The Great Bank Holiday Return!

Some say that college and school is very important, and I would be one to agree. It does, however, mean that other activities have to be put on standby. I was fortunate enough to complete all my college work during the weekend, and with the Bank Holiday Monday looming, the weather looking promising and a pass out for the day, I found myself with a fantastic opportunity to spend the day doing something I hadn’t done for a while, SOTA!

A little planning, and an agreement with the mother produced Ingleborough and Whernside, with the possibility of a small one on the way home. The plan made, the bag more or less packed, and an excited 18 year old went to sleep ready to feel 13 again.

I woke up as any 18 year old does, groggy untill his shower, and left a little after 7:45am on my motorbike (Suzuki 650 for those interested). The issue with going on a motorbike is that you have limited “boot space” aka, a top-box and whatever you can carry on your back. This meant I could only carry the essentials, the Handheld, waterproofs, first aid kit and a bivvy bag, just in case, as well as the good old snacks, lunch and water. The weather looked murky, so I hoped it would clear up later on. Traffic was light, a typical Bank Holiday morning, and I made good time, arriving at Fell Lane at 8:45am.

A quick change out of motorbike gear and I was keenly off within 5 minutes. I warmed up quite quickly and was down to my shirt in less than 20 minutes, but made good progress, making my way into the mist of the Ingleborough hat and somehow locating the trigpoint at 9:50am. Excited to get onto the radio, I made 15 QSO’s in just over half an hour, including a S2S in Wales, and then shot down like a rocket, back into the warm sunshine and back to my bike at 11:20am. On the way down, I passed many families ascending the well-known hill, and it filled me with happiness that so many children were embracing the outdoors, even though was looked reluctant to be there. A half change into motorbike gear, keeping my walking boots on, I drove through Ingleton and up a very scary lane with gates to my next location at White Shaw Moss at 11:45am.

Whernside is different in many ways to Ingleborough, for example, you don’t have to walk as far, it’s not as long and there isn’t much of a track, but this really depends on where you start. If you want a nice walk up Whernside, I don’t recommend coming up the west side. If you do, I highly recommend taking a spare pair of socks and NOT attempt to run down bits of the fell, as my walking boots became sodden within 5 minutes, and I slipped down, mucking up my motorbike trousers (aka jeans with padding, again, not a great idea, but I was limited in my boot space). I arrived at the trigpoint just before 12:30pm, half an hour before I had planned to be there, so this gave me a chance to find a nice spot and have my lunch, during which I caught Bob M3XJV/P on NP-017. After lunch, I worked another 10 contacts, including another 3 S2S in LD, NP and SP land, and I took my leave at half 1, arriving at my bike, somehow, 20 minutes later. During this descending period, I made the decision that I had time to activate one more hill, just a small one, and decided on Arnside Knott, LD-058, as I knew this one very well and didn’t take much time, as well as it not being too far out of my way.

The journey there was fantastic: motorbikes, quads, old Beetles, even a few trikes, they were all there on the A65; it filled me with joy feeling like part of the gang, despite travelling in muddy trousers and sodden boots. After taking a wrong turn due to my bad memory, I arrived at the Arnside Knott car park at 14:45, and made good time, arriving at the trig point in 10 minutes. The sun was out, the views were spectacular; honestly, at that moment, sat on the ground absorbing the view, I have not felt myself feeling that elated for a very long time. Only 6 QSO’s were made on this summit, but it included an S2S on my old lump, LD-049, allowing myself to gloat at collects S2S’s on every summit climbed today, and boasting a 38 chaser point bonus, which made the day even better. I felt my hayfever start to attack, which dampened my mood, but not a lot, and I took my leave, arriving at my bike at 15:50.

It was at this time I made a full change into my full motorcycle gear, and, secretly, in the process, praising my mum (2E0MND for those who know her) for suggesting the idea of packing a spare pair of socks. I make the same comment every time I change my socks after any occasion involving wet or sore feet: there is nothing, NOTHING, better than putting on a fresh pair of socks! Due to the warm temperature and strenuous exercise, and the fact I had finished all my water by the time I got to the summit of Whernside, I made it a must that I purchase a drink on the way home. Conveniently, there were some parking spaces available right outside an ice cream shop in Arnside, and had a well deserved 20 minute break with a Death By Chocolate Ice Cream and a can of cold Diet Coke. After failing to avoid the horrendously slow Bank Holiday traffic, not helped by the police van I unfortunately followed more or less home, the gleaming 18 year old arrived back just after 5pm, having successfully completed a day full of things I enjoy: radio, hillwalking, biking and lots of sunshine.

All in all, a very victorious day! Just glad I was able to get back on the hills and on the air after a very long drought away, hopefully I will be back again in the summer holidays!

73’s and thanks for all QSO’s,

Jordan M3TMX

In reply to M3TMX:
Death By Chocolate Ice Cream in Arnside

  1. The calories in that must be worth at least three eight-pointers!
  2. XYL (Janis) and I will have our caravan near Ingleton at the end of June.
  3. I will find this place
  4. See (1)

Very glad you had a good day. A few summits makes life and study worth it

Regards, Dave, G6DTN

In reply to M3TMX:

Hi Jordan, glad to catch you on Ingleborough earlier & very pleased you had a good day, the weather was pretty good wasn’t it :slight_smile:

18 years old & a Suzuki 650? I hope you are sensible as I wouldn’t want you to become another statistic. Ride like all other road users are out to get you & don’t take risks, enjoy the acceleration a bike gives you but always ride as if there is a brick wall around the next bend. You may not have tales to tell of the time you topped 200 MPH but you will enjoy biking, & you will live long enough to have very many tales to tell :slight_smile:

Ride safe & hope to work you again soon.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF (Fellow SOTA Biker)

In reply to G0VOF:
200 mph out of 650cc?? What’s the secret, Mark, a MotoGP racer? On a really good day, I get 150 out of my 800cc.

Elliott, K6ILM
No skinned knee

In reply to K6ILM:

Hi Elliott,

No secret, just a hope that Jordan won’t try anything stupid on a public road. My bike could probably mange 115 on a good day, but I didn’t buy it for speed. They had a reputation for being reliable & after 11 years of trouble free service I wholeheartedly agree. My trusty two-wheeled stallion is a Honda NT650V & it suits me down to the ground :slight_smile:

I know people who have owned Hayabusa’s & R1’s & they treat public roads like a race track. That is stupid, the roads around this part of the world are full of instantly lethal hazards. If anyone wants to ride fast I would recommend a track day at one of the numerous race tracks that offer them. You can get any urge to ride fast out of your system somewhere it is as safe as possible to do so.

[Edited to add: After typing this I remembered a mate at college, he built the words fastest motorcycle, but I can’t remember if that was over a 1/4 mile or pure top speed. He was known as Trog, short for Troglodyte (probably spealt wrong & I think his name was Ian?). We were on the same Electrical engineering course at Blackburn college in 1982/1983 & he was into bikes even then. I saw an article in the press a couple of years later & it was definitely the same guy. Maybe Google could fill in any details?]

I don’t have the nerve to do anything risky now anyway :wink:

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Hey Mark,

My Suzuki is restricted, so it’s not as powerful as it could be, had just over 100 out of it. I’m also one of the lucky ones as I have been brought up and trained by my parents who are both Advanced motorcyclists, my dad is also an instructor in that area, so I’m learning from the best. You have so be so much more aware on a bike, but that’s probably why my parents let me learn to ride a bike before a car.


Jordan M3TMX

In reply to G0VOF:

My bike manages 35mph on a good day (but I have to pedal fast). Ironically just yesterday a motorcyclist pulled out in front of me without looking and seemed a bit surprised that I was annoyed…

73 Richard G3CWI

Fantastic report Jordan, I really enjoyed reading that. It was great to speak with you yesterday, and a few other SOTA activations while I was otherwise bored out of my mind at a stock car and banger racing event at Buxton (Liam’s thing!).

My dad was an excellent motorcyclist. I don’t think he ever rode at speeds much beyond what Richard achieves on the push bike throughout his motorcycling days, but you always felt safe as houses as his pillion passenger!


In reply to M3TMX:

I really enjoyed reading your report. Thanks for doing it. As for 18; I can barely remember!
Good luck, John.

PS: Good advice from Mark and your response is reassuring.