Thursday 30 May 2024

RogueRunners '24 Day 3 - Whitby Loop

Everybody did the short route today - just as well as the first back was at 17:00, all was going well until a village with an awkward junction, where I thought everyone turned right.

I was wrong, I turned right & found myself alone with Mark in the Alpine & a SatNav telling me to turn around.

Then the SatNav went strange, it still gave me instructions, but I had no line to follow, so I was glad of Mark's presence, but that was the last we saw of the main group.

We headed out over moorland roads & within not too long at all found ourselves looking across a valley at Whitby Abby. There were signs out about the swing bridge being closed, but fortunately it was open for us & we went up toward the abbey & turned inland.

We had problems in Pickering where the high street was closed for market day. That split up the four of us that had managed to find each other, but we re-grouped at a petrol station & moved on. Then there was an altercation with a deer that had been hiding in a verge & chose the moment I drove past to bolt. I think it was OK - my car was.

We stopped for coffee in a village that had the most Yorkshire man I've ever come across serving in the café. Everything you've heard rolled into one "ee if yer all pay on't card thee bank'll charge me a fortune, 'ave ee not got cash?"

Later we heard that the other group had called in & he'd accused the Alpine of being a Porsche & he didn't hold with for'n cars. The village also boasted a public loo decorated with a small bicycle - I think it had been hung up by the health & safety man going by the size of the chains - they would easily support my car. 

After that there was quite a lot of knarly, twisty, steep roads, I like the technical lanes, but there was rather a lot & I was very pleased to see a white line in the middle of the road, although others said this was their favourite day.

There was also a road with gates across which we had no truck with after our experience a couple of years ago & a little later another one, but I suspect that was because the SatNav believed the road I'd picked was closed - it wasn't, so we drove along it until the SatNav sorted it's life out. Later we found out that others had tried the gated road.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

RogueRunners '24 Day 2 Bowland Loop

Bowland you ask? Yes, it looked intriguing on the map, an area to the south of the lake district with very few towns & some wriggly roads.

But the day started with a surprise for one of our No. who had ordered a vegetarian breakfast & it arrived with a slice of black pudding. This wasn't to be the last of the hotel strangeness.

This was obviously the first proper route & the SatNavs never know which way to go until they start moving & work out which way is forward, so we got to the courtyard exit & I made a quick calculation, decided we were going west & headed out over the medieval bridge. the SatVavv seemed to be OK with this until it directed us round the block, past the hotel & along the road to the south.

The Sevens were desperately short of petrol, so we stopped at the first fuelling stop - Scotch Corner on the A1 where it was an eye watering 20p / litre more than most places.

We headed south initially through quite heavy traffic, some of which was caused by folk cycling three abreast with no consideration for the queue forming behind them. There were also large numbers of motorcycles heading the other way as the roads became better. After a while we found ourselves on the sweeping moorland roads we'd come to find, a couple of us pulled over in a cut-out layby at the top of a hill & took some photos of the other cars, but getting out of this foxhole reversed the running order, so when we arrived in Kettlewell, some were already parked up & wrestling with the parking machine.

The problem was it would either accept cash or contactless card. Except that it wouldn't accept cash & the process of button pushing to persuade it to take a card was beyond most of us.

Eventually we each had a ticket & went for an ice cream - "apple crumble" - excellent.

More excellent roads followed & we ended up on a strange loop which I don't remember planning, but it was good never the less, we did at one point pass a sizable Gypsy encampment complete with horses, it looked like there was a horsey event on maybe?

By this point it was hot & I was thirsty, fortunately we arrived at the appointed cake stop "Puddleducks" for a break, parking was limited & a few drove past, but those of us that braved the queue (which diminished behind us) were rewarded with a treat & a few chats with other car people, bike people & even sidecar people

By this time we were meandering back & I drove an excellent moorland road with newbie Mark in his Alpine - exactly the kind of road it was designed for, but time was pressing & we decided not to stop at the Brough Castle ice cream parlour, Mark was doing the short route, I the long, so I went back to see who else was about & found Linda & Richard, we were all doing the long route, so we set off - & I immediately took the wrong road. However the SatNav took me back to where I should've been & after another excellent wide, empty road, I caught up with the others & we cruised back to the hotel.

Brilliant day.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

RogueRunners 24 - Day 1

There had been some re-arranging.

Initially my plan had been to drive to my girlfriend's house & leave from there on the Saturday, this was gazumped by the need to get drawings issued at work, so it was to be  very early start & a long drive round the M25 & up the A1. It was also pretty chilly, but I had a thick ski jacket on & was fine.

When I arrived at the designated meet point (the Stamford Garden Centre), my ex-next-door-neighbour Mark there & chatting with a couple of the other rogues, after years of looking at my my succession of interesting cars, he bought himself an Alpine & was keen to put some miles on it.

We all had the customary good breakfast before heading out onto the A1 to put paid to a few miles & get to the good stuff. This year I'd threaded the route up the eastern side of the A1, which was fine, not proper "blatting territory", but good in parts & better that a motorway. At one point we passed a 1930's car full of people waving furiously at anything that looked as if it might wave back.

Then suddenly, there was a level crossing, the traffic melted away & the road became sublime, we were enjoying ourselves so much that we completely omitted to fill the cars up - well - someone said "is that the fuel stop?" about 12 miles out, someone else said "I think it's about 6 miles from the hotel, so it's not that one". They were wrong, so the Sevens arrived at the hotel somewhat thirsty.

As indeed were we, so after moving the cars into the hotel courtyard at the invitation of the staff (the cars with the innovation of lockable doors stayed outside), we visited the bar & retired to the rather wonderful beer garden overlooking the river Tees.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

RogueRunners '24 - Prologue

The time has nearly come.

After the improved weather on the Devon trip this year, hopes are high for the official RogueRunners 2024 "Ten Years Running", a group of like minded people will be assembling from across the country to take part - which makes it sound like a large event - there are ten of us in nine cars.

A few will meet at Thurrock & drive to the breakfast venue in Stamford just off the A1, two will set off the night before & stay overnight near the breakfast venue, two are local(ish) etc. So the real start point will be a  café for breakfast.

There will then be a drive northwards to Piercebridge mostly on small roads, there will also be reasonably frequent stops for cake & coffee & once we're all ensconced & the cars are parked up we'll gather for tea & possibly a beer or two.

Over the next week we will tour the Yorkshire / Cumbria / Northumberland area, taking in the best roads & some damn fine scenery - also quite a lot of cake & ice cream.

There will also probably be a breakdown or two - a couple of the participants will be disappointed if there isn't, so far the Stylus has been reliable, fingers will be crossed.