Monday, 8 June 2015

Bernard Smith and Sam Manicom BMW R90/100's 

Haggs Bank bunkhouse is a small campsite and accomodation establishment on the road through Teeside that includes *Hartside Cafe. Through the small town of Alston the roads in the area are a mecca for all cyclists, bikers and Coast to Coast hikers. 

*The 1900+ feet above sea level Hartside Top Cafe, Alston CA9 3BW has some great views across the west after you climb the excellent switchbacks and hairpins. (Travel from Penrith)
This weekend saw a gathering of adventure bikers with a plethora of bikes and people of all sizes and shapes. Some took advantage of the bunkhouse rooms that offer 4-8 person bunk beds along with full kitchen facilities lounge and wash rooms.
The braver bikers chose to camp, some taking the dirt track ramps to the top fields where the view is better but the wind over the weekend was very hard on tents and their inhabitants.
I took a small and very inexpensive tent as it is light and easy to pitch. That was my first mistake.
The £15 tent bought for my nephew some years ago is 3 inches to short and 2ft to low to be comfortable for longer that a night.
My pitch in the trees was a good choice as the pines did their best to break up the high blasts that eventually ripped the rented marquee to pieces on Saturday.
The event was a part of the regular motorcycle adventure and off road season that allows stories to be told, trips discussed and presentations made for those who had been.
Sam Manicom did his talk on his trip around the world, whilst others with no books to sell just chatted about routes, gear and local tracks.
Saturday saw some go off on many ride outs whilst Bernard Smith and myself wandered 22 miles over the hills to Takoda to see old friend Paul Holroyd. 
The wind was gusting up to 50 MPH and travelling over single track tarmac roads that twist and turn over open moor land. It was a battle of skill and luck, with a bit of heave and hoe. On the way back i got a large nail in my rear tyre which spoiled the return over Hartside as i crept at 30 MPH.
Back home on Sunday afternoon, the tyre got me home despite the plugs that I used to block two holes I found.

The picture above is of Sam and Bernard's BMW R 100's they used to go around the world. Humbling to see these two old timers that combine simple engineering with robust reputations together in one place.
Nice to see their bikes also.
next stop

Overland Event 18th June Great Missenden.

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