Unexpectedly brilliant ride and then a brill sunset as well, I never thought a ride out from Keswick in November would be this good. I wrapped up well, leathers under touring suit but even so, no cold fingers and no, my little Z250 Ninja doesn’t have handlebar warmers.
Out from Keswick and round to Carlisle via Wigton. Riding round the industrial estates in Carlisle. Lots of them. I looked over several bike dealers though no stock yet of any bike I lust after for 2022.
On over the railway and the M6; seeing signs to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle reminds me how far north I am. Leaving the main road at Brampton, crossing the River Irthing at Lanercost Bridge (1724), then following the Hadrian’s Wall Tourist Trail. Incredibly, I find myself riding alongside a wide low wall and it takes a moment to realise that this is The Wall, Hadrian’s Wall, Vallum Hadriani, the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. A wonderful moment of discovery; it’s now rare to encounter a historic monument in such a direct way, without the well-meaning intervention of curators and interpretations.
I enjoy many further other encounters with the Wall and its fortifications on this route. Now in Northumberland, I break at Haltwhistle and take my picnic in the town before returning a cross-country route down the Vale of Eden to avoid Carlisle. The November sun is low in the sky and straight in my visor.
Still clear sky as I am approaching Keswick and time for a colourful sunset against the skyline of the North Lakes fells, but the temperature of the air is falling rapidly so I am glad to be home and indoors.