'twas the night before Christmas at the motorcycle store.
Thursday, 24 December 2020
Tuesday, 6 October 2020
The Section now has a new Chairman. Gordon has taken over as acting Chairman after Dermot's resignation.
This will last until we are able to hold the next AGM. At which time the positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer all become vacant. In the event that we are unable to fill these posts the Section will close.
I am sure that you would all like to thank Dermot for the good work he has done on your behalf as Chairman.
Saturday, 3 October 2020
After managing a Run in August and September we now find ourselves having to comply with the Governments rule of six. This means that we cannot proceed with the planned Runs for October and November since we have no idea how many will attend. Pub lunches are also difficult or impossible to arrange and a picnic in October and November is an unlikely prospect. 😢
There is however, no reason stop small groups of members arranging their own runs provided they number less than six. 😊 Such runs will not come under the VMCC banner but that is not important.
Should the situation change, which I doubt will happen, new information will be posted here.
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Whilst Steve and I rode to the start of this event in great weather, I could not go further due to a recent back injury, so Ian has supplied this write up of his run :
We had an attendance of 9 potential riders but thereon it became that of a diminishing numbers ride. Two retuned home at the start (sorry for you Gordon), one decided not to follow the planned route, another broke down, another got fed up waiting for the back marker (Chris). After 40 minutes wait we then lost Chris, went back to look for him but no luck. The remaining three proceeded to the intended lunch stop and met up with Chris. The four of us then continued but another went home on the way back to the finish at Torrington, where the remaining three of us enjoyed a well deserved ice cream and then dispersed for home. After all this it was a lovely ride backed up with brilliant sunshine.
This ride may well be the last this year due to the new regulations which came in to play the next day, the committee will hopefully meet and sort out a programme for next year which will see us back to something like normal, watch this space.
Tuesday, 8 September 2020
According to my phone the weather is set fair for next Sundays 'End of Summer Run'.
Ian has sent me the proposed route, which as previously published, will now start at Widdon Down Service Station. The route will be similar to last years and finish at Torrington Common. Total distance about 66 miles.
There will be no Pub lunch-stop so you will need to bring a packed lunch.
Covid-19 has not gone away so please observe social distancing rules and bring a face mask.
Friday, 28 August 2020
After much discussion, cancellation and the like, an opportunity for an evening run appeared to be clear on the Wednesday 26th, so Chris put a note on this blog and we all did some ringing around which resulted in 8 of us arriving at the Kings Arms in Winkleigh for the meet.
I must admit that the opportunity for a ride out after the Covid troubles and the weather was very much enjoyed by myself and the other members who ventured out, Dermot took full advantage so that he arrived after a magical mystery tour of Devon!.
Naturally whilst some care was taken by our riders, I must say that the remainder of people visiting the pub seemed quite laid back about the social distancing, the pub was quite crowded and judging by the number of people entering whilst we were outside must have pretty well filled the pub.
All the worlds important matters were discussed at the table and it turned out we all pretty much had the same views so why can't the powers that be see this?, ah well at least we got it all off our chests!.
Keep an eye on the blog folks, but at the time of going to the press, the run on the 13th September is on, meet at the services Whiddon Down services usual time.
Monday, 24 August 2020
Between them, the weather and covid-19 have played havoc with all our planned events for this year. However seems to be a chance of an evening meet this Wednesday the 26th.
If the weather permits, and that is for you to decide, then we will meet at the Kings Arms, Winkleigh.
As the nights are now drawing in, and some of our lights and eyes are not what they used to be, aim to arrive between 6.30 and 7.00pm.
I hope to see you there.
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
When I wrote the notes for publication in the September issue of the Cub magazine we had no-one to lead this run. I am delighted to be able to tell you that Ian has kindly stepped forward to plan and lead it.
As we do not know if we can use Kirsty's Kitchen in N Tawon, the run will start instead from the Widdon Down Services.
Ian will send me details nearer the date which I will publish them hear.
This Evening meet was scheduled to be ate the Red Lion Chulmleigh. We feel that this venue is not very suitable as there is poor outside seating. We therefor, change this venue to The Kings Arms, at Winkleigh where they have some picnic tables in a small garden.
Five of us made it to the start of the Summer Run at Affinity Bideford. John, who has recently moved to the district came to say hello and to see us off which was good of him.
Our route took us through Barnstaple which was not as busy as I expected and once we got on the Lynton road we had a clear run through to Kentisbury Ford where we turned off to Coombe Martin.
We stopped for lunch in one of the little lay-by's overlooking the sea and had a good natter and generally put the world to rights.
After lunch we went on via Blackmoor Gate to Aller cross where the run finished.
Friday, 7 August 2020
Hi Folks. This morning I went over the route of Sundays proposed Run. I thought that I had chosen a fairly quiet route avoiding to much traffic unfortunately the place is heaving with 'WDTABOH'ses. But we cant do anything about that so the Run is on. Bring a packed lunch as we will not be going inside. I have been online reading the latest recommendations from the VMCC and the Police etc. If we were to strictly adhere to these we would all stay home. To show willing however please bring a mask and hand sanitiser and observe social distancing.
The run starts at Atlantic Village and the via Barnstaple to Coombe Martin where we pick up the old Scrumpy Run route up Buzzacott Lane. We will stop for lunch in one of the car parks overlooking the sea.
After lunch we will go to Blackmoor Gate and finish at Aller Cross.
See You Sunday for 11.00am start
Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Saturday, 18 July 2020
Saturday, 20 June 2020
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
On the way back, my bike started to misfire and Chris' speedo packed up!, ah the trials of classic motorbikes, oh well back to the garage.
|lonely at first|
|then along comes a friend|
Saturday, 23 May 2020
Published in 1954 and costing five shillings the book is full of useful advice on a a range of motorcycling topics from buying a bike to foreign touring.
I have picked out a few of the snippets of from a bygone age.
From Personal Kit.
On taking money abroad
And on Petrol prices in Europe
Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Monday, 11 May 2020
Friday, 8 May 2020
Sunday, 3 May 2020
This is a copy of an article that I wrote for the VMCC detailing a trip to Finland that I made in 2000.
Finland had always been one of the countries that I had wanted to visit so when I saw the advert for the Veti Ralli in the club magazine I made some plans. A call to a member in Finland for more details and advice helped with the planning.
From a choice of routes I chose the ferry from Harwich to Hamburg then ride north to Copenhagen, over the Oresund bridge to Sweden, up to the Aland Islands and island hop across to Finland and north to the Rally site at Tampere.
Telephone calls to various Tourist offices produced camp site lists and a Swedish camping card was bought to cover camp site insurance. From large scale maps overnight stops were planned and a route avoiding motorways where possible chosen.
When departure day came in June the weather was fine and sunny. With an early start I was onto the A303 before there was much traffic about. Apart from the M25 the ride to Harwich was quite pleasant with no need to rush.
The 4 am sailing docks in Hamburg at 9 am. This was the bit that most worried me but a German motorcyclist kindly offered to lead through the city to the road running north. There was a long queue of cars waiting for the ferry at Puttgarten for the crossing to Denmark but motorcycles go right to front and are let straight on. The ferry takes about Fifty minutes and after travelling about twenty miles further I stopped for the night.
Avoiding motorways where possible I set out the next day for Copenhagen and the Oresund bridge to Malmo in Sweden. This bridge is the longest in Europe. The approach is via a 4km tunnel to an artificial island then up onto the bridge which is 8km in length and looks like the new Severn crossing at Bristol. The rest area on the Swedish side offers the usual services apart from petrol and a bank so a trip into Malmo was required.
The day was warm, sunny and the traffic light, and I reached the planned overnight stop early so kept on going. About 30kmfrom Vaxjo heavy rain set in making riding uncomfortable for a time but it cleared as I got to the site.
The next say started sunny again for the next leg to Katrineholm. A lot of the main roads in Sweden consist of a single lane with a hard shoulder on the right-hand side, the rule is that you drive in the left-hand lane and move onto the hard shoulder if something needs to pass you. As there is so little traffic this seams to work quite well. After lunch it began to rain, persistent, heavy, cold and very wet which began to seep in everywhere. At the camp site they thankfully had a cabin free, the first in three weeks apparently. It was not cheap as it slept four, but it was heated, had a cooker and fridge and the bed linen was provided. The site did have a restaurant which only served a sort of meatball stew as the main meal, a phenomenon I seemed to encounter everywhere I went. I phoned home in the evening and my wife told me that the television
news had shown pictures of flooding in central Sweden due to the heavy rain.
After lunch in the ships restaurant, meatballs again, I sat on deck in the sun as we passed though the Aland archipelago. The Alands comprise approximately 6000 islands, most of which are small rocky outcrops sporting a few stunted conifer trees. I met a group of Norwegian riders who advised me that the camp site in Mariehamn was a good one, which indeed it is. The facilities are excellent, even extending to under-floor heating in the shower block. I spent two very wet days there before riding to Hummelvik to board the ferry for the island of Brando. The Voyage takes two and a half hours and costs £2 for the bike, passengers go free.
Brando consists of more than one thousand small islands scattered around ten larger ones. Almost
all the islands are just above sea level and connected by causeways and low bridges, some of wooden construction. Most of the roads are just earth with, in places a scattering of chippings. It's a beautiful place and I would have liked to have stayed longer.
At Brando Stugby (stugby means camp site with cabins to rent) the camping field was empty because it was a sea of mud. Inquiring at reception I was told that all of the cabins had been taken but that they had some vacancies at some new cabins further along the road. The cabins were indeed new, not yet having electricity or water connected but the location was marvelous, picturesque views over a rocky inlet towards the setting sun.
Another ferry ride the following morning took me to the Finish mainland where I was relieved to find petrol, but disappointed to find that the weather had turned much colder. With a full tank and dressed more suitably I set off through increasing traffic to the Ralli site at Tampere.
The annual Veti Ralli is run by the Veteraanimootoripyoraklubi, and takes place each year in July at Camping Harmala which is close to the centre of Tampere. The site is ideal for such a gathering with spacious tenting areas and cabins for those requiring a bit more comfort.
On Saturday afternoon went for a sauna in groups of about forty crammed into one very hot steamy room. Here I learned that by mixing beer with the water to be heated on the stones creates a very relaxing atmosphere. As and when we felt ready, singly or in groups we left the steam and walked down to the lake to swim, ignoring the public promenading near by. There were some interesting old bikes at the Rally many of which were flat tankers, some with skis fitted like stabilizers. Some of the BMW's like mine had red and white badges instead of blue and white. One owner told me that this was because they were made in the old East Germany.
After the Rally I stayed for a couple of says with some friends I new from the VMCC near Helsinki. Then it was time to head home back the way I had come. On reaching Sweden it started to rain again. To save time I rode to Stockholm and took the motorway south to Denmark, five hundred miles of the most boring road I have ever seen. There was very little traffic with nothing to look at but fir trees on either side of the road, with the occasional service station. I passed one man driving a van who was reading a magazine at the same time.
From Sweden I took the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsinger in Denmark just to try a different route. The traffic was heavy around Copenhagen but the sun came out and after camping near Koge I rode on the next day in sunshine to Travemunde in Germany where I stayed for four nights and visited the beautiful city of Lubeck.
Back in Hamburg in torrential rain I got lost. I had just stopped to find a dry place to read the map, when a young chap on a motorbike stopped to see if I was OK. He invited me up to his flat where he made out a list of the streets I needed to follow to get me back to the ferry. He spoke very little English but his help saved me a lot of trouble and I boarded my fourteenth ferry back to England.
Thanks Dermot, now it occurs to me that we do not make enough use of this medium at this time so if antone wishes to have a story published here why not E mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if suitable I could publish, it would be a way to keep in touch until we all ride again.