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Thread: Round 5: Yuletide Ramble

  1. #33
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    Titanic, that goes down well........

  2. #34
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    Colne to Shipston on Stour



    I've lost my glasses Good job I have a spare pair.

    Well, the weather is much better today… probably as good as we've had yet on this trip.

    We're all off to Toad's Christmas Curry shindig, so it's time to put all of this clean living on the back burner and party it up a little The options had been to leave the bike with ballistic to get a lift with Mr K as he passes through in Amanda Panda, or make my own way out to the Cotswolds.

    A breakfast helps, but who eats vegetarian sausages for heavens sake? They should be made illegal. 'What do you think of the sausages' I'm asked. 'Rubbish' I reply, without really thinking to be a little more tactful. 'Oh, they're vegetarian, you know' I'm told. That figures. The things we do to accommodate the other special people in our lives. Egg, tomato, mushroom and toast and Anadin extra make up today's early start power combo.

    The Google Maps little weather overlay shows promising things: A toasty 3 degrees in Shrewsbury (ooooh), and untypically tropical 4 degrees in Worcester (aaaahhh).

    So given I'm travelling North to South, and will be heading to the left of our cosy little island, who could resist a trip down the roads of the Welsh Borders? To satisfy that craving for Craven Arms…. to rendezvous with your old chum Leo Minster…

    Gritty work is done to get over towards the A49.

    I've never been to Oulton Park so I decide to go and see what I can see. The main gate is half open so I bimble in for a little look round. Looks quite nice there, actually. I'll have to go to a meet there one day.



    There seems to be no one around at all so I tootle on in to the Paddock area.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the winner of the inaugural Winter Ramble Rubber Duck Rallye Challenge..



    .. and get a few more nice souvenir piccies.



    There's not a soul around aside from an older gent reading a paper behind the wheel of his Nissan Canyonero truck. He looks over the top of his glasses at the trespasser oik. I'm not sure he approves.

    Out we go. There's a nice little run to join up with the main drag, too. Splendid stuff. Time for a stop in Tiverton at the Lock Gate Café where I have a Bacon Sandwich. That's better. The wrongs of the morning are righted and all is well with the world.

    The roads are very wet, lots of standing water but I'm lucky and have missed the rain. The riding is engaging and fun and the going good along the border roads. I'm moving along well and passing little pockets of traffic, unlocking and making my way through them like I'm cracking little puzzles. It makes me appreciate the qualities of the GS, how tractable it is, and since the remap how more willing it is to roll on in 5th.. Oh and the small matter of just how good the Conti trail attacks work in the wet weather

    Later in the afternoon I get the message 'Low Battery' from the Zumo. Eh? Blummin flip, it's in the cradle! I stop and have a quick clean but don't seem to be able to get it to power up from the bike. Luckily I've got USB power, so I take it off and stick it on there for a while to put a little more back in to it. Hope it will do the trick as I can't says I know where I'm going tonight.. Oops.

    Worcester way now and darkness has descended. I stop at a filling station to see if I can get any more life out of the Zumo mount.

    A strong gust of wind comes from nowhere and blows my Caberg lid off of the seat on to the deck, splat. An apologetic looking lad scoops it, ad the visor that's come off and hands back to me. Feckity feck. Well that's that then. Double blast.

    Fortunately the USB charge had given the GPS just enough juice. I navigate around Evesham and the lanes that take me across the Shipston.

    I arrive at Toad hall just before six and there's already a quorum of tosserfolk. We have in the roll call Mr and Mrs Toad of course, joined by Mr and Mrs Dave78, Sgt Bilco, Ash, Womble, Mr K, ballistic and Rasher and it's not long before we're strolling in to town and to the pub (who'd have thought?).

    A warm up lager followed by a tasty HPA at the Horseshoe



    And then it's the long haul to The White Bear (must be all of fifty yards).

    There's a Victorian Market thing going on outside in the main street of Shipton. We know, because we can see it out there through the window of the pub We do eventually venture outside where a kind lady takes our picture and gives us cakes.



    Next port of call: The Black Horse Inn for dinner. Terrible place, that.. I mean.. Look..



    ..where most excellent Thai meal is served Double bonus!



    And then Ash takes the wheel of the wagon to deliver us back to base







    Back to Toad's HQ..

    I do like a nice bit o' cheese, Gromit.





    Best not to ask for more details on the complaints policy



    A wee nightcap..



    What a terrific evening



    Four of us camp out overnight in the living room. Yer man Womble is asleep I think before his head hits the pillow. Snore-a-rama.. like being by the speaker stack when The Who played at Charlton Athletic's ground

    I'm thankful for those little luminous ear-plug thingies...

  3. #35
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    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

  4. #36
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    Good to meet you Rob

    Now get on with the next instalment
    2008 R1200GSA
    "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much" Oscar Wilde
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe"Albert Einstein
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction."Albert Einstein

  5. #37
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    feckin brave man getting in anything with Ash behind the wheeleek


    Stop ! .................................................. .......................... Carry on !!!

  6. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    feckin brave man getting in anything with Ash behind the wheeleek


    Stop ! .................................................. .......................... Carry on !!!

    VERY HARSH................
    Perfekt ist nicht gut genug.

    UKGSER-A place where I've wasted so much time, learned so much, laughed a lot and cried a few times.

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  7. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post

    VERY HARSH................
    but true

  8. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    but true
    bastaard
    Perfekt ist nicht gut genug.

    UKGSER-A place where I've wasted so much time, learned so much, laughed a lot and cried a few times.

    Every bed of roses has pricks in it!

  9. #41
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    Cheers..

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    Good to meet you Rob
    Absolutely.. and you Dan..

    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    Now get on with the next instalment
    Coming right up

  10. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8roberto View Post
    Four of us camp out overnight in the living room. Yer man Womble is asleep I think before his head hits the pillow. Snore-a-rama.. like being by the speaker stack when The Who played at Charlton Athletic's ground

    I'm thankful for those little luminous ear-plug thingies...
    It's the cheese's fault I tell you, I never snore when I'm at home

    Anyway, I don't know what you're complaining about, everyone seemed to have a really great night's sleep (as far as I know )

    It was great to meet you Rob and I promise to read your rambling blogs from now on!
    The OOaa bird is so-called because it lays square eggs

  11. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Womble View Post
    It's the cheese's fault I tell you, I never snore when I'm at home

    Anyway, I don't know what you're complaining about, everyone seemed to have a really great night's sleep (as far as I know )

    It was great to meet you Rob and I promise to read your rambling blogs from now on!


    Likewise Dave.. great meeting ye

    Here's to the next gathering..

  12. #44
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    Shipston on Stour to Hook Norton

    I slept well; a definite vote for the Exped Downmat which ballistic had kindly carted down for me to use. Thanks kindly old bean

    Morning time and I'm gently woken from my slumber with the distant sound of sizzling and the aroma of fresh bread..



    Tastes as good as it looks, peeps



    After a very leisurely breakfast there's some fresh air to be taken.

    No prizes for guessing who owns this particular Panda..



    Effort is spent but the lads can't get the quad going..



    I get treated to a ride in Toad's Ural outfit, I wedge myself into the sidecar. Loved it.. made my weekend..!



    Rumble chug clunk rumble..



    Remember, it's not about the destination.. It's about the journey



    Slow ya' know.. It's the way to go



    A terrific and wonderful thing. Me likey… me want!



    Freshly made Pizza is presented for lunch



    An excellent evening and morning.. With fabulous hospitality! This is the third stay at a tosser residence on this particular ramble.. I'm becoming a bit of a sofa surfer.

    Anyway, its Saturday afternoon and we're off to The Pear Tree inn at Hook Norton.



    So there'll be more beer (are my reports becoming predictable?)



    Today we'll be joined by two more tosser folk, weavo and fishbird. It'll be a welcome trip down memory lane, being the first GStronaut reunion since our last trip back in April 2010. Its been waaayyy toooooo long chaps..!
    Memory Lane is handily located adjacent to Brewery Lane, which of course, works very well for me



    Ash kindly takes on the unenviable task of chauffer to ship half a dozen well oiled tossers around the Cotswolds. What a star!

    First stop is Chipping Norton and The Chequers. London Porter on tap? Don't mind if I do..



    Next stop is The Norman Knight in Whichford. Splendid little pub, and home to The Patriot Brewery. A tasty mild is served, then something else that I can't remember but I liked it. Tasty, tasty.



    Yours truly and young Morgan, a fine lad with fine taste in trousers. Morgan owns a pet brick on a rope (not pictured).



    I take in a bit of new music as we're chauffeured around. I've not listened to any Muse in quite a while, but this one's a winner as we carve through the darkness..



    As the lyrics go.. "Out of control… we're out of control…".. Surely, that's not a reference to Ash's driving, is it?
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    feckin brave man getting in anything with Ash behind the wheeleek


    We're then off back to the Pear Tree to meet up with Jim and Dave.



    Toad, with his expertise on all things nosebag steers us away from dining at the pub and instead spirits us away to a very good curry house. Another inspired culinary choice. Chicken Jalfrezi and rice with a Chilli Cheese Naan Bread, washed down with an ice cold pint of Cobra

    And then it's back to the pub, for more fine ale and a ridiculously long game of 'Round the Clock' which took ages probably because we were a) mostly pissed and b) rubbish at darts. We got in guest players at one stage... here's Hook Norton local Nobby chucking the arrows.



    I do finish the game off in style, though



    The second game is abandoned

    Toad and Ash hit the road around midnight. Weavo and ballistic retire to bed.

    Fishbird and I stay up for a few more ales. The best o' gear, this..



    It must be around 1.30am when we turn in and the folks there were perfectly happy to serve ale late on. Cracking!

    I head off to bed and I'm most certainly elephant's trunk.


  13. #45
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    Nice one Rob, sounds like you've had a cracking weekend!

  14. #46
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    Shipston to Hook looks like a great day was had , and what a way to start, that breakfast has got me salivating....

  15. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Nice one Rob, sounds like you've had a cracking weekend!
    Quote Originally Posted by JayC View Post
    Shipston to Hook looks like a great day was had , and what a way to start, that breakfast has got me salivating....


    Gem of a weekend

  16. #48
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    Hook Norton.. And back to Headquarters (sigh)

    Did we actually get to plan anything for GStro 2013 lads? Don't ask me because.. erm... I can't remember!

    I don't mind telling that I feel pretty bloody rough this morning. As I ordered the last pint of twelve days last night I sort of thought 'why are you having more, you've had enough' but the taste buds were in charge and the brain wasn't.

    We have a pretty average brekkie at the Pear Tree before everyone drifts off. Dan's view about the food was a good one by our reckoning. Of the four breakfasts presented only two make it to the finish line.

    Everyone begins to make their way home and that's what I've got to do, too

    Urgh, I feel ropey. The bike gear is donned over a long period. Riding is at no more than a glacial pace. Some music is selected to relax my mood. Maybe it'll help me avoid a chunder. I hope so...



    More relaxing tunes.



    ...I'm guided by the lyrics here.. "Taking short cuts is often a quick road to trouble." So I select 'fastest route' on my barely charged Zumo, which I forgot to plug in as I was three parts Oliver Twist when I got to the room last night, and make for the A44.

    A most beautiful song to whisk me through the crisp winter morning..



    Feeling a bit better.

    I navigate Oxford and decide to be the slightest touch more intrepid by heading through Thame, up and over Bledlow Ridge and down into Wycombe. Finally it's the dullsville M40 and M25 combo, to the Waltham Abbey turnoff, into Epping Forest to the Tea Hut at High Beech. There's only half a dozen bikes out today.
    The tea is good and there's a cheeky bacon roll. I feel all new again

    And then I'm on my way to deliver some fruit cake to a certain little lady who's having a bad day at work.

    Nearly home. I almost get SMIDSY'd on the Gallows Corner Roundabout. Fair do's, you could see the driver was completely mortified when did see me. Hopefully he'll look a bit harder in future.

    And then home it is. The familiar ritual of hopping about on the door mat trying to take off your filthy gear without treading on the nice carpet.

    Definitely got music on my mind today… I even see it in the take away menus stuffed through the letter box in my absence..



    "Wok San..you don't have to put on the red light… those days are over.. You don't have to sell your body to the night.."

    Home… and more than a few chores to do. A bit of time has passed whilst I've been away..



    Play.com have made a delivery.. so it's time to start wrapping up the pressies for those lucky people!



    Chris's gifts slot nicely into the 'In' tray..



    And that's it for Ramble 5.

    Cheers!



    Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!
    R




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