Pando Ace Story – Exploring the Great British Countryside
When you make a plan for a ride in the UK, especially coming out of London, for me it’s important to find great British roads to feel connected with the bike, roads that are open to crank open the throttle and stopping off at a quintessential British pub to devour some of the simple but yet British food. Of course, the destination helps in some cases too. In this case, Stonehenge.
None of us had ever been to Stonehenge having known about it since the day we came to this Earth. Located 90ish miles to the west of London, it’s safe to say no one can be sure what the purpose of the rocks were. Having the erection started approximately around 3100BC, speculation is that the rocks were possibly used ranging from human sacrifice to astronomy. What I am amazed with is how people may have moved, lifted and arranged the rocks during the period as industrial tools and machinery were not available at that time.
Nevertheless Stonehenge was a place where a couple of us had on our bucket list and made it our wow point of interest to make the ride even more so memorable. I have never been one for wanting to know much about the history of such places in too much detail, but rather embrace the monument for what it is and be in awe of what Human civilization achieved such a long time ago.
Our ride started off at the famous Ace Café, a great central point for us as we are all located in different regions of London. We aren’t fond of motorways generally and try to keep them to a minimum and as a quicker way to get home. Our rides usually start with smaller A and B roads to get to our destination, as the saying goes, “its the journey that matters, not the destination”, I’d strongly argue in this case it was both.
Riding out from London on the A40 towards the Chiltern Hills, some of the best country roads are found here. Small winding country lanes with dips, curves and hairpins to drool over with the odd horse and tractor adding to what the Brit countryside has to offer.
We worked our way down towards to the North Wessex Downs AONB, a green extension of agricultural heaven south of the Chiltern Hills exploring even further of the countryside. When you see other bikers on the roads in the region, you know these roads are the sole purpose what man made these for. Our route, carefully planned by yours truly didn’t touch a motorway to get to our destination.
Having seen a piece of British history, as mentioned, our culinary senses always seek to find an independent pub located in the middle of nowhere. This is quite an important part of our ride, not only for food, but supporting a business that is local to the area, run by local people and selling products which are sourced from other local businesses. We managed to find a small pub called The Swan in Enford, north of Stonehenge. What a gem of a pub too – it specialized in Gins from all over Britain and had over 150 types of Gin.
The food tends to take longer in these pubs than the busy places in London and I quite like that. It’s somewhat reassuring that the food is made fresh, made to order and it essentially gives time to build up my hunger. I tend to have a habit to order fish and chips every time. The guys rib me for it and that’s fine, as I actually use these rides to indulge.
These are the moments and rides we enjoy away from the big smoke and me being somewhat a city boy. Not having to negotiate traffic, overpriced fashionable food and feel the need to adapt to an ever changing City, this all is an experience. The great British countryside at times feels as though it stopped in time when it did not need to evolve as much as a metropolis does. That’s the great thing about it. And for me that’s what makes Great Britain Great.
Story and photos by Jay Dhokia. Follow the adventures of Throttle Rockers on their Instagram.