Bare winter suddenly was changed to Spring

“As I wandered by the way, bare winter suddenly was changed to Spring”.

So wrote the great romantic poet, Percy Shelley.

The weather this weekend in the South West of England has certainly lived up to the words of the great man.  After months of storms, gales and relentless rain, finally, the sun has shone upon us!

So it was only polite to get Harley out on the road and go enjoy this taste of better days ahead. The trees remain bare and the fields still a little jaded from winter, but daffodils and primroses are colouring the hedgerows, whilst snowdrops fleck the woods. The sky was a bright cheerful blue as Harley and I first hit the almost deserted A30 and headed East towards the Dartmoor town of Okehampton. From there we turned North onto the A386 as far as Great Torrington before heading South West to Holsworthy and Launceston.

Crossing the River Torridge at Orford Mill. This is Tarka the Otter county.DSCF2915

The B3227 road from Torrrington to Stibb Cross was great fun, only six and a half miles but  just the thing to really get stuck into the bendy bits and the bonus was no traffic at all, Harley and I loved it!

Near Dutson we crossed the River Tamar back into Cornwall and just for a change used the old bridge, which dates from 1505. It’s not just France that has interesting bridges!  I couldn’t resist stopping to grab a photo. This side Cornwall, the other side England!DSCF2920

The good news is that the Jet Stream is moving north and high pressure is set over the country for at least the next week = more dry weather!  Happy Harley Days ahead!

Yes I’m back in black!


Next up, a service for Harley, prior to visiting Northern France. Watch this blog.

Coast to Coast

Today, an autumn gale is drumming on the window of the Dookes Man-Lab, Planet Rock fills the spaces between the staccato of the cold rain and the howling wind. This is also Battle of Britain Day, when we should remember the events of 1940 and the heroic exploits of “The Few” who fought and died in the skies above us and why you and I are free to write and read this in English not German. Yesterday, however, the sun shone and it was time, time to ride.  A nice leisurely mile munching ride, to get the old head straight again. True I had to look in on a couple of work matters, but lets forget that stuff, here’s to two wheels and a pulsing engine between yer knees!

I called into the Harley Dealership in Plymouth, hell, I say that a lot don’t I! The new 2014 models are in…oh boy am I smitten!  This is the new Electra Glide Ultra Limited, I’m not sure about the paint scheme on this particular bike, but the developments that H-D have put into the design are stunning. I’m booking a test ride very soon! DSCF2831

Yes, I know, it’s massive, 398kg to be precise, but it does have a 1690cc twin cam engine, linked ABS brakes, re-worked front end and loads of extras!!!! Just the thing for long distance touring….DSCF2833

Lots of other new models as well, with some really neat details. Fat Bob.DSCF2840DSCF2842Forty Eight.

DSCF2844DSCF2846Anyway, enough drooling; we hit the road and headed north up to Lea Moor. Then on to Dartmoor which was as special as ever.DSCF2852 DSCF2853

Pushing on north we followed the A386 through Torrington all the way to Bideford, coast to coast on the same road, through some of the finest countryside in the South West.  Harley and I popped in to say “hi” at Vifferman H.Q., (Thanks for the tea Mrs Viff!) before heading back to Cornwall via Holsworthy. About 150 miles in total, a nice relaxed ride out.

Catch you all in the fresh air; I believe I’ll ride ride on down the road, as far as I can go…