Reports of Section Runs and Meetings for 2015

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

1st January
New years day meet at the Blue Anchor. We had some 25 odd people turn up along with the customary half a dozen non-members who seem to irritatingly follow us around on these occasions. Terry H arrived on his brand new scooter, Bruce and Di arrived on the rather noisy Triumph bitza that Bruce uses for racing. Brian M had his BMW there whilst Pete M arrived on one of his Nortons. There was also a Commando and a moped, both of which I missed in trying to identify the owners. Ivor also turned up on his MZ. Most of us enjoyed the get together and the food was not bad, but the sting in the tail came when the landlord stated that were we not welcome last year and were still not welcome, so don't come again. I notice that he didn't say that until after we'd all spent our money. His argument was that we took too long at the tables and hogged them, thus causing him to lose money. I suspect that it had nothing to do with us 'hogging the tables', but the fact that we were motorcyclists. The New Years day venue for next year will be somewhere else, I suspect, so watch the events calendar.


22nd March
The Spring run went off very well. From the start at the Treforest Multiplex the group headed for the A40 between Abergavenny and Raglan for lunch at the Steel Horse cafe. Afterwards it was head towards Abergavenny, Brecon and home over the Beacons. John F has sent me some photos:


6th April
Several section members attended Philippa Wheelers Welsh Run from the Castle Car Park on a lovely sunny day. The route was 20 or 30 miles depending on which one you decided to go for. The short route was designed for cyclemotors and Alan and Robert Hummerstone brought their Itoms, as seen in the first photo below. Although looking diminutive they get along at a blistering 25mph. The longer route had it's fair share of hills and there was quite a bit of pedalling done on times to get over them. Those section members there were: Jack Madge, Barry Cooksley, Terry Hopes, Alan Williams and myself, along with a few local NACC members.


18th/19th April
The weekend of the Cheddar Trial - and the weather was set fair. Those entered were Roger and Iris in their PAC, Howard and Carol in their Lomax, Rob on his 400/4 Honda, Bruce and Di with their 400/4 and the newly rebuilt 1922 Monopole, along with Jean and myself on our Indian. One thing that none of us expected was to have our entry fees returned. The Somerset section decided to sponsor the event as it was the 50th running of the trial. Bruce was quite choked with emotion as he got his uncashed cheque back. The Saturday social run was the best part of 90 miles, which I found just a tad too long. At one point we encountered a road run from a tractor club going in the opposite direction to us. There were the best part of 50 odd, I reckoned, and we had to meet them on a narrow single track road, of course. Just outside Taunton, and after 36 odd miles, we stopped at the Prockets Farm Coffee shop for a well earned rest and cuppa. Ten miles further on we were well into the Quantock Hills and came up behind a dozen or so pony trekkers all going in our direction and that was painfully slow, as we had to follow them for the best part of two miles before they peeled off in the opposite direction to us. Eventually, after 54 miles we found the lunch stop at the Railway Inn, only to find out that it had changed hands the week before and there was no lunch for us. We headed around the corner to the workshops of the West Somerset Steam Railway at Williton but decided to decamp to the local cafe for a bite to eat.

After lunch we headed back towards Bridgwater on a mix of main and side roads. Bridgewater was not pleasant to negotiate but eventually we were through and heading back across the Somerset levels to Cheddar and the finish. After a quick clean up we were back for the evening get together and buffet - and good the food was, I must say.
Sunday - The Trial day
Start time was the same as for the social run, but today Bruce brought out his new mount - a fully restored 1922 Monopole, or as Rob kept calling it, a Monopoly bike. It looked good but time had not been on Bruce's side and he had not been able to give the bike a good shake down run before the event - so it was fingers crossed.

Ready for the off:

The 64 mile route headed out across the levels to Wedmore and Godney before turning north to Wookey and Wookey Hole. Then, having covered 21 odd miles, we had a rather long climb up into the Mendips, which was where the Monopole decided to spring a leak from the fuel tank. Bruce, Di and the errant Monopole were soon rescued by the back-up van. Meanwhile, the PAC and the Lomax were on different routes to the majority of the solo motorcycles but we all ended up at the special tests, which I ducked out of as it's just too difficult trying to slalom around traffic cones with a left hand throttle and suicide clutch. Howard had a go in the Lomax and when he said that it had a very poor steering lock he was told that he could use the whole of the field to make the large turns - and he did, with success. It was then a case of 30 miles back to Cheddar and lunch, before heading back home after a great weekend. Next years event is already scheduled for the 16th/17th April - and can be recommended.

29th April
The first of the Section Wednesday evening rideouts was hampered a bit by rain in places, however, we had half a dozen bikes in the end and a few other members turned up in cars. Next Wednesday ride out is 27th May to the Victoria Inn, Sigingstone.

3rd May
The weather looked pretty awful for the run to the Internal Fire Museum and only three bikes turned up. John with his lovely blue BSA A10, Roger from Tonypandy on a similar BSA A7 and Geoff on his Matchless. The DVLA had not returned my Morini documents in time - at least that was my excuse for not being on two wheels, so Jean and I had agreed to provide a backup with our van, which was needed, as it happened. Geoff on his G3L Matchy was away first and a steady drizzle was suffered all the way until we got over the Beacons, when the roads dried up. We had arranged to meet some of the Gwent section at the 'Glanusk Services' at Sennybridge. When we arrived there we found it packed out with motorcycles but were soon downing a welcome cuppa before setting off with three Gwent Section members joining us. Martin was riding a pretty little 1969 175 Honda and was accompanied by two others riding a Suzuki and BMW.
We followed on with the van and not long after turning at Llanwrda the Honda ground to a halt, so it was quickly bundled into the van whilst the BMW and Suzuki lads continued independently. Somewhere along the way we took a wrong turning and ended up heading for Aberystwyth. Luckily my GPS got us back on the right route and surprisingly, after our long detour, we were the first to arrive at the museum. Soon Geoff and the two BSAs arrived after taking a similar wrong route. We all decamped to the cafe and awaited the arrival of the other two. As soon as we were all assembled we went into the museum to see the engines. Some were huge things and nearly all were capable of running with quite a few chuffing away. The starting of several was demonstrated and the photos don't really do them all justice. There were petrol engines, two-strokes, diesel, semi-diesel and one harmonic engine that had it's induction regulated by a resonance in the exhaust system. They were all fascinating and if you are ever in the area - do pay the museum a visit, it's well worth it. The ride home was dry until we got to the Beacons, when the drizzle started again.
Footnote: The Honda was soon fixed whilst at the museum and made it's way home under it's own steam after a good day out.


10th May (thanks to Terry H and Rob J for photos and notes)
South West Coast Run - Our Section had a very good turn out for the 52nd South West Coast Run organised by the Bristol Section. Rob J, Honda GB400TT, Howard and Carol, Lomax, and Roger and Iris, Pac, rode over in convoy with John F trailering his BSA C15. There were many machines at the Village Hall in Failand with some 70 in the programme and many others entered on the day. The turnout was the largest in recent years with about 100 bikes and cars. There was a wide variety of makes from 1924 up to 1990 and in various conditions from unrestored to 'showroom new'.
At the start we met up with Barry C and Jack M on their Suzuki CP80 and Yamaha Salient scooters. Terry was parked close by with his 1924 Beardmore Precision. Also from our Section were Brian M on his BMW and John and Dougal Burns on their immaculate Ariel Square Four and Velocette Venom.

The run followed the usual pattern with a short route through Porthishead, Clevedon and Congresbury and a longer route going down as far as the Cheddar Gorge, before returning to Failand.
We decided to take the long route via Cheddar and after explaining to Terry, Brian, John and Dougal where we would have lunch we set off. Roger and Iris had met up with Ron and his wife, friends from Bristol, in a BMW engined Lomax and another friend on a Motor Guzzi. So in a group of 3 three wheelers and 3 bikes we set off. As we had left quite promptly we did not see many of the other riders and cars after the two routes diverged. The roads were relatively free although we did meet some 40 plus classic cars on a Mendips Rally coming towards us. Our run over the Bridge had been under grey clouds but as we headed inland, towards Chew Valley Lakes, the sky got decidedly greyer and eventually we were in some light drizzle. It didn't amount to much and by Cheddar the sky was clear again.
After 50 miles, we left Roger, Iris and John on the front at the lunch stop in Salthouse Fields, Clevedon and headed up the hill(there's no hill, BP) to lunch at The Little Harp Inn. As we were parking Brian, John and Dougal arrived on foot along the cliff path from the car park. We all went in for Sunday lunch, but there was no sign of Terry. As the other three had also done the long route we assumed Terry riding on the short route would be along later. It was not to be.
After lunch a short spin of 10 miles had us all back at Failand Village Hall. Barry and Jack arrived as we were chatting having completed a trouble free short route on their scooters. Terry also rode in on the Beardmore.
"We missed you at lunch Terry. What happened?" was the question.
"I was in the Salthouse Pub." came the reply.
"But that's not where we went last year for lunch." we all said.
"But I wasn't on the run last year." said Terry.............
"Oops."
We all had a good day excluding this little misunderstanding and while comparing our trouble free runs Barry and Jack raised a smile. While all those on the short run did complete it with no problems, one person found his machine very reluctant to fire up at the start, and apparently was one of the last to leave. No names no pack drill but if he had been with us for lunch and we had known this, he would have been given some stick a little earlier in the day.
In the presentation Howard and Carol won an award for the best three wheeler. Two years running now,- have we got a new 'pot hunter' in our midst?

I was sorry to have missed this event but Jean and I had decided to take our '25 Indian to the Indian Riders Club rally at Iwerne Minster in Dorset. The rideouts took us to the Tank Museum and Lulworth Cove. The bike behaved itself most of the time with only an exhaust nut coming loose. Some pics:


17th May
Bruce and Di, along with myself - I had a day pass - decided to ride the Cotswold Section Signpost Rally which incorporated the Gutless Wonders run. Bruce was to use his Monopole, but what bike should I take? In the end I decided that it was time to use the 1952 Peugeot, especially as it hadn't been out for some five years - or so I thought!. In fact, after I worked it out, it hadn't seen the light of day since 2006. It was very difficult to start and there was next to no spark - condenser, obviously. See what I did with a replacement on the Spares page. New condenser fitted and the little bike had some super sparks and fired up quite easily. Anyway, Bruce and Di camped overnight and I chose to drive to the start at Kemble airfield, on the day, after an early start. We both arrived more or less at the same time and soon had our bikes unloaded and readied. The sun was out and the day looked promising. After signing on at 10am we were all given the route sheet, which is a bit of a loose description, as it was a page of photographs of signposts. We all retired to the Cafe and spread our OS maps out and tried to work out where the signposts could possibly be - it was then a simple(says he) job of plotting a route to visit them all. I managed to determine where my 12 SPs were and was soon out on the road heading for the first one. I found the sign and the answers to the three questions that proved that I'd been there. What a super day it was as the little Peugeot purred along the cotswold lanes. The next sign was easy to find and the third. I then passed Bruce and a few others going in the other direction as I headed for the fourth SP. At this point I realised that I hadn't worked out the most efficient route and was just heading sort of aimlessly for the next SP on my map. Not to worry, SPs were slowly ticked off and questions answered ok, until I managed to get lost and not find the eighth SP where I thought it was. By this time the Peugeot was suffering from fuel starvation - easily fixed by blowing up the fuel line into the tank. There was obviously some crud blocking the tap, so after several stoppages I decided to call it a day. It was a struggle to get back to the finish, but a nice large cuppa and a bacon butty revived a flagging ego. The results and prize giving was to be at 4pm and as I was, happily, not in the hunt for anything I left at 3pm and had an uneventful trip back home after an 'interesting' but thoroughly enjoyable day out. Meanwhile, Bruce and Di on the Monopole managed to visit all 12 of their signposts and answer all but one question - results are eagerly awaited.


31st May
A rather grey day for the Ray Cordy run over Bristol way. Several of us were considering attending but all except John F chickened out. Thanks to John for the following:
Left Cardiff passport in hand all dressed for a very wet day but only light rain at 07:15 filled up with fuel in Tesco on my Honda 400n.Rode over to Bristol guess what no rain only roads wet so arrived dry and no need for all the wet gear I arrived around 08:35. We left Avon steam railway around 9:30 the route through the Wiltshire country lanes to Laycock village 24 miles (Where William Henry Fox Talbot invented photography) ,there we had a tea and comfort stop .The return went past Avebury stones, the White horse total mileage for the run was 82.9.


14th June
The weather turned out to be quite good for the Seaside run and we had 37 entries, added to by a further 11 late entries. The usual format event set off for the Penarth sea front and on to a lap of Barry Island before stopping at Nash Point for a coffee break. Only one breakdown that we heard off, it was Barry C's 1980 Suzuki which decided to nip up. Barry managed to limp home and rejoined the event on another of his bikes. From Nash point it was on to Porthcawl and then North Cornelly and the Greenacres Motel for lunch. The return route had been shortened this year to encourage people to return to the finish for the prize giving which seemed to work as most people made it back to the finish. The awards were presented by Rosemary Cook the Penarth Town Mayor, to whom we owe a big thank you for supporting our event and agreeing to hand out the awards. All in all an excellent day, with thanks to the Penarth Conservative club for the start/finish venue:


21st June
Banbury run - and I was down to help produce the results, so wasn't riding. Nice to see some of our members there though, John Ellis, Ken and Kate Baxter, Brian Morris and Pete and Lyn Merrick. I was able to get a few photographs as people set off, before setting up with a computer inside the museum. The awards were to be presented at 4pm and the results were available spot on time - phew!!


22nd June
Bring-a-bike night and the weather wasn't too bad, although we were down on numbers. The winning bike belonged to John Housley and was his nice 1967 Triumph Daytona.


24th June
Wednesday evening ride out was to the Griffin Inn at Gilfach Goch, thanks to Barry C for the following report:
The mid week ride out to the Griffin Mill at Gilfach Goch was attended by ten of our members. It was a lovely to be on a bike and, as if proof were required, all ten were on bikes, with not a car in sight. It was nice enough for us to all get round a big table outside and do what we do best - talk about bikes. Bob James was complaining his BSA triple was not performing as well as it should and Doug G's advice was to give it some stick which Bob seemed reluctant to do for reasons better known to him. Ivor and I were having a look at the bikes and noticed on Dave D's square four that there were only indicators on the off side. Odd! I didn't know they sold sets in two halves, but Dave cleared it up by telling us the other indicators were on the sidecar in the garage. Mystery solved. The Corntown Country Inn is the venue for the July ride out. If the sun is out leave the car at home. Bikes is what we are about.

6th July
BBQ last night was poorly attended and some notable section members did not make it. It's disappointing for those who 'put the work in' and I wonder if the event is wanted in future. For sure, my Jean works for several days in the preparation. Anyway, thinking positive - it was nice to see Geoff Thomas along with Brian and Wynn Gray. Many thanks to those who did make the effort to come along, it was nice to see you all.


12th July
On the way back from Scarborough Terry and Dilys stopped off at Wolverhampton and the NACC National rally on the 4th and 5th July. Terry only had his Guzzi with him and reckoned it was eligible as, after all, it is a V50. The Saturday run went to the RAF museum at Cosford. Terry ducked out of the Sunday run as 20mph on the Guzzi is a bit painful:


13th July
Several happenings this last weekend. We had been asked to support the Penarth Carnival and Jean and myself, Howard and Carol, along with Barry C and John L turned out. There did not seem to be anyone co-ordinating the event and eventually the collection of 'classic' cars moved off with the two bikes and two three-wheelers somewhere in the middle. I found it a bit of a nightmare with a foot clutch and left hand throttle. Sunday was the Follow the Velo run and the weather was pretty lousy, I'm sure that Rob will send a few notes soon, so watch this space. Meanwhile Bruce and Di headed for the Cotswolds weekend which was poorly supported - only four Cotswold Section members on the Saturday social run, which took place in good weather. Only an entry of 30 for the trial on the Sunday and Stuart and Lesley R from Barry suffered clutch failure, whilst the Monopole played up and need a push start, before picking up a front wheel puncture halfway around the route. On the way home Bruce and Di suffered a blow out on a trailer wheel and as they were only a mile from home just continued slowly. Not that successful a weekend for us all, I'm afraid.

20th July
Founders Day weekend - not an event that I've been to before, although I did attend a Brough Superior club owners rally at Stanford Hall some 45 years ago. This year we had a bus organised and paid for by the section. There were 38 booked on the bus and 'on the morning' we had messages that three could not make it. The big disappointment was that another 12 never bothered to turn up or make contact to apologise, that was annoying folks. For the rest of us, it was a good day out which started a little grey and overcast, but the sun came out as we arrived and the day turned out very nice indeed. It was a bit of a squeeze getting the coach through the gates of Stanford Hall, but we were there by 11 and had 5 hours to have a good look around.


21st July
The Fish and chip run took place and those hardy souls on bikes gathered at the old cafe on Cowbridge Common for the 7pm start. Dave D led the way with the others following. All were back at the club by 8.15 and sat down to a superb meal along with others who had gone straight to the club on their bikes, or in their cars. Photo from Rob J shows left to right, John and Jean L on the trike talking to Bruce and Di, with Dave D in the centre, then Jack M and John D. The figure in disguise in the background is John F.


16th August
The Bristol Sections Bill Sheppard 70 mile run took place from the Horton Social club north of Bristol. As usual it was a question of 'what's the weather doing' - and as it seemed to be an 'ok' sort of day I took the 1952 Peugeot and was joined by John F and his pretty C15. There were something like 35 bikes and some I saw at the start and not again that day, where they went, I have no idea. The early part of the run took in some steep hills and some were very steep, I can tell you. The little Peugeot was  struggling and suffering with fuel starvation which I sorted by cleaning out the carb when it faltered completely on one of the hills. We had a nice stop at the Daneway Inn, where John and I polished of a breakfast roll each. We then had Terry from Bristol, who was on a Puch moped, tag along with us, as we seemed to be travelling at his sort of speed - or so he said. Anyway, the three of us arrived back at the finish without mishap. It was a good day out for sure.


22nd/23rd August
The weekend of the OKP - and I was the only one riding this year and had decided to take the '04 Givaudan, as Jeannie had decided that she would stay in De Haan with Josie for the day. The Givaudan had a broken frame and front spring and it was a bit tight to get the repairs done in time. The rebuild was finished the day before we left and all went well until we arrived at the hotel to find out that they had not reserved our rooms for us. However, an email was found making the booking along with the confirmation reply. Eventually the hotel managed to fit us in ok, after the confusion was sorted out, whilst  someone else lost their room.
Saturday morning saw us on the tram for a quick trip into Ostend as we were invited to Nick's house for the afternoon. That I wanted to do as Nick had finished the rebuild of his 1905 Triumph and I wanted to see it. 1905 was the first year that Triumph built and used their own motors, so the bike is a bit special. Nick treated us all to strawberries and cream which was delicious on what was a hot day. We all attended the evening reception on the town hall before retiring to the Melrose Cafe for a beer to end the evening.
The Klepper event the following day saw me line up with the Givaudan and, luckily, it fired up straight away when it was my turn to leave, not long after three Leon Bollees and a De Dion Trike. The bike ran very well until nearer the lunch stop when I lost the pivot for the exhaust lifter. I just kept going and made the lunch stop where I met Pierre. He noticed a bulge in the front tyre - and, because of that, and the fact that I couldn't pedal the bike off without an exhaust lifter, I called it a day and put the bike on the recovery. A good friend called Jurgen was there and offered me a lift back, which I was grateful for, as when the riders reached the last stop for the day at Wenduine the heavens opened and it chucked it down. I must say that I was glad that I was in a car at that point. The drive home on the Monday was a bit fraught, as I had to contend with driving the M25 in torrential rain. Anyway, we had no problems at Calais on the way out or Dunkirk on the return, thank goodness. Finally, the broken spring and frame held together, and a new tyre and exhaust lifter pivot will have the bike back on the road in no time.


27th September
This was the day for the Distinguished Gentlemans ride in aid of Prostate cancer research. The event was to start in Central Cardiff, ride around the city to a stop in Penarth and then ride back to Cathays park. Assembly took place in the car park behind the University building before setting off towards Roath Park. I was to ride my T110 outfit, John F was on his A10 and Rob J rode his Honda 400/4. Jean and I didn't make the start as the banjo fuel union on top of the carb decided to break up, which stopped us in Llandaff. However, John and Rob rode the event. It was described to me as a shambles, which is a shame for such a useful way to raise money for a good cause. The route seems to be the main problem as with traffic lights and roundabouts it was not possible to keep everyone together, consequently there was some very bad riding by quite a lot of riders 'buzzing' motorists in order to keep up. The riding standards of many left a lot to be desired and did nothing to promote motorcycling, I fear. Some much more careful choice of a route needs to take place before next year and maybe splitting into groups of 10 or so with a leader in each group.


4th October
Sunday 4th October, It was that time of year again for big men with little bikes to gather at Quainton, Bucks for the VMCC Cycle motor section 100 miler. Alas I was the only entrant from our section with Alan Williams dropping out at the last minute after his wife had injured herself in a fall at home and broke two fingers. Get well soon Steph. I was greeted by the two new men who were running the show as I was the first to arrive and they were quite surprised how far I had travelled for the event. Anyway 7.30 am and I was on my way for the first lap of 33 miles. The sun was out but very low in the sky so at times it was very difficult to see so I had to stop and don my cool shades, much better. Its been the same route for years which suits me, as I don't have study a map and I can give my attention to the pot holes, of which, they can match South Glamorgan anytime. Back by just before 9.00am and a welcome cup of tea from the not open kitchen of the village hall. By now the car park was full and the overflow car park was brought into use. A very organized crowd indeed. I saw quite a few faces that seem to do the run every year as I seem to do. Some of the smarties do the route backwards so they  see all the other riders and give a big wave. I used my Honda PC50 for the job and it ran faultlessly for the 100 miles. I saw a bloke on a cycle master and he only managed one lap purely through the lack of suspension. As I said the roads were not of the best and you get very sore in the place you wouldn't show your Mum. Anyway I did my 100 and collected my 13 badge. I hope that's not unlucky for next year. Barry B Cooksley

18th October
This was the day for the re-scheduled Historic Tour led by Geoff H. The weather was overcast and cold, but dry, as we all assembled at the Mountain Cafe on the top of Caerphilly mountain. I counted nearly 30, plus two three-wheelers, so it was a good turnout, although some of the faces and bikes were unfamiliar.

After a few words from Geoff we all set off in convoy and headed north through Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney and onto the Heads of the Valleys road. From there we rode to Abergavenny and out onto the A465 Hereford road. after a few miles we peeled off towards Llanthony Priory with the first stop at St Martin's church in Cwmyoy. A fabulous building with not one straight or square wall. The tower, Geoff said, is 6 foot out at the top. The medieval, 13th century, stone cross, in the one photo was buried by the locals to save it at the time of the reformation. Later found and dug up in 1871, it was returned to the church and subsequently stolen in 1967. It turned up in an antique shop in London, was recognised, and returned to the church. Now set in a block of concrete, for security reasons.

From Cwmyoy it was a short ride up the valley to Llanthony Priory and lunch before we all had a look at the Priory and the local St David's church. On leaving Cwmyoy church, at one point our Rob lost the front end of his Honda on some gravel, resulting in nothing more than a broken mirror bolt and some dented pride. Photos of some arriving at Llanthony for lunch:

Inside the priory:

From Llanthony we headed back down the valley for our last stop at the Skirrid Inn, which is reputed to be the oldest Inn in Wales. The top floor was used as a courtroom  and it is believed that some 180 felons were hanged over the staircase drop before the hangings ceased, just before the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658 - we just enjoyed a drink.

After our visit to the Skirrid Inn we all headed home with no further trouble - "a good day out - what, Grommit?"

7th December
The day of our Christmas dinner. Only a week before we were sweating a bit as all we had was 24 booked in, but after some cajoling and ringing we managed to get it up to a more respectable 50 for the day. The day before the dinner, I had a phone call from our band to say that they couldn't make it as their singer was stuck in the floods up in the lake district. After a lot of ringing around a band was found and confirmed at 2pm on the day - phew!!! Anyway, the evening went off ok, Dinner - excellent as usual, Trophies - given out, Raffle - held, Band - none too bad at all. Thanks to Rob and John for the pictures. Nice to see Paul St M from Brussels with us.


26th December
The Boxing Day run, and the weather looked to be dry, so I got the little 1952 Peugeot out for a run to Wick. The roads were mostly dry and the sun was showing, albeit weakly, as I passed through Cowbridge. I made the Lamb & Flag, to find four members and some others there. Seating was a real problem as there was nowhere to sit down as all seats were taken, not only by people but crash helmets as well. A brief chat to Jack M and I decided to head home. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, I must say. However, it does look as though we need to find a larger venue for future Boxing day runs.