Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Breaking News...Small pod of janglers spotted in Wales

After a very long break from Jangle Jangle, myself and Mike decided it would be rather funny to publish a new post, even if it was just for our own amusement.

Things for myself (Loz), haven't really changed, still riding bikes, fixing bikes, collecting bikes and camping trips on bikes.

A few years ago an old school friend who had moved out of the area, moved back and got in touch. on finding out he was still very much into biking, travel plans were hatched. Together we have toured Scotland, Southern Ireland, The North Yorkshire Moors, A trip to Northern Ireland to watch the NW200 road races and several trips to mine and Mikes favourite campsite.

Mike is currently without a bike, but thats not going to stop a mini Jangle reunion, I got an MOT on one of my bikes, fitted some luggage and waited for Mike.

On the morning of departure, he pulled up outside and made several trips to the boot of his car, returning each time with bundles of camping gear, on maybe the 3rd or 4th time I started to wonder how it was all going to fit, undetered, Mike continued retrieving gear. After a bit of shoehorning, it was time to hit the road. 

Mikes steed for the weekend 

Now, this weekend was opened up to anyone who just fancied a lads camping trip. Ralph who has been mentioned before now has a camper van and said he would bring all the food and beer and keep everything cool in the cool boxes plugged into the van. I’m loving the idea of a support vehicle.

Roadside stop for a leg stretch and a chuff 

The aforementioned school friend (Paul) would get up early on Saturday and join us around lunchtime.

Paul's new bike, recently acquired 

Also joining us on this trip is a guy I work with and loves the great outdoors and hill/mountain walking.

On arrival, the time honoured tradition of cracking a cold one was dealt with as Ralph was already there and set up.

After a well deserved beer, attention was given to getting set up for the evening. Now with the addition of a support vehicle, came the ability to bring plenty of food and beer, so A few days before departure I collected 2 curries, 2 rice and 2 naan breads, froze it all and handed over to Ralph for safe keeping. Friday evenings meal sorted for Mike and myself.

Garlic Chilli Chicken (Vindaloo hot) Mushroom fried rice and a Chilli and Keema naan. Proper Friday food.

Stan the dog was not allowed any vindaloo for obvious reasons (Stan is Ralph’s dog). After a good feed and plenty of loud mouth soup we bantered on into the evening. As mentioned, Paul joined us mid-morning on Saturday, got himself set up, then announced that he would like curry for dinner. Who are we to argue? 

We decided that an afternoon ride out was in order, and on the way back we would find a restaurant to eat at.

A photo stop along the coast road heading to Barmouth.

Unfortunately the chosen restaurant was unable to seat us but a take away was not a problem, luckily there was a pub over the road with outdoor seating where we could admire our bikes in the early evening sun.
 Back at the campsite we tucked into our curries and a few cans of liquid stupidity and continued the age old tradition of insulting each other as the sun slowly set into the sea.

From left to right, Mike, Paul, Kev and Ralph, yes they are all 7 foot tall!

Kev who enjoys the great outdoors has been afflicted by the same disease as myself, we both can’t have enough camping gear and gadgets, I now can’t bring all the items that I own that I thought would be a great camping addition due to the limited space on a motorcycle, Kev however has no problem in bringing practically everything he owns in the back of his rather large car.

Well you never know what you will need !

As mentioned earlier, Kev enjoys hill and mountain walking and a bit of wild camping, I’m sure you can see why he can’t get his pack weight under 20Kgs. And as the only hill and mountain walker within our little group, it’s at this point I’d like to point out, he was the only person who fell down on the very shallow, short bank that separated our tents from Ralph’s van, not just a little slip but a both feet in the air affair!

So just to clarify, we may have been away for some time but we've used our time wisely, practicing drinking, eating and being extremely childish. This weekend was no exception. 

(Admittedly, we sometimes have a pot of tea... What with getting old and all that!)

As Mike would say, "A thoroughly pleasant jangle" so thanks guys for a great weekend.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Argey bargey

It had been a while since myself and Mike had been on a little jangle and with that in mind I busied myself with a way to rectify this massive oversight.

Not content with just a bike and a tent this time, I decided to slow the pace just a little and hire a narrow boat. On collection of our floating home for the week we discovered it was aptly named best mate. After loading our gear, food, beer, wine and rum ( I believe its the law to carry rum at all times on a boat ) we filled the diesel tank, said farewell to Steve ( boat owner ) and fled the marina at a sweltering pace of around 3MPH.
We had planned to potter down to the first lock which Steve had kindly offered to drive to so he could show us how to operate the locks.

successful navigation of our first lock.

Our plan didn't entail any desires of grandeur, just to potter along, turn round and be home for Friday lunch time. Due to commitments we both needed to be home on Friday and with this in mind and a map in hand we decided somewhere around the historic boating town of Shardlow would be our turn round point. the map was easy and clear to read showing all distances, locks, pubs, waterpoints and more importantly winding holes (turning points). We chose the entrance to Shardlow marina as our turning point and that was that......plan hatched. With nothing more to do but trundle along, put the world to rights, enjoy the scenery and sample a beer or two we soon settled into our new surroundings.

Mike looking mighty pleased with himself and doing a grand job of skippering

blessed with reasonable weather for October.

Tea and Tab break

can you guess who now became lock operator for the week!

Best Mate is 45" long and comprised of a front lounge area complete with wood burner, mid section was kitchen, i know....galley!, bathroom, with damn impressive shower, wasnt expecting that kind of pressure, and finally a made up small double bed.

Rum coffee after a hard days skippering

view from front to back.

daily maintenance, prop shaft greasing.

I could get used to this.

On Tuesday evening, our very good friend Neil paid us a visit but sternly (no pun intended) refused to join in with the nautical names, i have called Mike skipper for a number of years now due to owning a few types of boats, therefore i was to be called captain, Neil however was not happy with Roger. He was soon forgiven though because his arrival meant more supplies, 1 pepper (that i forgot) for the curry, a bag of coal and more importantly more beer.
After a few of the affore mentioned beers, Neil introduced us to a 2foot tall inflatable penguin, who from now on shall be known as Findus

Mr. Findus to you.

Findus was quite an ammenable chap and very happy to dress up in all maner of costumes, although our resourses were limited our minds were in overdrive, between us we amass opproximately 135 years, thats a lot of childishness in anyones book.

very childish indeed.

That just about sums up a great week with both Mike and Neil, my apologies for taking so long with a write up, but my new job in I.T.with microsoft has taken up so much time!
Cheers Skipper and Roger.
As Mike would say....."A very pleasent jangle"

Roll on the next one 

Monday, September 02, 2013

A Little Jolly To Wales

Loz and I finally got round to a camping weekend in Wales. It's been that long since I've been camping I'd almost forgotten how to pitch my tent. Still, at least I remembered to actually take the tent, which is more than can be said for the rest of my camping equipment. However, small details like the lack of camping gear are soon forgotten once you realise the coolbox is well stocked with beer and wine. 

So what did we do for the weekend? Eat curry and sup alcohol, that's what....... obviously. Not only that, Saturday we splashed out and treated ourselves to pate, chorizo, cheese and wotnot, all dressed up with, well, a salad dressing, and some green stuff believed to be called salad leaves. It's the rock n roll diet for those who realise man can no longer live on beer and curry alone.

It was on the recommendation of Loz that we ended up at Cae Du Campsite just north of Tywyn, and what a great choice of campsites it was too. Perched on a low cliff overlooking a rocky beach and the distant headlands of north Wales, the setting couldn't have been anymore idyllic.

If the weather gods are being kind the sunsets can be spectacular. Friday night was one of life's finer moments, chillin' to some music, drinking wine and putting the world to rights whilst taking in the following scene. 

Saturday night was a wetter affair (Don't take that the wrong way). However, being hardened campers, and having a canopy to keep the rain away, we still managed to sit outside until the early hours of Sunday morning quaffing yet more beer and wine. 

Sunday breakfast was as you'd expect from a lads camping weekend and needs no further introduction. 

That just about wraps up our two night jolly. Roll on the next weekend away. I'll leave you with a photo of Loz looking all contemplatory (Is that a word?) or something. Or maybe he was just secretly lobbing out his python for a discreet jimmy riddle over the cliff. Haha, jimmy riddle. Does anyone actually use that phrase any more?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where did all the time go?

Since my little excursion to Ireland there has been very little in the way of biking. There has been a number of camping trips that have been most memorable some with Mike and Neil involved and some without. One in particular was myself and a friend called Ralph canoed the entire non-tidal section of the Thames in aid of cancer research. A week long self supported 130 mile trip in the worst weather you could wish for. 
  If you are terribly bored you can read the write up over on sausage n splash.

A better day

 Now back to jangly type activities My tried and trusted XT600 has slowly become tired and rusted, it also required a little bit of attention to a weeping cylinder base gasket. Here starts a tedious rambling on the new lease of life of my XT.
  To gain access to the engine and aid its removal i removed the seat, tank and all plastic side panels. Armed with a box of spanners i set about disconnecting all the gubbings that make bikes go VROOM VROOM. Whilst doing this i'm trying very hard to ignore the state of the frame that unveiled itself when i removed the seat etc. It was now or never. A quick phone call was made. Yes Loz I'll paint the frame if you get it shot blasted. Happy with correct response to my plea for shinyness i continued to not just remove the engine from the frame but to remove everything! 3 hours later i had a frame and several boxes of bits. The plan now was to send the frame for blasting then offload it to make shiny again. Quite a simple plan you would think. This is janglesville and nowt is as simple as we make it look. Other than ourselves that is. 3 weeks passed until i got hold of a local guy who came highly recommended (how dare he take a holiday) Still, no panic, i can crack on with the engine.

In its early days.

3 hours with a box of spanners.  
The barn that i was using to house my new airfix kit in just so happens to belong to the guy who so kindly offered to paint the frame, and when i dropped it back off after shot blasting he kindly asked "Do you want everything painted?"
That took all of a nano second to process and the whole thing snowballed. 
Now some of you will already know that i'm really not good with technology,
so what we end up with is a before and after shot, as all the pictures of the
build up have fallen out of my phone.
I also treated myself to some new shinny alumimim panniers, these came
without any mounting devices and after a few weeks deliberation a system
was invented by a good friend and a more than capable engineer. The white
pieces are machined from nylon bar then cut into the sections you can see.
Each piece sits around the tubular frame and holds the pannier secure.

       The "P" shaped pieces pivot inwards to release the pannier from the
frame and are secured in place from inside to make them theft proof
when the lids are locked in place.                             

And  there she is, in all her new glory.

Many thanks to Rich for the splendid paintwork that now adorns my bike.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Motorcycle emptiness !

A much needed up-date. Part 2
Our previous post of hoping 2010 would see more miles than 2009 ended in disaster ! when what actually happened was we did less.
Mike has still not replaced his Blackbird with anything other than gadgets for his camera, Neil has either been busy working away or rebuilding his Triumph, Gaz has moved house and I've been reintroduced to canoeing, which was a big part of mine and Mikes life from our late teens to maybe early thirties.
Myself and Neil did manage the 5th Mid-Shires camp over, again a fantastic weekend organised by Richard and Monica from the Moto-Guzzi club.
In July i did manage a week long trip to Ireland, but due to the awfull weather i didn't risk removing my camera from the 3 plastic bags that were protecting it, other than at the Giants Causeway

exactly the same rock formation as the photo from Iceland from behind the waterfall !

(only one letter different in the names so why not ?)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Junior Jangler's Training Weekend

Right then, lets hope 2010 manages to see a few more motorcycle miles than 2009.

On the May bank holiday for the previous 2 years a group of various janglers have set off to a bike do organised by two members of the Moto Guzzi club ( see previous posts of Mid-shires camp). This year saw Neil, Neil's brother Paul, Paul's son Dean and my son Zach along with myself heading off to a new venue in the Oswestry area for the 4th Mid-shires camp over. This year the venue was at a cricket club, meaning nice flat grass for camping, a club house for beer and also a very welcome full breakfast for less than a fiver.

A week and a half before this do, I had a phone call from Neil who informed me that he had done his best Steve McQueen impression and the Yella Belly was lying in a ditch somewhere in Wales very close to a place called Clatter (how very apt). After a visit to the shed, some new handle bars were handed over, some straightening of the seat rails (my homemade top box rack was so strong that the weight in the top box was enough to bend the seat rails when Neil jumped a 250KG bike 3ft in the air!)

Neil now sporting an L plate for obvious reasons.

Paul's bike is a Suzuki VX800 previously owned by Neil (I'm surprised it still looks so good)

Richard, the organiser of this weekend had arranged a ride out on Saturday morning through some stunning country side and this picture was taken at a much needed tab break.

When I said we were going camping that's not what I meant Zach !

Saturday afternoon there was once again a guest speaker who has written over 100 books on Motto Guzzi and Ducati bikes. Saturday evening was probably the most enjoyable evening of music I've had in many years with the appearance of a band called the Re-Entrants. Two Men, two ukuleles and that's it (forget Goerge Formby and youtube them). You would not believe it possible. Brittney Spears to Motorhead, just fantastic.

Once again, many thanks to Richard and Monica or a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Jangling Update

It's been a while since any posts were put on here which is a disgrace really. But for various reasons there hasn't really been a lot to report on the biking front. I sold my bike early on this year to raise a bit of money for a business venture and since then I've lost the urge to ride a bike and have wrapped myself up in photography, a passion of mine. I said in an earlier post way back this year that Neil had sold Yellow Belly, his Yamaha XZR 1300. This was miss reported as I misunderstood which bike he had sold. To cut a long story short, Neil lent me his bike just after I'd sold mine so I could go on a bike rally with Loz, and due to Neil working away for most of the year his bike has sat in my garage ever since. A few weeks ago I was in my car one Thursday travelling to Wales to take some photos when Loz came past on his motorbike loaded up with all his camping gear. So we pulled over, had a chat and I decided that the following day I'd jump on Neil's bike and meet up with Loz in Wales for an overnight camp. Riding through Wales on a blistering hot Friday I realised just how much I'd missed riding, and my love of riding was restored. I also realised just how nice it was to ride a comfy "sensible" bike where a gentle plod is the order of the day. The bike was so comfy, I suffered with no aching wrists or numb arse which ultimately allowed me to concentrate and enjoy my riding a lot more. This made me take a whole new look at what bike I would buy next and I decided that rather than buy a Triumph Sprint ST, which I'd got my heart set on, I might just purchase an XJR instead. Since then Neil has mentioned he might sell his bike through lack of use so it's a possiblity I might end up with Yellow Belly. If not, I'm still most likely going to buy an XJR. This will no doubt come under ridicule from Gaz and Dean the speed freaks.

Talking of Dean, this year he has bought and sold more bikes than I can remember and is currently bikeless as he's gone and bought himself a Saphire Cosworth.

The only bike trip of note this year is when Neil took Loz's Yamaha XT to Norway but as yet I haven't seen any photos or heard much about the trip.

So that's about it really, just like last year it's been a fairly lousy year so far for biking so things can only improve. And I'll make a concious effort to post more stuff on here in the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For Sale

If anyone's interested I'm selling my Blackbird. It's a 53 plate, done 14k miles, has nearly new tyres and comes with twelve months MOT and 6 months tax. Yours for £4000.00 ono