Barnsley weekend a faint glimpse of Yorkshire and beyond
The BBC weather girl Carole Kirkwood said the weekend would be a light showers and you would be very unlucky to catch one. So we took her at her word.
On Friday Roy picked me up from work (a four letter word some people hate to use) and we headed for Barnsley in warm summer sunshine. The traffic was not too bad and when we pulled on to the car park at the hotel, Terry and Josie were there, unpacking their bike as they had also just arrived. We parked in the special coned off space and as we unpacked Joe and Izzy pulled up, Joe had also worked that morning making a trip down to London I think. We could see that most of the others were there with bikes already covered up for the night.
Once booked in, showered and changed Roy and I went down to meet the others for a pre dinner drink.
Ian and Denise were down already, along with Dennis and Christine, Richard and Christine and Jim (J) and Ally.
It was also lovely to see Doc (Stuart) there as we have not seen him since Germany a couple of years ago. He had brought us some Hi Viz tabards and information on the Federation, which Elite Wings has become affiliated to. Helen had also come as Alan’s dinner guest and it was great to see her and catch up on gossip etc.
Ian was handing out menus for the next three evening meals, which we had to decide what we were going to eat, I made a note of our choice as neither Roy and I have a very good memory and knew it could end in tears if he got the wrong meal!
The Hotel had arrange a special area for us to dine in and soon we where all tucking into the first menu we had chosen, already people were forgetting what they had ordered so Sunday’s meal looks like fun!
After more chat we all headed off to bed, as we had an early start in the morning
John and Alison Williams (trying us out for the 1sttime) arrived during breakfast and after a quick hello, unpacked their bike as their room was ready and then came down to join us for a coffee. They had left home early, making sure their 3 dogs were being well looked after by their daughter.
After a very good breakfast, we met outside in bright sunshine, some of us from down south wore Air flow jackets, it’s August and still summer. Waiting for us on the car park were Mick and Mary and Dennis and Lorraine. Both couples only live a stone throw from the hotel so it was not worth them staying.
At 9.00am sharp we mounted up and left the car park heading for the beautiful Yorkshire Moors, on the horizon were dark forbidding clouds, but we were going to be unlucky to catch a shower, or so the BBC said. Soon the clouds became closer and closer and the rain began to fall along with the thick mist (low cloud) obliterating the views. After a quick stop to put on waterproofs we followed in a procession only just being able to make out the rear light of the bike in front. Of Yorkshire we saw nought!. Joe had his CB working for the 1st time and found it invaluable when he overshot a turning and was able to tell us what he had done and that he would be turning round, he doesn’t say much on it, but there again there is usually a lot of inane chatter going on, he probably can’t get a word in.
We went through Holmefirth, which was quite poignant as it was the last episode of Last of the Summer Wine on the Sunday night, we carried on over Saddleworth Moor and down into the coffee stop, ready for a scone and hot drink.
Waiting in the warm and dry were Paul and Angela and 1st timers Jim (D) and Kay, and 1st timers Kevin and Sarah, 2 more couples trying us out for the weekend. Jim and Kevin are new to winging although they have been used to riding quad bikes. They did not have CB’s or Sat Navs, so we made sure they were in the middle of the pack.
Soon everyone was fed and watered we emptied out of the coffee shop and headed for Derbyshire and the lunch stop at Bakewell. The beautiful countryside could be seen through the breaks in the clouds and we drove through some lovely quaint villages.
At Bakewell, Mick and Netty and Jim (S) and Jill joined us, so our little band of travelers was really growing. It was not raining now so we scattered in the sunshine to find somewhere to have lunch with a meet back at the bikes at 2.00pm. Roy and I went to a Farmers Market, others headed for Fish and Chips etc. Some (Ally) even did shopping!!!
All too soon it was 2.00pm and if by magic the rain began to fall again. Mick and Mary, Dennis and Lorraine and Paul and Angela decided to call it a day and make their way home. Alan had already left as he was playing Uncle at his niece’s birthday!!. Jim and Kevin had not returned to the bikes so we waited huddled under the dripping trees for them to return, which they did, sprinting down the road, full of apologies as the service at the lunch stop had been very slow. There was no way we were going to leave new people alone, to get back to the hotel, we are not like that. Soon we headed out on our bikes into the packed town center of Bakewell and of course got split up, but after much chasing and bringing back we were soon a pack again.
The weather began to brighten up and soon we were able to view lush purple heather, rolling hills and blue patchy skies, Ah this was better!
At the tea stop, Richard noticed that a motorcycle leaving the car park had a flat rear tyre so he stopped the rider, who was going to ride back to Lincoln, (I think.) Roy got out his magic plugger and after pulling out a huge bent nail from the tyre; he plugged the hole and sent the very grateful motorcyclist on his way. John was very impressed and now wants a plugger set of his own. Never leave home without one!
Doc waved us goodbye after tea as Liz had only been given him a pass for one night away and headed back home, while we made our way back to the hotel, unluckily hitting some more showers.(Thanks Carole)
Once again it was, bikes washed, people showered and down for a chat before dinner. Mick and Mary were joining us for dinner. During dinner we found out that Kevin had only recently passed his motorcycle test, so he is finding riding the wing a real challenge.
I had been asked by Ian to run a quiz after dinner that turned into a riotous affair with much cheating, but Joe and Izzy came out the winners, by recognizing the connection between the answers.
Soon it was hot chocolate time and off to bed, ready for the next day.
After another hearty breakfast, we said goodbye to Jim and Kay, Kevin and Sarah, they had enjoyed their time with us and would be joining Elite, but had other commitments for the Sunday. We look forward to seeing them again soon.
9am and we were heading off towards Lincolnshire, with its long bendy snaking roads, flat countryside and strong winds. The weather was sunny but always in the distance were the “clouds” but Ian did an excellent job keeping us in the dry, although some of the roads showed signs of recent clouds burst. E.g. puddles and cascading riverlets.
For some reason Roy had a coughing fit, and we had to stop, it took him a few minutes to get back to something like normal, (Roy Normal?), but when we did get going, we met up with Mike and Netty a short way up the road, they had bought Roy some Water and had waited for the appearance of Snowy, Thanks for that you two, The rest had carried on to the coffee stop.
Coffee was at an Ice Cream Parlor, One of Ian’s IAM run haunts, which looked small on the outside but grew, life the Tardis, to a large room at the back. Unfortunately, the girl behind the counter did not speak the Queens English because I ordered a “Cup of Tea” and ended up with a Cappuccino? Ian said it was my accent!!!!
Alan decided to join us now, he had a good night at the party (I shall say no more). Once again we were on the bikes weaving our way across the countryside, passing through beautiful villages proudly displaying their village names on colourfully painted name plaques.
For lunch the planned stop was Lincoln, and soon the famous spire was in sight and getting closer with each twist of the road. As usual in the middle of a town the Sat Navs decide to throw a wobbly and Jim (S), Jill, Roy and I missed the turning for the car park, but Jim navigated us beautifully around the back streets to the required stop, just as the heavens opened up, causing us to huddle like drowned rats in a shelter.
Once again the rain was followed by sun and it was soon warm and dry. Terry. Josie and Jill decided to take advantage of the sun and sat in deck chairs catching the rays. Terry knotted his hanky to protect his head; luckily his bike trousers could not be rolled up !! Josie and Jill then decided to build sand castle on the beach, I didn’t realize Lincoln was so close to the sea?
After lunch the wind decided to blow harder, as Ally commented, ideal windmill countryside. So riding the bike was quite fun waiting for the wind to hit you through a gap in the hedge.
At the coffee stop we said good-bye to John and Alison who had now decided to join Elite and said they had enjoyed themselves and were looking forward to the next outing. Just before they left John flashed the sexy black tights, he wears underneath his biking trousers, I think he will be one to watch!!
Finally it was back to the hotel, dinner and another quiz, this time on European Countries, I had forgotten Joe’s Polish connection so once again Joe and Izzy were the winners and Denise, who had organized the prizes, awarded them to Joe and Izzy, the serial quiz winners.
Thank you Ian and Denise for organizing the weekend, it was really lovely and the hotel was excellent. Next time we will not listen to the BBC and we will wear our waterproofs all the time!!