Today’s blog is brought to you from a foreign country, England. Ok it is not really foreign; it is after all my home but I have not lived here for many years and I guess that this being away has changed my view of life here.
I have to be honest and say that I look at “Old Blighty” through rose tinted glasses. I remember times of craziness, fast rides, too much beer and tall stories, yet strangely enough, when I come back I am more than happy to say that my rose tinted vision is in fact my reality of my mother country. Of course this is because now, when I am in England, I am on holiday. I don’t have to put up with all the crap my mates and familiy do that is part of day to day living. For me coming home is like eating your mum’s apple pie, it might not be the best pie in the world but you know exactly how to avoid the bad bits and enjoy all the good!
England is great for bikes, if you avoid the motorways, the rush hours and the speed cameras. Remember those quaint cottages that you saw on cookie tins? They exist, get yourselves to the Cotswolds and you are in the middle of chocolate box England. Rolling green valleys, twisty roads, beautiful villages with wonderful pubs, history and cheese… Cheddar originated in the gorge bearing that name and the Cheddar you get there is how it should be. Go a bit further south and you hit Somerset, home of cider and a great place to find a farm with its own press and camping. Giggle your way into the night and wake up with a thick head and a feeling that you have really sampled part of England.
If you head up North into the Lake District you’ll find beautiful hidden valleys, moorland roads and scenery you’ll never forget. Just watch out for the sheep, they are not fenced in and you often find them on the racing line.
It’s not just beautiful scenery, great roads and great food there is also the mechanical aspect. The National motorcycle museum near Solihull in the West Midlands is a must. They have more than a 1000 machines from over 170 different makers. It is also a living museum, they organize events where you can ride a classic bike, talk to famous racers and even learn how to repair your classic bike or go on a track day.
Talking of track days, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Lydden Hill; famous names that can be brought to life with just a little planning. Imagine the amount of bullshit points that can be gained from a track day at Brands Hatch! You can’t forget the Isle of Man, although it might be a bit late to find accommodation for this year’s TT, then there is beach racing at Weston-Super-Mare, a time to see total madness on miles of beautiful coastline!
Those are just a few examples, there are also the local rallies held by small clubs, great fun and the chance to mix with people of the same mind set, drink too much and make new friends. Then there are the local race meetings, beer festivals, the big clubs bike shows, the industry shows and ….the list goes on.
I have decided I don’t look at my island through rose tinted glasses; I look at it through black rap rounds! It really is the coolest place to visit, forget all the horror stories about the weather…I am looking out of the window now at a bright blue sky, the sun is beating down and the Triumph is waiting….just one more cup of tea and then I am off out for the day!