Sunday, 13 September 2015

Solo ride out in Northumberland

So it turns out last night, I suddenly had a free day for the Sunday... bonus... a few quick FB posts and texts found nobody around to play with so I decided to venture out alone for once...

I'm leading a couple of ride outs for the camping weekend the Northumbria TRF lads are running in October and there were a few lanes I fancied doing, so today became a bit of a recce!

Lucy went for a wander along some of Hadrian's Wall and visited the Vindolanda Roman Museum, which left me free to mooch at my own pace and take lots of pics too... bonus!

My route took me north from Vindolanda, then back south via a little ford called the Ash, where the farmer and his wife are apparently very unfriendly... the 'Road Blocked' sign at the gate gave the game away, so I dutifully stuck to the trail, switched off my bike etc all in an effort to keep the peace!

I was very surprised to find the footbridge near the ford had chains across it... isn't that illegal??

The ford was a rocky little beggar, with a bomb hole in it, which apparently the farmer has dug out with his JCB!! Life really is too short for this kind of mentality in my opinion... Surprise, surprise there was no blockage either!

Bogged down - the first time!
Bogged down - the second time
My next lane crossed moorland, peaty, boggy & rutted in places, a place where the trail disappears for awhile and then re-appears, the drainage ditches are deep and if the weather is bad it could be a very harsh place to be. 

I got the bike bogged down in the peat twice, both time dropping into a hidden hole, it took some time to get the 400 back out each time and I was sweating a lot by the time I'd done it... mostly by throwing the bike on it's side and dragging it sideways... mmm very stylish!!

A bit of a bog fest at the northern end

En-route I met Mick, one of the TRF lads who was doing a run out today for some of the new boys... the three of them all looked like they were having fun, unfortunately my timings didn't work out otherwise it would have been good to meet another bunch of folks with a passion for bikes! Still a good gossip was had by all before we each headed off in opposite directions.

Err , where is the trail??
Next up was Bellingham to see if the petrol garage was open, it was so a top up and a good chat with the nice lady confirmed that the Garage would be open on Sundays now and that the weekend of the TRF Camp there would be a marathon running through Kielder Forest, all good info.

Bellingham fuel, now open on Sundays apparently.

Park Benches in Bellingham

One of the many things I love about trail riding is the sense of history you get as you pass through a landscape. All of the trails and villages are ancient things, they've seen more folk pass by than most of us ever will in our lifetimes, the bench I sat on to eat my lunch was the one dedicated to PC Carroll, I've never met him or heard of him yet here I am writing about him! I'll be there again in a few weeks, so time to ask about him then I think...

A fabulous old coaching bridge...

How cool is this lane??

Re-opened Lane paperwork...

Re-opened lanes are the best!
Causeway over the lake, ace...

Err is it alright to breathe??

Re-opened in 2010, ace stuff!
My final lane of the day was a beaut, some small rock steps on very slippy limestone and then a blast up to the road before a final run back to Vindolanda and a roast dinner in Carlisle!

not quite... maybe next time!

Another fab day out playing like a kid with his toys in the mud and river!! 

Enough said!!