May 25.16 – Owners Ride 2016
And just like that another year has flown by, with another great Owners Ride under our belts. This was the second time we’ve run the event and we were delighted to have some clear blue skies under which to explore the North Norfolk countryside.
We assembled early on Sunday at Whitlingham Station where a pillar of steam from a traction engine unofficially marked the start point. In the run up to the big day we’d been working flat out to get our newest owner’s bike finished for him, so we could have the big unveiling at the ride. Luke was chuffed with his new steed and hopped on it straight away and rode the 60miles with no qualms.
After the big reveal it was off out into the lanes towards Thurning and Briston. We crossed the river at Glandford, entering the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, then carried on past the historic Binham Priory.
Our lunch stop was quintessentially English. In the grounds of Holkham Hall, a Palladian country house that has been the seat of the Earls of Leicester since the 18th century, we lounged on the grass and refuelled with a view over the lake and a game of cricket being played alongside.
Keen to exercise the adventurous natures of our riders we planned a total of three ford crossings into the route, with some of the more intrepid owners actually riding through one of them. As well as that we threw in some secteurs of Norfolk pavé and a final breathless run down a lesser-known disused rail line. All of which acted as a great counterpoint to the shady, peaceful lanes that formed the mainstay of the route.
As we looped back around to the south we passed through some idyllic English villages, Little Walsingham and past the picturesque old water mill at Guist.
As with last year’s Owners Ride, one of the most enjoyable parts of the day was hearing what everyone has been up to with their Donhou machines and what schemes they’re cooking up for the future. The ride ended, as all the best ones do, with a cold pint and some cake back at the finish.
We’d like to thank Rapha for their support with the ride and also the boys at Break Fluid, who gave us some of their fantastic coffee. A special thank you goes to Tom’s mum for providing us with some sweet, home-baked flapjacks to keep everyone’s motors running.