The BMW Club Journal December 2016 – Oxford Section Report

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BMW Club Oxford Section Report for November 2016

A beautiful, crisp late autumn day on the 23rd October was just right for a ride to the Wellesley Arms, Sutton Benger in Wiltshire for the annual battle between the Oxford Section and the Western Section at that most important activity of skittles. After fuelling up on the special sausages and chips battle commenced.

Our ace sports reporter Marion Allin sent in the following: “So many Oxford Section and so few Western Section what to do? ….. The football ‘loan’ system came into operation! The results were close, a margin of four points decided the winners as the Western Section (plus ‘on loan’ players from Oxford Section) were Continue reading

Membership Renewal for 2017

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Hopefully by now you will all have seen an email, from Rosemary, explaining the 4 ways to renew your membership for the coming year. The first option, online, is found on the Club Website.

The link that you need, to find the form on The Club Web Site is:-

https://secure.bmw-club.org.uk/membership/renew.php

It works 24 hours a day and takes credit cards to help ease the Festive Load, on the wallet.

 

Oxford Section Newsletter – Now Available

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The Oxford Section Newsletter now has its own page on the section website see Newsletter Archive. We will be posting all the back issues on this page if you need to access them.

So far we have 94 members subscribed to the Newsletter. We would like to get every member and associate subscribed to the Newsletter, if possible. Once you are subscribed you get the newsletter delivered straight to your email so it is easy to view and access articles,. Now is a good time to subscribe it will only take you a couple of minutes (you can always unsubscribe at any time). Just click the button below.

Subscribe TODAY >

We are also very interested in new ideas for articles please email.

The BMW Club Journal November 2016 – Oxford Section Report

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BMW Club Oxford Section Report for October 2016

The section seem to have tried to be everywhere over the last month with some riding across Europe and others attending events and rides closer to home, even as far as Norfolk!

The Section was honoured on the 11th September to be led out into the wilds of the Wiltshire Downs by our esteemed President, Mike Warrilow accompanied by his good lady, Peta. As Geoff Clough said “We wound our way over the hills via the Hackpen White Horse to Marlborough, then Fyfield and over the top following the most amazing road into the Vale of Pewsey. The views were Continue reading

Biker Down course in Oxford

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Thursday evening saw another run through the Biker Down course from the Oxfordshire Fire Service, arranged by John Broad especially for the Oxford Section. Twelve BMW members turned up at the Slade fire station and spent three hours finding out what to do when they come across a motorcycle road accident.

Although the course only covers the basics, there is a lot in the course, and it is well worth attending. We learnt about managing the scene of the accident and giving first aid. We had some practice removing each others helmets and handling the great variety of straps clips and latches holding the helmets on. We also got to practice CPR on the dummies and putting each other into the recovery position.

The latest advice on being visible is to wear a bright single colour with full sleeves. This is to present a familiar outline to drivers who expect to see a rider sitting on a bike. Many of the current high visibility markings are remarkably similar to the disruptive patterns used by the military for camouflage. Rather surprisingly this advice would exclude many of the BMW suits available and the various tabards we use. Changing lane position when approaching a junction helps as well.

Thanks to John Broad for organising access to a very informative session.

Oxfordshire Fire Service have issued the following summary of key points from the course:

Your Biker Down aide memoire

New Section Newsletter Launched!

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The Newsletter Working Group are proud to announce the launch of our new Section Newsletter Ride Together

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Oxford Section Chairman, Steve Moxey, had this to say “The idea behind Ride Together is to deliver interesting news and articles quickly and easily right to your email inbox….We will plan to cover a wide range of topics: advice, reviews, events, BMW dealers, road tests, etc. – anything interesting to the typical Oxford section member that helps them get the most out of motorcycling – and riding together”

If you would like to see the first edition of our Newsletter just click the link above and remember to SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t already!

New Oxford Section Logo Approved by BMW Motorrad

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New Oxford Section Logo

New Oxford Section Logo

We have recently had the new Oxford Section logo approved  by BMW Motorrad and we are now able to use this logo. The website has been updated.

The BMW Club Journal October 2016 – Oxford Section Report

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BMW Club Oxford Section Report for September 2016

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As the summer fades into autumn, with a bit of luck, we can look forward to some nice cool sunny days that are ideal for riding bikes without getting too hot. The section has been lucky with the weather recently though and especially for the annual BBQ down at Savernake Forest on the 7th August, which was a great Continue reading

The BMW Club Journal September 2016 – Oxford Section Report

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BMW Club Oxford Section Report for August 2016

With the year rapidly going past we are reminded that ‘time waits for no man’ and maybe this is true for the ride out on the 10th July, ably led by Dick Robinson to Abberley Clock Tower, his first as leader of a run. Dick reported that there were “18 people on 13 bikes headed towards Evesham on the A44 with a ‘landing’ at the Wayside Tea Room just over an hour later for bacon butties. Continuing towards Abberley, the eagle-eyed were able to see the clock tower from several miles distance as it can be seen from six counties. Tony, our guide, took us right Continue reading

Five go Massif in France!

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FIVE GO MASSIF IN FRANCE

A brief account of an MSL Tour in August 2016 with David Shanks, Ian Hartley, George and Ruth Tarasewicz from the Oxford Section of the BMW Club.

Despite an early start on a cool dark morning and obstruction on the M40 caused by a car/caravan smash we met at Clacket Lane Services for refreshment before tackling the last leg to the Channel Tunnel. It was high season and delays were to be expected but eventually le Shuttle decanted us in France only 15 minutes behind schedule. The weather was warm and we ventured south using the peage to Bapaume thence to Café le Tommy in Pozieres. This café has much memorabilia re WW1 and in particular the Australians. It also has a museum with reproduction trenches for those with time to spare on their journey. George and Ruth met us there and joined us for the remaining journey by D roads south to Chateau Thierry for our first stopover. I can’t claim to have lost anyone this time as I was persuaded not to lead!

An early start was required as the next day would be just over 300 miles on D roads. It was pleasantly cool initially, but as progress was made along the scenic highways of rural France, the sun came out and temperatures soared. Troyes, Auxerre and Clamency passed by. After a delightful lunch stop, we headed due south along the D34 which was more rural still. There was very little traffic along the way, but the villages we passed through were charming. From Moulins the road became much busier and at last we arrived in Clermont-Ferrand. The Best Western Hotel du Puys was modern with a stunning rooftop breakfast room and views over the city.

C-F Rooftops

Clermont-Ferrand from the rooftop of our hotel

After two long and tiring days in the saddle we decided to have a day on foot exploring the delights of Clermont-Ferrand. We settled on a visit to the Michelin museum (C-F being their headquarters) which proved a revelation. Who would have thought that Michelin manufactured aeroplanes for the French military in WW1? Or that a niece of Robert MacIntosh would have provided the inspiration for vulcanization of rubber to provide the first tyres? After the museum the tram system was ridden from end to end. C-F was neither particularly picturesque nor (apart from the Michelin Museum) a tourist destination. It is a major industrial city that happens to be the capital of the Massif Central area of France.

For the next leg of our journey, we are indebted to Alan and Gill Mossman who visited the area and published a fabulous route in TVAM’s Slipstream magazine. We visited the hotel Le Lac des Moines on the outskirts of Condat for coffee before following the route to Aurillac over the Col de Peyrol and past Puy Mary (at 1783m probably the highest point in the area). After lunch we followed the N122 to Figeac. The Hotel Le Pont d’Or was superb. Located on the riverbank with a swimming pool on the roof and only a short walk into the historic town, this was an outstanding place to visit. The rideout involved several stops for refreshment, tremendous scenery, busy roads (the nearer we got to the Dordogne) and some navigational challenges.

Figeac Hotel

Riverside Hotel in Figeac

Our most southerly destination was Millau (locally pronounced mee oh not mill ow!). We duly road over the stunning Norman Foster designed viaduct before parking in the services to ponder the spectacle. With 3 nights in Millau there were many opportunities to view the Viaduct. We rode out under it twice and I also travelled under it on a motorized punt. The information centre underneath the viaduct was free to enter and had an excellent film and display of the design and construction process.

Millau by boat

Millau Viaduct viewed from the River Tarn

The Tarn Gorge upstream from Millau was well worth the ride. As it was main holiday season, the road was liberally cluttered with campervans and minibuses towing canoe trailers as well as tourists slowly meandering whist viewing the scenery. Having taken an adventurous turn (ie not followed the gps route) we found some stunning roads, a herd of goats (or long eared sheep?) a leisurely lunch in a shaded garden and eventually the road back to Millau. Beaucoup de Twisties! After the rigors of the river adventure on the following day, a short excursion was required. We visited the Caves at Roquefort-sur-Soulzon from where the famous cheese comes.

The penultimate hotel at La Garde was a revelation. It boasts a gourmet restaurant as well as a swimming pool. The food was superlative. We stuck to beer as the wine list pricing unfortunately matched the reputation of the restaurant. The temperature having been in the low to mid 20s°C had now reached in excess of 30°C. The hotel had no air conditioning but with open windows proved to be OK. Some of the rooms were themed. One was a stable which seemed to consist of pallet wood everywhere. Another was a metalworking studio.

Viaduct de Garabit

Viaduct at Garabit

A visit to the railway viaduct at Garabit was a must. This remarkable construction was one of the earliest designs of Gustave Eiffel who later designed the tower in Paris. We then investigated the Lac du Bge de Grandval with its large dam and EDF hydro scheme. Unfortunately, there was a cycle event taking place in the area and we kept coming across marshals and gendarmes who gave the cyclists priority over all other road users. We eventually escaped from St Flour stopping for a late petit dejeuner at the A75 services overlooking the viaduct at Garabit. We had a brief trip south along the A75 to marvel at this scenic autoroute (non Peage south of Clermont-Ferrand except for the Viaduct at Millau). I noticed the altitude climb to well over 1100m before we left to return north on D roads to the hotel.

Our last night at La Garde was somewhat interrupted by the noise from the local festival until well into the early hours. Despite this, we managed to leave before 8.00 for our long ride to Chartres. We took advantage of the free section of the A75 up to Clermont-Ferrand. This was spectacular but as the road twisted so much there were speed limits as low as 90kph in some stretches. The rest of the journey was very hot. We wondered why most places were shut and the traffic seemed fairly light. When we eventually found a tabac that was open and supplied us with 3 cool soft drinks we discovered that 15 August was a national holiday (The Assumption of Mary). The final hotel welcomed us with aircon, secure parking comfortable beds and a final communal meal before we all departed individually for the UK In Peter’s absence we were let off the obligatory Balloon joke, but a good time was had by all.

Our last day involved a relatively short ride from Chartres to Ouistreham to catch the late afternoon ferry to Portsmouth. Again good roads, lots of twisties but more traffic including tractors and lorries. We had time for a quick lunch at Pegasus Bridge and a look around the museum. Sadly, there wasn’t sufficient time to watch the English version of the film about the museum and the bridges historical part in the D Day landings before we had to leave for the ferry.

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge down

Pegasus Bridge Up

and UP!

A great trip with stupendous roads and scenery, great friends and comfortable hotels. We were very lucky with the weather which remained dry and mostly hot and sunny throughout our stay.