to relax by a log fire.

That evening we prepared a feast of Haggis, Tatties and Neeps (well what did you expect, Jellied Eels?)

  Day 5

Wrestling with nature

  Settling down with a few 10yr old Macallan nightcaps and followed by a good night’s sleep, we woke planning a strenuous day of not doing much. We decided to take a ride to Ullapool, which takes in some scenic coastal roads, wood lined forest roads and open moors.

When we arrived we found a coffee house (not that it had been lost by anyone) for a hot drink and some compulsory cake.

When it came time for the return trip, Mother Nature decided it was her cue to welcome us to Scotland, and what had been a pleasant ride to Ullapool turned into a battle going back. With driving rain and gale force winds trying to deposit us and Harley into every coastal bay or off every cliff edge we passed.

By the time we arrived back at the cottage, with no falls, submissions or knock-out deciding the winner, we settled on a draw. I rested with a stiff one (whisky that is), and Mother Nature calmed down as soon as she saw us enter the front door.

Day 6

Comfortably Numb (and soaking wet)

  The next morning dawned looking much better for its good night’s rest, with blue skies scaring the locals who had never seen this strange phenomenon before.

  We decided to skip breakfast and ride to the Melvaig Inn for lunch. Everything was fine until we reached the final 8-mile stretch, a single track coast road where Mother Nature decided to pick another fight (bully). So, heavy rain and wind continued until we reached the Inn, where she promptly disappeared, no doubt looking for someone else to pick on.

The Melvaig Inn is situated in the tiny coastal village of Melvaig (I do try to keep it simple for you). It is owned and run by an ex Pink Floyd roadie, and it is full of 60s, 70s and 80s nostalgia together with a Wurlitzer juke box full of Golden Oldies on vinyl.

  So after numerous memory joggers and a substantial meal eaten whilst looking over the sea the time spent there was well worth getting a Scottish sun tan for (rust).

  It was all to soon time to ride back while keeping a look out in case the weather bandits tried to ambush us again which fortunately they did not, so after stopping at the local butchers for that nights ‘last supper’ at the cottage we surprisingly arrived back dry.

Day 7

From a cottage to a flat

  The next morning we were due to leave the cottage on the journey home. We planned to do the western coastal route, bringing us to Crainlarich, down the side of Loch Lomond to Glasgow then onto the Holiday Inn at East Kilbride.

  At least that was the plan. We left Poolewe and the cottage in heavy rain, which changed into heavy hailstones. As we turned towards the Kyle of Lochalsh, the hail was soon accompanied by strong cold winds as we traveled parallel to the ‘snow’ that had been recently deposited on the mountains. Then as we turned towards Fort William the conditions were made worse by some of the poorest road surfaces I have ever traveled on.


Ben Nevis conquered by car, Click to see more.

    Having been to Fort William before (on a whisky tasting mission) I new that the Ben Nevis distillery had a café, so there we stopped for a hot drink and some hot soup.

  It was when we came to leave the distillery, fully thawed out, that we realised that somewhere along the crater riddled road we had picked up a screw that had no doubt been shaken off a previous vehicle and found its way into our back tyre.

  And this is when it all went ‘44DD’ up.

  Although Harley Davidson is not everyone’s idea of the perfect bike, most people realise that, although a little on the expensive side, everything that Willie G and Co put their name to is of good quality and more than adequate for the designed purpose.

Except that is for ‘Harley (HOG) Assistance’ hereby known as Hog-Ass, the Harley Owners Group Breakdown assistance service designed to ‘keep you riding’.

  We first noticed the flat tyre at approx 13.30 and rang Hog-Ass immediately. With hind sight we should have rung the AA, with which we also had cover.

  As a result of numerous phone calls and constantly changing plans between Hog-Ass and the recovery people (but leaving me out of the loop), we were finally picked up by the recovery vehicle at 17.15 (well it did have to come a whole 18 miles).

  To write about the whole fiasco that took place that afternoon would double the length of this rambling. So if you’re interested, next time you see me buy me a pint, put your feet up, and I will explain.

  By the time the Harley was securely (hopefully) tied down onto the bed of the truck it was too late to arrange anything for that evening other than let the recovery people take the bike back with them for the night whilst we hastily booked the Premier Inn in Fort William and cancelled East Kilbride.

  Arrangements were made to be picked up in the morning so that we could accompany the bike and recovery truck to ‘West Coast Harley Davidson Glasgow’.

  So after spending all afternoon in a distillery and not touching a drop we ended the evening in a pub, one and a half miles further on, eating a rack of ribs (lamb shank in Chris’s case) and trying to get as wet on the inside as we had earlier been on the outside.

Day 8

Hold the party we’re on our way

  Sitting in the Truck on our way to Glasgow the following morning the only consolations was the weather was still as bad as the previous day, and the music on the drivers CD was good and heavy.

  When we arrived at ‘West Coast HD’ it was approx 24hrs from the first call to Hog-Ass (not bad for 110 miles, even Sammy could have done that on his funky moped).

The people at West Coast were very friendly and helpful, and when they were finally able to get the bike on a ramp (Saturday is a busy day) they replaced the tube, relieved us of £101 parts and labour, and smilingly sent us on our way.

  Back home preparations were being made for a party to commiserate with Banger & Katie for turning half a century old (Katie reaching 50 first), and Matt for just turning (52).


Therefore the driving force that helped us speed (not really officer) through the continuing rain, was the aim of getting home before Matt finished of all the alcohol (and food). I was also pondering about what England does with all its rain since it doesn’t make whisky, then it dawned on me, they make Boddingtons and send it to Scotland.

Finally arriving home at around 20.00hrs and sitting down to our first drink at 20.01hrs (give or take) we had completed our tour.

  Overall it was extremely enjoyable despite (or even because of) the weather, and apart from the last 24 hrs we would do it all exactly the same.

  P.S. note to self ‘’ DO NOT RENEW HOG-ASS’’

  Les Dillon

Evicted MCC

                                                              Top                                            Home