Finally our last official rideout of 2013 had arrived and nine riders on eight bikes gathered outside our familiar meeting point at the Redbeck cafe on Doncaster road for what I personally think was our best ride out of the year.
After the now customary big breakfast and mugs of steaming hot tea had been consumed we mounted up and were soon on our way through Wakefield and down through Dewsbury and Mirfield towards Bailiff Bridge and Hipperholme. On we went through Northowram, Queensbury, Denholme and Oxenhope before heading towards Colne.
You can see that we were not going the more traditional route to Devils Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale, instead, we were trying to get away from the A roads and onto more, shall we say, interesting roads. The further we went the more 'interesting' these roads became and were technically quite challenging with many tight turns and gradients to negotiate. However the scenery was quite spectacular as we passed by and over many reservoirs nestled in the valleys and then climbed sharply up tracks that probably see more sheep than vehicles.
We rode on to Gisburn and Bolton by Bowland before pulling into the car park at Slaidburn for a much needed convenience break and cup of coffee.
Many other bikers were out and about due in no small part to the lovely day as we were blessed with warm sunshine and dry roads. After our stop of around 20 minutes or so where Chas did his now familiar Dick Turpin impersonation and relived us of our hard earned cash, we pressed on towards Bentham up over the top of the moors on single track roads that went up and down like a roller coaster, more than once I went airborne as my bike decided it really wanted to be a Eurofighter, the exhilaration and grin factor was immense and I could sense everyone else was enjoying themselves as much as I was by the general exited buzz as we paused for a few photos on top of a mountain.
Eventually we joined the A65 about a mile before devils Bridge and squeezed in to the car park which was absolutely rammed with other bikes.
We spent awhile mooching about and paid a visit to the chuck wagon for a bite to eat and a cuppa before mounting up again and taking the quick way back heading through Ingleton, Clapham, Settle, Gargrave and skirting Skipton to Keighley then Bingley and Shipley before dropping down into Bradford where we paused at Bradford Motorcycles for another coffee and a look at the bikes on display.
It was from here that we all decided to make our own way home having agreed we had enjoyed a splendid ride through some breath-taking scenery.
I paid compliment to all the participants for their meticulous execution of the 2nd man riding system which worked faultlessly as even though we were well spaced out at times we all arrived at our destination together and no one was left behind or got lost. This is a marvellous step forward as I can remember before we adopted this system that we often couldn't all get out of Wakefield together without someone going the wrong way.
In conclusion as this year's Ride-out co-ordinator I would like to personally thank all the participants that have joined in on the ride outs I have organised as it has been a real pleasure leading such a happy and cooperative friendly bunch. In particular a big thanks to Chas for volunteering to be back marker and for his sterling efforts in running the petrol money raffle. Also I wish to thank Tracy for her help in planning some of the rides and in leading on a couple of occasions.