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Tuesday 9th July 2019
On Tuesday 9th July when I arrived at the Engine House two members were already there and it was not long before more arrived, as it was a nice day we sat outside in the smoking area, I believe we ended up with twenty member's including two perspective new members. As usual the food and service was very good, and it was soon time to head for home although it had been two and a half hours scince I had arrived, that's it for now see
you all again soon Phil.
Wednesday 3rd July 2019
Short account of last nights fish and chips in Yeovil, Jim took a couple of
pics of us all. After a sunny ride to Yeovil, 9 of us enjoyed an a good plateful of fish and
chips and some had pudding as well. Dave Fox Spencer won the £10 for furthest travelled of 44 miles. After the
usual chat and banter we left about 8.45 for the ride home.
Those of us going west rode off into the lovely sunset, with the prospect of
another nice day.
Thanks to those who came, will book another night again soon.
Saturday 29th June 2019
Visit to Petersen Engineering June 29th 2019
On the 29th June I arranged a visit to the business premises of fellow petrolheads Bob and Sally Petersen who run Petersen Engineering from their beautiful home at Beaworthy Mill in the middle of glorious Devon countryside. Starting off as a designer, Bob has built a specialised Bentley reconstruction business from scratch. Starting with original Bentley chassis which unbelievably are still lurking in barns and sheds around the world (if you have one, Bob’s interested in it!), a complete car is then built. Naturally the engines are completely rebuilt and supercharged if required with a ‘Petersen blower’, new bodies are constructed from scratch and trimmed in Connolly leather and sumptuous carpet. Unable to stand trusting anyone else with any part of the car, Bob makes everything in house, woodworking, fabrication, paint spraying, leather trimming, you name it they do it, in fact Bob has trained his staff of 21 himself putting local school leavers through apprenticeships. The end result is exquisite in appearance and performance, these cars are built to be used not just looked at, brakes steering and suspension are light years ahead of the originals.
If a four and a half litre supercharged Bentley is too tame for you, how about taking a longer Rolls Royce chassis and fitting it with a twelve cylinder tank engine? Bob will happily build you one, remember if you have to ask you can’t afford it.
You may remember the Spitfire engined car from Top Gear a few years ago driven by Jeremy Clarkson and The Stig, that was one of Bob’s and it now resides in Los Angeles in Jay Leno’s garage
To complete their rural idyll, Sally and Bob naturally built a motocross track beside the workshops to blow off a bit of steam in between builds, a ramp was constructed by burying a Ford Capri that was no longer required. In deference to the neighbours the track is now a lake and wildlife refuge.
We had complete access to all the various workshops within the business and Bob was incredibly generous with his time, answering a barrage of questions on technical matters and politely declining to name any of his customers!
The last building on the site was the ‘showroom’, the door opens and you are ushered into a matt black room with chromed spotlights picking out the nickel plating of 3 immaculate green Bentleys, 2 four seaters and a ‘boat tail’. The walls are covered with pictures, documents and glass cases full of options and items of interest. Quite an experience in itself, then we even got coffee and biscuits!
It’s quite rare to be given access to a business this specialised and you don’t need to be interested in Bentleys to be fascinated by the process of bringing these beasts to life, but my abiding thought is of the skills that are being utilised here and proof that you really don’t have to settle for second best
Thursday 27th June 2019
Debbie and I arrived at Slimbridge on Sunday the 9th June although the rally didn't officially start until Thursday 13th. We had been to a National Committee Meeting on Saturday the 8th and it seemed pointless going home to come up again 3 days later. On the Tuesday I had a text message from Pete Frost asking if he could come up a day earlier to try and miss some of the rain, so on Wednesday Pete turned up at lunch time and put his tent up in the dry. In the evening the 3 of us went to the Tudor Arms for a meal and a couple of drinks or so.
On Thursday it rained for most of the day but Ron and Jan - Rod and Chris - John and Sally - and Colin turned up and we managed to put the gazebo and flag up between the rain. Four of us went to the pub for a meal again, then back to the site and spent the rest of the evening in the gazebo. On Friday we went to Tescos at Cam for some provisions and other bits then back to the site and walked to The Black Hut Cafe for lunch.
Another 5 came today making a total of 15, rained nearly all day again so spent the evening in the gazebo. On Saturday Pete had organised a ride out which 6 of us set off on, we hadn't gone far before it started raining heavily, and then we found that the old Severn Bridge was closed so into the services for a coffee. As it was still raining 3 headed back to site and 3 of us went for a ride up through Wootton under Edge to Nailsworth for a lunch stop and then up to Minchinhampton before heading back to site. We had 1 leave today and another 3 arrive, so in total we had 18 over the weekend for a various
amount of nights. We also had Ian and Jan from the Western Section pop in on Saturday afternoon for an hour, so considering the weather a better
turnout than we thought.
Saturday evening was spent in the gazebo for some and others under various van awnings. Sunday some packed and went home but 9 of us stayed until
Monday. We still had more heavy showers on Sunday but 4 of us managed a walk to a secret bird hide and dodged the shower's, on arriving back on
site we found that the awning on Rod and Chris's van had been blown off by the wind, but on closer inspection it had not been fitted correctly, it was
just lucky that no one was under it at the time.
We would like to thank all those that braved the weather to come, and hope you all enjoyed yourselves. PLEASE NOTE:The rally date for 2020 is already
booked with Tudor campsite and will be a week later.....
Here is the date for your diaries: Thursday 18th June to Sunday 21st June.
Phil and Debbie.
Wednesday 5th June 2019
We had our annual visit to the Coddy Shack in Looe, Wednesday evening on the 5th, with only 3 bikes and 4 members. I think the weather played its part, as heavy rain showers spread there way across the county must have put some off, as Dave Fox Spencer said as he passed through several heavy showers on his over 100 mile journey. The evening was spent in sunshine and we all enjoyed the best fish and chips in the area, Dave won the prize for the furthest travelled, coming from Watchet in North Somerset. Hope for better weather for the rest of the season.
Saturday 25th May 2019
Eight bikes met up at Woody's Diner, Sourton Services which was very busy with many other bikes on their way to Bideford Bike Show. Nice to see Michael from Newton Abbot with his R9T on only his second Club event we hope to see you again.
After a brew we left Woody's at 11:00 for a shortish ride up the twisty A386 to The Quay, Bideford. Thank you Phil for sweeping. We adopted the good idea mentioned in last month's Journal whereby the sweeper positions himself at the start so all riders have to pass him and so know who the sweeper is. The drop off system worked well.
Jon was there to meet us and Mike turned up late, not being allowed to come out to play earlier.
We had to queue for parking and pay £3 but it was well worth it to attend what has become a great biking Show with hundreds of motorcycles from all genres and ages to view.
Some of us went to Wetherspoons for lunch, while others contented themselves with refreshments at the show. Members dispersed and made their own way home as required.
Thanks for coming.
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May 2019
Debbie and I went to Porthleven for The Ales Wheel's Rally a day early, we arrived on site just turned 12 noon went in the pub and saw Donna the manager, then into the field to get set up ready and have some lunch. Just after lunch Colin turned up and then Derek, and Dave to check that everything was all right and said that he would bring the gazebo and tea and coffee in the morning.
In the afternoon the four of us walked into Porthleven for some shopping, then after we had eaten we went to the pub and met Dave who was already
there, and we spent a enjoyable evening just having a few drinks and a good chat. On Friday morning Debbie and I went off on the bike and ended up at Glendurgan Gardens near Falmouth for lunch then a walk around the gardens,
We then arrived back at the site about 14 - 30 by which time most of the
other's had arrived. In the evening we all went to the pub where they had a bingo game starting so some bought some card's, and I think it was Gemma won £30 - 00 for a full house which was donated towards a round of drinks, we then all eventually went to our bed's.
In the morning Debbie and I walked into Porthleven for a paper before going on the ride out which left at 10 - 30 led by Dave and I went as sweeper, after a nice ride to Marazion - Penzance - Mousehole - Newlyn then on to Tregiffien Burial Chamber so Jim could take a picture for the challange, after taking his picture Jim and John headed back to site and the rest of us headed towards Lands End then towards St. Just and the coast road towards St.Ives where we then went to Daves Diner at St. Earth for lunch.
After lunch Colin went back to the site as he thought he had problem's with his bike, the rest of us carried on up the coast road to Portreath for a ice cream, and from there back to the site where we stayed on the site for the rest of the day and all evening.
On Sunday most packed up and left other than five of us who stayed untill Monday and had a nice quiet day, that's it for now hope to see you all soon
Tuesday 14th May 2019
Tuesday 14th May saw I think twenty member's and one possible new member turn up at The Engine House on a breezy but sunny day, a few of us talked about the Ales and Wheels Rally that is on next weekend the 17th. to 19th. of May at Porthleven. I tried to get to talk to everyone but is awkward when we were spread across three table's, I think everyone had a good get together, and caught up with friends that they have not seen for a while, well that's all for now see you all again soon .
Sunday 5th May 2019
Sunday the 4th May, ride out and meet Princetown on Dartmoor. Poor Don, first he had to change the venue to The Fox Tor, due to his first choice having closed down and then on the day, he rang me to say he had bad vertigo, all vertigo is bad but certainly not safe to ride a bike. We arrived in great weather just before twelve to find the venue absolutely pack to the rafters with cyclists, walkers, and other motor bike ride outs. Early arrivals captured an outside corner and as new arrivals gathered collected chairs and squeezed in. We collected drinks and some had food, but as it was so crowded we decided to continue with the ride out and go on to Castle Drogo. The ones who did not get lunch now enjoyed a bit more room as Castle Drogo cafe is far larger. I would estimate 15 bikes plus a few pillions arrived at The Fox Tor, a few to do there own thing while about ten bikes plus a couple of pillions headed for Castle Drogo. The weather was fantastic even with a slight chill in the air, the roads were narrow, and we did meet a lot of tourists who don't know where reverse is or don't choose to use it. It was nice to see some new members and one was Simon who has been a member for 20 plus years and this was his first meet which he enjoyed and is hoping to come to more, and also Brian from Wadebridge attending his second meet.
Saturday April 27th 2019
The gale force winds kept some away from Lynmouth for our fish and chip meet, I'm sure, but at least the rain stayed away too. So Don, Dave and I parked by the river and had a short walk through the shops to the Exmoor National Park Centre Cafe for lunch.There are superb views of the bay and cliffs from here and the sea was wild.
Afterwards we rode along the narrow lanes and some tricky hairpin bends following the coast through the Valley of the Rocks, Lee Bay, Woody Bay, Hunter's Inn, then Combe Martin and on to see Verity, the controversial statue at Ilfracombe harbour.
The wind didn't cause us any problems. Don won the longest distance tenner having ridden about 150 miles by the time he got back home.
Friday 19th April to Sunday 21st 2019
Sunday 14th April 2019
Sunday 17th March 2019
Tuesday 12th March 2019
Engine House Tusday 12th. March.
On a very wet and windy morning Debbie and I went to The Engine House by car, when we arrived Charles was aready having a cup of coffee and piece of cake, it was not long before Keith arrived and we ended up with a total of seven member's all of who came by car. After a couple of hour's the weather had improved and as we had all eaten enough by this time we parted company and head for home, or in our case shopping on the way home, hope to see you all again soon Phil.
Thursday 28th February 2019
Fisherman's Cot. 28th February. A total of 15 members and 1 perspective new member turned up at The Fisherman's Cot for our lunch meet today our fairly new member Mark came and his dad Sid came also, Sid is thinking of joining the club, they were only ones to come by bike so I hoped they both felt welcome. Ron and Jan came as they have not long returned from a six week trip to Spain, as it was my 65th. birthday last Friday and also Ron's birthday on the same day Sally and Debbie had cakes to celebrate our birthdays. After a good couple of hour's when we had all had enough to eat and drink we headed for home, it was a far better trip home than last time as we did not have any snow, hope to see you all soon
Wednesday 20th February 2019
Haldon Grill Cafe ( from 2018 )
Staverton Station taken from the web
Slapton Ley & Sands taken from the web
Kingsbridge taken from the web
Ride Out Wednesday 20th February 2019
First of all my apologies for lack of any photos as I left my phone behind in the garage so I have inserted one from last years ride and some library photos from the net.
Well just four members joined me at Haldon Grill at the top of Telegraph Hill on the A380 for breakfast before heading out on my ride out.
I must thank Phil who came all the way from St Austell, Dave even further from Perranporth, Jim from South Molton and Hank from Tiverton.
Phil informed me that when he got home he had completed a whopping 225 miles with Dave probably twenty more, Jim must have also been close to these figures.
Leaving Haldon Grill we turned right and past Devon & Exeter racecourse , Haldon/Go Ape forest adventure park and St Lawrence/Haldon Belvedere Castle.
Some of you may remember a few years back when Don Rolling was going to do a ride out to visit the small castle, but when the custodians found out we were motorcyclists they told Don that we would not be welcome as they didn't want heavy booted bikers climbing all over their castle!!
Passing the castle we turned left down into the small village of Doddiscombsleigh and its famous Nobody Inn, so called because apparently in 1952, the landlord died and according to the story the undertakers got so drunk on cider they forgot to put the body into the coffin and upon realising their mistake, rang the pub during the wake and had to dig it up and put the body in, which had not been taken from the undertakers !
It was now down over the steep hill until we eventually reached the old Christow railway station and the Teign House Inn, it was here that I intended to turn left along the B3193 but the road was closed ( this must be the most closed road in the UK ! ) so we went straight across up into the village of Christow and now had to throw a six to start, but eventually we turned left after the Artichoke Inn and down past Canonteign falls to rejoin the B3193.
We now turned right up into Teign Village which still has a sports and social club before coming into Hennock which is nestled high above the river Teign and has spectacular views over the South Devon country side.
Now it was down into Bovey Tracey and up over Trendlebeer Down towards Becky Falls and Manaton.
From here we followed the winding road out towards Hound Tor passing Jays Grave on our right and then down the very steep hill into Widecombe In The Moor.
Onwards towards Ponsworthy and over the very narrow bridge before coming out at Poundsgate.
Here we turned right and over the moor and down into Dartmeet where the East and West Dart rivers converged to form the river Dart.
Following the Dart actually became the theme of the rest of the ride out as we turned left then down and up over the very steep hill to Hexworthy and the Forest Inn.
From here we crossed the dam at Ventiford Reservoir and down leaving Dartmoor national park, to the small village of Holne.
Before we got there, I noticed a post in the hedge saying that the tearooms where only open on a Saturday and a Sunday...Great !!!
We parked up and stretched our legs and I used the toilet in the shop ( the shop is part of the tearooms and the establishment is community run by village volunteers ) so we headed to the large cafe at Buckfast Abbey about 3 miles further on for light refreshments.
Leaving Buckfast Abbey we followed the A384 towards Totnes before taking a slight detour left going past Ben's farm shop and into Staverton, crossing the level crossing at its very picturesque preserved railway station and once again over the river Dart and rejoining the A384 at the top of the hill.We now stopped for fuel in Dartington as a couple of the group needed petrol before following the A381 towards Kingsbridge but turning off left just at the top of the Western Bypass and heading into Ashprington and passing the Durant Arms and then the Waterman's Arms nestled beside the Harbourne river and yet another pub, the famous Maltsters Arms on our left, once owned by TV Chef Keith Floyd and ignominiously renamed Floyds Inn ( Sometimes ) thankfully the new owners after Floyd, quickly restored the original name of the establishment.
We now passed through the villages of Tuckenhay , Cornworthy, East Cornworthy and finally into the very upmarket village of Dittisham.
We now headed up to the A3122 and followed the road into Dartmouth where we followed the spectacular A379 with absolutely stunning views of the South Devon coast .
Through the villages of Stoke Fleming, dropping down, then up at the gorgeous Blackpool sands and into Strete which gifted us splendid high views of the World famous beach road at Slapton sands.
Of course it was now on and along the beach road which separates Slapton Ley ( a fresh water lake ) from the Sea.
We now passed the World War 11 memorial Sherman tank that was sunk by a U boat during operational exercises prior to the D Day landings and retrieved from the sea bed by the late Ken Small who set about tirelessly to raise funds to make the memorial.
Through Torcross, Stokenham, Chillington,Frogmore,West Charleton and finally into Kingsbridge, the end of our ride, where we parked up at the quay and had coffee and light snacks in Coasters Coffee shop before bidding our farewells and heading home.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable ride out and I would like once again , to thank all those that came along.
Sunday 17th February 2019
We had 9 members attended this meet and it was a nice day for a February ride and meet which means more bikes than cars. Proving to be a nice meet venue so we will continue with it for a while, its location just off the A30 and with a range of nibbles to small meals, which caters for most taste, with members coming as far as Weymouth and Newton Abbot, if its a nice day for a ride doesn't matter how far.
Tuesday 12th February 2019
Tuesday 12th. February was not to bad a day so I set off on the bike to go to the brunch meet at the Engine House, eleven people turned up including me, mostly by bike, after a couple of hours we started to go our separate way's, me I headed for home like most of the others but Derek was going to do a couple of The Southwest Challenge point's before he went, it was another pleasant trip with some good company, hope to see you all again soon
This is my GS taken at the (very crowded) Bluff below Invercargill. I have come down here with the New Zealand BMW Club to the Burt Munro (fastest Indian) weekend. This is where he lived.
Thursday 31st January 2019
On Thursday the 31st of January Debbie and I went to the Fisherman's Cot by car and met with another six members, all who had come on four wheels due
to the weather forecast, after a couple of hours having a good chat and lunch we headed for home just before 14 - 00 hours, the journey started off well but by the time we reached Sourton Cross the temperature had dropped and it had started with wet snow, by the time we reached Launceston it was getting worse, by the time we reached Jamicia Inn it was terrible and it took us 3 hours to do the last 20 miles because of other traffic blocking both lanes of the A30, the only way we reached home was by driving down the grass verge onto a side road and then keep to the back roads until we rejoined the A30 just before Bodmin and then took more side road's untill
we reached home just before 19 - 00 hour's it is the worst journey that I have had for as long as I can remember.
Thanks to all those that came and hope to see you all again soon
A30 Standstill ahead
A30 Bodmin Moor snowbound !
Detour off A30 for Temple back Road
Approaching A30 End of Temple Road
Passing Colliford Lake turning A30
Further to Phil's report and inside FC images, here are some photos of our experience returning home via the snow bombed Bodmin Moor. What should have been a 2 hour journey back actually ended up 5 hours!
Thankful to get home I would add and not have to share a bedroom with strangers at Jamaica Inn ??
Go and get yourselves a 4x4, never know when you might be glad of one ??
Sunday 20th January 2019
Bowgie Inn meet Jan 20th,Newquay. We had ten members attend this out of the way inn on the North Cornwall coast with Pete coming from Weymouth, and Tim from Ilminster,the rest more local. The view from the dining table is worth the ride, a spectatcular scene across the beach and bay. A mixed and generous menu meant everyone had something they liked including the roast. The banter mainy went on the future events and who's going to what and of course planning biking holidays. We have another Bowgie meet in the Autumn.
Wednesday 16th January 2019
Wednesday 16th The Tintagel Brewery Meet, I brought forward the time to 11.00 so we could take advantage of the breakfast menu, we had 5 in all turn up on a fairly damp mucky day, and 3 on bikes, for a January meet not bad, some enjoyed a breakfast while others waited and had lunch. One did have a problem finding the place as it is bit in the wilds of North Cornwall. Phil almost signed up a new member when he came in to tell Phil he had a puncture, a dam big screw or words to that effect anyway Phil soon had it repaired, and the BMW R owner is thinking of joining the club. Thanks to all that endured the weather and came along.
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
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