Well hopefully my work will be finished by this weekend and I'll fly back to the US on 11/5, but there's always a chance I'll have to stay over yet another week.
If I'm still around, we'll have to try to meet since you'll be close.
annoyingly i won't have the bike or the car with me, so my ability to meet you will be limited to public transport or a bicycle
I think i'm staying with Sophie's Dad on the Friday night... We'll be probably going to a pub in Buckland Brewer, but on the Saturday we'll then have access to bicycles from his garage, so could cycle closer to you in you're busy on the Friday night.
What a fine evening spend chatting and drinking with Steve. These pictures were taken at the Coach and Horses Pub in Buckland Brewer, Bideford, Devon, UK (village, nearest town, county, and country for us yanks). My drive to this pub was about 25 miles as the crow flies and about 100 miles as I wandered down Devon country lanes narrower than my driveway trying to find the place and well as trying to find my hotel afterwards.
The pub is in an old thatched-roof building whose first-floor ceiling is barely over 6' high and the joists have sagged so with age that at places they're a good 8" below that. Even at the tallest places I had to slouch a bit to avoid bumping my head. Quite a nice local watering hole.
Steve mentioned that he's doing an Iron Butt ride soon from Lands End (tip of Cornwall) to some destination in northern Scotland and then riding around for several thousand miles and the ride is to fundraise for a volunteer emergency blood transport service that he favors. Sounds like a fabulous ride.
The coastal areas and moors of Cornwall and Devon have spectactular roads for riding. Lots of tiny twisting hilly roads. I drove on some with 15%, 16%, and even 20% grades. I sure wish I had leave available this trip to spend time riding on a rental motorcycle. Hopefully there'll be a next time.
So now I can say that I may be the only BTK member to have met up (and shared pints with) other members on 2 continents not my own, Christo in Australia and Steve in UK.
Thanks for the fun evening Steve and thanks for posting pics. Good luck in the maritime shipping business.
Actually the drive to and from the pub was not so much trouble as an adventure. Thankfully I'm fairly good at dead reckoning, but I did pass thru a lot of named places on my way home. Far more names than I can remember.
Something exciting about driving down narrow country lanes, 6-8 feet wide with tall hedges immediately on either side, no wide spots to enable vehicles to make it past each other, late at night, in a foreign country, driving a manual shift right-hand drive car, with only the occasional sign indicating that the closest named place, oftentimes nothing more than a crossroads, is a couple of miles down that narrow road.
I reckon it's part of a secret British plan to foil invaders. Out in the country, the roads may have names, but they're rarely signposted and instead of house or PO box number, they use only postal codes to indicate location. Knowing that you're headed to a pub at postal code EX39 5LU is however helpful if you happen to have a GPS with you.
Some interesting place names, among them is my favorite: Woolfardisworthy. Also Ashmansworthy, Bulkworthy, Bradworthy, Didworthy, Bucks Mills, Bucks Cross, Fairy Cross, Horns Cross, Buckland Brewer, Kilkhampton, Milton Damerel, Newton Tracy, Sheepwash, and Westward Ho!.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I head for London for the night and then fly back to Maryland on Monday. Looking forward to getting home.
Haha, yes, "Westward Ho!" is an awesome place name.... how many towns can claim to have an exclamation mark in their title!! ??
The post codes are good for exact location references, as a building on one side of the road might have a different post code to the building opposite... and not all buildings have a street number, unlike the US... so for pubs, most only have the street and post code as a location reference.
It's very annoying, and why Sat Nav's are very useful (when they work)!
Well it was great to meet ya Mike, have a safe journey back!
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