Feelin’ like a REAL biker

The DIY wasn’t going well, I needed a break, I just needed some photo-therapy and Tuesday was the day for it.

The intention was to get on the Beemer and ride northwards to Aberdeen and beyond to see and photograph an English Electric Lightning that I had helped save from the scrapman in the 1990s. I was part of a small team of aircraft enthusiasts who came up from Yorkshire to disassemble the Lightning and take it back down to Yorkshire. It eventually was placed on a roundabout at Tees-side Airport where it stood for a number of years until the airport decided that an advertising hoarding was better suited there. The Lightning was removed and stored before being bought by a company that specialised in overhauling and repair of gas turbines, similar to the Rolls Royce Avons that powered the Lightning.

The aircraft was brought up north again to Peterhead where it has been lovingly looked after by the company’s training school.

An interesting piece of trivia about this aircraft is that in 1984 it was used to intercept an American U-2 spy-plane during training, something that the Americans stated could not be done. On another flight it rapidly climbed up to 88,000 feet, some 20,000 feet height than the RAF had previously admitted that it could climb to, almost entering space.

I got off to a bad start, losing about two hours when I had to return home for something that I had forgotten. It done me a favour in a roundabout way as I had rode up on the motorway and dual carriageway and then decided to return by the Forfar – Perth road, which was much quieter and was more interesting / challenging for a rider than merely driving along a dual carriageway.

I arrived in Peterhead and got my photos, I can’t thank the company enough for their hospitality, especially since I was so late. Punctuality to me  is a virtue.

The sun shone all the time that I was on the bike and taking the photos, however by the time that I had returned to Aberdeen it was clouding over and getting caught in the rush-hour cost me more time. I don’t know why they called it a rush hour as nothing was moving on the roads around the Airport. I have never seen traffic like that. Anyone that says Aberdeen City is not needing a by-pass is seriously deceiving themselves, the bypass is about 30 years over due.

Part “B” of my plan was to get some photos at the Airport, especially of the Bond helicopters, who after a series of misfortunes have become an endangered species in the off-shore helicopter business. So imagine my surprise when I turned up and found the hangar to be all closed and no life about the place. I did get some photos but they are probably not worth processing, that’s how disappointed I was.

I got caught in the traffic on North Anderson Drive and it was well after six before I got out of Aberdeen. A but farther down the road as I was approaching Stonehaven, dreaming of a decent fish supper, the heavens opened up, necessitating a quick roadside change of riding apparel. The much desired fish supper was bought and ate in the shelter of the old town hall wile it continued to rain down.

I could not put off the inevitable and I got back on the bike and rode out of the town, the road out to the south has great memories for me as we used to holiday as a family at Stoney and the smell of the wild garlic in the wee glen coming out of the town brought back happy memories of times long past.

Riding down the A90 wasn’t much fun in the rain, so it was almost welcome to see my yellow petrol warning light come on and the chance for a break at Stracathro Services. I felt like a real biker, sheltering under the canopy in the pouring rain, drinking Red Bull and munching sugar loaded tablet to sustain me for the next 80 off miles home in the rain. The caffeine kicked in and I was off on the final leg of my journey, which wasn’t so bad, as long as I kept the momentum going, the final mile home was a bit of a bitch as someone with all the time in the worked got in front of me, keeping the speed down and the rain made its way down onto parts that had hitherto been dry, like my crotch… it’s a biker thing but when it rains one of the first thing that gets soaked it the crotch. It’s not nice, kind of reminiscent of the days before potty-training.


Catching up from last week is this batch of photos


I caught Bob the gardener hard at work strimming part of the garden, the trees seemed for form a natural frame and the smoke from the exhaust an interesting backlight.

Wet trees

It has been none too dry here lately, it stopped long enough for me to take this one of part of Hatchbanck Road, there was an interesting patch of light to the right, which now seems to over dominate the scene. Probably should have toned it down a little. Live and learn.

So that’s me up to date, another weekend is upon me, nothing much changes, the weather is crap and I am working. Typical.


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