You know when you’re riding along with a big smile on your face because you love riding your motorbike? Of course you do – that was me leading today’s ride. Did it matter that the heavens had opened and it was pouring down with rain? No – not at all!
I’d planned this route a while ago but had to make some last minute changes because I’d checked the North Yorkshire Council’s roadworks website (https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks-map) on Friday evening and found not one, but three roads on the route were supposedly closed. Not an issue – it’s an opportunity to travel down some even lesser known roads in the back of beyond.
We met at Squires and I was surprised at how the overall numbers there had dropped off. There were probably about a third of the bikes there than a few weeks before. Pre-ride briefing complete and eight of us (Myself, Mike V, Jude E, Alan B, Chris O, Shane M, John C and Pete T bringing up the rear) turned left out of Squires and we were on our way. A fairly brief stop after 90mins in Helmsley and then we headed up Bransdale. I’d recommend this lovely road as it seems to be seldom ridden. There are a couple of gates to open/close and my advice would be to leave your bike in first gear while you get off to open them, to stop it rolling forward and off the side stand. Can you guess how I know that??
Further on, and after waving goodbye to Mike V in Hutton-le-Hole, we stopped for a Cold War history lesson at the top of Chimney Bank in Rosedale – there are the remains of an old Royal Observer Corp nuclear bunker there and great views. If anyone hasn’t visited the York HQ of the ROC in Acomb then I’d say it’s definitely worth a visit too.
After safely navigating the Bank, a brief comfort break in Rosedale Abbey and, with rain threatening, we said goodbye to Jude E & Shane M. The remaining five of us headed up to Glaisdale and then down to join the main road near RAF Fylingdales (more Cold War history there that I can bore people with another time). We were tempted to buy an ice cream from the lonely looking van at the junction, but it wasn’t really ice cream weather by that stage. A nice, open road blast down to Dalby Forest where we stopped at the Visitor Centre for a late lunch of hot sausage roll.
Off again north, to leave the Forest via a special little exit just for motorbikes (bikes are free to go into the Forest) we ended up in Troutsdale (what a great name!). This is where I had my big smile – the scenery here is fantastic – but you can’t really take it in too much as your eyes are glued to the road.
For those of you interested in leading a ride you really should do it – it certainly takes more concentration than following but it really is very satisfying. If you’d like a go then why not start by being back marker a few times and then progress to leading? Remember, we’re all friends in Team 5 and will support you in anyway we can. Give it a go and if you have any questions or queries just ask one of us and we’ll do everything we can to help