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Thread: "Left to Live" - A 23-Day Motorcycle Adventure Around UK and Ireland...

  1. #46
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Report on hold awhile; I’m away on a business trip in Greece. I’ll get back to posting early next week.
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  2. #47
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will try to wait patiently.

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  3. #48
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Day 11 - Mon, 03 Sep (continued…)


    The northern coast continues to impress! White Park Bay.


    Looking northeast to where the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is located. It would have been fun to cross the bridge, but it was very crowded, and we wanted to push on to Belfast before the evening.

    On the way to Belfast, we stopped at the Dark Hedges. Signs directed us to a parking area since cars and motorcycles are not allowed to drive through the hedges.


    The Dark Hedges. It was bright and sunny today, but the trees still do a good job of blocking out a good portion of the light. It would have been fun to walk through this area at sunset or on a misty morning.




    A bit more menacing in black and white?


    On the walking path back to the parking lot we came across a village of sorts with tiny houses made for Smurfs or something that sized.


    Nice Smurf duplex! I would live next to Smurfette!


    There was actually quite a lot of things to do in the area, but we had to press on to Belfast before the Titanic Experience closes.


    This is farm country with narrow roads and wide tractors.


    It was difficult to put down my camera with so much memorable scenery passing by.


    Bummer! We arrived at the Titanic Experience a half hour to late. Apparently, the last tickets are sold two hours before the closing time. Read the fine print! We’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning if we want to see the museum. We decided to spoil ourselves and book a room at the Titanic Hotel. No more bummer!

    Belfast, Northern Ireland is known for many things but arguably the most famous is the birthplace of the RMS Titanic. This modern architecture was created right next to shipyard, Harland and Wolff, that created this historic vessel. Besides being quite beautiful, it houses the Titanic Experience, a museum and interactive experience that takes you on a journey through the early 1900s. More about the Titanic Experience tomorrow…


    A modern building shaped to represent the forward hull of a massive ship. The height of the structure is the same height of the RMS Titanic’s hull at 126 feet (38 m) high.


    The building and experience were completed on 31 Mar 2012. The same day the Titanic was launched in 1911.


    Modern architecture and sculptures make for a dramatic icon to the city of Belfast.


    Inside looking out is also dramatic with views of the city and shipyard.


    The building's façade is clad in 3,000 individual silver anodized aluminum shards. It glistens in the sun and some locals have, ironically, nicknamed the building “The Iceberg”.


    The texture of the shards and dark glass contrast nicely.


    As a photographer who loves modern architecture, it was difficult to put my camera down.


    Quite a striking and beautiful building that will bring visitors to Belfast to remember the great ship RMS Titanic.
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  4. #49
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Day 11 - Mon, 03 Sep (continued…)

    We checked into the hotel and then decided to walk around the city and get some dinner at the nearby shopping center.


    That’s one fat pigeon! He was so fat and lazy that he didn’t move as I got near him for the picture.


    We decided to walk into the shopping area and grab some chow. Along the way we enjoyed sculptures and architecture of Belfast.


    A fun sculpture titled Titanic Kit reminds me of the plastic models I used to build as a kid. This sculpture was made by Harland and Wolff, the Titanic's original builders.


    Belfast has some very modern architecture. The Obel Tower is the tallest storeyed building in Ireland.




    The Boat by TODD Architects and Planners is a mixed development featuring leisure, commercial, and residential areas all in one unique building.


    Holy Mackerel! That one big fish sculpture! Actually it’s a Salmon; The Salmon of Knowledge is a printed ceramic mosaic sculpture by John Kindness and is a whopper of a fish at 10-metre-long (33 ft)!


    The outer skin of the fish is a cladding of ceramic tiles decorated with texts and images with each scale "telling a story about the city".


    The Victoria Square Shopping Centre has many restaurants and shops.


    The nice guy who was managing the parking garage gave us some dinner advise and recommended Cosmo. An Asian all-you-can-eat place with excellent food and service.


    This was plate one of three! One of the best all-you-can-eat restaurants I’ve been to.

    The evening walk to the hotel from Cosmo was also enjoyable...


    The large dome covering the Victoria shopping center was lit up with purple lighting.


    An interesting shrine sculpture just outside the Victoria shopping center.


    Beacon of Hope by Andy Scott.


    The Titanic Belfast lit up for the night.


    Close-up of the evening colors.


    Our home for the night - Titanic Hotel Belfast.

    Tomorrow is a new day! We’ll be exploring the Titanic Hotel Belfast and the Titanic Experience in the morning, followed by a short ride to the Dublin area…
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  5. #50
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Wow...your photography is spectacular! Thanks for taking us along on a beautiful trip.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
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  6. #51
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friedle View Post
    Thanks, I will try to wait patiently.
    Friedle, I hope the wait will be worth it.
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  7. #52
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powwow View Post
    Wow...your photography is spectacular! Thanks for taking us along on a beautiful trip.
    A huge "thanks" Larrry! Glad you are enjoying the trip. Almost halfway there...
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  8. #53
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Day 12 - Tue, 04 Sep 18:


    Only a short 150 km of riding today since we spent most of the morning in Belfast.

    We enjoyed a relaxing morning touring the Titanic Hotel while taking in all the design elements and 1900’s era posters and pictures that decorate this unique hotel experience.


    Titanic Hotel has a well-designed logo incorporating an anchor into the letter ‘T’.


    Our room - 214! Even the room numbers are a classy shadow casting projected from a laser-cut metal plate.


    The front door looks like a slab of riveted iron.


    A nicely appointed room in dark, masculine, colors.


    Nautical appointed lighting.


    Posters from the early 1900s highlight the success of White Star Lines.


    Photograph of the launching of Titanic.


    The elevator is decorated with classy embossed coverings.


    A stairwell in this hotel is one that you actually prefer taking over the elevator.




    Artists representation of the launching of the Titanic and the Olympic.


    RMS Olympic

    After exploring around the hotel, we made our way to the breakfast area.


    The Titanic Hotel knows how to do breakfast! This is the juice bar...


    ..and a small sampling of all the delicious food. Cheese and grapes are good with any meal.




    Some of the details of wall decorations of the hotel.


    Art and pictures reminiscent of the best years of the White Star Line era.


    Posters are proudly displayed around the hotel.


    Some of the furnishings that are in the lounge and bar area of the hotel.

    After breakfast we made our way next door to the Titanic Belfast.


    The reflecting pool makes for an elegant and bold architectural structure.


    No Photoshop filter – this is an effect created from the reflection of the Titanic Belfast.

    The Titanic Experience is a self-guided tour through 9 interactive galleries that explore the full Titanic story. Cost: £12.50 per adult. Well worth it considering that the experience lasts about two hours.


    The tour starts in the early 1900s with Belfast being a booming town. Many people are employed in either the shipyard or textile industry. It seemed like a great time to live in Belfast, especially if you had money.


    If you had money you could invest in manufacturing. If you didn’t then you were working to make end meet – working long and hard hours.


    Irish-British relations were a point of contention in the early 1900s. Some would say they still are today.


    A map of Belfast in the early 1900s.


    The tour did a great job of showing how difficult it was for the workers. 56 hours was the norm and under harsh conditions with little, if any, safety gear.




    This part of the tour took you through the process of heating a rivet, tossing it up to the workers, and then holding it in place and hammering the molten steel into place before it hardened. A ship the size of Titanic used three million rivets.


    Monarchs of the Sea
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  9. #54
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    Day 12 - Tue, 04 Sep 18 (continued…)


    31 May 1911, the launching of the Titanic.


    Original tickets to the launch event.


    This shows where Titanic was launched in relation to the Titanic Belfast building of today.




    An expansive window shows where the launching took place in 1911.


    A balcony, located between displays, lets you see the inside of Titanic Belfast from the upper floor looking down.


    Look at the size of these boilers! 24 double-ended and five single-ended boilers fed two reciprocating steam engines for the wing propellers, and a low-pressure turbine for the center propeller.


    The 2 outer propellers had a diameter of 23 feet and the center propeller had a diameter of 17 feet.


    An example of the White Star Line china used on the Titanic.


    Sadly, the Titanic only visited three ports before crossing the Atlantic to New York. She never arrived...


    ... because she struck an Iceberg at 11:40 PM on 14 Apr 1912.


    By 2:20AM she sank below of surface. She was only outfitted with 20 life boats which was a contributing factor in the deaths of 1,517 people - 832 passengers and 685 crew members.


    The arrival of Titanic in New York City. Sadly, this never happened. Perhaps there is an alternate reality, where the Titanic successfully arrived in New York and delivers all of her passengers and crew safely to Pier 54. It makes me wonder what kind of future each of those people would have had?

    Experiencing Titanic Belfast, the Titanic Hotel, and the Titanic Experience provided the best opportunity to learn more about the tragic story of the Titanic. It also gave me an appreciation of the building process and the legendary shipping company White Star Line.
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  10. #55
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    Day 12 - Tue, 04 Sep (continued…)


    The TX4 is a purpose-built taxicab manufactured by The London Taxi Company.


    After the Titanic Experience we went across the street to tour the only ship the remains of the White Star Line fleet.


    The SS Nomadic was built in 1911 as a tender to transfer passengers and mail to and from RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic. In shallow ports, a tender would be required to deliver passengers to the deep draft vessels like the Olympic and Titanic.


    A photograph of Nomadic heading to Olympic.


    An interactive hologram display tell the history of the SS Nomadic.


    Cubbies for luggage being transferred.


    She was well outfitted with different class sections that delivered you in style to the cruise ship.


    The Nomadic was used in both world wars as a auxiliary minesweeper, patrol ship, and for ferrying troops.


    These hulls have quite a history.


    Some of the original sailors aboard. By the looks of the kid on the right, this was before child labor laws.


    I always thought that large ships like the Titanic were built strictly to shuttle the rich and famous from port to port in opulence. A vast majority of passengers were regular folks migrating to the United States.


    Just some of the details of the Nomadic. Rust and all.


    A unique colored orange was used throughout the bottom section of the ship. Perhaps it was chosen to hide the rust?


    The exhaust vents were not needed any longer once the engine were converted from their original steam boilers but they were kept to retain the look of the original.




    After Belfast we made our way to North Beach Caravan Park. We went for a walk on the beach before eating a light dinner and then going to sleep.


    A cloudy and cool September evening.






    Two teen-age girls were laughing and enjoying the setting sun from the cliff above.

    This is our last evening in Ireland. Tomorrow we board a ferry for the Isle of Man...
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  11. #56
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    Day 13 - Wed, 05 Sep:


    A short ride to Dublin to board a ferry to Isle of Man, followed by a ride around the TT Mountain Course, then exploring the north side of the island.


    We woke up early enough to catch the sun rising over the Irish Sea.

    13-2 by Travis Gill, on Flickr
    Ireland!

    Our ferry check-in closed at 10AM so we rode a short distance to the port in Dublin with plenty of time to check in.


    Yikes!! The picture costed us €20 in toll fees! We wondered why so many cars were leaving the freeway. It turns out they were getting off to avoid the high toll fees (€10 per vehicle) of the Dublin Tunnel during peak times of 6-10AM.


    Passing through the ferry terminal and getting our tickets.


    Waiting at the parking area for our time to board the ferry.


    This custom trike arrived just before boarding.


    Cool headlight.


    He seemed to be into the skull thing.


    The mules all strapped down for the journey to Isle of Man.


    Failt Ort “Welcome” in Gaelic. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world, celebrating its 180th anniversary in 2010.


    HSC Manannan is high speed car ferry built in Tasmania, Australia. It was used by the US Army and Navy from 2001–2008 under the name Joint Venture (HSV-X1). In 2009 she was repainted, refitted, and renamed after Manannán mac Lir, the Celtic god of the Irish sea.


    She offers a great forward deck with lots of windows for visibility.


    HSC Manannan has four Caterpillar diesel engines and pump-jets to propel this vessel up to speeds of 42 knots, although efficient cruising speed is closer to 20 knots. It takes just under three hours to motor from Dublin, Ireland to Douglas, Isle of Man.


    The cost of the ferry to and from Isle of Man was a bit expensive at €132.50 per person plus motorbike, but I was excited to ride the famous Mountain TT Course. Was it going to be worth it?


    We made it to Isle of Man. Technically this is not a country but a self-governing British Crown dependency. It’s got a flag - good enough for me.

    We ended up making a new friend on the ferry! Monsignor John Devine was returning from his own motorcycle trip and offered to let us stay in one of spare bedroom at his congregation of Saint Mary of the Isle in Douglas. I asked, “How many Catholic Priests ride motorbikes?” His reply, “Not many.”

    John led us to the church where he quickly said hi, showed is the room and gave us a key, and then escorted us through the streets of Douglas to the beginning of the TT course.


    At the end of the TT Mountain Course is the famous Grand Stand. Right next door are a police station and a gravesite. Coincidence? Those that survive the Isle of Man Mountain Course race get a speeding ticket by the police. Those that die are placed in the gravesite.


    The Mountain Course is one of the, if not the, most dangerous motorcycle race courses in the world. There have been 242 competition deaths in its 107 years of existence. It also happens to be the oldest race in motorcycle history.


    The TT Mountain Course is 37.73 mi (60.725 km) long with 219 turns. All on public roads. Each year, the roads are closed for the Isle of Man TT in the spring and the Manx Grand Prix in the late summer.

    We were not here to break any records, especially on a weighted down, 47hp, single-cylinder, adventure bike riding on knobby tires. It was more about experiencing this legendary roadway.


    The course runs through the city of Douglas and the nine other towns and villages.


    Although much of the course is open two-lane roads.


    Crash barriers for those that lose control after a sweeping curve to the left.


    Cars, tractors, speed limits, and stop lights all do their best to keep your lap time down.


    Each of the sections is marked on the left. The miles are marked on the right.


    I only ended up passing five cars, and was passed once by a Kawasaki sport bike rider.


    A beautiful day! Even with traffic, stoplights, and slower cars it was still a great road with nostalgia in spades.

    On the longest straightaway I only felt comfortable reaching a speed of 72 MPH before braking for the next turn. Professionals reach speeds of over 200 MPH!! Insanity!!!


    My time, around the course, was 56 minutes and 47 seconds, with an average speed of 39.8 MPH, and a top speed of 72 MPH. Chantil wasn’t far behind at 60 minutes and 54 seconds. No close-calls or accidents, so it was fast enough for us.
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  12. #57
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Day 13 - Wed, 05 Sep (continued…)

    After we reunited at the Grandstand (finish line), we made our way back to mile 26 to explore a bit


    At mile 26 along the TT route is this building with a mural of Joey Dunlop on his famous No. 3 Honda.


    A statue of Joey Dunlop astride his Honda overlooks the Bungalow Bend at the 26th Milestone area of the TT course. This bend is appropriately named "Joey's".


    Joey Dunlop was the king of the TT where he won a record 26 races and 40 podium finishes.


    This area is also a memorial to those who died pursuing their motorcycle passion. Sadly, Joey Dunlop died on 2 Jul 2000 during a race in Tallinn, Estonia.


    After the TT course we explored some remote roads on the north side of the island.


    Wildlife refuge areas to the north were all but abandoned except for us. Miles of beachfront property all to ourselves.


    This chalk marking points north to the next country on our list - Scotland!


    The Point Ayre Winkie Lighthouse recently sold for only £10,000. It sounds like a bargain however it doesn’t have a bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. But it does have some great views!


    It would be a cool house if it had electricity and plumbing.


    The beach was made of millions of these flat rocks.




    The newer Point Ayre Lighthouse is a bit further up the beach. The flowers around it were an amazing yellow and purple color.




    Making our way back south to grab some dinner.


    For dinner we stopped at the The Famous Creg-Ny-Baa located between the 34th and 35th milestones of the TT.


    A historic food stop for many a hungry motorcyclist.

    It was well after dark when we returned to our unique accommodation for the night at the Saint Mary of the Isle in Douglas Catholic Church.

    Tomorrow we will continue to explore Isle of Man and then make our way back to England via the city of Liverpool…
    Last edited by travisgill; 12-06-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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  13. #58
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Excellent report and fantastic photography. I'm hooked
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and club tire changer

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    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  14. #59
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Excellent report and fantastic photography. I'm hooked
    Awesome! I'll try to keep you on the hook over the next ten day left to publish...
    Last edited by travisgill; 12-08-2018 at 12:10 AM.
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  15. #60
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Absolutely wonderful report!!! Thanks for posting this
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    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

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