This afternoon I headed west away from the A1/Catterick area and headed out into the Dales. Leyburn is a kind of frontier town before one commits to the real Dales experience; stone walls, narrow roads, twisty and tight roads running along valley floors and grey hamlets en route.
The BMW was perky and on new Metzeler Tourance tyres. A combination that I kept an eye on to avoid any sudden stepping out as new tyres are wont to do.
This afternoon’s ride was one of the first this year, what with a busy work/home life I’ve not been riding much so far in 2014. The plan was to sweep some cobwebs away and take in the Yorkshire countryside as a bit of a stress reliever.
I stopped in Hawes and then picked up this summer’s Tour de France route over the mountain by Thwaite.
After some fast sweepers along a cliff side road I came back down to the Swale River valley – the real “Swaledale”.
Despite the damp and chill it was a good run out. Looking forward to some more riding soon!
The heat wave is still ongoing in the North of England so I took the opportunity to go for a ride to Reeth. We followed the River Swale and headed west from Richmond, stopped briefly for a chat in the village square and then found a little road over the moor out to the south.
The R1150 GS with top box only in the village square at Reeth. That’s the view of the Dales to the south, looking over the River Swale and up at the moor top.
Kate, my pillion for the day. She’s been on her Dad’s bike before so was absolutely fine with the sweeping corners on the fast bits. So fine in fact she leaned enthusiastically into a corner at one point, tipping us in a little more than I expected. All good on the big BMW though, rock steady and lots of lean in reserve. I was riding pretty sensibly as well.
We met James in Reeth as well. James is a local photographer (duophoto.co.uk) who knows the area pretty well and recommended some more far flung destinations. I’ll follow those up later on.
Also seen in Reeth; great touring posse of Royal Enfields.
Me with the new Shark Evoline helmet. It’s a great bit of kit so far. Series 3 has learned from the first versions of this flip up.
So having just completed around 800 miles – in three days! – on the new bike I can definitely say we’re bonding well.
The touring set up works well, it’s amazing the effect having the ‘light triangle’, the HID headlight and the Hella spots that is, has on other road users. I’ve only had one ‘pull out because I haven’t seen you’ moment and I would have expected slightly more given the amount of time on A roads I’ve just put in.
The screen is the 1150 adventure model and does its job. The extra width and height gives a significant increase in the overall surface area and this makes 70 (+) mph easier. I haven’t noticed the usual neck stiffness or tinnitus despite wearing a Shoei Hornet with a peak. This kind of distance on the KTM 950 Adv would have been very different – by now I’d have been temporarily deaf and dazed.
Today’s ride went from Betws-y-Coed in North Wales to North Yorkshire – without going on any motorways! It took in the rolling roads around Ruthin in North Wales, crossed to the Peak District and went over the Cat and Fiddle Pass, now speed restricted with average speed cameras sadly, and through Whaley Bridge. Pushing north I left the peaks by the Holmfirth Pass and went into the Yorkshire Dales, racing the setting sun as I followed the valleys north.
Genuinely one of the finest days I’ve had on a bike in the UK.
The cloud has burned off and the sun is behind me. This is near Garsdale.