For our second memorial ride (dedicated to the Memory of dear friends and ex-Members of the Branch who are sadly no longer with us), we'd decided on a ride to Whitby (a favourite of John Hannon's if only for the fish n chips).
Fifteen members on twelve bikes (Sharon, Sarah and Cathy as pillions), plus a bloke called John who Chas had spoken to in a lay-by that morning and persuaded to join us, all met at the Redbeck for the usual breakfast, tea, coffee etc. on what the Met Office had forecast to be a cracking day!
We also had a guest rider (and winner of the longest travelled award): Alex Cottrell (who'd ridden all the way from mid-France cos he knows how good our ride outs are).
Shortly after 9am we set off and headed out through Featherstone, Castleford, Aberford and on towards Bramham and Wetherby, side-stepping the A1 and sticking to our usual non-motorway roads.
After skirting round Wetherby on the bypass we peeled off onto an unnumbered road and continued on through open countryside.
We then passed through several villages: Cowthorpe, Cattal, Whixley before making a right turn at Little Ouseburn where we crossed the river Ouse on a rather rickety steel and wooden toll bridge (free for bikes!). Have to say I was disappointed ASBO Alice wasn't with us as I know how much she loves bridges over water ha ha.
Youlton and Alne were next, again separated by nothing but hedges, fields and trees until we reached Easingwold. The villages of Crayke and Bradsby followed on until we joined the B1363 (another nice scenic road) and on through Gilling East, Oswaldkirk, Sproxton and on to Helmsley where we stopped for drinks, cake and ice cream at the Ryeburn Cafe.
After refreshments and the necessary bathroom visits we left Helmsley taking the B1257 past Rievaulx Abbey to Stokesley. If you've never ridden this road then put it on your list now, it's a belter!!!
Some of our younger riders (and Caz who's old enough to know better) decided to have their 'fifteen minutes of fun' and shoot off in front making the most of the twists and undulations of this fab stretch of road, all within the legal limits of course ;-)
Once we'd regrouped at Stokesley we took the A173 then quickly made a right onto more unmarked roads and across the top of the spectacular North Yorks Moors through Easby, Battersby, Kildale and Commondale, with only these small villages and a few hundred sheep to keep us company.
Joining the A171 and passed Scaling Dam we bore left onto the B1266 and then A174 and on to Sandsend where a quick toilet stop proved very popular. Sandsend itself is a small unspoiled costal village just a couple of miles north of Whitby and well worth a visit.
Just a short stint down the road to Whitby, where we all managed to park (quite close together) and walked down the harbour side. Whitby was packed of course on such a glorious day.
Here we decided to split up as some wanted a cafe for food (no cafe needed for Kane as he'd brought his own picnic - enough to feed a small army).
Others opted for the liquid refreshment (shandy of course) and arranged to meet up at the bandstand at 4pm. A slog back up the hill to the bikes parked on North Cliff (although some did treat themselves and catch the bus!!!) and we were ready to continue.
Sam, Kane, Bob and John (Chas's new best mate) all decided to head home while the rest of us followed the coast road down to Scarborough.
Food again featured during our stop at 'Yorkshire's own Riviera' town where yours truly was treated to a Jam & Cream Waffle by Caz who then proceeded to scoff at least 2/3 of it claiming she'd never had a waffle before .... as if!
Half an hour sat on the harbour side with all the usual chat and banter and Sharon dangling her 'Crab Line' into the water (didn't catch a bloody thing - no rude jokes there).
It was then time to move on again (this time to Filey) as Lorna wanted to call at her Holiday retreat (static caravan) to see Becky and her grandkids for half an hour.
Kids were pleased to see everyone and quickly set about wearing out Clare and Alex who'd volunteered to play 'piggy in the middle' and con Clare into doing cart wheels on the grass ... photo to prove it:
Leaving Filey at approx 8pm we headed home through Sledmere, Fridaythorpe, Stamford Bridge and then Escrick, before we all separated our respective ways.
I got home about 10pm absolutely knackered but had had a thoroughly enjoyable day out with great company.
Sincerely hope everyone enjoyed our ride out as much as I did as it was a pleasure to plan and lead.
Thanks to all who came.
Rideout Co-ordinator (1 of 3)