Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Evening run 190819

Where has the year gone?, was the question as we turned up at the Mitre in Witheridge for the last of this years enjoyable evening rides. Unfortunately due to illness and possibly the weather, only 5 riders could make it so we had to make the best of it. Dermot was able to view the room that the Mitre has available for a Christmas lunch venue, and pronounced it quite suitable for 30 persons, and the owner would be quite pleased to host us.
Next run will be the end of summer run starting from Kirsty's kitchen in North Tawton on the 8th September, do come along folks.

this year we are inside!

while the bikes are outside

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Summer run 110819

Sunday arrived with the promised rain and warning of showers throughout the day, in fact those of us from Tivvy had already been well doused before we even arrived at the Atlantic village top car park for this years 'summer' run. On arrival, Roy announced he was not happy with the petrol feed on his 250cc Honda and so he rushed back home to change mounts. After a while, a total of 9 riders were ready for the run and after a briefing from Roy, we all set off with Chris and myself bringing up the rear.
At 11, Roy lead us out of the car park and soon turned off to Littleham, then it was on to Bradworthy, Melland and Stoke before arriving at Hartland Quay for our lunch break, here 2 of our number had to leave us for home due to personal reasons whilst the remainder tucked into a good choice of meals.
After lunch, Roy led us through the badlands of Welcombe, ( perhaps bad lanes! ), then on to Clovelly cross, Wolsery Cross and Stibb cross ( everyone seems to be angry up there as they are all so cross!). Finally we turned up at Torrington common for a nice ice cream before we dispersed home.
Thanks to Roy for leading and to Chris joining me at the back, next months run is to start from Kirsty's kitchen at North Tawton not North Molton as stated on some of the uncorrected calendars you may ha
Darol contemplates the start

just a drying up shower!

lunch in the dry

Hartland Quay car park

Hartland with a touch of blue sky

an ice cream to finish, yummy!
ve, that will be on September 8th, but before then we have our last evening meet next Monday ( the 19th ) at the Mitre in Witheridge.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Fish n chips 310719

Once again there was a good turnout for this the last fish and chips meet of 2019, Mike rode his bike but everyone else brought partners and cars. As usual the service was great and the food at usual high standard, the assembled company tried to alleviate all the problems of the world and their motorbikes and a good time was had by all.
Now the next run is August the 11th to meet at the Atlantic village Bideford,  though I see from Chris' notes in the mag that it now has a new name !, ( must have heard we were coming and so tried to lay a false trail!), after that we have our last evening meet this time at the Mitre in Witheridge on the 19th August, best double the glow worms for that meet as it will sadly be starting to get dark before the run home.
before the trawler arrived with the fish

smiles all round, must be enjoying themselves!.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Evening run to The Anchor Inn 220719

The meet at the Anchor in Exebridge was our penultimate for 2019, where has the year gone?. 7 riders turned out on a lovely evening to meet at the Anchor, and to welcome us, the management had upgraded the rear garden area very tastefully I thought. As usual the evening conversations covered all current news and views as well as such tricky questions as to who may have been the best designer of motorcycles and their engines with different views expressed!. Fortunately there were no Harley riders in attendance this evening so the evening passed off with good humour being the mainstay.
A baby was with it's parents and family on the next table hooked up to a breathing tube, so I asked if they would like to move before we started up but the dad said that the baby was well used to the noise as he himself was a motorcyclist.
All in all, a very pleasant evening in very good company, now our next meet is at the Welcome Fryer in South Molton on the 31st July for 7pm for great fish and chips, then August 11th meet for our summer run with Roy at the Atlantic Village Bideford.
meaningful conversation

while the bikes rest

display put on for us!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Ron Ley run 140719

15 riders and a 2 more in a car arrived at the Northgate Inn on Sunday for this years Ron Ley run, the weather was just right for the ride as it was to be dry , cloudy and a little cooler than of late. This run was mine to organise and lead, I had tried to choose a route which would encompass some areas of Exmoor in the morning and had intended to visit the three 'Nymptons' in the afternoon, unfortunately, due to road works, the afternoon run had to be adjusted so that we didn't actually visit the 'Nymptons' but travelled through Kings Nympton and and came close to Bishops Nympton and George Nympton.
The run set off on time after a briefing from yours truly and with Chris and Ian agreeing to do back marker duties. I led back through South Molton before turning off on the Rackenford road at Bish Mill, a few miles later we turned off on the Molland road which enabled the run to cross the A361 without actually doing so. a turn off the Bampton road led us to Oldways end and then toward Dulverton. After crossing the famous Marsh bridge, a turn left took us up on to the moor just short of the Tarr Steps turning. It was necessary to keep down to 40 mph as we crossed the moor as ponies and sheep are often dashing across in front of the unprepared rider.
A turn left took us to Withypool and back on to the lower moor to coast past the Sportsmans Arms then a turn left to Twitchen, here I had to wait a while for the run to catch up when I learned that Mikes Top box had parted company from his bike and had to be recovered by Ray and Margaret who will deliver it back to him on Wednesday at the cabin, just 2 more turns took us to Molland and on to the Blackcock Inn for lunch.
Now here we have an anomaly, whilst we had to wait for our meal some 40 minutes, some riders thought there's was a bad meal whilst Ray, Margaret and I thought it was good, just goes to show we are all different.
A few riders set off home here but 11 continued, we travelled across the B3227 and turned left on the Rackenford road until Batsworthy cross where we turned right toward Chumleigh, a turn off this road right took us toward and through Kings Nympton and on to meet the South Molton road just after it leaves the A377. Having been travelling at 40mph over the moor and through the lanes, I picked up the pace a touch to around 50 for which some people were grateful though of course that means the rear markers have to speed up more to keep up, however we all arrived safely back at the Northgate Inn for dispersal. My thanks to Chris and Ian riding as back markers and don't forget the evening run to the Anchor on the 22nd July.
 here are the riders getting ready

here the bikes enjoying the sun

lunch at the Blackcock Inn

early arrivers at lunch

lunch time

chat whilst waiting 

getting up energy for the PM ride

Monday, 1 July 2019

Girder fork run 230619

I did not attend this event as I do not have an eligible machine, however I approached Dermot for a write up and he has sent this excellent report:


Why I’m quite unqualified to write this account will become embarrassingly obvious in due course. But in the meantime, let me tell you of what I can remember of the Girder Fork and pre-1960 Run enjoyed on June 23.  I’m greatly indebted to Darol for furnishing his notes (akin to Aresti diagrams used in aerobatic sequences) which have helped fill the large blanks attending my recollections.

Six of us assembled at the Puffing Billy cafĂ© near Great Torrington for a cuppa. The Fab Six were Tony with his immaculately turned-out Square, Mike and his ex-Jack Edney cammy Velo, Darol with his Triumph made acceptable by its Val Page engine (!) and Darol’s friend, Justin, with a rigid Ariel powered by a 650 twin. Cyril arrived on a non-eligible 400 Ducati at my invitation in case I felt lonely on the 70 return miles from/to Tiverton. The Ariel trio was completed by my 500 single. Of this six, only the Velo and Triumph possessed the girders for which the run principally was intended; a sad demonstration of the changes which have taken place in the club in the last few years.

 In dry but threatening weather, we left Torrington at precisely, approximately, somewhere around 11,30 due to the engrossing nature of the pre-run conversations. Darol imposed some discipline and had us make a left turn and up the hill to get us started towards Taddiport and then on to Hatherleigh. It was around here that I began to notice some familiar landmarks; Peters Marland (6/7cwt), Shebbear (6/9cwt) and Sheepwash (6/12cwt), all of which meant little to me as a motorcyclist but provided happy memories of bellringing there. Of course, to motorcyclists, the tintinabular details mean even less but it gives Gordon something to edit!  From Shebbear on to Stibb Cross heading for Badgworth with lots of signs to unknown places in deepest Indian territory – Holsery, Tythecote, Woolfardisworthy, West Putford, Meddon – you name it, we went there! There were a couple of occasions in which I thought I should return home to collect the knobblies.

Anyway, from Parkham we arrived somewhere else for a pub lunch. There was a minor hold-up when Tony disappeared in unmentionable circumstances and was not seen again until we all met at the boozer. Beyond that, it was an incident-free outing. We enjoyed dry roads before lunch but then the weather broke and we had moderate rain which caused us to substitute the afternoon’s programme for a return home on dampened roads. 





Otherwise we enjoyed a very pleasant outing through places of historical captivation. For example, there is an unusually interesting rood screen in Sheepwash church. And did you know that the Torrington station originally was built to support the local dairy industry which provided 2,600 gallons/day to the world’s largest dried milk producer and another two trains of milk tankers per day to London? Additionally, the station received clay from Peters Marland and surrounding pits, delivered by the narrow-gauge railway which used to parallel the river when men rode girder forks.

Special thanks go to Darol for excellent routing and to Mike for bringing up the rear.

It was not until a couple of days later that I remembered that I had absconded from the lunchtime pub without paying for my meal. I had failed to note the name of the pub, nor had I any idea in which village we were dining, although I did recognise the church with its ring of six. Darol furnished the required information and (wrong!) phone number, so I was able to make my apologies   and set the matter straight with the landlord of the Coach and Horses at Buckland Brewer.

Next run folks July 14th from the Northgate Inn at Aller cross South Molton and not the Quince honey farm.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

evening run 170619

Dermot says he will be interested to see how I write up this eventful evening ride out to the Sportsmans Inn, well here goes.
I always look forward to these evening runs, they offer an opportunity to ride to a venue without the need to ride in a structured run and it was with this in mind that I pulled my Tiger 90 out of the garage in preparation, having put it on its side stand on the path, I took my phone out of my pocket to answer a call when out of the corner of my eye, I saw my bike keel over and crash to the ground as a result of the side stand mounting giving way. I told Steve, who was on the line, what had happened and he came straight round to help. It was obvious the T90 was not going anywhere that night so it was put back into the garage and the Honda came out.
We had an excellent run to the Sportsmans via Dulverton, Exmoor and Withypool only to find that it is now closed on a Monday!. We waited until 7.15 then set off for North Molton but within a mile came across Dermot and Cyril hastening toward the pub, we turned and met up with them at the pub when Roy turned up, we were now 5. After a conflab, it was decided to head to Molland with Roy leading. Unfortunately, in a couple of miles, Roy came down the bottom of a grass in the middle lane to be confronted by thick mud almost entirely across the lane, though travelling at slow speed, his front wheel slid and down he went. With Roy restarted, we progressed to a junction at which I was asked to take the lead as there were no obvious signs to Molland. I picked up the Molland road and all went well until I cruised past the next Molland turning and had to back up, when Steve turned his BMW he found his foot on the down side of a slope so also took a tipping!. After that Molland was reached but when the parking at the London Inn proved to leave a lot to be desired, the decision was made for me to lead on to the Black Cock where we finally, at last had our very enjoyable evening.
All was not lost however as the Black Cock said they would be quite willing to take a Sunday ride lunch which may well be factored in, they also stated that they could do a Christmas meal for the section and this will be considered with other venues at the next committee meet.
Next run will be the Girder fork run for all girders and pre 60 bikes then the Ron Ley run will follow  on the 14th July from the Northgate Inn at the Aller cross roundabout.
Oh dear it's closed!.

initially just we two

At last, the Black Cock
At last a well earned drink

muddy bikes but all in one piece