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A day of Views, Valleys, Whiffs and Water

On May 23 the group had it's first ride out - this event was aimed at both the motorcyclists in our group and the car drivers. Due to commitments only one car driver was able to attend.

There was however, something of a twist to on.....

Being a car-driving member of RoSPA E-YARD I never expected to be wearing a helmet with my legs straddling a machine behind a man (#noinnuendo’s here!).

I am usually a car driver but when I bumped into John W at work and he offered me a pillion I thought “Why not” as I will try almost anything once.

John said he had a helmet so I just needed warm gear.

Thank heavens for Facebook (never thought I’d hear myself say that!!).

I sent a message to the group, Rosie said she had something called ‘textiles’ and gloves and Chris brought boots and gave me a helmet he had spare……

Ta-Dah! One kitted out novice biker chick!

The day started badly.

I couldn’t find my bankcards, but more importantly, Rosie had a puncture…..Chris H to the rescue, hurrah!!

We met up at Seaways with Julian T, Dave, Alwyn and Gary H drinking Yorkshire Tea #properbrew and chatting until Rosie and Chris arrived – a bit if biker banter and we were off!

We stopped at several places for tea, tea and brunch, afternoon tea, ice cream and …oh yes, more tea #insomnia.

There was a bit of a down side to the day when we got to a ford (the road sign did say ‘often impassable’. Rosie stopped wanting to make sure everyone would get their bikes across okay. She saw some local lads playing on a rope swing and asked if it was deep.

“No” they said. Really?

Chris came down the hill, had a look and decided to drive carefully through but when he got to the other side he thought he’d ‘popped’ his radiator – thankfully not. Rosie followed, 2 across, 5 to go.

Alywn decided he'd go round and said to John:-

“Where shall I pick you up?” - little did we know how literal this could have been for us!

John set off across and was going well until about 2/3's of the way when we had a 'hairy' moment (see - biker speak already!) caused by slippery cobbles and just made it without hitting a marker post, although I am convinced his wing mirror took a breath in!

We all waited on the opposite side 3 across, 1 around and 3 to go. Pregnant pause…..

Poor Gary had somehow managed to immerse his bike and was trying to lift it standing on slippery stones in fast flowing water, which was deeper than the 6 inches indicated. Enter Chris, Rosie and John to help.

I decided that being a complete novice I would stay out of the way - #dry - rather than assist and become a casualty/liability (that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!).

Chris, Rosie, John and Gary had a bit of a job getting the bike back up and as they lifted it the wing mirror went floating downstream to be washed up by the North Sea one day.

Dave was next up and with the help of others eventually managed to get across but did get water in the electrics so his bike was not happy afterwards.

Julian was still on the other side and decided discretion was the better part of valour i.e. he’d go around. The problem being he had to turn his bike around which was easier said than done as it was on a steep bit of road at the edge of the water and it took 2 others to help him.

Alwyn re-joined up (Julian caught up later) and we all traveled to the next stop (some of that tea and cake stuff again) and we all had a good chuckle about wet socks, raging torrents and sat-navs!

During the day I came to realise why motorcyclists’ think motorists are morons……some certainly are (like the guy creeping forward at the crossroads who just expected John to cross his path regardless).

In contrast, I learnt some of the differences between motorcyclists and bikers one of which seems to be common sense or lack thereof. Our group are obviously motorcyclists...

I also learnt quite quickly that I had to have TOTAL trust in John, after all, there was nothing I could do to influence my future from the position I was in, so I tried to sit back and relax. Overall, I think I managed it apart from some times when I couldn’t see the bend therefore didn’t lean, or didn’t brace for braking.

John (bless him) said I hadn’t detracted from his ride, knowing John he was a gentleman just being polite.

The overall impression from a complete novice pillion passenger: - a really good, enjoyable day out with a great friendly fraternity (even other bikers acknowledged our group) which gave me an insight into this henceforth unknown world.

Maybe all car drivers should try it to stop them being so insular and ignorant! Now, where’s that bottle of wine…..

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