September was another busy month for ARNY with 18 training sessions involving 10 Associates and 11 Tutors. Even as we approach the end of the riding season, we welcomed 3 new members and we look forward to meeting them all soon and wish them all the best with their future training.
In addition to welcoming our new members, the real highlight of September was ARNY’s first social weekend which took in the Borders region of Scotland and has been long in the planning and much anticipated.
The weekend organised by Geoff Hale, our Social Secretary involved 6 tutors and 16 other members including some partners, who took some ‘down-time’ from training to get away together. Based at the Traquair Arms in Innerleithen, on the River Tweed, they explored the superb roads through the North Pennines and Borders for a long weekend.
On Friday the group met at Boroughbridge in glorious, unseasonal sunshine and split into 3, manageable groups before setting off for a route via Richmond, Teesdale and Alston before crossing the border and winding their way to Innerleithen. The Tutors were on hand to set the routes and lead the 3 groups allowing the rest to concentrate on enjoying the roads, and the odd stop for photos and refreshments.
The hotel looked after the group well and arranged a large table for everyone at dinner allowing people to recount their various trips and spend plenty of time mixing with other members, finding out they had more in common than just bikes and a copy of Roadcraft!
On Saturday, again the tutors teamed up to lead a variety of routes. One group set off to the east aiming for Holy Island (before the waves got in the way!) then on to Bamburgh Castle and Berwick. The other two groups explored the scenic roads, lochs, and reservoirs to the west. All riders made it back to the Hotel before the forecasted rain arrived late afternoon…well almost all!
Saturday evening was again spent in the bar and restaurant, which was probably far more used to tales by anglers of the catch that got away than our group eulogising about the fantastic roads and scenery they’d encountered. After the majority had retired to bed some of the tutors put the world to right whilst dipping into the large collection of Malt Whiskeys behind the bar.
Sunday was left to riders to make their own way home at their leisure. The weekend seemed to be a great success and the feedback from all involved was universally positive and appreciative. The weekend was a first for many and for some it was the furthest they’d ridden in a day, others had never toured on a bike before. It also proved warmer and drier than can be expected for the time of year, helping to make it a memorable trip.
Many thanks go to Geoff, the Tutors, and all who joined the group to make the event such a great success. There have been numerous calls from those who attended, and some who couldn’t make it, to make the event a permanent annual fixture. The Committee will no doubt look at how we turn that request into reality when we plan for next year.
September turned out to be a great month for ARNY and a fitting way to celebrate as we come to the end of the riding season. As always, we will continue to train throughout the year for those that wish to continue riding and training.
At the time of writing it looks like the start of October may bring some very agreeable weather to further extend the riding season.
Until next time…..