Friday, 21 October 2016
As promised I can now update you on the start venue for the Guy Fawkes run scheduled for the 6th November, it will be as printed on the calendar, I finally managed to speak to the new owners and they will be delighted to have us start our run from their premises, so please make your way to the Blackberries restaurant in Bampton on Sunday 6th November for the last run of the year, it will be the same run as last year which seemed to be well received - hope to see you there.
Monday, 10 October 2016
20 riders and 2 pillion passengers turned up at Sainsburys Barnstaple for the Autumn run organised and lead by Chris, now it seems that he has recently returned from a holiday in France and because he enjoyed such good weather, he decided we should have a bit of the same, because although it was quite cool to start, the whole days run turned out to be dry and sunny wow!. The bikes were lined up in front of the supermarket and a pretty tasty line up it was with 4 Vincent / HRD's and Tony's new Norton, also Ian who turned up on his trusty Norton which carried him recently on his 4 corners of the UK charity run, all these attracted a very interested crowd, many only to keen to explain their motorcycling experiences at length. Mike and John agreed to do rear Marshal duties so Chris gathered us around for a briefing during which he warned of the turn off the Bideford old bridge and the acute turn down to Weare Giffard. The run set off on time and we followed the old road into Bideford and on to the Torrington road prior to turning off to Weare Giffard, this was a new road for me and it seems for many of the riders. The run then passed through Torrington and on to the road to Exeter as far as Beaford where we turned off. We soon picked up the A386 passing through Merton and Meeth before turning up at Northlew for lunch. Whilst at the lunch stop, it became apparent that we had lost sight of Dermot somewhere on route, careful questioning and reasoning lead us to realise that he went adrift at the Weare turning, hoping he was OK and realising that backtracking that far was not feasible, I volunteered to ring to check he was ok as soon as I got home. The afternoon run saw us dive off towards Sheepwash, Peters Marland and Taddiport before arriving at Torrington Common for some ice creams. Many thanks to Chris for this run and for laying on the good weather, to Mike and John for rear Marshal duties. Now to put your minds at ease, I can tell you that I did ring Dermot as soon as I arrived home to find that he was safely home, it appears that it was the turning to Weare that lead to his downfall and the telling of how that happened will raise a chuckle when he tells you!, don't forget the last run of the season which is the Guy Fawkes run on the 6th November, now there is a small problem with this runs start, when I rang up today to make sure all was well with us to begin the run as usual from their restaurant, there was no reply and when I looked into it, it looks as if they are out of business so I am currently looking for a new start venue in Bampton so watch this space.
|some of the line up|
|time to sign on|
|now who's looking guilty?|
Sunday, 25 September 2016
I remember when there were near 20 girder fork bikes on any girder fork only run, but alas for lots of reasons that day has sadly passed so it was that 5 girders turned up at Rays today for his run and one of those was myself who took up Rays kind offer to ride his Ariel 350 for the day. Course when I agreed to take up his offer I did not know that he was going to remove one of the cylinders and put the gearbox in upside down, however, I didn't say anything and by the end of the day I nearly had it right!. On arrival at his house, we were treated to tea or coffee and teacakes all served up by Margaret , ( thank you ), which left Ray free to give us a quick briefing and show me how the missing cylinder machine could be mastered. We were lead out dead on time but after only a few hundred yards, Rays NG decided that being ignored for a couple of months could not be forgiven without protest so it came to a stop, a bit of fettling where Brian found a screw loose!, lead to a restart after which no bike gave any trouble for the rest of the day. Ray lead us out of Tivvy via the annoying double lights obstructions on the way toward Halberton, but we soon turned off to Uplowman where we followed the road straight through the village. Due to the heavy rain which had fallen overnight, the mud and stones on the road led us to wonder if Ray was taking us trialing!. On entering Huntsham, an about turn was on the cards where Ray was checking our ability to turn in a narrow road!, then we were led down an even narrower and muddier lane for him to check our ability to stay in the saddle, but all to soon, he thought we had all passed and he led us through Dulverton and on to Bury, now here we all paused at the ford, would anyone be brave enough to go through?, answer was NO, due to the previous nights heavy rain it was decided to take the stony bridge instead. Soon we were at the Lowtrow Inn where we were well looked after, the meal coming very quickly after ordering and patrons were seen taking photos of our now muddy steeds. The afternoon run saw us head back over the hills to Bampton and then over Bampton down to Tiverton and the end of the run. Many thanks to Ray for the tea and coffee and the route, a very enjoyable day despite the showers which came and went throughout the morning and lunchtime, now the next run for your calendar is the Autumn run starting from Sainsburys Barnstaple on October 9th, see you there folks, now where is the hose pipe and cloth?.
|ready for the off at Rays|
|safely at the lunch stop|
|who wants some roast?|
|I get into the photo!|
Friday, 16 September 2016
A few of us met at the services on Junction 27 on Monday morning to meet with Ian and his friend on the second stage of their four corners of the UK run, the weather was clear but chilly and after some pleasantries and photos the two set off accompanied by some members of the Norton owners club who would see them safely to Gordano where more NOC members would take over. If you are not following then log on to vicar and undertaker tour on facebook to see where they have been and where they are going next, you will find it very interesting.
|A photo shot before the off with Devon VMCC and NOC members|
Sunday, 11 September 2016
14 riders made their way to The Corn Dolly for a nice cuppa before the end of summer run organised and lead today by Keith.The weather on the way to the start was cool but a promise of a dry day was well received. After a briefing, where Keith advised that the route he had planned had had to be changed as safety issues were seen during his fact finding trip, ( Di didn't mind as she had an extra long ride ! ), he lead us out with Ian and myself doing rear marker duties, we were in fact used straight away as 2 riders set off on the wrong turning toward North Molton, they were soon turned around and we resumed the correct route. The run came across a few horse riders on the route and a few of us had to turn around in the road at one point and ride back to a field entrance so that a very large cattle lorry could get by. I did wonder if Keith had forgotten that his deepest Devon run was a few months ago when we came across a 'grass up the middle' bit!, but then he soon made up for it when we were lead on to the main ish road leading from North Molton towards Simonsbath. Just when we thought we had got away with having a dry day so no need to wash the bikes off on return, he goes and leads us through the ford at Winsford!, however all was forgiven as we soon arrived at the Rest and be Thankful at Wheddon Cross where we were well fed and watered. Everyone stayed for the afternoon run which was across country to Wiveliscombe and Bampton then out over Bampton down to Tiverton, we were aware there was a very smart MGA following us but this turned out to be Dougs wife enjoying the route and making sure that he and their son were also having a great time. Most riders arrived back at Keith and Di house where the usual magnificent calorie free cakes were laid out for us, so thanks to Keith and Di for the route and the lovely grub at the end and to Ian agreeing to do back marker duties with me, another great day out. Now tomorrow we have Ians charity run second stage starting from junction 27 at 1045 then there is a girder fork run on 25th Sep
tember starting at Rays, next Thursday is competition night for club night.
|The bikes rest at Keiths|
|still sunny woow!|
|a good tuck in at lunch|
|should I have a piece of cake?|
|sunbathing at the end of the run|
|a potential new young member?|
|go on have just one more piece!|
Thursday, 25 August 2016
The section members who came to this evening run had two for the price of one!, firstly there was the usual banter outside the Mitre at Witheridge where we occupied two of the pavement tables, then when that was all put to rights, we were lead by Ian to his wonderful Norton collection just a few miles away. I must say that I was well impressed, the collection was wondefully laid out with information on each exhibit at the front wheel. I rather fancied the RAF Interpol but there was so much to see that it was hard to make a choice of best favoured machine. After we had seen the Norton collection, we were taken to his workshop which was laid out with so many spares for just about any eventuality, all this made my boxes of bits look very poor. Many thanks to Ian and perhaps I could partly pay him back by asking you to support him in a charity venture he is going on in September, he, and a friend who is a vicar, are going to attempt to visit the 4 corners of the UK, he is asking if riders could see him off at Junction 27 of the M5 on Monday12th September at 1045, he will be joined at various points by members of the Norton owners club so I think we should do our bit as well to show support.
|7pm and still sunny|
|words of wisdom being expressed!|
|Bill came too!|
|no Ray you haven't got room!|
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Wow what a great day out!. 25 riders turned up today at Grahams in Halwill Junction for this years Dartmoor run, this was the first run this year with a promise of no rain all day. Apart from the weather, runs this year have been well received and this run was no exception. After signing on with Chris and tea and coffee laid on by the family and a briefing, 24 of us, ( Stan not happy with his bike ), set off on time with Ian and John agreeing to do rear marshal duties. The route took us back to Halwill before turning onto the A3079 towards Holsworthy. A few miles on saw Graham turning off the main road on to tracks leading to Ashwater and Ashmill then past Roadford resevoir. Ahead in the distance with lovely views today, we saw the tors on Dartmoor beckoning, then on passing the fairground museum and briefly joining the old A30 Graham led us through Lewdown before turning off and heading for a stop to stretch legs at Lydford National trust car park. A restart saw us join the A386 towards Tavistock at Mary Tavy, then on to the moor proper where we made our way to Princetown for lunch in the Old Police station cafe where we were well looked after. The afternoon run saw us cross the moor to Moretonhampstead via Two Bridges, a number of sheep and cattle tried out our weaving skills, 2 coming very close to 'incidents' but the skill of our riders was up to the task! ( or was it luck!), feeling we needed more food!, we stopped at a car park with an ice cream van at the ready. Graham then took us around M'hampstead and we headed off to Whiddon Down where we took the road through Sticklepath and finally to the BP Services which was the end of the run, about 68 miles in total, Many thanks to Graham for a very good route, to his family for the teas and coffees, to Chris stepping in to sign us on and to Ian and John for rear marshal cover, now don't forget next Mondays evening run to the Mitre at Witheridge after which we shall take a trip on to view Ians 56, ( or is it now more? ),Nortons so see you there.
|Chris signs us on at Grahams|
|The bikes are packed in|
|note the unusual sunshine|
|Lydford Gorge car park|
|Ice cream with great views|
|Merv brings his car and chauffer!|
|Dermot could not resist a cone|