25-28 jan.2001: Not The Millenium Party Ride.

Hans GTR1000

All the hardcore Dutch Ride-forum members had been invited again to come and celebrate the annual Not The New Years Party at Dave and Julie's; this time it was Not the Millenium that had to be celebrated. There were only two takers: me and my cousin Hans, who hasn't been a forum member for long but who turns out to be quite active.

We had decided to take the night ferry from Rotterdam to Hull on thursday night. This would give us time for beer, a good meal, a bed and two full days of touring before arriving in Runcorn.

Having started the trip in the early hours of thursday afternoon we arrived according to schedule in the Rotterdam Europoort #5805 dock. Our bikes that had been so clean before the ride were already covered in dirt while we waited to board the ship. Once aboard we took our time to fasten the bikes to the boatdeck and then headed for our (extremely small) cabin. We just dumped our stuff and were soon to be found handling beers (Fosters) at the bar. After a while we got ourselves some dinner vouchers and enjoyed a good Indonesian dish. Then beers again, a whiskey to encourage sleep and then off to bed. I was having the top bed; the ventilator was making an awful lot of noise 20cm away from my head and it took the sandman a long while to get to me.

Friday morning at 8 we left the ferry and rode from Hull to Carnaby alongside the northsea. It was pretty cold, but at least the sun was shining. After Carnaby we headed west on nice roads passing the North Yorkshire Moors national Park. We stopped for lunch in a small village which I think was Hawnby; the way leading up to it was quite narrow and steep. The resto was operated by a Canadian who had a large fire lit up to warm us poor souls.

After lunch onward to Penrith, a town north of the famous Lake District. By this time snow had begun to fall, and as we got higher and higher into the mountains there was more and more snow. When we almost had reached the top the surface was so slippery that I spilt the bike. (3 mph, no damage). It was almost impossible to get the bike up again as we hardly could stand. Hans wasn't able to ride away after we had turned around; I had to push him for a while before the tyre got any grip. We turned round (defeated "#$!" maybe 20 miles from our destination) because by that time a lady had arrived in a car who told us the road would go steeply down a mile or so further on. She was a local in a car, but she decided to turn around as well!

Fortunately we soon found a typical english family hotel in Thwaite where we could get food, beer and a nice room to sleep. After unloading the bikes and enjoying some initial drinks we took a shower and headed downstairs for more drinks... We talked to a rather posh couple in the lounge: it turned out he was a former racer and had competed on the Isle of Man with fellows like Gary Hocking!

The next morning the world was covered in snow and ice so we changed our plans and had a great day quietly touring yet another national park (Yorkshire Dales National Park) on our way to Runcorn where we arrived at four after some unplanned detours in Runcorn itself.

Dave and Julie welcomed us at their home, we handed our ritual gifts (bottles containing dutch alcohol) and prepared our beds (laying down sleeping bags) upstairs.

I was pleased to meet many old friends and some new ones, and as you can see above our presence was appreciated... As time went by more people dropped in, had drinks and silly chats and amused theirselves. Centre of it all was no doubt the kitchen which lay central to both the drinks and the food!

Maggs, Franchesca, John, Dave, Sue, Malcolm, Wim. Look: nobody with a drink!

On sunday we were up early as a young german couple started making some noise (...). Hans yawned and stretched and then the sounds stopped . Dave prepared us and the others a full english breakfast and around noon we said goodbye to everybody (including Julie who hadn't enjoyed the evening much as she suffered from a very painful back) and started our ride back to the Ferry. We immediately ran into some dense fog and lost each other. I decided to find the motorway (the M62) myself and ride slowly to the boat, stopping at every gas station and road restaurant. It wasn't until I stopped at the harbour before Hans showed up. As it was rather early, we had yet another ride to the coast where we had coffee in an old pub in some village on the coast.

Sunday night back on the boat we had some sandwiches and then visited to what turned out to be the worst movie I've seen in years: "Unbreakable" starring Bruce Willis. Fortunately the film ended after a while and we could start our nightly rest.

Monday gave us breakfast and a short ride home and now it's back to duties!