Avoid Britain’s Wiggly Roads, Neil Peart Tells Fellow Motorcyclists—with a Wink
When riding through Wales, Scotland, and other parts of Britain earlier this year for the European leg of Rush’s Clockwork Angels tour, which ended earlier this month, Neil and riding partner Brutus had to ride through miles of little twisty roads that had improbable switchbacks, boring scenery of upland pastures, thickets, and fells, typically terminating at a picturesque inn.
After enduring weeks of that, Neil, in an essay he wrote for a British motorcycling weekly, says all other motorcyclists should avoid rural Britain at all costs.
“Those little lanes are messy and unpleasant, often rainy, and quite possibly dangerous,” he writes in the piece, called “Drummer With a Singletrack Mind.” “Terrible, really. Not scenic or anything. And there are all those sheep. We strongly advise other riders to keep far, far away from those nasty little British singletracks. Trust us, they are not at all fun, and we’re sure you wouldn’t like them.”
Neil wrote the essay, with its tongue-in-cheek ending, back in May and a version of it was published in the British motorcycling weekly. Neil yesterday posted the original version on his blog along with photos. “I decided to present [the piece] here in its original form, which would also fill a gap in the tour’s documentation”—that is, in the monthly installments Neil had been writing throughout the Clockwork Angels tour for his blog.
The piece talks about the challenging riding and the scenery of rural Britain and how he and Brutus plan their “commute” on work days and their “slow touring” on days off.
“Creeping along between the dense hedges and stone walls of Devon or the Cotswolds in first or second gear, dodging sheep and tractors (I call us “hedge-huggers” in country like that), or on a narrow, winding ribbon of pavement laid across the barren Welsh and Scottish mountains (with more sheep), or threading the fells and narrow valleys of the Lake District (dotted ditto), the riding is relaxing, even serene, yet technically demanding. There is definitely an art to riding slowly over dynamic terrain.”
—And definitely something other motorcyclists shouldn’t try unless they’re prepared for relaxing, serene, and technically demanding riding through beautiful countryside.
Read “Drummer With a Singletrack Mind” in its entirety on Neil’s site.
Read all of Neil’s monthly blog posts from the Clockwork Angels tour.