Wales and Porlock - August 2006
For some strange reason, I had the urge to ride a single cylinder bike for the day, and the bike chosen was my old faithful Enfield Bullet. OK, so it ain't the fastest thing on two wheels, but I enjoy riding it, and besides, a bad day's riding always beats a good day's work. Once again, Andy and his Ducati were my companions for the day. I just hope his 900 Ducati can keep up with the mighty Bullet. In true British fashion, if the sun shines, then you must head for the sea side and do the kind of things that people do at the sea side, which normally involve ice cream and chip shops. . . . and today was no exception. Having filled our stomachs, filling the tanks was the next step - with the Enfield slurping petrol at a rate of 70 miles per gallon it made a pleasant change to spent less than ten quid to fill up. The roads around mid Wales are just built for a big single. Plenty of twisty bits and some nice hills - not to mention some very scenic lakes too. By early evening we rode up the 'steep side' of Burway Hill and onto the top of the Long Mynd. Time for a quick photograph before heading for home along Wenlock Edge.
Now some Moonshiners just happen to be down at Porlock this week. I would have been with 'em but I just couldn't get the time off work. . . now as long as my job gets done, the powers that be ain't bothered about when I start and finish, so I got up earlier than normal, pulled my finger out, and by early afternoon DOT and the 'dog kennel' were rolling down the M5. I took a different route this time, leaving the motorway a few junctions further South and heading towards Williton, via Taunton. Not a lot to pick and choose, distance wise, but I found this way to be quicker. By tea time I was happily set up on our usual campsite along with Roy and Kev. Ten o'clock saw us lurking in the Ship Inn and making sure the "Tribute" was up to standard - and a most delicious pint it was too.
Saturday morning, and another trike and trailer rolled up. This time it was "Pete the Feet" and his Metro trike. Having got Pete settled in, and having eaten breakfast, we made a move towards Bishops Lydeard where there was a steam rally being held. What better excuse do you need for a ride through the glorious Somerset countryside ? Not only was the countryside glorious, the weather was sunny too - in fact, it was a touch too sunny for wandering around, but we made the best of it. As per normal, ice cream helped. Roy happened upon a fellow selling Tilley lamps and the like - it took three of us to drag him away . . . . allegedly.
I spotted a bright red tractor that would look lovely parked in the garage next to my "Big Red Ugly Bike" - it took three of 'em to drag me away . . . . allegedly. Personally, I reckon it was due to the sun beating on my head.
By the time we had wandered round most of the exhibits it was late afternoon, so we made a move back towards Porlock - this time going along the "B" roads to Wheddon Cross, then over Dunkery Beacon before dropping back down into Porlock. It will come as no surprise to learn that we spent the last part of the evening back in the Ship Inn, just making sure the "Tribute" was being kept up to standard.
Sunday morning. Roy, Kev and Pete were up early, well, earlier than me, and they had disappeared off in the direction of a car boot sale. I started packing things up - sadly I was the only one who had to be back at work the next day. The lads were back from the boot sale before I left - so I bid 'em farewell and hit the road. Everything was going well - the trike was towing the 'dog kennel' at a tad above the legal limit, there were no hold ups or road works - things were going very well - in fact they were going too well. We can't have that - how about a fuel line coming loose ? That should slow things down a bit. It didn't take long to cut the fractured section of fuel pipe out and re-terminate the end, but I had lost a fair bit of fuel. Not a problem, I'll fill up at the next exit just to be on the safe side - there might not be enough to get to the services. As is turned out, there wasn't enough to get to the next exit. I stopped within sight of the half mile marker for the Tewkesbury turn. It's times like this that the mobile phone and a breakdown service is useful. Within less than two hours a recovery wagon had arrived with a gallon of unleaded and I was once again on my merry way. Ah well, it's these little things that make for entertaining tales I suppose.