Saturday, 27 December 2014

Northumberland TRF Bottle Drop Rideout...

About five years ago, the Northumberland TRF group started to go around the houses on the green lanes that they use each year to offer either a bottle of wine or a card to the people on those lanes as a way of making contact with them & also to say a hearty thankyou. This year Lucy & I had an opportunity to help out & so jumped at the chance.

We made a right early start this morning, on the road to Consett at 6.30 am... an easy drive across the A69 saw us at Morrison's for a 8am & feeling hungry, a bacon butty & some coffee in the cafe sorted that & we saw a car & trailer with a KTM six days on it... so we headed off round the back of the car park to see a Landy, Mark on his KTM 350 EXCF & what turned out to be Richard, our 'leader' for the day...

Tony, (The Chairman), gave us the list of houses to visit & the all important wine & cards, (or rather gave them to Richard!) & we all set out to meet up at Alston.

Just after we bailed on a river crossing!
We headed out of Consett for our first drop off where we met up with a nice lady who volunteered to open the gate for us. When Richard gave her the card & bottle she was well made up & smiley. so off we went with a good deed done, hoping the rest were like this one!!

We also had a few close calls with some patchy ice on the back roads, with Mark sliding the back end sideways on a steep descent & I almost lost the front wheel on an approach to a junction. Everybody had a moment at some point during the day which just added to the spice of the fresh cold air & beautiful winter weather.

We had some great views as we passed by Slaley Forest, plenty of mud & puddles before dropping down to Derwent Reservoir & passing by the local shooting fraternity with a wave & a smile!

Unlike the person at this house where we dropped a card off too & the guy in the photo, (who may or may not be a local councillor??), told us to 'F' off. Very ironic as this has been a byway for 120+ years & we were actually parked up on a tarmac road as you can see in the photo!!

Anyway back to the positive stuff...riding green lanes in the UK!!

Lunch at The Cumberland Hotel in Alston was a chatty affair, with a fair bit of gossip about how easy the guys in the Landy had had the trip!! ;-). Meanwhile Richard was still trying to warm his hands on his exhaust even after sitting in the hotel for an hour!

Tynehead was a great bit of the day, dropping the all important bottle off before tackling the steep uphill into the snowline... Mark & Richard both showed their riding skills off here, cruising up whereas Lucy & I struggled up on or first ever visit.. hey ho...

Tynehead Cottage

Mud, mud & a bit more mud!!

Snow & mud!!

Mark looking good in the snow!!

Richard, our fearless leader for the day
The day wound on & we cruised up a fair few more lanes including 'H' lane, Scarsike Head, Cuthbert's Hill & back into Slaley forest. It was getting dark now so we opted for the road approach back into Consett where we all pulled up to say our farewells after a cool day out...

Another great day out on bikes, yet more lovely new people we've met & of course a load of new lanes ridden & discovered!

Our day ended up with a drive back to Cumbria, followed by several tots of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey before getting tucked up in bed by 10pm!!

Cheers to all the Northumbria TRF guys for a great ride out, some good company &