I am off on another adventure…. This is going to be a rather long blog since I am getting you caught up on the last week….
First I am going to be in Europe for three months so you will probably get tired of hearing from me.. just remember where the DELETE key is.
The first month (June) I am riding my motorcycle for a month around Ireland. My lovely and talented wife is living there for a month as an artist in residence. So I am going to wander around Ireland on my motorcycle and then visit her for three days (I am told that is my time limit! She and her girl friend want to enjoy the night life and don’t want to be inhibited.. 😉 )
After Ireland I will return to London where my wife Bonnie will fly to when she is done with her residence in Ireland. There we will meet our daughter Hannah and her husband John for a week of exploring London (My favorite city in the world!). They will be returning from France where John has relatives.
After they go home Bonnie and I are flying to Milan, Italy where we will sight see, visit friends, see a couple other cities and then spend five days in a beautiful old hotel right on Lake Como! From there we will take a train to Lucerne Switzerland for some more sight seeing and then continue on to Belgium to visit more friends.
By the end of July we will return to London where Bonnie will fly home. At that point I have four friends from California and one from the UK joining me to spend a few weeks riding motorcycles around the Lake District of England, Northern Scotland and then we will ferry to the Isle Of Man for the Manx TT and Classic TT motorcycle races.
After that I am coming home in September completely EXHAUSTED, I am sure… 😉
So to get you caught up to where I am now…..
I flew over to London on the 1st of June and my long time friend Aubrey picked me up at the airport.. I have to say a special thanks to Aubrey and his family for welcoming me into their home for the last 40 years! It sure makes traveling to the UK so much easier! And they and their family are such wonderful people too.!!
Aubrey is one of the most energetic people I know and even on a good day I have trouble keeping up with him but after being up for almost 24 hours it was tough. Right from the airport we went to a vintage boat show on the river Thames. No matter where we go in England Aubrey has friends and we were immediately invited on to a beautiful 1930s wooden cruiser that was beautifully restored. The young couple that own the boat, restored it and live on the boat full-time with their new-born girl. The wife is definitely sport.
Once on board they served us champagne and orange juice while we gently rocked on the River Thames under an unusually warm English day.
After the drinks I walked ashore and sat on the soft green grass along the river bank. I almost immediately fell asleep and the next thing I remember was hearing two English gentlemen discussing whether they should call a paramedic for me! I stirred a bit and startled them and then they immediately asked if I was alright.. I explained I had literally just gotten off a plane from California and was terribly jet lagged. So of course they did what any proper Englishman would do, they invited me to their gazebo for a spot of tea. They were friendly and we talked for a few minutes and of course I hadn’t been in the UK three hours when the subject of Trump came up.. I am sure I am going to hear that topic a lot this summer.
The very next day we went to Brands Hatch to watch a customer of Aubrey’s race his classic Jaguar in a race there. The track is so beautiful compared to the desert tracks in California. Rolling hills, lush green grass, and trees every where.
The Jaguar got off to a good start and by lap four was leading his class….. unfortunately on lap 5 he spun into deep gravel and quickly sank to his axles.. His race was over.. There was no celebrating that afternoon.
The next day I spent with Aubrey running errands, going to his shop, and just hanging out. My motorcycle was delayed in shipping and had not cleared customs yet.
Now it is Tuesday the 5th and my motorcycle finally cleared customs and was delivered to Classic Auto, Aubrey’s shop. I was excited to see it and a bit nervous too. Riding on the left side of the road AND dealing with London traffic while still bit jet lagged can be challenging to say the least. I only got slightly lost riding it to Aubrey’s house and added an extra 30 miles to a 25 mile trip… That afternoon I completely loaded the bike up and got ready to hit the road the following morning.
Luckily today I was over the jet lag and the weather was perfect so I was awake and ready to go by 7:30am.
My first days ride was to a quaint village in the Cotswolds. It would normally only take about two hours to get there but I took every back road and village detour I could find and had a wonderful four hour ride.
The Cotswolds are located just west of Oxford and are famous for the stone architecture and small charming villages that look like time forgot them.
I have a nice room in a quaint inn in the center of Burton on the Water. I am located right on the town river, next door to the local car museum, and between two pubs. I have found my spot!
I spent this afternoon exploring the museum and the rest of the town and found a couple of interesting pubs for dinner and an evening drink.
Tomorrow I am off to Pembroke Port to catch the ferry to Ireland so tomorrow night I will be in Ireland!
A really cross section of cars at this race…
My good friend Aubrey and his totally charming granddaughter and my number one Instagram fan, Maltida.. She also has some amazing soccer skills!
Here is a quick visit to Aubrey’s shop, Classic Auto. He is the only one I know that has been in this business longer than me!
Aubrey and his son Nick. Nick has brought new energy, technology, and organization to Classic Auto. I wish I had someone to do that for my shop!!
This is a wooden buck for making alloy bodies for C Type Jaguars. An amazing mixture of old and new technology. The wooden bucks used to be all hand made. Now a computer scans an original C Type body and then laser cuts all the runners and shapes for this buck.. The alloy forming is still done by hand.
A new alloy bonnet for a C type Jaguar they just make off that buck!
A serious classic racer, a Lister Jaguar being prepared for a race at Classic Auto.
Here is something you don’t see every day… An ex F1 twin turbo Renault motor being made into a coffee table.. They do all kinds of work.
That red car is one of two all alloy racing Morgans the factory built. Extremely rare and in for some body damage repairs…
This 1/4 scale electric Bentley belongs to a friend of Aubrey’s. This toy car was at his daughter’s wedding 18 years ago and my daughters spent the afternoon driving it around the grooms family estate. Good memories…
Here is some amazing technology. A computer controlled water jet cutter cutting this intricate pattern in 3/4″ thick bronze.. Better be done right the first time, that slab of metal cost over $25,000! and the labor to cut it is over $20,000! This company also makes parts for Classic Auto. One of our visits.
World corporate headquarters for Classic Auto!
Wednesday morning and enough hanging around it is time to ride.. Here I am in the foothills of the Cotswolds…
Lots of green grass, rolling hills and beautiful villages.
I expected to see a Hobbit step out and wave to me as I passed….
Did I mention it is GREEN in the UK!!
Great motorcycling roads!
A nice stop mid morning for tea… A proper British tea room.
Below are a few photos of the village I am staying in tonight. It is Burton on the Water and could not be any more English…
Here is where I am staying tonight. It is really nice inside with a nice pub and beautiful rooms…
Oh what a surprise… right next door. Actually I knew about this town and museum thanks to a tip from my good friend Hamp, one of the coffee men..
An original 1930s Morgan 3 wheeler…
Even a classic Jaguar!
A very nice Brough Superior. A bike I would like to add to my collection but at $250,000+ I doubt I will ever own one.. Unlike Jay Leno who has 25+ off every model Brough made!!!
Another few years and my garage will look like this!!
When you can’t make up your mind if you want a side car or a boat!
American culture is everywhere. In this room they had the sound track from the movie playing!
This cannot be an antique because I learned auto repairs on one of these and even had one in my shop during the early days!!! 🙁
Model cars… where have I seen this before??
This is a display of 1950s Slot Cars.. This is what got me hooked on cars. If my parents had known what affect they would have on me they would have NEVER let me near slot cars!! Again this can’t be antiques because I remember them all to well.. 🙁
My wonderful wife perfect her arts in Ireland while I am off playing. Someone in the family has to be productive!!