Friday 26th to Sunday 28 April, 2013
River Valley Caravan Park, Redcross, Co. Wicklow.
Phone: Ireland: 0404 41647 Int:00 353 404 41647
The site worked out so well last year we decided to try it agian. It is has excellent facilities. A Pub and restaurant shop and chipper within walking distance. Not to far from the ferries with lots of interesting places to visit nearby. We do not go overboard on organisation but there is usually a spin and it is not unknown for a Sing Song to develop. If you can make it we would love to see you.
Camping is €12 per night for an adult and a tent, extra adults are €6!
Mobile homes, €200 for the two nights, must be a minimum of 4 in each and no more than 6 in total, homes have three bedrooms with four singles and one double! Mobiles must be pre booked. It will be the first Rally of the year for many of us, the weather was dry but cool last year. Mobiles offer the chance for a bit of comfort for those of us who love ourselves a little bit. All bookings should be made through River Valley.
For a map check out the Events page.
Interview with Laurent Van Der Cam, Jawa importer for Belgium with Caradisiac Moto. By Jean Jacques Cholot, March 28, 2012
The original interview was in French, in it Laurence introduces himself. He has a long biking tradition and worked as a Harley Davidson mechanic. Worked his way up to foreman.
He was attracted to Jawa and the Czech brand because he wanted something different. In addition, a few years ago, he discovered a motorcycle in the delivery of his grandfather and which had belonged to his great uncle, it was a Jawa.
He made contact with the parent company in May 2010, and signed the first trade agreements 15 October 2011. He has praised the company for continuing to make motorcycles throughout the historic changes from Communist rule to privatization. The fact that they continue to distribute many machines in countries like Latin America, where it is well established. The bikes are made in small batches almost by hand. For 2013 he hopes to have sales of forty machines in France and nearly half in Belgium. Legacy Import will distribute the JAWA in France. It is motivated by the “Californian” model.
Laurent communicates with the factory to help them acclimate to the demands of the European market. They work as they did under the communist regime, with a market principally directed at the domestic trade.
The 1000cc model will be 100% JAWA. The bike will be assembled entirely by hand in small batches in the factory. Laurent saw the bike in October, describes it a very sleek machine. They are inspired by the twin 500cc OHV fifties. It will be able to devour the tarmac.
The full interview can be seen on the caradisiac moto site. http://moto.caradisiac.com/
Spider Pat put in all the leg work on this discovery.
This video fuels many questions which I do not have the answer for. If you view the video in uTube you can send any questions you like to to owner.
Below is one of the answers to a question which shows the complexity of the work that has been done.
The engine on the video has a lowered speedway piston. That didn't work well without the oil rings. But now I use a Piston from a Nissan Altima sentra 2.5l qr25de engine. That needs adapting the oil feed system.
*** WARNING – THIS ARTICLE DOES INCLUDE HORSE AND POSSIBLY SOME NUTS TOO ***
A STRANGE WINTERS TALE OF THE 1950’s FROM THE FAR NORTH OF SCOTLAND
It was early December, the tin roof was adorned with an icicle truly eighteen inches long. A light dusting of snow covered the ground and Calum the crofter’s thoughts turned to the long summer days cutting and turning the peat on the hill. Now it was safely stored away in the shed ready for the fire and those cold winter nights when the sun disappeared behind the hill just a short while after lunch.
It had been a grand summer with swifts and swallows often wheeling in the sky. The grass had grown well, which was just as well with many of the ewes giving birth to twins. The lamb sale at Lairg some months ago had returned good prices, and Calum was still due the money from the Mart. The old puffer had rounded the point just two days ago, on its fortnightly journey and dropped a fifty gallon drum of petrol at the rickety wooden jetty at the mouth of the Alt na Cleit burn. This drum of fuel which Calum bought every year, would allow him to ride the sixty odd miles to Lairg across ‘The Moine’ to Tongue, and onwards via Strathnaver and Altnaharra.
Calum looked up and saw a gap in the weather, and went out with his faithful collie Bess to take hay to the Highland cows. On his return the weather remained still and he decided that the journey to Lairg was on, although this time it would not be on foot along with Bess and fifty-four sheep , but alone on his trusty single cylinder side valve. He filled the petrol tank, inflated and checked the tyres and tested the magneto with the spare spark plug in the tool roll. He was genuinely delighted by the fat blue spark that when cranking the kick-start lever, leapt across the electrodes and he promptly replaced the plug lead in its correct position. With the carburettor duly tickled, after just three kicks, the trusty single first sputtered into life, and then soon settled down into a rhythmic tick-over, and with the oil starting to re-circulate back into the oil tank, yes, all was well!
With Bess safely locked away, Calum retrieved his old dispatch riders coat, mitts and goggles from behind the scullery door and with his bill of sale tucked inside one of the cavernous coat pockets, and a slice of cold porridge in the other, set off on his journey. After a short climb up the track, he was on the main road from the shores of Loch Eriboll heading for Tongue. He motored on over the spectacular but desolate expanse of Moine, before reaching habitation at Tongue with Ben Loyal towering above the village. Turning right and heading for Strathnaver, the snow began to fall, with the snowflakes getter bigger and bigger as he skirted Loch Loyal. Some nine inches of lay on the road at Altnaharra, and he began to think of the welcome he would receive when he reached the Crask Inn, five miles on at the top of the brae. He struggled to find any grip at all, and along with the deep ruts caused by all the cart wheels, it took all of his effort to get man and machine to the top. The snow was deeper here as he began the descent, and soon he could just make out the outline of the Crask with its chimney smoking.
Although it was just after mid-day now, the sky was leaden grey, and the light was quite poor in the snowstorm as he turned into the gateway of the old hostelry. He stopped the engine and briefly listened to the clink chink noises of the engine cooling down and the hissing of the snowflakes as they landed on the hot exhaust. He looked up and was amazed to make out the shape of another motorcycle further along, leaning against the wall, partly covered in snow. Below its flat blue and silver tank, he could make out the opposed twin cylinder engine with open pipes, mounted fore and aft in the frame just like the photos of an old speedway bike he had once seen!
Calum kicked his boots against the wall, pushed open the door, and made for the wee bar. The 60 watt bulb and the peat stained shade didn’t make for a good light, but he could still make out the hunched figure of an old man wearing an old brown dispatch riders coat, sitting on a low stool by the roaring peat fire, in his hands, a wee drammy. By his side on the stone hearth lay a pair of leather gauntlets, a flying helmet and some goggles. The old man smiled with a glint in his eye and a chink of light coming from a gold tooth, but said nothing, but just pointed a long bony finger in the direction of the bar. Strangely, the landlord was nowhere to be seen, so Calum poured himself some uische beatha (the water of life) from the half empty bottle on the bar and greeted the old man in the Gaelic. There was no reply as the figure with his weather beaten thin face and long straggly grey hair finished his drink.
As Calum cradled his whisky in his hands, suddenly the old man sprang to his feet, grabbed his gauntlets and goggles, threw some coins on the bar, and without a word, opened the door, and made his way out into the snow, the door slamming slut behind him! In what seemed like a split second, an engine roared into life (rattling the old sash windows) and the rasping exhaust note diminished as the bike seemingly sped off down the road towards Lairg.
A startled Calum, still wet and cold, got up from his stool and opened the outside door. Yes, the wind was still piling the snow up against wall, but the other bike had gone, and what seemed strange was the complete absence of tyre tracks! Calum felt distinctly uneasy, and tried again in vain to find the landlord. He left his money for the whisky on the bar, put on his gauntlets, and as the glow in the hearth had died down, he threw a couple of peats on the fire. As he did so, some sparks flew up the chimney, and briefly, the image of the face of the old man could clearly be seen in the flames! Calum felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, he shivered, and quickly made his way out into the snow. Fortunately, the trusty side valve started second kick. and he continued on his journey through the Dalchork forest, over the hump backed bridge at Dalnessie, and onwards to Lairg. At the mart, Calum made his way to the agents’ office, spoke nothing of what he had seen earlier, collected his money, which he wrapped up in his leather tool roll and made ready for the journey home.
As luck would have it, he bumped into his late fathers’ friend and fellow crofter old Murdo, who, (as it was getting dark) invited Calum to stay the night in his bothy. Around the warm range in the kitchen, Calum regaled his experience, step by step, at the inn earlier in the day. Old Murdo didn’t seem a bit surprised, just smiled wryly, and after a long pause, took a deep breath, sighed, and said, “Aye laddie, it sounds like auld Gizzen of Struie (stroo-eee) is back on the road again, and I’m thinking it’s time for a drop of the old MacAskill. (the malt nectar from the west, which at 42 years old, itself had a few tales to tell)!
“Now” said Murdo, adding a dash of the soft peaty water to his glass, “Where shall I start?” Auld Gizzen, you know, was born way back, and when a young man, once told me a tale of finding a beautiful wild horse that was trapped firm in the bog by the side of a loch at the top of the Struie. Gizzen was able to free the beautiful wild horse which just happened to be a Kelpie (a mystical creature of the Highlands). In gratitude, she let Gizzen have a family of the wee folk to help on the croft. The Kelpie did say that there was one condition however, and that was that Calum had to give the fairy folk new work every day. Well, Gizzen bid the water horse farewell and as he waved, she plunged deep into the loch and disappeared. Back home, Gizzen duly gave the fairy folk work to to on the croft. He had them fixing the gates and fences, and the missing slates on his roof. Every time they finished their tasks, they would find him and say,’ Master, Master, give us more work!’ In what seemed no time at all, the croft was spick and span and the sheep were all clipped and ready for market. The snipe were drumming high in the sky and everything seemed perfect. But every day the fairies were back tormenting Gizzen and demanding more work. They would just fly around and around and just wouldn’t leave him alone! He just had to have a plan that would give him some peace and quiet, and the next evening while the wee folk were away bringing the peats back from the hill, he hatched a solution!At this point in the tale, it was time for the whisky glasses to be recharged, with Murdo winking mischiefiously and jokingly adding. “You know it’s just the water that I like!” Anyway, the next morning, as normal, the fairies were back again demanding more work. The noise seemed intolerable, so Gizzen took the fairies down Struie Hill towards Ardgay and stopped at a spot overlooking the Kyle of Sutherland and the Dornoch Firth. Here, he gave them a task that seemingly would take forever. He commanded them to make a rope bridge of sand across the firth between the shores of Easter Ross and Sutherland. Now, every day at low tide the wee folk worked furiously to complete the task, but twice a day a fresh tide always returned to wash away the fruits of their hard work!
And, concluded Murdo, auld Gizzen was seen for many years after, wearing a leather flying helmet, goggles and gauntlets, riding his noisy OHV Douglas twin around Easter Ross and Sutherland, frightened that the fairies might complete their work and be back troubling him again! The fine MacAskill, accompanied by the soft peaty water, ensured that Calum would sleep well that night. In the morning, after a hot slice of porridge, Calum bid Murdo farewell and set off home as he knew Bess would be hungry. The trusty side-valve was duly tickled, prodded and started first kick. The sun was shining, and in places there was just a thin dusting of snow. The journey home might be just that more pleasant?
On the way back, out of curiosity, Calum stopped off at the Crask Inn. Calum found the landlord and recalled his experience of the previous day. To Calums surprise, the landlord said that the fire in the bar had not been lit at all the previous day, as he had been waiting for the chimney sweep to come, however he did find money on the bar for two whiskys went he went to lock up! Calum set off once more, the sun shone all the way as he made it back to Tongue and thence across the lonely Moine in the direction of home. Neighbour Iain had already fed and let out Bess, who bounded excitedly down the brae as she heard the sound of the motorcycle approaching, and all was indeed well, back in the far north.
This tale was told to the Duke himself, first hand by Neil, the son of Calum when Neil himself was in his seventies. Sadly the 42 year old malt has long since gone, so in the spirit of the occasion, the tale was accompanied by four 10 year olds and one 2 year old malt! That was just grand! If you just happen to stop today on the modern lay-by on Struie Hill and look east in the direction of the new bridge across the Dornoch Firth, you will sometimes see white water foaming on both sides of the firth. Some say that this is the wee folk still furiously working away trying to finish the rope bridge of sand. The phenomenon is known locally as the ‘Gizzen Brigs’! What’s more, there may still be a group of musicians locally with same name? A few complete strangers to the area (a guy called Wullie for one, who I spoke to in a pub in Rogart) have also claimed to have been overtaken at high speed going up the 1 in 8 Struie Hill, by a figure dressed in a flying helmet and old dispatch riders coat crouched low over an old motorcycle with open pipes. This statement is indeed made the more uncanny when you realize that today’s septuagenarians (complete with doctors’ note) regularly top 100 mph on their 1930s Douglas 600s in Vintage Club events!
Watch out, Sutherland can be wild and magical place! And as they say up there........‘Here’s to porridge in your drawers’.
|From Members bikes|
This thought started when Pat Brennan mentioned he had spotted a note on the 250 Travel section of the JAWA factory website. "Výroba tohoto typu motocyklu byla ukončena, na přestavbě stránek pracujeme. Děkujeme za pochopení."
Or as you or I would say. "Production of this type of motorcycle was stopped, we are working at the reconstruction of this page. Thank you for understanding."
This notice is on their site for some months now, but we’re not seeing any "reconstruction".
JAWA Ireland could shine no light on the topic.
JAWA of old made very few model changes. This lead to a situation where the machines they produced seemed trapped in time compared to the machinery they shared the road with. A small manufacturer could not afford to produce a large variety of ever changing models. To find an identity, JAWA have worked on what was possible. The 500 Rotax engine introduced a popular proven engine in the JAWA frame. The 650 Style and Custom remained faithful to Rotax while lifting the chassis suspension and brakess to match the extra power. This model put them in direct completion with bigger manufacturers who use the same engine. With the 660 they have lifted their game again as this bike is an absolute pleasure to drive. They have remained faithful to the big single but are still in direct competition with bigger manufacturers. Yet middle sized bikes are the traditional market for JAWA. The sturdy 350 twin 2 stroke still has loyal and steady support. The 250 Travel was heralded as the replacement for the 2 stroke which is challanged by emission regulations. But as it costs more then the 350, has less power, has not an enclosed rear chain or side stand, they are producing a machine with the old styling of the 350 and little else. The domestic market has competition from YUKI using a fuel injected version of the same engine, for less money.
As things stand it is hard to see where the factory will go with the 250 Travel. Most of their energy and finance must be going into the 1000cc. I am a fan of the smaller cc machines, having grown very fond of my Snail (250 Travel). I would be disappointed if JAWA only concentrate on brakesing into the bigger bike market. I feel it would be a mistake to abandon the economic commuter machines that have been the historic backbone of JAWA. Not hiding the shortcomings of the bike behind a bush, or shouting its achievements too loudly. I would welcome an attempt to fit the little workhorse into the generation we are living in. Alloy wheels, big tyres, upside down forks, monoshock rear. An increase in power. There is a long list of things that could be done. Fingers crossed that we get to see it.
Planning is king, so maps have been studied to organise the route for the Spin in Roundwood. It was looking good on paper but for such a major event a reconnaissance patrol would have to check it out. As luck would have it Brian Moore mentioned that he was biting at the bit to take his 37 year old BMW 800 for a spin. The family operation board showed Aoife away with the scouts and Cathal had no matches, Breda working from 2 till 8. So the morning was free. When I informed Brian the mission was a runner he immediately checked the weather. Knowing me so long he fully expected Snow to be forecast, but for a change the met promised dry condition.
So on Sunday 17 February at 10.30, we assembled at Brian gaff for an equipment check, under the watchful gaze of a nearly clear sky. We piled on the layers of clothing necessary for a winter spin. I confirmed my trust in the Met service and brought no wet gear. Brian showered me with the knowing look of a seasoned biker as he selected his heaviest neck warmer. Sinead was promised he would be returned in the same condition he was received in. Brian coaxed the winter dust off the BMW. The engine coming to life after its winter hibernation. The Snail being an all year round girl fired up straight away. I was leaving the top box off as the wind was up and we would have to cross some open territory.
A steady 90k speed was soon warming up the engines and tyres as we headed out the N11 to Redcross. Many people hate the N11 but I must admit I enjoy having the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. We soon found ourselves pulling into the campsite in Redcross, where we went for a walk about. Brian had not seen the place before and was suitably impressed with the location and quality of the site. Blood circulating again we looked over the route we were hoping to find. The now awake engines rumbled happily back into life and we headed off on the Avoca Road. As you may remember it is narrow has a lot of potholes and gravel on most of the corners. Crossing the bridge at Avoca we gunned it up a little as we enjoyed the better surface and corners of the Woodenbridge road. The lovely drive from Woodenbridge to Aughrim alongside the river is spectacular on pretty much any day. But on a dry crisp morning with the river swelled by all the recent rain, the bikes leaning majestically into and out of the corners. Ahhhhhh makes me hungry just remembering it. Yes hunger was the next issue and I knew a nice deli in Aughrim. A pot of tea, apple and celery soup with brown bread, we enjoyed the heat and cosy chat. Then Disaster, reality calling. The Scouts were stranded up the mountains, mix up with lifts, only a handfull of chocolate left. We had yet to confirm the most difficult part of the route. We decided to continue on a little further to see how we fared before stoking up the boilers and heading on the rescue mission. Mounted again we took the road to Hacketstown. The route proved fast and pleasant but finding the correct road out of the village was difficult. So we took the wrong one and ended up at a five road junction with a very confused signpost. The clock was ticking, the map without a compass was useless, the sun was hidden behind cloud, so with only instinct left we picked another wrong road and found ourselves back in Aughrim again.
With no time left we made a beeline to Arklow and wound the engines up to 110k for the spin back to Dublin. The Scouts were rescued, and will live to scout another day, but the route for the Redcross Rally will need more work. Going by the smile on Brians face, plus the happy rumble of the engines, there will be no problem assembling a patrol to do this necessary work. We have the machines, we have the people. All we need is time.
Picasso has been described as a ‘surrealist’ painter, and out west in Galway it has seemed like a surrealistic kind of a day! I have been on a mission to road test a beer for our editor! As I start this missive, I have to say that you just couldn’t make this up!
To ready the palette I first dropped into the Garden Cafe. From the sixty-four different types of herbal infusions neatly arranged in rows on the counter, I chose ‘Energy Tea’ which in itself had a fine herby, fruity, hedgerow type of aroma! It tasted a bit like a subtle blend of rosehips and blackcurrant, and very refreshing it was too! I sat close an area set out with cushions on the floor. Adjacent, was a couple exchanging tea- pots and obviously enjoying the mysteries of their herbal infusions, relaxing in what could be best described as recumbent positions! I also overheard part of a conversation between two brewers talking about ‘mash tuns’ and strange herbs that possibly could be sourced from obscure wooded areas of Connemara! So all augured well.
Then it was off to take a couple of piccies just a few yards down the road, just prior to taste-bud titillation (and more on that subject later)!
Outside the Bierhaus I encountered acquaintance Daniel (from New York and now domiciled in Galway, who was outside, topping up his nicotine levels) who asked me how the banjo was going? Slowly I replied. He then announced that Bela Fleck from Nashville, Tennessee, the 5 string banjo legend, was actually his cousin, and at the age of fifty something was going to be a parent for the first time!.
The front elevation of the Bierhaus in Galway’s ‘West End’ has no great claim to architectural beauty, although the ‘birds nest’ of electrical cables that adorn the top of the adjacent pole is an amazing piece of sculpture. The mural on the side wall however, is definitely worthy of merit!
Inside, however, you are greeted by an enormous range of offerings, including some from the US. Chalked up on one blackboard was a range of offerings from the Flying Dog Brewery. Frederick, Maryland. US. The first to catch my eye was Snake Dog at 7.1%, and then Raging Bitch at 8.3%.
A kind of common sense prevailed and I chose a pint of draft Franziskaner Wiess Hell at 5% a cloudy wheat bier from Munich.
Well, being a veteran of a number of Munich Bier Festival campaigns (by motorcycle), I can vouch for the genuine taste which is somewhere between citrus and a light hoppy, salty taste which induces you to try some more.
Franziskaner Weiss Hell describes itself as being noted for its agreeable carbonation levels (that would explain the burping then!) its natural cloudiness, and its adherence to a time honoured Bavarian recipe.
Score? Probably 7 out of 10. I have to make some sort of benchmark for the other 100 plus types of beer yet unsampled at this venue alone! Yes it’s a tough job!
By way of a ritual, it was off next to the Crane Bar for the craic and ceol.
Sundry well known jigs and reels were punctuated in between, by a group of young ladies from Tipperary wishing to be photographed sitting on the knees of the band members. In the photo stakes, I was the hapless victim of a sultry Kate O’Mara/Sharon Coor look alike! If only..........
Now I have just walked the 2 miles home (a taxi costs the best part of 3 pints) and the temperature outside is minus 2. The amazing thing is that like the rest of the week, the humidity is so low that there isn’t any frost!
As I rush to finish this, (Ta se a seacht ar maiden) I feel that I am (as the ad says) ‘Made of More!’ Sundry incantations to the Celtic Gods have also worked their magic, and banished clouds from the skies.
So, if anyone in the UK is reading this, please send your unneeded sunglasses to the Galway section of the Jawa club as I can’t see to ride or drive, as the sun is too strong!!!
Slan The Duke
We are returning to Redcross again this year. Dates 26th to 28 April. Details on the events page.
Garrison will be the last weekend in May (Fri 24th - Sun26th). Its 25 consecutive years for this event so a quality do!
Hope to see you there. Lorraine