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……and that’s what we did!
63 people attended the Hippo Rally this year which was held at North Tawton Rugby Club once again. Our condolences were sent to Julian and Tracie Franklin who were unable to attend due to a close family bereavement.
The rally got off to a good start on Thursday because we were all invited to attend a music evening to raise funds for the Rugby Club Captain who has been left paralysed as the result of a fall. 17 Hippos helped to boost the number of people who enjoyed folk music and anecdotes from artistes who had appeared at the recent Dartmoor Folk Festival.
Most Hippos arrived on Friday, spread throughout the day and evening and so Friday was spent erecting tents, saying hello, having a chat, drinking beer and eating Pasties and beans.
On Saturday after a hearty breakfast we enjoyed a ride around Exmoor with a bomb burst of bikes going off in wrong directions after the petrol stop, (which nobody wanted anyway!) due to one rider going for a pee across the road in the services! Then there was an unplanned off road section because I took a wrong turn, but all turned out well when we all regrouped in Widecombe-in-the-Moor for lunch and walkabout.
We had to host a rugby match in the afternoon, which wasn’t really supposed to have happened and we struggled to get rid of players and supporters who wanted to stay and drink beer. After our dinner provided by Kirsty the Caterer, Saturday evening entertainment was by The Bottle Top Boogie Band, a local quartet from Bampton, including Rev Kev; the vicar! A brilliant night. More beer was drunk of course and in fact we very nearly succeeded in drinking the Club dry with only a few pints left in one barrel.
A good old full English washed down with copious quantities of tea and coffee cleared our heads ready to pack up our tents and camper vans on Sunday morning for our journeys home.
The weather was kind to us - not very cold at all, very little rain and much sunshine.
Loads of people helped in all sorts of ways - keeping the urn topped up, cleaning tables, and cleaning up on Sunday morning and I thank you all for your help. It’s great when we all help each other isn’t it?
The 3 people I would like to give a special thank you to are Sal Robinson who baked us loads of lovely fruit buns ( I had one in my rice pud - yum) and managed to sell 500 raffle tickets all on her own. You’re a star Sal. You raised about £200! (accurate figures will follow when Jane and I have done the accounts)
Chris Laxton and Gemma who between them served us every meal, kept the coffee boat clean, and looked after our health by bleaching tables and cleaning up.( I went in the hall at 0800 on Sunday morning to clean up, and they had already done it!) On top of all that Gemma cooked rice pudding for 63 people.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It wouldn’t happen with out you.
Thank you all for coming too. There wouldn’t be any point in it if you didn’t. See you all next year. Same time,same place .
The Andy Baines Long Distance Award was won by Richard Norris who travelled 272 miles to the Rally from his home in Lyminge, Kent.
Saturday 12th October 2019
Saturday the 12th of October, we had a visit to the Moretonhampstead Motor Museum, we arrived at the opening time of 11.30 am, only to clash with a visit with the Mercedes owners club, but we managed to slip in first, with just a couple of late runners queuing with Mercs O. C. We had new member Nick from Newton Abbot for his first visit, hoping we see a lot more of him. About 10 members enjoyed the visit to the museum, with a large collection of bikes and cars, I only saw 2 BMW’s, one with 2 wheels and one with 3, the bubble car. Frank Loft a very enthusiastic and passionate collector, has refurbished the old Bus Depot to a high standard the plus adding a new mezzanine floor. Too raise the cars up to this floor, he has had a large plate made that the cars drive on, then a fork lift raises the car up to the next level. He has a viewable restoration area, plus lots of automobile and artefacts .
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Sunday 22nd we had a pub meet at the Ship Inn on the Barbican Plymouth, we had 9 members, after meeting up in the Captain Jaspers bike parking area, we then headed off along the Harbour side to the Ship Inn, which was very quiet where we had a lunch. It was nice to see Don and Shirley, after sudden retirement from biking following his incident with his bike and a bridge wall, his 10 broken ribs are healing nicely. After the meal we followed it up with an ice cream on the sea front with Tim and Annie before we departed home.
Thursday 19th September 2019
On a lovely sunny September day 9 of us met at the picturesque town of Lynmouth on the North Devon Exmoor coast. Nice to see a new member, Tony from Exeter. 5 BMWs and 1 Triumph. I wasn’t allowed to take my bike because I’m trading it in for another on Monday and at 15000 miles and 27 months old the dealer thinks that’s high mileage and doesn’t want me to put any more on it. I took the car and Hilda came along for lunch too. We had a meal at The Exmoor Information Centre where there are great views over the bay. The closest we got to fish and chips was Hilda’s scampi and chips. Graham didn’t feel like eating and went walkabout before meeting us back at the bike park.
Good to see you all, thanks for coming.
Jim organised a Fish and Chip meet in Lynmouth on Thursday the 19th, following on from this we had a ride out lead by Dave Fox Spencer with Tony and myself, bringing up the rear. We travelled west through the Valley of the Rocks, passed Lee Abbey, then through the toll road and then through the twisty narrowest of lanes, several miles later arriving at Combe Martin, then onto Ilfracombe to view the Verity, the Damian Hurst Statue. After a refreshing ice cream we started the 2 hour trip homeward, a long day but most enjoyable.
Dartmoor Rally and Bike Show at Harford Bridge Park,Tavistock – 5th to 8th September - This year the Dartmoor Rally was blessed with good weather. Debbie and myself went up on Wednesday so that we could go and recce the Saturday ride out on Thursday morning and still be back on site before too many people turned up. We had fifteen there on Thursday night including us and after enjoying a pasty supper we all spent the evening in the television room where it was definitely warmer. On Friday morning Debbie and I had a walk into Tavistock before lunch to get a bit of shopping so that we would be back by just after one o'clock before most of the others arrived. In the evening some went to the television room and some in the gazebo, I think a few were also in Jim’s rented caravan. Altogether I think we had twenty-eight on the campsite in van's and tent’s, also some in hard accommodation. Saturday morning, I led the ride out leaving at ten thirty, with nine bike's and eleven people. We headed up onto Dartmoor and over the top to Mortonhampstead for a coffee stop. After arriving back at the bike’s, we found that Dave F Spencer had caught up with us so we set off for Whiddon Down to Okehampton then headed for Halwill and turned off for Roadford Lake where we enjoyed our lunch in café. After about an hour we went back up to the old A30 and went to Lewdown where we turned off for Chillaton then turned left again and went past Brent Tor to Lydford returning to the camp site. I would like to thank Malcolm for taking up the rear and making sure no one got lost! Another nice evening spent socialising before heading to bed.
On Sunday we had our bike show but there will be a separate report for that. So, we would like to thank everyone who came and hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and we have already booked the site for next year, and will be our tenth anniversary rally there.
Phil & Debbie.
Sunday 8th September 2019 Harford Bridge Tavistock
John Robinson : Best Three Wheeler/Trike GS Trike
Les Carr : Best Classic BMW R800RT
Paul Townsend : Best pre 2000 BMW R800RT
Andy Lobb : Best post 2000 BMW 700GS
Phil Sampson : Best non BMW Honda ST 1100 Pan European
Sunday the 8th we had our annual Bike Show, the sun shone on the 25 entries for the show this year, there were a few late entries which did catch a few votes towards the end.
The winners :
Best Three Wheeler for GS Trike - John Robinson,
Best Classic BMW 800 RT - Les Carr,
Best BMW Pre 2000 800 RT Paul Townsend,
Best Post 2000 BMW 700GS - Andy Lobb
Best Non BMW Honda Pan European - Phil Sampson
Well done to all the winners and thank you to all those who attended and put up the bikes.
During the show we were treated to a varied menu on the food wagon for lunch, with the show entrants given vouchers for a complimentary lunch.
Wednesday 21st August 2019
Fish & Chip supper meet - 21st Aug- at Trebonney’s, Roche, Cornwall. Six of us met up, Don & Sue, Andy, Charles and Phil & Debbie but just as well! No fish or batter we were told [sold out] & busy in the cafe Andy went in the take out for sausage & chips, the rest of us walked up the road for the Rock Inn fish & chips, okay but such large portions and struggled to eat all mine. At least we got to eat as by now it was gone 8pm. Nice evening for a bike ride too, even I came along!
Sunday 1st September 2019
We had a short notice meet at the Louis Tea rooms, as I heard they had a bike Sunday on the first Sunday of the month. September Sunday meet was on the 1st, we arrived at about 10.15am and were met by a sea of bikes, as seen in photo. Our members numbers attending were unknown as only 2 said they were coming, I did find a table of 4 and grab hold of it, in the end we had 11 members arrive spread over half an hour. So we did a staggered breakfast, plus I later found out that other members arrived with Julian E and sat at another table, but as it was so busy you could not see who was there. The turn over of bikes is high, as bikes are arriving others are going. We will try this Bike Sunday again see how popular it becomes with members.
Sat 17th August 2019
Meet at Louis tea rooms on Saturday 17th meeting at 10.30 am for a brunch meet. Eventually we had 10 members. It was good to see Roy, a regular at Louis, but the first BMW meet he has attended. Jerry, a new member, didn't find us until we came out of the cafe. This was the first meet at this venue and being a favourite meet for other bikers, I think it won't be the last. After breakfast we decided to extend the day when 5 of us went for short ride in the brilliant sunshine, out to Minion's tea room, and another coffee.
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August 2019
Braving the storm at Lavender Farm
Heavy rain & wind at The Lavender
Braving the high wind and heavy rain
The hardened few at Lavender Farm
The “unofficial” Lavender Rally – 8/9/10th August – due to a severe weather warning by the met office it was decided to cancel our rally although the 9 hardy few of us in camper vans and 2 in tents were not put off and braved the 40 -50mph wind and heavy rain particularly on Thurs/Fri. Jim in his tent went home early Friday morning having not slept much, thankfully he, his tent and contents stayed intact on Thurs night which was a miracle! Newcomer Dave from South East Sec arrived late Friday afternoon on his bike, erected his small tent in time for the storm to return then slept in the barn for 3 nights. His tent and some contents were flattened by morning. Sadly, no bike ride outs were accomplished, just a few beers, banter, John Robbo’s birthday cake & fizz in the barn, and some of us at least got out for walks in to Hartland village and the Quay, waterproofs were a must when the showers fell! Now why did we label this rally “the hurricane rally”? – better luck next August!
Wednesday 31st July 2019
Exmoor ride out Wednesday the 31st July started a last minute ride, to include taking a photo of the Dunster Yarn Market for the photo challenge. Phil, Giles and myself met at the PIE Cafe in Launceston at 9.00 for a cuppa, ready to leave at 9.30. We headed North to Holsworthy then on to Torrington, where we stopped to meet up with the rest, Hank and Tim, at a car park burger van. After a coffee we set off for South Molton, the beauty of coming up to this part of the country is the quiet and fun biking roads and as we approached Exmoor, the scenery just got better, it was a lovely clear day. Then onto North Molton and Withypool then to our lunch stop at Exford. Departing Exford we headed for the destination of Dunster where the Yarn Market is in the middle of the town, one of the easier one’s of Tim’s challenge points to find! Photo taken and much discussion as to what to do next, a couple including me, needed petrol so we set off for Minehead to Tesco for fuel. It started to get busy, we are in the holiday traffic now, even so we head off along the coast to Porlock and take in the famous hill, all easy now for modern machinery, then onto Lynton and Lynmouth. Following the A39, we later turned off and headed back onto Exmoor again and this time we stoped in Withypool for the final cuppa of the day. After refreshments we headed back to South Molton where we split in different directions and headed homeward.
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July 2019
The Bettle and Chisel Rally held on the weekend of 12th to 14th July. With less than 5 miles to travel to the campsite I just threw the camp gear in the car and erected the tent with help from Sue, and then drove back, and later in the day arrived on the bike. The weather was great for the whole weekend, we had our own little paddock behind the pub. The free camping came at a price of no over night toilets, but we managed, there were public toilets just down the road that open early, plus the pub from 8 till late. The attraction was the beginning of Carnival week with a large marquee with real ales and rock band called the Tank Slappers, some of us did enjoy the pleasures of this and others stayed in the Bettle, while others went to the Working Men’s club. The ride out on the Saturday was ended by the accident involving our member, Dave Fox Spencer, in a collision with the rear of a car, Dave came off worse with two broken wrists and two broken ribs plus bruising, he was taken to hospital in the ambulance and was released very late in the day, the police decided it was just an accident with no blame to ether side. After two hours or so the rest headed up to Bude to North Cornwall Motor Cycles where they have a mixture of older Classics to more modern bikes, they are agents for Royal Enfield, the ride was basically ended there. Most went back to the campsite while I took a couple on a scenic route around the local area.The Rally was a success despite the incidents so will run it again next year probably earlier in the year so not to clash with Carnival as this did make it quite busy.
Sunday 21st July 2019
Just 4 of us met at J27 on the M5. Good to see Pete L there after his Worldly wandering, and new member Keith along with Colin. So 2 Hondas and 2 BMWs. Pete led us over the hills high up by the Wellington monument (well, high by Somerset standards) where we hardly saw another car, and then as we emerged onto the very busy A303 I led us across to join the Langport road at Thornfalcon and once again we were in very light traffic. Pete F, Chris and Graham were waiting for us when we arrived at Haynes Motor Museum. It was extremely busy with at least 400 bikes in the car park and we had to wait about 15 minutes to get served. We had a late breakfast and a wander around the bikes parked outside before we dispersed to make our own way home. Thanks for coming.
Ride safely. Jim
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.
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