Sun, rain, sun, rain, sun was how the day panned out for our annual ABC ride, starting from Albemarle Barracks, on Saturday.
There were more than fifty bikes and one trike on the day. A good number of non-Chapter members joined us, on a wide range of bikes. Everyone wanted to join in the fun for our chosen charities, Tynemouth Volunteer Lifeboat Brigade and Help for Heroes.
We had a great start to the day with everyone enjoying coffee and bacon buns from the Junior Ranks Mess Hall. There was lots of good crack about all the important things in biking life, and Brexit didn’t get a look in. Steve was in post for his first ride as our new Head Road Captain and James gave us a rousing briefing to get us underway. Andy was Pack Leader and Dave was looking after things at the back.
Waterproofs weren’t required as we headed out from Albemarle about half-ten, heading towards the roundabout at the A68 and B6318 junction. We had an observer from IAM along with us and we all managed to leave safely and in one group. Away up the A68, we then headed east again, past the reservoirs, heading towards the A696 at Kirkharle. Unfortunately, Craig had an issue with his Sporty and dropped from the pack. We had an unarranged stop as the Road Crew corralled us near Little Bavington. Not for long though and we were underway again quickly. However, the first of our torrential rain showers greeted us near the A696. Wisely, we pulled off again and everyone donned the waterproofs. Thankfully, still heading east, a few turns later the rain stopped and the roads improved again.
At Wallington, past the famous gargoyles, we headed north towards the River Coquet. Rothbury passed in a quick flash, although we got spread out again through the t-junction in the town centre. Cragside was next on the right, across the A696 and past Edlingham Castle to the left. Alnwick was very busy and we added to the fun as we all parked up on Bondgate Within. Time for a welcome rest and some lunch. Most found a café in the Market Place and others had some fish and chips.
We were up and away again about one-fifteen and all managed to get turned round before heading back out the way we came, with a left at the bottom, then left again after Bondgate Without, off to Boulmer.
Fifteen minutes later, amazingly with no rain, we turned into the Royal Air Force base at Boulmer and swept through the base to the previous Search and Rescue concrete pavement. Unfortunately, there were no Sea King helicopters this time to herald our arrival. Nevertheless, we spoke with the base commander and had our picture taken by Rob.
From Boulmer, we headed back to the A1068, with a quick fuel stop after Amble before on towards Woodhorn and Ashington. The rain paid us a further (brief) visit just to annoy us and then we were off left onto the A192 and through Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay and to our final destination, Tynemouth.
Thankfully, the sun came out again, and shone on our arrival at the Life Brigade Watch House. It was a tight squeeze getting everyone aboard but we managed. The party was in full swing and we headed inside for coffee and refreshments.
A fantastic day, hampered a little bit by the rain, but a great route through some of Northumberland’s finest scenery. Robson Green would be proud. Once again, the Road Crew did an amazing job keeping us together and making sure we landed safely.
Thanks to the Geordie Chapter, guests and the public in Alnwick, we raised £165 for Tynemouth Volunteer Lifeboat Brigade and £281 for Help for Heroes.
PS. After the event, we found out that Malcolm and Liz had an altercation with a car on their way home. Both are OK, but the H-D needs some work. Best wishes from everyone.
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