Reports of Section Runs and Meetings for 2017

Reports are listed in reverse order i.e. newest first. They will then be removed to the archive where they will remain for as long as we have the space.
the photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

19th September - Saundersfoot weekend
The weather didn't promise much sunshine and for the Friday social run Jean and I set off with Howard and Carol in their car, then, of course, the weather improved as we headed to the Old Point House pub for coffee before moving on to Bosherton and the lunch stop at the St Govans Country Inn. Back at base Howard had arranged to pick Rob up for the evening, as we all had a table booked at the Dragon Palace Chinese restaurant. Good food it was, for sure.

Saturday morning and it was raining - in no small way, of course. Howard and I went down to the harbour, signed on and collected our paperwork.

The weather did not look good and we went back to the hotel and made the decision that we would wait until our start time, and if it had stopped raining, then we would start from the hotel. Things did ease off, so Howard and Carol set off in their Lomax with Jean and myself following. We were soon into some narrow single track roads, which were to be the norm for most of the day - but at least the rain had stopped, although it had left the roads in a filthy state. At one point we took a wrong turning but after riding in a loop we ended up back at the same junction, before taking the correct turning. I don't know of the mileage, but it was high, and at a guess near 65 or 70 just for the morning stint. In mostly narrow lanes it took us 3 and half hours to get to the lunch stop, which was a long time in the saddle. By lunch time, both Jean and I were completely fed up and I was glad that we were not on our Indian, let alone a veteran. Bruce and Di, along with Rob, had made it before us. Jean and I decided, after a look at a map, to straight line it back to Saundersfoot on some decent roads, where I took some photos of those hardy souls coming in after finishing the afternoon route.

The evening dinner in the Merlewood hotel was the same menu as it had been for the best part of 10 years, all well edible, thank goodness. The evening rounded off with an excellent singer performing songs from the 50's and 60's.
Sunday morning dawned and the sun was out, with barely a cloud in the sky as we rode the bike down to the harbour. It wasn't long before Rob joined us, reporting that Bruce and Di had already headed for home. I nust say that it was nice to see Graham Gardiner spectating and we had a good chat reminiscing about Saundersfoot runs from the 50's and 60's.

There were quite a number of bikes presented that were not entered and had not ridden the Saturday event and that must have been a problem for the organisers in sorting out the concours. The Honda Dream 50R Cafe racer, manufactured as one of a limited edition in 2004, had it's owner passing it off as a 1962 RC110, which it clearly wasn't . However, the morning sunshine was glorious and it wasn't long before the trophies were presented and the bikes dispersed, either to home or the short 20mile run to a lunch stop.
Over the past few years on the Saundersfoot run, Jean and I had chucked the towel in at the lunch stop on the trial day, when riding our Indian, so this year we took our Morini in the hope of having an easier ride, but that was not to be. Entries were down to 57 and I'd hazard a guess, after listening to a number of people, that they'll be even lower next year. At this point in time, we won't go again, as we ride for enjoyment. Anyway, our next event is on the Isle of Wight and they cater for the older bike, thank goodness, report to follow.
Two Saundersfoot youtube videos for you:
https://youtu.be/VPYOjvpFk-o
https://youtu.be/y2Ywp_Lf9gU

11th September - Vale of Glamorgan run
The weather promised to be pretty lousy for the day, as 20 riders assembled in Llanharry for the start of the 52nd Vale of Glamorgan event. This is probably going to be the last - as I've just about had enough. I asked for volunteers to help and I needed two. Josie said she could help, but on the day had to cry off, as she had spent the night with her sister, who has terminal cancer and is now in Holme Tower. Our thoughts are with Josie, as she has nursed her sister for well over a year now. John F was able to do the morning time check, before having to go to pack for his Turkey holiday. So Jean and I were left with a real problem of how to man the other checkpoints.

Anyhow, the rain held off and everyone made it to the lunch stop. It wasn't until mid afternoon that we had a quick shower with it being dry back at the start. Luckily no one needed recovering and I was pleased that we had 3 genuine Vintage bikes. All in all, no mishaps and we got through the day, albeit with a little less hair than usual, thanks to Howard pulling out, in order to help with the time checks. The only problem was that Howard reported that number 82 was missing at the finish - until someone pointed out that that was his own number.
Many, many thanks to those that entered and made our efforts worth while, I do hope that you enjoyed the event. Results are below and the trophies will be given out at our dinner on the 18th December. If you've won something and can't make the dinner, then please arrange for someone to collect the trophy, as they will not be posted due to cost.
Results here
Sorry for the hiccup with the results, as we didn't make a note of the riding numbers of the four late entries and I got them all wrong with my guesses - The riding numbers and results were correct, I just put the wrong names against them. Luckily  there is no change to the outcome. The above results are correct, I hope, unless you know better.

9th September
Just like a Velocette, my Givaudan ended up on the recovery trailer at the Oude Klepper in Belgium back on the 20th August. I made it to the lunch stop, then the afternoon Ice Cream stop, before falling off the bike and bending the axle crank whilst pedalling it away. Not really the bikes fault, but I'd sure had enough by then. So the bike was put on the recovery trailer along with Roger King's Premier, a veteran Triumph and the Alldays and Onions outfit belonging to Morgan Thomas from Nantgaredig. Jurgen, a good Belgian friend, came to the rescue with a lift back to De Haan and insisted that we unwound with a nice cold beer - couldn't fault that. Apart from the 'breakdown' we all had a good weekend.


27th August - remember the Dragon tour run - photos from our resident Reuters correspondent.
Fifteen riders turned up on top of Caerphilly Mountain cafe for the run, including Chris and Tracey Tilley on the big Vincent. Our own members were a bit thin on the ground but but we had a few visitors from the Sunbeam club etc that made the numbers up. Geoff gave a little speech before we set off in bright sunshine for Llandovery at our own pace. Not a sign of much holiday traffic until we got on top of the Beacons, which saw heaps of cars looking for somewhere to park so the occupants could do "The Walk". We soon left them behind and reached the Llandovery car park at intervals all ready for the lunch stop. At this point several riders returned to home as they had planned, whilst the remaining ten set off for the Dragon bit. It soon became clear to me where we were going and it brought back the memory of Ron and Marion in the Lomax stopped on a bridge arguing about which way to turn, Left or Right, magic.  We were greeted by the sight of Carreg Cennan Castle on top of the hill . We had a coffee stop but I did`nt see any of our group scaling the hill to the castle. It was soon time to call it a day, so back to Llandovery and onward to home. A first class run and thanks to Geoff H for all he has done this season to educate us about the Wales in which we live. Thanks Geoff for 170 enjoyable miles.  Barry. PS The BRYNBOBJON did not appear


8th July - The Chairman's run thanks to Rob and John for the pictures.
Some 15 members assembled at the Caerphilly Mountain Cafe for the start of the Chairman's Run. Bikes included BSAs, Triumphs, Suzukis, Honda, BMW, Enfield, Triton, Norton Commando and Harley trike. The weather was very grey but dry although rain was forecast for late afternoon. The planned route was to Tntern Station for a tea stop, then on to Monmouth and Hereford for lunch before returning via Brecon. We set off through Caerphilly to Machen with the bikes looking impressive as we all managed to keep together. Unfortunately due to traffic lights we were split up before the M4 and only caught up on the approach to Tintern. At the tea stop the clouds darkened and a decision was made to head to Abergavenny, for lunch, via the Rockfield Road.
However there was a warning to avoid the Brynbobjon from motorcycle lore, especially when riding in green lanes and on B roads. It is a muli coloured thing with six wheels with a roar like a Typhoon. If you are going fast, it will pass you. If you are going through a fast corner it will go through faster. If the sign says slow, it will speed up. If the sign says no overtaking then overtake it does. Then, when you reach where you are going it is already there. Old bikers need to be wary of the Brynbobjon. 
Anyway, the main road from Tintern to Monmouth does have sweeping bends though and Rob on the Honda GB400TT and Kevin on the Commando had a nice flowing ride. Reaching Monmouth Geoff took over leading the bikes through the town centre and we were getting some admiring looks. It was enjoyable following along the old Abergavenny Monmouth road as Geoff's Triton sounded lovely. Everyone reached the bus station and decided to have lunch before making their own ways back home before the rains came.


23rd July - Historic tour
The weather for the day looked pretty awful and was bucketing down when we were due to leave for the start. A quick phone call to Howard and it was agreed that we'd go in a car in order to keep the numbers up for everything that Geoff had organised - at the start we had some 9 bikes, including Tony D's Harley trike:

The day was to be about the Brecon and Monmouth canal system. We all set off for Newport and the first visit of the day to the 'Fourteen Locks', where Geoff had organised a guide to show us around. We were joined by Terry H, who said that at home in Barry he had some awful weather so he decided to also come on four wheels.

The second leg took us on to Goetre Wharf, where we had lunch and were able to look around the museum, which was opened especially for us.

It was a short run on to visit St Bartholomews church - the burial site of Lord and Lady Llanover. The church itself was very interesting and in excellent condition. Geoff had arranged for us to meet the Vicar's wife who opened the church and showed us around.

After the visit to St Bartholomews the route took us towards Brecon and our next stop at the Brecon Basin of the B&M canal. No sooner hsd we left St Barts than Terry was last seen taking a turning off the route. We followed the country lanes back to the main road, only for a very heavy shower to soak everyone. It was a bit of a no-brainer and many turned south to Pontypool and home, whilst four of us headed to Abergavenny and the next visit at the Brecon Basin. However, at a quick stop on the heads of the valleys road, it was decided to all head for home, as most were well soaked. So ended another of Geoff's super Historic tours. He has a couple more up his sleeve, so don't miss it next year. Many thanks to Geoff for all his organisation - a most interesting day.

16th July - Follow the Velo Run. - Thanks to Rob, John and Terry for the photos.
Eighteen club members met at the Caerphilly Mountain Cafe, on a damp Sunday morning, for Rob’s Follow the Velo Run. Bikes in the car park included AJS, BMW, Motor Guzzi, BSAs, Hondas, a Harley Trike and a Lomax as well as Robs Velocette Venom. With no route card issued it truly was follow the Velo as we headed up the A470 and on to Sennybridge for a tea stop. Here we were joined by two members of the Velocette Owners’ Club which brought our numbers up to 20. Talking to an Army Captain we were informed that there was a lot of mist over Eppynt and visibility was down to a few hundred yards. Undeterred we rode off to our pre arranged meet, with Peter the Army Liaison Officer, at Dixie’s Corner, which was quite murky too. After introductions and having eaten the sandwiches provided for us, Peter gave us a short talk about the Eppynt Ranges and what we were going to do. Basically he would lead us, in his 4x4, on a sighting lap around the five mile TT course at speeds of about 30mph. Then he would take us on a second lap at a faster speed and finally we could do a solo lap at whatever speed we felt was safe. By now the mist had lifted a little and we were off. The first mile or two are on the main public road to Tirabad and did have a speed limit of 30. This was not exactly stuck to. We did meet one or two cars coming towards us on this section but it wasn’t a problem. Once off this road and onto the rest of the track we had the road to ourselves except for the sheep! All around the course visibility was good with only a few blind bends which meant that all the road could be used for bend swinging and cutting the apex. There were some tricky little bends and hills which made you think about the riders, in the 1940s and 50s, who raced for real on this track. Some riders opted to do two laps while others, led by Rob, completed a third. John Fisher kindly agreed to pull up and take some action pictures. Although the roads were still a little damp everyone enjoyed themselves. As Barry Cooksley said, “I won’t do three laps because I was getting quicker on the second and at my age that was quite enough excitement”. From the Eppynt TT Circuit we rode over the ranges to Tirabad and Cynghordy and on the Owls Nest Cafe in Llandovery for a cup of tea and a chat. Everyone made their own way home from here Before moving off, however, Bob's AJS suffered the usual Velocette starting problem, so a spare plug and spanner were provided from Rob's Velo toolbox, which sorted the errant Ajay out.


3rd July - BBQ
The weather was none too bad for the annual BBQ although it did try to drizzle a touch around 9 to 9.30. Luckily most of the food was eaten so I won't have to live on burgers and sausages for the next two weeks. It was nice to see our friend Pierre, who had come all the way from Belgium to be with us.


6th June - bring a bike night
We had something like 16/17 bikes turn out on a glorious sunny evening for the Bring-a-bike night. There were some nice stuff on display and in the end the voting came down to the Honda 750 four owned by Bob J.


5th June - Caerphilly Castle
We were asked several months ago if we could put on a display in Caerphilly Castle on Fathers Day. We decided that the event would probably not be very well supported due to other things happening that weekend, such as the Banbury run. However the event was advertised and with some urgent running around and a few phone calls to the South Wales Sunbeam Motor cycle club, we were able to put on a display. Many thanks to the SWSMCC for providing most of the bikes. It transpired in the week before the event that the roads around the Castle were to be closed for a road run. That, no doubt, put people off coming into Caerphilly, thus reducing the number of visitors to the bike display. Well done - all those that supported the event.


5th June - Banbury run
Several of our members were at the Banbury run, based at the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon. I spotted Brian M and Ken B as spectators, with Bruce and Di riding the VMCC Brough Superior, whilst I was involved with the Judging of the Concours. Guess who won a concours award for the Brough that he was riding, and I didn't accept a bribe either - Some pics:

I'm not sure what to say about the ridiculously high prices that were estimated on the Bonhams bikes. Someone will buy them and they will never be seen again. A bit like Terry's Barr & Stroud engined Beardmore Precision and 1931 Ariel sloper, unless you know better, of course. At least one of the Bikes from the spring Bonhams sale, a 1922 Sun Vitesse has come into our area and with any luck will be seen on the road - doing what it was intended for - riding.

4th June - Seaside run
The Seaside run was supported by 40  motorcycles and the event went off well, as usual. Ably managed by Dave C and John L. The weather wasn't too bad, I'm told. Thanks to John F for the pictures.


14th May - South West Coast Run
We had quite a presence cross the bridge to ride the Bristol Section's South West Coast Run. It sure did rain on the way over but the sun came out and we had a glorious day of sunshine in the end. My brother John made it from Swindon with his Tiger Cub and rode all day with Jean and myself. This was the 55th running of the event and there was over 120 entries of cars and bikes. What a shame that in the past 29 years of running our Seaside run, our equivalent of the SWCR event, that not one person has ever crossed the bridge to ride with us - I wonder, have we got something wrong somewhere?
At one point out on the run, Bob on the Velo, saw two cyclists coming towards him and at the same time they were being caught up by a car. The lady driver of the car swerved out to miss the cyclists and managed to wipe the mirror off the Velo which also saw off her car mirror - she didn't stop, of course. It could have been nasty getting that close and just goes to show that some car drivers have no respect for a motorcycle.
Anyway, there were two routes, the long one and the short one, with most of our members opting for the long route. Funnily enough the long route put the mileage in during the morning and didn't go near the coast, whilst the short route had a coffee stop at Portishead and put the mileage in during the afternoon and followed the coast road. Anyway, we all met at the Little Harp pub in Clevedon, for a Sunday lunch. The day before the event, Howard had booked a table, and that was interesting in itself, with the call going something like this:
Howard - "I'd like to book a table for lunch on Sunday"
Pub - "Have you booked?"
Howard - "No, that's what I'm doing now"
Pub - "We're very busy, you need to book"
Howard - "Yes, that's why I'm ringing"
Pub - "How many and what time do you want"
Howard - "8 people for 1pm please"
Pub - "Can't do that, best we could do would be 12.30"
Howard - "OK, I'll take that, but we'll probably all arrive at 12.45"
Pub - "Oh, ok, that'll do"

The pub was a bit chaotic when we arrived but we were all fed ok.

At the finish there were 10 class awards and four of us won our class - those of us that went:
Rob Jones - 1953 Velocette MAC
John Burns - 1955 Ariel 4G - Best 1950's award
Bob James - 1963 Velocette Clubman - Best 1960's award
John Housley - 1967 Triumph Daytona
John Fisher - 1968 Triumph Tiger 90
Bill & Jean Phelps - 1974 Moto Morini - Best 1970's award
Brian Morris - 1975 BMW R75
Barry Cooksley - 1979 MZ TS150
Terry Hopes - 1982 Honda CM200T
Howard & Carol Jayne - 1983 Lomax - 3 wheeler award

The awards at the finish were quite a surprise, especially mine. But what a great day out, good weather and pleasant company.
Tail piece: Rob was last seen heading up the M5 towards Stafford where he was staying the night before moving on to a Velo owners club rally in Scotland. He sent a message to say that he'd made the stop over at Stafford ok.


12th May - Funeral
Many thanks to those that turned out as support for John F at the funeral for his wife Ruth. The weather promised to be bad but we all had a dry ride and escorted the hearse from the funeral home to the crematorium.

26th April - first Wednesday rideout
This was to the Black Cock on Caerphilly mountain to meet at around 7pm.
There were 12 in attendance, 4? on motorcycles. We had some light rain, but that didn't deter the more hardy of us. A very enjoyable meet with those who choose not to eat coming into the dining area to say hello. Jack, Barry, John and Mike were the hardy motorcyclists. Rob, Peter, Wayne, Dave, Carol and me the not so hardy. Not sure if John and Molly rode or drove.
A good turn out for the first Wednesday evening run and excellent company. Next one on the 24th May to the Victoria Inn, Siginstone.

8th/9th April - the Cheddar weekend
A number of our members crossed the bridge for the Cheddar weekend with glorious weather being forecast. Rob J, Bruce and Di took their camper vans, whilst Howard and Carol along with Jean and myself opted for a local B&B. Report here

2nd April - Spring run - thanks to John F for the pictures
Spring by name and certainly spring by weather. It was a beautiful day as everyone assembled at the Mountain Cafe for the start of the run at 10.30. Heading off Eastwards the first stop was at the cafe at Tintern, when most downed a welcome cuppa. On up the Wye valley to a lunch stop in Abergavenny, before heading back up over the Brecon Beacons and home. A super day out, for sure.


5th March - St David's Day run
The weather forecast for The St. David’s Day run to Llandewi Nant Hodni or Llantony if you wish was for heavy rain and winds, so with the full expectation of no one turning up I was delighted to see 11 persons at the start. Not all on motorcycles but under these circumstances every one was welcome. These included a couple from the Morris 8 owners club who came in their 1960’s car, fearing the worst with a single windscreen wiper equipped Morris 8. The group rode slowly together at the sensible pace for the conditions and Kevin on his 1928 BSA. The weather on the ride out was much better than expected with just a few showers and some spectacular rainbows mixed with the occasion bright spell. At the priory we enjoyed a meal in the cellar of the Priors accommodation sharing it with some very mud splattered hill walkers. Two more members of the Morris 8 club arrived late, so the total became 13. The ride home, however, was a different matter. The promised heavy rain arrived and boy, didn’t it rain. We rode at our own speeds so Kevin and I rode together and I got wet in certain very delicate locations. Note to self, get a new pair of waterproof over trousers as these don’t work. As expected the promised weather conditions kept most away but those who came enjoyed the experience regardless of the weather. It is my intention to make this run an annual event on the Sunday closest to St. David’s Day, in the optimistic belief that the weather must be better next time.


31st January
Firstly, big apologies for me listing the AGM as starting at 07.30 on the calendar. The meeting started at 8.10pm, so sorry for that.

The section AGM was held last night and all the committee were re-elected and are listed on the 'office' page, if you need to get in touch. Concern was expressed that we do not seem to be attracting new members or retaining those that do walk through the door. So it was decided to send out an enquiry form with a SAE for a reply in the hope that we can gather some information that will help us make our meetings more attractive to new members along with the other ones that have been in the past and no longer attend. If you have any ideas at all, please talk to a committee member, as we do try to do our best for what the members want. Not everything is achievable, of course, just ask a Velo owner about starting his bike - but we'll try. Charities for the year are - Wales Air Ambulance and Wales Cancer research.

26th Dec 2016
A few photos from the Boxing day meet at the Lamb and Flag, thanks to Ian - the report is on the 2016 webpage, now in the Library Archive.


1st January
Lunchtime meeting at the Victoria Inn and some 20 odd members turned up - Happy New Year all, here's hoping that we have a good year riding our bikes and that the troubles at HQ are all sorted out.