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Where I live

Discussion in 'Readers Rides' started by Alda, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Alda

    Alda Active Member

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    Where I live

    After reading that some of our American members have to travel long distances to get to decent biking territory, some even trailering their bikes before enjoying a ride, I realised that we are lucky living in England and never being far away from decent roads and countryside.

    The town of Pocklington (yes really) lies at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds in East Yorkshire.and although the scenery round here may not be as dramatic as Scotland or the Lake District it offers some excellent motorcycling roads with a wide variety of routes and options.

    Leaving my house on a cool Saturday morning there’s not a house in sight by the time I hit third gear, climbing up the gentle slopes to the top of Garrowby Hill. The Vale of York lies to my left. On a clear day I can pick out York Minster and the Pennines in the distance.

    On to Fridaythorpe where the Seaways café provides sustenance to many a passing biker. Not many customers just yet, maybe 20 enjoying a full English or just tea and a natter.

    I enjoy my tea and toast (£2) and look at my options Coast or country?

    The sky is grey and the temperature just above 10c so I choose the latter and and head towards Malton. Villages fly by, Fimber, Sledmere, Duggleby, North Grimston are just a few, before skirting the old market town and pointing the RS toward Helmsley. The road is dry and quiet and the BM purrs along munching up the miles with ease.

    The Vale of Pickering sprawls out to my right, a little bit of sunshine picks out the autumn colours as I turn off toward Castle Howard and marvel at its stately home before dropping down to the ancient abbey at Kirkham. Plundered by Henry the 8th in 1539 it stands forlorn on the banks of the River Derwent, later used by the Americans in WW2 to test their snorkel tanks and to train troops for the D Day landings .

    I’m on the home straight now but detour through Stamford Bridge, site of the battle in 1066 where the invading Norwegians were defeated. There’s some old Triumphs on display in the square but its very busy and I give it a miss this time. They put on a show about twice a year.

    The dash says its nearly 12 and I’ve covered about 80 miles as I pull onto the drive and let the bike cool before a clean down and back into the garage.

    Next time maybe the coast or across to the Yorkshire Dales a little further away, whatever, I shall enjoy every minute.

    Alan
     
  2. slippery

    slippery Member

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    wuthering heights ?
     
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  3. Bazza Beemer

    Bazza Beemer Well-Known Member

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    Yeah we hear ya. Been really cold here now for a week and snowed for 72 hours back starting last weekend. Based on that it is safe to assume that cycling is done until May for me as my back lane will be brutal ice patches next spring and impassable for the bike. On goes the battery tender and service it next spring. Also will change out tires.
     
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  4. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Not only England but Europe as a whole. I watch a bit of YouTube and do enjoy the scenery you guys enjoy. Over here, there are long distances to cover and not all of the scenery along the way is as beautiful, at least not in the same sense.
     
  5. Alda

    Alda Active Member

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    You could always move
    Alan
     
  6. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Thanks for this bit of inspiration.

    "Pocklington is a small market town and civil parish situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England."

    Kinda says it all, don't it?

    Here's the only photo of the area I could find. Battle of Stamford Bridge. Looks a little crowded - but not too many vehicles and not another motorcycle in sight.
    [​IMG]

    Where I live.
    So, I'm now in St. Louis. Population about 300 times that of Pocklington, originally a regional trading center for native Americans and by 1764, a French city.

    Saturday - by the time I hit 3rd gear, I'm 500 yards from home at Cursed Bikes and Coffee for the morning paper, a visual dose of hand-made iron frame, the smell of rubber, and oil, and the taste of 4 shots of espresso ($1.75 plus $1 for the "tuition fund."

    OK, maybe they have a combination frame-builder/bike shop/cafe in Pocklington, but 4 miles later, I'm at the 8,000 square foot, regional BMW dealership for some air and an additional fix of more coffee and doughnuts and more of that smell of fresh rubber and solvents that I can't quite reproduce in my basement. A quick wave to the ever present wise men who hang around as if it was an old American barber shop (do these guys come standard with midwestern BMW dealerships?), and I'm off to the hills for a 600 mile, 12 h ride through the Ozarks.

    Past historic Washington University, Fontbonne College, Concordia Seminary, Webster University, Maplewood, Shrewsbury, and within 20 minutes I find myself on Condor Canyon Road, Elk Hollow Road, and points south and west - Minke Hollow, Potosi (1760), Enough, Bixby, Goodland, Mark Twain National Forest, Logan Creek Conservation Area, Current River Conservation Area, Sunklands conservation area, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Akers Ferry ($5) Anthony's Mill, Pea Ridge (the site of a battle in 1861 in which confederate forces lost their 3 top leaders to a federal force), Miramiquoa Park, Owensville, Hermann, Innsbrook, Defiance, and Weldon Springs..., well, you get the idea. A pretty big mix of names representing a pretty big mix of cultures and influences, and when put together, all quite American.

    I usually stop at the Sinclair Station in Eminence which has a delicatessen and small grocery. (Yes, it has a green brontosaurus out front on which the children play and the Harley riders pose for pictures.) Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, mustard on rye with small coffee (yes, I enjoy a good coffee) - $2.25. Nothing in Eminence dates back to the Battle of Hastings, but the post office has been there since 1844 and they boast of Thomas Akers who was on the space shuttle four times, as well as Mitch Jayne (1928-1980) - bass player for the Dillards.... No, I don't think there's a plaque on his house. You might remember them as the Darlings on the Andy Griffith show. Mitch is on the left. (He was also a teacher and author and documented the use of otherwise lost words from Elizabethan English still used by his students in the Ozarks - OK, maybe the Ozarks are not so removed from Pocklington as the miles suggest.)
    [​IMG]

    On the way back, I sniff the moisture and must from the trees and I look at my options.... Twisting roads through the hills, twisting roads through the woods, twisting roads along the river, twisting gravel (yahooo), or interstate and home in 1 hour instead of 6. (I have only taken the interstate once.)

    On the way back, the wild Missouri River now runs on my right, and as I cruise past the vineyards of Missouri wine country, a few small signs beg me to stop for some local wine and cheese (okay, $22). (Did you know that if they had used proper convention and named the river south of the confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and longer Missouri river the Missouri River, the Missouri River would be the longest in the world....)

    Arriving home..., my wife initially seems disappointed to see me - apparently hoping I would have headed further south and taken a motel room or campsite in Arkansas, but she warms to my contagious, relaxed mood and good spirits - as long as I don't try to bore her with more than 3 stories from the day's travel. I sleep well. (Boy howdy!)

    Ride on.
    upload_2017-11-9_20-33-3.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  7. boxerboy

    boxerboy Well-Known Member

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    Nice historically connected ride descibed by Alan, now I'm longing for a crisp autumn weekend and a ride around the Peak District, we are for sure fortunate to have national parks adjacent to many of our conurbations here in UK - perfect for walking , cycling and RS rides, with teashops in all the right places.
     
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  8. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    did you need an insulin shot when you got home?
     
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  9. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    ...Very good.
    Most Americans do - and the point of the story is to contrast the wonderfully English ride based out of Pocklington to a typically American ride based out of a big city and through our equivalent of the Yorkshire Wolds.... (Though as I look again at the 1960s photo of the Dillards dressed up as a hillbilly band, they do resemble a couple of my wife's relatives from the East End of London after a hard night. And the rides are really not all that different either.)

    But actually, total kilocalories of about 1400 - 500 for the doughnut, 450 for lunch, and maybe another 450 for the wine and cheese - well under the day's requirement. If I have the opportunity to ride, I don't usually spend a lot of time sitting around and eating.

    (This is also where I tell you that at age 61, I find I have to wake up at 06:00 on riding days to stretch, meditate, do a little physical therapy and a little low-speed karate, and spend 40 minutes warming up on the cycle ergometer while watching old MotoGP video for inspiration and sufficient mobility to enjoy the long ride. No insulin in my future if I have my say.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  10. Jim Evans

    Jim Evans Well-Known Member

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    Sounds nice, Alda. I've traveled many of those roads myself, many years ago. This is where I live: little Prince Edward Island. You can just about ride all the way round it in a long day, given a R1200RS and the fact you're very unlikely to see a cop, and unless you're going outrageously fast they won't take any notice. Outside tourist season you won't see much traffic, either. After a few years you do get to know all the roads pretty well, but there's some great riding over on the mainland, and the US is a day's ride away.
    You can't ride all year, but the winters are almost fun - only different. image.jpeg
     
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  11. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Ray, aren't you the one that's been recommending lower mileage days and seeing the sights? ;)

    Only a week or two before you I was at Aker's Ferry and stopped at Eminence as well, though I prefer the little walk up burger stand across the road from the Sinclair station. Fantastic riding in that area.

    Oh yeah, Briscoe Darling was my favorite.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  12. Alda

    Alda Active Member

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    It was not my intention to start some trans-atlantic rivalry spat. The purpose of my post was to say how lucky we are to have good roads and scenery close to our homes. The historical references were a bit of padding to add interest not to give cause to others to better them..

    I am quite well aware that everything is bigger and better over there, national debt, , prisons, gun crime, waistlines…………
    Alan
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  13. darrell

    darrell Well-Known Member Contributor

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    "I am quite well aware that everything is bigger and better over there, national debt, , prisons, gun crime, waistlines…………"

    Alda, and that is not Fake News, you know America well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  14. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Cheers. Not my intention to fuel one. More than half the wife's family is in England. Wouldn't be prudent to find a rivalry, even if I could. Loved your story. I simply tried to replicate the sentiment of your story in a more boisterous, urban, midwestern American version. I've edited out the admission that I was jealous of your neighborhood, as it seems to carry the wrong sentiment as well as the irrelevant reference to English astronauts.

    I agree with your initial statement -
    After 20 y in the flatlands of northwest Ohio, I can certainly sympathize with the forum members who live an hour or two from good roads and whose hills and long tight turns are usually limited to entrance and exit ramps from the interstates.

    Your story was inspirational enough that when all is said and done, and if I live life right, and once the wife let's me retire..., there's always a chance I'll be your neighbor up the road in Whitby. (Yarrrr.)

    Nah. More technical miles at lower speeds, but longer days. I'd like to think I could stop and smell the flowers, and I'll try it out again with the group in May.... When I'm by myself on the RS, however, I love to wring every fun-loving mile out of the day. I've been enjoying the sights from the saddle of the RS at an average speed to date, of 50 mph.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  15. Alda

    Alda Active Member

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    Jim
    Maybe global warming will extend your season.
    Nice to see you're still enjoying my brackets.
    Scenery looks great
    Alan
     
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