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Travel tips for an American visiting England #552891 07/14/14 3:23 pm
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Gordon Gray Offline OP
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Lets say a fellow wanted to visit England for the first time and that there's a good chance it would be his only time, AND he'd like to attend a rally while he was there, AND (again ? shocked ) he would only have 7 days to do it.

What would be the one rally that would show off your country the best????? AND get to meet some English members of this board he hasn't had a chance to meet yet.

Got any suggestions?

Just thinking out loud......Gordon in NC, USA

PS, Wade if you're reading this brother...I hear ya and it sure has me thinking. smile

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/18/14 12:58 pm.
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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #552898 07/14/14 3:40 pm
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Hey Gordon,

As you probably know, these rallies are held in a different country each year and eventually the circle starts over again. So to answer your question, I believe that the next "English" Rally will be held in 2019. Now because it will be held in central England and reasonably easy for everybody to get to I would expect it to attract many more folk than usual.

Generally its more folk means more fun...so if that's what you're looking for, I'll look forward to meeting up with you there.

Beezageezauk.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #552905 07/14/14 4:14 pm
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Gordon - If you decide to go to a BSA international you may get hooked like I did and never want to miss another one. But there are smaller rallies like the ones that are being spun as we speak. These seem to be more like 2 or 3 day events and that would give you a chance to meet folks and go see other parts of the country too. The Birmingham National motorcycle museum is to die for and while there you might as well see the old BSA factory and get your pilgrimage certificate smile
Or the many many other things to see in England.... Not all have to be motorcycle related but maybe they do.... Brooklands is another must see and Sammy Millers. Ace Cafe - Fish and chips in Brighton.... Don't get me started..... You may have to go more then once wink


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: wadeschields] #552907 07/14/14 4:31 pm
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Gordon lad, A week Rally..? Well like Beezageezauk says why not aim for the UK in 2019, I'm sure to have a bike waiting for you to ride by then. I'll even get your from the kerosene pigeon, so WHAT are ya waiting for lad..?

Remember we ride on the correct side of the road, drink proper ale, and don't tip.. wink

Don't forget your wet gear, Blowing Rock, the year I was there, is *Normal* summer weather for here lad...

OR, and that's a big or you'll notice, we could arrange a 'Gordon Rides the UK, Quest' Perhaps get the 'Quest' lads together, for a week of showing y'all the place we ride in. Perhaps even get some others from the USA over here..?

Don't HAVE to be a BSA international rally does it..? Perhaps even work it out so we can visit the 2nd Old Bike Rally that Beezageezauk organises..?

Loads of ideas, and the seed has been planted, let us see how it grows eh..?


I'm from the SOUTH, the Deep South
Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Kent Shaun] #552908 07/14/14 4:43 pm
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Gordon Gray Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
<snip> Don't HAVE to be a BSA international rally does it..? Perhaps even work it out so we can visit the 2nd Old Bike Rally that Beezageezauk organises..?

Loads of ideas, and the seed has been planted, let us see how it grows eh..?


WELL.......IF that fellow was me smile. No.....I'm not asking about a BSA International. That seems too structured and I would be more (remember if we were talking about me) inclined to do something along the line of the Old Bike Rally. Something in England...something with you fellows no matter what kind of bike your riding...something about England not BSA. Of course I would do anything (well...almost anything wink ) to get to ride a bike around.....that's sorta what I had in mind....uh...for that fellow to do. Weekend Rally....in an area where after or before you could look/ride around a bit. England....not BSA.

We are talking about a fellow who LOVES to plan....and loves it even more when a plan comes together.

Thanks for taking the time to reply....Gordon in NC, USA


Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553000 07/15/14 8:20 am
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So it's going to run around $1300 for a round trip ticket.

Just a ballpark figure for a fellow who doesn't need to live high on the hog...what would you budget $$$ per day for a place to sleep, eat, fuel, ect?

Gordon in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/15/14 8:26 am.
Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553014 07/15/14 10:23 am
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Ive never paid more then 900-1000 round trip. Even last Christmas . But maybe it makes a difference that Im leaving from NYC confused


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: wadeschields] #553018 07/15/14 10:49 am
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Gordon lad, book your trip to coincide with the VMCC west kent run in early august ,a whole week of runs if you want plus camping or rooms and its close to historic Rochester with its own castle! clap

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: baza57] #553020 07/15/14 11:28 am
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Baza, right now I'm looking at Kev's get together in Wiltshire.

I'm thinking a weekend camping with you fellows and maybe a few days before and after to have a look around.

Wade, I'm already overwhelmed by the amount of sites that are offering airfares. So far that little over $1200 seems to be standard....but boy what a mess it is for somebody who's never done anything like that. Who do you get your tickets from?

$200 - $250 a day????? Does that sound about right? I can cut corners and do without.....I've done that all my life. 7 days, one weekend camping with the fellows. A borrowed bike??? A plan??? Some bimbling type roads with something to see in between, before and or after the camping weekend.

If I kept my mouth shut....would they be able to tell "he's not from around here"? laughing

Gordon in NC, USA


Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/15/14 11:29 am.
Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553024 07/15/14 12:02 pm
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I always look at sites like Kayak.com or the other cheap ticket sites but to be honest I get good prices calling the airlines directly and being somewhat flexible as to departure and arrival day/time. Sometimes leaving a day earlier or later can save hundreds of dollars. I've never gotten and substantial savings by adding stop off and layovers. At Christmas I could have saved 25 bucks if I flew to Canada and transferred to another plane instead of flying directly to Heathrow.... No thanks....
I would research the best deals on the cheap sites then call the airline that seems to be giving the best deal. Also you may get a better deal if you book a hotel or rental car with them at the same time.... If Gerry had not want to be in England by a certain time at Christmas (understandable at the time) we could have had both flights and a rental car for 9 days for 100 bucks less then we paid for just our tickets.... But then we would have missed the family christmas party.... But thats the kind of deals they make nowadays.


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553026 07/15/14 12:09 pm
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Gordon, it is cheaper to fly if you make one of the trips on a week day, say fly out on a Wednesday or Thursday, and fly back on a Sunday.

That is what I do when I vist the US, I also use Atlanta, as there are less tourist flights there.


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553027 07/15/14 12:11 pm
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Someone here at work just told me that they get good flight deals on http://www.skyscanner.com/



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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553029 07/15/14 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Baza, right now I'm looking at Kev's get together in Wiltshire.

I'm thinking a weekend camping with you fellows and maybe a few days before and after to have a look around.



Gordon -

I've done it a few times, and having someone in the UK end to help out is the KEY to having a great time and not wasting your time there. First time Fay and I went (for a week), we took in the Lion's Club Old Bike Day at Eastbourne, the monthly BSA Club meeting at The Cock Inn, and the BSA Open Day at Billing, PLUS spent two days just walking the back country in Kent, which was a life's desire of mine and was everything I'd hoped. All great fun, and I'm sure you can also hit at least three events even if they're not BSA; they have several per WEEK over there! Between $900 and $1100 for plane tickets, and I KNOW that someone will have a bike for you ... Lord knows you've done it often enough the other way.

Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553030 07/15/14 12:38 pm
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Gordon,
This is exciting! Talk right to the airlines to see what they have- chances are they are close to what all the "other" sites are offering- AND you could pick your airline and perhaps get better service. British Airways, Alitala, Icelandic Air... The euro or UK based airlines are going to be far better than the US based overseas flights, GUARANTEED. For the difference in cost, you'll

Take off on schedule
Be fed a MUCH better meal
Be treated as you would hope to be treated
Arrive feeling like you didn't just give your money to a gang of idiot pirates.

Since you're not collecting "air miles" by flying all over the place regularly, you have only to gain in overall comfort and quality of experience from choosing a better airline.

SERIOUSLY.

My personal experience is that you can actually call the airlines directly and get a human. This alone will cut down confusion and time in buying a ticket. Look online at British Air for example- figure out flights and rough dates on their site then call them while having their site open in front of you. Both you and the agent will be able to see your flights together.

As Wade says, plan a little flexibility into your take-off & return dates to save a few $$$.

And brother- face it- you're gonna HAVE TO put up with the fact that everyone is gonna want you to come stay with them...
Think of how WE treat our "guests" when they come over. THATs how you'll be treated! It's just what we at bb.com DO for one another.


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Lannis] #553035 07/15/14 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Lannis
<snip> Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis


Lannis....how do you know if there's camping at a pub? ask? or are there signs?

You wrote "to fill your bike's tank will be about $50 real money"

Okay.....let me get this straight. Motorcycles in England come with tanks? Left overs from WW2? Like Shermans? I'm asking because there's no way you could be talking about the motorcycle's fuel tank. smile

I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway. It would be GREAT if somebody could point me in the right direction and be around WHEN I got in trouble. laughing

A weekend camping with our fine friends over there is probably all they could stand of me any way.

Gordon in NC, USA

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553042 07/15/14 2:23 pm
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Lannis: when I first saw the $50 dollar to fill a tank I wondered how big of a fuel tank do you have, but after figuring the conversion your probably not far off. It's about £6.50 for some quality pump fuel ( high octane with little or no ethanol) for a UK gallon (4.54 metric litres) and say you have a 4 gallon tank, that's bout £26 for about 200-250 miles riding - say about $40 with the current exchange rate.

It can bump the cost up if your sending a bike over, but I got my sanfran flights for about £600 ($960) and that's right the way over... Your east side so you could say closer to $600 for the same time of year as I came over... Peak season will obviously be a lot more and less enjoyable IMO.

NOW last thing is, if I'm not on your first page of folks to contact for your trip, I'm gonna want to know why laughing


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553045 07/15/14 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Originally Posted by Lannis
<snip> Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis


Lannis....how do you know if there's camping at a pub? ask? or are there signs?

You wrote "to fill your bike's tank will be about $50 real money"

Okay.....let me get this straight. Motorcycles in England come with tanks? Left overs from WW2? Like Shermans? I'm asking because there's no way you could be talking about the motorcycle's fuel tank. smile

I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway. It would be GREAT if somebody could point me in the right direction and be around WHEN I got in trouble. laughing

A weekend camping with our fine friends over there is probably all they could stand of me any way.

Gordon in NC, USA


Gordon –

About the pub camping, our English buds always knew. Probably need to check ahead; I'll bet there's a web site with a directory of pubs that allow camping

Gas ...Depends on the exchange rate, it changes all the time.

When we were there, high-test fuel was about £1.40 a liter, and 1 £ = $2.10. I can tell you that to fill up the A10 gas tank never cost me less than $40, and often more. With the pound closer to $1.70 now, it’s not so bad, but who knows what it will be when you go over? All I’m saying is, you need to get to another level on fuel price sticker shock when you’re in the UK.

Meals weren’t bad. The food was great everywhere we went. And here’s the deal. In the USA, the diner advertises “Lunch Special $6.95”. You go to pay, and you get pennies back from a $10 bill, because you pay $6.95 + $0.40 state sales tax + $0.69 town meal tax + $1.50 tip for the waitress.

In the UK, taxes are included in the menu price, and there’s no tipping, since they pay the wait staff regular wages instead of “tip” wages. So when lunch is £6.95 (a usual price), you hand the cashier a tenner and get £3.05 back, and you get to KEEP it! So meals are really about the same, maybe a shade more expensive in England.

DO spend time hanging out in the old pubs with the old-timers in the cloth flat caps; if one says in response to your invitation “Aye, ye can put a drop I’ there, young man”, buy him a pint and get a great story ….

Watch yourself on the right turns – at the end, I end up in the right lane (the WRONG lane) about half the time. And make sure you’ve got proper insurance – last I was there in 2011, Aveva was the only company that would cover an American ….

Lannis


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Lannis] #553081 07/15/14 5:28 pm
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Lannis....GREAT information and a comfort to hear. Damnit, insurance...never thought of that so I'll have to work on that one. Did you spell that company's name right? Can't seem to find it. How much did that cost? (got figure what I'll need to get out of the B50 smile )

Allan.....little buddy...you my friend are right on TOP of the list of people I want to shake hands with. I can't wait!!! You and I will have a LOT to laugh about. smile

Kev has already put me on the spot (ya gota love him for it) so it's going to be hard to back out of this one so I better get busy....I only have 11 months to plan!!!! shocked (and to start saving my pennies)

A Quest......more than I could have ever asked for.

Gordon in NC




Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553088 07/15/14 5:54 pm
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As far as I know, all you have to do to camp in a pub's "garden" AKA "back yard" in USA parlance... is ASK. The TRADITIONAL English pubs serve fresh, locally procured food right off the surrounding farms... and they were doing it WAY before it became "Locavore" "cuisine". laughing
When we ate over there at the old-style pubs, each meal was home cooked, fresh food.
Overall the pub food was a really pleasant surprise for me, in a country not known world-wide for their quality of cooking/food.


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: ricochetrider] #553089 07/15/14 5:58 pm
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well come eat some more brother!


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Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553092 07/15/14 6:03 pm
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There is an open door in Derbyshire for you Gordon, a BSA factory site visit plus Motorcycle Museum. You want a walk & maybe a bit of history? That can be arranged too with your choice of refreshment establishment. Or you just need someplace to lay your head while heading from someplace to someplace else that too is fine.

Fuel/gas/petrol call it what you will is currently £1.28/litre in my town, that equates to $9/Imperial gallon or $7.57/Puny US gallon. This is merely an illustration, though the £/$ exchange rate has been fairly steady for a while now fuel costs vary wildly at times but then again I found much the same in your part of the world wink


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"He knows not where he's going,
For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination,
It's the glory of the rideā€¯
(Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)

Bryan



Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: BeezaBryan] #553113 07/15/14 8:47 pm
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Bryan, thank you for the offer and I'll keep that in mind. Reading between the lines in Kev's announcment.... there might be a few that would "lead" me around????? and if so, I'd be more than willing to follow. smile

This is going to be an education for me.....in less than 24 hours I've already found out where Kent, Wiltshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire are located and I'm in the process of trying to find Royal Berkshire. More than I've ever known about England.

I was talking to my wife about it tonight....she says "You got to go"

So many questions and blanks to fill in but plenty of time to get that done.

Give Marie a hug from me and hope our paths cross soon.

Your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/15/14 8:48 pm.
Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553116 07/15/14 8:54 pm
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Now I see (I think?) why Kev calls it "Royal"

Berkshire (abbreviated Berks) is a county of south east England, located to the west of London. It has also been known as the Royal County of Berkshire since at least the 19th century because of the presence of Windsor Castle and was recognised as such by the Queen in 1957 and letters patent issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin and is currently both a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. Berkshire County Council was the main county governance from 1889 to 1998, except for the separately administered County Borough of Reading. In 1974 the towns of Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was gained from Buckinghamshire, and the separate administration of Reading ended. Since 1998 Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. It borders the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

Gordon in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 07/15/14 8:56 pm.
Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: Gordon Gray] #553121 07/15/14 9:23 pm
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One thing I've found about international travel and spending...
is while abroad, you spend in the local currency. Things are roughly priced proportionally in local currency, as they are here- the result is that (for me at least) I don't find myself alienated (or alarmed) by the "cost" of things. A fill up of gas in litres feels the more/less same as the cost of gas here.


I've spent Euros, English/Scottish Pounds, Lire, Pesos, and Danish, Swedish, & Norwegian Crowns. Oh, and also Canadian Dollars. My experience is there's no sticker shock- because you're immersed in the local economy, experiencing the flavor of the moment...

In the end, it just becomes a marvelous stay away from home in a foreign land. England & The UK is *easy* cuz everyone speaks the "same" language... SORT OF. laughing

Let's face it. You could drive yourself crazy thinking about and dwelling upon exchange rates, every penny spent, etc. BUT WHAT FUN IS THAT.

GO. ENJOY. RELAX. And have fun with your friends.


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please [Re: ricochetrider] #553177 07/16/14 10:42 am
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Quote
I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway


Gordon lad, well if THAT'S your attitude, best you stay put..!

Now then matey me ladio, listen up, and listen GOOD...

You've helped us out loads, indeed it was YOU that handed a complete stranger a bike in 06, so he could come with me to the BSA International. You work your chuff off at Blowing Rock every year, and more that I don't know about besides. So my Pedigree Chum, get that idea right out of your noggin...

We'll LOVE to Entertain you, and you won't be a Loner if we're with ya dude.. :bigt


IF, all goes to plan, I'll collect you from the airport of your choice, beer you up, and settle you in for a good kip. Followed next morning with a FULL English, I'll then sort a bike out for you, once we'd sorted the insurance. And you can follow me to the start of your Quest, we'll meet the lads, drink Ale, camp, ride, eat and drink Ale. And after a good week in the cold and rain of ole Blighty, we'll SEE how much of a loner you are.. laughing

And besides, I could do with a good Quest, so you coming over is the perfick excuse, not had a week in the rain on me bike, since...? Well..? Since last week.. laughing

So stop all this, I'm SO American, marlarky and git ya sorry behind on that Kerosene pigeon, we'll purge your system with PROPER Beer, have you wishing you'd gone to Hawaii or somewhere the Sun shines, and spend all your money on a tank full of Gas, you'll LOVE it lad.. wink

And remember, we drive on the LEFT, and spell Colour with a 'U' we say too mar toe, so start practising lad, it's the start of your education.. grin

Oh, and your eggs will be cooked, that's it, no questions asked, just cooked...


I'm from the SOUTH, the Deep South
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