"After a 250-mile day on the motorbike we were told by the owner of the B&B to remove our footwear and put on house slippers before we could enter the house. She then instructed her husband to bring a bucket and sponge, which he did. "Now wash your panniers before you come in" she said. We left the following day happy in the knowledge that we had only booked one night.
The roads of the far North West of Scotland are what bikers dream of long empty and twisting. And so we made for our next nights stay at 'The Portland Arms' at Lybster.
As I unloaded the bike on the car park I looked at the rear tyre, then took a closer second look. It was totally trashed, bald in the centre and gooey at the extremities due to it having been pushed so much fully loaded on fast twisty roads. Worse still it was Saturday night of a bank holiday weekend in the far North East of Scotland. The receptionist was really helpful and found a friend who might be able to help who in turn got in touch with one of his mates who would open his shop up to us if he had the right sized tyre, he didn't.
So on the Sunday morning we set off down the A9 bound for the Crubenbeg Guest House where we had booked in for the Sunday night. Not wanting to tempt fate I nursed the hulking great BMW 1150 GSA at a steady 30mph just waiting for the tyre to blow out, it didn't and we made it to the Crubenbeg. I had phoned ahead to let John & Irene know that I was struggling with a poorly tyre, and in turn John had taken it upon himself to try & locate us a replacement. But being the bank holiday he had little success.
We woke on the Monday morning and considered our options, which I discussed with John, who then took me to his office and sat me down while he phone around all the bike & tyre outlets in the area. After about 40 minutes we had success, but it was in Crieff. A tyre sales depot which would be open until 5.00pm,so we set off at a steady 30mph down the A9.
After about one hour we were overtaken by a van, which then pulled in at the next layby.
Two chaps got out of the van and flagged us down, after looking at the canvas showing through the tyre and asking us where we were going they then opened up the van in which there were two brand new BMW 1200 GS "put your bike in the back and take one of the 1200s and follow us to Crieff"!
It was like winning the lottery. It turned out that they both worked at Motorad Central in Glasgow. After we had got our tyre fitted and took time to reflect on how good people had been with us and the help afforded.
We had been to the Crubenbeg before this incident and we have been back since and what really stands out is how John & Irene go that little bit extra to make your stay a relaxing stay. For me they set the benchmark when it comes to B&B unlike the couple with house slippers, bucket & sponge where we will not be returning."
Colin & Anne Jones, Horwich, Lancashire