BMW Club Oxford Section Report for April 2017
To celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2017 organising several social events. Most of these planned events taking place in various restaurant or eating establishments throughout the year.
The second of these was a Sunday Lunch on the 19th March at the Windmill Carvery near Burford, a good number of hardy souls made the event and an excellent time was enjoyed by all.
March 12th was the last of the Uffington indoor meetings with a talk by Neville Dalton on his adventures in Norway. Neville’s talk was based around the first (of two) bike trips he did with World of BMW in June 2011 & June 2012. The talk followed the MapSource routes he used, illustrated with some of the photos he had taken.
There was plenty of interest from the audience, mostly centred around the timings and costs of the trip and, being Norway, the cost of booze.
The photos used in the talk were mainly Neville’s but supplemented from the Internet to illustrate the ‘finished products’ of road, bridge and tunnel changes that have been completed since 2011. As a personal note, Neville thinks that the tour route, though lengthy, is better without the more recent “shortcuts” as he’s not so keen on seeing countries from inside tunnels!
If Neville could he would go again tomorrow, he enjoyed the trip so much – as the planning etc. was all done for the group. Not having to coordinate ferries, hotels etc. is a big saving of effort. The trip was in June 2011, warm enough for Norwegian’s to be sunbathing in Trondheim but still very cold and snowy over the high ground!
All he had to do was set up his sat-nav, remember to pack the (2) maps and go. The only ‘bad’ bit was having to trundle round the M25 and up the A12 – and back! Neville was fortunate with the A12 however, as the ‘leader’, Richard, passed him on that road and he spotted his World of BMW sticker and followed his (much quicker) progress!
Total distance in Norway was 1620 miles, although Neville added a few extra as he detoured to ride the 27 hairpins at Lysebotn on the last leg.
March 14th is the Prince of Wales, Shippon natter night where we had Nick Houlton along. Nicks talk was a lively and fun look at new technology for motorcyclists and includes BMW Assist, RealRider, and the development of body worn airbags. We enjoyed an overview of the various technologies different manufacturers are offering, with a deeper dive into those offered by Helite. Nick shared his experience of using these on Track, on Road, and on Terrain with photos and customer testimonials. This lively discussion also featured live demonstrations, check out our Facebook page for the result of this test on our Social Sec Dave Tomlinson!
15th March Culham Centre for Fusion Energy: – Around 22 members gathered at this long awaited trip to discover the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy which is the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research. CCFE is based at Culham Science Centre and is owned and operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
The site was previously HMS Hornbill, a Fleet Air Arm airfield, and was converted to a purpose-built fusion laboratory between 1960 and 1965. Today the UK fusion programme is centred on the innovative MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Union under the EURATOM treaty. In addition, CCFE hosts the world’s largest magnetic fusion experiment, JET (Joint European Torus), on behalf of its European partners.
A very exciting and worthwhile trip that we are also organising for 2018.
SNR’s. Oxford section have also introduced Short Notice Rides, these tend to be mid-week events with a day or more notice, which have been very popular.
One ride was to Portsmouth Maritime Museum, Well done to the ‘Magnificent Eight’ who took part in the SNR to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard today. We all agreed to use the buddy system that worked well and of course all of these rides welcome pillions and Gill Mossman joined us on this SNR. The weather was mostly dry but quite misty and foggy on the way back.
We met at the Tothill services just off the A34, then Steve led the ride down along a very engaging and beautiful route down some very small and green lanes finally ending up for a well deserved break at Loomies, with tea and bacon helping resuscitate the “team”.We then set off along faster roads to Gunwharf Quays where we circled the car park for some time as the majority of bike spaces were used but eventually found some spaces at a reasonable £1 for the day.
The Historic Dockyard is well worth a visit on any day but be warned there is so much to see. The new Mary Rose exhibit is very good well worth a visit having watched it from its discovery and lifting phase to its semi dry structure today.Once we reached the Dockyard everyone headed to their areas of interest and as usual made their own way home afterwards.New SNR stickers were distributed to all attendees.
30th March Thanks to Bob Mack for arranging a good SNR to RAF Cosford. We scooted up the M40 to collect a pick up Dave Shanks and Andrew Lawson and then on to the RAF Museum at Cosford. This museum covers the Cold War period with interesting displays contrasting life in the East and West. The gift shop even has a large statue of Lenin to encourage shoppers! The displays are excellent including all three V-bombers and the museum needs more than one visit, fortunately it’s free but you do pay for the car park. We took a route back on A roads to avoid Birmingham and Bob and I had the best coffee of the day at the new Costa drive thru at Faringdon on the way back home.
2nd April 50th Anniversary Event – Hongxin Chinese restaurant: – A very nice lunch today at the Hongxin Chinese restaurant near Swindon. The weather was good, the food was good and the restaurant was well organised and very friendly. Many thanks to Martin Skennerton for arranging the event
9th April We have the first ride out of the season planned for a “mystery coast tour” with Phil Carter 07778 936424 departing from the Sun Inn, Coate Water, Swindon at 9.30 (allowing time for breakfast / coffee before departure)
14th May we have a ride out planned for Cheddar Gorge with Frank Butler 07833 469602 starting from North Oxford Garage.
With the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War this year it is very appropriate that the section has a visit to Ypres over the weekend of the 26th to the 29th May although this very full with a reserve listing.
Don’t forget to make a note of the dates from the trifold calendar that you wish to attend into your diaries and make sure you add in the special 50th events. We will also be updating the website regularly and posting on Facebook.
Here’s to safe riding and some good weather.