This could have been be the most unlikely title for a series of Sherwood Chapter HOG ride-outs unless you had some understanding of the history. It’s really all the fault of those Ladies Of Harley.
For the past couple of years at least, the LoH have organised and led a series of rides to various venues where the riders and pillions, both female and male, have tucked into that most English of meals, a cream tea.
Ignoring the fact that the only one of these rides that we managed to join last summer, to Tissington in Derbyshire, arrived at the tea room minutes after they had stopped serving food, these rides have always had a great reputation within the chapter. So when the Ladies announced that they would not be organising these rides in 2008, our chapter Safety Officer, Neil Rose, said that he would take them on. So after a quick re-branding exercise, the first Men Of Harley Cream Tea Ride ride took place on a dry, but seriously chilly Sunday in April.
It was quite a good group of bikes that met at Robin Hood Harley-Davidson and left the city of Nottingham heading generally south – east, but took a looping route that ended at Rufford Abbey Country Park, via Newark and Ollerton. Neil seriously considered leading us through a ford at Wellow, but took the sensible decision to avoid the river that was, by all accounts, higher than usual due to the recent rain.
When we arrived at Rufford Park we were welcomed by a sign announcing that car drivers had to pay a fee, yet motorcycles were admitted free. Neil later admitted that he had breathed a sigh of relief as he approached the pay station. After parking up, we made a bee-line for the cafe, not for the refined gentility of a scone with cream and jam, but a large plate of pie and chips and couple of big mugs of tea. Although the weather had stayed dry, it was too cold to sit outside.
The ride home was rather shorter than the outward trip, a mere twenty minutes southwards on the A614 brought us back into Nottingham and the end of an enjoyable afternoon out. Now if we can only get the right weather for the next one, it could be perfect.