Monday, 31 August 2015

Moto ADV: We Went To Newcastle upon Tyne

My new LEDs are ON! 
Headlight temporarily blanked for this picture.

Time to get out of the garage and do a Moto Adventure!

Moto mate AM is paying big bucks for a flat in Newcastle. It is vacant right now. He suggested a scenic ride for a city night stop. Sounded good to me. 

Usually I look at the speedo before a long ride. Don't really know why? OCD?

 46,415 miles. 90.9 since the last refuel. 240 miles still in the tank!

Having RV'd with AM at his place at 09:30 we set off via the A38, A617 and A614 to the first stop.

Breakfast at The Limes.

Having had a cholesterol-free full-English we headed north via Ollerton, Scunthorpe and Goole on course for Beverley.

Just checking to make sure that Mr Garmin is correct.

Just outside of the lovely Yorkshire market town of Beverley we stopped for a hamburger at a pub in Walkington. Very nice.

The Ferguson Fawsett Arms

Then we set off northbound on the B1248 passing abeam of RAF Leconfield and RAF Driffield .... ah nostalgic memories. At a place called Wetwang we turned west on the A166 and somehow missed the B1248!

Huh!! This doesn't look like a B road. Best to stop and check the map! Garmin says we're on the B1248........

......... brain says we're on a farm track!

But does it really matter? Nope. The countryside is beautiful. Bonus: No people! Not even farmers!

The direction is roughly north. Suits my directional sensibilities!

We DID find the B1248 which we followed to Malton where we refuelled. 330 miles in the tank!  Then we decided to take the A19 all the way. At around 17:30 we crossed the Tyne Bridge and made it to the flat in Jesmond. WNTL?

The speedo now reads 46,669 miles. Only 254 miles via the scenic route.
102.7 since refuelling at Malton. 227 in the tank. I like to keep a handle on these things!

After a shave, shampoo and shower we headed off to the bright lights of the city. We were in the capable hands of AM's lovely son TM.


TM took us to some brilliant pubs where we sampled some of the beers available.  Later we had a nery good sea-food dinner in a restaurant near to and under the Tyne Bridge - not in the river!
TM impressed us with stories of student life in Newcastle. I was quite jealous but am not able to turn the clock back 50 years. So I will just have to live with being a GOM*! *Grumpy Old Man

Getting back to the flat after such a great night out was absolutely no problem. TM has an APP on his phone called Uber or even üBER? Somehow üBER conjures up a car which appears outside the pub within minutes and takes you home for nothing! BRILLIANT!!


I slept well on a comfortable bed tucked up in my sleeping bag. AM slept on the floor in the sitting room! TM went somewhere else in Newcastle.  What lovely, generous people.

We were in "recovery mode" and made the sensible decision to delay getting on the motorbikes until at least midday. We walked into the city in the sunshine. 

I lied: AM DID get on a motorbike, but it was a beautiful new MV Agusta at a bike shop en route!
He didn't buy it, but we made a note of the coordinates.

After a healthy 40 minutes walk we stopped for breakfast.  Here's proof.
Dr AM & Mr JM

Fortified we walked over the Gateshead Millennium Bridge spanning the river Tyne. Architect: Keith Brownlie. Clever man! When it opens for shipping the whole thing pivots to form a 'V'. Brilliant.

 View from the Gateshead Millennium Bridge or the "Eyelash".

 We walked across the bridge to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

 View of the River Tyne & Tyne Bridge from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. The Sage is on the left.

 View of the Tyne Bridge from the Sage Gateshead.

Having satiated our appetite for culture we headed back to Jesmond and the motorbikes. Time to ride south.
 AM about to cross the Tyne Bridge.

 View of the Sage from the Tyne Bridge.

The Tyne Bridge opened by King George V on 10th October 1928.


Speedo: 48,841 miles.

Arrived home at 15:50 after a 3 hour journey of 172 miles down the A1(M), A1, M18, M1 and A38. Passing RAF Leeming and RAF Dishforth evoked more nostalgic memories. Tempus Fugit? Total mileage 426 - about the same as Johannesburg to Port Shepstone (nostalgia AGAIN!)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Moto ADV: We Went To Wales

Our Yorkshire mates had already arranged a moto trip to Wales a week or two hence. From a coffee shop in Derbyshire we phoned them and said, "Can we, the usual suspects, join you please?" With barely a detectable hesitation, the answer was, "Of course you can. But accommodation might be difficult."
Somehow our Expert (AM) got us rooms in the same hotel as the Yorkshire boys. Sorted! It would be DAB meets HAB. Derbyshire Advanced Bikers meet with Harrowgate Advanced Bikers.
One of the "usual suspects" - GW - was missing. He is blatting across North America with a certain Nick Sanders. The scenery, therefore, will be just that blurry stuff on the side of the road!
Soon the day of departure arrived. The plan: AM and JM to RV with TE in Staffordshire. MP, MF, JK, RD, JA, CA to RV with us at The Dragon Hotel, Montgomery, Powys, Wales.

My machine ready to go.

The clock reads 45613. Trip to be reset at refuelling stop about 3 miles away. Moto does 11+ miles per litre. 30 litre tank. 330 miles range.

 At 10:00 am AM arrived for the first RV of the day. Today he will be mostly wearing Cordura and Nylon.

After successfully RV-ing with TE in Staffordshire, he took the lead to guide us on beautiful secondary roads through forests (Cannock Chase) and by waterways, valleys and escarpments to beautiful Powys.

 This is Park Gate Lock.

 TE and AM. They make a great TEAM!

TE and JM.

 Tudor dwelling Staffordshire/Shropshire border.

 TE navigated via public houses mostly! I think that this is Brewood.

 AM checking his vanity case.

 Straight on at the Bridge Inn.

But first a quick look at the canal.

Turn left at The Bell Inn.

 Snack stop at The Woolbridge Inn....

.....on the River Severn. 

Left turn at The King and Something!

We pulled into beautiful Much Wenlock, Shropshire.

The Market Hall.

 AM in the sunshine.

 Another view of the Market Hall.

 The Talbot Hotel (hidden piazza).

 Canary Wharf? This is prettier!

 No plastic here.

Much Wenlock is a delightful town.

 JM - AM - TE plus ices.

 A shady stop.

 Wenlock Edge.

 A village in the valley.

 We don't let the grass grow under our feet.

 Straight on at the Plough on Wall pub.

 Any questions?

Entering Wales at the border post(s).

 Straight on or left?

 There wasn't much traffic.

 TE's navigation was spot on.

 Actually, we araffed most of the way.

 Here we are at our destination. The Dragon Hotel.

As you can see - not very far from home.

 About 8/10 for neatness.

 My room was good. 

 It even had a bathroom with plugs.

A few minutes later the gang from Yorkshire rode into town. We all met up for a pre-dinner sundowner and generally compared notes. Later .......

....... AM opted for bread and beer.

And soup.

And fish. Nice!

The hotel looked after us very well. The food and service was good. 

The next day we set off for a ride via Bala, Tywyn, Aberdyfy, Welshpool and back to Montgomery. MP had done all the planning. We had a great day out - about 185 miles.

 Coffee stop at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel.

After a stop for lunch near Penmaenpool we rode to Aberdyfi.

 AM. TE. JA. MP. CA. JM.

 MP taking a zoom shot.

The Next Day TE, JK and JM left the team and headed for home. We all had commitments elsewhere. JA also had to go back home but he was headed NNE 200 miles whilst we were headed ENE 100 miles. 

 TE and JK in Ludlow - a beautiful "Middle England"-type place.

 A place of culture.

 Fine alleys.

And Tudor buildings.

From the lovely market town of Ludlow we rode back to our respective homes via Bridgnorth, Shifnal, Penkridge and Rugeley.

This is what the speedo looked like:

So, 424 miles round trip. 250 miles since refuelling at Bala.

More moto adventures to follow. Thank you for reading.