I love to explore new roads and I did feel I had not actually seen much of the area of the WIMA rally, very much due to the weather and the busy schedule. Therefore, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take Ron up on his invitation of a guided ride in the Peak District. Ron is a friend I met through Horizons Unlimited and I’ve had this standing invitation from when we first met at the HU in Baskerville Hall back in 2016.
As Ron lives near the Peak District and frequently leads rides there for a couple of motorcycle groups, I knew I was in for a treat. It was like it was my birthday, he’d planned everything from beginning to end, with lunchstop and photo opportunities. And yes, he had brought his dslr to be able to take these photos for me. As we headed out, he casually said we’d do a little ford crossing in a bit, don’t worry, just do what I do. I’ve never crossed a ford before so it was an exciting start to the day. We rode all kinds of roads from large popular “turn the throttle” types to teeny weeny little roads with more grass and gravel than actual tarmac. At one point we did some proper exploring trying out a new road that Ron might implement in his standard route. This day was one of the absolute highlights of my stay in England.
Last weekend, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Mujeres en Moto’s autumn meet again. The Otoñal, as it is called, was held in a tiny little village called Anento, in the vicinity of Zaragoza.
I arrived very late on the Friday, just barely made it for dinner at 10pm and pretty much was ready to fall into bed after that. With a full week’s teaching in my back, I pretty much fall into bed every Friday evening, so add 4+ hours on the bike to that and go figure, I was dead. Fortunately, this year I did not wake up with fever Saturday morning, but could fully enjoy the event from then on. And I was even told my Spanish has become better, but really it hasn’t – I just think I’m better all round without fever.
Saturday offered excellent weather and Eva, la jefa, i.e. the president of Mujeres en Moto, had prepared a ride for us with scheduled stops for coffee and photos. Unfortunately, we had an accident early on, a rider slipped on the farm dirt on the tarmac and skidded into the ditch, fortunately though without any real damage to either bike or person. As the accident happened, the nearest riders stopped, parked and rushed to help and, with joint women power and impressive efficiency, the bike was back on the road. The following day it was my turn to receive this favour, but more about that later.
The area around Anento was perfect for riding. I love the tiny farm roads and little villages which seem lost in time, it was an amazing ride out – my only complaint was that I had dressed too warm;y so my warm mid-layer had to go at the coffee stop. I’m so thankful for the flexible Knox layering system, it makes changing weather conditions so easy to handle – and it is such a lovely problem, feeling too warm in the end of October, isn’t it?! We had our coffee stop in a village with 30 inhabitants, we must have helped the turnover of that pub considerably with the purchase of our drinks. The lovely little bar-lady kept herself busy making coffee after coffee and serving peanuts and cold drinks while we posed for photos in the plaza and enjoyed the music from Teresa’s mighty trike. There were about 70 of us, so quite a sight for the locals.
Onward we rode to another tiny village, where, with permission from the police, we parked outside the wall and gate and posed for photos. After this, we were homebound for lunch at the Albergue in Anento, followed by a tour of the town and its surroundings. The countryside around Anento is quite astonishing with the gorge, the water features, cliff formations and castle on the top. With witch hats being obligatory for the tour, the 70 of us trailing along in our pointy hats certainly looked impressive!
The Saturday ended with a Halloween masquerade dinner and while I know that heaps of adults love to do this, sadly I’m not one of them. Just like last year, I just didn’t bother. I know it annoys some but I see such things as part of my work and just can’t be arsed on my free time. I was a green face witch at our Halloween event at work, much to the children’s (and parents’) delight – and no, there are no photos from this event 🙂 I do, however have plenty of photos and videos from the Otoñal. Share and enjoy!
Just like last year, the disco was such a strange cultural experience for me. Eva played song after song and it was evident that everyone knew literally every word of the lyrics and these are songs that I’ve never heard before. I do listen to Spanish music and there are several artists I really like, but nothing has ever prepared me for the Mujeres en Moto disco experience. This is a bit of Spanish culture I cannot tap into, just enjoy it through the eyes of a foreigner 🙂 And I do enjoy it!
Sunday morning I returned home taking a mix of lovely little farm roads and larger roads. It was a beautiful day, I made several stops, for lunch, for coffee, I even had a siesta on a bench beside the road. Excellent end to a busy weekend. However, before signing off I want to extend my warmest thanks to the ladies who rushed to help me when, much to my own surprise, I fell over on my bike at the parking lot in Anento. The bike was erected before I had even understood what had happened, erhm – lock still attached to the brake disk. There is a first time for everything and I’m so happy I didn’t fall and damage anything or anyone, or even myself. Live and learn!