I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


In comments to my previous post, RR and I discussed the morality of taking internal combustion engined machines along ancient greenways and I concurred with his views. My Damascene conversion came about on a trip to the Ridgeway. For a change I  had bought a larger trail bike, a Suzuki SP370, which was more "interesting" on the boring 300 mile motorway round trip  down to Wiltshire.

The ancient chalk trackway had been churned up by convoys of 4x4 drivers who delight in finding the "juicy" spots, driving into them and then using their skills to extract themselves.

The result was some 35 miles of a wet, muddy, chalky track with huge areas of very deep puddles (ponds?)

As you can see from the image, I was keeping, with difficulty to the side of the main track. However, at one point the only way through was to negotiate a very deep and wide "water feature". I usually walked such obstacles first but it was not possible on the occasion so I rode through it. Of course the bike hit a submerged rut and I went over. My usual small trail bikes would have been no problem in such circumstances, but the heavier Suzuki was immensely difficult to extricate and push out. By the time I reached the other side I was in a muck sweat ,shaking with effort and needed a sit down!

I rode home at the end of that day, jet-washed the mud clogged Suzuki and advertised it for sale. I was ashamed of what modern vehicles were doing to this environment (with my participation). No more trail rides, but I had had a good innings for some 30 years.


Kay Cooke said...

You made the right decision for sure. I guess we have to adjust. But it is possible to respect the earth on a motor bike, I'm sure. Just not enough people do that, swinging the balance the wrong way. Keep enjoying what you do because you are clearly someone who leaves light footsteps.

Avus said...

Thanks for that insightful comment - my footsteps will be tip-toe fairy like!

Roderick Robinson said...

These days I assume you walk along these thoroughfares wearing cap and bells, singing the gloomier Dowland pieces as you accompany yourself on the lute. Well why not? I suppose it's not Home Counties but then Wiltshire is only Home Counties by inclination, not by geography. You could make do with The Weald.

Avus said...

Well, Elton Hayes' performances did always appeal to me! The preference for Wiltshire was/is that it is more "spacious" than Kent and the Weald (which has few opportunities for wild rambling). Indeed, on my long motorcycle days , trapped in the corner of the UK by the Great Wen (even greater than in 1820 when Cobbett coined the phrase), I always reckoned that the roads opened up after Guildford. As time went by the freeing of the roads only happened after Andover as the traffic population of the South East increased

Vita said...

I'm now a fan of Elton Hayes. I found The Owl & the Pussycat on YouTube, and was delighted. RR drew a jolly picture of you in my head.

Your "big" Suzuki was cute for sure.

Avus said...


Yes Elton, now forgotten by most, was an excellent folk singer. Have you heard his "Whistle my Love", it's on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C79Cmu3Kmg

That film of Robin Hood, with Richard Todd, was a great favourite of mine in my early teens.