Reports of Section Runs and Meetings - 2009

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Charity Auction night, Christmas Dinner, Boxing Day run and the New Days run
The Charity auction night in November was the best yet with over 400 being raised - this figure was increased to 450 by a very kind donation. The money was forwarded to the Wales Air Ambulance, our charity for the year. The Christmas dinner took place on the 14th December with 70 people booking places. The whole evening went off quite successfully and most of the trophies were also presented, with Jim Codd travelling all the way from West Wales to collect his. The Boxing Day run to the Lamb and Flag at Wick took place with a good sized turnout, despite the weather, which turned out not to be as bad as first thought. Likewise the New Years Day run to the Green Dragon at Llancadle, which saw some nice sunshine.

Sunday 25th October 2009 - NACC run, 3rd Severn Vale Saunter
Our section fielded quite a few members for this run which started from the small vilage of Ham, near Berkeley Castle. Barry C(Suzuki FZ), Terry P(NSU Quickly), Glyn J(Suzuki), Jack M(Honda 50), Terry H(Yamaha Camino), Ray B(New Hudson), Bill P(New Hudson) and Alan W(Honda) - I think I've got that lot right and if not then apologies. The day was promised to be dry with patchy sunshine - oh, how the weather forecasters told porky pies on that score. When we arrived there was some glorious sunshine, despite the rain that we had left behind in South Wales. However, by the time that everyone had signed on and were ready to set off, the sky had blackened and it was drizzling. It remained like that for the rest of the event. A group of us set off following Barry on the Suzuki and headed for Sharpness docks. For the life of me I can't see why the event takes that route, as at the docks all we do is to follow a loop and then backtrack out of the area again.

On the approach to the docks loop there are two sets of railway lines that cross the road in a curve from left to right. To negotiate these, as any motorcyclist knows, it is essential to cross them at right angles so as not to get the bikes wheels caught in the tracks. Two years ago, on the first of these events Alan W was thrown off his bike by these lines. I didn't go to this event last year but was told that a lady was thrown off her bike also by these lines. This day a similar thing happened and it involved me. I was riding just behind and to the offside of Terry P on his Quickly and as we approached the railway lines we both slowed down and Terry turned right into the lines, which meant that I had to go right also - I crossed three ok and then found a car coming towards me and that I was now in the middle of the road, so I took the last railway line a bit too straight and I was on the floor in no time with the bike heading along the road on it's side. All a bit of a shock to the system, I must say - but as luck would have it, no-one got their camera out to record my ignominious slide down the road. Several of the lads collected the New Hudson and straightened the handlebars for me and after a few minutes I was ready to go again. My right hip was hurting a bit, but my over-trousers had taken the brunt of my slide, so I missed any possibility of gravel rash - but had some severe nappy rash. As we set off, we came across the first group heading back after riding the 'loop'. The bike seemed ok and only the right-hand pedal seemed bent.

However, as I rode, I noticed a distinct wiggle from the back wheel, just as though it was buckled. After a few miles there was a loud bang and the back tyre gave up the ghost, probably tweeked by that railway line and no doubt the tyre was the cause of the wiggle. Where were we? I had no idea, but was offered a lift back to the start to get my trailer. Ok, except I didn't have my trailer as I'd come over in Ray's van and Ray was with the other group. Glyn, who must have felt sorry for me, gave me the key to his van and one of the Bristol lads, Vince, offered to take me back to the start to collect Glyn's van so that I could recover the New Hudson. We pushed the bike into a nearby field for safety and I climbed on the back of the little Yamaha, which, although being a 50cc machine, did have a pillion. Thing was that Vince was not a small chap and I had to squeeze onto about six inches of pillion seat. Don't know about you, but I hate riding pillion and I did find it difficult to hang on. Terry said that we did look funny as we set off down the road - it looked like the bike was doing a wheely and that couldn't possibly have been the result of little sylph-like me being on the back, could it? We eventually arrived back at the start and Vince did say that he felt that the steering was rather light on our journey. Anyway, I had memorised the return route and after thanking Vince for the lift, collected Glyn's van and was soon back to collect the New Hudson. Must say that if things are going to go wrong - make a good job of it.

Barry C also had a bit of bother with his FZ as it ran out of sparks - or something, and refused to start at the coffee stop, I believe. At least the trip home was uneventful - and next year - it's someone elses turn to fall off on the railway lines - I guarantee it won't be me, as I'll stop at the entrance to the docks and wait for everyone to return from riding that loop again.

Sunday 27th September 2009 - Vale of Glamorgan Road Trial
The day dawned bright and shiny and we had a reasonably good entry at the start at the Caerphilly Garden Centre. The route meandered out into the Vale and after 41 miles the lunch stop was reached at the Horseshoe Inn at Marcross. There was a compulsory stop of 90 minutes before restarting for the ride back to the finish. The only problem that I heard of was that which Geoff Harris had with his Norton. A mere five miles from the finish and the nut came off the engine sprocket which then allowed the key to sheer - hence no forward motion. Not too many people spotted the two mistakes on the route sheets - one was specifyling a left turn to Penllyn 2 and should have read Penllyn 1/2. That sent quite a few off along the A48 looking for  the non-existing left turn. The other mistake was the phone number for the recovery - it was my old number that is now on the mobile that my 9 year old granddaughter has, luckily no one phoned it, I believe. From my point of view the whole event was marred a bit by those inconsiderate South Wales Section entrants who decided that they had had enough at the lunch stop and decided to go home without telling the organisers. That meant that the people manning the time checks just sat at the side of the road waiting for riders that had no intention of coming - shame on you lads - you spoilt the day. Thank goodness it was only our own section members who did this.

Wednesday 16th September 2009 - 6th Evening ride out
The sixth and last 2009 ride out took place - I didn't count the bikes but reckoned that we had a goodly number of over 25. We all met at the Three Horse Shoes Pub at Moulton and luckily enough the weather was kind to us. It was a lovely evening but must say that there was a chill in the air though - autumn is coming, for sure. Next thing is to decide if the whole idea of the evening rides is successful and should we do it again next year. If we do it next year are the six rides enough, or even too many? April to Sept inclusive? Do we look for different pubs? or just change one or two? All food for thought and needs to be decided by Dec so that we can put details in our calendar.

Wednesday 19th August - 5th Evening ride out
The fifth evening ride saw around 25 machines turn up at the White Lion in Ystradowen. The weather was good and we all owe a vote of thanks to our Chairman Bob J who booked and paid for a curry for us all. Many thanks Bob, I'd have had a second helping if I'd known. Seriously though it was very pleasant to be able to dine outside on such a balmy evening- not very often you can do that in this country. Jean and I took the Indian for a change, mainly as it's not too far to home from Ystradowen and I hadn't ridden in the dark on the lights of the bike before. The problem is that the battery is set to charge at 1 amp, ok for daylight running but as the lights take around 6amps there is a net 5 amps coming out of the battery. As it happened all was well and the battery coped well with the discharge on the way home and still seems to have a good charge in it.
Next, and final evening ride out is Wednesday 16th Sept at the Three Horse Shoes, Moulton. It's off the Barry end of the Five Mile Lane, just in case you're unsure. 7pm, see you there.

Friday 24th July to Sunday 26th July 2009 - The Dragon Tour
The ride up to Llandovery, produced a few heavy showers but all those that had entered were settled in and assembled for the evening meal. We were down on numbers this year and only had 65 entries, perhaps a sign of the times or is it that people have had enough of the event, one does wonder. Most of us had a very pleasant evening in the sixth form bar which had been re-furbished and was opened up just for our use.
Saturday promised to be better weatherwise and sure enough the sun appeared quite a bit. Bill Phelps's Triumph and sidecar was the first to fall foul of gremlins, about 15 miles out with a siezed gearbox and no clutch. It was a question of draging the bike up onto the recovery trailer as the gearbox really was locked solid with the split link for the final drive chain hiding up at the gearbox end so that the chain couldn't be removed to be able to wheel the outfit. The next failure was Bill Plenty's bike with a rear wheel puncture, so that bike was loaded into Ray's van, which was helping with the back-up. We now had a situation where the trailer was full and so was the van - a quick prayer was said that we didn't get any more breakdowns during the day.
The first coffee stop was at the Railway Inn in Llanpumpsaint where, just before the stop, we found that the road was closed. Luckily the detour was fairly easy to sort out. Onwards then to the lunch stop at the Gwbert Hotel on the Teifi estuary where we were all fed a more than adequate Ploughmans lunch. The afternoon run headed back towards Lampeter for a coffee stop at the Cwmanne Tavern before taking the mountain road to Ffarmers and then on back to the college for our evening meal, followed by another social evening in the sixth form bar.
Sunday dawned and it was sure raining this time and quite a few decided either not to go out on a bike or to go in thier cars. The mid morning coffee stop was at Erwood Station and a total of 28 out of 65 turned up. As it happened the weather didn't turn out too bad, which was good for the few who braved the elements. Back at the college, we had a Sunday lunch before saying our farewells and heading homewards.

Wednesday 22nd July 2009 - 4th Evening ride out
The weather, having been a bit off and on for several weeks seemed as if it would be ok for the fourth evening ride. 'Occasional showers' was what was forecast and the weather didn't disappoint, as Jean and I were in St Fagans at around 6pm when the heavens opened - things didn't look good for getting the bike out, I must say. My feelings are that I don't need to get a soaking if I can avoid it, anyway, as things turned out the clouds had gone by 6.30pm and the sun was shining with the promise of a nice evening. The meeting place was the Victoria Inn in Sigingstone and when we arrived on the Morini only Vince Chivers and his bike were there and he was begining to wonder if he had the wrong night. Soon, though, others began to arrive and in all some 14 members turned up. There were three bikes that I don't recollect having seen before, with Ray's new 50th edition Bonneville looking very nice.

Monday 13th July 2009 - BBQ evening

What a lousy night - weather wise, we sure did have a few downpours. Over 50 brave souls attended and it was nice to see that they all had hearty appetites. We had Paul St Mard and Pierre Gyselinck with us all the way from Belgium, seems that Jeans Chilli now has a world wide appeal. I'm sure that all of us wish to thank the girls for all their work, those doing the cooking as well as those washing up - jobs that need to be done.
photo of BBQ eveningphoto of BBQ evening

Wednesday 24th June 2009 - third evening ride out
What a super evening for riding a motorcycle. The venue chosen was the Griffin Inn at Gilfach Goch and some 25 members machines turned up along with three locals. We were made especially welcome by the pub staff. Some new bike pictures and members have been added to the Bike Park, which is building up nicely. All together a very successful summers evening ride.
photo of members

Monday 15th June 2009 - Bring a bike night
The weather was very kind to us as well over 30 bikes turned up for the annual 'Bring a bike Night'. Ken Hughes won the John Wells trophy with his Sunbeam S7, voted for by a members ballot, whilst Barry Cooper received the Chairmans choice award for his lovely Russian IZH.

Sunday 14th June - Official NACC run
Around a dozen or so members turned up at Cowbridge Common on a nice dry and sunny day for one of their runs around the Vale. Coffee stop was at the Llandow race circuit and after that a shorter run was made back to the starting point on the Downs. The only problem being Jack Madge's Suzuki FZ50 overheating on Primrose hill. All in all a very pleasant day.

Monday 1st June - The Fish and Chip run
Some 35 machines assembled at the Downs Cafe on Cowbridge common for the annual evening ride, which ends with a fish and chip supper. The weather was superb and everyone, following Dave Danielsen, made it back to the club where, Graham, the caterer produced a good meal of Fish and Chips. Terry Hopes has sent a few photos -

Wednesday 27th May - Second Evening ride out
Lousy weather again and that meant a shortage of machines. All we had were four bikes and several cars making a total of 12 members who made the effort to get to the Rose and Crown at Eglwysilan. Must say that it's not an easy place to find, unless you're in the know. The pub sure made us welcome and Bob J, Doug G and Jean and myself all sampled some of the food on offer. The next Wednesday evening ride out is on the 24th June, to the Griffin Inn(locally called The Bog) at Gilfach Goch. If you don't know where it is, just ask.

Sunday 24th May - The Seaside Run
Having had to move this event from it's traditional date of the 3rd weekend, we were blessed with some of the best weather so far this year. On the closing date for entries we had only 64 entrants which was rather disappointing - but the fine weather brought out a few more and by the time that the first machine was away we had received 84 entries. This year the start was from a new venue, The Oystercatcher on Penarth Marina. Our usual start/finish venue of The Barons Court had, yet again, changed hands and the managment declined to host our event, however, the Oystercatcher came to the rescue. First machine was away at 10.30am and headed along the Marina towards the Barrage before turning uphill into Penarth and then following the usual route along the promenade and on to a circular tour of Barry Island before eventually reaching the coffee stop at Nash Point. From there the route took us on to Porthcawl, with the exception of Doug Hughes, whose Velocette decided to have an attack of electrical gremlins, whereupon Doug chose to use his own recovery to take the errant Velo straight back home, rather than be picked up by the recovery van in the capable hands of John Ellis. Many of the entrants took a sunday lunch at the Seabank Hotel in Porthcawl before setting off for the afternoon run back to the Oystercatcher. There was one route on the route card and some followed it whilst others made their own way back. It was reported that there was another breakdown out in the midst of Glamorgan - it was, of course, another Velocette, this one piloted by our very own Rob Jones. He managed to make it back to the finish after discovering that there was no points gap on the engines spark plug, due no doubt to a 3/4 inch reach plug being fitted where a 1/2 inch reach plug should have been. Carol Jayne kindly agreed to present the trophies before everyone departed, after having had a good day. Many thanks to Geoff Harris for the organising, Carol for handing out the trophies, John Ellis for being there to pick up broken down Velocettes and , of course, The Oystercatcher, for having us there:
Best Vintage motorcycle - Bob Hill, 1929 Scott
Best Post Vintage Motorcycle - Terry Hopes, 1931 Ariel
Best Lady - Debbie Davies, 1982 Honda
Best Non-European motorcycle - Kevin Jones, 1972 Suzuki
Best Threewheeler - Jonathan Apsee, 1984 Pembleton
Best pre-war car - Richard Thomas, 1934 MG PA
Entrants choice of car - Richard Thomas, 1934 MG PA
Entrants choice of motorcycle - Bill Phelps, 1925 Indian

Thanks to Terry Hopes for the following pictures of the day.

Wednesday 29th April - the first Wednesday evening ride out
I counted 24 bikes that turned up at the Three Golden Cups in Southerndown despite the weather looking destinctly lousy. The day had been marvellous but rain was promised for the evening and the forecasters were right. I decided to give the Morini a run and we had a dry ride to Southerndown. When I turned into the pub car park at about 7.45 some ten bikes were already there with everyone standing outside for some reason or other, as more and more machines arrived. Pretty soon some were leaving for home as the rain started to come down quite heavily. However, some of us decided to retire to the bar and had a good evening. It was 10pm before we left and by that time the rain had eased making the ride home just a little damp. All in all, a good evening, I think. Here's looking forward to the next evening ride in May - venue is the Rose and Crown at Eglwysilan on the 27th.

Sunday 19th April - The 3rd Vale of Glamorgan Cyclemotor and low powered machines run
For the third year the section held an event for the tiddlers. 14 riders, including 3 non-members turned up at Cowbridge common for the 10.30 start. The weather was glorious for the whole of the day and it's pleasing to say that of all the 14 who started, no one had any serious trouble and all 14 finished. Ray B led the 'pack' off on a circular route of about 45 miles. A stop was made for refreshments at the Llandow Karting Centre, where a race meeting was well underway, before heading south towards the coast and then circling back to the start venue. Hondas seemed to be the most prevalent machine in use, together with a brace of Puch Maxis an NSU Quickly and a shaftdrive Yamaha townmate. There was also a nicely restored D1 Bantam and a very nice and original 1955 New Hudson Autocycle. All together an excellent day.

Sunday 12th April - The Phillipa Wheeler run from Abergavenny - reported by Terry Hopes
The Phillipa Wheeler run was held on Sunday 12th April. A pleasant twenty five mile run for the little ones, around the Black Mountain foothills starting from Abergavenny. A couple of interesting little hills which hardly endeared themselves to a couple of members running single speed mopeds. A pleasant run in glorious countryside and fine weather. Section members entered include George Egan, Barry Cooksley,Glyn Jones, Stewart Botterfield, soon to become a member Ken Griffiths, and myself. A couple of minor adjustment to the the ignition system of my Ariel Pixie were the only incidents of note.

Sunday 1st March - St Davids Day run
There was a very good turnout of machines for this, the first run of 2009. I counted over 20 machines of all shapes and sizes. Gordon Suddery was out on his sons Honda PC50, whilst we also had the pleasure of the company of two members from the Bristol area. One other person that we don't normally see out on a bike was Emile Materne from Brussels. Ok, it is a long way to come for a ride, but as Emile was over for the weekend and he was a small capacity machine enthusiast it seemed only appropriate that he should have a ride on something, so he was loaned the Italian Testi Champion that is owned by Bill Phelps. Will Moore was the only one out on a 'real' autocycle - a 1939 Excelsior Autobike, fitted with a two-speed Goblin engine. Unfortunately the Excelsior was the only machine not to make it around the course.