The roads are still salty, on most days they are uncomfortably wet and the air is still piercingly cold but, there is no resisting the call of the wild and the open road. Against better judgement I ventured out on two wheels on several occasions in March and was never disappointed. The still image is from a ride out to Carrshield and the video from a late afternoon ride to Allendale Golf Club – Home of Golf in the Wild. This is now accessible from the club’s website just in case visitors have difficulty finding the course – follow satnavs to NE47 9DH and you will be taken to High Studdon Farm.
“The course is tucked away in the hills of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and must therefore be discreet. The road south out of Allendale winds down the Allen Valley along the B6295 towards Allenheads, following the course of the East Allen River. A mile or so south of the town, as the road breaks free from overhanging trees, a sharp left turn is signposted to the club. The track is rutted, rabbits run for cover and depending on the time of year, will wear a layer of rich agricultural muck. The track climbs 167 feet in a third of a mile which is more or less the difference between the high and low ground on the course; it helps to be fit. The clubhouse sits at 1077 feet above sea level on the west facing side of Green Hill which peaks at 1374 feet – it is not entirely inaccurate to say the course is situated on the side of a mountain. A wind turbine installed in 2010 marks your arrival. On a plain 9-metre tower with dark coloured blades, it blends into the agricultural landscape in a manner reminiscent of the iconic multi-bladed windpumps of America’s central plains.”
An accidental selfie, captured by the GoPro – I am wearing a backpack, just in case you were wondering 🙂
This is a selection of images from Blip over the last seven days. It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone – two rounds of golf, one on the coast and one in Yorkshire (Spring must be around the corner); no rides out on the bikes, too darn cold but the chains have been cleaned and oiled; various walks around Hexham, including one to the station – hence the picture of Les Dawson. It is a look I have enthusiastically courted all my life – disapproval – reassuring that I can still do it 🙂
I finished reading Adlestrop Revisited by Anne Harvey, an anthology inspired by Edward Thomas’s poem. It includes this by Martin Newell, an extract from Adlestrop Retrieved:
Bombastic brash and over-prone
To shouting on his mobile ‘phone
He’s cancelling his three o’clock
Or booking tickets for Bangkok
So fellow travellers have no choice
But hear his self-important voice.
“I’ve godda window, Tuesday. Noon.
“Yup. Abso-lootly. Speaktcha soon.”
No sooner has he closed the thing,
His brief-case then begins to ring.
And down it comes from off the rack.
“I’m breaking up, I’ll call you back.”
As fellow travellers wish he’d stow
His mobile phone where phones don’t go.
And so the pompous prat proceeds
From Paddington to Temple Meads.
Have a good week all and may you find life’s silent coach 😜 🚊
My first bicycle was a BSA and my second a Triumph Palm Beach – foggy damp Manchester was about as far removed from sandy beaches as can be imagined but then the Triumph Smog doesn’t quite have the same ring.
According to various websites, the Palm Beach was actually produced by Raleigh using the name Triumph under licence from the motorcycle company. There is therefore a long and distant connection between my pedal-powered days and my Triumph Scrambler. Both symbolise freedom, the wind in your hair/helmet and life on the open road. Toad would understand completely 🙂
My WordPress activity has diminished lately because when I am not hitting golf balls (not very successfully) I am out on wheels of various configurations. By way of explanation here are some more images of the Scrambler from life on the open road:
Now spot the Triumph Scrambler (and the golf clubs!) in this trailer – star of stage, screen and Northumberland.
A motorbike is all about the bare essentials; it is minimalist engineering at its finest. I have been looking for an excuse to post some pictures of the Scrambler and then a link to the video at the bottom of the post appeared in my inbox – it explains everything. The first picture was taken at the top of Dryburn Moor above Allendale and the second near Sycamore Gap along Hadrian’s Wall a few weeks later … two icons in close proximity. The eagle-eyed will spot the change of exhaust between the first and second image – the single pipe of the new version looks much neater and, more importantly, sounds wonderful. If I were to remove the baffle it would wake the dead – I am tempted 👿
(not quite what the challenge had in mind but what the heck 🙂 )