April Fool’s Day saw the intrepid West Yorkshire Lippies eagerly checking the weather forecast, cheering in glee, then checking again to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool after the last climatically catastrophic ride out. Fortunately, this time the ladies were minus the hail, snow and rain! In fact, this time the lovely ladies were blessed by the sunniest Sunday this year.
Wave One gathered at Strikes Garden Centre to meet and greet new members and their bikes, and a number of old members with new bikes. This took a fair old time considering it was a bevy of 10 gorgeous girls with 10 equally gorgeous bikes already.
It was the first opportunity for most of us to see the finished article of ‘Project Yoshi’ – the stylish makeover of Tracey’s GSXR600 (insert link to her weblog of it) and meet Elaine’s new Street Triple and Jemma’s new F650GS.
Rachel, our Lippy lead for the day was starting to feel a little anxious at the number of luscious ladies to lead (and lose) but we still had more to collect. So, finally, after much admiring, drooling and girly squealing over various bikes we left the meeting point to head off to pick up Wave Two at Pool petrol station near Otley.
Trialing the new ‘drop off’ systems we made pacey progress and (nearly) all ended up at the appropriate stop to pick yet more Lippy Ladies and their lovely bikes.
After another round of introductions and a quick briefing from Julie, our West Yorkshire Rep we set off again heading North towards Pateley Bridge and Masham, via Lofthouse.
After some twists, dips and swooping roads we rounded a bend to the glorious view of Leighton Reservoir reflecting the clear blue skies above us and just begging us to stop for a photo shoot and quick leg stretch.
The next leg of the journey saw us heading over to Masham, for lunch. We arrived at ‘The Old Goods Shed’ where we were met by Karen, who had arrived on 4 wheels, to join us for lunch and a Lippy fix. Having reserved a sunny table outside for us she then videos the grand entrance of sixteen Lippy Ladies roaring up for lunch. It was quite a sight.
Also ‘quite a sight’ was the Lippylicious Lemon Drizzle cake that Soneeta had baked and brought along. It tasted fantastic but after zooming around the dales strapped on the back of ‘Muffy’ for 5 hours it was looking a little mashed itself.
Fully refueled on bacon butties and the odd salad, we bid Karen goodbye and set off the windy way home. After a minor detour in Ripon to find a petrol station that actually had petrol (is it dedicated or daft to ride in the midst of a fuel crisis?), both girls and bikes were fully refueled ready for the last leg back to Squires via Cattal and Tadcaster.
After a couple of wrong turns, (ahem) scenic detours, we ended up in a pretty little village where the ‘chicken incident’ took place. As Rachel puts it, she simply “used my advanced hazard perception skills and slow speed control to remain behind the said hazard in case it abruptly changed direction therefore allowing me to stop quickly.” From everyone else’s perspective it looked like a scene from ‘Chicken Run on Tour’ as Rachel battled to overtake a speeding (pppft!) white hen and sadly lost the race. She only regained pole position when the chicken got bored and leapt into a hedge.
Having lost the chicken and found the right road we soon arrived back at Squires for a well earned brew and a debrief. A fantastic ride, with fantastic views, expertly led by Rachel and held together at the rear by a very patient Tracey.