West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

Yorkshire Trailriding

Words By Matt Neale

The first weekend of October saw 7 members of the club braving the hazards of the M6 on their way to Yorkshire at the invitation of Taff Davies (WTRA stalwart and occasional WGDFMCC visitor.) The challenges of the motorway meant that arrival times were much later than anticipated. The hidden benefit was that headaches were minimal the next morning. This was obviously not going to be the case with Taff as he was getting it down him from 3pm onwards. The consequences of this could be seen in his organisational skills and room allocation.

Friday morning was sunny and cold. Two groups of riders went their separate ways. Various WTRA types went off with members of the Lucas clan whilst West Glos members held each others hands along with Taff and a few mates. The first few lanes were rutted, slippery and across open moorland. Eventually this changed to going that was to dominate the weekend. Yorkshire lanes are stony and long! Sometimes they are steep and stony enough to leave undersized Welshmen wondering where the ground was.

A 250 4 stroke Yamaha didn't slow Taff down who managed to stay at the front for 2 days. The fact he had the map also contributed to this. Lunch was late and extremely welcome.

What was left of the afternoon was a blur of stones, gravel and reckless KTM riding. The little XL125/185 that Rod had lent me was doing it's best to keep up. In bet it hadn't worked that hard for a long time. Who needs suspension, brakes, tyres and power? The passing of time and beer limits my recollection of individual lanes but it must be said that the 125 miles or so of lanes we did fairly easy and very picturesque.

Back at the pub, The Green Dragon in Hardraw, plenty of real ale, good food and American women were available. Hot baths weren't so easy to come by although one or two rooms were well provided for. (Tip, if you stay there, ask for room one. It isn't glamorous but it's near the boiler). A minor difference of opinion with the landlady occurred as apparently Taff's room allocation had not been to her liking. All was sorted out amicably although one our Celtic members was heard to rather noisily ask, who was in his room at midnight.

Saturday was equally bright and chilly. This time we headed East rather than North and West of day one. The lanes if anything were even more spectacular. The one that will stick in most people's minds is the one that ran for miles over the top of the moor. Those of us riding at a more sensible pace could see our mates literally a mile ahead with a following plume of dust. It looked like something out of the Dakar. It was rather like riding one I should imagine. House brick sized rocks, on a landrover'able track. Patches of gravel to bog you down and hidden steps to throw you off. At some point in the day Mike managed to mend a puncture without touching any tools or putting his fag down.

Lunch was again in a pub that we couldn't find again, followed by more lanes. A short rain shower just made the limestone more slippery. More motorway madness saw us back at the pub for warmer baths, food, more beer and no Americans. The "singer" was enthusiastic rather than talented but who cares once 5 pints of "sheep sh***er" ale was inside you? Sundays drive back was less eventful than the trip up. The first bit through the Dales showed how beautiful the area was and gave hints to the lanes that we hadn't tried.