05th JUNE 2011 – Highs and lows

Well it’s been at least two weeks since the last update, primarily because we’ve been so busy, but i guess that is a good thing. So what has happen in the past couple of weeks….? We’ve had a trip up to Hawick for the Common Riding (horse riding) event, Chris had his first green lane-ing (spelling?!) adventure, and my pannier rack arrived from Gabriel (Zen Overland, Somerset).

The trip up to Hawick was a pretty exhausting ride up north into the Scottish Boarders, setting off at 5.30pm after work on Friday 20th May. Luckily the rain had ceased, but the wind was heavy and the M6 not too pleasant. Arrived late friday night at Tricia’s house in Hawick (one of Chris’s sisters), and were welcomed in by some energy-food pasta made by Penny, one of Chris’s other sisters. The other remaining sister, Ally, was chilling with friend Pamela in preparation for Saturday’s big ride. Elika, Penny’s daughter, was soundly sleeping. What a lucky man Chris was that night, surrounded by 6 women and only one bathroom!

We were up bright and early on saturday morning, myself, Ally and Pamela eager to meet our horses in Hawick town centre. All glammed-up, horsey style, we met our steeds for the day.


Although slightly more unpredictable than a motorbike, i felt at home. The horses and riders set off at 12.30pm from the centre of town, all 200 of us… it wasn’t long until we were clear of the houses and riding into the fields and moorland where we broke into a gallop, heading up and down the fells.

Chris meanwhile was giving ‘fairground rides’ to the locals on the back of his motorbike to pass the time until we all rejoined each other for a very wet picnic lunch at 3.30pm, beneath umbrellas. Horses and riders fed and watered, we set off again at 5pm for the ride back to Hawick, riding in at 8pm in a very wet and soggy state, but totally exhilarated, beaming from ear to ear.

That evening i was not only dreading waking up to being unable to move, but also dreading the reality of having to ride back home on the motorbike, while not be able to move. As it turned out, i wasn’t even able to sleep for the aching, so the morning only brought with it the opportunity of being able to stretch out the taut limbs and prepare for another 4 hours in the saddle. Saddle of the motorbike this time, and the journey back down through the Boarders and Cumbria where warnings of gales were being issued, bridges were closed and a 50mph speed limit was recommended on the M6 due to the high winds.

Cross country riding through the rolling hills of the Boarders before reaching the motorway made it worthwhile.

We made it home without incident, following which I had a good long soak in the bath to try to ease the muscles off… something I’m not sure we will have the luxury of being able to do in the depths of Argentina or Chile. Yikes.

A little something that i had been told about muscle strain was that it is the day after the day after that is always the worst. I can now definitely confirm that this is true – Monday morning saw me walking to work like John Wayne, wincing every step of the way.

The following Wednesday evening, while i was still (mildly) suffering from my marathon ride, Chris met up with a new acquaintance who had promised to take us green-lane-ing and show us the ropes. We had been warned that Manny is a bit crazy, but he seemed a nice kind of guy who assured us that he would ‘go easy on us’ . Chris took the bait and disappeared of into the outback of Rochdale and Ding Quarry. At 10pm Chris limped home with a snapped brake lever, bent sub-frame and a bruised ego.  Chris’s prize Dakar is now sadly a resident at the Adventure Bike Warehouse awaiting re-assembly under the watchful eye of Jono, the wiz-kid BMW bike mechanic.

While Chris’s bike was being dismantled, mine on the other hand was waiting to host Gabriel Bolton’s first custom-made pannier rack for the BMW650GS.


Following powder coating the rack was sent up by courier and gratefully received by one very happy lady. I duly passed onto an eagerly awaiting husband who, on saturday morning ran down to the car park to fit said rack to my bike. All holes, bolts and bracing were perfectly aligned and the rack fitted like a dream.

We would definitely say that Gabriel and his Dad have done a wonderful job – a skill they could surely make use of again and again for others who are finding it difficult (and expensive) to find pannier racks to fit their luggage and/or bikes. Find Gabriel at Zen Overland

The saddest moment of the last two weeks however, has got to be the final sale of my first motorbike; my 125 Suzuki Vanvan… it was taken away on the back of a trailer on Saturday morning, heading over to Southport where it will hopefully be met by another intrepid lady rider who will love it as I have. What a wonderful bike, and what a sorry end. If we didn’t need the money for our trip, I would have been inclined to keep it for keeps-sake.

And last but by no means least, while dining with friends, Laura and Paul last Friday, Paul had an ingenious idea for the adoption of our auto-com CB radio call-sign names (handles)…. what better names to choose than those of our ‘moviestar’ names. As most people are aware, your moviestar name is taken from the name of your first pet and your mother’s maiden name. It is therefore with great pleasure that we introduce ourselves to you, and will be known from this day forth as Rusty Clarkson and Squeak Davie.

Chris being Squeak of course!

Until next time, over and out!


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4 Responses to 05th JUNE 2011 – Highs and lows

  1. Kevin Maher says:

    ..and when you say “movie star” name, what you actually mean is “porn star” name?!
    Well – that was what your chosen technique was known for when I was at school.
    Good read though!

  2. Laura Brierley says:

    Can you choose your picture?! I wasn’t expecting that one!

  3. Laura Brierley says:

    Great names! Look forward to hearing of more Rusty and Squeak adventures. Hope the bike’s ok!
    Laura x

  4. Kate T says:

    Hope your saddle has recovered now!

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