Green and Water Laning with Matt and Liz

Today we had a bimble out with our friends Matt and Liz – another couple we have been fortunate enough to meet who too are looking to do a around the world motorcycle trip in 2013!  Like me, Liz is a newbie rider and has only just recently passed her Module 2 and like Sam, Matt is a more proficient rider with years of experience riding on and off road!  So all in all we make up quite a good riding group!

Roman Roads AHOY!

Being Mastermind of local byways, we let Matt lead the way up to the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire border where he introduced us to a Roman road he took Liz the week prior.  Gritty and potholed we had much fun bouncing along… for me this gave me the opportunity to practice my core skills I learned at the Wheeldon Off-Road training centre a few weeks prior!  Straight legged, bull dog posed and leaning in and out of corners I was loving it!

Gravel Hill… Whhheeee *splat*

A good few miles into it we approach a fallen tree where beyond lay a shadowed slope hidden by the forage of shrubs.  Liz had mentioned a few times she wasn’t particularly keen on this section but courageously leading the way she wound her way passed the tree and disappeared down the hill.  I then follow up not really knowing what to expect… only to find myself on a steep but relatively short gravelly descent.  Upon heading round the corner I spot that Liz has managed to tumble off and is slowly standing up… without thinking I brake… jerkily… on the front and guess what?!  You got it… WHOOSH, front end goes and I’m hugging a bush!

Laughing I jump up and jog on down to Liz to check she’s dandy and help her up with the bike!  As her first off there’s a celebratory high five all round!  Matt joins us and I trundle back up to recover Hobbes who has a minor injury of a slightly kinked back brake!  Nothing new there ;)  Sam and I tug him back up and I hop on all good again.  Liz then manages to make a smart recovery and slowly and carefully disappears around the corner, followed by me equally as slow and cautiously.  At the bottom we’re joined seconds later by Matt and Sam who cane it down (show off’s ;)) and whizz through a nearby puddle!  Good times!

Swimming Lessons

Off we go again and then a mile later slow up as Matt approaches a river crossing which has burst it’s banks.  To the side there’s a wee hump back bridge but dismounting Matt wanders a third of the way across the river to judge whether or not it’s bike-able.  At knee depth it’s not looking too bad and he wades back, hops on his bike and gives it a go. A third of the way through, Matt’s going strong but alas! as he enters half way Matt goes from being at knee depth to fully submerged!  Cracked up, Liz, Sam and I applaud from the side and decide perhaps the bridge is a better option! Lesson learned?  Walk the full length before attempting! Sam wades on in and helps yank the bike back to dry land where they proceed to drain it as much as possible.

Attempting to kick start it, the bike was not having it and the boys decide the only way it will work would be to empty the engine via the spark plug… which was hidden under the front fork and had been untouched for years!  After a good hour of us attempting to unscrew the awkwardly angled and sized spark plug Matt decides to wheel the bike back to the road and call for recovery.  Being in the middle of no where, Sam rides off to pick up some tow rope from a local shop and when he returns Matt’s bike is attached to Stimpy and towed to the local pub so we can stay warm and snug whilst waiting!

The Snooty Fox

The pub was actually quite a funny wee place… quite posh and what what (“The Snooty Fox” says it all really ;)) so us rocking up covered in mud on noisy bikes and squeaky rally boots made a few people turn their heads!  Unfortunately they had just stopped serving food so cuppa tea’s and plenty of crisps ensued along with chatter and chin wagging!

An hour later Matt’s bike was picked up with Liz’s too and we part and leave behind a great afternoon of off roading fun and joy!

Video to come of this adventure (mind, carefully edited as Sam neglected to switch off his head cam when he disappeared behind a bush for a quick whizz!! Glad we watched it along – completely X rated!!) and more trips ahead which we cannot wait for!  Thanks again to Matt and Liz for a fab afternoon!

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