On Thursday March 12th, 2020, we had our first Oxford Motorcycle Riders Meetup Ride – ‘The Charlbury Cruise’ hosted by James O’Shea. We met up at the Mill View Garden Centre in Wheatley near Oxford. This is the first Meetup ride organised by the BMW Club Oxford Motorcycle Riders Meetup group so we will give a more detailed report so that you can get a good idea of what one of our Meetup rides is like – we hope to see you on one of our Meetup rides in future. (Remember you will need to join the BMW Club Oxford Motorcycle Riders Meetup group on Meetup to participate – please follow the link!)
One of the advantages of Meetup rides is that we can keep the size of the ride to a manageable number of 12 bikes and this helps us give a high quality riding experience. Jame O’Shea hosted the Charlbury Cruise and was very well prepared with route maps, briefing notes, and free coffee for the participants (this was very welcome James, thank you:-) ). James gave everyone a briefing on the ride, and the navigation system we were to use, in this case the Drop-off system. We also collected a £2 donation to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) – we are running the Meetup rides to help raise money for this very worthy cause. We had seven riders in total and we collected £20 so at £2.86 per rider it was an above average haul!
Our Meetup group provides a lot of information for participants about events. You can see what was provided for the Charlbury Cruise by following this link to the event. James explained that the route would loosely follow the Charlbury TT route through the Cotswolds. We are using MyRouteApp to provide route information and GPX downloads for participants, which you can download from the Meetup event page and load on your GPS prior to the ride. Here is the Charlbury Cruise route:
The weather on the day was mixed with some rain on the way to the Mill View Garden Centre, and it was quite blustery. You definitely needed to keep a close eye on the road surface on some of the smaller roads. We also endured a short hail storm and then the sun came out as well, so there was something for every taste. The riding was very enjoyable with some great scenery and a mixture of road types and bends. We don’t allow overtaking within the ride, it is safer that way, but we did overtake a number of vehicles along the way. Half-way round we stopped at Chipping Norton for a leg stretch and James handed out oranges for refreshment (future ride organisers please take note!). James also checked that everyone was happy with the pace.
The ride then finished at the Horse and Groom, Caulcott for lunch. The Horse and Groom was the North Oxford CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2019 and the food was great – James had reserved a table for the seven attendees and the pub was expecting us.
So overall the first BMW Club Oxford Motorcycle Riders Meetup event went very smoothly. The Meetup website worked very well in getting everyone to the right place at the right time and with the right information. We also raised £20 for TVAA, and by managing the numbers we were able to deliver a high quality ride. We are planning Meetup rides twice a month for the rest of the riding season so if you would like to come and join us you would be very welcome, just follow this link to our Meetup webpage which will give you all the information you need.