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Tuesday 8th January 2019
Engine House Tuesday 8th. January when I arrived at approximately 11-10 in the morning a few others had already beaten me to it, as I had been to
Kit Hill first to tick off another of the Southwest challenge point's, after a couple of enjoyable hours and signing up a new member from Plymouth that I had previously met at the Ales and Wheels Rally last year. I think we ended up with thirteen all together. When we had all had enough to eat and drink and we all started to head for home, and I said I was going to Bude to do another challenge point Mike, the new member said that he would come for the ride, so after ticking off another challenge point we had a cup ot tea in The Barge cafe, after about half an hour we went our separate ways, a good day out with some good weather for the time of year hope to
see you all again soon
Tuesday 1st January 2019
Delighted to accept an invitation to Tim's New Years Day Ride I rocked up at Cullompton Services ready to tick off two SW Challenge Points. The sun was shining and he had a good turnout.
We all set off but it wasn't long before the markers disappeared around Halberton - a couple seemed to have left their points before the end of the group and the sweep. Putting the postcode in the sat nav didn't work either - a small residential area was very confused by our presence and it was clear this would not be somewhere Tim would send us. Phones are a blessing and we were soon reunited with the rest of the gang - except Colin with the K who had kindly gone back to find us. As it was the season of goodwill there was no inquiry into who failed to wait and photos were taken at the Dudley Weatherley Jubilee Lift Bridge - a scenic part of the Tiverton Canal.
All gathered together we set off for Dunster Yarn Market near Minehead - a lovely twisty ride via Exbridge and Timberscombe in glorious weather to the second photo stop of the day.
Mission accomplished it was off to celebrate in Mcdonalds.... this was a whole new experience for some of us but the coffee was lovely and cafe options limited today being a Bank Holiday. I put in a request over lunch to return via Blue Anchor Bay and Tim kindly obliged with a scenic detour along the seafront and back via Upton and Morebath.
Folk started to head for home from Minehead and along the way with the last farewells at Cullompton. A Grand Day Out - many thanx to Tim and Alison for leading, Phil for sweeping and to all those attending - some new friendly faces along with the familiar ones
Footnote from Tim
Thanks to Helen for writing this report. Great to see some new members, I hope you enjoyed the company and the ride. I must apologies for the problem at the start, lesson learnt. Next time there will be a proper brief, explanation of the drop off system and a pink hi-viz for the sweeper.
Thursday 20th December 2018
Chequered Flag on Thursday the 20th. Our second visit to the acclaimed Chequered Flag as featured in Motor Cycle News, its number 7 out of 50 on their list for the search to find the golden sausage, the best biking cafes. As mentioned previously last month, this is a busy time of the year and not to mention the damp weather, but we did have four and on bikes come along. As you can see in the photos the cafe is very bike orientated with its own workshop, they also sell clothing and a range of secondhand clothing as well as an odd bike or three, and the grub isn't to bad either, we will put a few more visits in calendar for next year.
A very wet Sunday the 16th 5 meet at the Roadford Lake Cafe only one on a bike, Dave Charlton faced the horrendous weather but said it was sunny when he left his home in West Cornwall. We all enjoyed a varied range 0f the the menu. It will be a better venue for a meet in the summer when the outside seating and views can be taken advantage of.
Saturday 8th December 2018
We had a lovely Christmas dinner in The Fisherman’s Cot at Bickleigh on the evening of December 8th. 24 of us attended with 9 of us staying in the hotel and, I think, 4 campervans in the car park.The meal was superb as usual and the service equally good. The raffle made over 70 quid for our Charity fund, if my memory serves me correctly, so thank you for donating prizes and to Debbie for organising it.
This is the third year we have had our Christmas dinner here and of course it is a monthly meeting venue for us too; they haven’t failed to please on all occasions. A group of us met for breakfast in the hotel on Sunday morning too.Thank you for coming. Derek and Valerie didn’t make it because Derek wasn’t feeling well, so I hope you are better now.
See you soon.
Wednesday 21st November 2018
Aviator cafe on Wednesday the 21st The day was cold, sunny but threatening rain but equipped with heated grips, seat, and jacket I set off on the 175 mile round trip for Dunkeswell Airfield Cafe, but by Exeter it was raining. Considering the weather 15 members (not all on Bikes) did attend including new member Phil Lincoln who did come on 2 wheels, welcome, and we hope to see more of you in the future. It was nice to see Jim and Hilda, Jim coming to end of his chemo program, but is in good heart, with it all going to plan, and feeling very positive. The response from feedback is we keep adding occasional meets at the Aviator as a meet on east side of the section. They do have reasonably priced food from cake to meals, so something for everyone.
The 2 regular meets are still going strong with good numbers attending.
Sunday 11th November 2018
The Dolphin Hotel in Bovey Tracy did clash with the important Remembrance Sunday with the big 100 year Anniversary, but we did have 9 members with a new member from North Devon coming along, lets hope we see more of you. Les had already moved it forward a week because the Hotel had another club booked in, but we all enjoyed their hospitality and had a nice meal. We did ride there but the normal very enjoyable ride was made treacherous due to poor weather conditions.
Thursday 8th November 2018
The visit to the Chequered Flag on the 8th, a new venue for us, is a very biker orientated cafe. We had 8 members call in, 6 stayed for some eats and coffee. Les C only lives a short distance away and only called between work. Thanks to Malcolm and Ian and partners for coming and Chris R for coming, especially as the weather forecast was so bad, but turned out OK. We have another visit there in December but that might be just too close to Xmas, but I will put a couple more in for next year.
North Tawton Rugby Club
Friday 19th to Sunday 21st October 2018
44 members and guests attended the Hippo Rally this year, so numbers were a bit down on last. The weather, however, was absolutely brilliant. Chilly nights but wall to wall sunshine during the day.
I wasn't able to stay this year so I must thank Jon Fielding for helping out tremendously. Loads of bikes went on his ride out and I met them at Dunkeswell Aviator cafe for coffee. The Andy Baines long distance award, a glass tankard, went to member Ken Tabor from Peterborough who rode 284 miles to get to the rally on Friday.
Thanks also, as always, to the Section ladies for your support and hard work along with Chris Laxton. He and Gemma had some motorcycle themed aprons on to serve the food.
Bideford Town Band entertained us again on Saturday night and gave us a good laugh. I was thinking of changing the entertainers next year but when the band turns up and gives us such a good time, I'm not so sure. Any suggestions welcome.
Thanks for coming. See you next year, same place, same time.
Thursday 27th Spetember 2018
The Fisherman's Cot. is still doing well with ten members turning up on Thursday 27th September not as many as some week's, but as a lot of member's could be away on holiday or just otherwise occupied as it was such a nice day. We even had three trikes in the car park as well as some bike's, I stayed for a couple of hours and then headed for home some had already left but the rest were still enjoying each other's company hope to .
See you all again soon
Roadford Lake Sunday 23rd. September. Although the weather was not to good in the morning when I left home at 10 o'clock and went to Bodmin to meet Dave Charlton, by the time we left Bodmin and made our way to Launceston to stop at The Pie Stop Cafe on the Industrial Estate for a coffee it had stopped raining and stayed dry for the rest of the day. We left Launceston with time to spare and took the old A30 all the way to the turning for Roadford Lake and arrived at about 11 - 45 to find one member already there, it was not long before some more arrived and we made our way in to the cafe. We ended up with a total of nine member's, all had something to eat and drink, but no one went in to try the carvery on this occasion.
After about a hour and a half three of us decided to go for a ride up to Whiddon Down and back across Dartmoor to Tavistock, on the way across the moors we saw some of the other's heading for home going in the other direction.The three of us then went on to the Engine House for a cup of tea before going our separate way's for home, a very enjoyable day out, and think we will most likely have another meet at Roadford Lake thanks for coming
Wednesday 19th September 2018
Fish and Chip meet at Indian Queens, only three member's and two quests came to The Port And Starboard at Indian Queens, Debbie went in the car as she had to go home early I went by bike and arrived just after Debbie, ourtwo quests had beat us to it, and not long after Pete Miles from Whiddon Down arrived. Pete won the £10 - 00 for farthest travelled as only the two of us arrived on bike's. So after a good natter and some rather expensive fish and chips we all headed for home, by this time it was raining so had a very wet ride home. It was a very disappointing turnout so I don't think we will go there again hope to see you all again soon.
Saturday 15th September 2018
The Wharf meet at the Bude Canal on the 15th, we made it a Saturday lunchtime meet to see how popular it would be, and 9 members including a new member, Simon Lord, turned up, the event was made better by the sunshine and banter. The Wharf was a busy place with a triathlon competition going on, but the Lockgate Cafe had plenty of room with a good selection of food. If we go again, we'll make it earlier so the big breakfast is available as this finished at 12.00, thanks to Phil S, Charles B, Graham, Chris R, Peanut, Ian W, Sue R and Don R, for coming along .
This year at our Dartmoor Rally we had good weather and thirty two member's some for one night and other's for up to five night's. Debbie and I arrived on Thursday to find that six member's had arrived before us, Brian and Linda from Lancashire, Mark and Chris from Yorkshire, Ron and Jan from Torquay.
This was our first outing in our recent new motor home,so once we had sorted out how everything worked we had a cup of tea while in the meantime more people had arrived. Once we had seen them we headed into Tavistock for a meal in the car as the weather was not good enough to walk in. When we arrived back on site a few more had arrived so most of us joined Jim, Hilda and John in the static caravan that they had hired for three night's, and had a good laugh with a few drinks during the evening.
On Friday morning Debbie and I went to Cotehele House for a walk and a light lunch, then home to pick up my bike and back on site in time for a nice meal from the catering van and more socialising. On Saturday morning just five of us set off for a ride across Dartmoor to Mortonhampstead Motor Museum, well worth a visit about one hundred and thirty vehicle's on display car's and motorcycles all but four are owned by the proprietor.
From there we walked into Mortonhampstead for some lunch, and then back to the bike's. Derek left us then to head back to the campsite and the rest of us went out to Whiddon Down on to North Tawton, Jacobstow, Hatherleigh, towards Holsworthy then cut back to Okehampton and down the old A30 to Roadford Lake for a cup af tea, then back to site via Brentor and Mary Tavy for more food and drink.
On Sunday we held The Southwest Section's annual bike show when that was over most people headed for home other than twelve of us who stayed untill Monday morning. Just to say thank you to everyone who came and hope you all enjoyed yourselves and see you all again soon.
Phil and Debbie.
Derek Ruff Best Bike In Show R100RT
Dave Cusick Best Bike over 25 Years GS80
Paul Townsend Best Bike Under 25 Years R100RT
John Robinson Best Three Wheeler GS1150 Trike
Mark Corben Best Non BMW 2001 Honda Super Blackbird
Some Of The Bikes On Show
Saturday the 9th we held our annual bike Show and BBQ at the Hartford Bridge in Tavistock, a much better turn out than last year with the forecast for a dry day. We had 19 bikes on show and with all present members doing the judging made for for a more fun day. The winners as follows ; Best bike Derek Ruff, R100RT, Classic BMW over 25years, Dave Cusick GS 80, Modern BMW less than 25 years Paul Townsend, R100TR, Best non BMW Mark Corben Honda Blackbird, Best 3 wheeler John Robinson GS 1150 Trike. The better weather help the turn out. The BBQ was much better this year than previous years with the food wagon on site which also supplied the fried Breakfast to the campers, so you could pick what you wanted from the menu. Photos and of the winners and their bikes look on the website. With less classes and with better quality trophies we think proved a big success, but welcome feedback via email or come to the AGM --
Sunday 12th August 2018
We had a rideout starting from The Woodleigh Lodge Café, it was wet very early on so may have kept some at home but with a prompt start the keen 5 bikes and one pillion set off at 10.30am. We wound our way round the old A30 until we reached Whiddon Down, then striking Northward towards North Tawton, then taking a right to Copplestone and following through to Crediton. Onto the A3012 to Bickleigh, taking a left to Tiverton, up to now no traffic, relying on the satnav to get us through Tiverton, and finally to Dulverton for our comfort break. So far so good. The plan was to come back to the Tiverton road and then take the B3227 to South Molton, but on route I noticed signs to South Molton using the back lanes and with DFS advice we took one of these short cuts, but unfortunately we encountered the bikers worse nightmare, a recently chipped road surface, but we struggled through with no mishaps, eventually coming onto the B3227 to South Molton, on arrival we found the Quince Honey Farm for lunch. As expected it was busy but with a bit of patience and quick table grabbing by Sue, she got a table for the six of us. Fortified with some grub we set off for the last leg down to Torrington and on to Holsworthy, towards Launceston where I was looking for a left turn to Roadford Lake. There are several options and a reccie ride would have helped this, but I took a guess and picked the one in St Giles-on-the-Heath, probably not the best choice as took us down some pretty but narrow lanes, GS style lanes, but we only had one GS on the ride! We arrived at Roadford in time for tea and much discussion as to the choice of route, we headed home, a big thank you to DFS, Phil, Dave C and Ron for coming along.
Saturday 18th August 2018
Saturday 18th we did a SNR for a pasty ride starting at the Hedge and Hog at Whiddon Down it was a poor choice, a Saturday in the six weeks of the school holidays, the traffic was building early due to a car broken down on the south bound A30 with queues going back to Exeter for several miles. We arrived early at the Hedge and found queues to get in with no parking available, but managed to squeeze in between the cars, the café at that time was not busy, as most were just stopping for a break and with several food outlets there, we collected a coffee and then waited for the rest to arrive anticipating the further travelled may be delayed. However all arrived with only a few minutes delay, we set off, and straight away got out of the way of the holiday traffic, making a heading for the deep rural country side of Devon. Heading for Holsworthy then across to Bude where we did start to pick up the caravans, but with a few challenging overtakes, we were on our way again down to Camelford. Due to heavy traffic in town, my daughter Nic was delayed collecting the pasties and had walk, as her husband had nowhere to wait to pick her up, I think I’m pushing my luck there to get her to do it another year, but we all settled down and enjoyed a cracking good pasty and a home baked cream tea. Thanks to Phil S, Hank, Ian W Dave R, and Dave C for coming along and enduring the traffic just to get there and getting home again, also thanks to Sue and Nic, without them it would not happen.
Wednesday 22nd August 2018
The Fish and Chip meet at the Tavvi Fryer, Tavistock on Wednesday 22nd . Thanks to Chris, Keith, Pete, Phil, and Charles, this was Charles’s first visit to an event since his accident, thanks for joining us at the Tavvi Fryer. Phil won the £10.00 for the furthest travelled.
Thursday 2nd August to Sunday 5th 2018
The Lavender Rally.
20 of us turned up for the Lavender Rally this year with campervans and tents on Cheristow's camping field. We always welcome Vintage and Classic Register members at this Rally and it was nice to see a couple of classic airhead RTs there. Thanks Les and Paul for bringing your R100 RT and R80 RT for us to see. Both lovely well looked after bikes, which is more than can be said for the old wreck of A GS belonging to Pete. Hope it got you home ok mate.
Friday evening saw us celebrating Debbie's birthday with champagne and cake and having our usual good laugh together. The balloon popping efforts on Sat. eve were a hoot.
We woke up on Saturday morning to a thick fog (in fact we went to bed on Friday with it too) but it did clear and the rest of the weekend was tropical. With no light pollution on the Hartland Peninsula the display of stars in the night sky was stunning.
The bbq on Sat. Night was particularly enjoyable with everybody enjoying food, drink and each other's company
Thanks to Jon for your hard work and to DFS and Ron for doing the ride out on Exmoor whilst others enjoyed a walk around Hartland.
Thanks for coming.
Ride safely. Jim.
Saturday 21st July 2018
Ocean Torbay held a launch of the Bike Shack, which is as it sounds a temporary venue until they build a mega car and bike dealership on the same premises, it should quite impressive at a cost of 4.8 million!
They supplied free burgers, a band which were loud enough to discourage the sales team if you needed a get out clause from a sale, but sounded alright. We set up our gazebo but were very short on furniture as we normally scrounge table and some chairs from the dealers, but they had nothing there, as it's just a shack. We had to use Phil and Alistair's bikes as tables to keep the literature on.
We had several members come along and introduce themselves, some had not attended any meets as yet so it was good to meet them and to encourage them to the wider experiences of the BMW Club. There was a nice display of bikes to look at and try including the range of R Nine T Boxers, I would make room in the stable for one, as well as the new RT and new XR, all very nice.
Several of our members had demo rides, including Chris on a RS 1200 and Alistair on the new electric scooter, both impressed but not enough to buy. The place was on a bit of a slope and several of the riders on the demos looked apprehensive as they were lining up to depart. The day was generally a success, we did encourage some new member interest and some existing members to take more part. Of course there were the ones who turn up for just a feed, have no interest in bikes let alone BMW's. It did attract a fair number of the HOG riders, maybe to be converted away from the dark side. I suspect that is par for the course and Ocean take that into account when they organise such events.
Friday 13th to Friday 20th July 2018
We start out with a series of emails from Brittany Ferries over a few days before departure informing us that ,the Pont Aven would be late docking in Plymouth on Thursday evening the 12th. Eventually departing at 23:30 instead of 20:45 she had apparently, developed mechanical problems on the Tuesday and was repaired in Portsmouth and obviously then sailing late with the Captain trying to make up the lost time on the next few crossings.
So I set off for Plymouth for a leisurely ride to the ferry terminal, but as I approached Lee Mill I saw the blue lights behind me of an unmarked police car, traffic was building and coming to a halt and up ahead I saw a swathe of blue lights and the A38 at a standstill and closed great !!!
Being on a bike I managed to manoeuvre myself through the standing traffic and take the turn off for Lee Mill and Smithaleigh.
This road was quiet and I went up past Tescos and followed my nose towards Plymouth, but as I approached Cornwood it appeared the World and his Wife where doing the same !
A delay of some 40 minutes installed a fear of “ I'm going to miss this ferry”.
I got clear of Cornwood and could clearly see the Lights of Plymouth and took the great new road down through the quarries and onwards unhindered to Millbay docks were the rest of the group barring Pete Frost where waiting.
The trouble turned out to be, that a teenage girl was threatening to throw herself off the bridge over the A38.
Five minutes later and a rumble of a GS twin and Pete was also with us having back tracked up the A38 following a bike rider on his way to work who told him and several others to follow him.
On the ferry we head for the bar and soon retire to our cabins.
Its morning time and feverish cabin stewards are entering our cabins and basically telling us to “get out !”
The heat outside is already climbing towards 30 degrees and we now head down to Huelgoat for a rest stop and coffee.
We now decide to visit the mythical restaurant in Mael Carhaix for a three course Plat Du Jour and a bottle of red wine for €11 euros.
The restaurant is called “Le Relais des Sources” and now offers a four course set menu with coffee and Merlot wine for €13 euros.
As always ( the crew now believe me of its existence ) the food and service was superb !
Onwards and my sat nav is telling me that we have 88 Kms to go but Dave is leading with is BMW navigator and the 88 soon turns into 113 !!
Hot, sweaty and tired we get to the camp site where the ever cheerful Nathalie is waiting for us as are Jon and his Wife Anna who had gone out to France a week earlier.
Getting unpacked and settled in we headed up to the Super U in Josselin for our supplies and spent the rest of the day eating and drinking, very pleasurable.
Nathalie gave us a leaflet on Friday explaining that today, the town in Josselin is converted into a Medieval one with hundreds to see and do, so we all head off into Josselin.
It was ten euros to get in and the town was covered in straw with lots of stalls and shops and loads of parades, it really was authentic and the Château was open and entry included in the price.
The only downside for me was the heat, boy was it hot !
You could leave the town and have a wrist band put on for re entry and we headed across the Canal to the restaurant “Hotel du Château” and sat outside quaffing ice cold Leffe lager and going inside for a very nice lunch before going back into the town for more fun and adventure, then it was back to the site for more merriment and an evening of magic and myrth.
Well there is huge event on today and it features our host country and Croatia, it is of course the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.
Our destination though is the wonderful and stunning town of Etel nestled beside the River of Etel.
En route we stop at a cafe in a town of Languidic for coffee and for a Sunday the whole town seems to be buzzing and welcoming.
Onwards to Etel and we chose to eat in a restaurant called “Le Abbi de Pecheur”, the restaurant has a beach feel to it as under feet they had placed lots of golden beach sand.
A great ride back to the site saw us take a brief diversion into Auray then all basking in the glorious sun back at the site and listening to the rest of the camp site going crazy as France knocked in the goals to secure top spot as 2018 World Champions.
This evening we all had a BBQ expertly cooked by Jon on the sites communal BBQ, which included breads and salad and dips and of course accompanied by plenty of cold beer and wine.
We are off to the “La Maison du Cidre” today and again its a real scorcher of a day. The Museum includes three glasses of the Cider produced by the farm nowadays for you to try out, or apple juice if you want something non alcoholic. It was once all done by traditional methods and you can view lots of exhibits ( that are rapidly being devoured by Woodworm may I add ) you also get to see a movie presentation subtitled in English in the comfortable cinema. From here we rode to the town of Sarzeau and had a great lunch at a restaurant called “ Porquois Pas !” The group now split with Phil, Dave C , Dave and Ron and Jan heading down the road to Port Navalo where they scoffed delicious ice cream. The rest of us headed back to Josselin and started to prepare another BBQ as there was loads left over from Sunday. Once again we all sat around enjoying Jon's cooking and supping beer and sipping wine.
Peanut is leading the ride down to the beautiful town of Rochefort-en-Terre but misses the turn off on the N24 so its turn around time and back down the opposite way, unfortunately we lose Pete Frost who is prevented from exiting by a large French lorry. On arrival in Rochefort we call him and tell him we will meet him here but he was quite happy to have a day on his own back at the ranch.
Rochefort -en-Terre really is a beautiful town and we all set about exploring its fine buildings. We all decide to have lunch here before heading off to Le Croisic. Heading South we soon arrive at the salt farms and into the town itself. This part of Brittany seems very busy but it is the French school holidays after all. In Le Croisic we wondered around the harbour and sat outside enjoying coffees in one of the large number of cafes we also had another ice cream as it was so hot. We soon head back to the camp site and are once again reunited with our old chum Frosty.
Today we are riding to the museum of the Breton resistance in World war 2 in Saint-Marcel except for Ron & Jan who have hired bikes from the site and cycled along the Nantes Brest canal .
Jon had been to the museum before so led the ride down to it and found a great place to park under the trees in the forest and in the shade from the blistering heat. We were given an English translation sheet as we entered and I must admit that I am not a fan of museums but found this one to be very thought provoking and sombre.
There was a quietness as we all sat outside amongst the various military objects ready to regroup.
Dave Charlton now takes us down to the canal side town of Redon where we enjoy probably the best meal of the week in a restaurant called “Patates & Compagnie” however sitting outside was rather cramped and slightly spoiled what was otherwise an excellent fare.
Just where has the week gone ? We cant believe its our final day here and its been so darn hot that we all feel like just collapsing and drinking fine wine and beer. But its onwards as always and its a split up trip out today albeit we are all heading in the same direction.
We all visited the standing stones at Monteneuf ( at different times ) then some went onwards to the Abbey at Paimpont. Nathalie booked a table for us for our final evening in the square in Josselin and all bar two of us went down and enjoyed another very good meal and an evening of laughs and merriment.
Its going home day and I cannot believe where the week has gone , they say that time flies when you are having fun and it was never truer of this past week. We say our goodbyes and head back to the town of Huelgoat for another fine meal in a restaurant called “Hotel du Lac” over looking the lake. We now head up through some great biking roads through the forest and the National Park d Amorique.
All too soon we were back at the Ferry port then boarded and back in Plymouth.
It was a great week and we had an absolutely fabulous time.
On board at last !
Bikes parked outside Le Relais De Sources in Mael Carhaix
Enjoying the Plat Du Jour
The impressive Chateau in Josselin
View of the Brest Nantes Canal from The Chateau
Getting ready to enter Josselin for Medevial day
One of the many parade reenactments
This is the modern World !
Inside the Museum of the Resistance
Enjoying the glasses of Cidre at the Maison Du Cidre
Jon and his bike at Le Croisic
Large glass of ice cold Leffe
And a nice glass of French Cidre !
Getting ready for lunch in Redon
Lamb shank for mains !
Desserts were extra special too !
Sat in the square inJosselin getting ready for our last evening meal
Both Jon & Pete went for Oysters as starters
Some chose Goats cheese
Desserts were again excellent !
We had a nice coffee shop stop on the way back to Roscoff
Tuesday 10th July 2018
Wednesday 4th July 2018
We visited the Coddy Shack for the first time this year on Wednesday the 4 th . Chris, Phil, Debbie, Annette, Malcolm, Sue and myself attended and enjoyed the good company, on a summers evening with succulent fish and chips, plus it is a very enjoyable ride down to Looe.
Sunday 1st July 2018
The Ride out from Whiddon Down, lead by Graham Goddard with wife Julie on pillion, came as a result of an SNR, with the well published route helping to encourage a good turnout. Having endured a summer heat wave, we all expected a hot and dry ride around South Devon. We were well wrong, it was the wettest day of the year, with the heaving rain following the route as we rode it.
Starting from The Hedge and Hog at Whiddon Down, a few added extra clothing against the lowering temperature, or more water proofing. Graham lead off at 10.30 heading for Crediton, the now steady rain was looking like it was settling for the day. The super biking road leading up to Bickleigh didn't seem so great in the rain as it does on a dry one, we then carried on to Cullompton, and Honiton, the traffic now starting to build, the rain getting heavy as we headed for Sidmouth where Graham pulled us in to a layby for comfort break. This was a tipping point for some, who decided to leave as they were now getting very wet and to go on would only take them further away from home.
The rest headed on now to Budleigh, by now the road was a river, the water several inches deep! With a few less riders we headed for lunch at Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter, on route I had water get into the electrics and a misfire started, the bike would not tick over, which made it diffulcult to get through the traffic. By this time a few more had decided they'd had enough of getting wet and departed, we left also after lunch as the bike was not behaving as it should and headed for home, but we had a ride home in sunshine!!!
The few remaining did head for Plymouth, to finish the ride. What was amazing, it was the only wet day in a heat wave of a summer, and we were thinking at least the garden was getting a good watering, only to find out that most of the wet weather had missed home, the ride seemed to have travelled with the rain. A big thanks to Graham for hosting and leading the ride out.
The regular Thursday meet proves be a very popular meet with a least 11 attendees, I ventured out to attend, it was a sweltering day but the roads
are good. We welcomed a new member Malcolm from North Devon, hopefully will see more of him in future, he came along with his trike, making 3
trikes attending with John and Sally and Ron and Jan with theirs.
Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th June 2018
On this our 5th. Slimbridge Rally we had a reasonable turnout of I believe a total of twenty one at one time or another, most of those came on the Thursday and stayed for varying lengths of time.
On Friday morning four of us on three bike's set off for a ride to Hay Bluff just outside Hay- on - Wye, it should have been a ride of between 120 and 130 miles but due to a road closure and a unruly Sat Nav it ended up being 188 miles, non the less it was a very enjoyable ride and the view's from the top of Hay Bluff made it even more worthwhile, on arrival back at the site it was a quick change and over to the pub for a couple of well earned drinks and something to eat, then back to the site to see the rest
of the arrivals and some more socialising, then off to bed.
On Saturday it was another nice day and eleven people on nine bike's set of for The AV8 cafe at Cotswold Airfield for a coffee, when we had all finished we split into two group's five went back to the site and the rest of us went for a ride to Bourton - on- Water for lunch. On arrival we all managed to get in one parking bay in the main car park so only had to pay £ 2-50 to park the five bikes for two hour's, so after having a wander around we found somewhere for some lunch, after lunch we wandered back to the
bike's by which time it was raining, so waterproofs on and back to the site via a more scenic route which started by turning off of the A 429 onto the A 436 to Andoversford, crossing the A 40 and staying on the A 436 until it joins the A 417 and down Birdlip Hill to join the M 5 at J 11A and down the M 5 for one junction and then onto the A 38 back to site, stopping off at Attwooll's camping shop on the way, by which time it had stopped raining,
once back on site it was time for a cup of tea then down to more socialising for the rest of the day. In the morning it was time to pack up and say our goodby's. We hope that those that came all enjoyed themselves and hope to see you again next year, I would also like to thank Dave and Jim for their help with the the ride outs,
thanks Phil and Debbie.
The second Fish and chip meet of the year was on the 20th which held at the Barbican Plymouth which happen to coincide with a bike night with some
custom machinery, unfortunately only 3 BMW club bikes turned up, still we enjoyed a tasty fish and chips, although plenty of alternatives are
available. A very nice ride there and back for us, as it was a lovely evening with good roads once you are clear of Plymouth, will have to try a
different venue for next year.
The Aviator Meet
On Wednesday 6th of June we had a second meet at the Aviator Coffee Bar on Dunkeswell Airfield, the weather was nice and sunny and I set off for the
90 min ride from Camelford, pretty much an uneventful ride there, except high volume of traffic, but most of it is on dual carriage way with part
M5, only the last a bit twisty.
8 attended but not all at once, as one went another arrived, nice to see Dave Fox Spencer on his return from spending the winter in New Zealand and came back with an Australian he collected on his way home, I think called Arnie, I apologise if I have got that wrong. As I was leaving, a long time member, John Dyke appeared on his R 100 RT, good to see him out and about again.
A lot less crowded than the last time, mainly due to the weather being a whole lot better, not so many grounded parachutists indoors and more
jumping out of aeroplanes. I will put a couple more meets there later in the year if I can't find anywhere better.
Photo from 2017 rally
Phil was already on site when I arrived at Blue Hills campsite on Friday 1st June afternoon and the BMW Club flag was fluttering in the hazy sunshine.
It didn't take long to put my tent up having had lots of practice, then Phil and I toddled off to Wetherspoons in Perranporth for a meal and a few beers. We met up with Dave there too. Walking back along the coastal footpath in the twilight was interesting!
Saturday saw Simon arrive, and then Jon who chucked his kit inside my tent so he could join us for the rideout. Phil took us to 2 of the Alphabet Challenge points, Wendron Parish Cross and Geevor Tin Mine with a brunch stop at a great cafe which I can't remember the name of and probably wouldn't be able to find again either! The coast road from St.Ives to Lands End is a lovely ride, if a little narrow in places - motorcaravans getting in our way! BMW Motorrad in Falmouth was our next stop. Have you sat on one of those G310GSs yet? I did and I actually thought it was a F800 it's so big. When we got back to site Ian had arrived and for the rest of the day and evening we ate and drank what we had and enjoyed a lovely warm evening al fresco. Our old friend Robin and his partner Linda popped in and brought us some more beer. Thanks for that, and it was good to see you both again. The ride home on Sunday was very enjoyable, again taking in some of the Cornish coastline going North this time. Another great weekend with good friends. Thanks for coming and ride safely wherever you go.
Wednesday 30th May 2018
The weather was about 10% better than last year, it wasn't raining, which helped.. The chip shop in Yeovil was excellent. Good food. Prompt and friendly service to the tables. Bright and clean inside and everywhere and most important a large carpark. There was 5 of us there, Us, Keith from Western section, Tim from Ilminster, and Paul from 2 miles down the road. So after much discussion , guess who went home with the 10 pounds in her pocket. Just the job for lunch at Fishermans Cott next day. Will plan this again for later and also for a lunchtime meet next year if possible.
Saturday 26th May 2018
As Jim could not lead the ride to Bideford Bike Show due to unforseen circumstances I offered to lead it as I was going anyway. So I duly arrived
at Woodys Cafe at Sourton Cross and had a cup of tea, three people had arrived already and it was not long before two more arrived, so after we
had all had our drinks the six of us set off for Bideford.
It was quite overcast when we left but it did stay dry for the ride, as we approached Bideford the traffic started to build up so we ended up queuing for the
last part, by the the time we had parked we had lost two of our party. Just after we arrived it started to rain so we headed to Wetherspoons for some
lunch, by the time we came out again it was dry so we went and had a look at the bike's, some interesting and unusual bike's where on show, also a
few dealer's and all the usual stalls, so after we all had a good look we decided to head for home so Chris headed back the way we came and the rest
of us headed to the A39 and a cafe in Bude for a cup of tea. When we left Bude I led the way back as far as Camelford when we went our separate
way's. Just to say that the Bike Show is well worth a look and it has a nice choice of road's to get to Bideford so put it in your diary for next
year. Sorry we did not manage to find the two who went missing but hope to see you all again soon .
Friday April 27th to Sunday 29th 2018
What started as a very wet Friday ended up not being too bad weather wise, we even saw some sunshine and woke up to a dry day on Saturday with no more
rain for the rest of the Rally.
The camp site wasn't up to much regarding facilities but that was made up for by its stunning location in Exmoor's Doone valley and over half a mile from the nearest road down a badly potholed track. One of our group came a cropper on this track, dropping his bike and he and his wife sustaining minor injuries to shoulder and ankle.
Some of us had a good day out on the bikes on Saturday visiting Go Outdoors and the Triumph dealers in Taunton.
Thanks to Ron & Jan and Pete for leading us around some roads on Exmoor that I had never been on before coming back to the site over Robber's Bridge and past Oare Church, both featured in R.D.Blackmore's Classic novel Lorna Doone.
Interestingly, other makes of motorcycles outnumbered BMWs. Is this a sign?
Thanks to the 19 of you who came providing a good laugh and good company as usual.
Saturday 21st April 2018
There were 9 of us out for fish and chips in South Molton on Saturday, at The Welcome Fryer, along with my wife, and daughter who was visiting for the weekend.
Good to see new member James from South Molton on his lovely R100GSPD.
After filling our bellies 3 of us went for a ride around Exmoor; Simondsbath, Lynmouth and then Woody Bay Station for a coffee where the narrow gauge steam railway was in full operation chugging and puffing it's way up the track.
Thanks for your company. I'll see some of you at the weekend for Doone Exmoor camping.
Ride safely, Jim
Wednesday 18th April
On Wednesday 18th. April seven of us turned up at Lee Mill in the cafe where I had a very good twelve item breakfast for £6-50 as this was my main
meal for the day, it was decided that we would do another two of the challenge point's, Paignton Pier and Burgh Island, and as Chris knew the area he took the lead and I brought up the rear, Chris led us down a couple of interesting road's, on getting to Paignton Pier picture's were duly
On leaving Jim took the lead as we headed for Burgh Island it was a pleasant ride on a nice day on some nice road's a lot of which I have never
been on before, when we arrived at the car park which was pay and display, we took pictures again looking across to the Island and then went and
parked down by the cafe which is only takeaway with outside seating, so we went and had cup's of tea and ice creams.
After we had our refreshments it was time to head for home, when we reached the main road we all went our separate way's. It was a very good day out with good company, I would like to thank Chris and Jim for doing the leading and also thank all of those that came and hope you enjoyed yourselves see you soon Phil.
The photo is of my bike with Burgh Island in the distance.
Sunday 18th March 2018
The little beast from the East did its best to stop the Bowgie Inn Meet on Sunday 18th but seven of us, all traveled by car, managed to beat the snow, to be truthful the snow didn’t hit Cornwall until after lunch, we had nice meal then headed home just in time to watch six inches of snow settle, we will try if there is room, to do another Bowgie meet later in the summer.
Saturday 10th March 2018
We had our first visit to the Aviator coffee bar at Dunkeswell Airfield on Saturday 10th of March, this had been postponed a week due to the snow, we had no snow but it rained an awful lot in the morning.
I had had a very eventful lead to this ride as when I did a pre ride check on the Friday I found a roofing tack in the front wheel, then attempting to repair the puncture with my newly acquired Dynaplug repair kit, I found a second hole, they all failed to repair, then down to the local bike shop, who condemned the tyre. Then an early start Saturday morning for a 100 mile round trip to have a tyre fitted, installed back in the bike and on my to Dunkeswell.
On arrival I found 9 members, it was very busy with lots of teenagers crowding the coffee bar, they were all waiting for the fog to lift so they could do a parachute jump, rather them than me. After a bite to eat 5 of us set off to do the Colyford Photo Challenge.
The Aviator Coffee Bar seems a good meeting point it’s a long way for the Cornish members so I would welcome some feedback on the Aviator meet to see if it is worth adding say bi monthly meet there, the bad weather leading up to the meet must have put a few off from going.
See you soon, Don
Wednesday 21st February 2018
See you all soon,
Tuesday 13th February 2018
When I arrived at the Engine House at 10-55 it was wet and cold, so I went straight in only to find it very busy and most of the empty table's
reserved, but managed to get a table for four.Not long after Ian Penrose arrived and we managed to bring over another table for two and with the
weather being so bad thought that would about do us, as it turned out it was just enough as we ended up with a total of eight so two had to sit on the end which was ok as they only had a drink.
Two of us were silly enough to come by bike but the rest had more sense and came by car, we spent a couple of very pleasant hour's before we went our separate ways.
My ride home was more pleasant than the ride up, and I went via Jamaica Inn to bag my first point of this year's Southwest Challenge.
Hope to see you all again soon.
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY of the SOUTH WEST SECTION
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