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Pete's 2017 North Yorks Moors Run

Tea, cake, sheep, beer and old bikes. Reet proper Yorkshire day out.

Pete Stansfield decided to have a little evening get-together in his back garden a few years ago; few beers, bit of dancing, lots of laughter and banter. This was to be followed the next day by a ride across the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors to the coast and back for tea and cakes (expertly and deliciously baked by Alison Stansfield, Pete's other half).

It was good fun... all the more so because it was a small group, we were all living (relatively) locally and it was relaxed and low key, with the focus on riding old bikes. And drinking. And, er, cake. So it happened again the next year... and again the next.

For 2017, the route changed slightly and we didn't get to see the sea, but the weather was superb (pretty much as good as you'll get in the UK) and rolling noisily over the Moors always feels special... even when you have to brake (using 65 year old stoppers) to avoid the sheep trying to turn themselves into cutlets.

We stopped at the Malt Shovel pub (if you follow the GK Instagram feed this will be familiar to you) for a lunchtime pint then carried on up hill and down dale, passing through numerous scenic villages (with overcrowded tea shops), covering about 70 miles.

There was lots of stopping for a quick fettle; after all, the youngest bike amongst the group must have been nearly forty years old. Sami was first (really great to see her back on two wheels after her terrible accident last year), then Pete, then Lionel, then I almost ran Chris over, then Lionel had to retire when one of his Shovel's head bolts disappeared. Our group comprised five Harleys (including my Panhead), four Triumphs, a couple of Hondas and Rob's neat Yamaha XS650 chopper.

I dislike riding in big groups and if I am honest, I can't say I loved the riding conditions even though the scenery was spectacular. My '52 FL is not well suited to negotiating tiny winding country lanes, very steep hills and sheep; it hates moving at 35-45mph, constantly having to shift between third and fourth gear. So when we got back onto main roads before heading home I breathed a sigh of relief.

When we got back to Pete's house my arse and aching clutch hand thanked me as I sank into soft cushions with a cup of tea and a plateful of cake.

But it was a great day out, nice to meet new people and their machines, and a joy to ride in rare English sunshine. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

Thanks Pete and Alison!

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  • My Pan was the same, round London it ran like shit but get it out on the motorway at 70 and it ran really smooth. The only time bits fell off or broke was when I was dawdling about.