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JimRides... from Northern Cumbria in the UK

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JimRidesThis, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,235
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    ...while not forgetting to add the unpleasantness of damp plaid in close proximity to your nether regions and the wail of bagpipes assaulting your ears. :D
    ullukk and N-Id-Jim like this.
  2. cmcteir

    cmcteir Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
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    SW Scotland
    Another +1 for the Motorcyclists Guide to Scotland, fantastic resource
  3. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Location:
    where elephants roam
    My copy of The Motorcyclists Guide to Scotland arrived safely in my frozen north Idaho mailbox the other day, just barely a week or so after I ordered it. Of course i immediately dug in to it and am enjoying it immensly. I cant wait to roll over the tops of some of those hills and see some of these places with my own eyes... Thanks so much for the reference. Cheers !
    philipbarrett and JimRidesThis like this.
  4. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Deleted461265 and JimRidesThis like this.
  5. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Are you moving to Edinbane Philip? There is (or was?) a good campsite there. The last time I used it was in 2005 on a Haggis hunting trip with some other Africa Twin owners.

    [​IMG]
    Downtown Uig, July 2005.

    [​IMG]
    Haggis hunters.
  6. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    We most certainly are, about 1/4 mile down towards the village from the campsite (which gets great reviews & ratings) actually, on the Loch Greshornish shore. Soon you'll have a place to stay without pitching a tent, no haggis required.
    yokesman and JimRidesThis like this.
  7. I wouldn't personally go to John O Groats if I had the option, though Duncansby Head is nice, but thats just me and its been 35 years since I was last there. I don't know what its like now.
  8. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've heard the same. Obligatory photo stop but not much else besides tourist buses.
    Deleted461265 likes this.
  9. I checked it out on the web and they have updated it, but, really, not for me. I wish them well but I don't think I'll be a visitor anytime soon.
  10. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    Location:
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    It’s 17 years since my one and only ‘visit’ to John O’Groats, and that was only because I was a few hours early for the Gills Bay ferry over to Orkney.

    I guess at least I can say I’ve been there, it’s just one of those destinations to tick off a list. Like Land’s End it’s just another tourist destination, lots of coaches even then and I bet it’s far worse now with increased tourism in general and the NC500 malarkey.

    I didn’t even get off the bike for a photo, just headed west to Gills Bay where I spent a couple of very enjoyable hours chatting to some other bikers :D.
  11. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Hey, Happy New Year everyone!

    Let’s hope 2021 is a better year then 2020 although the current lockdown just means more of the same at the moment. I’ve mentally shelved my plans for Scandinavia this summer. If it happens it happens, we’ll just have to see how the situation develops.


    Mrs JRT and I have been focussed on house renovations - new heating system, new electricals throughout and new drainage. We might as well have rebuilt the place while we were at it! :D Anyway, lots on £s spent and lots of fun had too. :thumb


    As I haven’t got any bike tales to share I thought I might review some of my bike gear and camping equipment - watch this space.
  12. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My motocamping gear #1 | Morakniv Bushcraft Black

    As I said above, I’m going to review some of the tried and tested things I take on my moto-camping trips.

    Let’s start with a decent knife that’ll hold an edge; it’s one of the essentials. For the last five years I’ve been using a Morakniv Bushcraft Black which I can highly recommend.


    [​IMG]

    I’ve used this for all sorts of tasks from light whittling to ‘kitchen work’ to batoning wood for kindling. I’ve never carved a spoon :jack but I have no doubt it’d do the job :hmmmmm

    Pros: A reasonably priced knife from a well-respected Swedish manufacturer. Carbon steel blade which holds an edge and is much easier to sharpen than stainless steel. 4” / 11cm long, 3.2mm thick scandi ground blade.

    Cons: None I’ve comes across so far, though I always look after my knives, axes, etc. as I was taught to in the Scouts many years ago :D


    Knife laws are quite strict in the UK, and as it’s a fixed blade it usually lives in one of my panniers along with the camping gear, for a folding knife I usually carry an Opinel No 8.
    carlosthejackal and B10Dave like this.
  13. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    My motocamping gear #2 | Olight H2R Torch/Headlamp

    Last autumn my Petzl head torch finally gave up after 16 years of faultless service. Obviously lighting technology has come on leaps and bounds since 2004 so I did a lot of research and eventually purchased an Olight H2R.

    I bought it with a substantial discount in an Olight ‘flash sale’ as the H2R has been replaced by the Perun, which is slightly more powerful at the highest setting (2500 Lumen as opposed to 2300). I paid just over £50, but I think the price was (and the Perun is) about £80. Not cheap and I wouldn’t have bought it at that price. To be honest, I was in two minds at £50 but then I do have Yorkshire and Scottish blood running through my wallet.:lol3

    [​IMG]

    My thoughts after 3 months use...
    I’ve not used it for camping yet, but I have used it a lot around my place for this and that, and for night time walks. So far I think it’s brilliant in both senses of the word .


    The good stuff:
    • You charge it from a USB a port which makes it bike friendly and avoids having to carry spare batteries.
    • There are a number of brightness settings - ‘moonlight’ (1 lumen) low, medium, high and ‘turbo’. Turbo is like a searchlight and it automatically switches back to your previous setting after a minute to prevent overheating and a rapid discharge. I’ve left it mainly on the medium setting which is plenty bright enough for what I’ve been using it for. On medium a charge seems to last for ages, I’ve only charged it three times so far and I’ve used it quite a lot, even then it was never out of charge, I just thought it wise to keep it topped up.
    • It has a magnetic base that I’ve found very handy - just position it on something ferrous-based and it stays put. The magnet seems fairly strong.
    • Overall build quality is impressive, it seems very robust.
    • I comes with a substantial head strap that it snaps to magnetically and you secure it further with a rubber strap that’s included. It feels very secure. You can rotate it to position it where you want.


    The not so good stuff:

    • There are two ‘downsides’ I’ve found so far, both minor issues as far as I’m concerned. First, as a head torch it’s not as ergonomically comfortable as the Petzl it replaced. It’s okay for short stints but presses uncomfortably on my forehead after a while. Strap adjustment might improve that but most of the time I’m wearing a woolly hat which provides a cushioning effect anyway.
    • Secondly, there’s no red light setting so your night vision is pretty much shot after use, same as any torch without a red light. 20 minutes and your night vision is back.

    Overall, I’m really pleased with it and expect to get many years of use out of it. The Olight UK website has regular flash sales so, if you’re in the market for a robust, quality torch keep your eyes peeled :thumbup
  14. You get what you pay for. I have two Petzl's a big one in the car and a Bindi for travels, very small and light. (No pun intended), take care!
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  15. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    That’s very true Jim, you do get what you pay for.
    Deleted461265 likes this.
  16. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    My motocamping gear #3 | Lansky Blademedic

    A blunt or dull blade is 1. unfit for purpose and 2. much more dangerous than a sharp one. I was taught (in the Scouts again) that if you cut yourself with a sharp blade you get a wound that knits cleanly, whereas a dull blade tears and leaves a ragged wound.

    I've had a sharpening stone and leather strop at home for years, but on the road something that can touch-up a blade is useful. I use a Lansky Blademedic. It's not as versatile as a more expensive multi-angle sharpener, but it's simple and does the job when I'm out an about.


    [​IMG]


    I suspect the Blademedic is a 3rd party item branded for Lansky as there are plenty of very similar looking devices out there. But, in the field of blade sharpening, Lansky is a name I trust so that's what I bought.

    The tungsten carbide jaws and diamond rod are good for restoring a blade while the ceramic jaws 'polish' the edge. The ceramic 'blade' is for serrated edges but I've never used that. The Blademedic very simple to use, just three of four strokes though the jaws is usually enough and I've used it with both stainless and carbon steel blades.

    It weighs next to nothing and is only about 3" long. I keep it with my kitchen kit. The current price is just over £12 on Amazon UK.
    B10Dave and Shaggie like this.
  17. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    My motocamping gear #4 | Trangia 27-1 (with spirit, bio-gel and gas burners)

    I bought the Trangia complete with the gas burner from a pal over on ADVScotland.com a couple of years back. I've since added the kettle and bio-gel burner :-).


    [​IMG]

    Pros
    • Quality Swedish construction
    • A traditional spirit burner for meths addicts :loco
    • You get a firm base and windbreak for your pans/kettle/etc. and the whole kit nests in a relatively compact form.
    • The gas burner gives you the option of using the ubiquitous screw-on canisters.
    • The wind break feature of the Trangia means your fuel heats water/food quicker and will last longer too, as the heat is channelled rather than blown away by the breeze.
    • The meths burner and bio-gel burner operate silently (unlike my Coleman Sportster or the mis-named MSR Whisperlite!)

    Cons
    • None as far as I'm concerned.

    As I'm not usually in a rush when brewing-up or cooking I can't see the advantage of Jetboils, etc. In fact, I've only used the Trangia’s gas burner once! All the other times I've used this Vango bio-gel.

    [​IMG]

    It's clean, doesn't spill and seems to be readily available in the UK. You can also use it as hand sanitiser and, conversely, use hand sanitiser to brew-up on your Trangia! :thumbup
    B10Dave and Shaggie like this.
  18. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

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    My motocamping gear #5 | Insulated mug/cafetière

    I love a cup of hot, fresh brewed, Italian-blend coffee. It's my morning ritual at home or when I'm camping! [​IMG] I'm not a fan of steel or aluminium mugs and I like my coffee hot so when I found an insulated plastic ABS mug with a built in cafetière function I bought it. That was over 15 years ago and it's still going strong [​IMG].

    [​IMG]

    As I've had this mug for a long time, I didn't hold out much hope of finding one online [​IMG] but, much to my surprise you can still get 'em! I'll put a link at the bottom of the page.

    And. here it is in action, somewhere in southern France, in 2018.

    [​IMG]

    Pros
    • Very strong, robust construction
    • Wide base proportionally making it much more stable than those tall stainless steel mugs I see on a lot of campsites. It makes it easy to wash out too, and I've just seen I can put it in the dishwasher when I get home from a trip.
    • The cafetière function. Just brilliant for my morning 'cup of Joe!' I didn't think it was going to last long, I was wrong, it still functions perfectly.
    • It's plastic - light and no burnt lips or need for those silicone lip-guard things.
    • Insulated - keeps my beverage of choice nice and hot [​IMG]
    Cons
    • Absolutely none. It's perfect.
    If your requirements are similar to mine and you're still looking for that 'perfect camping mug' here's an AmazonUK link or an AmazonUSA link
  19. Thats a good idea. I was in China just before you know what and everyone drinks tea (and coffee) all the time and I bought a Zojirushi flask thing that you can drink from, and use that, but your cup looks good.
  20. CdnGS

    CdnGS Been here awhile

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    228
    Looks like a decent piece of kit. What are the laws there? Can’t carry on your person? If so that’s ridiculous - except for street urchins and scumbags that make their living committing robberies.