JimRides... from Northern Cumbria in the UK

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JimRidesThis, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    I live and work in an area of the UK – Cumbria, right next to the Scottish border – where there's excellent riding whichever direction I choose to go and, for much of the year, not that many people clogging up the roads.

    First, an introduction. I'm a 50 something :uhoh University lecturer; married; one son (ex DL650 rider); one daughter-in-law, one grandson, one granddaughter. Motorcycles have been an obsession since I was 14 years old – riding them, maintaining them, breaking them, fixing them, restoring them, reading about them. I'm also passionate about education, photography and fishing.


    My current bikes are: a 1984 Honda XL600R, a 2004 TDM900 and a Buell Ulysses XB12XT (a recent addition as of April 2019). I was born lucky!

    (I'll update these details from time to time)



    Other Ride Report Links:
    #1: Galloway Forest Ride (XL600R)
    #2: An epic journey on a small scale (Collecting my TDM900)

    Other threads
    #1 Yet another XL600R Project (Basket case XL600R build)


    #1
    KimPossible, ishmac and ojodecabra like this.
  2. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    #1 East: When is a bus stop not a bus stop?

    Suspension adjustment tested: Rear preload, softened two notches.

    Today I headed East in the general direction of Northumberland. It was only a 50 mile ride to test out a suspension adjustment on my, new to me, Yamaha TDM900. My first stop was only 10 miles from home in the market town of Brampton, I needed a little 'just in case' cash.

    [​IMG]
    This is the Moot Hall in Brampton built in 1817.

    Enough local history.

    With 'wedge' in my pocket I headed towards Hadrian's Wall territory (here we go again). First stop, Banks Turret.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    'The Wall' was built by Roman's (or more probably by their slaves) a long, long time ago.

    It went from Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast to Wallsend on the east coast. At the time I imagine it was probably a pretty big deal. It's still a mind boggling feat today!

    There's quite a bit of it still visible alongside the road along with with turrets, milecastles and forts at regular points along its length. The roads are twisty and bumpy but quiet in these parts. Not fast, but great fun.

    [​IMG]
    This thing is nearly two thousand years old! Pretty amazing!

    What's also amazing is that no buses stop at the bus stop at Banks Turret! Which is when a bus stop is not a bus stop.

    [​IMG]

    I started to double back on myself at a place called Gilsland. I didn't stop. I'll save it for another day.

    A little way along the road I came across this ford I thought I didn't know about but recalled a little later. I reckon it was about 30 years since I was last there though.
    [​IMG]

    I chickened out of crossing today. The cobbles lining the bed were slick with algae and I didn't fancy it on the new bike. I'll be back on the Honda.

    [​IMG]

    Next... lightning, phantoms and more lightning...



    #2
  3. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,518
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    Heck of a place to ride. I'm from Ulverston which is equally blessed. I look forward to seeing where you get to!
    #3
  4. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    As promised, a few miles further down the road I came across lightning, a phantom and a vulcan; and then more a bit more lightning!

    [​IMG]
    McDonnell Phantom & English Electric Lightning (Lightning #1)

    [​IMG]
    AVRO Vulcan

    [​IMG]
    AVRO Vulcan

    These are just some of the exhibits at the Solway Aviation Museum at Carlisle Airfield.

    It was then I remembered a sign I pass everyday on my way to work advertising a private motorcycle museum at a place called Scaleby Hill. It was on the was home and what a gem of a place it is...

    [​IMG]
    Matchless G2 & BSA C15

    [​IMG]
    BSA A65 Lightning (Lightning #2)

    [​IMG]
    Anyone know what this one is?

    [​IMG]
    Here's another shot. But what is it?

    [​IMG]
    Kneeler outfit, Devimead A65 750cc engine. Campaigned at the Isle of Man TT by the museum's owner.

    [​IMG]
    A wee MV, a 175 I think.

    [​IMG]
    Velo MAC 350cc

    [​IMG]
    A convocation of Coventry Eagles

    [​IMG]
    BSA C10

    [​IMG]
    Matchless G3

    So, that's your first trip East. Who knows what direction I'll take next time :D

    As for softening the rear preload (starting from standard settings all round), it's a vast improvement, I just need to dial in the front now and fine tune from there. I'm looking for more compliancy.
    #4
    Kiwi Mick, Bors, yamalama and 8 others like this.
  5. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Hey shoeb, my first job was in Barrow-in-Furness in 1979 working on a newspaper. We used to get Thursday's off so we could go all day drinking in Ulverston. They had a special charter as it was market day. Hartley's XB was my beer of choice. This was before the licensing laws were relaxed of course!

    You're right though, there is some fantastic riding in South Cumbria and the Western Dales. I see you're in Sheffield now. Some great riding there too! My son and his wife live at the other end of Snake Pass, in Glossop.
    #5
    shoeb likes this.
  6. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,518
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    Correct- you and I are spoiled for choice, my friend! I always love reading ride reports from the North of England, such an underrated place for biking. Where are you planning to go next?
    #6
  7. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    No idea. I have some leave booked around Easter and, though my better half has lined up a few chores for me, I intend to get away for a couple nights in my tent. Galloway? Scottish West Coast? I dunno.
    #7
  8. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    106
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Hi!

    First off, thanks for the ride report. I'm a yank, but I spent one of the very best years of my life in Newcastle (at the uni) and I dearly, dearly love the NE of England, the border country, all of it. Your pictures really took me back to a special place.

    The bike in those pictures above looks to me to be a BMW / EMW R35.
    Basically, there was a BMW motorcycle plant in Eisenach in what became East Germany after the war. They were set up to produce the R35, and were originally controlled by the Soviets after the war. (Who ran off with some of the other tooling from the plant and ended up producing the Ural from it in the USSR.) Eventually, in 1952, they ceded control of the factory to the E. German government. BMW then sued them over using the BMW name, and so they changed it to "EMW," or "Eisenacher Motoren Werke." They used the red and white roundel instead of the blue and white BMW one. They also made copies of BMW cars under the EMW marque.

    It's a cool and oddball little part of motoring history.

    Neat bike!
    #8
  9. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    100% correct Leatherstocking! It's an EMW - I didn't know it was a 350, I just assumed 250cc/R25 copy. I'd never heard of EMW to be honest.
    #9
  10. Leatherstocking

    Leatherstocking Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    106
    Location:
    Baltimore
    I could be wrong about the R35 part, but the frame looks R35 to me - the only other single I could think of off the top of my head that had that style frame was the R32, but that's a slightly different frame, and I know that the Eisenach plant was producing the R35 that became the "EMW" bike. The R25 had a more traditional frame and tank arrangement.

    I'm lucky enough to live about 20 miles from a BMW dealership in the USA that has a fantastic museum inside that includes a bunch of really early BMW bikes, including an R32, an R35, and various other ones.
    #10
  11. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK

    No, I think you're very probably right and I bow to your superior knowledge. I'm not at all familiar with older BMW singles, I just assumed R25 because that's all I've come across before.
    #11
  12. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    571
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    The missus hails from Gateshead originally but grew up in Riding Mill, Northumberland. You are correct about the spectacular scenery & this reminds me that we need to do a bike rental in your neck o' the woods.
    #12
    Teabar likes this.
  13. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Let me know when you're visiting Philip, I might well have a bike you can borrow.
    #13
  14. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    571
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I'll be over for my nieces wedding in June....

    :hmmmmm
    #14
  15. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    #2 WEST: A Wild Goose Chase

    Suspension adjustment tested: Front preload, softened one notch (now on minimum).

    Again, today was just a short ride to test the latest suspension adjustment, this time out west on the English side of the Solway Firth.

    [​IMG]

    The Solway is an internationally important over-wintering site for birds from the arctic, Greenland, Russia, etc. On the north side you've got Scotland. On the South side you've got England. A lot has been said about that over the years so it's not for nowt this whole area was known as The Debatable Lands. More about the Border Reivers in future posts no doubt.

    Being an estuary, the Solway coast is fairly flat. It's one of those clues that lets you know you've arrived at an estuary isn't it. If it wasn't flatish it'd probably just be an 'inlet' or possibly a 'fjord'!
    Anyway, it's around here that the Romans finally decided to finish the West end of that there Hadrian's Wall. There was probably a big, big, big hedonistic orgy once they'd finished. Along with baths, the Romans really went in for that orgy sort of thing.


    Fast forward 1700 years and a short – and short lived – canal was dug out from Carlisle to Port Carlisle ending in roughly the same area. I suspect there was no hedonistic orgy this time.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's Scotland over there. Look carefully and you'll spot the Saltires!

    [​IMG]

    More to follow...





    #15
    yamalama, Critic and ojodecabra like this.
  16. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    At this point we're still heading West towards Cardurnock and Anthorn. There really isn't that much out here and it isn't on the way to anywhere, but there is a stark beauty about the place.

    In lieu of spectacular scenery, here's a pic of my TDM900...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    If you look carefully you can see four light blobs on the horizon. That's what's left of the Chapel Cross nuclear power plant, decommissioned around ten years ago. The cooling towers were demolished in 2007. The first nuclear power plant in the world, Sellafield aka Windscale, is just down the coast too. Radioactive High Five!

    [​IMG]
    Even when you're not tripping over old Roman building work you're not allowed to forget the link to 'The Empire'

    Turning back East, I finally realised what the real purpose of my ride was - a wild goose chase of course - when I came across these lads and lasses...

    [​IMG]
    Pink-footed geese in the foreground, barnacle geese in the distance

    Just one of the many flocks of
    geese and other winter migrants who'll soon be pushing off to foreign parts for the summer.

    Here's another gratuitous bike shot to end this mini RR...
    [​IMG]

    Dropping the front preload feels like is was another positive move – but now I really I don't know if I can feel these differences or if I'm just getting used to the bike.
    #16
  17. hondated

    hondated Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    80
    Thanks for posting Jim as its an enjoyable read. I live in Eastbourne but when I can I love to get up to the Lakes and the Highlands.
    Its always puzzled me why in Europe you see a lot of TDMs but they seem to be rare over here as they are a great bike.
    #17
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  18. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Glad you're enjoying it so far. I should be in the Highlands in 10 days or so. There will be photos!

    You're right about the TDM, I don't know why they didn't catch on. That does mean there are some real bargains out there and they're brilliant bikes!
    #18
  19. IslandMonkey

    IslandMonkey inselaffe

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,022
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Nice one Jim. It's a beautiful part of the world and those TDMs are great looking bikes.
    #19
    Teabar and JimRidesThis like this.
  20. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,114
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    #3 North - Roaming in the gloaming


    As I mentioned in post 18, I had it in mind to take a trip up to my favourite part of the world (so far), the west coast of Scotland.
    Well, synchronicity stepped in when a couple of weeks ago when an old friend stopped by and invited me along on a trip he and a couple of his buddies had planned, staying a couple of nights at Inveranan just north of Loch Lomond.


    Day 1
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Weapon of choice, loaded and ready!


    As the others were travelling from Sunderland on the east coast, we arranged to meet at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill cafe in Jedburgh. Although it wasn't a direct route it did mean a more interesting ride up through Liddlesdale.

    [​IMG]
    Check out that road :-)

    At Jedburgh I met the Sunderland posse - Mike (Triumph Explorer), George (Guzzi V7) and Graeme (Suzuki Intruder)

    [​IMG]
    All on my ownsome waiting for the posse of Mackems...

    [​IMG]
    ...and here they are!

    [​IMG]
    George and his beautiful Moto Guzzi

    [​IMG]
    Graeme looking for his bag of sherbet lemons

    I didn't take any more photos for the rest of the day. Don't know why not, but there you are.

    After a top up with coffee and a beef sarnie we made our way over to Glasgow, crossing the Clyde at Erskine Bridge. A cheeky pit stop at an ATM in Wishaw meant I lost the rest of the group, but with wedge in pocket I arranged by text to meet up on the north side of Erskine Bridge. Synchronicity stepped in once more as, by pure chance, I happened to tag onto the back of my riding companions just north of Hamilton where the M74 joins the M8 going west. Sometimes it pays to follow road signs rather than Graeme's SatNav!


    Up to this point we'd only ridden through a few showers but nearing Dumbarton, Clota, Celtic goddess 'the cleanser of the Clyde', got her act together and dumped a whole heap of rain on us for the last 35 miles up the side of Loch Lomond.

    Time for beers in the bar!

    Next time... A Highland Fling
    #20