Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

How things change.

This photograph shows an entrant in the Beamish Trophy Trial (for old motorbikes, and even-older owners) held in the North Pennines recently. The (new) warning sign is at the top of a steep and stony unclassified road, and if a truck tried, then it would probably get to the bottom, but perhaps not in a dignified manner.

The motorcycle is about 60 years old. At that date Ordnance Survey maps had not yet started to depict public rights of way. The making of the definitive map and statement was still in process.

Now OS maps are themselves becoming old-hat for motorists and cyclists, even off the tarmac. You download a route, or a local map, and follow the instructions.

The event ran on a largely dull September day. In the wider area there were visible, a large cycle randonĂ©e, a lot of C2C cyclists, fast road cyclists, an ‘adventure bike’ camping weekend, a dealer’s motorcycle demonstration day, a good number watching the Beamish, sports cars tackling the hills, and the occasional walker. The cafes and pubs were doing good business, and that money came on wheels.

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