Once again our gallant band of hard core ride-out enthusiasts met up at the Redbeck cafe on Doncaster Road for our pilgrimage to Hollingworth lake ower t'uther side of hill. In complete contrast to a few weeks previously when this run was supposed to take place, but was cancelled due to monsoon type rainfall only usually seen in the foothills of the Himalayas, we had hot sunshine, clear blue sky and no wind. The sun was cracking the flags and melting the tarmac as we pulled into the Redbeck car park as vultures circled overhead eyeing our every move and waiting for one of us to keel over in the sub-tropical heat.
Fortunately that didn't happen and we all donned the nose bag and emptied the tea urn whilst making jocular observances about one another's general attire and posture. Unfortunately there was no escaping Chas who once again assumed his role as Dick Turpin and systematically relived us of our loose change for the Wakey MAG pot. Unbelievably Bill won the raffle for the umpteenth time and he wasn't even coming on the ride-out! Isn't it strange how money always seems to go to those that need it the least? Oh well all for a good cause and big pat on the back to Chas for remembering his duties he hasn't missed a chance to lighten our pockets so far!
Civilities complete we saddled up and followed Tracy out of the car park, she had volunteered to lead which was quite fortunate as she was the only one who knew the route. Chas took up position as last man which left me free to play moving up and down the column as took my fancy (Oooh Er Missus). Without revealing any secrets about how fast we were going, I have to say that this was easily the fastest ride we have ever done on a group ride and was quite a blast from our more usual dawdle.
Fortunately the roads were clear and conditions perfect for riding through some stunning scenery across the Pennines and alongside the reservoirs. Without trauma we arrived at our destination but found the pub car park so rammed full of bikes we decided not to stop and instead made our way to Hebden Bridge to the Shoulder of Mutton pub and gate crashed the Bridge Rats M.C.C. bike night.
There must have been at least 30 or so bikes parked in the precinct in front of the pub and as soon as we removed our helmets we were approached and made most welcome by members of the Bridge Rats committee. We were even invited to their rally in Halifax but unfortunately this is the same weekend as the Y.P.R. otherwise it would probably be an event well worth attending. In case anyone is interested the Bridge Rats who are MAG affiliated meet every Tuesday from 7.30pm at the above venue.
Time was getting on and being mindful that some people had work next day we threw a leg over our trusty steeds and made our way back home after a really enjoyable ride which I personally think we ought to do a little more of, watch this space so they say.
Mick Culpan, Rideout Co-ordinator