Saturday, 1 July 2017

Korean War Memorial

Venturing a little further afield, I rode just along the coast to Linlithgow to visit the Korean War Memorial. I’d only just found out about the place and thought I’d go have a look.

It’s in a large park, and the countryside nearby is meant to remind veterans of the conflict of the terrain over which they fought. It’s certainly tucked away and you’d be hard pushed to find it if you didn’t know where to look.

The memorial was created by the Lothians and West of Scotland branch of the now defunct British Korean Veterans Association as a tribute to the memory of their fallen comrades.

The Memorial is an arboretum of 1,114 native Scottish trees, one for every man who died, and a shrine surrounded by two mounds in the shape of the Ying and Yang on the Korean flag.

The shrine is built in the traditional style of a Korean shrine and contains name boards listing all the 1,114 men who died.

It is the only memorial in the UK dedicated to the Korean War that does this. The mounds have 110 Korean firs on them; one for every ten men who died.

Not just combatants
There are two seats and a picnic area for those who would like to spend a little time in reflection.

The site, in the hills overlooking the Firth of Forth, was donated by West Lothian Council, who maintain the memorial.

You can squeeze your bike through the gates and ride up to the structure itself for some photos, I’ve seen it done, but I left the bike outside as I didn’t think it was in the spirit of the place.

(History in italics from VisitWestLothian website)

Testing Times

At the test station
Time to MOT* the beast. Happy to say that it sailed through, so I took it for a bit of a run to celebrate.

View along the coast showing the bridges

These shots were mostly taken in South Queensferry, just outside Edinburgh.

The original Forth Bridge features quite regularly on this site as I think it's worthy of photographing.

This, on the other hand, I have no idea about. It appears to be the Loch Ness Monster in ceramic tiles.

*annual inspection 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Café Racer Meeting

Advertised on Facebook this event was put together mostly by word of mouth. As the day promised to be fair I popped over after work, having arranged to meet a couple of friends at the car park opposite.

It's quite a dramatic backdrop, practically underneath the Forth Bridge and within sight of the two newer road bridges.

As befitted such a low key event people simply turned up and parked their bikes along the pavement, careful not to impede pedestrian access. 

There were a number of very trick looking home-built café racers, a good few older vintage machines, and the usual gathering of more modern sports bikes, some of which might charitably be considered the distant progeny of the original café racers. The most obvious example being the new Norton Dominator to be seen below.

A wander around looking at the bikes, talking to a few of the owners, a cup of tea and then home. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Moto Cycles

(Via: AgeofDiesel)

White Wall

(Spotted at MCN Festival of Motorcycling)

Festival of Motorcycling

As mentioned in an earlier post, I went down to the MCN Festival of Motorcycling at Peterborough again this year. It’s a chance to see all the new machines from the main manufacturers, although many were also present at the Scottish show earlier in the year.

On the bike front, I tried a couple for size. I am still strangely drawn to an Indian Scout, but also liked Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000XT, Triumph’s Tigers and the Ducati Scrambler, although the Ducati would be pretty rubbish for touring on. 

I also tried sitting on the Suzuki Intruder M1800BZ. It’s huge. This is a ridiculously large machine built for someone significantly bigger than me, and I’m no shrinking violet.

The Ducati Diavel, that rarity, an ugly Italian machine
Indian Brave, 250cc manufactured in UK by Brockhouse Engineering
The club stands at the show are always good value, and I had an interesting talk with the owner of a ‘Flexit’ leaning sidecar. 

I’d heard of them, but never encountered one before. The owner was more than happy to explain how it worked and give a small demonstration to an interested audience. Certainly different.

Usually I end up leaving big shows like this empty-handed. Either there’s loads that I want but can’t afford, or I have loads of money and can’t find anything that I want. This time, I picked up a lightweight jacket with armour in, some summer gloves, and a few other small bits and pieces that will definitely come in handy.

So, all in all, a successful trip.