The monkeybiking world reeled this week at Bankstone’s shock announcement that premier annual charity event Monkey-Whatever-it-is-this-year has been moved back to its original highly popular mid-summer slot, giving riders just four months to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the arduous tootling challenge ahead and purchase something made of rubber to stick over their helmets.

“Oyez, oyez,” announced head monkey Dickon Tysoe. “Let it be known throughout the land that there shall a mighty tour of Yorkshire castles be made this summer upon two wheel-ed fire-carts. Its name shall be Medieval Monkeys, and hereupon I summon valiant road-knights across the realm to gather at the House of Brig upon the morn of July’s second day. Nor shall any man (or woman, obviously) depart again for their own lands before ten mighty Yorkshire strongholds have been visited, a fulsome sum of gold been raised for charity, and a mighty feast of roasted meats been had upon the evening of the following day.”

Yes, Bankstone’s latest half-baked excuse for a couple of days of meandering en masse round its home county on underpowered, mechanically unreliable and uncomfortably undersized bikes raising funds for life-saving as-seen-on-TV charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance involves dressing up as medieval types with the aid of doublets, hose, jerkins, pull-on rubber helmet covers etc (Given what happened to Isadora Duncan and The Incredibles’ Stratogale, surcoats are not recommended when riding) and attempting to get round all of the following castellar venues in a single weekend:

You’ll be hearing much more about all this Medieval Monkey mullarky in the coming weeks (sorry!) For now, the important thing – whether you are riding, camp following, donating vast sums of money, or supporting in whichever other capacity you see fit – is to block off the weekend of 2nd and 3rd July in your diaries.


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