2011 Season

This page records our group ride-outs during the 2011 season. Links to additional photo albums of our weekend tours can be found within the reports below or via the menu to the left.

View our 2011 Ride-out Calendar HERE


AUTUMN RUN : Sunday 6th November 2011

Alan & Jean led this autumn run through the beautiful countryside of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire which departed from the Pop2000 Services on the M6/M56 at 9.30am. First heading across the misty meadows of Cheshire through the the chill air, then skirting the west Peak District past Danebridge to our coffee stop at the visitor centre of Tittesworth reservoir. The crisp conditions provided clear views in all directions as we made our way down into the Churnet valley.

Onward through Cheadle, Stone, and Eccleshall we finally arrived at our lunch stop; the Coopers Arms in Woore. After a hearty lunch the perfect riding conditions continued as we rode through Audlem village and back north to our starting point at Pop2000 for a well deserved coffee. Our two guest riders for the day, Nigel and Chris, seemed to enjoy the ride and we hope to see them again next year. Although a little chilly in the cooler autumn temperatures this was a very enjoyable ride and a fitting way to end our 2011 season.

A Garmin satnav route is available for download below.

Garmin SatNav route file HERE _________________________________________________________________________________

A SUCCESSFUL BACK-UP PLAN : Sunday 9th October 2011

Butch & Leila led this hastily re-arranged ride-out into the Peak District. Due to road closures in North Wales, they had to change their original plans so a group of nine bikes departed from the Eastbound Birch Services on the M62 at 9.30am. A Garmin satnav route is available for download below.

Garmin SatNav file HERE

A RURAL RUN - Sunday 18th September 2011

George & Les led the group of 11 riders and six bikes from Poplar 2000 for a 09:30 off. It was a dry and sunny start to the day although the forecast suggested that we may encounter showers in the southerly area of the ride. Fingers crossed !!
The route took us on the A523 from Macclesfield to Leek (miles of gentle swaying) where we stopped for morning coffee. We progressed south, almost catching up with the rain when we turned east and kept with the good weather. The next section was on the B5053 north from Froghall (a roller coaster of a ride) through picturesque villages and spectacular countryside. Longnor was our lunch destination at The Old Cheshire Cheese Inn on a gloriously sunny September day.

The happy gang outside the Old Cheshire Cheese Inn.
After an excellent meal we continued on towards Baslow where we joined the A623 to Chapel-en-le-Frith through miles of Peak District countryside via a good mix of straights, twisties and some acute bends at the northern end. We headed for Whaley Bridge where we joined the A5004 which took us back towards Buxton (plenty of blind bends) but turned off into the beautiful Goyt Valley onto single track roads. This section provided different riding again, with stunning views of forested hills and mirror surfaced waters in the late afternoon sun. On leaving the Goyt Valley we headed for afternoon tea at The Stanley Arms in the “Bottom of the Oven”, Macclesfield Forest.
The home run took us westwards to the A50 near Goostrey keeping to country lanes so avoiding both Macclesfield and Congleton. Once on the A50 we headed north back to our start point at Poplar 2000. By common consent – “a good days ride”

Garmin SatNav file HERE : Itinerary file HERE


Chris organised this 5 day tour of Northwest Scotland and was accompanied by Butch, Dave, and Fred.
The "A" Team departed on Friday 2nd and a fully detailed 6 page itinerary of our tour can viewed by clicking the link below. Garmin SatNav and Google Earth files of the route are also available for download. More photos can be viewed HERE

Waiting for the Applcross road to re-open

Download Garmin SatNav route HERE : Itinerary PDF HERE : Google Earth route HERE

WANDERING THROUGH WALES - Sunday 14th August 2011

A good turn out of 8 bikes with 13 riders, including the inaugural appearance of Mrs.N on a group ride assembled at Pop2000 for our latest ride into Wales. Dave's route took us swiftly down to Chirk where we headed into the Ceiriog valley and over the hills via the winding single track roads to Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, in Powys. From here we rode up to Pistyll Rhaeadr to see one of the highest waterfalls in Wales and enjoyed lunch at the tea room there.

After lunch we retraced our route back to the village before heading off along the splendid B4396 and B4397. We encountered a slight challange in crossing the bridge at Ruyton where the road was officially closed! Our tour guide Dave dutifully re-arranged the barriers to allow our progress but he finally ran out of luck at the next road closure forcing an enjoyable detour from the A49. Our afternoon tea stop was at Prees Green just south of Whitchurch by which time the sun made a welcome appearance for our final leg back to the M56 where we ended the ride. The route we followed is available for download below.

Download Garmin SatNav route HERE

COAST TO COAST : Sunday 31st July 2011

Five bikes quietly assembled at the Tickled Trout services just before 7.00am for the start of this "Captain Cook to Eric Morcambe" 1 day Coast-to-Coast ride. The skies looked uncertain what to provide in the way of weather as we headed off up the A59. Happiliy the threat of rain subsided and the constant brisk pace (always within the speed limits) saw us arrive in Ripon for a welcome wake-up coffee stop. With the sun now making an appearance we continued and, via an unscheduled detour around Thirsk due to a road closure, eventually made our way over Sutton Bank. At Pickering we headed over the glorious North Yorkshire Moor to arrive in Whitby one minute ahead of schedule at 10.29! Alan & Jean, having camped overnight, were waiting to join us at the Captain Cook Statue for the first of our group photos.

After a full english breakfast at the WhistleStop Cafe in Whitby we headed up the headland for a quick ride-by the famous Abbey before commencing the second leg of our journey. Now a six bike group we headed back east via Guisborough, Stokesley, and Northallerton. Our scheduled stop at Leyburn was cancelled due to a clash with their 1940's weekend event meaning the town was already overcrowded. We decided to continue on to Hawes for a coffee stop at the Penny Garth cafe which was surrounded by 500 motorcycles of every make and model, each with an attendant leather-clad smelly biker! Then onward through Ingleton, Hornsby, Halton, and Hest Bank to finally ride down Morcambe promenade just five minutes behind schedule!. To complete the formalities a second group photo was taken at the famous statue of Eric Morcambe by an unsuspecting member of the public. After a well-deserved coffee and ice cream for us, and a power-nap for Fred, we headed back south via the A6 to Preston to complete 270 dry happy miles! The route and itinerary of our epic journey are available for download below.

Barry & Olive, and George & Les, who were unable to join us on the day, undertook this coast to coast run a few weeks later. And so to mark their acheivement here is their celebratory photo in Morecambe.

Download Garmin SatNav route HERE : Itinerary PDF HERE : Map PDF HERE

HELMSLEY TT : Sunday 3rd July 2011

Martin led this ride over to North Yorkshire. The ride started from the Little Chef on the A59 roundabout at Skipton departing at 10.00am. The route headed north through Kettlewell for morning coffee at Leyburn. Then over to Stokesley via Beadale and Northallerton, before heading down the famous B1257 to Helmsley for lunch. The afternoon leg returned via Pateley Bridge for afternoon tea and onwards through Grassington to the ride end back at Skipton. Another great run in warm sunshine.

Just another Sunday in Helmsley Square

NORTH WALES : Sunday 5th June 2011

Barry and Olive led this ride-out into North Wales which eventually departed from Pop2000 M6/M56 sevices under heavy skies. By the time we reached Loggerheads country park for some welcome refreshment the rain had ceased and wet gear was "confidently" cast aside! An enjoyable dry run via Ruthin brought us down into Bala where we enjoyed our lunch break at the Old School House restaurant. In the afternoon the fantastic Welsh roads stayed dry until we rejoined the rain again as we rode back into England. After losing Butch and Leila, a hastily re-scheduled stop at Tarporley Garden Centre provided afternoon refreshments, and the group was eventually re-united before heading home. Despite the typical June weather the group enjoyed another good day out.

Lunch at the Old School House in Bala - photo courtesy of Les (who was missing at the time)

Download SatNav route HERE

ROA ISLAND RUN : Sunday 22nd May 2011

Butch & Leila led this ride-out to Roa Island on the Cumbrian peninsula. Despite the weather-gods attempts to bring wintery conditions into the month of May the ride departed on time from the Tickled Trout services and headed north up the A6 into the wind and rain. The morning coffee stop in Milthnthorpe brought a welcome break and a chance for conditions to improve whilst the group enjoyed their bacon sandwiches. Alan and Racheal had to leave the group here as we continued into the south Lakes and out to Ulverston on the A590. From here we took the coast road overlooking Morcambe Bay, eventually riding across the very windy causeaway road onto Roa Island. The weather ensured we didn't hang around and we retraced our route back along the coast road before heading inland, riding past the Stone Circle near Sunbrick.

The Stone Circle at Sunbrick with Bardsea village and the estuary beyond

Lunch was pre-booked at Braddylls at Bardsea where we enjoyed a leisurely meal together. The afternoon leg took us back through Ulverston and north along the B5281 back into the south Lakes. Unfortunately the planned single tracks had to be abandoned in view of the damp conditions, and so we headed back onto the A590 at Greenhodd bringing us to our afternoon tea stop at the Lakeland Motor Museum. We took shelter from a heavy downpour and some made a quick tour of the museum.

Some of our group with Butch modelling the new rear-view Arai helmet

45 minutes later the skies completely cleared and the sun shone for our final leg over Cartmel Fell and down into Grange-over-Sands. At this point we realised we'd lost Barry and Olive although Fred was still with us? The remaining group continued south to the route-end at Carnforth Truck Haven via Crooklands and Burton. All in all another great day out!

The planned Itinerary and Garmin SatNav route files are available for download below.

Download SatNav route HERE and Itinerary PDF HERE

ANOTHER DALLY IN THE DALES Saturday 9th April 2011

Hellifield Railway Station

Chris led this Saturday ride of 6 bikes with 9 riders departing from the new Tickled Trout services on J31/M6 just after 9.30am. For once the weather gods were in our favour providing a welcome clear sunny day for us to head into the Yorkshire Dales. The first leg took us via Mellor and Whalley along the old roman road which follows the ridge above Sabden to the back of Pendle Hill. Cutting through Roughlee brought us onto the A682 to Gisburn. This fast sweeping road allowed our pace to increase but provided the hazard of dodging a loose wheel which had departed from a trailer ahead of the group! Continuing along the A682 to Hellifield brought us to our coffee stop at the Long Drag cafe on Hellifield railway station. After bacon butties and a little steam history we continued on our way to Kettlewell via Gargrave and Cracoe. After riding right up the Wharfdale valley we passed by Aysgarth Falls, and to take advantage of the fair weather, the original route was extended at Askrigg. Turning right to ride over Cross Top and down into Swaledale we rode through Muker before taking Butter Tubs Pass back down into Hawes and Wensleydale. By the time we reached our lunch stop at the recently renovated Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre the temperature had risen to levels normally only seen in June!

FARTing at Wensleydale Creamery

Following a light lunch and some cheese-sampling the ride continued south into Ribbledale where we turned right into Dentdale and through the pictureque village of Dent before the steep climb into Barbondale. After Barbon village we turned left onto the A683 and down to Devils Bridge for a comfort break. The final leg led us through Low Bentham and High Bentham before heading over Lythe Fell and down into Slaidburn for a welcome tea break. The route back to Salmesbury took us over Jeffery Hill and through Ribchester onto the A59. The updated itinerary and Garmin SatNav route files are posted below.

Download SatNav Route file HERE and Itinerary PDF file HERE

SAMBO'S GRAVE Sunday 13th March 2011

Seven riders and four pillions – including Butch and Leila on a new Moto Morini Gran Passo, and “Mr T” on his Tiger 800 - arrived at the newly-refurbished Tickled Trout services on a grey, cold and rather wet morning for the first ride of the season. Barry & Olive led this ride which was intended to be a gentle introduction to the new riding season coupled with a little bit of Lancashire’s history!
The ride left the Services at 9.30 prompt and after a short ride up the M6 to Junction 32 joined the A6 North towards Lancaster. Just north of Galgate the route took us east along Hazelrigg Lane towards Caton. From there it was on to Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale for our coffee stop. By the time we arrived there it had turned colder and some of our group added extra layers before warming-up on hot Bovril! On reflection, perhaps it would have been a better choice to head into the town to one of the many cosy cafes there rather than stand around in the cold; but it had its compensations when some interesting metal in the shape of the new Diavel and a Can-Am Spyder arrived!
From Devil’s Bridge we rode south-westward along Robraine and the B6254 through Whittington, Arkholme and Over Kellett to Carnforth where we rejoined the A6. It was then on to the A5105 and along the Coastal Road through Hest Bank, Morecambe and Heysham. From there the route took us in a south-easterly direction through Middleton to Overton. We then continued through Overton to The Globe Hotel and the causeway to Sunderland Point, arriving there just on noon, having first ensured that it would be low-water at this time. We all rode straight across to Sunderland Point and parked our bikes at the end of the rather muddy causeway whereupon seven of us visited Sambo’s Grave.

Some of our cheerful but highly respectful group by Sambo's grave on Sunderland Point

The visit took around thirty-minutes after which we rode back across the causeway to Overton and the Globe Hotel for lunch. Sunderland Point has an interesting history and was once the major port in Lancashire. There is a dubious connection with the slave-trade too and it’s likely that Sambo, an African cabin-boy, was one of its victims! Sambo was aboard a ship that docked at Sunderland Point and although the exact circumstances of his death in 1736 are uncertain, he was buried in unconsecrated ground at Sunderland Point in an unmarked grave. It was some sixty years later when a certain Reverend James Watson, Headmaster of Lancaster Grammar School, placed a memorial plaque on the grave and its location can now be found on Google Earth!
After lunch, in by-now pleasant sunshine that even prompted the stowing of waterproofs, the route took us through a very busy Lancaster during which we practised our filtering skills! It was then westward along the A588 and B5272 to Conder Green, Cockerham and finally back to the A6 South at Garstang. From there it was a short ride to our tea-stop at Barton Grange Garden Centre, just west of the A6 at Brock, where the ride ended just after three.

Download SatNav Route file HERE and Itinerary PDF file HERE

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