Blue Knights UK & I Conference Lakes Rally 2021

At long last, a trip out on the Beast (Victory XRoads) for me and Maggie G in the company of an as yet unnamed Harley Davidson with Kevin and Susan Adamson aboard.  Kevin and Susan stopped over with us in Frome on the Wednesday as their trip started in Plymouth.  Our plan was based on the fact that we had not ridden any distance with pillions and luggage for over a year, and that we pilots are officially retired, so a motorway route to Preston North was agreed.

The weather was as expected – moist, the further north we got.  The wind was behind us so it wasn’t as bad as expected, and we stopped every 60 miles or so for various reliefs.  Two stops later we arrived at the RV point, the not as Premier as most) Inn, Preston North.  Both bikes had performed without hiccups with copious amounts of “cruiser control” and the evening was spent with the rest of the England XIV contingent over a few beers and food. 

A late start on Friday was due to grotty weather when we followed the A6 northbound on a shorter than planned route to the Pattersdale Hotel via Kirkstone Pass.  Kevin was not impressed with the Highways Dept up north as the road surface was not at its best.  However, no mishaps and the HD and Victory with us aboard arrived at the Hotel to be greeted by our hosts and very polite and friendly Hotel Staff.  Bearing in mind the Hotel had been shut for over a year, and this was its first weekend with guests, they did a grand job of looking after us. 

Geoff Gregor.

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The weekend began early for some of the chapter with a pre-rally meet up on the Thursday at the Premier Inn, North Preston. The weather forecast wasn’t great for the next few days and nobody wants to be hanging about in wet weather for others to make an RV point. So due to us living very close to each other in the Midlands, Stuart and Tina Webb from England VII, and Margaret and I decided it would be best to make our own way to Preston. Stuart planned a non-motorway route for us, which I was glad of because I’m not a fan of riding on the motorways at the best of times but particularly not in wet weather with blinding spray. The journey started off very wet but after an hour or so, the rain let up and in the end, our journey actually wasn’t too bad at all.

There were originally three rides planned for the Saturday but one had to be cancelled. The other two were a lakes ride or a bridges ride; we decided to go on the lakes ride. Due to a misunderstanding some of us got left behind, so we arranged a rendezvous point to meet up with the main group and set off over Kirkstone Pass towards the arranged meeting point at the southern end of Lake Windermere.

We eventually caught up with the rest of the group at a layby tea wagon, so took the opportunity for a break while we could. Suitably refreshed, we all set off on a route that took us up the western edge of Coniston Water to Coniston itself, where we stopped for lunch at lakeside Bluebird Café.

Originally the plan had been to ride from Coniston to Ambleside, then Grasmere and then up towards Keswick. However, a road closure forced us to abandon the original route and take the Windermere ferry, which was a bit of an unexpected experience for us.

Once on dry land again, we headed north through Windermere town, then up towards Thirlmere and on to our original destination of Keswick. Once there, we hit the A66, heading towards Penrith, pulling in at Rheged for those who needed fuel. The England II members decided to peel off and do a trip to Hadrian’s Wall before returning to the hotel. The rest of us headed south back towards Ullswater and rode down alongside the lake back towards the hotel at Patterdale.

Despite our original misgivings, the weather couldn’t have been better, dry and sunny for the majority of it, though it was starting to get a bit chilly towards the end. All in all, it was a great day out to get a flavor of what the Lake District has to offer.

Phil Brookes.

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Saturday Rideout at The Lakes started well with the rain stopping! 

Then Roger’s Triumph refused to play, nevertheless about 20 bikes set off on the shorter of the two ride outs, ‘The 6 Lakes’, led by Walter Head, due to cover about 85 miles.

Almost straightaway, we climbed Kirkstone Pass and down the other side with magnificent views. The views kept coming!

There was a planned lay-by coffee stop after about 80min riding, we waited there for another group of riders, about 10 bikes that had been inadvertently left behind by the other Rideout (This included Phil and Mags Brookes).  All together, we rode for a further hour, to the edge of Coniston Water and the Bluebird Cafe for lunch. 

After a picturesque lunch, the Rideout continued until we were foiled by a road closure in preparation for the Windermere Marathon… 

Plan B was launched, and all 30 bikes headed for the Ferry that crossed towards Bowness on Windermere. 

We all cruised across Lake Windermere and continued our adventure on the other side.

I think we did 7 lakes in the end and about 110 mainly, dry miles!!


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Departure on Sunday was just a little moist but with dry weather forecast the further south we were to go.  An uneventful jaunt to the Newcastle under Lyme Premier Inn where it was discovered that the pub/restaurant attached had been condemned!  A scary taxi ride later to another Premier Inn just 10 minutes down various road was where we enjoyed a good dinner with minimal cider. 

The Monday morning was dry again and we set off down the M5, Kevin and Susan remaining on the slab and we went M4 to the A46 and Bath.  A matter of 7 miles from home we encountered a violent hailstorm, with the front sliding just enough to notice on a couple of bends.  Luckily this was in a town and speeds were low anyway. 

A great weekend with friends, some of which are new.  The Blue Knights in UK&I know how to run a successful event in one of the most beautiful areas of the UK.

Geoff Gregor.