A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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Ride Date - 15 September 2020

By Sharon Parker

So I have an unusual problem. I have space, too much space. This is an unfamiliar feeling to me. I live in an over populated town within a tiny house, space is not my normal. Nor is it normal to find myself while packing for a trip away to discover I haven't enough stuff to fill all my Kreiga luggage. With no tent or sleeping bag and other camping equipment my bags are feeling deflated. I want to test Tour-A-Plank so I would like full luggage on the bike.
I have no choice then but to bring 3 jumpers instead of one, extras of everything is needed, even room for a casual coat and well err... books. The kitchen sink however remains behind - just. What a strange world of emptiness I have encountered.

I load up Envy. Tour-A-Plank takes all 4 bags, therefore 80 litres, with ease. I am not at ease. It's been a long time since I rode with a full load, probably a year ago. I am also fully aware not only have I not ridden with a load for a while I haven't ridden much in any manner this year. I'm bike unfit, I'm also unfit in general and today will be a long day. 

I climb upon my bike and wobble out of my road with some trepidation. I settle down soon enough on the familiar ride to Ren's abode.  

The stuffed toy Batty is a white bat and affixed to the back of the luggage on Sharon's Z250SL
Batty is secured and ready to ride while Tour-A-Plank takes the strain.

Once at Ren's I refuel with tea and then we refuel the bikes and set off on our adventure. The weather is extremely pleasant for the time of year and Envy hums contentedly as we leave the congestion of our home towns and find the space that has been lacking for far too long. 

After such a long time in lockdown and very little travel since even the A6 is a delight to ride, especially when the hills appear. I don't know why a lump of rock that rises out of the ground always make me smile but it does. I do feel myself begin to unwind a little but not the sudden release I have felt on previous trips once I encounter my first open space. With all that has gone on in my life of late I'm pretty tightly coiled. I think I'll need more time on the road to loosen up this time.

Although I am enjoying the ride my arm and neck twinge painfully as the day draws on and I am glad we decided to break the journey to the ferry with a break in Carlisle. I'm tired by the time we reach the Travelodge and therefore happy to know we can just grab the bags off the bikes and be straight into our room for the night.

Tour-A-Plank has preformed perfectly and the luggage stayed in place with no sliding around.  The bags are easy to remove once at the hotel. 

I jump on the back of Ren's bike to go into town for supplies and on returning the sun gives us a glorious display as it says goodbye to another day. Life can be cruel and hard, unfair and all manner of terrible things and then you turn your head and you can see beauty still resides all around you.  

The setting sun turns the whole sky a resplendent orange contrasting with the grey of the clouds and the distant mountains. The pylons, though not normally an attractive feature - more often a blot on the landscape, somehow enhance the otherworldly feel. It gives me an eerie apocalyptic feeling but fortunately despite a most strange and unreal world at the moment due to Covid-19 it just heralds the end of a day and not the world. 

Orange skies with black clouds, electricity pylons outlined against the dramatic skiesApocalypse Carlisle style 

The bed as always in a Travelodge is nice and comfortable. It feels really good to be travelling again, it also feels good to end the day warm and snuggly. 

If you'd like to advertise here contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Northern Ireland - A Covid Prologue The lead-up to this journey seems to have been a bewildered shambles. So how did The Dynamic Muppets manage to rescue their trip from the tangled mess of 2020?
It's A Bumpy Lumpy Ride Sharon's life is never simple. While getting ready for maybe, possibly, perhaps going to Northern Ireland she takes a moment to explain why she's been so quiet on here.
An Easy Ride To Carlisle It's an easy, lazy and relaxed start to this holiday with a handful of miles to cover and the weather behaving itself for once.
Space Sharon's luggage situation has improved but it's going to take a while for her to unwind, chill out and settle into today's journey. Aaaaaaand relax.
A Ferry And Hint Of Northern Ireland Ren is doing what Ren does best - flapping.
A Dip Into Irish Waters Today's lesson - don't place yourself behind angry small mythical critters.
Causeway And Coast Getting into The Giant's Causeway poses a challenge for a miser like Ren, can he avoid his wallet seeing the light of day? The Causeway Coastal Route and Torr Head Scenic Route may ease the shock for him.
Giants And Hobbits Sharon enjoys a rather wonderful day exploring more of the Causeway Coastal Route. Languishing in luxury on the back of Ren's bike while he does all the hard work. Sort of.
Ards Peninsula, Wonderfully Modest Today it's the turn of Ards Peninsula to be explored. Throw in the regular dose of disorganised nonsense and some fair weather, it might be a good day!
A Bit Of Irish History A history lesson and tomfoolery by The Queen Of Rain. Thing is, it's not raining. Something is wrong here, very wrong.
Lough Neagh And Money The Dynamic Muppets circumnavigate the largest lake in the British Isles. Is this the sort of place where a prudent miser like Ren would fit in?
Reflections Another watery day in Northern Ireland and still no rain on the horizon. Sharon contemplates the many and varied lives we get to live.
Ferry, Friends And Mostly Scotland In a remarkable twist Ren is not flapping! Nor is he ready to go home. But alas and alack 'tis time for this all-too-brief inspection of Northern Ireland to end. Take comfort in Scotland Ren.
North Pennines And Epilogue It's the end of the journey for the dynamic muppets yet there's still time for a little detour, or two. What did Ren make of Northern Ireland?

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Sharon, I'm glad your load was a little lighter, well it wasn't really was it.
How many jumpers!?!
I'm glad to see Ren's ear reduction surgery went well. They're still a bit pink.
08/10/2020 13:05:27 UTC
ROD said :-
I don't know why a lump of rock that rises out of the ground always make me smile but it does.

You are not alone Sharon, I also love those lumps of rock.
Throw in a few massive puddles its even better!
08/10/2020 18:09:15 UTC
Bogger said :-
Sharon, never send yourself on a guilt trip for having too much space. Been there, done that, then cursed when I've been unable to fit supplies onto the bike on my travels.

09/10/2020 08:26:43 UTC

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