Reports of Section Runs and Meetings for 2014

New way to view the photos using a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

12th/13th April - Cheddar weekend
Terry H, Rob J, Bruce and Di, Howard and Carol, plus Jean and myself all entered the Somerset Sections Cheddar weekend. The event started on the Saturday with a social run of some 36.5 miles in the morning and 22.5 in the afternoon, with a lunch stop at Oakham Treasures, which is a collection of just about everything that you could think of. Bruce found that his Honda had a slow rear wheel puncture, so decided to use his 1943 3HW Triumph instead. The morning run did not go too well as there were a few mistakes on the route sheet, which had us well and truly lost in the Mendip hills - then my Indian decided to shake an engine mount loose, which resulted in the rear exhaust coming adrift. With a bit of spannering we were soon back on the road and eventually arrived at the lunch stop. We decided to skip the afternoon route and straight lined it back to Cheddar. The evening 'do' was a get together and a buffet, which was pretty good. Sunday dawned and everyone collected at the Cheddar football club ground for the 10.30am start. There were a few errors on the route sheet, but this time we were able to work them out. Then came the special tests and Bruce had a go, whilst Terry and myself didn't bother, likewise Howard in the Lomax. After a coffee stop we headed back to Cheddar, with Bruce cutting out the return route and returning direct to Cheddar. We were then all given a super Sunday lunch before loading up the bikes and heading home. A great weekend with good weather and good company, put it in your diaries for next year.

If you're interested, the results of the trial are here

10th April - Morgan Factory visit
We had 41 people for 40 places, wishing to go on this factory visit, however one dropped out so our numbers came good and everyone was able to join in. The group started at Treforest at 09.30 and headed to Abergavenny to meet up with the contingent from the Gwent Section. Les Nicholas suffered some gremlins with his 1959 Dominator, but the problem was soon sorted at the factory as we waited for our tour to start at 2pm. We were split into two groups and the tour took 2 hours. It was a great day out - many thanks to John F for pulling it all together.

23rd March - Spring Run
The weather for the Spring run turned out to be cold but nice and sunny at the start, but was followed by hailstones etc. once out on the road. Members assembled at the Treforest Multiplex for the 10.30am start and at the off managed to split into two groups. Everyone re-grouped at Abergavenny before continuing. The run was a bit of a mystery, but ably organised by Bob J with lunch being taken in Builth Wells before returning home via Brecon.  From the photographs, I counted 11 riders. Thanks to John F for the pictures.

4th May - Relay Rally
A small group from our section decided to take part in the Relay Rally and visited Tintern, Abergavenny and Llandovery. The weather held out ok, unlike the battery on Rob J's Honda 400/4, which decided to stop charging. John F used Howard's Lomax at Llandovery to give the battery a boost, which enabled Rob to just about get home. Thanks to John F for the photos.

11th May - South West Coast Run
Usually a number of our members make the trip over the bridge and as Jean and I in our van, with the Indian aboard, approached Coryton we tagged on to the Lomax, being driven by Howard, on his own, and wearing a helmet and dark glasses - sure looked the part. Next in the convoy came John F in his car, with Carol having a dry ride in the passenger seat, and the C15 on a trailer behind. They were being followed by Rob J, Honda 400 mounted and Brian Morris avec BMW. The weather was lousy and Terry had already texted to say he was going to give the event a miss. Looking at the weather, I couldn't fault his decision. However by the time we got to Failand and the start, the weather was looking up and it was not raining, although still quite a bit cloudy. Some start pictures:

We all set off, with Jean and I on the short route, whilst the rest headed off on the long route. Barry C, John Burns and Terry H were the ones missing from our contingent, no doubt due to the lousy weather at the start of the day. Luckily things got a lot better and by the time we reached Portishead the sun was peeping through quite nicely.

Portishead coffee stop

From Portishead we rode the coast road to Clevedon and a pub lunch in the Little Hart Inn. As Jean and I pulled into the car park, the others arrived.

Then it was a case of heading back to the finish, where Howard, who was entered in the programme as Jayne Howard, had to collect the award for Best Threewheeler. So as not to confuse the issue Carol went up to collect the award.

9th June - Banbury run
Although not one of our section events 'The Banbury' is the premier event for the VMCC. This year I was riding my 1908 Triumph solo, as Jean had decided that the sidecar was just too much for me to manage(keep it quiet though, as I've not quite finished with it as a single gear outfit just yet). Terry H was on his side valve Beardmore, Geoff H was on a borrowed 1928 BSA and rode with Kevin Gilbert on his 1928 BSA. I must say that I found it a bit of a problem this year with the van being parked so far away from the start area, but Gaydon is spread over quite a large site. Weather wise, the day was glorious and it was a real pleasure to ride the route - although I was limited to a 15mph schedule which was a tad too slow for my liking. Ken B, whilst not riding, had his Brough on show with the Brough owners club display. If you didn't make the event, put it on your calendar for next year as it's a spectacle worth seeing and a real mobile museum of all sorts of weird and wonderful pre-1931 machines that you will never have seen or heard of before.

22nd June - Seaside run
What a glorious day we had for the 26th Seaside run - all marred by only having 35 entries to put in the programme. I prepared 50 packs, expecting a few late entries, only to find that we were swamped - no doubt due to the nice weather. So, if you didn't get a programme, route or ticket for Nash Point - enter early next year, come on a club eligible bike and please don't give me a hard time because you came on a two year old bike that had not been included in the programme.
Seen at the start:

The usual route took us out of Penarth, round Barry Island, Cold knap. Then through Rhoose and Llantwit Major before ending up at Nash Point for a coffee.
A few photos from Nash Point:

We continued along the coast passing through Ogmore and Porthcawl before arriving at the Green Acre Motel for a Sunday lunch:

From lunch it was a case of make your way back to Penarth for the prize giving and it was a bit of a shame that many did not do so. Hopefully, all had a good day and with any luck, someone will send me a few more pictures to add here.
The trophies:

7th July - BBQ
The weather promised to be good and it wasn't. Not too bad though, just a steady drizzle of sorts. Paul had arrived from Brussels the previous Friday so helped to erect the gazebos as a precaution against really lousy weather. Jeannie reckoned that she had about 50 through the kitchen, so not a bad turnout at all. Hope all who made it had a good evening.

13th July - Follow the Velo
Slightly overcast to the start of the day as we all assembled at 'Rob's layby' at Nelson. I counted some 15 bikes and six(or was it five?) were Velocettes, which was a bit of a worry as we had no recovery organised for the day. However, most behaved themselves with only Chris B suffering a rear wheel puncture, which was soon mended. We headed north to Merthyr then west past Hirwaun and down towards Neath, before turning left up through Cimla and on to the Afan valley and the lunch stop at the Old Station at Cymmer. The Sunday lunch was very good and can be recommended, if you're ever in the area. After lunch it was onwards and up over the Bwlch to Treorchy and Gelli where the group split. Some headed for Penrhys and the Rhondda Fach and Aberdare, whilst another group headed for Tonypandy, Tonyrefail and home. An enjoyable days riding with many thanks to Rob for his organisation.

18th/20th July - NACC National Rally
I'm not sure as to how many of our section members attended this event but Bruce and Di, plus Terry H were there. Bruce and Di missed the Saturday run which took place during some pretty poor weather. Some, who had entered, decided not to ride on Saturday and did the Saturday ride on Sunday, amid better weather. Bruce and Di rode two up on Di's little James Comet. I'm told that she only had to walk up one or two hills. The following photos are from Terry H:

Just in case you're wondering the outfit does have an engine - it has a mini engine mounted across the back and driving the rear wheels - a touch on the hairy side with sounds to match, according to T H.

21st July - Fish & Chip run
What a super evening it was and with a good turnout of bikes. Dave had booked 30 F&C suppers, spoilt only by the fact that there were 41 sitting down to eat. That meant that some had to make do with curry or steak pie. So, if you intend to come next year, please make sure that Dave has your name on his list - no excuses please as it became a touch difficult and embarrassing this year with members turning up 'on spec'. Photos from Velo Rob:

17th August - Gwent Section, Summer Madness run
This event was ably organised by Colin Brown and Rob Jones, Paul Davenport, Geoff Harris, John Fisher and Kevin Gilbert rode a Velo, 3 Triumphs and a Commando. The ride to Abergavenny Bus Station was rather wet but the run itself began under dry skies. Leaving Abergavenny the run headed for Skenfrith and the back road to Monmouth where the morning tea stop was at the Millbrook Garden Centre, Mitchell Troy. From there, with the sun shining, the run continued on twisty B roads to Chepstow and on to Lydney for lunch at the Taurus Craft Centre. The afternoon leg headed up through the Forest of Dean to Coleford and Monmouth before heading back through the lanes to Abergavenny. Many or the riders dropped off at various points to make their own way home. Rob and John decided to ride home via Brecon and the Beacons after a good day out covering 150 odd miles, door to door.

31st August - Traith Hanes(Historic Tour)
The weather for Geoff H's Historic Tour looked good and Geoff's expectation of 6 to 8 bikes turned into 16 bikes and a Lomax. We all met at the cafe on the top of Caerphilly mountain and set off north at 10.30 for our first stop to see Joseph Parry's cottage in Merthyr.

Parry was the composer of the tune 'Myfanwy' amongst many others and Geoff filled us all in with some written notes and also expanded on the information at each stop. The cottage was opened especially for our visit and very informative it was too. We all contributed 1 each to help with the continued conservation of the cottage.

The next stop was to see the remains of the Crawshay Iron workings - again Geoff gave us a brief talk on some of the sites history.

From the Iron works we headed to Vaynor church to see the grave of Robert Thompson Crawshay, born 1817 and died 1879. He was the son of Robert Crawshay who had built Cyfarthfa Castle. The grave is 13 foot deep and capped with a red sandstone slab. The inscription has the words 'God forgive me' and it is believed that it was a reference to his mis-treatment of the workers welfare.

From Vaynor it was on to Talybont and the White Hart pub for lunch. That did not go too well and despite being told that we were 'on the list', our food orders were not taken until after an hour and a half wait. There were also some issues with some of the food - so the White Hart is not to be recommended in future as a stop . Bruce and Di took the better option of going back down the road to the Star Inn for a whole better experience, and food. So, after two hours we were able to get on with the ride to Blaenavon and the Iron works. Unfortunately, we only had 45 minutes to look around the site, as it closed at 5pm. So another visit, at some time in the future, must be scheduled. As soon as we arrived the staff took photos of our group and had posted them on their Facebook account before we left. Hope they don't mind, but I've copied their two photos here:

Our photos:

After leaving Blaenavon a few of us ended up for tea and cakes at Geoff's house, which rounded things off nicely. The whole day was excellent and a big vote of thanks must go to Geoff for putting it together and running it at an unhurried pace that even Kevin G on his 1928 BSA could manage.

7th September - the 49th Vale of Glamorgan road run
What a super sunny day for our 49th Vale of Glam. We had 21 entries by closing date and two late entries on the day. Some of the bikes at the start:

The run headed off towards Cowbridge and then into the Vale before ending up at Marcross and the Horseshoe Inn for lunch before heading back to the finish. Many thanks to Dewi and Dave J for their help as marshals, without who we couldn't run the event, not forgetting my Jeannie, of course.

5th October - The Cotswolds Section, Belt and Braces run
I had to toss up between riding the Cotswolds section Belt and Braces run on my 1908 Triumph or taking the New Hudson to the Cyclemotor sections 100 miler. A chance to ride my '08 won easily as events suitable for a veteran are few and far between. Hopefully someone will send me some notes and a few photos on the 100 miler, as it is a bit of a special event in the riding calendar. The Belt and braces run started from Dennis Beale's house in Minsterworth and I was pleasantly surprised as to the mix of machines as I lined my Triumph up with the rest. There were a lot of familiar faces, including Les and Shirley from West Wales - Richard Williams - now living in the Abergavenny area - John Robinson and his son from Durham - Dave Miller and his Trump from the Lakes district. There must have been about 40 odd bikes, with the majority being pre 1930, including at least 4 veterans. The weather was perfect and after a cuppa we set off into the Forest of Dean on some beautiful roads - for sure the day was good. Lunch was taken in the Royal Hotel, Ross-on-Wye, before we returned to Dennis's house for tea and cake. The event was about 50 odd miles in all and more than enough for me and the Triumph. What an absolute pleasure the whole day was.

5th October - the Cyclemotor Section 100 miler
This was the day for the Cyclemotor section 100 miler at Quainton in Oxfordshire. The South Wales entrant arrived at 8.15am on a bright sunny morning. You will notice I used the singular there as I was the only one from our section to attend. To think a few years ago we had seven riders on the run. Your choice lads, your choice. There was a wonderful turn out and soon a blue haze was evident in the village hall car park as riders got on their way on the first lap. (Its three laps of 33 and a third miles) I ran with Mervin Evans on a power pac which lived up to its name. With furious peddling and mobile adjustments to the motor, Merv gave my Jawa a run for its money. First lap done in 90 mins, so average about 20mph. Pretty good for a bike with a top speed of 28 mph. A cup of tea in the canteen then off on lap two, much the same as the first with us battling for the lead and having a ball. At one point on the route is a small bridge and if you hit it flat out you could hear the revs go up as the bike left the ground. Hooligan OAPs at their best. Second lap done, no probs.The third lap was another story, Merv had a spot of trouble which he took all in his stride with one filter change, two jet blow outs, and two plug changes. But we got safely home to collect our finishers medal from organizer Jim Pallet. What a day, one of the best I've had for a long time. Role on 2015.  Barry Cooksley

23rd November - the NACC Between the Bridges run
The day started a bit on the damp side, but we experienced no rain at all. The start was from the Plough at Pilning and people arrived from 9.30 for a 10.30 start. From our side of the water, we had Terry H, Barry C, Jack M, Alun W and Ken G - not forgetting yours truly. There was quite a variety of bikes, 16 in all, and it represented quite a snake as we set off on the first 20 odd miles to the coffee stop at Coalpit Heath. Rod Western led and at several points we stopped to regroup. There were a few hills that necessitated a bit of LPA. At one of the stops I told Rod that I'd have to do quite a bit of pedalling and he said that he couldn't understand it as the hills were not as steep when he checked the route out in his van. After a coffee we set off on the shorter route back, then, a couple of miles from the finish Barry and myself, who had become detached from the main group, came across a 'Left to Pilning' instruction. The problem was that Pilning signpost pointed right, so we went for it. Further on I decided that it was the wrong way so doubled back. Barry carried on and soon found the finish, whilst I took a circular route back. All in all a good day.