Despite a gloomy weather forecast, eleven of us met up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, on Sunday 11th October, for our planned rideout to the Black Sheep Brewery, at Masham, North Yorkshire. Great to welcome along Stuart & Lee from Barnsley MAG, together with Mark Dalton, on his inaugural Wakefield MAG rideout, on his home built Triumph Speed Triple (as featured on the My Bike page).
Great to also welcome along Daz, albeit in his car, following his bike accident in the Summer, who turned up just to wave us off. After a bit of a delayed start where we helped Ron search for his lost bike keys (which were in his pocket .... Doh !!!), we set off and took the A650 out of Wakefield. As we rode through East Ardsley, the weather turned into that 'fine rain that gets you wet', and by Tingley Roundabout, it looked like the rain had set in for the day. Two of our contingent peeled off to return home to pick up waterproofs, whilst the rest of us continued past the White Rose Centre (where the rain duly stopped ...... and remained so for the remainder of the day !!!!).
We followed Leeds Ring Road (A6120) towards Leeds / Bradford Airport, then picked up the A65 and the A6038 towards Otley. Passing through Otley, we then took minor B roads through Blubberhouses, heading towards Pateley Bridge, via Greenhow Village, where we stopped for a breather, a fag break for some, and a quick check of the map.
Greenhow Village, as avid readers of our exploits will remember, is where we had to turn around, having taken a wrong turning, on a previous rideout.
Whilst stopped, we also picked up a text message from Ossett MAG Mick (who had left us at Tingley roundabout to pick up his waterproofs) saying he had decided not to join us again, due to the constant rain ....... we were reading this message whilst the sun was shining, the roads were dry, and the sky was blue ....... Oh, how we all laughed. At this point, we wont mention why Barnsley Stuart got told off by a Greenhow Village resident !!!!!
After our brief stop, we passed though Pateley Bridge, and continued along minor roads, through quite spectacular countryside, arriving in Masham at Lunchtime. We parked up in Masham Square, which was quite busy with lots of other bikes, all doing the same as us, enjoying the roads and the fine warm Autumn weather (fine warm Autumn weather .... right Mick ;-)
A quick walk and we arrived at our ultimate destination, the Black Sheep Brewery and Visitors Centre. We had missed the 12:30 tour, so booked on the 14:00 tour instead, and had a leisurely look in the gift shop and enjoyed a cuppa in the restaurant.
The tour began with a film outlining beer making and a potted history of the Brewery, and how it had been developed by a member of Theakston Brewing dynasty, after Theakston's were taken over by the Scottish & Newcastle Conglomerate, in the early 1990's. We were then given a guided tour of the brewery itself, and how all the raw ingredients are quite magically transformed into delicious foaming real ale. A Black Sheep brew also has the accolade of being voted the Best Beer in the World. Not a bad award that one. I bet being a judge for the Best Beer in the World competition is a great job !!!! ....... wonder if they have any vacancies ?
Following the tour, we adjourned to the bar for our complimentary half pint, and a further visit to the gift shop for liquid goodies to take home.
On returning to our bikes in Masham Square, we bumped into our good friends from the West Yorkshire branch of the VJMC, also on a rideout. We then bumped into Scarborough MAG, who were also on a rideout ....... small world and all that.
We took the more direct route on major A roads on our way home, passing through Harrogate town centre (and avoiding getting split up, unlike our last rideout through Harrogate). We all arrived home safe and sound around 18:00 after a most splendid day out. Other than the first 30 minutes of the rideout, we had enjoyed good weather all day (So no real need for waterproofs, right Mick ;-)
And let it never be said that Wakefield MAG can't organise a piss up in a brewery !!!