Friday, 25 June 2010

Bus Passes or Bikes?

Q. What do retired guys do when they are not riding a free bus to collect their pensions or shuffling down to the post office with their zimmers?
A. They use the internet to check the weather forecast and consult Google Earth to organise a rendezvous and email to communicate and make it happen.

The Midlanders, from Rugeley, Nottingham and Duffield, have arranged to meet at a convenient RV at 09:15 for a departure at 09:30. The first two TE and JM are here ....... (obviously one of us has to take the pic!) .......

Soon joined by number three ..... TG. Two Beemers and a Triumph. Which reminds me of the World Cup 2010. Honda doing very well. Mobilette and Aprilia have been sent home. BMW v Triumph on Sunday at Bloemfontein 3PM.

TE and TG on the way to the RV where we have arranged to meet the heathen Northerners who are invading Lincolnshire from Ilkley, Holmfirth, Hull and Beverley. Note the poppies in the field!!

At 10:52 we arrive at the rendezvous 53 25 50.8N 001 01 57.2W. We seem to be the first here.

I was hoping to get some pics as the others arrived, but we waited in vain. We chatted amongst ourselves. I kept my mouth shut even though I had nothing to say!

BUT, we did meet up soon enough and all together there were 7 motorcycles ridden by 6 OAPs and 1 honorary OAP. Here are 6 of the 7 bikes. Aprilia Tuomo, Honda CBF1000GT, Honda CBF1000, BMWR1200GS, BMWK1300GT, Triumph Sprint ST1050. BMWR1150GSA out of picture. Riders: CE, RH, MF, TE, JK, TG and JM out of shot.

We had a good ride with a very good leader (not me!). Having visited the Lincolnshire Aviation Museum for a light lunch in the N.A.A.F.I, we rode to Bolingbroke (click) which has a 13th century castle, where, in 1366 King Henry IV was born. The link does far more justice to the castle than my camera can. The village of Bolingbroke has a great looking pub and some pretty cottages and lanes.

This is a pic of TE and JK posing on their steeds by the ...........

......... yup, you guessed right AGAIN ....... The Black Horse Inn!

Dr JK - a late-comer to the motorcycle ball. He thinks nothing of doing 450 miles a day, which is impressive in UK traffic. I seem to only manage about 250 miles a day and then I need a lie down.

A pretty cottage in Bolingbroke.

Another pretty cottage.

Another angle PLUS hanging baskets! We are aesthete hard bikers. Yes, I said, "aesthete."

This is a nice gaff. These pretty village images are mainly for the benefit of my S.A readers. Apologies for the lack of bike pics.

Maybe I could afford this if I sold my place?

I took this pic of some Bolingbroke geese for you. After Bolingbroke we went to Skegness for an ice-cream and to check out the talent. Didn't see any, but then we didn't check the bingo halls.
On the way back to the Midlands, we took the A17 and I noticed a signpost to the village of Heckington. I left my two mates to peel off and have a look.

Heckington has a famous windmill which was once owned by the grandfather of a South African friend of mine - (Hi Brown Bear!)

Taking a decent picture was not easy - so I didn't manage it!! The sun was behind and I couldn't make this any lighter with PhotoShop. The bike at the base gives an idea of the size of this beautiful structure.

I walked around to the west side - into an old disused coal yard - and took this angle.

This says it really!

Finally, I made it home at 18:30 after 255 miles and a good day riding. It was still very sunny and warm. I had a sundowner (although the sun didn't set until about 21:35 and it wasn't dark until 22:05) and sat down to watch Denmark v Japan. Result 1:3 (Keisuke Honda was Man-of-the-Match). Not a bad day in the life of an OAP!

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Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Sunny Ride to The Lord Nelson at Hoylandswaine, Yorkshire.

It was decided to organise a motorcycle ride to a pub for lunch. Here we are at the rendezvous before setting off.

As you can see, the group consisted mainly of pensioners - but the three near the left are honorary 'oldies'. They help to bring the average age down to about 22. John 'Moon Eyes' Cooper is in this picture. During the 1971 Race of the Year at Mallory Park, fifty thousand motorcycle racing fans crowded into the Leicestershire circuit for what turned out to be greatest race ever run on the UK mainland - John 'Moon Eyes' Cooper on the BSA Rocket 3 running against multi-world champion Giacomo Agostini and the all-conquering 500 MV Agusta. Spectators shouted themselves hoarse through 30 laps of intense action which ended in a fairy-tale win for the British rider on the British bike. Click HERE for a link.

There were two Honda VFRs on this ride. John 'Moon Eyes' Cooper rode one of them.

This is in the Peak District National Park - in The Strines. Honda VFR, Honda CBF1000, BMWR1200GSA. The bikes also included another Honda VFR, Aprilia Tuono, BMWR1150GSA, KTM990 Adventure, BMWK1300GT.

The scenery was beautiful - and the countryside!

Dr A and Dr J discuss the day so far.

CE and PM - Aprilia Tuono & Honda VFR. "What's not to like?"

This road was perfect for various reasons - surface, scenery, sunshine and socialising .......

......... and it lead us more or less straight to the pub ........

The Lord Nelson.

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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Overnight at Greystoke, Cumbria

I looked out the window and, yes, it was raining. Well it was only the 8th of June and this is England! Only one thing for it - go motorbike riding and head for somewhere even wetter. Cumbria and the Lake District both sound quite wet. Let's go there!

Notice the rain gear! Also note the camping gear on the bike. Time to go!
The time is 09:45. I have to refuel and it is a 2h30m ride to the 12:30 rendezvous where I will meet up with my Yorkshire mates.
Here we are near a place called the Buttertubs which are fluted limestone columns and potholes on the road between Wensleydale and Swaledale. The potholes are not on the actual road on this occasion. Click here for the link.
Actually we (JM, MF, Dr J and CE) met up at Leyburn Railway Station. N54 18 28.48 W001 49 19.76 and then continued the ride through the beautiful West Yorkshire dales. We rode through Aysgarth and Hawes and then Thwaite and Keld.
Riding in the rain is okay. Provided that you have the correct gear on it is actually quite pleasant. There are advantages too; it is comfortable (not too hot) and there are no bugs committing hari-kari on your visor. I'm such a positive person!!

This is a river-side camping site near Keld. We stopped to check it out for future possibilities.

Yep; it looks fine!

At Tan-Hill Inn we stopped for a hot chocolate. It was run by two pretty maids. The location is The Causeway overlooking Teesdale at Reeth near Richmond.

Then we continued via Kirkby Stephen (a very attractive little town) to Appleby. Appleby is famous for the annual Horse Fair. In fact we came across numerous horse-drawn gypsy caravans on the adjacent roads. At around 17:30 we arrived at Greystoke Castle.

This is where MF and I planned to stay for the night. Here is the link and the coordinates:
N54 40 19.41 W002 52 14.08
Having established that the B&B was good - and it was - we booked in and then went to visit Dr J's daughter and son-in-law at Caldbeck. This was about 10 miles further northwest.

We rode through some very picturesque scenery on the way.

Having spent an hour at Dr J's outlaws and having had a nice cup of coffee, we headed back to Greystoke for a very good meal in the village pub.

The Boot & Shoe pub in Greystoke village, a 5 minute walk from the accommodation. It was good! Then, at 21:30, Dr J and CE, and having had zero alcohol (good guys) rode home to Hull and Beverley respectively - a three hour ride. Why? - because they had commitments the next day, like golf and building work. These OAPs are tough.
MF and I had enjoyed a few drinks in the pub the night before. We slept well, had a very nice breakfast, and then set off to have a brief look at the lake district. This and .............

......... also this, is Lake Windermere.

A pretty farm lane opposite the lake.

The bikes performed well. The next 'leg' was via Staveley and the A65 and Kirkby Lonsdale (coffee stop) to MF's home at Ilkley. Bonnie provided us with a lovely lunch and then I had to set off for the two hour ride south to my place.
It was a good trip and I'm glad that we went even though it rained a lot!! Notice I didn't actually camp!!

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