News feed, 2.7.17

Music, motorbikes and mayhem sums up our second outing to Clennell Hall! The finest Northumbrian scenery and landscape provided a green and pleasant backdrop, with about forty chapter members making their way there over the weekend. We had a combination of people in the Hall itself, some in the bunk rooms, and a wide selection of tents and motorhomes.

The trip up on Friday was reasonably uneventful, but the promise of some rain somewhere meant the clouds were grey rather than white. A bit better than last year though, when it tipped down on the way up. We got there about four, and the GC faithful already occupied the bar.

Drinks orders and food orders came and went over the next hour or so and, after checking in, we installed ourselves next to the Charlton and Kent party at the long table in the middle. Rocky kept the beer chilled for us all, and after our own food, we settled down to some music from a local band, and general tomfoolery, GC-style.

The band was good, playing a varied selection of tunes, and they kept everything swinging along nicely until the wee hours.

Breakfast came and went in the morning, and we shared a table with Ron and Lyn. We covered all the finer points of GC merchandise during our brief time together!

James, Bill, Mandy and Paul then arrived from Newcastle to join our ride-out, scheduled for an 11.00 am departure. Peter was up front and Paul at the back. Peter delivered the briefing, and revealed our lunch stop – the Lavender Tea Rooms, at Etal.

And we were off! We took a quick left-turn out of Clennell Hall, and then navigated through some great roads, heading for Alnwick. There were nineteen bikes and two trikes on the day. The sun popped in and out from behind the clouds, and the day was getting much warmer as we landed into Alnwick, past the lovely Edlingham Castle. We also played second-man-drop-off which is always good fun!

We arrived at a very familiar petrol station, got some fuel in the Sportys, then had a slow meander back through Alnwick, fighting against some Saturday morning traffic. Alnwick must be very used to having the GC through its street: we had a great pit-stop there last weekend as part of our ABC ride.

Peter’s route then kicked up a gear, as we headed north through Eglingham and Chillingham. At times, it felt like we were on the waltzer at The Hoppings but the plan slotted beautifully together and, after a small about-turn at the castle in Etal, we landed en masse at the Lavender Tea Rooms. What a glorious spot! A few of our gang who weren’t on bikes had also made their way up there, so we all sat for an hour and drank up the sunshine and some lovely tea and coffee from the café. They were so excited about it, they even filmed our departure!

Barry now took the back-marker spot and we whizzed back down the A697 for some more fuel at Powburn. Peter wasn’t finished with us yet, so we went into Glanton, Callaly and some other lovely villages back to Clennell Hall. There was a great collection of narrow roads, potholes, green tufts and gravel to keep us all on our toes, and we were in and out of our seats bouncing through it all.

And that was that! Eighty miles later, we were back at Clennell Hall, debating the day’s ride with a cold beer outside in the sunshine. The place overflowed with more of the GC gang, in additional tents and motorhomes. As a small reward for his superb efforts, Jasper the dog then took a tinkle in Peter’s lid.

NB: this is NOT Jasper!

We fought the temptation to stay out right through, so showered and changed and landed back in the bar at seven.

More tea, more music and more beer, that’s how it went from there. Our Les, followed by Stu, accompanied at times by Mark, then kept our toes a-tapping though another fantastic evening.

What a great time! Great folk, great patter and some great riding! Let’s get it sorted again for 2018.

News feed, 26.6.17

Our 2017 ABC ride was another triumph for sunny weather, happy riders and our amazing Road Crew. We met at Albemarle Barracks, home to the British Army, and then zoomed off to Alnwick, via the A68, Elsdon and Rothbury.

Everyone’s in the NAAFI …

We had a brief stop for lunch, before heading east via Denwick to Boulmer, home to the Royal Air Force. It was a breezy stop, so once we’d had our picture taken, we strapped ourselves in again, and rode off south towards Ashington and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Today is obviously checky-shirt day!

You can never have too many pictures!

Our new Sportster Sickness ladies: Caroline, Sharon and Sarah

Cross Rob is flying the flags!

We re-grouped a couple of times, so we could make the final push along the quayside in a single group. The traffic lights thwarted us slightly but our Men in Orange did a great job in keeping us all together and in the right direction. Finally, we landed at HMS Calliope, home to the Royal Naval Reserve.

We had a stupendous day, with about one hundred riders and pillions, eighty bikes and trikes and a sea of smiley faces! We managed to raise about £750.00 for our armed forces. Well done to everyone!

What a great day!

Chapter Meeting, June 2017

Barry and Peter were away in Ireland at BikeFest, so Robin was in charge at our June meeting. It was a great evening, weather-wise, and we had about thirty or so bikes and trikes in the car park, and eighty Chapter members in the room.

Here’s a few highlights from the meeting:

  • Our first Chapter ride of 2017 was a great success, led by Duncan
  • We’ve had a few rallies already in 2017, with a good number travelling down to Cider and Iron Horse
  • The Normans convened their second Fat Bob event in The Lakes recently, which was another great success (although it did rain a bit!)

We’ve got a couple of events coming up in the coming weeks, starting with the next monthly Chapter ride to Eskdalemuir, led by Ray and Paul.

Helen handed out event sheets for everyone. Helen will update this as we go forward. We’ve got full details on the website too: www.geordiehog.com/events. The Bad-Landers Armed Forces Day event is on 18 June, and full details are on the website. We’ve also got our own ABC ride on 24 June.

At the end of June, there’s the Chapter Ride Weekend at Clennell Hall. There’s plenty of space left in the bunk rooms, or you can camp. Speak to Helen or Peter if you’d like to go.

Ray thanked everyone who attended the recent photo-shoot at the Angel of the North, with the North East Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs. We had about forty people there, a sizeable proportion of the overall one hundred and ninety who attended. Pictures are available on Facebook.

Dawn said that the rally organisation is going really well and encouraging everyone to help. Ticket sales are going well too!

We finished on a sad note, noting the recent death of a Kalle Johnsen from the Bergen Chapter. Trish arranged for some flowers from us all, at his funeral on Wednesday.

The raffle is always a flourish at the end with Steve, John, Jan, Ian, Bill and Ben all collecting some great prizes.

The next meeting is on 6 July, see you all there!

Ride safe everyone, Robin.

News feed, 29.5.17

The warm summer sun shone down on Ray and I as we revved up the trikes, making our way down to Angels Place for the North East Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs’ meeting last Friday. Many others had taken also had the same idea, lining the street outside the pub with their beautiful bikes. Clutching a glass of the amber nectar, we stayed outside for some chat with our coalition friends. It’s a great way to start the meeting.

Steve got the meeting underway and there were a few absentees this month. Firstly, he thanked everyone for coming down to the NECMC photo shoot at the Angel of the North on Wednesday. It was a great turn-out from everyone in the coalition, with nearly two hundred people there. The HA will get some prints and canvas pictures made for everyone for a reasonable cost. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview from the picture that made its way onto Facebook.

Everyone then ran through the various events and activities that are coming our way over the summer. We’ve listed some of these in our February write-up, here, but in addition we’ve got the following …

  • 10.6: the HA is hosting a rave at Angels Place, with live bands and DJs keeping everyone entertained
  • 1.7: HAMC Custom Bike Show, with loads of north-east custom bikes on display. Get there for about one o’clock. There are loads of categories for bikes, so get your chrome polished ready for the day.
  • 18.6: the Bad-Landers MCC is convening the annual Armed Forces Day at Bents Park. It’s on between ten and five o’clock and it looks like there’s a stack of things to do, including bands, a bike and car show, and the parade itself. If anyone would like to join the parade from Angels Place to Bents Park, get there for about nine o’clock, ready to ride at quarter to ten. There’s also a raffle with some big money prizes. All in support of our armed forces.
  • 23.7: the Ride of Respect to Catterick. Starts at Angels Place at eleven o’clock. It’ll be busy, so get there early.
  • 5.6: Brigantes Brotherhood MCC is hosting an Open Night
  • 24.6: Geordie HOG ABC ride, starting at Albemarle, up to Boulmer and then to HMS Calliope. You’ll need to have photo ID with you to join this ride.
  • 24.6: the Hylton Hornets MCC is hosting a fund-raiser for the RVI Children’s Wards, 1A and 7, at 12.00 pm. It looks like it will be a great day for the entire family. It’s on at The Golden Lion, South Hylton.

As an aside Bellatorum MCC thanked everyone for their support at the recent event at their place. They raised more than £1,000, bringing their total to nearly £6,500 so far this year.

The next meeting is on 30.6 at 8.00 pm. There are lots of websites and Facebook pages for all these groups, so get online and help support them and the NECMC.

News feed, 25.5.17

We all met up at Bradbury Services on Sunday for the first monthly Chapter ride of 2017, led by Duncan. A few arrived early, having gone straight there, then the Washington posse landed en masse just before ten. It was great to see so many people taking advantage of the good weather, and also so many new chapter members. We chatted to John, Gill and Tony in the car park beforehand.

The Road Crew huddled together to get their game faces on, then Duncan delivered the all-important ride briefing. Barry announced that James would be celebrating his sixtieth birthday on Monday, so we raised our voices for a quick burst of Happy Birthday for him.

Once we’d completed the formalities, everyone got kitted up, started up and ready for the off about half ten. A kindly Stobart’s lorry gave us all a free pass straight out of the service station, then we crossed the A1, heading west up Weardale towards the A68 and Wolsingham. The roads were fantastic and we tucked in behind John B on his Dyna and Ian on his Breakout. Ron and Lyn were close behind us.

The Road Crew got us quickly through the relatively straight route to St John’s Chapel, then a quick left, heading south towards the B167, High Force waterfall and Teesdale. We used part of this route on our first ride from last year when we raced from Alston down to Durham Tees Valley Airport to see the Great North Air Ambulance.

Right onto the B6276 took us onto the North Pennines AONB and the moors. The weather turned distinctly chilly as we soldiered on, and a bit of mist managed to dampen our shiny chrome. Thankfully, the sheep kept out of our way and in no time, we landed at Brough, crossing under the A66. It was a bit bumpy on the roads on the moors and it was good to ride some better roads for a change.

Kirkby Stephen was very busy but everyone stopped and stared, open-mouthed, as we navigated the traffic lights through the village. Up and out again as we headed for Nateby and Outhgill towards Aisgill, next to the very remote Hell Gill Beck. Once on the A684, we landed at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes.

Things have changed at the creamery recently, including a new car park. We all managed to find a space, then headed for lunch. It’s such a great place, and Lyn took full advantage of the cheese-related merchandise on offer.

 

We left about an hour or so later and we rode through Hawes itself. It was rammed with tourists and fellow bikers yet we still managed to cause a stir as we went by. There’s something cool about riding in such a big group, and watching everyone watching us! This time, we were following John L, Trish and John B, with Ian tucked in behind. There’s always something entertaining watching John B whacking the throttle grip on his ride, but he kept the hammer down and we made a good pace!

Pretty soon, we dropped down a very steep bank and crossed the lovely Aysgarth Falls. Unfortunately, Kevin Costner was nowhere to be seen! The roads were again magnificent and kept us on our toes, although we nearly ran out of Road Crew at one point. Everyone was doing a good job in letting them through but there were a lot of junctions to cover.

We dropped out of the Yorkshire Dales National Park at Richmond and headed north, crossing the River Tees again, west of the A1 at Darlington. Finally, we had a short stretch of A1 to travel before we landed at Newton Park Services. Everyone was full of smiles for a job well done, all credit to Duncan and the Men in Orange for a superb day!

News feed, 15.4.17

CRAGG 2017

With Clyde Valley and Red Rose chapters, we held our annual pre-season event over at Gretna Hall Hotel. We got underway on 7 April for a couple of nights. Each day had perfect weather, much better than last when we had sleet, rain and snow!

Between us, more than a hundred and fifty turned up to join in the fun. On Saturday, Derek and Rachael Norman arranged a ninety mile blast round some great rural roads of Dumfries and Galloway. We stopped for a lunch break at The Steamboat Inn at Carsethorn: well worth another visit. The ride was just superb, and we arrived back at Gretna mid-afternoon. In the evening, after a superb dinner, a group called Rocket Man entertained us. They were previously on at last year’s Wake the Lakes rally.

CRAGG is a great opportunity for everyone to get together after the long winter’s break! Roll on next year!

Barry

Chapter Meeting, April 2017

Barry welcomed everyone to the April Chapter meeting and handed straight over to Charlotte Campbell. Charlotte gave a short talk about the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) and the fantastic work that they do over at the Freeman Hospital. We have a ride-out to the Freeman in July to support CHUF. For more details on CHUF, click here.

Barry then whipped us through a quick commentary of a few events and activities that we convened recently, including two Road Crew-led rides from JH-DG and the First Aid training for our Road Crew. Thanks to James and Allen for the former and Dawn, Greg and Shaun for the latter. These activities are an essential part of getting everyone ready for our forthcoming riding season. Barry also talked us through a few events coming up, starting this weekend …

  • If anyone wants to join a ride over to Gretna on Friday for CRAGG, meet at JH-DG at one o’clock
  • Paul gave us an update on the Easter Egg ride, on 12 April. There’s an egg collection basket at JH-DG, so please contribute if you can.
  • Easter is shaping up nicely with a proposed ride to West Coast H-D on Good Friday (meet at Todhills Services, between J44 and J45 of the M6) – see our Facebook group for times etc.
  • The Normans are convening a ride to The Lakes on 16 April, starting from Hartside Café – see our Facebook group for times etc.
  • Barry also suggested that there might be something else in the mix for Easter Monday too …

Helen handed out event sheets for everyone. It’s a very busy season ahead! Helen will update this as we go forward. We’ve got full details on the website too: www.geordiehog.com/events.

For those not going to CRAGG this weekend, the Sportster Sickness group are getting together at JH-DG. There is also a season-opener at JH-DG, with Bessie and the Zinc Buckets on stage entertaining everyone. There are more details on the JH-DG Facebook page. If anyone has something they’d like to add to the events listings, please contact Helen directly.

Ruth has arranged another Afternoon Tea event at Lumley Castle, with a murder, mystery flavour. It’s on 4 June with a £10 deposit required. There are more details within these hallowed pages and on Facebook. There’s also another Bowling Night planned for 17 June. If you’d like to go to either event, please contact Ruth directly.

The first monthly Chapter Ride is on 21 May, some six weeks away. Duncan will lead it and we’ll learn more at the next Chapter Meeting. James also advised that the recent ride-outs to Blanchland have proved extremely popular with everyone, so the Road Crew might convene another one on 6 May, depending on numbers and Road Crew availability. Keep an eye on our Facebook group for more details.

Mr Stand-In Membership Officer, Peter, said we now have 251 members, with some new members at tonight’s meeting. Hello to everyone! As an aside, it appears that there has been some issues with H.O.G. and membership renewals. We’ll be taking this into account with the membership deadline within Geordie Chapter. If anyone is experiencing any issues, please let Peter know sharpish.

Robin said that the website is fully up-to-date with all the events etc. for the riding season. We’ll add details of start times and locations when they are available. All news, stories and photos gratefully received! We‘re already getting some great coverage of the new items that are on there.

Ray led off with an emotional thank you to everyone who attended the last ride-out for Phil, Lesley’s brother, who passed away recently. They split donations, amounting to some £900, between Cancer Connections, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

There’s a whole host of events going on within the Coalition. Some of these are listed on our website, under News. Some new highlights include:

  • Bellatorum MCC – pool night, Angels Place 29 April
  • Drangonslayer MCC – rally, Percy Park 7 July
  • Twisted Sprockets MCC – rally, 1 September

Dawn said that the rally organisation is going really well and we’ll resolve who’s going to do what, by way of help, at the next Chapter meeting. Hopefully, everyone can lend a hand! Ticket sales are going well too, and Barry encouraged everyone to get theirs soon!

Finally, a couple of last minute items:

  • Rob thanked everyone for the fantastic turn-out to his daughter’s wedding recently, everyone had a great time
  • The Three Horseshoes are offering a 25% discount to Geordie Chapter members and Barry has some vouchers if anyone is interested
  • Some people do still attend the Social Night at The Tyne pub: it’s on the fourth Tuesday in the month, if you’d like to join in
  • There was a stack of prizes in the raffle with Gary F, Judith, John L, Chuck, Greg, John B, Donna and Tony sharing the spoils

The next meeting is on 5 May, see you all there!

Ride safe everyone, Barry.

News feed, 25.3.17

Greg led the way on a great ride-out up to Blanchland, as we basked in some beautiful sunshine on Saturday. Our Road Crew play a very important part in keeping us together on our Chapter ride-outs and they volunteered to help new members understand riding in a group.

We met at Jennings Harley-Davidson Gateshead at half-ten for a comprehensive briefing from James and Greg to get us underway. We had about seven new members with us. We were soon underway along the A1, A69 and A68 to Kiln Pit Hill. There were some great opportunities to experience the staggered riding formation, and watching out for our Road Crew as they marked the junctions for us. Paul, helped by Donna, marked his first junction as a new member of the Road Crew as we turned right, and headed to Blanchland.

The kettle was boiling at the White Monk tearoom, as everyone settled down for refreshments. Others headed over to the Lord Crewe Arms, with its fantastic setting and beautiful grounds.

Suitably refreshed, we headed off again through Shotley Bridge, Medomsley, Burnopfield and Streetgate back towards the A1 and Dunston. We then had a post-ride briefing to round off the event. The pressure is now on Greg to organise similar weather as we head through the 2017 riding season!

See you all at the Haggis Ride next week!

News feed, 25.2.17

The North East Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs again met at Angels Place last night. Bikers had already packed the place by the time we arrived, so we went upstairs sooner than the others. We had a brief chat with Graham and Lyn, from the 2012 MCC, as everyone else made their way upstairs too. Craig led the meeting.

The Coalition Coordinator got things underway by welcoming the Gunnars MCC to the Coalition. They’ve been to a few meetings now and everyone welcomed them aboard. Back to Craig, and he outlined a few things happening in the coming months. Last month’s write-up, here, describes a few of them but in addition, there’s:

  • 24.3: Hells Angels Anniversary, with The Revolutionaires
  • 1.4: HAMC Poker Run, as described last month, will also include a hog roast. The ride should start about 11.00 am, so get there early.
  • 15.4: the Wyrm Riders Brotherhood is hosting an Alice Cooper Nightmare, Alice in Sunderland, with an Alice tribute band. It’s all for charity, so get along if you can. It’s at The Point. Flyers should be available at the next meeting.
  • 1.7: HAMC Custom Bike Show, with loads of north-east custom bikes on display
  • 23.7: Bad-Landers MCC Ride of Respect

Craig finished with an impassioned speech about what a great thing the NECMC is and how we all stick together. There’s a fantastic spirit within the group, and long may it last. Everyone needs to play their part in keeping it cohesive, watching out for each other.

The next meeting is on 31.3, at 8.00 pm. There are lots of websites and Facebook pages for all these groups, so get online and help support them and the NECMC.

News feed, 22.2.17

To kick off this year’s Chapter Mileage Challenge, we’re inviting everyone down to Jennings Harley-Davidson Gateshead on Saturday 4 March, from 10.00 am, for coffee and cakes.

For those not familiar with the challenge, it runs from 1 March to 30 November and it’s all about riding, having fun … and clocking up the miles as you go. At the end of the riding season, we collate all the mileages and send them to H.O.G. They then make awards in various categories, including greatest average number of miles, greatest number of participants, furthest travelled bloke and furthest travelled lady.

It doesn’t matter how many miles you ride, but every one counts! You can accumulate extra points by attending H.O.G. flag rallies and having your picture taken while you’re there. This year, we’re very proud to say that our Heart & Soul Rally is as a H.O.G. flag rally!

Geordie Chapter also has its own award for furthest travelled bloke and furthest travelled lady, won last year by Paul Wright and Rachel Ratcliffe respectively. We’ll announce our own winners at the 2017 Chapter Christmas Party.

For those who entered last year, your closing mileage is this year’s opening mileage. You can submit your mileage at any time from 1 March by popping along to the JH-DG but the sooner you register the more miles it means for the chapter. Though the official forms aren’t necessary anymore, we still need to verify your mileage then it’s submitted electronically by Jennings.

Weather permitting, our Road Crew will also convene a short ride-out, for new chapter members and anyone else who wants to ride along. We’re hoping to show new members how the Road Crew keeps everyone together on chapter ride outs. It should leave about half ten, so get along there about ten to hear the briefing etc.

All donations of cakes are welcome and we’ll give all proceeds to the Great North Air Ambulance. See you all there!