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andrewsmith 23-06-14 12:49 PM

AR2014- Closing thoughts
After all the fun, sun and riding of the weekend.
The campsite were happy with us and we're more than welcome to go back there.

What did you all think of the AR2014? and;
Would you all come that far North for another one?

dizzyblonde 23-06-14 01:00 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
I thought the bunkhouse was very impressive. It was obviously a relatively new place. Nice quality lounge, modern downstairs loos and shower. The kitchen was VERY good. Its not often you find one with a double oven range type cooker, large range of cupboards stocked with bits and bobs and all the crockery and utensils in abundance. Along with a hefty sized dining room!
I didn't go upstairs, so couldn't comment.
I had a good wander round the campsite and it was bigger than they described it. I saw there was a relatively modern looking shower and toilet block and the general feel was pretty positive.

There were plenty of facilities around the village.... The pub was great, food was a very good standard :thumbsup:
Local Chinese......mmmmmm prawn toast!!!!

Our B&B was a peach, the cheapest in the village I think. So, it was like visiting your nan and granddad but they were very accommodating and really helpful. Even let me use the phone to ring back home with not having the signal to check up on my young children.

All in all, YES, I would go to Bellingham again, its the second time Pete has been there and both times hes found it thoroughly pleasant.


keith_d 23-06-14 01:28 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
Excellent roads, impressive scenery, a nice venue, a good pub and plenty of alcohol. Yep, that was a good weekend.

Thanks to organisers for making it happen, and the EAR guys who bump started my bike when it refused to play nicely at Markham Moor. I'll be getting the voltmeter out shortly to find out why.

If I was going up there again I would want to break up the journey home with a pub lunch. I've just done 300+ miles with only short stops and I'm knackered.


P.S. I'll post some photos later

Scoobs 23-06-14 01:39 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
I thought it was next week! Better unpack my rucksack!

kaivalagi 23-06-14 01:40 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
Thoroughly good weekend! Thanks for organising a really good few days...

The roads were just brill, coming from flat Norfolk it was a great experience riding some of those roller coasters!

The bunkhouse as said was ace and the local amenities were spot on, great little place Bellingham. I've really got to get the wife on the back of the bike and up there again at some point.

The journey up and back was hard going so I'm glad I have tomorrow off to rest a bit, but I would certainly travel that far again...well worth it for the roads alone.

Oh and a big thanks to for the Sunday ride out guys! That was the icing on the cake, and much appreciated! I'm just a bit jealous of what you have on your door step!

jambo 23-06-14 02:14 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
Post AR thoughts (I had a little while to mull over these on the way back).

Camp-site was very nice, the local hotel had good beer and food, all facilities were just great. The Rocky Road Cafe owner did well under fire when most of the capacity of the cafe was filled up before the hob was warmed up on Saturday morning :D

As for technology, opened my browser this morning to see this piece which made me chuckle after people on Orange/EE became the one-eyed kings of the blind for the weekend.

The attendees make the event as ever, and it was great to get a chance to meet people that I'm unlikely to bump into day to day.

The route was a lovely mix of scenic & technical and I liked the option for doing the more tricky bit from the lunch stop but not making it compulsory, a nice solution to the dilemma of putting a lot of bikes up and down a sketchy bit of road.

The 3 groups for the rideout, I'm not sure was entirely needed given the low number of junctions and I think we had at least one point where a turning was missed by part of a group as someone hadn't waited at a turn. I quite like the spectacle of a large group on the ride out, but we had that at the stops anyway. The last section ran marked junctions and meant no one had to be able to see anyone else to get back. I'm only putting it up as a note as we all got everywhere we were supposed to be and had a lovely run. It was clear a lot of thought had gone into the route!

Would I go that far North again? Yes. The argument could be made that the further people have to go the harder it is to travel / the more time off you need to make it enjoyable. I'd guess we have more members in the south / mid-lands than the north so it's easier to get the numbers with somewhere a little further down, but it would be a crying shame to have the AR in the same camp site every year just to play the numbers. When we run them in the south it's a trek for those up north, fair's fair when the shoe's on the other foot, and it was a great motivator for me to go and see some bits of the country I've never ridden :)

As ever, I know organising something this size requires a significant amount of effort and I think the organising team should be very happy with themselves. You've all done a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

The valet parking service offered on the Saturday evening seemed a little inconsistent in approach, but it's hard to get quality staff on short notice, so there's not much you could have done there ;)

Having now surveyed the entire length of the A1(M) in one run, I will not be adding it to my best biking roads note book.

Love & Kisses


Bibio 23-06-14 02:34 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
nice write up Jambo and thanks for the kind words :-)

we done the three groups thing due to lack of manpower.

only one indecent which i thought was not bad considering some of the roads.

maviczap 23-06-14 03:27 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts

Originally Posted by Bibio (Post 2963728)
nice write up Jambo and thanks for the kind words :-)

we done the three groups thing due to lack of manpower.

only one indecent which i thought was not bad considering some of the roads.

As most people have said.

The bunkhouse was superb, the bunks were comfy. We just need a snorers room for them that snore. :p

Yes, I would go that far North, but as I'm travelling that far, I'd keep the ride out distance the same, or have a bail out point for those not wanting to do mega miles.

My milage was 883 for my trip.

Village was great with all the facilities close to hand

SvNewbie 23-06-14 03:29 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
I actually think the group system worked quite well, the first 1/3 or so of the route had limited overtaking opportunities and I witnessed at least one member of the public who was intimidated by the group (or was trying to be helpful but failed miserably) and tried to let us passed by stopping on a near blind corner. An even bigger group would have made that situation worse.

I'd say that marking system works well in small groups where you know everyone in the group or in small enough groups that you can quickly learn what they look like. The two problems that spring to mind is that on popular bike routes you can't really tell whether the guy in your mirror is with you or not and that any error is critical - everyone has to remember at every junction.

The designated marker system is a bit tricky. I'm sure some people enjoy it but having the designated markers numerous enough to cover each turn on a stage is difficult therefore they end up doing silly speeds to get back to the front which personally I think isn't ideal.

Personally I think the 2nd man drop off is the safest and easiest way. Even if the second man forgets in most instances the 3rd man will realise and fix the error with no issue (assuming they see what happened). People not happy about marking can wave someone behind passed. Also has the advantage of mixing up the group, so you don't spend the whole time looking at the back of the same person.

I don't mean this as any criticism though. I realise that is the marking system you guys are most comfortable with and did my best to make it work as smoothly as possible. Ron did an excellent job of spotting the mistake and rounding up the stragglers so no harm was done and I had a very enjoyable weekend all in all.

TamSV 23-06-14 03:44 PM

Re: AR2014- Closing thoughts
The base was spot on. Every type of accommodation and every useful amenity within a couple of hundred yards. Even the lack of phone signal was an unexpected bonus. I didn't have to deal with a single e-mail all weekend.

I know a lot of effort went into the route and it showed. The pace was spot on for that type of ride IMO and the three groups idea was generally a success I thought. The addition of a "can't get lost/do what you like" free-for-all bit at the end was genius.

And, yes, I'd be happy to travel at least that far North again. :)

Well done and thanks to the guys who organised it. It's really appreciated that people put their hands up and give up alot of their time so we can all just turn up and drink beer. :thumbsup:

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