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Neil Peart's News, Weather, and Sports Update
Neil Peart has posted the June 2011 update to the News, Weather, and Sports section of his website.
In this entry, titled "Singletrack Minds in the Sceptered Isle", Neil discusses his motorcycle travels throughout Great Britain.
The motorcycling is fantastic, through lovely and occasionally magnificent scenery, and the day-off destinations, the country hotels, are wonderful. The weather can be . . . variable (I once described “the three Rs” of motorcycling in Britain as “rain, roundabouts, and the wrong side”), but that’s one lesson I learned from the English, living there in my youth. If you make plans for an outing, a picnic, a hike, or a motorcycle ride, whatever the weather on that day, you go.
And in the typical Peartian fashion, the landscape captures his attention ... and imagination:
One day in the mountains I was thinking about all of the barren peaks in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, wondering why they are not forested. It finally occurred to me that those mountains were not always barren. It is apparent from thick stands of spruce in manmade plantations that trees willingly grow there, but when the original forests were cut down, centuries ago—even millennia ago, back when the Romans occupied the British Isles—the trees didn’t grow back. Those bare mountains remain spectacular, carpeted in low grasses and heather, and the millions of sheep obviously like them, but it is melancholy to imagine the towering canopies of oaks that must once have graced those peaks.
As usual, Neil's entry is sprinkled with some fantastic photos and, given the canvas of the Britain countryside, this entry is particularly breathtaking. Brutus, Neil's riding partner, even managed to snap off a great "panning shot" of Neil:
One of the most difficult techniques for us amateurs to capture is the “panning shot,” taken from the side with the rider sharp in the foreground, and the background blurred by the motion. I have watched professional photographers work on those panning shots, say of racing cars or motorcycles, following their passage with their cameras again and again, just to capture one image that works. So I rarely even try that technique, knowing it is practically always doomed to failure. Brutus, though, is more daring and determined, and one day on a B-road in Staffordshire, he managed to get the best panning shot any of my riding partners have ever taken.
Neil goes on to reminisce about his time living in London as a youth, and the time he spent playing in local London pubs and then, later, touches upon the early Rush tours in the UK. As usual, this is another fantastic and inviting read from Neil.
Check out the entire article via this LINK.
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