Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day seven: final stretch, Cheshire to Somerset via Wales

The completion of the story of my journey lead me a meandering route along the borders of Wales.  one place I really wanted to visit was Powys Castle.  It's significant for personal and now rather sad reasons.  My former partner and I had some happy times here and in the county,  decades previously.

The  gates of the castle are super,I think,  for their wonderful Dragon castings.  There is something a little dragonish about Ruby too.  The red emphasizes this for me,  fuel for my imagination at least.

Flexible side panels held back to fix leak
Speaking of fuel,  the biggest problem of my trip came to light aroundCraven Arms. I became aware of a very strong angel of peril as I was peering along in slow traffic. I looked down and could see my right leg looked a but damp on what was a dry day.  Fuel leak!  Fortunately I was right next to a cafe and ready for a break so I pulled in and switched off,  ready to run if things got fiery.  My luggage was pretty easy to get off the seat so I could pull the side panels away and then lift the rear of the tank.  These early polypropylene parts are super flexible so I could hold them out of the way just with bungee straps.  the leak was because one of the peril pipes had softened and partly split where it pushes over the fuel tap spigot. I had not used a clip because it interfered with a screw on the rear of the tap assembly.
So then there I was,  back in sunny Somerset. I had ridden 1660 miles of mostly A roads in England, Scotland and Wales on my adventures. Avoiding motorways had added many hours to my trip. But the roads WERE my trip. My rear end was sore, certainly. The humming of the road had reverberated deep within me, a special kind of fatigue. A special kind of understanding.

Would I do it again?

Yes,  without question.  Motorways are a grind,  necessitating hours of concentration on the manoeuvres of cars and lorries  with a constant wind roar. A roads are always changing, in and out of towns, villages and cities,  winding through vallies and  over moors.  More concentration on junctions and traffic,  including  pedestrians and occasionally crazy parking shenanigans. But more character by far.  And with a big torquey  motor,  is not a slog, it's a  lumbering dance to be mastered and within which much satisfaction may be derived.

Thanks Ruby.

The  End

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