Covid -19 has put a stop to almost everything we like to do, not just for us at Everyday Superbikes but for the World.
Any trips abroad or nights away we had planned for 2020 are not going to happen, we are hoping for 2021 to be able to travel abroad and put another tick in the countries ridden in list, but as for this year we are just having days out instead. Here are some of them so far.
Towards the Middle of May the restrictions were lifted, though still on furlough Col and I decided to have a ride out to Clun Castle, it was closed as we had expected but the carpark was open, even thought he toilets were locked up which made things a little despirate. Myself and Col are at the age where toilet stops are needed more frequently especially in my case. We stopped on the carpark and found a nice seated area where we could be 2 metres apart incase anyone reported us, as this was something that was going on, opened our lunch boxes and had some cheese and pickled sandwiches, (the homemade sandwich of choice for us bikers).
We used the A489 out of Craven Arms, it never fails to impress, It was good to be back on the bikes.
The weather was good as infact the whole of May was.
One good thing about the world in lock down was fresher air, there were no planes and only a few vehicles on the road, if this had an effect on the weather I dont know, but as we were on furlough the nice weather was welcome, and let people like me get some nice outdoor jobs done and bike wise it was looking good form the cleaning it had had over the last 4 weeks.
A few days later Col suggested a trip down to Malvern. Its only around 60 minutes from where we live. Its not usually a destination we would go to as to get there its not along the most exciting roads compared with our usual ones, but we hadnt ridden there for years.
Cafe's still weren't open so we decided to make use of the bum bag we use when away on our european adventures again and carry our flasks.
The B4232 (Jubilee Drive) seemed to be the impressive road of this ride, having a few good twists and turns as it followed the contours of the hill.
As social distancing was still at 2 metres we found a carpark with 2 benches close to each other so we could have a chat. Col said he would be back to work in 2 weeks, but I was going back to working from home the following day.
We headed back through Bromyard and Tenbury, the roads were quieter than usual but the traffic was definately busier than the few days earlier as restrictions were slowly being lifted.
When I got home I discovered a leaking fork seal, so booked that in for a repair for later in the week as the local bike shop had managed to stay open through it all.
Evesham and Stourport
I had been called back off furlough but had 3 days holiday to use up so took them the week after going back to work, Col was still on Furlough but was due to go back the start of the following week.
I suggested we could try a route we hadn't done before, this took us to Evesham's Hampton Ferry, I place I spent alot of time at when I was a kid, and where I met my first girlfriend.
We parked up by the river, sat the 2 metres apart and watched a family of Swans on the water and the world go by for a while before headed to Broadway, Bidford on Avon and then to Stourport Common.
There were a couple of good roads worth a mention, the A44 up fish hill by Broadway, and then the A422, neither would make it onto our best road section, but the curves on the A44 going up were quite fun.
Up on top of Broadway by the tower the carparks were full, people were flocking to places of interest where some social distancing was being practiced but not by everyone, Bidford the carparks were closed to all vehicles which is why we headed back to Stourport where you were just warned to social distance. So we ate cheese and pickle sandwiches..well Col did as I had forgot to take mine out of the fridge so ended up with a bag of crisps and a cake.
Bike felt good now with fork seal fixed.
Mitchell's Fold Stone Circle
In June Wales was still in lockdown, so we couldnt go there as we would usually tend to try and do as its not that far to the border from where we are. We decided to use the A488 a favourite road of ours that goes up through Hope Valley which is near Shrewsbury. Once you have gone over the top of the hill at Hope you see a sign for a stone circle, this is in England however you need to cross the border for a few hundred metres. Then follow the path back into England to the carpark. This was a beautiful spot with great views in all directions. Again everywhere to get a drink from was closed so we sat there for a good half an hour, with flask in hand and breathing that lovely fresh air.
From here we headed back towards Ludlow and home. For me this was my favourite ride fpr as long time.
Long Mynd, Bur Way
We set out with plans of watching the gliders taking off from the glider station up on the top of the Long Mynd. The run of good weather had took a turn for the worst over night and the winds had picked up to what the phone app said was a light breeze, no mention of any rain. We made the trip and as we got closer to Church Stretton we found that the hills had heavy clouds around them which let go of its payload just as we arrived.
We rode up the Bur Way and found a parking spot, it was blooming cold and wet, the winds were definately not light, you could feel it slowing the bike as it hit us head on.
We didn't stay long as the wind bought the drizzle and it was starting to soak through our leathers, just down the road is the Lazy Trout cafe, which according to Facebook was open. It was like being hundreds of miles away, the sun was out with the light winds the phone app had promised, yet was only 10 minutes away from that wet and windy hilltop. We parked up, social disatnced and enjoyed our first cafe mug of coffee for months, things were getting better!
This wasnt really a destination as such. We had rode past this place in the past and as I share the name thought it only fitting that I had a photo of my bike parked outside.
It wasn't open yet, pubs were still in lockdown but I would like to come again when it is open. Apparently my ancestors lived in the Hall at Leighton and the pub was named after them.
Bala and Barmouth
July we had discussed that it was looking like trips to the coast were not going to happen and were saddened that we wouldn't get to see the sea this year.
The news announced that Wales was back open for business, thank goodness, so we headed off to Bala using the B4391 a favourite road of ours, stopped at the lake for a coffee, then followed the road for another 45 minutes on an nothing special road down to Barmouth and to see the sea.
My bike needed a new rear tyre and on the last MOT the guy told me the chain would need replacing soon, As I had a week off I got both jobs done the day before we went for this ride. I was impressed how much quieter the new gold coloured chain appears to be yet it was a DID the same as the previous one, no one mention stiff links! It had been an expensive week.
We have done rides to other areas but nothing new that I havent wrote about before.
We have a few more plans to visit new roads in the UK this year, depending on the covid situation ofcourse.