Yet another highly successful enjoyable ride out led by yours truly (mostly) which was executed seamlessly and entirely according to plan (who shouted Pinocchio). Well anyway I do think everyone enjoyed it despite a minor unplanned detour at the start ... ooops.
A fantastic turnout of 15 riders and pillions on 12 bikes met up at the Redbeck cafe on Doncaster road for our now familiar breakfast and chat before setting off. Besides all the Wakey MAG regulars and a couple of my mates, we also welcomed Warren and Veronica from Huddersfield (my sincere apologies if I got your names wrong) who had seen our ride out advertised on our website and asked if they could tag along which of course they most certainly could.
The first part of the route shall be ignored in order to protect the guilty and in any case it didn't get interesting until after Skipton where we all reformed in a layby on the bypass. (Ed: So no real mention of the 2 hours spent riding around Bradford due to a major SatNav malfunction .... I thought that was the highlight of the day ;-)
Back in the lead and the satnav functioning correctly we headed towards Grassington but soon left the more usual routes to explore far more interesting country lanes which were now down to single track roads which snaked their way up into the hills and through the valleys. We crossed tiny hump back bridges over babbling brooks and rounded hairpin bends whilst climbing ever higher before breaking through the tree line into magnificent scenery bathed in the warmth of the sun shining from a cloudless sky. The only living things around besides us were countless sheep which scattered on our approach. It felt good to be alive and out on my bike the earlier detour now a forgotten memory as we descended again into the valley below.
Eventually we re-entered civilisation and found our way past the impressive Ribbleshead viaduct and on to Hawes where we parked up in Wensleydale Creamery's car park.
Only just in time too as we were followed in by the Geordie Chapter of the Harley Davidson club at least 30 Harleys thundered their way in, a most impressive sight to witness. Hawes was absolutely rammed with bikes of every description and obviously judging by the T shirts and jacket logos worn by the riders very many had come on a club outing the same as us.
We all sat eating our lunch purchased from the onsite cafe at some convenient picnic tables overlooking the hills and then went separate ways with some looking round the cheese factory itself and others strolling into town before meeting back in the car park for the journey back. First though we all went round the factory shop sampling every conceivable cheese before settling on buying our chosen variety.
The journey back was largely uneventful but instead of using the familiar A roads I chose to venture along the back roads and despite some complaining of being slightly saddle sore I think everyone appreciated and enjoyed the run and complimented me on my skill and sense of direction! (Ed: !?!?!?)
Once we reached the outskirts of Bradford which I intended to avoid passing through our merry band gradually dispersed as they all chose their own way home on what I think was a great day out. May I thank all those who turned up and showed incredible tolerance and for making the hours of planning these excursions so worthwhile.