To continue a running theme, I went out playing on the CRM again yesterday. This time there was four of us in total, all KTMs apart from my trusty Honda. The direction for the day was North West and we ended up in northern Cumbria in the Brampton area.
The points of interest:
- Spending two thirds of the day in heavy fog where I couldn’t see a rider less than 10m in front of me at times. Mist on the visor was a real problem.
- Having a farmer on a quad weaving to stop us overtaking and then stopping and complaining about our speed (on a tarmac road).
- The only fall of the day while crossing a ford where after being bounced off line by a rock, I deciding to launch the bike up the opposite bank in the wrong place rather than risk falling into the water.
- Watching the bike falling off the sidestand while I was holding a gate open
- Finding they still have railway crossings with gatekeepers who open the gates for you. He seemed surprised to see us.
- Seeing and travelling along a rather quaint ‘disused’ byway with worn hedgerows either side, completely greened over and partially filled with debris.
- Finding I hadn’t quite nipped the oil drain plug up tightly enough since it was dripping. Oops.
- Riding along a rut, following the run leader when he suddenly changed ruts but not having the time to plan/execute a changeover myself. People never do that without good reason. Sure enough, the rut deepened substantially and I thought I was in trouble but somehow the bike made it through it albeit with me flailing around :).
Special mention goes to the landowner in Northern Cumbria in need of anger management lessons. I can see both sides of this but the fact is he has a public road running through the middle of his property. Yes, its not very actively used which he should really be thankful for. It would only be passable on two wheels due to the treeline around the ford at the bottom of the hill. It was obvious not a lot has passed that way for a while although you could clearly see where the road is.
We pay our road tax/MOT/insurance and hence have a right to use it and we shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse he hurled at us. I can’t remember when I last herd that amount of swearing and combined with the threats about putting things through the bike wheel spokes amongst the other abuse, it was not a pleasant experience. It amounted to bullying and intimidation which is not something I agree with so I suspect we’ll be back there. A report will go in suggesting the council rights of way officer pays him a visit too.
On a more cheerful note, we covered quite a considerable mileage (150+?) and whilst it was a long day, the trails were much easier than last weekend and I’m mostly saddlesore rather than totally drained of energy like last week. The pillion seat is actually quite comfortable to sit on when you need a change of position. The only damage to the bike I’m aware of is that in the last 5 miles back to where the van was parked, my numberplate shattered due to pressure from the spring mountings I have it on. It’ll need a new plate before the imminent MOT (and an improved spring mounting design).
Now, I just need to clean the bike and clothing…