2006 RAT Review



RUTHIN CASTLE - 9th December 2006

This year’s official Orrell RAT Pack Christmas bash took place at the historic location of Ruthin Castle in Wales where we all celebrated with a Medieval Banquet. Members joined the fun in full fancy dress including Alastair as the Medieval Spoke Maker!

Ye Olde Christmas RATs enjoying the Medieval Banquet at Ruthin Castle


MANCHESTER TOY RUN - 11th November 2006

Orrell RAT members were well represented at the annual charity "Toy Run" organised by the Salvation Army which took place on Saturday morning 11th November. Hundreds of bikers, many in festive fancy dress, gathered at the Wilmott Street carpark before departing on the processional run to the Trafford Centre. A great opportunity to legitimately ride through red traffic lights in Manchester city centre !

Santa rushing to the Trafford Centre


HEARTBEAT WEEKENDER - 7th & 8th October 2006

Run leader Martin again provided dry sunny conditions for this late season weekend run into North Yorkshire. Seven bikes with 11 riders met at the eastbound Birch services on the M62 before quickly crossing the Pennines using the motorway. From Ferrybridge we headed north to our lunchstop at the famous Squires biker pub at Sherburn-in-Elmet. After much fried food we set off for the East coast where we breifly called in at Scarborough before continuing on to Whitby for afternoon refreshments. A short run inland brought us to the pictureque village of Goathland in the North Yorkshire moors - well known for being the location for ITV's Heartbeat. Landlady Kath warmly welcomed the Orell RAT pack for the our second stay at her Guesthouse on the Common. Hardcore Pete insisted on camping-out on the front garden, providing extra security for our bikes. Saturday evening saw us all return to the Mallyan Spout hotel for a hearty meal and several drinks.
After Sunday breakfast and a stroll around Goathland we saddled-up for a memorable ride north up the coast to Guisborough, inland to Stokesley, and then down the famous B1257 to Helmsley. After lunch in sunny Helmsley we headed for home across the Pennines via Pately Bridge before disbanding at Grassington. Another superb weekend RAT Run to round off the 2006 season.

Heartbeat's Garage, but no fuel for sale !


PEAK DISTRICT - Sunday 10th September 2006

Alan & Rachel led this Orrell RAT run on the warmest summer Sunday of 2006. The pack headed for the beautiful Peak District of Derbyshire. Being a keen cyclist, Alan utilised his knowledge of the area to create a great route for the Orrell RAT Pack.

A very hot RAT Pack with Alan posing as Long John Silver!


YORKSHIRE DALES - Sunday 13th August 2006

A dark and damp Sunday morning saw a good turn out of 9 bikes and 15 riders for this Orrell RAT Run into the Dales. We departed under light rain up the A59 but well before our turn-off at Skipton conditions became dry and fortunately stayed that way for the rest of the day. The Red Lion at Burnsall provided a welcome morning coffee stop where Val shared her birthday cake! Onward to Pately Bridge, taking a left up the valley past the Gouthwaite reservoir, before heading over the moorland to Masham. The "slow" A6180 then brought us to our lunch stop in Middleham. More single track challenges then took us on to Kettlewell village where the annual Scarecrow festival prevented us from standing still too long! Yet more single track over to Settle and then south to Slaidburn, where we stopped off for afternoon tea. Just two more cattle grids to cross brought us down into Waddington before we rejoined the A59 at Clitheroe. A final blast back to junction 31 of the M6 saw this scenic 145 mile run complete. Maybe not as sunny as our previous runs but still a very enjoyable day out!

Birthday girl Val in the Dales


IRISH WEEKENDER - 21st/22nd/23rd July 2006

Richard and Louise led 8 bikes and 14 riders on an excellent extended weekend trip to Ireland which included five countries and three ferry crossings! More info HERE

Paying our respects at the Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden in Ballymoney


LOWTHER PARK - Sunday 16th July 2006

Run leader, Martin, finally shook off his bad weather jinx as the sun continued to shine on the Orrell RAT Pack for the July ride-out. A very busy Devil's Bridge was the start meet for 8 bikes and 11 riders setting off at 10.30am. A steady ride in perfect conditions took us through Kendal and over the A6 Shap road. Just south of Penrith we turned left into Lowther Park and our scheduled lunch stop. The Punch Bowl at Askham village provided an idyllic setting for alfresco dining. The only incentive to get back on the bikes was the promise of a cool breeze to counter the baking sun! At Pooley Bridge we headed south alongside Ullswater. Progress was steady due to heavy traffic but pleasant none the less. Our patience was put the test however when we found ourselves behind a bus all the way up the Kirkstone pass! The Inn at the summit provided welcome refreshment before heading down into Windermere and Bowness. The scenic run continued through the Lyth valley bringing us down to Milnthorpe where we disbanded to choose our different routes home. Another superb RAT run - thanks to Martin.

Orrell RAT Pack enjoy a leisurely lunch in Lowther Park


NORTH WALES RUN - Sunday 11th June 2006

George and Lesley certainly picked the right day for the Orrell RAT run into North Wales with blue sky and glorious warm sunshine. The start meet at Poplar 2000 Services at J20 on the M6 saw a good turn out of 11 bikes and 15 riders. The route was planned to minimise motorway and busy A roads. Heading for Denbigh via Mold and Ruthin the traffic was light and we were able to enjoy the twists and turns and beautiful countryside. Our first stop at Denbigh, was a “proper bikers café “ providing welcome mid-morning refreshment. We then continued heading for the A5 at Cerrigydrudion on the B4501 past Llyn Brenig – with more fantastic roads and scenery. Our lunch stop was at the Ponderosa cafe on the summit of the Horseshoe pass. Many other bikers had the same idea to head there for lunch but the service and food were good and all enjoyed the break in the sunshine. A great atmosphere among so many enthusiasts. The homeward leg took us east on a mix of A and B roads, again with light traffic and great scenery to join the A49. Heading north, our final refreshment stop at the Lockgate café at Beeston saw us assembled for the group photograph below courtesy of Ian. An appropriate finale to a very enjoyable day.      

The sun continues to shine for the Orrell RAT Pack


LAKE DISTRICT RUN - Sunday 14th May 2006

Despite the usual dodgy weather forecast, Orrell RAT saw a good turn out of 11 bikes and 19 riders meeting up at the Tickled Trout for the May Run, set to take on the challenging mountain passes of the Lake District. After a quick blast up the M6 we stopped for coffee at J35 truck-stop before heading up the A6 and the twisty B5074 bringing us to the short ferry across Lake Windermere. Onward past Esthwaite Water, over Hawkshead hill and down into Coniston village. After a quick stop for filling and emptying, we continued out westward to Broughton-in-Furness and then turned off into the single track territory of Ulpha, over Birker Fell, and down into Eskdale. Our lunch stop took us to the Boot Inn at Boot where the first spots of rain began to fall. The prospect of a wet afternoon lay ahead but we did not let this prevent us from taking on the famous Hardknott and Wrynose Passes. Quickly followed by the climb over into Great Langdale, through Chapel Stile and over into Grassmere village. Then heading south to Ambleside where we made light work of "the Struggle" leading up to the Kirkstone Inn for afternoon coffee. After steaming in front of a welcoming coal fire, the Kirkstone pass brought us back down to Windermere where we headed south to the M6 and homeward. A great day out with the added benefit of thoroughly testing the watertightness of our clothing !

Queuing for the Windermere ferry crossing


FOUR COUNTIES RUN - Sunday 9th April 2006

As an alternative to Barry's PENNINE RUN, and despite a forboding weather forecast, 6 bikes and 9 riders from the Orrell RAT pack met up at the Tickled Trout BP station on junction 31 of the M6 for a 9.30 start. Our route headed north on the M6 to J34 and then up to Devils Bridge via Halton and Arkholme villages. A coffee and conference stop in Kirby Lonsdale saw us push on northwards through Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen, Brough, and then over the superb B6276 to Middleton in Teesdale. Our defiance of the forecast was rewarded with dry roads and bright riding conditions. A quick fuel stop in sunny Barnard Castle saw us head south back into Yorkshire to our lunch stop at the Tan Hill Inn at 1732 ft above sea level. The undoubted star of the show was the week old lamb sat in front of the log fire which the landlady had adopted as a pet. After lunch we continued southwards over Butter Tubs Pass and down into Hawes for a quick stop at the Wensleydale Dairy. The B6255 brought us swiftly down to Ingleton where we then headed into Lancashire via single track roads and down to Slaidburn for an afternoon coffee stop in the warm sunshine. The final section of the route took us over Easington Fell through Waddington village and into Clitheroe where we joined the A59 back to the M6/Tickled Trout start point. The 176 mile run turned out to be an unexpected successful day out to open the 2006 season.

Arriving at Tan Hill Inn high in the Yorkshire Dales

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