Friday, 4 September 2015

North Yorkshire Lanes: A soggy day on the moors...

Geoff had a birthday this week, so we decided to try to do the last part of the lanes on the Coast to Coast that we'd all done in the summer. Andy came along too as he'd had to bail and miss the last day due to previous commitments.

So three of us met up in Kilburn, just east of Thirsk, to crack on a get some lanes done...

The Forresters Arms, cool little country pub...
As we set off a thin drizzle started and this continued for the majority of the day, so everything got really slippy and greasy, including the tarmac!

First lane was up High Town Bank and back down in a loop, nice little lane with some easy but slippy rock steps in it... a quick razz to Ampleforth past Byland Abbey  and the little lane here, which is currently partially blocked by builders working on the empty building next to the lane.

A quick stop in Helmsley for a brew and then off to Rudland Rigg, where all the heather was in bloom and even in the crappy rain looked fabulous with it's purple flowers... I was surprised to hear Andy say he'd never ridden Rudland before as he's ridden most of the lanes we've been to over the last few months. Great another one ticked off!

Tea time!
Rudland Rigg
We had a load of fun in Battersby Plantation, it was so greasy that none of us got up it cleanly, Andy took the low route and ended up in one of the deep ruts, where he got stuck all alone as Geoff & I headed up the left bank, we then got stuck at the rock steps at the top and thought he was ahead of us so never even looked for him until he appeared sweating and swearing below us...

A lot of sweating, swearing and wheel spinning eventually saw all three bikes at the top, but we were now covered in mud and shite, plus soaked from the drizzle, but none of us could stop laughing all the while we were there!!

It's a proper 'ard lane that!!

At the top!!
Catch our breathe out of the rain!
From here we picked up a couple of easier lanes and the fun started to happen...

Andy had an off at 40-50mph on some tarmac, we reckon he might have slid out on a patch of mud in the middle of the road, whatever the cause, he went down hard, the bike slid for about 30m, grinding a fair bit of the hand guard away and damaging the steering damper... Once we knew Andy was only bruised, and the bike was ridable, we headed off again, with Andy groaning a bit!

Divot to bike was the skid length!!
Next up Geoff's bike decided to throw a rear brake pad out, he hadn't fitted it correctly and so as we had already started a steep wet descent, it was a sweaty turn around to get it on level ground and get it back in place...

The next couple of lanes suffered from the locals ire, one even had a sign across the bridge saying 'Private Bridge' with padlocks and all...

Block that Right of Way!
So as it was now 1pm, we headed direct to Lealholm for fuel and a cuppa! The lady at the petrol garage and the cafe were both lovely and took the piss out of us out playing in the rain! Once we were all warm again, we headed off to the ford near Lealholm and then pretty much a road trip back to Kilburn.

Great beer in a warm pub, then the drive home rounded off another great day out with mates on bikes!!

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