ABR readers get in touch to tell us all about their two-wheeled adventures…
Two Brothers on the Three Kingdoms Way
Earlier this year, with coronavirus dominating the news, my brother and I wanted to get away before the impending lockdown. The Three Kingdoms Way from Issue 57 of ABR looked terrific, and what’s better, it went straight past my house. Was my brother interested? You bet!
To reach the start of ‘The Way’ at Bamburgh Castle, we took a fabulous coast road. If we thought Bamburgh would simply be full of tawdry gift shops, we were happily wrong, and it was an impressive start to the day. The SatNav soon directed us to Kielder Forest Drive but I recalled reading in ABR that it only opens during the summer, so we took an alternative route and, after a great day’s riding, reached Haggs Bank campsite, in the North Pennines, which has been mentioned in ABR in the past. Hats off to the owner. He’d shut the site because of Covid-19 but opened especially for us. What a top bloke.
After a freezing night under the stars, we warmed up on the Nidderdale twisties, letting our TomTom SatNav guide us, and we had more fun riding in the Derbyshire Dales. Of course, we got the mandatory pics of Queen Aethelflaed at Tamworth and Prince Hal at Stratford, before a night at home. The next morning brought the final push to Winchester and King Alfred’s statue where we paid our respects to the great man. We’d had an eye-opening adventure and travelled the length of England. Thanks, ABR for such a great route. It was special and we were lucky to ride it.
A first bike trip abroad
Having recently retired, I announced to my husband that I would like to take a motorcycle tour as his pillion. What I had in mind was a couple of days in Cornwall, as I’d only been on short day trips prior to this, but he promptly produced an itinerary for a two-week tour of Brittany, mostly taken from back issues of ABR.
Bite the bullet I thought. He was obviously very keen and maybe it would be OK. However, the trip included a ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff (I’m not the best sailor) and riding over 100 miles per day. I was feeling more than a little trepidation.
The weather up to our departure had been awful, with rain almost every day, and I was beginning to think that, even after 30 years of marriage, two weeks on the bike in France in the rain was going to be a strong test.
I needn’t have worried. We arrived in France in glorious sunshine. We stopped at beautiful beaches for a swim, took morning coffee in exquisite little village squares, and sipped aperitifs outside medieval castles. The roads were fantastic, traffic-free, and took us through spectacular countryside. The 100 miles each day whizzed by, and all too soon, we were on our way back to Roscoff to catch the return ferry. We experienced nothing but warm hospitality and I would recommend Brittany as a brilliant area to explore by bike.
This year we are planning a one-month tour of the UK, again with the help of our old Adventure Bike Rider magazines, spending a large portion of the time in Scotland. Let’s hope the weather is just as good.
A socially distanced ride out as restrictions ease
A plan for a day out on the bikes began forming on WhatsApp the second lockdown guidelines allowed it. Like excited kids being told you could go to the park again, a run around the beautiful north coast of Northern Ireland was planned. It was great to enjoy the experience of meeting your mates for a bike ride once again, along with the excitement of discussing plans for the next big trip away. Biking is one of the best ways to social distance, but you can’t beat a ride out with friends!