Hi everyone, and a big thank you to the new Editor for inviting (stitching ) me up, to share with you my experiences of the first day of the NYM trip 2017. For those who don’t know me, I answer to many things, but in the biking community its Old Dave, Rocket Dave, or Dave the Ditch.
My 3 year BAM career has been as colourful as my Blue Honda CBR 600RR with its minimalistic decals.
Days of studying promised atrocious rain, especially the Friday, this was annoyingly accurate especially for the East. Great, first decision made, put leathers away.2nd, what to take? No shipping containers on a Honda, just a Kriega roll bag which was better than Hermione Granger’s handbag swallowing everything, even took the flip flops.
Made the RVP, in plenty of time, at 09.15hrs our Illustrious leader Andy P delivered a thorough BAM briefing highlighting our high riding standards (we have history, I needed a baccy on his Multistrada after my misdemeanour in Wales ) it included the threat of awarding shameful attire consisting a brown curly wig, and a bright orange T Shirt emblazoned Shirt of Shame to any persons falling below.
09.30hrs were off! Quickly passing through the lovely Leicestershire countryside, arriving at our first coffee stop Chris Walker The Stalkers Café, the second person drop off perfectly executed by all. Here our first Shirt of Shame contender? One of our KTM riders leaving a key in the ignition, yours truly reuniting both parties eventually after much flapping.
Chris personally escorted us off his premise ensuring all bills were settled, hed had prior warning of us.
Grantham then Lincoln Cathedral quickly loomed, its soaking cobbled circular road claiming a few extra skidmarks.
Lunch mmmm, 20 pre booked meals that tested the culinary skills of our Michelin Star Chef to the max, “Weatherspoons I take it all back” which is what we would have done had we more time. More glorious A roads then the A15 over the Humber bridge “WOW” AP s route planner accurately informing us “can be Friggin windy Caution!!!” bearings lost im thinking” bet those cheeky Geordies put that in the Newcastle Brown Ale” Quaint villages with weird names, gave up their sodden twisties, then a final blast to Pickering and our digs The Forest and Vale Hotel. On arrival we dove into the complimentary tea, coffee , cake, where a fashion parade commenced. Skin tight underwear, Ecky Thump flat caps, designer flip flops, a 60s pink floral shirt the completion was fierce. I believe the evening A La Carte menu was the cause of much dribbling, undeterred the room soon filled with excited chatter of the daily encounters. Bellies full, onto the bar, wine, Kronenburg , Black Sheep, Rum and Coke, what could I try next? Eventually my companions reminded me I should have turned into a pumpkin hours ago. Sensibly we left a grinning bar steward, and I fell asleep to the sounds of a watering hole courtesy of my roomy. Dave Burnham
After Friday’s rather damp ride everybody was busy checking the weather forecast for Saturday, it looked as though we should be OK till about one o’clock when showers may start. I guess that prompted Andy to say fuelled and wheels rolling for 9am, some thought that cut down on Fridays drinking hours however after a superb breakfast at the hotel we all made the start line on time. Sun shining and the long way round to Helmsley via the moors roads, it doesn’t get better than this, fantastic views across the moorland some of us slowed down to take in the view but you have to keep an eye on the sheep, lots of suicidal lambs this year but I don’t think we were responsible for any KSI’s, stopping to take pictures of the views Paul’s KTM must press on his bladder, ladies to face the other way, again! Coffee stop at Helmsley, lovely market town on the edge of the moor where nothing ever happens until BAM arrive. Whilst some of us queued in the bakers for a coffee maybe it was fireman’s Dave’s good looks or just the price of a loaf in Helmsley but the elderly lady in the front of the queue collapsed taking the two free standing racks of loaves with her.
Dave takes charge of the situation and an ambulance is called, I keep guard on the door to stop folks from coming in whilst she is made comfortable and told to stay on the floor until the ambulance arrives ETA 90 minutes so don’t have an accident on the moors, we leave her to the bakery staff now she is coming round, ambulance arrives after about 30 mins as well as paramedic on a bike. In the car park Suki decides to put a nail in his tyre and there are now 10 bamsters trying to work out how to use Alan’s fancy puncture repair kit, whilst some try to work out the instructions and get videos on YouTube, an easier to use kit arrives and the Suki’s hole is sealed. If the Yorkshire moors is gods own country then the angels laid a bit of tarmac from Helmsley to Stokesley the B1257 I would do this tour just to go down that bit of road, slight sting in the tail this year the last few miles the local council had decided to top dress with the usual loose gravel.
Some may ask how can the second man drop system fail so here goes, four guys names withheld but I am subject to bribery, follow a well marked right turn but observation fails them as the marker wasn’t one of us, Alan (last man) even tried to wave the marker on, no harm done we all meet at Whitby for lunch. Fantastic view of the North Sea and the Abbey as we approach Whitby the sun is out so the town is very busy but we squeeze into the station car park and paid for the privilege. Short stop and headed off to Scarborough nothing remarkable about this place except a road race track on the hill above the town, Oliver’s Mount, has to be seen and experienced to be believed, couple of laps of the circuit and into the café for tea. Nearly four o’clock and we have been lucky with the weather so far, this all changed leaving Oliver’s Mount in the pouring rain but it’s only 20 miles to get back and the rain eases off, another excellent meal at the hotel where Andy hands out the shirt of shame and the wig of shame for misdemeanours during the day.
Sunday’s events started just after midnight as a few friends, old mates and new acquaintances, sat around the bar talking about the events of the day just passed.
Steve Harvell was still trying to defend the “shirt of shame” when Allen Owen, possibly worse for wear but it’s hard to tell, started to recall the lovely young lady who was serving us in the cafe at Oliver’s Mount. Allen started to get quite animated, as you do!, with what only can be described as a “tickling the dog’s belly” gesture and soon, what had started as a pleasant chat between friends, went quickly to a Donald Trump locker room comment to a Rolf Harris prison sentence as we pointed out the age of the girl in question.
In the morning we started off with a group photo in front of the wonderful hotel, followed shortly after by another photo opportunity with the local speed enforcement officer but due to our IAM training and speed limit discipline a photo is all he got. Our first stop of the day was at the York Art Gallery for a short break before heading off to Epworth via Goole. Andy P had warned us that Goole is an uninteresting place. I’d like to disagree with this as I spotted that its nearest junction is J36 off the M62 – which are in fact both even numbers. Despite this, the roads from Goole to Epworth were brilliant – no more high hedges, just open fields,lovely views and inviting roads.
At lunch the chat was about some very courteous behaviour that had been witnessed and again another IAM skill being put into good use. It seemed a bit unfair that Alan Keepax was somewhat shot down in flames for allowing a dear old lady, driving a Honda, to pull out in front of the group and to take the lead. We also had reports of colleagues waving and trying to put the smile back on the face of a young child being held back by his mum as the procession of noisy bikers passed through on the road they were just playing on. Finally the most courteous gesture of them all as the a group was halted to allow an elderly man on a mobility scooter to cross the road which left a high ranking officer checking that his own key was still safely hanging around his neck. Also special praise needs to go to Neil Loxton for marking the island in Goole which only consisted of two exits, one of which we had just entered on … even though Neil’s observation skills may not have been up to scratch he does need to be applauded for his perseverance and seeing the job through to the end. During the final section to Mansfield it was sad to see the countryside and the trip slowly coming to an end but there were some good roads for us to enjoy which is a massive credit to the work Andy P had put into planning this trip.
So it was a shame that Andy P fell foul in his last action of the tour by attempting to guiding 20 plus bikes into McDonalds via the no entry sign to the car park – causing gridlock and chaos to the local side roads and nearby shopping complex. Oh what a shame! However, let’s not dwell on the cockroach on the pile of cherries which had been a fantastic weekend to remember and one I will be definitely be looking forward to going on next year.
Contributors Dave Burnham, Gary Rootham, Nigel Smith