This was our first 'proper' ride-out of the year and I must admit when my alarm woke me up five hours after setting it as I had just come off night shift, and I heard the rain bouncing down outside I did wonder if it would happen at all. It seems I wasn't alone in thinking this, as I received a text from Terry enquiring if it was still on. Not wishing to let anyone down and being fully aware of my responsibilities as ride-out coordinator I said "let's meet up at the Redbeck for breakfast, see who else if anyone has turned up then make a decision".
I arrived at our meeting point for about 8.15am to find Jagster already sat there waiting and before long Sharon and Terry, Chas and Pete turned up. We had scrapped enough of us hard as nails hard core Wakey MAG bikers together to make things official, so we made a decision to just go for it regardless of the weather.
This proved to be an inspired choice as not long after leaving Wakefield the rain stopped and we enjoyed a very pleasant run through some wonderful scenery on many unclassified and traffic free roads to our destination at Richmond, and the Altberg boot factory.
On entering the Altberg factory shop we were welcomed and treated to cups of coffee made by Sharon who had commandeered the drinks machine and then given a full tour of the adjoining factory which was far more interesting than I think any of us could have anticipated.
I will never again question the price of a pair of boots now I realise all the painstaking development, testing, production and quality checking that they undergo before being released for sale to you or I. In fact I was so impressed that I decided to order a pair as did Terry and Pete and we sat down for the measuring service whilst sampling another coffee prepared by Sharon.
Eventually after enjoying Altberg's hospitality we decided to go and find some lunch and were recommended to try Witherspoons in the town centre. So off we went and parked up in the free for motorcycles spaces in the market square where Chas relived us of our money by selling us raffle tickets!
We found the pub and tucked into a very satisfying lunch whilst listening to Jagsters adventures in Thailand which was most entertaining. Ed: Did he marry a ladyboy ?
As we had been summoned to be back in time for the Euro Hustings) event hosted by Yorkshire MAG we decided to come back via the A1 which was fast but dull.
I would like to thank my fellow riders for braving the elements and turning out for the ride and making all the effort spent in organising this ride out so worthwhile. Also I apologise for the rather brief report on this occasion (although some may think this a good thing !) Ed: Saying Nowt ;-) as I could have written a whole lot more but I was being pushed to achieve a deadline. Anyway I am looking forward to the next ride out to Wensleydale creamery at Hawes. I hope to see you there.
Mick Culpan, Rideout Co-ordinator