Posts tagged lincoln
LincsGeek and I have been talking about, dreaming about, going on a motorcycle tour of the west of the USA for years. Years and years. Probably about ten years. Maybe more.
We have always joked that we probably wouldn’t actually get around to going until we both retired, by which time we would be very old and frail to fly over to America to sit on a motorbike for two weeks riding 200-300 miles a day.
But last year we decided that we were just going to go for it. So we started to research our ideas thoroughly, and when we went to Motorcycle Live at the NEC in November we made a point of speaking to a number of tour operators that offered the kind of thing we were after. We decided on the summer of 2014, decided which company and which tour, and then waited patiently for the dates to be released so we could go ahead and book.
On Friday we got the email we’d been waiting for. The tour dates for 2014. Yay!
So, in June 2014 we will be jetting off to Los Angeles with The Lost Adventure to meet our Eagle Rider tour guide and group before we spend 16 days riding Harley Davidson motorbikes through the South West of America. We will see the Grand Canyon, Bruce Canyon, Monument Valley, Death Valley, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We will ride Route 66 and Highway 1, and cover 2,000+ miles of straight and winding American roads.
I am so excited!
Before we booked our trip we had to decide which bikes we would like to ride. This is an Eagle Rider tour and so we had the choice of quite a wide range of bikes, but we both decided we should do it properly and choose an American Harley Davidson over a British Triumph or a German BMW. On Saturday our local Harley Davidson dealer – the guys who had loaned me that Sportster Nightster for our Top Down Charity ride back in 2009 – had an open house event which couldn’t have been better timed. LincsGeek had already chatted with Tim Orr from The Lost Adventure who had made some recommendations, so off we went to Lincoln Harley Davidson to sit on some and make our choice.
With a Sportster 1200 being out of the question thanks to its teeny fuel tank (finding a fuel station every 100 miles on a trip like this would really annoy the rest of the group!) I had a sit on the Fat Boy and the Heritage Softail Classic, the two smallest and lightest bigger Harleys available on the Eagle Rider inventory. But of course small and light they are not; 330kg is rather more than the less-than 200kg I am used to.
We had our free hog roast (most welcome!) and then set to choosing the right bike for each of us. I started with the Heritage Softail Classic. I could reach the floor, I could stand the bike up, but I could not reach the side stand to kick it out and put the bike back down again. Oh dear. I could ride the bike for sure, but it is big and fat and even with a 690mm seat height I am still only on the balls of my feet so I’m not sure I could scoot that thing back into a parking space. Not a chance. Moving on!
Next was the Fat Boy. Actually the same frame and tank as the Heritage Softail, it is the same weight and size but without the touring screen and some of the other bits and bobs. The biggest difference I noticed when getting on it was the seat was more scooped, it was narrower, and so I had a much better footing on the ground. Still huge and very heavy, but better. Unfortunately it seems that wasn’t the standard seat, though. Shame! But of the two bikes I preferred it, so that is the one I have gone with. It is a lovely looking machine, and I simply cannot wait to get to LA and take it for a spin.
Incidentally, LincsGeek thought he’d decided on the Road King before he sat on the Heritage Softail Classic – the Road King is simply enormous, and while the Softail is still a big bike he felt much more comfortable on it. So he’s chosen that one.
I know for a fact that if I am going to have the time of my life then I am going to have to be able to manoeuvre the Fat Boy around. I have 14 months to get much, much stronger. I’ve started running again. And I should get to the gym too. This is one adventure I’m going to have to put a lot of effort into to make sure I get the most out of it.
I have another motorcycling adventure planned for this year… The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. Please support us if you can.
Last week a new cafe opened in Lincoln. A friend and I went to check it out at the end of the week and I think it’s fair to say we both fell in love with the place.
Rock+Paper+Scissors is a “crafterie”, that is, a cafe, a place to do crafts, and a shop. Run by Elizabeth and Michelle, who have both moved back to Lincoln (they were both at Uni in Lincoln) after a little time away, it is a little shop on Guildhall Street, offering something quite different to any of the other cafes and tea shops dotted about. A place to socialise and try your hand at various arts and crafts, as well as somewhere to buy locally sourced gifts from cushions to prints and jewellery to tea towels.
Laura and I sat and chatted with Lizzie and Michelle for ages. They told us what life has been like since Uni, that they both went off to try their hands at all sorts, but that they were called back to Lincoln because they loved the place. They wanted to bring something different to Lincoln, something artsy, something vintage, something social. The idea seems to have come from wanting to create something where they could both spend time with interesting people, something hands on where they could interact with their customers as well as teach and learn at the same time.
They served us loose leaf Darjeeling Earl Grey tea in a massive teapot and little mismatched bone china tea cups and saucers. We had a slice of gooey lemon cake, home made of course. It was divine. What a wonderful way to spend a lunch break.
It’s so cute. Browsing through the wares on sale I found so many things I could easily have bought. Local artists and crafters are able to use the shop to sell their hand made items, it’s going to be a great place to find gifts for friends and family. I particularly liked the cushions by Mary James of Bille Bug, and as we left I found a print I think I’ll actually go back and buy when I get a minute.
The social side of the shop comes from the crafting sessions and other activities they run. Laura and I were there on Valentines day when they were offering a free session to create a valentines message for your loved one while you sat and drank tea. There are also crochet and knitting sessions planned, as well as a clothes swap. And we are told there are lots more planned – sugar craft, paper crafts and other such delights.
In fact Rock+Paper+Scissors has inspired me to finally get my sketchbook out after what must be years and years of neglect. There is a creative person inside me somewhere, I will find her again!
If you’re around and about Lincoln definitely make Rock+Paper+Scissors one of the stops on your list. A gorgeous little place.
I’m considering a food related road trip. I think it would make a good subject for a television documentary. I would spend a couple of weeks travelling around the UK, searching for the best fish finger sandwich available.
It all started when The Tower Bar in Lincoln, where I will often go for lunch with friends, took fish finger sandwiches off their menu. It would be my “go to” dish there. It was cheap, came on buttered white bread, and was served with a good handful of tortilla chips. On arrival I would open up the sandwich which had been cut on the diagonal, squirt on a good helping of tomato ketchup and pile on the tortilla chips. Oh so good.
Actually I am a big fan of fish finger sandwiches at home too. There is always a packet of them in the freezer. I tend to keep things simple and just bung four between two slices of wholemeal bread dolloped with plenty of ketchup. LincsGeek likes his bread toasted, he’ll spread one slice with ketchup and the other with tartare sauce. I agree his way is better, but mine is faster!!
I know there is much discussion over whether we should be eating much cod, thanks to fishing quotas and all that, but I do prefer a good fat cod fish finger over haddock or anything else. Sorry! I am not fussy though, but the fluffier the white fillets of fish are the better.
Anyway, a couple of months ago now some colleagues and I went to the Doubletree by Hilton in Lincoln to sample their fish finger sandwich. Michelle (Shellmoby) had been there already and had one, and said it was amazing. So off we went. The four of us all ordered the same, and waited patiently for them to arrive.
It came on fluffy white bread, with salad, chips and some purple coleslaw. And it was amazing. Michelle was right. It was the best fish finger sandwich I have ever eaten. No question.
Naturally I tweeted this fact, along with the above photograph. And I got a reply, from The Griffin Inn, Irnham, who said that actually they had the best fish finger sandwich there. We asked for a photograph, and they obliged (below). It does look good doesn’t it? My colleagues and I said we’d have to drive down to sample, but since then life has been pretty busy and we’ve not had chance to go and test them at their word, but I will do, I will do it very soon, because I am intrigued!
So who’s with me? Where should I go? I should at least start at The Griffin Inn, but where then? Where does the best fish finger sandwich around you?
Maybe I should just learn to make my own fish fingers and go all gourmet at home?!
This evening I took part in a photography walk at Whisby Nature Reserve near Lincoln. It was a very informal affair with ArtsNK Photographer Jane Harrison – not a lesson, just a chance to get together with other local people who like taking pictures.
We had all kinds of different camera kits – I took my Nikon DSLR along, I’ve not used it for a little while and it showed as I screwed my face up trying to remember how to make it do what I wanted! Anyway, here are some of my shot – some improvement definitely needed (frustrating as I always do this – get really into it, learn loads, improve, stop practising, forget everything!) but I like them. Looking forward to the next one.
P.S I’d like a Macro lens (please). My old DSLR lenses had macro but we sold those to buy a new camera (we changed mounts) and I miss them. Any suggestions for a not-too-costly-but-decent one for my Nikon D3100?
As always with my photos I am flattered if you like them, but please don’t use them without asking first. Thanks.