As we enter September the risk of inclement weather increases, putting at risk all the hard work the ride leader has put in to prepare the ride. The forecast was reasonable however and on the day the weather set fair for riding motorcycles and a good turn out of twenty plus people arrived for a great days ride.
Following a comprehensive briefing from Steve we set out from our start point at the Wetherby Service Area adjacent to the A1M with Steve's wife Anne bringing up the rear as Back Marker. (Family affairs these social rides!)
Crossing over the A1M we brushed the edge of Wetherby before turning right up the A168 for a short while and then turning off to pick up the B6164 running from Wetherby to Knaresborough. Down Knaresborough High Street and then along the B6165 towards Ripley, a favourite spot for Speed Camera vans this road and we weren't disappointed when one turned up trying to hide itself in the hedge!
Turning right on the A61 we travelled one roundabout before turning left on the B6165 past Ripley towards Pateley Bridge. Once in Pateley and over the bridge we turned right
on to Lower Wath road, the lovely twisty road that runs past Gouthwaite Reservoir. On into Lofthouse before turning right up the narrow road running over the top and down to Leighton Reservoir before climbing back up again into Masham for a T&P stop.
With everyone refreshed it was back on the bikes over the bridge out of Masham and a left turn towards Newton-Le-Willows, crossing the A684 and on towards Catterick turning left just before the garrison town. We followed this road to Barden Moor before briefly entering the A6108 and then turning left on to the B6270 towards Reeth. Staying on this road through Reeth and Gunnerside before turning left to go over the top to Askrigg.
Steve said at the briefing that he'd checked this road out on Google Maps and it "looked ok"? It turned out to be the challenge of the day, seems Google hasn't mastered the art of showing gravel yet which was massed on the riding line you needed to negotiate first of the uphill hairpins! But as all were YAM riders and guests, all skilfully crested the top of the hill to reveal beautiful views in all directions. At the top of this hill the road seemed to twist and turn as well as pass over rises and hollows and at certain points you could see bikes rising and falling in all directions, it resembled the White Helmets display team!!
Down the other side we turned right in Askrigg towards Bainbridge for lunch at the Rose and Crown, a nice spot and warm enough for lunch "Al Fresco". After lunch for the final section of the ride Steve led us on the A684 towards Hawes before branching left to Gale and then taking "Beggamans Road" (interesting name) up out of the valley and
over to Hubberholme. Carrying on we reached Buckden and joined the B6160 to and through Kettlewell, turning left into Grassington and down Greenhow Hill, arriving at Tea Cups in Pateley Bridge for our final stop of the day. Good value at this watering hole and many slices of Walnut cake were enjoyed.
At this point the ride was over and everyone set off in their different directions home, however I can't finish without mentioning a potential future recruit for YAM. If you look carefully at the picture you will see a young girl in full biking gear at the front. Her name is Italia and she is the six year old (nearly seven says Italia) daughter of Andy Dickens, one of our Team 5 members. She rode the full ride as pillion behind Andy spending most of the time saying "faster daddy" and she was an absolute delight, certainly not faised by a large crowd of bikers she had never met before.
A big thanks to Steve for an excellent ride and Anne for back marker duties, copy of the route below.