SUNSET TO SUNRISE

On the 22 Jun, 6 hardy souls from RAF Coningsby Motorcycle club set off for RAF Valley in preparation for the annual Macmillan Sunset to Sunrise Charity Motorbike Ride from Holyhead to Skegness.

We arranged to meet other bikers at the Sleaford McDonalds on Holdingham roundabout for our journey to Anglesey, a distance of just under 220 miles, for what would turn out to be 5 hours on the bike.  The omens were not good, by the time we had got to Holdingham roundabout, a distance of just over 100 metres, 4 of the 12 riders had already taken the wrong turning and were heading up the A17 to Newark.  The remainder decided to press ahead and we arranged to meet the others at the first fuel stop just outside Nottingham

Although we didn’t experience too many dramas, the winds were, on occasion, extremely strong, and there were some exceptional riding skills on display to keep the bike upright.  At 1730, we arrived at RAF Valley with the only casualty being a tank bag that had been lifted off the tank by the high winds never to be seen again.

Saturday was spent chilling getting ready for the return ride; the weather had improved, no rain and the wind had abated:  However, in true British summer tradition, the rain started to fall as soon as we packed the bikes up.  Not to be deterred we made our way to the meeting point and joined the other 170 bike riders ready for the off at sunset.

We were on the road at 2130 hrs in groups of between 12 and 15 riders.  The weather was atrocious;  rain, spray and cold all playing their part to make sure that by the time we reached our final stop, everyone was cold, damp and miserable, but a quick reminder as to why we were doing the ride soon focused the mind.

We reached our final destination at 0500 hrs, however the weather conditions prevented us from witnessing the sunrise:  Maybe next year!!!  It also came as no surprise to all who took part that the rain ceased as soon as we reached Skegness!

All in all it was a great experience.  The six of us, FS Gary Bosworth, Chf Tech Stu Partington, Chf Tech Al Watt, Sgt Gaz Parker, myself, and Cpl John Ross had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even though the conditions were abysmal.  In total we raised over £800.00 for Macmillan, and a big thank has to go to ISS and the SPAR shop manager for allowing us to put collection tins in the shop prior to the ride.  All those that took part can be justifiably proud of their achievements, now all we need to do is dry out our biking kit ready for next year!!

 

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