Favourite GoldWing Rides – Cumbria and Hard Knott Pass, in spite of tourists (and locals)

Hard Knott Pass from the East

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On Thursday evening our daughter and grandchildren left for home after and enjoyable (and invigorating) stay of a couple of days and it took only a few milliseconds, when Bill said he was getting his bike out, to ask if I could join him.

And we enjoyed a very pleasant evening ride, choosing a route into the Trough of Bowland and then eastwards, with the low sun behind us, through Slaidburn, Topside and than back along Cowshit Alley towards Clitheroe and homewards – timing our return perfectly so the setting sun was below the hills rather than in our eyes.  Only about 60 miles and all the brew stops were shut but nevertheless very worthwhile.

On Friday morning my appetite had been whetted and the sun was shining so off I went for a day-long solo ride out, with packed lunch but no particular destination.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and even the M6 was pleasant to ride as I used it to get north of Lancaster, which is terrible for traffic at almost any time.

I found myself drawn to a familiar route, leaving the M6 at the Carnforth exit (Junction 35) then through Burton to meet up with the A65 and then via this road into Kendal.  I stopped for a brew at the Lay By just after joining the A65 but it was uncomfortably hot in sun and I couldn’t even manage to finish reading their Daily Mirror before I was itching to get going again to cool down in the breeze.  The air temperature reading on the bike was 93 degrees F as I set off but I suspect that was an artefact of continues………

Posing in Llandudno, Riding in Snowdonia

A steam powered Carousel at Llandudno Transport Festival

The Blog was quiet last week, partly because I had poor internet connection while I was away from home but mostly, I’m pleased to say, because I was out riding my bike.

Four couples from my Club, GoldWings North West, were camping at the Llandudno Transport Festival over the Bank Holiday Weekend at the turn of the month and most of us then went on to spend the rest of that week at a campsite near Caernarvon, further along the coast in North Wales.  We were blessed with lovely weather throughout and although we were committed to a static display of the bikes at the Transport Festival, once we got to Caernarvon the shackles were off – and of course the mountains of Snowdonia beconned.

It’s worth mentioning the Llandudno Transport Festival in more detail because it is an unusual – and very enjoyable – event.  Llandudno is blessed with a fairly long promenade at the eastern end of which lie Bodafon Fields, a large open area which owned by the Council and used for various events.

It’s also used for grazing, I suppose as a way of reducing the cost of its upkeep, and so the ground isn’t perfect as a campsite but these fields nevertheless provide an excellent venue for a large event of this continues………

Favourite Rides – the Western Lakes

Bowness Waterfront, not always as quiet

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On a weekday in April this year I had a whole day to myself and since the weather was set fair, it was the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy some riding with no one to please but myself.  The combination of a GoldWing and some decent biking roads is a huge blessing for which I am always grateful and never take for granted, even for a moment.

And since it was some time since I been anywhere near Wast Water, the hauntingly beautiful lake on the western side of the Lake District, that was the place that came to mind to head for.  By virtue of its relative inaccessibility, it’s steep-sided and dramatic appearance and its lack of development, Wasdale and indeed the Western Lakes as a whole, are a world apart from the Lake District which most of the tourists get to see.  So that was it then, off I would go to the Western Lakes.

The English Lake District is a beautiful area, arguably one of the most scenic in the UK and it’s also continues………

Favourite Rides 2 – The Cat & Fiddle
The best biking road (and the most dangerous one?) in England

The best biking road (and the most dangerous one?) in England

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The Cat & Fiddle is one of the most, possibly the most famous biking road in UK.  On the one hand it can provide a scenic, if somewhat twisty, route over the hills from Cheshire into Derbyshire, on the other it offers an exceptional combination of challenging bends which, if you try to make progress through them, will certainly test your riding skills.

For these reasons it attracts bikers galore – and therefore the almost permanent attention of traffic police.  This is no place to take any liberties.  If the car and motorcycle police don’t get you, the police helicopter will. continues………

Favourite Rides 1 – Malham Tarn and Holton Gill
Malham Tarn in the distance

Malham Tarn in the distance - and this parking angle was OK

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This 25 miles circular ride takes in some marvellous scenery and it is not a difficult ride, although there are a couple of fairly tight climbing bends which call for a bit of concentration.

I did it part of this ride a week earlier in company with some IAM rider friends I bumped into at Settle and it was such attractive scenery I couldn’t resist going back with my camera.

From the Market Square in Settle, where the excellent Naked Man Cafe will provide any sustenance you might need before setting off, head North past the car park and petrol station and under continues………