Don’t worry, we’re still here! I’m afraid we haven’t had the chance to produce much new content for this blog or my YouTube channel lately. Mainly due to our recent house move, getting settled in, my day job and other stuff.
The house move in early October was a bit stressful (aren’t all house moves?) Things weren’t finalised to the very last second and due to awkward demands of our buyers, we had to stay with family for a week between houses. Nonetheless, we’re now mostly settled in, we’ve unpacked most of our boxes, kids are settled into their new school and we’ve even managed to get out on the bikes a little! The new house is amazing, in a lovely area, the neighbours are great, there’s so much more space and we have a huge double garage which feels like absolute luxury after our old middle-of-terrace tiny house in London.
Scaling up on houses has necessitated more furniture, but we’ve managed to keep costs manageable by sourcing second hand or on Freecycle. We’re a bit skint after all the house move costs! Turning the garage into the perfect workshop for the bikes might have to wait until next year.
We have had a few good rides when the weather has permitted, just exploring the local vicinity, but by-gum, there’s some stunning scenery here. In these Autumn months, with trees turning orange and red, the low sun and mist creeping across the Loch’s, it really is breathtaking. Everywhere you stop, there are perfect photo opportunities, perfect views, wildlife, interesting little walks into glens, woodlands and waterfalls. We’ve mainly been following Simon Wier’s ‘Stirling Standards’ ride from his Bikers’ Britain book. This ride starts in Stirling, heads North to Comrie, West to Lochearnhead, down to Callander, Brig’o’Turk, through Aberfoyle, Fintry, then finally past Carron Valley Reservoir and back to Stirling. A great ride and highly recommended. We can’t wait until next spring when the weather picks up, we have more daylight hours and we can explore further afield into the highlands and the islands.
On the bike maintenance front, things have been pretty mundane. I had to find a local MOT station for my Fazer and the Street Twin had its first-year service. However, the nearest Triumph dealership was Two Wheels in Edinburgh, so a little further to travel than the Romford Lind Triumph was when in London. I’ve recently had to replace our old Garmin SatNav and my worn-out Alpinestar boots. Managed to blag some cheap replacements in the Black Friday sales, so watch this space for our verdict on these. We also have some heated gloves from the Dutch company Heat Performance lined up for review, something we’ll certainly be testing thoroughly up here in Scotland, as it’s currently fricking freezing! Watch this space.