Reports of Section Runs and Meetings - 2010

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Monday 11th January 2010 - The AGM
We did schedule a committee meeting prior to the AGM but that had to be cancelled due to the weather and it was hoped for a reasonable turnout at the AGM. We were down on numbers a bit, no doubt due to the snow and the fact that it was the AGM, which is always notorious for having bad attendances. Reports gave a favourable position for the section and all the current officers were re-elected, so the committee is still : Chairman - Bob James, Secretary - Brian Morris, Treasurer - Bill Phelps, Scribe - Bob James, Deputy Chairman - Dave Danielsen, plus Ray Butcher, Geoff Harris and George Egan.

It was announced that there is to be a weekend of motorcycling in May - Friday evening the 21st will see a 'Presidential' dinner take place at the Farmers Arms in Aberthin. Then, Saturday 22nd will see a 'Presidential' run take place, starting from Arthur John's car park in Cowbridge. Finally, on Sunday 23rd, the Seaside run will take place from the Oystercatcher. The whole idea is to celebrate the fact that, for the first time, one of our section members will be the VMCC President. A first for the section and a first for Wales. So, make a note in your diary of these dates and join in as it will be a good weekend - perhaps the formula for our Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2011.

The AGM also decided that there are to be some changes to the runs calendar, mainly the removal of the venues for the Wednesday evening rides. The venues for these dates will be decided nearer the time, so watch this space. The other change to the runs calendar is the change of date for the Spring run, this has been brought forward to the 28th March to leave the 11th April free for those that wish to go to the VMCC AGM at the National Motorcycle Museum.

Sunday 28th March 2010 - The Spring Run
I didn't manage to make this event but understand that it was very successful with 16 bikes turing out for the day.

Sunday 11th April 2010 - The VMCC AGM and our coach trip
Things didn't get off to a good start due to the venue for the coach pick up being changed. We had 25 booked to travel on the bus but two were unable to make it due to illness or family commitments. Two others who also didn't show may well not have had the notification of the venue change - sincere apologies, if that was the case. There were five other members who made their way to the NMM under their own steam. So in all, the Section provided an excellent turnout for the day. We all had a chance to visit the Museum before attending the VMCC AGM where I was inaugurated as the club President.The coach then left the museum at 4pm and made good time on the homeward trip - a good day out, for sure. Apologies for most of the photos being of Veteran or Vintage machines. If you have any others I'll willingly add them.

Wednesday 28th April - first Wednesday evening ride out
The venue for this run was the Three Golden Cups at Southerndown and throughout the evening I counted 26 bikes in attendance. Must say that the evening weather started off with some nice sunshine but by the time we reached Southerndown the sun had gone and the sky was looking rather gray. Being one of the last to leave, it was noticeable as to how cold it had gone. Still a touch of winter about, despite all the flowers. Next evening ride out is to the Victoria Inn at Sigingstone on Wednesday 26th at 7pm.

Saturday 8th May - Rock and Roll night at the Llanharry club
This evening was organised in response to those who voted for it back at the AGM and I must say that it went off very well and was a good night. We had a turnout of 25 from the section, which sounds good but wasn't really as there were only eight members present and all the others were family that had been brought along. Those who put their hands up at the AGM for such an evening to be organised were, shall I put it nicely, very thin on the ground - you can, of course imagine the reaction from the committee if the subject is ever raised again.

Saturday 15th May to Saturday 22nd May - Weymouth Week
The section members who attended this week long club event were Terry and Dilys, Bruce and Di plus Jean and Myself. The Sunday event was the Weymouth run and was a touch damp, to say the least, but that was all we saw of bad weather. Mondays run went to the Haynes Museum near Yeovil - Tuesday, I had to go to Mallory Park as the President was expected to be there for the Memorial service for Titch Allen, whilst Terry and Bruce had another lovely days ride. Wednesday saw the route travel along the coast to Sidmouth where a seagull managed to catch the tank of Bruce's Honda, splattering his jacket in the process with you know what. Sidmouth is certainly a place for seagull droppings, I must say. Thursday the route headed for Shaftesbury where Jean and I said our goodbyes and headed back to camp to load the trailer and head home to be ready for 'our' weekend. Terry stayed on until Friday morning before heading back and Bruce returned on the Saturday, just in time for our Seaside Run on the Sunday. It was an excellent weeks motorcyclingand I'd go again, for sure.

Friday evening 21st May - Presidential dinner
What a super evening this was - 49 people all packed into the Farmers Arms for a dinner. We had Jim and Joyce Codd from West Wales and Paul St Mard from Brussels with us. The evening was to celebrate the fact that the section now had a VMCC President amongst it's members. Jean was presented with a superb bouquet of flowers and I was presented with an engraved plate - something that will be cherished, I can tell you.

Saturday 22nd May - The Presidents run
The weather turned out to be glorious as everyone who was riding assembled outside the premises of Llandow Classics. Bacon rolls and coffee were available for those who hadn't eaten enough from the night before. Everyone set off by 10am and rode in line through Cowbridge as there were quite a number of photographers there taking pictures for the local newspapers. Out into the country and through Caerphilly to Newport everyone went, then a few managed to get lost. However, everyone knew where the lunch stop was and most managed to get to the Old Pandy Inn on the Abergavenny to Hereford road. The ride was something like 73 miles to this point. The afternoon run was a fair bit shorter at just over 40 miles back to Nantgarw where the ride dispersed. The only problem was John Davies' Triumph, which had battery problems but managed to get home under it's own steam. Everyone should have had a finishers award - if you haven't received yours ask Ray or Bill at the next meeting.

Gem Newspaper report  on the Presidents weekend

Sunday 23rd May - The Seaside run
The Seaside run was the culmination of our big weekend and the weather was glorious. We had well over 70 entries and, no doubt due to the fine weather, another 30 odd that turned up on the day. That took our total entry list to well up over the 100 mark - a record for recent years and a very pleasing sign. The Oystercatcher in Penarth was the start and finish and couldn't have been bettered. The run took the usual route via Penarth sea front and then Barry to Nash point for a coffee stop. From there the route followed the coast with lunch being taken at the Seabank Hotel in Porthcawl. The route then travelled back inland to the Oystercatcher and the finish and presentation of awards by the Penarth town Mayor. All in all a fabulous finish to a memorable weekend and hopefully just a trial run for a similar event in 2011 when the Section celebrates it's 50th anniversary.

Wednesday 26th May.
Evening ride to the Victoria Inn. I'm told that we had a good turn out of over 20 bikes.

Sunday 20th June - The Banbury run
The weather promised a glorious day and so it turned out. I was on the road at 7am after collecting Stewart B, as Jean had decided to have a weekend at home as there wouldn't be another one for her for some time. We reached Gaydon by 9.15am and my VIP pass got us through the first wave of officials until we were stopped by a jobsworth and told to park back behind the main visitors parking. Being as nice as possible I eventually argued my way through and was able to park the car not far from the start line. I was introduced to the Mayor of Banbury and we took up our position on the start line. There were 600 machines to flag away - 5 at a time every minute - that's 2 hours. Funny thing but the time did not seem to drag at all and as the Mayor was reluctant to give up the flag I spent some time taking photos. By the time the last bike was away at 12 noon I had to find a seat to rest my legs a bit. I spoke to many people who all seemed to know me and, in most cases, I'm ashamed to say, I had no idea who they were. The Welsh contingent were Terry H and Terry P from our end - Mary and Huw Adams, Jim Codd and Les Thomas and Shirley from West Wales. 4 pm soon came round and I made my way to the main conference hall for the prize giving. I was introduced to the 400 or so in the hall and made a rather nervous speech. That was soon over and Harry Wiles the Clerk of the course read out the award winners whilst Helen 'fed' me the trophies for presentation. There were quite a few foreign entrants as well as 16 who had all shipped their bikes over from Australia and took home a fair number of the awards. It was a shame that both Terry's weren't there to receive their medals for good timkeeping - Terry H a Gold and Terry P a silver. I saw a few other members of our section - not as many as there have been in the past - but it's always nice to see section members at the VMCC's premier event. All in all a great day.

Sunday 11th July - Follow the Velo run - report by Rob J
After last yearís run, on which I rode a Honda (and took at lot of stick from friends in both the VMCC and the Wye Valley VOC), I was determined to make sure that this year I would be on a Velo. I had purchased a spring frame MAC in December so now had a choice of three Velos to lead the run. However, with one week to go before the start not one of them was working. The í63 Venom had holed a piston in early May, the day before I was due to ride it to the Thundersprint (last year it split the fuel tank). The í53 rigid MAC was pouring petrol out of the carb and the í59 MAC, after playing up on a Wye Valley run to meet the Dorking Centre at Craven Arms, was waiting for a new magneto.

Talk about proper planning or cutting it fine, the mag arrived at my school on the Wednesday and was fitted two days before the Follow the Velo Run. I picked up the bike from my friend, Peter Hunter, and went straight to the petrol station and filled the tank. Unfortunately, when I got home, there was a significant oil leak from the bottom of the timing side. So on the Saturday morning the 276 carb was taken off the rigid MAC and the needle in the remote float chamber was lapped in and reseated. After two attempts the petrol leak was cured and my old favourite would lead the run on the Sunday.

The weather on Sunday was bright and sunny and there were thirteen bikes at the start in Nelson, Mid Glamorgan. These included three Velos - me on the MAC, Graham Plenty on the Viper and Dave Danielsen on the MSS. John Davies was on his newly refurbished AJS, Geoff was on a Triton, Terry on the Guzzi and Howard and Carol on the 400/4. Others included Brian, Paul, Barry, and John and Martin, two friends of Howard. For a change this year our route was using mostly A or very good B roads We took the old main road to Merthyr then over to Hirwaun before running down the Neath valley on roads well away from the dual carriageway and so free from traffic. It is surprising how pretty some of these roads are with the sun streaming through the leaves of the trees at the roadside. It was great running the rigid through some lovely sweeping bends, after Resolven, and seeing the others following behind. Surprisingly the roads were in good condition and the lack of pot holes meant that I kept my rear on the saddle. Climbing from Neath, we crested the mountain and swooped down to Pontrhydyfen and the Afon Valley. There had been some strange noises from my bike and on a few occasions a definite lack of power. Other times it pulled like a train and outpaced Johnís AJS 350 which was following directly behind. I thought it may have been muck in the carb and gave it a few handfuls of throttle in the hope of clearing it.

Lunch was in the Refreshment Rooms of the Old Station in Cymmer. The bikes were parked below the platform on what was originally the track. Everyone arrived safe and sound. The variety of bikes - Velos, AJS, Triton, Enfield, Guzzi, BMW and Hondas - sparked off quite a few conversations with the other lunch time guests. After being well fed and watered the group headed up the valley to the Bwlch. This section of road, leading to the junction above the Rhondda, gives the bikes a chance to speed up around the sweeping bends and enjoy views which range from seeing the Brecon Beacons in the north, to the Bristol Channel in the south, and the streets of the upper Rhondda Valley. The weather being fine made the views that much better. I could even make out our destination on the coast at Porthcawl. At the Bwlch there is a view point with an ice cream van. The thirteen bikes made quite a scene when we pulled up at the junction. Pulling away the engine sound from the MAC even impressed the sheep. Well they did run away! From the Bwlch there is a steep descent involving a few sharp bends. It was a quite a sight when, coming round a hairpin bend, I could see the rest of the bikes strung out on the straight road high above and behind me. The sound of various engine notes echoing off the mountain side was also impressive.

On reaching the flat road on the valley floor the MAC started to pop and splutter, and with a sudden loss of power ground to a halt. Never mind; with 12 other riders thereíll be plenty of offers of help, I thought. Dave Danielsen pulled in front on his MSS. He stopped the bike, took off his helmet and with some dry humour pointed across the road and suggested we leave the MAC there and give it a decent burial. Fancy conking out opposite the gates of the local cemetery!! Take out the plug and lets have a look was the consensus. Out with the tools, and on taking the plug out I found it was black. The bike was running far too rich. In with a spare plug and it fired up first kick. This surprised everyone, especially John Davies on the AJS, and gave me a huge smile. With a clean plug it was running better and we soon made up time.

On through some lovely tree lined back roads with very little traffic, we skirted Bridgend and headed to Pyle. On this high ridge of road we could see the coast, to our left, and, to the right, the mountains we had recently been on. (This is part of the Seaside Run but ridden in the opposite direction.) Leaving the town we did experience one hiccup when a group of 5 riders missed a turn and headed off through a housing estate. I chased off after them and soon rounded them up. I must get a louder horn, though, as most of the lost group could not hear the tiny beep beep, but they noticed the sound of the 350 being revved up along side them. At least this year I had covered a greater distance before losing anyone!
All back together again we set off through the sand dunes and past the Porthcawl Golf Club. Turning towards Rest Bay we were on the front with the sea glistening away to our right. Finding space on the Esplanade we parked up, bought a well deserved ice cream (blackberry and clotted cream and delicious) and finished by sitting on a bench chatting in the sunshine.

Follow the Velo Run completed in great company on my faithful old rigid Mac. What could be better? Now for next year itís back to normal. Iím looking for some lanes on top of mountains.

P.S. I got home safely although the bike did cough and splutter a bit. It may even have been eight stroking at low speed. The plug was blackened and although the fuel leak at the float chamber had been cured I had used two gallons to cover the 95 mile from home to the end of the run.
P.P.S. Iíve taken the needle out of the float chamber and fitted it in the lower groove, added a new plug and the bike is running much better.

Rob Jones photos, supplied by daughter Bethan for the cost of a free Sunday lunch.

Sunday 20th July - Founders day
A few photos from Terry H of things seen at Founders day

The Dragon Tour - 30th July/1st August
Article and photos from Barry C with some more pictures from Pierre G. Thanks Lads, much appreciated.

Once more the hallowed halls of Llandovery College rang to the sounds of motorcycles old and very old. It was time for our premier event of the year "The Dragon Tour". There were 50 plus entrants with visitors outnumbering our own section members which I found rather odd. However we were all looking forward to a weekend of motorcycling. After Breakfast on Saturday it was time to roll.
We travelled the back roads to Builth Wells on our way to Hundred House for the morning coffee stop, then onward through beautiful mid Wales to the Welsh borders to Montgomery.
The Cottage Inn (now under new management) being our venue for lunch. The new owner, of Asian extraction, was over the moon with our visit describing the scene in his car park a like a "Moving Museum", wonderful terminology. However, the time came to leave and make our way back to Llandovery for the evening meal and a pint in the re-vamped college bar.
The Sunday run set off in the direction of Llangadog, then on to B class roads where a lot of care was needed with loads of debris about. We circled around to Defynnog and stopped at the Old School House for coffee.
The locals were out in force to look at the bikes and threewheelers, which I think adds to the occasion. Alas, time to leave and make our way back for lunch and farewells at Llandovery.Thanks to the people who made it happen, Rob for the coats and a special one for Josie who always seems to be there for us. Lastly, the big man himself for a nice dry weekend.