Sunday 1 September 2013

Cotswold Curves

So, although the Fury’s been out everyday this week as my conveyance of choice for commuting in the fine weather we’ve been having, my blat-gland needed massaging.

Last weekend was supposed to be the car’s first post-rebuild run, but weather ruled out the 1st proposed date & a promise to visit the coast with my wife ruled out the re-arranged blatt on the bank holiday. This weekend there appeared to be nothing happening SKCC-wise until Crunchie proposed a run to the Cotswolds. That’s not a direction we go often, so I was in, but in spite of some other interest, the set-off time saw just the two of us sitting in the car park filling our faces with the sausage & egg McMuffins Chrunchie had generously bought along & gazeing at the super lightweight titanium bolts appearing on the Crunchiemobile. Drilled for wirelocking too.

Five past & still no sign of anyone else, so we set off. The sun was just rising & there was an autumnal nip in the air requiring a windproof coat & gloves, but the roads were pretty clear. As we wound our way into Oxfordshire we saw evidence of what Clarkson often moans about.
Speedlimits posted seemingly randomly 20, 30 or 40 in towns, 30, 40, 50 or NSL in the country – yes there were large stretches of decent, smooth road with no habitation with a 30 sign every 50 yards. This absurdly low limit seemed to be ignored wholesale by the locals.

That - & me taking the wrong turn off a roundabout near Oxford were the only irritations, as we made the most of what could be the last of the nice days. We breakfasted at the Falkland Arms in a place called “Great Tew” which suggests there is a “little Tew” in the area. If so it must be pretty damn small as Great Tew was little more than a hamlet. Very pretty though & the Falkland Arms itself was a superb example of a “proper” English hostelery, been there since just after the dawn of time, wood fired, low ceilinged & with a warren of small comfy rooms. Also, until you got used to the geography of the place, the gents never seemed to be in quite the same place you remembered it being.

Once again I am indebted to Mr Crunchie for standing me a breakfast – very kind, we sat at a 3” thick oak table that had probably been there since the time of Henry VIII, ate breakfast, talked Engineering & looked out of leaded windows at the kits cooling in the sunshine.

After an hour or so we headed off again, with me still leading since the satnav mount had broken off the dash of Crunchie’s car – the only breakage all day – which is nice. The roads on the return leg were spectacular, there had been good stretches on the way, but the home run had longer stretches of smoother windier roads with less speed limits & less traffic. What traffic there was seemed to melt away, either turning off, going straight on when we turned off, or even letting us past – almost unheard of in the UK. So all in all a very pleasant morning, 175 miles (ish) & nothing needing doing to the Fury. Excellent.

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