Sun shining and weather forecast for a superb day, eighteen people on sixteen bikes (a fantastic turn out) met at our regular start point, the Redbeck Cafe on doncaster Road, Crofton, for the first ride out of the year.
After the usual breakfasts, teas & coffees etc. the day suffered it's first issue for yours truly who had the task of leading this one .... Note to self: if you're going to spend hours on google maps plotting the route and making pace notes like a WRC co-driver, don't be a tw*t and leave your directions on the kitchen table at home !!!
Ed: Belly Laugh
Ok .... onto issue No.2: Everyone helmeted up etc. and ready to go when I get the message "Sam's bike's just died". "Oh dear" I say politely whilst my inner chimp is screaming "WTF!!!"
After some fiddling and tinkering around by Terry and Mark, with a few of us just watching on intrigued, Sam was up and running again ... and NO, that sentence is not a euphemism for any warped minded reader!!!
Off we go ... heading through Castleford and Aberford then straddling the A1 all the way to Wetherby. Through Wetherby and onto the B6154 to the congestion of Knaresborough. The fab B6165 out of Knaresborough lead us to Ripley where we had a cafe/toilet stop at the Ripley Castle Tea Rooms.
Did I mention how warm and sunny it was? The tea room was a lovely place to stop although not loved by everyone ... Chas being charged £3.20 for a glass of coke with ice did seem a bit steep, but he didn't go on about it .... MUCH!
We then left Ripley and continued on the B6165 through Bedlam and Burt Yates onto Summerbridge where we took a left onto the B6451 which dropped us past Menwith Hill and the famous 'Golf Balls' which serve as an early warning system against a missile attack from 'Johnny Foreigner' (although some riders claim not to have seen these at all .... mentioning no names ... Caz).
Continuing along we passed The Sun Inn where Leeds MAG head out once a year for the Fred Hill Memorial Ride.
Down into Farnley, Poole in Wharfedale then joining the A61 back towards Harewood.
Most riders had opted just to do the morning ride out and had other plans for the afternoon (including work shifts, attending MAP meetings etc) but six of us (Chas, Clare, Tom, Warwick, Caz and myself) coughed up the £10 entry and spent the afternoon watching the cars competing at the Harewood Hill Time Trail event.
This turned out to be a great event as cars of all sorts were competing in various classes. We had everything from a Hillman Imp and an Austin Maestro (yes really!) up to Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru Imprezza road cars, Caterhams to full blown Race Cars (F1 looking) with Indy Car engines which must have been capable of producing phenomenal horse power. Even an E-Type Jag, a Volvo estate and a Talbot Sunbeam (I had one of those once) were there to compete against the clock.
Did I mention the weather? A fantastic sunny afternoon spent outside in the fresh air watching this event came all too quickly to an end and around 4pm we decided to head home.
Enjoyed setting the route and enjoyed leading as much as the race event itself .... hope everyone else enjoyed it too.
Thank you everyone for coming and see you next time.