The way the Vintage Motorcycle Club Vintage Bike Week works, is like this. Each day, starting with the Saturday, there are social ride outs to various local places of interest. I say local, each route was roughly 100 miles in total and I guess by taking all the teeny single track back roads, we were never actually far from our starting point. You sign on each day for insurance purposes, I presume, then at 10.30, you line up and are sent off a few at a time, so as not to flood the town with hairy bikers. The best part of the event is you don't need to be anywhere at a certain time, so you just follow the route sheet and arrive for lunch / tea stops whenever you feel like it.
Saturday was a trip to the Craven Collection near York. Simply, one man's collection of old motorbikes, all 250 of 'em. See the website (http://www.cravencollection.co.uk/) if you want to look at some of them, or better still, go in person if you're nearby.....Sunday was the Pike Run around the Vale of Pickering, very nice scenery and empty roads....Monday we headed to and through the North Yorkshire forests, saw a few deer pottering across the roads on our travels....good weather and the option of an evening run which I turned down 'cos some of us had to work! Tuesday was the day most of us were not looking forward to - the ULTIMATE HILL RUN! Started off with a fairly easy route to the village of Rosedale, but there we were confronted with the "Chimney Bank", a gradient of 1 in 3 and the hottest day of the week so far.
According to one website I looked up, it is Britain's steepest motorable road at 33%. "Plenty of roads have 1 in 3 signs, but this is the only genuine article". Two hairpin bends (I'm sure there were more than that) are chucked in for good measure too.
The organisers ran it well, and as we arrived, they held us back, only letting one at a time tackle the gentle slope. Bob went before me leaving a cloud of blue two stroke smoke in his wake and obviously made it cos I didn't pass him on the way. I got a good run up, then just as I was changing down to 1st gear, I spotted a guy called Stan (he's quite tall compared to our Shorty) with his video camera (are they still called that these days? DVD camera thingy is what I mean). That put me off just a teeny bit but Cubbie just chugged along in bottom gear all the way up to the top where a team of leather clad supporters were willing us on. After that, the day was full of nothing but hills, both up and down ones, some felt steeper and some had 33% signs but were probably not as not as bad as the Chimney. Most were also corners or junctions. Good riding practice for sure. Lunch that day was at the highest pub in Yorkshire, the Lion Inn. Took about 40 mins for the delivery of a huge portion of steak and mushroom pie, but then they were trying to serve about 150 hungry bikers.....By contrast, Wednesday was the day we'd all been looking forward to most I think, a trip to Heartbeat country where they film that TV show, you know, the one with all the sixties tunes. Met the actor who plays David, who is actually called David and got a piccie of him and Cubbie and had lunch outside the Aidensfield garage. Mustn't forget another reason for enjoying Wednesday was the FREE fish and chips supper back at the camp...very nice! Thursday.... lets see...that was the run to Malton market place, not Melton as Mrs BC suggested followed by something called Stan's Video Magic - sounds a bit dodgy but all it was, was the showing of all the recordings Stan had made during the week. Some really good footage of the hills and water splashes not to mention a couple of minutes worth of green sky....When I get my copy from him I shall treat my bike clubbers to a video night. Friday brought it all to a close with a run to Whitby pier for fish and chips, and for me, a visit to the abbey (said to have inspired Mr Stoker to scribe his story about Dracula) and Robin Hood's Bay - no solid connection to the man himself but a haven for smugglers during the18th century. Visitors aren't really allowed to take a vehicle down to the village because there is only one access road, which is rather steep and narrow, with no parking or turning at the bottom. But hey, I was a tourist so rode part of the way down before chickening out and leaving quite quickly!
So in the daytime we rode our bikes, clocked up over 700 miles on the Cubbie, and most of the evenings were spent watching films in the pub with no beer, or taking part in a quiz, didn't win, no surprise there. By Friday evening most people had cluttered off, some to the Northumbrian Gathering and others just awa' hame. Bob and I, along with fellow section members John and Jan were dragged to the local pub, by a local, to pass the evening. I bored them all to tears by attempting to play snooker with a chap who's name I can't remember, but who was trying so hard to let me win, bless 'im I did in the end, just.
Saturday morning and it was up at dawn, pack up and get on the road. We were away at 8.20am and arrived home (after stopping for petrol and a cuppa and meeting some of the riders attending the Northumbrian Gathering!) just before 6pm.
Ah, yes, my rear end problem. Seems Cubbie's swinging arm doesn't actually swing any more. Most uncomfortable on the bumpy Yorkshire roads. Will have to get that sorted sooner rather than later, but certainly not before Thursday when I'm heading up north to RAF Lossiemouth for a 'go' if that's the right word, in the simulator. Captain GBC has quite a ring to it, I think.
PS had a lovely comment from a "Gorgeous Classic Chick"...looks like I've got competition! All I can say girl is keep trying and you'll get there, and if you scroll back through the posts on here, I'm sure there is a piccie of me lurking somewhere....unlike the comments that keep vanishing! Ms Classic Chick's comment and SUZI PERRY'S one have both been eaten by blog goblins it seems. Hopefully the team behind the scenes can get them back...
PPS sorry the pics are in a weird order, you'll just have to look at them backwards.