Cotswold weekend and touring week - 9th July to 16th July 2016
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Thanks to Bruce and Rob for the notes and photos.

The Cotswolds weekend involved the reliability trial on the Sunday and there were some 22 entrants. Only Bruce and Di from our neck of the woods had entered on their ex-Military 1943 Triumph.There were two entries in the PV class, with Richard Williams on his Velo being the only other PV entry. Things didn't go well at all for Bruce and Di, as controls closed early and many of the rules in the regulations were not adhered to. Consequently, our intrepid duo amassed quite a number of penalties, but even coming second out of two gave quite a pocketful of points towards the Western Region Championship. The icing on the cake however, was that the Triumph won the PV class concours. Ron and Rosemary Muirhead were also there and rode their Honda 400/4, winning the post 1975 class. Bruce and Di did not stay for the touring week, so came home, as there was some prep to do for their foray to the continent with the Triumph twin racer the following week.

Monday was the start of the Touring week and Terry, Rob, along with Stuart and Lesley had entered:

After the finish of the 'Follow the Velo' run, Rob drove to the Apple Orchard Campsite at Westbury on Severn to take part in the Cotswold Riding Week. Already on site, from our Section, were Terry with his Guzzi and Stuart and Lesley with their Norton.
Monday's run was about 80 miles through part of the Forest of Dean and joining the group were Eric, John and Frank. With Rob leading on the Venom, the route headed through the back lanes towards the River Wye. Within a few yards the first problem occured. Terry found that as he pulled down the visor on his new helmet he couldn't read the route sheet as the visor was covered in writing. Terry quickly removed the plastic film from the visor and vision was miraculously restored. The run wound through St Briavels and Brockweir and on to Monmouth for a tea stop. Lunch was at Ross on Wye and, as it was pouring, it was decided to cut the route short and use the main road. After driving round Ross twice, some free parking was found for seven bikes in a street not far from Wetherspoons. At lunch the next problem arose. Lesley accidentally? took Eric's lunch and then Eric was unable to find his way, firstly, out of the gent's (choice of two doors) and secondly, out of the pub itself! The route out of Ross to Much Marcle was very hard to follow so it was decided to take to the main road again. The afternoon tea stop was at Weston Cider Mill, after which, the return route went through Newent, where everyone got lost. After that it was on to the Apple Orchard campsite at Westbury.

Photo of bikes in Cider Mill car park.

Tuesday's run was a visit to the Roman town of Caerwent. The weather forecast was damp so Stuart and Leslie wore their wet weather over suits thus guaranteeing a dry day. It was only our four riding together today, so Rob led up through the Forest to pick up the main Micheldean to Monmouth road. From there it was along the high ground to Llandogo and down the Wye Valley. A stop was scheduled at the Old Railway Station at Tintern for tea and a bacon roll before continuing to Chepstow and the A48 to Caerwent. A good hour was spent exploring Caerwent and it was very interesting to see how many Roman buildings had been excavated. After lunch, Stuart decided that he was too hot in his wet weather gear so took it off, then, heading along the route, some drops of rain fell, but luckily it did not amount to much. At Chepstow the old bridge was crossed after which the route headed along the twisting main road towards Cinderford. It was decided to make a stop at the Dean Forest Railway for a look around and some tea and cake before heading to Lydney and the A48 back to camp.

Photos show: Bikes at the Old Tintern Station; Lesley, Stuart and Terry at the tea stop; Gareth, Ian and Terry leaving the lunch stop; Caerwent Roman Remains; Steam engines at Dean Forest Railway.

On Wednesday Stuart and Lesley were going to meet friends so were not riding. Rob and Terry were joined instead by Eric Hale on his Kawasaki. They were the last to leave on a run up to Llantony Priory which was to be 110 miles for the day. The weather was a little overcast and the route took in some narrow lanes with lovely views before reaching Skenfrith for a well deserved cup of tea. Taking the back lanes, the route headed to Pontrilas, Ewys Harold, Longtown and the edge of Hay on Wye, finally turning up over Hay Bluff and the Gospel Pass before lunch in Llantony Priory. The afternoon route was back through Skenfrith on a lovely winding B road heading towards Ross. Unfortunately Rob misread a direction and ended up near Hereford. As there was a BBQ in the evening it was decided to take the main road to Ross to make up some time. This was also a nice winding road as was the A40 to Longhope. Anyway, after checking the map here, the back lanes were used to Blaisdon where the signs for Westbury were picked up. All in all a good day out with only a few spots of rain when in the pub, followed by some lovely sunshine in the afternoon.

Photo of Terry and Eric on Hay Bluff ; waiting for the BBQ

The Thursday run was up to Hay on Wye and the weather promised to be fine and sunny. Rob and Terry decide that motorcycle jeans and vented jackets would be better than the normal wet weather riding gear. Boots of course should be worn rather than trainers - Terry started out wearing his trainers and had to return to put his boots on. Eric and John also joined the group for company and things started off well on some of the lanes that had been covered earlier in the week.  Rob stopped at one junction which looked nothing like the one on the sheet. It was soon pointed out, by everyone, that he was looking at the previous diagram! Eric came along side and pointed out that this junction had 'Guns Mill' written on it and in front of was a scaffolded building with a huge sheet saying 'Guns Mill' and how could Rob have got lost and miss read this instruction. Cheek! The rest of the run progressed nicely on decent roads with good views of the south Hereford countryside around Aconbury, Callow and Belmont Abbey. At one junction the group were flagged down by a car driver who wanted to know if they were heading to a rally as he had been passed by other bikes. He was most disappointed when told that they were on a run to Hay. Heading west, the group picked up the sign to Hay and had a 17 mile blast along a twisty motorcycle friendly road. Parking in the Swan car park everyone headed out around town for a meal and browse.
After lunch the route took the road down the golden valley, which again is well suited to motorcycles. Turning at Horwithy for Kings Caple, a pub was spotted with people outside. So our group pulled up in the car park for a tea stop. Unfortunately it had closed at three and it was now five past. Being informed that the tea room, at 'The Cottage of Content' just down the road, was also closed, it was just a case of sitting in the warm sunshine and watching the other bikes go past. Heading on, some of the morning route was retraced and after missing one left turn, the group got back on route at the A40. Turning off at Longhope, they were soon back on familiar lanes to the campsite. 100 miles covered with good company, good roads, scenic views and lovely sunshine.

Pics In the Swan car park

Friday saw Rob head for home, leaving Terry, Stuart and Lesley to complete the week