Saturday, 18 November 2017

Club night 161117

13 members turned up to an excellent presentation by Dermot on the vision, construction and sailing of his yacht. We were able to see through photographs just how the boat was built in Malta and the problems encountered, then the tricky business of moving the completed yacht downhill to the harbour, followed by sea trials and finally the trips around the Med and over to the USA. All this was accomplished in 8 years, unfortunately, my invitation to join him on one of his cruises seems to have been lost in the post at the time!. However, we did learn that Dermot can be broken to tears but only apparently by Maltese customs officials!, Thanks Dermot for the evening.
We have been very fortunate to have had a very interesting and varied programme this year on club nights but unfortunately they have not been well attended, the committee have produced another interesting year next year and we would love to see the numbers climb to reflect the hard work put in.
Sadly, next month will be our last club night of the year, it will consist of a natter evening with mince pies and is on the 21st December, I would personally love it if you come along as I definately ate to many mince pies last year!.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Guy Fawkes run 051117

lunch time at Nomansland

lunch time banter

nice setting

I was unable to join the start of this run due to a long term engagement but I have Dermot's route notes and debrief. It seems around 13 riders  turned up at Okehampton station for this Guy Fawkes run organised and led by Dermot. With Ian and John agreeing to bring up the rear, the run set off to Exbourne on B3217 then Monkokehampton, Iddessleigh, Dowland and Dolton before crossing the A3124 to Riddlescombe, Ashrereigny, through Winkleigh, Morchard road and Morchard Bishop to Black Dog, ( Dermot has put Black Cat to see if I'm awake! ), then Thelbridge Cross to arrive at the lunch stop at Nomansland. Some rain was encountered during the morning run and judging by Keith's bike I would say quite a bit of mud too. I was able to join the riders at the Mount Pleasant pub where the talk was of the unfortunate mating attempt by a Velo on a honda which resulted on the two riders having to dismount unintentionally!. John appears to have had is bike fall over when his side stand slipped into a trough. However, it seems all were able to remount and ride away though Cyril rode for home as a precaution. 
The Mount Pleasant looked after us well, I say us as by now I had joined the run, and a good meal was enjoyed by all. Whilst enjoying the meal, the rains came heavily and after some discussion it was decided to stop the run here.
Thanks to Dermot for the run and to Ian and John agreeing to do back marshal duties, now we have a few months to attend to fettling our steads ready for next year, don't forget the Christmas lunch, this year at the Town Arms on November the 25th 12 noon, see Richard or Chris for places, your section would like to see you all there so ring and book now.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Autumn run 081017

some of the bikes at Sainsburys'

in sunshine!

my thumb and the Blue Ball

The main body of riders arrive at the end
15 club members arrived at Sainsburys' for this the penultimate
run of 2017, many of us had endured bad fog and mist on the way but it soon burned off to leave, what promised to be, a dry mostly sunny day. We attracted a number of interested folk who gave us their early days on similar machines and wished they could return to those days. John had his wedding anniversary today so he did not join us for the run, then Doug's Ariel decided that it didn't want to get going until he had cleaned out the carbs jets, so Chris, who was doing back marker duties with me, stayed back to lend a hand and we remaining 12 set off on time after a briefing by our run leader today Mike. I must confess I had not expected Mike to  have recovered from his op to the extent that he could lead today but there he was and on his Velo as well, good for you mate.
We were led out and set off to Barnstaple, then over the new bridge and on to Braunton, there was some heavy traffic and a bit of a holdup here before we set off to Saunton. The beach at Saunton and at the other bays we came across were pretty full of people enjoying the good weather. We had some great views passing through Croyde, Mortehoe, Georgeham and Woolacombe before heading back up to the top of Ilfracombe and heading for Blackmoor gate. Here Mike had to do a swift calculation as he had been asked by the Blue Ball to be on time at 1230, so we were taken down to Lynmouth and then up the hill to the pub.
After a good meal we headed off to Brendon down in the valley and on across the common to Simonsbath, but just a few miles from Simonsbath, Maurice found his front tyre was losing air fast, he asked me to catch up with Doug on his combination as it was thought he might have a pump. I think my ex police triumph thought it was back in harness as I shot off to overtake first Graham then Doug to wave him down. Between Doug's pump and Grahams air can gadget, he was able to get going again in company with Chris, Doug and Graham until he turned off for home, I can tell you all that he reached home ok and is very grateful to all who helped him overcome his problem. The run then made the way to the honey farm for a well earned cuppa.
Thanks to Mike for the excellent route, to Chris who agreed to join me bringing up the rear and to those who helped today. Now the next run will be the Guy Fawkes run on November 5th from Okehampton station.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Girder fork run 240917

The first 3 bikes turn up

Tony's |Norton looks great

Nice to see Paul on his ES2

Brian pulls away to lead

Brian follows

Tony gets going at number 4

Ray brings up the rear

5 eligible bikes and riders turned out today at Morrisons Tiverton for this the last Girder fork run for 2017, as you know, we have included this year any bike born before 1960. The bikes attracted quite a lot of interest as they usually do and in addition there were 2 ineligible  bikes at the scene, one was mine as I had come to take a few pics and the other was a 500cc Royal Enfield who came to ride behind the pack for the ride. Todays route was chosen by Brian who led away out of the car park and on to the Rackenford road, then out past Rackenford and on towards South Molton, a right turn off the road took us towards the Cabin and here I left as I was not eligible and had come just so far for the ride. Ray tells me that the bikes ran on without any trouble but they ran into rain near South Molton. A very nice lunch was held at the Bell Inn Chittlehampton during which the rain kept coming such that the decision was taken to end the run there and make way home. Ray reported that the rain stopped almost suddenly as he skirted Rackenford on the way back, shame really but thanks to Brian for the run and for leading and to Ray who did back marker duties. Now our next run will be the Autumn run on October 8th from Sainsburys Barnstaple.
Now I will put a couple of photos from Merv's funeral if you don't mind to show just some of the 45 bikes that attended.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Christmas menu at the Town Arms 25th November 2017

Names and monies to Chris or Richard please, seating is limited this year so get your name in early.

View of club night 21st September 2017 from the Chairman

There have been several occasions over time when I have sought to understand the reasons for a chronically low turn-out at the Town Arms on club nights. More often than not, the response has been that if some suitable entertainment was provided, then people would come. In reply to this, I have said that the Committee would be very happy to invite guest speakers and arrange other activities but there was no likelihood of such invitations being extended if there was not a probability of a worthwhile number of members supporting these occasions. Last night's monthly gathering was an excellent demonstration of this chicken/egg situation.

Gordon went to considerable trouble to arrange a talk given by a member of the Freewheelers about his association and the important work it does. Despite plenty of advance notice and Gordon having circulated many leaflets advertising the event, only a thirteen people (and two of them were women pressed into service!) bothered to turn up; even the pub dogs were absent on this occasion. I found having to apologise for this lamentable attendance to "Freewheeling Rob" who had ridden to us from Bideford to be an embarrassing experience - one which should have been wholly unnecessary.

The purpose of my comments should be obvious so I shall not labour the point; a word to the wise should be sufficient but as I have said on past occasions, the quality and frequency of club night diversions rests with the membership. It's up to you.

Nevertheless, we were able to make a useful donation to the Frewheelers' coffers and enjoyed an interesting introduction to their work.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Sad news

Many of you will, I'm sure, remember my cousin Merv who has been a great supporter of the Devon section since I came back to motorbikes and joined the Devon section some nearly 30 years ago, well sadly I must tell you that Merv lost his long fight against cancer last week and passed away aged 79. I have hung on to writing this post until I had the details of his funeral which I now have. It will be at 12.30 on Tuesday the 19th September at the Glyn valley crematorium in Bodmin. Flowers are restricted to family only with donations being invited for the Little Harbour childrens hospice. There is to be a bike parade following the hearse starting at a Slade house in Wadebridge at 11.00, I think Ian B knows where this is. Merv was a prolific picture taker and you may have seen or been given photos taken by him, usually at times of a breakdown!. In his riding days, he brought many riders with him from Cornwall to the Scrumpy run, the Exmoor run and many others. R I P Merv.