The BMW Club Journal Aug 2015 – Oxford Section Report

BMW Club Oxford Section Report for July 2015

BMW Plant Berlin tour group 20150615

The Oxford members have certainly been using their bikes and enjoying riding with fellow members to all corners of the UK and across Europe over the last month.

Changing the normal 2nd Sunday ride to the 1st Sunday of June didn’t fool anyone as there were 18 bikes and 22 people on Ian Dobie’s excellent run to Portsmouth on the 7th June with a stop off at Loomies café to replenish the inner people. Ian posted a very good report of the trip on the website describing the last section as “from Loomies we made our way for the last 20 miles to Portsmouth even negotiating the final section of the M275 and in to the Historic Dockyard without losing anyone. Well, apart from John Ottaway who went looking for Wendy who was actually with us, that’s his excuse anyway.” With so much to see and enjoy, Portsmouth proved a popular ride as Ian said “Some went off to Gun Wharf to sample the gastronomic delights of the many and various eateries whilst a good number visited the Mary Rose and other vessels and museums in the dockyard”. It was nice to read Ian’s thanks to all those who made the effort to set out so early and that even as the leader, Ian enjoyed the day himself after all the work involved in ensuring the run and visit went smoothly. Even the weather was good.

On the 6th June both North Oxford Garage and Bahnstormers, Maidenhead had open days for the introduction of the latest models. The Section took advantage of this to promote the Club and we welcome the 4 new members to the Section and look forward to seeing you all at the events.

Meanwhile at the other end of the UK, Brian & Lillian Garforth had organised through John & Brigitte of Wildcat Adventures a tour of the western Isles of Scotland. Ten Oxford Club members made the trip and they enjoyed good weather and had a great time. Brian’s blog on the website has some super photo’s to tempt people to make the trip and as Brian says “a must do visit for everyone who doesn’t need to travel far”.

The big event during the month was of course the trip to Berlin with people using various routes to get there. Geoff Clough led some of the members using the “buddy system” as the drop off system is impractical. Geoff provided some information on how this might work for the group but included the following advice “Your ride leader is a willing volunteer but has not had chance to ride the route in advance and is following satnav and/or map directions. Please be patient if we have to stop more frequently than you expect to check/change directions, etc. NB As Geoff is your ride leader expect the odd deviation or two (e.g. timber yards, multi-storey car parks, etc.).This is quite normal with him in charge!” He went on to say “Never was a truer word spoken in jest. I lost the first bunch of faithful followers at the A5 roundabout at Stoney Stratford!” Geoff’s report on the website is worth reading as it relates the full story of the journey and the amusing unintended diversions taken by both him and the team following en-route to Berlin. Geoff then said “It was about this point that I reminded all in earshot that “I was not in fact the Tour Leader” as I had never been to Berlin before and in the words of Manuel from Fawlty Towers “I know nothing!!!” Sightseeing was the order of the next two days.” Everyone managed to meet up at the Spandau BMW Motorrad factory early on the 15th June where a group photo was taken in front of the visitor centre. BMW looked after the group very well in spite of it being one of the largest they had ever taken round. A presentation describing the BMW Group and specifically the Motorrad division was made before the group was split into two for the guided tour. Geoff has described the impressive plant in his report on the website.

With the tour completed the group split up to explore various parts of the country. Geoff reported that “The largest group headed for HarzBiker aka Pension Roseneck at Bad Lauterberg in the Harz Mountains. We were made most welcome by Jacquie and Greg Niven our hosts for the next 4 nights”. With ride outs, steam train rides and the P.S. Speicher museum in Einbeck plus excellent food the team had a superb time. They seem to have had a good run back home until the M25 Orbital Car Park back in good old Britain!

It was interesting to note that 4 headlight bulbs needed to be changed including 2 on Dave Hicks bike and Dave also suffered from a puncture but otherwise everyone got back safely.

Whilst on the subject of touring Europe I must mention John Ottaway setting out on his “Grand Tour” that will take in Scandinavia and both East and West Europe; we all wish him well and look forward to hearing about his adventures.

Closer to home, Steve Moxey arranged a ride out to the excellent folk at Bahnstormer, Alton and then on to Winchester to take advantage of a special discount on equipment from the Winchester branch of Rohan. The ride route from Tothill Services across country to Alton proved very good with lots of nice roads. Bahnstormer offered a 20% discount on clothing to those with a club membership card and I took the opportunity to replace my old Streetguard and Schubert helmet; just need to do some creative finance to pay for it now! Another excellent ride to Winchester had the drop off system challenged due to a careful horsebox driver but fine biking roads all the same. Steve had even arranged with the City Council to park the bikes in the middle of town with only a short walk to the Rohan shop. I am already a convert to Rohan products as they are technically superb whilst looking good. Again Steve had arranged with the shop for a 20% discount on presentation of a BMW Club card. The manager, Angie and her staff are excellent and really know the product range. More expense for me but I’m very pleased with both the clothing and of course the price.

The last Monday in June is always the Cassington bike night and the Oxford Section not only had a stand on the village green but many of the members helped with marshalling the bikes. This year our friends from North Oxford Garage had a stand alongside us making a good show of BMW bikes. This little village with a couple of pubs, a church, school and a few houses had around 12,000 bikes attending between the hours of about 5pm to 8pm! This is a fantastic event with no incidents at all, just everyone having fun. With parents, children and teachers helping out this is an event for all the family but don’t even think of trying to go to it in a car. Vintage and Classic bikes parked on the village green and bikes filling adjoining fields and farmyards. All the proceeds go towards the school and local charities. May I welcome the 16 new people who joined the Club that evening, we look forward to seeing you at the many events.

By the time you read this the Oxford Section stand will have been at the Ludgershall bike night and on the 14th will be at the West Hagbourne bike night. Calne village has a bike day on the 25th with the club stand there to arranged by John Russ.

The regular 2nd Sunday ride out for July will have Willem van Zyl taking us to the Welsh borders up towards Hereford.

August will see us back at the Postern Hill, Savernake Forest, Marlborough for the annual BBQ on the 9th. You can join Steve Moxey on a run there from Tothill Services if you don’t know where it is.

The 16th will be another occasion to have the Club stand at the amazing Brackley Festival of Motorcycling. You could go to Popham airfield on the 15th for the bike Megameet as well.

With this fine weather there is no excuse not to take advantage of the 4 locations for the “Pub Socials” where we can all meet up.

Although it is some time until the AGM, our excellent section secretary Tim Read will be standing down and we can welcome Ian Hartley who has volunteered to take on this important job.

As Geoff put it at the end of his report on the trip to Germany “All in all it was a great day out with brilliant company and quality riders in brilliant sunshine. I trust you all enjoyed yourselves as much as me, makes you proud to be part of such a great club.” And so say all of us.

John L Broad



Author: bobmack70