Thursday, December 17, 2015

Road Trip To Cornwall And Storm Desmond

With a couple of days off I decided to visit my friends who live in Cornwall, Praa Sands to be precise.

They have just finished renovating their house and this was the first time I've seen it completed. Last time I was there it was a shell.

I decided to do a circular route, on the way down I would travel over Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor and on the way back up and over the Tamar Bridge.

I was only going for the one night, ride down, a few beers, ride back the next day. I had the panniers on and all my gear stowed away. I did not bother with the tank bag.

So off I set, leaving at 1000hrs as I wanted to miss the works traffic through Bournemouth. This I did and had an easy run down to Dorchester, which is where it started to get a little damp.

By the time I had crossed the Dorset/Devon border the weather had turned for the worst and it was a persistent drizzle.

Going through Exeter and up over Dartmoor it really started to get nasty. Heated grips on and keeping my hands warm.

Little did I realise that this was Storm Desmond. It did some real damage up in Cumbria and the Lake District. Down here it was just blowing a gale.

Side winds were an issue, even with such a heavy bike as the Honda Varadero I was being blown all over the place.

The Metzler tyres working over time to displace water and keep me upright, which they did an amazing job!

I stopped for a brew and a bite to eat at the Hog and Hedge on the A30, and was soon on my way again once I had topped up the fuel tank.

Now, at this point I had all ready thought the weather was bad, but nothing could prepare me for the next part of my journey across Bodmin Moor!

To say it was evil was an understatement, gusting wind, rain falling so hard I could not see, rivers of water on the road. This was the stuff that nightmares are made of!

Some how I managed to make it through and as I neared Penzance it eased off a bit, but only a bit!

I pulled up at Praa Sands, with my kit dripping, but remarkably my inner layers were bone dry, including my feet. My W2 boots having to work overtime to cope with the amount of water.

I was glad to arrive in one piece, and after a hot shower was more than ready for a couple of beers.

Nothing to mad as Sharon and Tom both had to work the next day and I had to ride home.

So after a bite to eat in the Sand Bar, which is just a couple of minutes walk from their house and a couple of pints we ambled back to their house just after 1900hrs.

Funny that the next time we looked at the clock it was 0320hrs, a bottle of Morgans Spiced Rum and a bottle of Lambs Navy Rum lay empty and we were very merry!

As you can imagine, I was not in a fit state to get up early and head back and finally bid my farewell around lunch time.

The journey back was damp in places with some gusts of wind wanting to knock me around, but other wise a non eventful journey back.

I stopped at the Route 38 Cafe on the A38 for a late lunch then ploughed on. Here I was subjected to Chris Rea and "Driving Home For Christmas" 3 times whilst I ate!

I say that my journey home was non eventful, but there were two little niggling thoughts in my head.

The bike has a small box on the handle bars with a tiny window which shows the level of brake fluid in it's reservoir. I could not see a bubble as you are supposed to be able to and I thought that I had a brake fluid leak. Even though the brakes felt firm and strong.

My other concern was that I had a rattle, down in 1st and 2nd gear. I don't have enough knowledge to be able to pinpoint exactly where it was coming from, so it had me a tad nervous to say the least.

I finally got home, nursing the bike due to the two issues and was mightily relieved to turn into my street.

Tired, well in fact exhausted if I was honest. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, even with all the problems. 

I did not take any pictures, it was simply to wet to get my phone or camera out.

Next thing is to get the bike into the garage for a once over!

The journey continues.........

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