June 26th, 2017 – Carlisle, England to Birmingham, England: ~230 miles
Missed Day 9? June 25th, 2017 – Pathhead, Scotland to Carlisle, England: ~170 miles
Thankfully, our Triumph Explorer is still in the parking lot in the morning. This was the one morning when I was concerned about the safety of our bike, and as soon as I woke up I went downstairs just to make sure all was well. My stress turns out to be unfounded. So we get the luggage packed and we’re quickly on the road towards the famous Lake District.
Something you don’t see very much in the United States: a trailer being towed by a classic sedan.
This sign caught our attention. Unlike with the car above, I’m able to identify the bike. If you need a hint, think Italian.
We stop in town to check out the famous gingerbread shop. While in line, I notice that someone has taken a bit of interest in the Triumph. I’ve compared the Explorer the R 1200 GS a few times over this story, but there’s something that the GS can never match in the UK: how much locals love seeing this bike. I hear the gamut from “I didn’t know Triumph was still making bikes” to “I’ve been saving up for one of those,” but everyone that wants to talk to me about the Explorer shares the same appreciation.
Per usual with tourist traps, the employees dress up in costume.
In town, an older sports-tourer catches my eye. It’s a Suzuki GSX 1100F – think GSX-R 1100 sportbike motor with a retune. The improved aerodynamics made it one of the fastest motorcycles you could buy at the time.
I was looking forward to seeing one because of Top Gear’s incredible segment on the Robin. Unfortunately, they cut out some important parts when they uploaded the bit to YouTube, but this still should be enough to share the joy of this ridiculous 3-wheeler with you:
While we’re talking about cars: 1959 saw the introduction of two classics in British automotive history – the Mini Cooper and the Ford Anglia. I get to see plenty original examples of the former in the US but I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the latter.
Crossing back across the country, we make our way through the Yorkshire Dales. Guess what? We see more sheep! But this time they are incredibly close to the road.
Considering Vy’s well-documented affinity for sheep, we obviously have to pull over for this.
You may have noticed that some of the photos (like the image of the Ford Anglia) today (or even yesterday) were slightly crooked. That’s because yesterday, Vy managed to drop my camera, shattering the LCD screen. I had tried to find a Canon repair shop nearby but my G7X Mark II is too new. Parts aren’t available for a same-day fix and we don’t have time to waste. So Vy finds a camera shop in Manchester online and we head towards the city to see what they have available. I’m visiting the National Motorcycle Museum tomorrow and I need to have a working camera for all of the bikes!
We settle on an Olympus TG-4 Tough because it’s apparently rugged enough to handle all the abuse Vy will throw at it. Time will tell.
I’m excited about tomorrow, as I’ll be visiting the National Motorcycle Museum and I think you’re going to enjoy the results. But first, I’ve got to figure out how to use Vy’s new camera!
Continue on to Day 11!