Today has been sunny and clear all day - a real spirit-lifter after the rains and general misery of the last few weeks. After I had done the requisite chores, I decided to spend half the afternoon getting to know the Bonnie a bit better.
I took a different route this time: basically a circuit of the Preseli Hills, anticlockwise. South side of the hills and up to Crymych, and then back along the North side and home over the tops. I couldn't resist a shot of Llawhaden Church, almost visible through the overgrowth by the river
and then a couple more shots at the top of the pass that crosses the Preselis at Bwlch-y-Groes. That's a favourite spot, as there is a car park with access for walkers going to either Foel Cwmcerwen (Preseli Top) or Foel Eryr - a spectacular lookout with views to Ireland in one direction and Worms Head - 70 miles distant - in the other.
Foel Eryr in late afternoon sun
And, of course, the customary bike shot:
The bike went well and was the ideal tool for a journey like this one, with plenty of interesting roads ranging from fast A-roads to tiny shit-strewn back lanes. I adjusted the foot controls yesterday, and they are nearly right. They just need another small tweak.
I've been experimenting with an open-face helmet recently. It's partly for novelty, partly because the weather permits it, but also there is a sneaky image thing going on. I combined my open-face CAN helmet with Halcyon goggles rakishly stored above the forehead, and eye protection was taken care of by a cheap pair of sunnies. This limited top speed to no more than 70 (and that not for long), and I got home with eyes streaming.
An open-face helmet is nice. You definitely get the fresh air and smells better than in a full-face, and there is a certain feeling of 'being there'. I am reminded of a Robert M Pirsig quotation which I used here many moons ago and is worth repeating, if only because the blog traffic was next to zero at the time, so no-one will be saying 'duh, not again'.
You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
To some extent (and perhaps a very small one), the chinbar and visor of a full-face replicate the windows of a car, and the feeling of immediacy is slightly lost. I suppose the ultimate is to wear no helmet at all. But the helmet is the last line of defence, and not to be given up. One day, if it all goes wrong, I hope that the helmet I am wearing on that day will at least save me from a life eating through a straw. But in the right weather, an open-face is a very pleasant bit of kit.
I got home thoroughly frozen, as the heat had gone from the sun by 5 pm and the air got very chilly. A great ride-out, and a bit more bonding done. I'm getting to like that Triumph.