Round-and-Round and End-to-End (Swampland to the Highlands) - Lots of photos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by slartidbartfast, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

    Joined:
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    Dewnmoon and myself are currently waiting to board a plane for London. We are leaving the sweltering heat and humidity of Louisiana summer behind, for a couple of weeks touring the mountains and other landscapes of Britain. Here's the rough plan in pictorial form:
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    Expect lots of photos.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Ted Bell

    Ted Bell I want that one!

    Joined:
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    I'm gonna pull up a chair for this one -- this is my dream ride.
    #3
  4. kildala2000

    kildala2000 The GS Store.

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    Hey, :D

    Bring it on I'm heading to Glascow in August and thinking of doing the same, have a rental car for 2 weeks. But I'm thinking of renting a bike for a few days. :clap
    Bring on the pictures and the stories.

    Ride Safe,
    Rick:wink:
    #4
  5. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Plotting the route AGAIN!
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    View of the Ol' English countryside
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    Taking the tube in London underground (hey no rats?)
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    First British "fast food", Cornish Pastie
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    On the road to Rattery (We have to ride down the paved sheep paths?)
    Barely wide enough for a Citroen 2CV!
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    Rattery Village Pub (almost a 1000 years old) and they still have a bottle of homebrew!)
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    On to the local color: The local church and pub share the same parking lot. "We have to have somebody looking out for us on this escapade....
    Entry way to the 12th century or older church "St. Mary's" (Rattery Parish) decorated for a wedding.
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    A few views inside:
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    One of the oldest cottage in the village, note the thatched roof.
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    One view of the "English garden" where Slartidbartfast's parents were kind enough to accomodate us.
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    More to follow when we sleep it off.......(We won't say what!)
    #5
  6. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    From inside the church.

    Who can ID just what this is?
    (We know)

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    #6
  7. BJP

    BJP Rider

    Joined:
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    Melbourne, AU
    Me-thinks that the charts are for the bell ringers. Sheet music if you will.


    I look forward to reading more of the trip.

    Regards
    Bernard
    #7
  8. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    The changing of sequence.
    Correct!

    More to come
    #8
  9. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Took Dewnmoon into the local town of Totnes to see the Elizabethan era town with its Norman city walls and castle.

    Totnes High Street and old town South Gate
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    We chatted with these nice ladies (who were very pleasant despite busily writing tickets). We were told parking in the street was fine but limited to only one hour. However the town is pretty bike-friendly and we soon spotted an area where motorcycles were parked on the wide sidewalk with no limitations and no tickets. We did spot a motorcycle parked in front of the church in a spot clearly designated as "No Parking" which was about to get a ticket from another traffic warden (or community enforcement officer or something like that) but even then, he was asking if it belonged to one of us and offering us the chance to move on without penalty.

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    St. Mary's Church - made from local sandstone.
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    Castle constructed by the Normans to intimidate the local town
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    When we paid the small fee to go around the castle, the pleasant young lady in the small gift shop offered to put our jackets and helmets in a storage area behind the counter.

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    While strolling the battlements, we chatted for a while with an older chap, on vacation with his wife, who informed us that he had recently given up motorcycling after many years and sold his K75 and R80RT. Small world!

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    We dropped in on an old friend of mine for a cup of tea. He had expressed an interest in possibly joining us for a bit, riding his Aprilia, but he unfortunately could not take the time away from his business.

    Leaving Totnes, we made our way more-or-less up the River Dart, through Dartington, headed toward Buckfastleigh. Crossing the ancient and narrow bridge over the Dart at Staverton, we encountered three gentlemen from Kent who were leisurely touring the Southwest, enjoying the scenery and the odd cream tea. Their mode of transport - Three vintage British bikes in gorgeous condition.

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    We also watched someone enojoying the cool tranquil pool by the bridge, with a fly-fishing rod.

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    In the evening, we headed up onto Dartmoor with my parents, for an evening meal in the middle of the Moor, at Princetown - home of the infamous Dartmoor Prison.

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    Huccaby Bridge - another steep, narrow stone "hump-backed" bridge.
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    The imposing edifice of Dartmoor Prison. Solid granite and originally built to house Napoleonic prisoners of war. For many years this was one of the most feared and infamous high-security prisons in Britain.
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    My father about to enjoy his Steak and Jail-Ale Pie - Mmmm!
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    An even more ancient "Clapper Bridge" at Dartmeet (where the East and West tributaries of the River Dart meet). These huge granite slabs are laid across other boulders or crude piers to make a narrow bridge. This one has a stone missing but complete examples can be found over many rivers and streams on Dartmoor and elsewhere in Devon. They are often claimed as being prehistoric and while some may be so, it is more commonly believed that most date to medieval times so this example may be no more than, say, 600 or 700 years old although it was supposedly washed away or severely damaged in a flood in the early 1800's so may well have been rebuilt/repaired numerous times.
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    My father talked about visiting this spot as a child and how cars and buses often struggled up the steep hill leaving Dartmeet to the East backwards - because reverse gear was the lowest gear - while passengers walked. There are quite a lot of 20-25% grade roads on Dartmoor.

    More to come!
    #9
  10. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    Picked up a Wee-strom yesterday, after a bit of farkelizing off we are again. Probably ride the moors of Dartmoor and the SW coastal area.

    Pics soon
    #10
  11. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I'm teaching DewNmoon how to lane-split :lol3

    With the super-WIDE bags on the weestrom, I've got to be careful which gaps I squeeze through in case he trades some paint trying to follow.

    Off to visit some more castles, etc.
    #11
  12. mudinureye

    mudinureye Bertie

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    N. Ireland
    Come along chaps, more please! :clap
    #12
  13. I_FLY_LOW

    I_FLY_LOW Long timer

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    Baton Rouge, LA
    Awesome ride report!

    It's neat to see how life is across the pond!
    #13
  14. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    On to Bournemouth to pick up the “ride”. A Suzy 650 V-Strom (Wee-Strom to some) equipped w/ saddlebags. Slartidbartfast “Finally get rid of the pillion”! “Slarto, just what do this $%^& road signs mean anyway? And what is it about all these round-a-bouts?”

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    Cujo or whatever her name, all 55 kilos, with paws the size of an ADV poseurs massive driving lamps, came to taste us and make a determination as to whether we are acceptable customers. With her permission we proceeded.

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    We were offered a cup of brown water, thinly disguised as coffee. Fortunately, we brought some real Louisiana dark roast with us as a gift from The New World (and some Louisiana motorcycle training stickers). A bit of paperwork and a lightened wallet, there she is. 1st order of business, here is the disc lock and you can hook up your power socket. With Slartidbartfast doing the translation from English to American this doesn’t take long. Overall this rental company is a home based business that primarily sets up business via the internet, very friendly and accomodating even though we wanted to pick up the bike a day earlier than originally planned.

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    Off to the nearest waterside view for a bite to eat. “Pip pip, cheery o”. Are they windsurfing, kite surfing just off that mudflat during low tide, just off those folks digging for some sort of shellfish

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    We had a 100-mile ride back and broke the trip about half-way for some geological relaxation (Slart: "Just to prove we've got more interests than bikes, chicks, ale, etc.")

    Surveying Lyme Regis to look for fossils on the beach, (the real kind not retirees!) Our timing was awful so we arrived at high tide when the good spots for hunting were under water. Still, we had fun cracking rocks in search of that mythical huge ammonite and did manage to pick up a few interesting pebbles and a couple of belemnites.

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    #14
  15. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    A bit of farklization is in order before hitting the road today, a man has gotta have his toys!

    Prototype laminar-flow-windsheld-extender aerodynamic wind-management bug-deflection device thingy!
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    Road testing...
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    Some help to hack the thing into a more aethetically pleasing shape (Computer-assisted design.... Naaaahhhh!!)
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    Including Slarted’s creative experiment in wind management (being the low budget bottom feeders we are). A sheet of plexiglass, a heat gun, some Velcro strips and voila! Gotta give him a few points for creativity. But then at a cost of ? 5£ (roughly $10) Why not!
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    [Slart: DewNmoon's navigation-device fetish rears it's ugly head again.]
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    #15
  16. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    On the road again. (Now if I can just reset the brain for wrong side (just say opposite side) riding.) Actually not too difficult to remember which side to ride on but looking the wrong way at intersections would be bad…..
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    An old Morgan? (anybody know for sure?)
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    Dartmouth, home of Dartmouth Royal Naval College, historically a well protected deepwater port, and center for maritime trading. (Didn’t “Prince Charley go here” wonder if I drop in could & see him? (Guess not , I remember something about him with a feather in his hat watching Willie getting named Knight of something or the other.) Seems recreational boating, tourism are some big draws here.
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    “ How does a spot of tea sound?” on to the town center for Cornish pasties and tea for lunch while overlooking the “shi%hawks” (Herring Gulls) as they are occasionally known. These critters want to take the food out of your hand before you can eat it! I’ll fix um with a dose of Tabasco. That will teach them to mess w/ someone from Louisiana!
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    I think we might have a headroom problem in the 400 + year old food purveyor.
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    While we eat a couple of gents inspect Slarted’s ride, we can imagine “ Ahh mate I remember the time when….”
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    After a bite we ride to the nearby Dartmouth Castle site, BTW up and down some quite narrow alleys known as roadways here. Fortifications built to protect the harbor. One the oldest in England construction began in the early 15th century. Gun platforms protected both sides from undesirable intrusion. Supposedly there was a chain across the mouth of the river that could be hoisted to stop encroaching warships – right in the crosshairs of the cannons on either side.
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    A couple of locals? Happy campers? Or just keeping the English tradition of a stiff upper lip….
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    #16
  17. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I'm not sure who is having more fun. DewNmoon had a huge grin every time I saw him lift his helmet. Temperatures were just about ideal, the roads were dry (well mostly) and there wasn't too much traffic. I haven't ridden some of these roads for twenty years and was just having a blast. The '85 beemer I picked up cheaply a year ago seems to be running great.

    If I didn't have a long-standing hankering to go to other parts of Britain, it would be easy to spend a couple of weeks riding around Devon and experience something new every day. The ultimate goal of this trip, in addition to enjoying the riding, scenery, ale, cameraderie, etc., includes riding from John O'groats to Land's End (the furthest-apart points of the British Mainland and an iconic journey that I have been wanting to do for many years.)

    DewNmoon declined my invitation to experience some geomorphology from the inside-out by going caving (spelunking) at Buckfastleigh - We'll save that for next time :evil - so we fitted in a few extra miles along the coast instead. :clap
    #17
  18. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    Onward, “You say, keep left and watch right?”
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    Slapton Sands at Torcross, site where the D-day invasion was rehearsed. There supposedly may even be ammo or shrapnel that could wash up or be weathered out. I dare say that tank would have a problem between the hedgerows. (probably just mow um down and aggravate the local farmers.
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    Interesting geological site, Gneiss, schist or whatever, (it’s been too long out of school to remember), well rounded colourful stones sourced from various types of rock, a beach deposited by storm action, and creative artist(s) decorating a few stones for the next passing person.
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    They call this a two way roadway? We have sidewalks this wide! Can you say” grass stains on the knees , helmet or shoulders….It really is entertaining to see the mini/ micro cars squeezing by each other. Hedgerows 3-4 to 12 ft+ high makes visibility ahead limited. You really don’t know if Peter Cottontail is around the next turn or a Lorry. 15-20% grades in places, sheep crap make the ride “entertaining”
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    Slarted.. talks ‘um out of the parking charge at Start Point.
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    Back to riding thru the hedgerows, “You still with me?”
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    Lannacombe beach (my comment: “Don’t ask how to get there as the single track is more suitable for a mountain bicycle than motorized transport”) My GPS doesn’t list a road name or number. Can’t tell ya how entertaining it is when there is oncoming traffic, somebody has
    to duck into the hedgerow and scrape by! But the Wee-Strom takes it all in with aplomb!
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    Did I say the road is narrow? And this part is a bit wider than the part further up the "trail". No wonder side trim and sometimes mirrors on cars from the area seems to be missing.
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    Footpath markers from where to where. I think not in riding apparel. Another day, another time.
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    In another hour this road will be under water as the tide comes in. We opted not to stick around.
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    We abandoned plans to extend our ride into the evening and back up onto Dartmoor when rain set in (I know… what a couple of wussies!!! – But there’ll be some more opportunities to ride in the rain I shouldn’t wonder.)

    Tomorrow we head for North Wales
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    #18
  19. s2tbolt

    s2tbolt Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
    Well done :thumb
    Glad y'all are having a good time; I sure am enjoying the tour...
    #19
  20. DewNmoon

    DewNmoon Been here awhile

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    Details and pics to follow:(highlights)

    Magnifi twistys and paved to boot!
    Slartedbartfast picks up a puncture in his new rear "skin"

    Beautiful DOUBLE rainbow over the castle as we arrive in Porthmadog

    End of the day in Abersoch having a pint at a local spot.
    #20