weekend, 8th/9th April 2017.
photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)
A number of us headed
over the bridge to Cheddar for the annual riding weekend
organised by the Somerset
Section. This was the 52nd running of the event. Those who went this
Bruce and Di - 1943 Triumph 3HW
Rob Jones - 1953 Velocette MAC
Roger and Iris - 1987 PAC
Howard and Carol - 1983 Lomax
Bill and Jean - 1925 Indian
Rob, Bruce and Di took their camper
vans, whilst Howard and Carol along with Jean and myself opted for a
local B&B, as did Roger and Iris.
- the social run day
We all congregated at the Football club ground from around 9am, ready
for the 10.30am start, with some very nice bikes turning up:
The weather looked set for a glorious day as we set off into Cheddar
itself before climbing up over the Mendips and through Shipham. The
route went on to Blagdon and then past the Chew Valley lake as we
headed north. We ended up on the A38 and soon passed Bristol airport
before turning off towards Flax Bourton. After 28 miles the lunch stop
was reached at Oakham Treasures, not far from Portbury and the Easton
in Gordano services on the M5. After a good ploughman's lunch we all
had a look around the Treasures museum - and there was a lot to see:
Inside the museum:
The run back to Cheddar can hardly be described as uneventful. We set
off from the museum and travelled a single track road running parallel
to the M5 when my Indian developed a squeak that got louder and louder
as we went along. Eventually I noticed that the kickstart lever was
stuck in the down position and after kicking it back up noticed that
the folding part of the kickstart had completely gone. No real problem
- just don't stall the bike I thought. Tomorrows run will
need a push start to get going. So on we went. We arrived at a
set of traffic lights to cross the A370 and Rob stalled his MAC. Myself
and Bruce went on and waited, leaving Rob kicking his Velo into life.
Eventually we were all together and riding around the perimeter of
Bristol Airport, after which we then joined the main A38 and headed
south for about 4 miles to the traffic lights at Churchill. As the
lights changed Rob's Velo decided to stall again, as the rest of us
went through to wait the other side of the lights. I couldn't wait too
long, as I had no kickstart and the engine was getting hot on tick
over. So, Jean and I left Rob in the capable hands of Bruce and set off
for the finish. A change of plug soon got the Velo running again and we
all eventually all arrived back at base after a 26 mile run back from
Sitting on the back of the van and musing over the day and the lost
kickstart I noticed that fuel was dripping off the front corner of the
Indian tank. After some inspection I decided to call things a day and
cancel the following days ride, so drained the tank and loaded the bike
into the van. It was then suggested that I could borrow the Honda
400/4 that Bruce had brought with him as a spare. That was soon
arranged, so Jean and I were able to ride the following day.
The evening buffet was very good, I must say and the whole evening went
off well amidst plenty of story telling and laughter.
- the day for the competition
Seen at the start:
Glorious sunshine again today as we all set off, this time up the
Cheddar gorge. Not a pleasant ride at all due to the cyclists and us
being stuck behind several cars and a minibus that was reluctant to
pull out and pass the cyclists. However, we were soon off into the
countryside and it was a pleasure to ride Bruce's Honda for a change.
All those gears and an electric starter.
There were some special tests, which I dodged, as it would have been
wrong for the Vintage class to be won by a 1975 Honda. The first test
was to ride through a ford and I ducked out of that, as did Howard in
the Lomax. The next test, which I didn't notice, was the observing of
how we did a right hand turn - by being distracted by the observer in his yellow jacket I missed the turning and had to back
track. Finally, there was a layby where everyone queued up for the
questions and to have a feel of the black bags in order to identify the
contents. All in all we covered around 40 odd miles and were soon back
at the start and the packing up.
final part of the weekend was a Sunday lunch, which was good and soon
eaten. By 3pm we were on the road home and feeling
quite pleased with what turned out to be a great weekend.
was down to the three-wheelers to uphold the section reputation by
Roger and Iris winning the 2nd place with Howard and Carol coming in
3rd. All the rest of us disappeared without trace in the results.