It was going to be a promising day according to the weatherman. Finally I was getting my ass into gear and was planning to visit my Julie. I sent a text, she lives near Mexborough in South Yorkshire, she replied that they were in fact holidaying in Whitby for a few weeks. Ok says I, we will come to Whitby and see you maybe indulge in fish an chips! Nothing was going to put me off now! I’d already left visiting her for far too long already.
Indeed Monday showed the beginnings of a great day. We got out of bed early, Julie sorted the osses and I woke slowly to have a bacon buttie and choose a zig zag route on the map. I decided I would dress in leathers trousers and heavy winter coat, Julie chose the full winter outfit, in spite of the rosy outlook it was still cold!
We rode through Thorne with the slow moving morning traffic..trundle..trundle…we went! At the huge roundabout that had the M18 overhead we upped a gear or two, I glance right as we approached and saw it was clear so zoomed round the roundabout fast. Banking left than pulling upright a quick look in the mirror before cranking hard left again down to 60 mph now as the corner tightened, then wound back the throttle..thats “flooring it” to you car guys! We flew up the straight bit of A19 reaching high speeds before the two bridges ahead going hard on the brakes to wiggle through them, a long mile had us break the sound barrier! Yeah, it’s great to be out on the bike again! three figures dropped to two as we progressed to a small roundabout up ahead and hooked a left and head through sleepy Camlesforth and on to Snaith.
Once clear of Snaith and the large school I opened up again and passed everything in sight! It’s a long bumpy and straight run to Selby, the light traffic was negotiated easlily. We didn’t bother with Squires Cafe at nearby Sherburn, it’s a great place to go but not everytime we hit the road! We turned right and run around Selby on the by-pass running quickly on towards York. We were having lots of fun at these high speeds, the river bridge and forthcoming roundabouts were ticked off in short order. On we went towards Eskrick. This is such a fast open road, sooooo good for the soul and for blowing away the morning cobwebs!
At York we joined the ring road keeping clear of the not so bike friendly city. The A64 was empty today again I twisted the throttle way back until we reached the roundabout that signified the end of the ringroad, the twin carriageway dropped down to one, all the vehicles pulled over to the left leaving a clear passage for us, “Thank you” I acknowledged and pushed on quickley up the road.
It was early but it was dry and about 13 degrees with some thin cloud, the sun was begining to burn the haze away, it was looking very promising! “MISTRESS MABLE” had stretched her legs, we covered the miles from here to there in mere minutes, bloody hell she can’t half gallop when nudged! The 1800cc “flat six” engine purred between my legs and threw some heat onto the inside of my knees beating back the morning nip.
We turned off the A64 minutes in minutes turning left to run through Flaxton, for sure one of the prettiest villages around these parts. The old railway line has long gone, the crossing was supa smooth the village green lay to our left, explosions of Daffs dotted the flat green, its a really pretty place! Every house is different in style and shape, there is no uniformity here except for the hundreds of yellow daffodils.
The next village we rode through next was Sherrif Hutton, the dominant feature here is the remains of a castle, The castle was built in 1380 on the nod from King Richard II, it can only be be visited by prior arrangement these days as its privetly owned.
We dropped to thirty through the small village, up and over the roundabout at the top then it wasd GLF time again! A motorbike instructor told wife number two year ago in London that it was more than fine to GLF in appropiate road conditions. GLF stood for “Go Like Fuck”!
After the village I twisted back the throttle and we too GLF’d. We dashed through the green countryside tipping left and right through some lovely flat smooth bends, some dry mud tracks on the road from the tractors made us alter our line now and again The Honda Goldwing is a big heavy bike but very capable of quick flicks, if one is confident enough!
The grey haze had gone now, replaced instead by the promised clear blue sky. It was however a smidgen nippy with a slight breeze coming across our faces and at high speeds it kept a constant tear running down my face.
The Hawardian Hills stood before us like a couple of giant waves frozen in time, big furry trees stood about in big gangs on the lee of the hills as our little road snaked into a clump of them climbing up the side of the first ridge before popping over the summit and back down the other side. We paused at the top of one such ridge. I turned off the engine and walked back to the edge to take take in the great view. It was really quiet except for gods breath. The chill wind fairly braced me and pushed me backwards. I stood there sprag legged my hands thrust deep in my pockets. Julie sat on the bike content with looking from the bike. The views across the Vale of York was especialy lovely today in the bright conditions.
We paused again at Nunnington Hall, I stopped on a junction to take some photo’s of the scene then as if my magic all the traffic of the day turned up including a flippin bus! I moved back up the junction out of the way then a big red tractor appeard up my arse, waving frantically for it to come round. “Oh for gods sake go round and just bugger orf will you”! I chuntered to myself. It’s “Sods Law” and happens to me a lot…or perhaps I stop a lot in places I shouldn’t?
After a ten minute pause and a few photo’s we moved on through Wombleton turning right onto the A170 through Kirkbymoorside. On Sundays this road is alive with motorbikes running from Helmsley to Pickering, one has to keep one’s wits when joining it from the quiet side roads, there have been accidents on this road involving motorbikes, last year when out with APPY WANDERERS on this road we saw the aftermath of a car verses bike incident, it wasn’t pretty…the bike always looses. Some might say the bikers should slow down. I say its NOT a racetrack but a public highway and so common sence should apply, there is a time to run past the crowd and there is also a time to walk with the crowd.
We turned left after a short spurt onto a little white road to Hutton-Le-Hole. I say white road because thats what they are on the maps and more often than not they don’t have a number. These are my most favorite roads to ride on, second only to the Alpine roads of France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
It is a narrow strip of bumpy grey tarmac that God has drizzled across the North York Moors National Park. Most of the half a dozen routes up here go from north to south and follow the contours of the land, keep a steady 40 MPH is advisable and lets one gaze at the beauty of the moors. The sheep own the land up here and are frequently stood about, in the early evenings you will find them laid about on the road as the tarmac is still warm after the sunny days. The first time I experianced this was in The Isle of Skye years ago when I was riding from a dinner party to my digs on my Honda 900F1, I suddenly saw cats eyes all over the road in front of me, I slowed down feeling somewhat dissoriantated, the eyse turned into wooley lumps and I had to slowly pick my way through them. I have never ridden fast in the Scottish Highlands at night since that day!
it was bright and sunny and I could spot the sheep a long way off so no problems today! We stopped at a high ridge and heard jet noise constantly above us, I parked up and scanned the sky. Two B.A Hawk trainers were chasing each other around the sky above us. These are what the RAF use to train new fighter pilots. We sat and watched them high above as they turned and twisted in and out of the clouds. They moved north to leave us with the brisk wind which up here was fairly strong, in fact Julie left her helmet on. We sat a few minutes looking down the valley to Rosedale Abbey down in the crease far below us. We had stopped on the ridge to look at the Rosedale Iron Works. Its known as “Chimney Bank” All that’s left are the remains of iron ore blast furnaces.
We got back on the bike and were about to pull away when we spotted two RAF Tucano aircraft approaching from the right, they actually flew below us and disapeared down into the valley! I had no time to reach for the camera slung around Julie’s neck, instead we just sat and watched them, these were turbo prop two seat trainer aircraft and are a step down in the training programme from the Hawk jet trainers we had watched earlier. I was cursing my bad luck when a third Tucano appraoched. “Camera quick Julie, there’s another one coming”! He pulled up short and went around before returning to dive into the valley, he pulled up again and went around the back of us, I got some shots but to be honest I had the standard lens on so it looks small. If I’d known I was riding into an airshow I’d have put the long lens on!
Oh well on we go then, we went ahead over the crest of the hill, I slowly tipped the bike over and down into the valley we went, we picked our way down to the bottom then turned left and began to climb up onto the opposite ridge and into the open again. We rode over the heath land for ten miles of more, we both smiled at at place name for FRYUP, whoever thinks of these names eh?
As we passed through Castleton we followed a police car until we saw the national speed limit sign then I passed them, the car had three cops inside all three turned to look as we blew past them, I stuck to the speed limit onto the A171 coast road, they followed us towards Whitby, I stuck like glue to the speed limit. I turned and head to Runswick Bay, thankfully the cops went ontowards Whitby on the main road, its not comfy to have police car on your tail…even though we’d done nowt wrong!
We took the little road through Lythe and Sandsend entering Whitby from the north coast. The sea front was blustery and fresh as we made our way to the Whalebones car park. I manovered into the bike bay and saw my Julie…my other Julie, with hubbi Steve on the seat, they had turned and waved at us.
It had been ages since we had seen each other so a long cuddle ensued, neither of us realised how long it was since we’d seen each other. It was lovely to see them again. They led us to a suitable fish resteraunt down the hill and over the bridge, after which we walked up the zillion steps to the abbey. It was beautiful in the noon sunshine, we spent an hour or more up here taking photo’s and catching up with stuff. Julie is as prolific with the camera as I am and has amast the names of many types of clouds, her most favorite subject however is the moon.
We had a wander around the cobbled streets, meandering here and there. We had ice cream on the pier and dodged the sea gull shyte that rained down, Julie spotted one infant gull discharge its guts over us, lucky for me it dropped short…bastard! I sidestepped every few minutes hoping to put the buggers off their aim.
We strolled back up the hill to the bike. It had been a nice afternoon with Julie and Steve and long overdue! The time was creeping on and we had to get back before too long as the osses had to be seen to by Julie today. We changed back into bike kit, promising to meet up again soon we waved goodbye and left the car park.
We took the main coast road upto the roundabout and turned onto the A169 towards Pickering, the wind was strong now so we took a steady pace with the cars, riding past the huge Hole of Horcum, the wind dropped as we dropped down towards Pickering so I got a move on snicking up through the gears into top gear, we swept past the dozen or so cars in front, a guy on a sports bike followed me down the outside all the way to Pickering, he turned right to Helmsley as we went straight across the roundabout to the A64 at Malton, we rode into the setting sun all the way back to York without much ado. he run from there to Selby and home was quiet and windless, the sun was now at our back, it stayed there all the way back to Walnut Cottage.
We had done 200 miles in over 8 hrs on a sunny warmish day, I think winter is well and truly behind us now!