I went for a run last week to Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. It was beautiful spring weather and the landscape was brightened up by yellow flowers on the bushes. I had it in my mind that they were Broom, but I remembered a field full of them where we played as children and we called them Whins. Broom & Whin (Gorse) are closely related but Whin has thorns. And these were certainly thorny.
Monday 27 April 2015
Saturday 25 April 2015
Sparkling in the spring sunshine I snapped this rare beast in Kilcreggan today. It is based on the BMW 850i Coupe modified by Alpina. They were built 1988-94 and are fitted with a 5 litre V12 engine producing 350 bhp. And rare it is. Only 97 were made, 5 in UK spec. If you are in the USA and have seen one there think yourself lucky - only 2 were federalized for the States.
Friday 24 April 2015
I'm returning by a more southerly route. I first head south west into Northumberland.
Etal Castle. Mid 14th C. Captured by James IV of Scotland in 1513 before the Battle of Flodden.
At the village of Branxton I came across this memorial to the Battle of Flodden. In 1513 King James IV led the Scots into England in support of the French whom King Henry VIII was fighting at the time. This was the biggest ever battle between the nations with about 60,000 men fighting of whom 14,000 died. The Scots were heavily defeated with James being amongst the dead. He was the last British monarch to die in combat.
Checking the map - I did this a lot on the ride.
Lotus Elan +2 - very cool.
Bridge over the River Teviot at Nisbet
Mercat Cross, Ancrum. A mecat (market) cross signifies a town had permission to hold a regular market. This one has lost its cross but it is over 400 years old.
AA box, Capercleuch. Once a common sight, this is one of the few boxes remaining. AA (Automobile Association) members could call for assistance from these boxes. Made obsolete by the mobile phone.
Talla Reservoir supplies water to Edinburgh.
Crook Inn, Tweedsmuir. One of the many claimants to the "oldest inn in Scotland" though what you see is early 19th C with an Art Deco addition in 1936. Currently closed but there are plans to refurbish.
Well what a great ride! About 8 hours in the saddle and I did 275 miles. The little bike was fun to ride on the back roads and did the trip on a single tank of fuel (just) Also I found some roads & places I'd never been before which is unusual for me.
Thursday 23 April 2015
With UK in the middle of a general election campaign I found this attached to a lamp post. The poster gave no indication who produced it or whom they would wish us to vote for. They are certainly not keen on the main political parties - Anarchists maybe?
Saturday 18 April 2015
River Tweed from Ashiestiel Bridge.
Clovenfords - more daffodils on the roundabout.
Walter Scott statue at the hotel.
Wispy clouds on the road north of Clovenfords
I'm loving these wispy clouds.
Greenknowe Tower, Gordon. A laird's house, 1581.
Four miles west of Berwick I crossed the Union Bridge into England. An interesting bridge for a number of reasons. Opening in 1820 it was the longest span bridge in the world at that time and is the oldest suspension bridge carrying traffic.
Berwick. Time for a quick lunch then it was back on the road.
Sunday 12 April 2015
When I go for a run on the bikes I ride a mixture of main roads & back roads. But I had a thought - could I go for a long, all day ride entirely on the back roads? A look at the map indicated that the Scottish Borders would be the best place for such a run so I planned a journey to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
I used my Honda CBF250 for the trip. It's light & small and ideal for the twisties.
The route has many twists and turns.
A bit of route planning was required.
Two miles from my house and there's a photo op already. Craig Mill, Eaglesham on the White Cart Water has been converted into apartments.
Crossing the M74 at Brocketsbrae - no motorways for me today.
Old cast iron road sign at Carmichael.
The red roads of Lanarkshire.
Daffodils beside the road
Viaduct at Lyne on a disused rail line
The back road east of Innerleithen and the old railway bridge now used by walkers & cyclists.
This shows my thinking on the trip. The main road is to the north of the River Tweed, but I took the back road on the south bank.
Monday 6 April 2015
The annual fund raiser for the childrens' hospital.
|The cops lead the way
|Over 1,000 bikes
|A wide selection of bikes from the small.....
|....to the large (BMW K1600)....
|....and scary (Yamaha VMax)
|Also "classics" - Honda CB350 Four
|Norton single (ES2?)
|New Royal Enfield Cafe Racer
|Medical delivery riders
|Fancy dress encouraged
|Attack of the cuddly toys
|Brother Norman caught me out by being at the front of the ride. We shouted to him at Charing Cross - that's why he's looking round.