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Author Topic: Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
Posts: 144
Post Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
on: May 8, 2012, 11:01

The difference being that we were starting from just outside Harrogate in Yorkshire - and the groups were entirely (almost) made up of Observers.

This was a trip for the Observers to keep each other on their toes - and have some fun in doing so. 😉

The first port of call was Ripon for fuel, as we'd ridden the best part of 250 miles the day before.

Then it was out on an unclassed road and minor A road to Leyburn for a debrief. Next section was mostly unclassed roads to Barnard Castle for the next debrief, and then a lovely ride on B roads and minor A roads to Hartside Cafe (See picture) at 1900ft for the final 'official debrief. This ride was on great roads made all the more exciting by it SNOWING!! 😯

After thawing out with coffee/tea and the mandatory sausage roll/cake it was then the fabulous road, complete with switchbacks, down to Penrith for a fuel stop (for Gavin on the Fireblade 😉 ) before the scenic and challenging ride along Ullswater and over Kirkstone Pass (see picture) to Windermere, Kendal and on to Devil's Bridge for .... ice-cream, as by now it was sunny and warm! 😎 (see picture)

From Devil's Bridge we took the B road to Hawes (apparently some people do timed rides, it such a good road!) and then back to the B&B for a well earned drink and excellent evening meal.

The group I was riding in consisted of Chris D, Gary W and David D. Chris was fully exploring his new Versys 1000, Gary was sparkling on his Fazer 1000 and David was ... hoping his GS1150 would keep in one piece until we got back! 😉 - only kidding, although he did have to remove his hugger at Hartside as it was hanging on by a thread! David was enjoying(?) the sensation of riding in a group where the rider behind was 'relatively' close, something that takes a bit of getting used to, as most Associates would probably agree. 😉

A fantastic day's riding in great company.

It quickly became apparent that riding to the system on those kinds of roads i.e. hills!, required adaptation of our usual riding style. For instance, there were less hedges and more panoramic views so adjusting observation was necessary to take in information from slightly different aspects. This 'variation on a theme' just added to the experience and enjoyment of some fantastic roads for riding motorbikes.

If you get the chance to do something like this then it's well worth the effort. Who knows, if there's enough interest expressed in the Group then I might be persuaded to organise a similar trip (Matt organised this one) for all members of the group.

The route is below.

Hartside, Kirkstone Pass, and Devil's Bridge

The Chequers Inn unclassed to A61 3 miles
L A61 to ESSO petrol S/O @ RBT 3 miles
L into Ripon unclassed to A6108 s/p Masham/Leyburn (just after BP)
L A6108 to Leyburn 20 miles
Leyburn unclassed to Reeth & then Jct after The CB Inn 12 miles
R @ jct after CB Inn unclassed to A66 s/p Barnard Castle 8 miles
R A66 to B6277 0.3 mile
L B6277 to A67 (Barnard Castle) 1.7 miles
L A67 to B6277
R (S/O?) B6277 to A698 (Alston) 31 miles
L A689 to A686 (Alston)
L A686 to Hartside Cafe 6 miles
Coffee and cake after 85 miles
L A686 to Roundabout for A6 14 miles
R @ RBT A6 to Penrith
Esso for fuel after 100 miles
R, & then R @ RBT A66 to A66/M6 RBT 1 mile
S/O @ RBT A66 to A66/A592 RBT 1 mile
2nd exit @ RBT A592 to A592 3 miles
Continue (R) onto A592 to A592/A591 RBT (Windermere)20 miles
1st exit (L) onto A591 to A591/A5284 RBT (Kendal) 7 miles
1st exit (L) onto A5284 to Right turn s/p A65 Skipton 1.5 miles
R s/p A65 Skipton to L to follow 1-way system
L to follow 1-way system s/p A65 Skipton to R to follow 1-way system
R to follow 1-way system to keep left then straight s/p A65 Skipton
IN KENDAL -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Continue straight on and keep left to go left over bridge and then right
Go left over bridge and then right to continue on A65 (refuel @ Shell?)
Continue on A65 to A65/A6/A590 RBT
1st exit (L) @ RBT s/p A65 Oxenholme to B6254 s/p Oxenholme
OUT OF KENDAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
L B6254 to Kirkby Lonsdale 10 miles
L A65 to A683 0.3 mile
L A683 to Car park on left Devil's Bridge
Ice-cream/coffee after 42 miles
L A65 to B6255 (Ingleton) 6 miles
L B6255 to A684 (Hawes) 17 miles
R A684 to unclassed s/p Gayle 300yds
R unclassed to B6160 (Buckden) 11 miles
R B6160 to B6265 (Grassington) 10 miles
L B6265 to B6165 (Pateley Bridge) 12 miles
Continue onto B6165 to Turn off for The Chequers Inn 7 miles
L unclassed to The Chequers Inn 2 miles
And relax after 65 miles

Total mileage 200 miles (approx.!)

Posts: 11
Post Re: Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
on: May 9, 2012, 06:48

Well now, ok, I admit it........I wanna go!!!........
My wife is a bit poorly for long runs, but if there is a outing that is for everybody not just observers, and it would be ok to come on my own, then I am your grasshopper, I mean man.
Nice one folks, Great club, and I am loving it. Gotta pass the test, gotta pass the test............

The Vicar
Posts: 20
Post Re: Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
on: May 9, 2012, 22:04

A big thanks to all who went on the 'Yorkshire ObserversandRob Group Ride', especially Matt for leading from the front for so long on a great route up there and Peter for his route over-hill-and-down-dale and beside beautiful lakes and through chocolate box villages.

The Chequers Inn at Bishop Thornton was amazingly good value at £35pppn for half board and as many roll-mops as you could eat.

See you all soon once my GPS cradle, horn, hugger and ar*e have all recovered from the experience!

The Vicar

Posts: 58
Post Re: Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
on: May 10, 2012, 23:19

I'd just like to pass on my thanks to all those involved in an enjoyable and informative weekend

The trip up hartside was most interesting with the temp going from 12 degrees at the bottom to -2 at the top
with snow thrown in for good measure. The trip down tested different observational skills to flat old norfolk,
looking for hazards and looking where you want to go involved virtually doing life savers on a couple of the switch backs,
with a few yumps thrown in and not knowing which way the road was likely to go once over the top certainly keeps you on your toes.

"Gary was sparkling on his Fazer 1000" has got more to do with the old girl than me.

To David D and Gavin S, You've just been Fazered

Posts: 7
Post Re: Group Ride (with a difference) 06/05/2012
on: May 18, 2012, 01:32

Hi all, Just to say sorry for delay in reply but only recently been able to stand up straight !! Over 700 miles in three days on my blade left the old back in some discomfort !! Terry medlar would laugh as thats a normal sunday ride out for him !! Firstly a big thanks to all who organized the trip,routes and accomodation. I had a really great few days and it was relatively stress free,due to some superb organisation.So thankyou all.
I`m fairly new to this Observer bit so wasn`t really sure what to expect of our weekender.The ride up from Watton was led by Matt and apart from the fact he has the widest bike on the road! it was a pleasure to follow someone who makes advanced riding look so easy ! Peter had thoughtfully planned petrol stops for me on route as the blade does suffer from limited range or moreover the rider does! 150miles before you hit reserve is not bad going though and believe me when i say thats far enough in one hit when the aches set in !!
Upon arrival we divvied up the rooms and i got the kettle on as i am a coffee addict. The rooms were comfortable and clean with plenty of Nescafe. Sorted ! My roommate David ( The Vicar ) and i hit the bar after the FA cup had finished and we met up with the group for Dinner. The food was excellent with Rollmops aplenty ( you had to be there!) ( and even if you were you probably still don`t know the joke !!) The carvery really was all you can eat with a generous helping of meat and tasty Veg. I`m a chef of over 20 years and can honestly say that the food was Very good.Home made Lemon meringue for pud and i was a very happy camper !! Heads down before midnight seemed wierd to me as i`m normally still clearing the kitchen down but i knew a full day lay ahead so early night for me !! Can`t believe i didn`t ask David about the RD500 he once had.Next time.
Sunday started with breakfast which i rarely eat but it all looked so good. Thats my excuse anyway as i tucked into cornflakes, and then full cooked from the "help yourself to an early grave" buffet. I struggled to not go up for seconds, but as my trousers were already feeling tight around the middle i decided on more coffee instead.
I was riding with Matt,his son Rob and Hamish. I was asked to give an intro as if meeting with an associate for the first time and some useful pointers were discussed. we then made our way to Ripon for fuel although i wasn`t the only one who needed it for a change! First stop by a lovely village pond and debrief with My associate "Matt". I made some observations regarding the ride and we set off again.Acouple of stops and debriefs and it was decided that i would lead and have my ride assessed. No pressure there then !!
Off we go and i guess this was what i`d been looking forward to. Testing my advanced skills on roads i don`t know at all. I sometimes feel complacency creeping in when i do the Somerleyton bends or Stubbs Green type roads. I know where those bends go, i know how tight they are, how fast or slow i can go through them without really reading them. The familiar can sometimes be a bigger danger than the unknown. Thats probably been said by someone far wiser than me but it got me thinking before the trip and here was the test.
Some truly fantastic roads with almost every possible situation ensued. Blind summits that changed direction upon cresting the top, Nice one!!Dear Mr Honda Can i have an air brake please!! Switch back bends that left me struggling to keep the blade on my side of the road ! Dear Mr Honda Can i have a full lock turn and not crush my thumbs.Not Good. Steep descents,and even steeper ascents left me wanting flat old Norfolk and Suffolk again ! We stopped at HIgh force Waterfall and after a detailed debrief we set off once again. By now the weather had changed and it started to snow. Sweet ! Another coffee stop,told you i`m an addict, and we set off down the mountain! Petrol time at Penrith and some fast flowing A roads from Shap to Kendal before another coffee stop at the picturesque Devil`s bridge. According to the route we had 65 miles to go and i offered to "get us home". Another chance for some much needed practice. I managed to negotiate the winding roads and avoided most of the pot holes!! Back at the ranch we gathered for evening meal once again.
Monday and after another huge breakfast we set off hoping to beat the weather home. The Humber bridge was a first for me and i got left behind when i picked the only queue that didn`t move.Like standing in the bank and everyone else gets to go first. Then the driver in front drops his £1.50. DoH ! I mean really you couldn`t make it up! anyway Matt sees i`m stuck and slows his pace to allow me to keep him in sight at junctions. I finally catch up, annoyed with myself for making another mistake, Note to self , must do better! We then come across the Famous Caistor Tops and some of the best flowing,wide bends i`ve ridden. The group is now quite spread out but we all had a smile when we stopped for a coffee at Horncastle garden center.From here the group splits and i ride back with Hamish and Gary W. I lead and we head for Boston on some lovely roads. My mirrors have a Blue Fazer permanently stuck in them and at one point i think he`s riding pillion !! Guess i`ve just been Fazered ! Well the Akra is fitted now Gary so you can have some tunes next time you ride shotgun !! We stop for fuel as Hamish is on fumes But then he has done 250 miles since filling up.The weather starts to turn for the worst and i am not a big fan of the next stretch of road. I become a car driver for a while content to go with the flow and miss some opportunities to make progress. Note to me A roads in the wet, do some ! Gary shows me the errors of my ways but a lorry separates us and i guess a lack of confidence/experience means i can`t keep up.Hamish sits patiently behind me as i become the student and i know i`ve missed some overtakes as Hamish is already out when i check my mirrors. Sorry Big Man if i held you up. Thanks for getting me home safe though.Quick blast down Hales to Somerleyton and home.
I really enjoyed the weekend even if i did discover i`m not as good as i thought. Just makes me want to practice some more.Not done my fuel yet but 50mpg is normal and £80 went on fuel which is not too bad i guess.
Over 700 miles covered and have just finished cleaning the Blade only to discover a puncture in the front tyre. Off to HMT for a pair as the back one was getting there anyways! Ride safe.

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