Just some places …

… the bikes have taken me in the last few days in search of images.  The old rolling stock being put to an agricultural use sits in a field above Allendale.  Thorneyburn is way over yonder in the minor key – between Bellingham and Kielder.  Linnels Bridge and the Mill are on the road between Hexham and Slaley.  The transport for most of this can be seen in the last.  What an unpredictable summer it has been.

Old rolling stock

The gates at Thorneyburn

A cross at Thorneyburn

The Mill at Linnels Bridge

Linnels Bridge

Above Allendale and Catton

November …

… in Northumberland (and elsewhere) – a selection of images from the the month which first appeared on Blip. It started out relatively mild and I kept riding but, since the 19th the temperatures dropped, the wind got up and the Yamaha has been locked up in the garage (the other two are off road for the winter). The last game of golf was on the 23rd – I could be in for a long winter 😦

Mixed weather at Kielder

Last of the light – Northumbrian reflections

Whiteside and the epicentre of nowhere.

The Angel

Storm brewing near Hadrian’s Wall

The last golf outing – Newbiggin on the 23rd

Steamy, smokey, misty, Hexham

Remember when our songs were just like prayers.

Iron and Air

After a long wet winter, I have been grabbing sunshine and spending much less time at the keyboard.  This can only be a good thing.  My daily images on Blipfoto tell a story of warm weather and escape: on canals, on two wheels, on golf courses – some might say an unlikely combination but the stereotypical biker is a myth.  We are all differently made but we ride for the same reasons.

My good lady recently bought me a digital subscription to Iron and Air, an American bike magazine which combines images and words verging on the poetic. In my usual compulsive manner, I am working my way through every back copy – this from Dave Karlotski, Season of the Bike, in Issue 1:

“At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid.  All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony.  Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me … “

Riding the arrow-straight Military Road that runs parallel to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland you cross paths with heavily laden lumber lorries carrying timber south from the forests at Keilder.  At 60mph they create a bow wave, an invisible wake of air that unsettles the bike at a combined speed in excess of 100mph.  For a very brief moment in time the air turns warm and heavy with the scent of diesel – it is an oddly intimate and uplifting experience.

... not into temptation. The dark side of Japan - Yamaha MT09 Tracer

“Cars lie to us and tell us we’re safe, powerful and in control.  The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, “Sleep, sleep.”  Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth:  we are small and exposed and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that’s no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.”

Wark ...

This post dedicated to Ian Bell, supplier of this Yamaha.

Lovin’ Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Summer lovin’.  Thus far it has been a fabulous summer in Northumberland and fortunately we have no plans to go anywhere until the Autumn – what is the point when we live in this glorious county.

This was my summer lovin’ week in Northumberland:

Sunday – heavy rain overnight but the skies are clear:

Raindrops

Monday – temperatures are rising and it is becoming almost ‘too darn hot‘:

Too darn hot ...

Tuesday – an evening walk along the Tyne at Corbridge – it is looking low:

The Tyne

Wednesday – remember this heat in the bleak, dark December days:

Corbridge summer

Thursday – a view across a sweltering county from Hedley on the Hill:

Under a blazing sun

Friday – There is talk on the local news of the heat damaging road surfaces – can’t resist it can they – no good news without the obligatory bad.  This one seems to be holding together:

Unwinding road

Saturday – sailing through Kielder Forest:

Kielder

(click on the images to enlarge)