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Peter Genet

Gentleman Biker of Cricklade

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We rode to Porlock!

Started out a bit dull and grey and got wetter the further West we went. Four of us heading to Lynemouth, via Weston-Super-Mare and the notorious Porlock Hill.

Meeting at Sally Pussey’s for a 9.30am departure (yes, still laughing at that, no, not the departure time), we ambled down to Chippenham, back up to the M4 directly to Weston-Super-Mare just off the M5. Following the coast road all the way to Lynemouth, we stopped for lunch.

On the way, we went via the steep 1 in 4 (25%) Porlock Hill and its infamous tight right hand bend followed by a spine tingling left hand hairpin – the sort you might find in the Alps. I had forgotten about this left hand bend though, probably like most of us. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porlock_Hill for more info on this hill!

Sweeping across Exmoor with the wind blowing, mist coming in and rain hitting us hard, we dropped, finally, into Lynemouth, parking along the front for lunch.

After an hour or so, we headed back home via Glastonbury and Bath.

Turned out to be a long day, arriving home at 7pm ish after 255 miles in the saddle. Bloody good fun though.

 

The wonders of Sat Nav

I’ve read articles and reader’s comments in Ride Magazine extolling the virtues of Sat Nav and often toyed with having one myself. Got one for the car already which we use often on long journeys.

After much pontification, I plunged for a TomTom as a treat of a birthday present; I’m used to TomTom (and Ride gave it an extra point in their review over Garmin).

A journey to Lyme Regis was needed over the recent hot bank holiday weekend; two of us on bikes going to see a mate for a chat and brew. However, having a Sat Nav enabled me to plug in the end point, set a route that avoided motorways and picked a windy route to make it interesting. And was it interesting? Yes it bloody well was!

Our ride started in Cricklade, heading out to Royal Wootton Basset, down to Lynham turning right across the wonderful Lyneham Banks en route to Chippenham. Around the bypass to Corsham taking a left down to Bradford upon Avon and down to the A303. 13 miles later taking a turn heading to Crewkerne passing through places on the way with names such as Upton Noble. To be honest, I hadn’t a clue as to the exact route. I am still learning to use the device.
But, setting the route to the max on windy and hilly, what a great way of exploring the countryside. And with so much ease.

So, the ride down to Lyme was sublime. The route back followed the same path to the A303 but then took us further along the A303 to Marlborough, from which its a straightforward ride north-ish home to sunny Cricklade.

What a fantastic route! Looking forward to the next ride; simply set an end point, remove motorways and set the windy and hilly to maximum and see where it takes me. Musn’t forget to record it this time!

Going for Gold!

Three year retest was due and finally it came! Friday 12th January! 3.15pm at Marlborough golf club car park – probably the nearest I ever get to being a golfer – met Ray the RoSPA examiner.

What followed was a tense 45 minute ride around the heart of Wiltshire; from Marlborough out to Ramsbury, Aldbourne, Chiseldon, Wroughton, and finally back up Hackpen hill to Marlborough.

Answered the final question and got awarded Gold in the RoSPA Advanced Riding Exam!!

Now my family have to put up with a Gold Rider and all the boring stories I can tell them!!

Proud as punch!

Blowing away some cobwebs!

After a wet’n’windy Christmas and New Year, it was nice to get back to being on the bike again. Tuesday and Friday were pleasant rides into work in Cheltenham, cold but nice! Avoided Wednesday and Thursday as they were too windy for me – call me a wimp, but I don’t care!

And Saturday 6th Jan was an even better day for riding. Met up with a friend of mine for a morning ride for a few pleasant hours burbling around the countryside.

Went from Cricklade to Purton and Royal Wootton Bassett; down to Lyneham and Calne; along to Marlborough on the A4 where we let our hair down a bit; then out towards Hungerford via Great Bedwyn; then home again via Aldbourne and the A419.

Nice ride; cold did start to eat in a bit towards the end, but very pleasant all the same. The maximum temperature was around 3.5 degs C!! Chilly!!

 

 

 

 

Ride to Cheltenham in the dark!

Something I wanted to try for a while now, recording a ride in the dark with the Stealth 2 camera. The ride itself is not new so I thought I would speed it up a little!

Unless you know the roads, it is rather difficult to know where you are!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdVerjiuc-s

Think I need to look at the night-time settings for the camera!

Cold but nice ride

Good to get out again for a short spin with my associate Ian. Training to do the RoSPA Advanced Rider Test and at the same time having some fun!

Route was nice and simple, taking in all aspects of riding, dual carriageway, town riding, country lanes and finally the M4 motorway for three junctions.

In Tetbury we stopped at the Blue Zuchinni cafe in Tetbury for a compulsory coffee – no cake though as I’m watching my figure in time for Christmas!

 

Motorcycle Live at the NEC and men in corsets!

My youngest son, Jonathan, and I went to Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham on Sunday. Both of us were rather surprised to be walking into the arena alongside Dr Who, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Superman, Spiderman, fairy princesses, Dr’s and Nurses as well as a man dressed in a corset. Not your typical bikers I have to admit. I think Jonathan was wondering what on earth his dad was getting into. Then we realized, Comic-con was on at the same time. Phew! Once over that little shock, we wandered around the stalls looking at all the nice new toys! Chose my next bike, Tiger 1050 Sport.

Jono on a Vespa!

The other show that was advertised was for “Little Mix” which I thought was a children’s baking show. Jonathan pointed out that it probably referred to a girl pop band. Showing my age I guess.

Bit more like it!!

Great day out was had by both of us. Watched the FMX show which was bloody brilliant – how those guys never hit the ceiling I shall never know. We now plan to see a full live FMX show very soon.  We also saw several demonstrations including how to pick up your bike if you drop it, watched riders ride around an off-road track and entered into several competitions.

My intention was to buy a new helmet as my current Shark is getting a little tired. With all the major manufacturers on one site this was a great opportunity to try on a whole load of helmets. With a set budget in mind I eventually blew it and more on a colourful Schuberth C3 Pro. Nice bright colours and it was the only helmet that fitted my odd size/shaped head. I’m pleased at the way all the helmet manufacturers would only sell me the helmet if it fitted. I was turned away from several stands because of this though in a nice and professional manner of course!

So I learnt some new stuff that day. Who “Little Mix” are (or what they are); how professional sales people can be; what bike I would like next; and how to dress to impress at Comic-con!

Very green!

A great and happy day! Looking forward to going again next year once I’ve saved up some more pennies!

Stuck in the mud in the Lake District!

The great thing about having children is that they like to point out your mistakes! Ok, so I got the van stuck in some mud on an October half term camping trip to Boot, in the Lake District! Thanks Richard!

Great time had by all. Cycling, walking, eating and drinking. The Boot Inn and the Brook House Inn serve great food and equally nice beer.

Jono jumping a river!
Richard on a mobile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, it was the walking and cycling we were there for and, in particular, a jolly jaunt up Scafell Pike – weather permitting. Scafell Pike is the tallest mountain in England. We walked up Snowdon this time last year. Ben Nevis next year perhaps?

Lots of waterfalls, the odd phonebox and some views from the mountain!

 

 

 

 

 

It was very windy with gusts over 40mph. It rained. But, that did make for some great waterfalls!

On the last day, the rain stopped, clouds almost cleared, so we walked up Scafell Pike. The view was spectacular looking down onto Wast Water which is the deepest lake in England.

Looking down onto Wast Water from Scafell Pike.

Looking forward to the next trip!

 

 

Popped to St David’s and ate bug burgers!

Yes, would you believe it, we popped to St David’s, Pembrokeshire, and ate some bug burgers for Sunday lunch! Mealworms, black ants and fried crickets provided us with a meal to remember!

 

 

 

 

 

We ate at Dr Beynon’s bug farm just outside of St David’s.

Just one of the things we got up to over the summer!!

Mustn’t forget we were camping there and St David’s was a very nice place to be! When the sun was out, it was stunning!

St David’s Cathedral
Gorse and heather around the headland

 

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