Les 5 du Vin

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Harley heaven in the Glens

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A couple of lovingly cared for Harleys @Aviemore

A couple of lovingly cared for Harleys @Aviemore

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This post is a nod to one of the other passions of David – our Monday scribe. Every year during the last weekend of August several thousand motorcyclists gather in Aviemore up in the Scottish Highlands for Thunder in the Glens. Many of them riding Harley Davidsons with the event hosted by Edinburgh’s Dunedin Chapter of Harley Davidson owners.

For those brought up on Hunter Thompson’s Hells Angels – Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs you might think that the locals would batten down the hatches, hide in their houses and even pull out drawbridges if they live in baronial halls!

This is, however, far from the case as the Harleys and their riders are made very welcome and it has become a major festival. Many of the riders are now grey-haired grandparents and into their 60s.

Chapters and verse...

Chapters and verse… Chicago and Dunedin Edinburgh

A chapter from Antwerp

A chapter from Antwerp

Moto-camp

Moto-camp

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God Protect Those who Ride in the Wind

God Protect Those who Ride in the Wind


Wine choices for Harley riders?
Although not anything like as wild as Thompson’s Hells’ Angels I would still associate Harley and other powerful motorbike riders as amateurs of robust wines, especially as the weather in Scotland over the weekend wasn’t particularly warm. Recommendations have to include Barossa Shiraz, Toro reds, Priorat, Rasteau and powerful Californian Zinfandel – not forgetting Portuguese reds from the Alentejo and Douro.

Reflecting on Cheonceau

Reflecting on Chenonceau

 

Auteur : Les 5 du Vin

Journalistes en vin

10 réflexions sur “Harley heaven in the Glens

  1. Thanks for the nod Jim, even if I’m not a Harley fan myself. Noisy (well, some of mine are that too), slow and not great around corners. More like a 2-wheeled car than a bike. As to the Hell’s Angels myth and uniform, that’s not my cuppa either

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  2. Jim, wonderful story-teller and bicycle-rider as you be, you are a stranger to the word of motorcyclists. We are clansmen. HD owners are part of another world, and we avoid them. France, what with Johnny and so on (of Belgian ancestry though), has got « s’thing special » going on with Harley’s. Still, by and large, we don’t frequent them. Racism? Discrimination? Yes, all of that. We are clansmen, I told you, and Mac Harley of Milwaukee is not my tartan.

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  3. I should make it clear that there was no suggestion that David rides Harleys or that he bears any resemblance to a Hell’s Angel. I must also advise Luc that I do occasionally converse with motorcyclists so I am not entirely a ‘stranger’ to their ‘words’. Santé!

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    • Sorry for the missing « l ». I could add that I’m a – little bit – ashamed of this form of segregation, in which I partake myself. But the lack of handling of these machines, their noise, their price, the slow speed at which they cruise, the numerous oil leaks they suffer, their inability to go through sharp bends … I could continue for ages, separate them from any other brand you could think of. I reckon this is their « raison d’être » , precisely.

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      • Luc. To a cyclist there did not appear to be evidence here over the weekend of Thunder in the Glens of the moto-discrimination you describe.

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  4. Interesting to note that one of the guys from the Antwerp « chapter » is wearing a kilt. Could this reflect the slow speed at which these machines cruise ? And is the tartan Fraser? Never trusted that lot. Better than the Campbells however.

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    • David. The early arrivals had the opportunity to go on a steam train excursion on the Strathspey railway with the possibility of enjoying burgers and beer – not sure if this is also significant…. With the many narrow roads in the Highlands it is just as well that Harleys are not turbo charged. I’m afraid my knowledge of tartan is limited to noticing that they frequently grace tins of shortbread.

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  5. Quite, Jim: a tartan often graces a tin of shortbread, whereas a Harley puts grease on the skin of a dick-head!

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    • Sadly Luc. I sense a certain desperation in your comment. If there is a certain moto-discrimination evident in France and the Low Countries, it wasn’t evident in this weekend’s celebration. Very sorry to disappoint….

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  6. I may add that I do not share Luc’s rather adamant stance on Harley owner/riders. I even have friends who ride these things and who also race with me on tracks with other bikes. No Apartheid here!

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