The BMW Club Journal August 2017 – Oxford Section Report


BMW Club Oxford Section Report for June 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.

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.

Friday June 2 – 3rd Lechlade camping weekend with Dave Hawkins

This year’s camping weekend at Lechlade was supported by visitors from East Anglia, Oxford, South West, Western and Southern Sections. Plus 2 visitors from Spain, but I don’t think they came all that way just to camp at Lechlade.

Most people walking in to town on Friday evening got no further than the first pub and after a few drinks it was time to walk back across the cow field to the camp site.

On Saturday, there were 2 steam and vintage rallies in Lechlade to choose from and most of us opted for the free one a short walk away along the Thames Path, which was also right outside a pub.

On Saturday afternoon 3 bikes left the camp site to ride to the Cotswold Motor Museum at Bourton On the Water.

Thanks to a post on Facebook, and the power of TV advertising after the museum was featured on Henry Coles World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides, there were about ten more bikes waiting at the second pick up point.

On arrival at Bourton we had permission to park right outside the museum where all the bikes were attracting as much attention from the tourists as the exhibits inside.

After visiting the museum some left their bikes and went in search of refreshments while 3 campers returned to Lechlade  for takeaway fish and chips along with those who stayed at the site before heading back in to town to again support the local brewing industry.

Sunday morning brought more dry weather to pack away the tents and depart for home.

The camp site is booked again for next year ,Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of June, the weekend after the second May Bank Holiday.

Sunday 11th June Henley River and Rowing Museum rideout with John Hillier

We were blessed with good weather for the ride out to the Henley River and Rowing Museum. 14 bikes with 17 people met at Newbury Wharf, welcome to the new folk, Ian Ottaway, John,s brother, now that he has come to the true faith, Carl Flint, Andy Iwasiuk, Ian and Rebecca Richardson.

I led them towards Henley on the twisty roads north-east of Newbury all lit in glorious sunshine. My friend and fellow member Andy Clowes did the tail end job. When we got to the Museum the first thing we did was go to the cafe as all good BMWclub members normally do! Not everybody visited the Museum but those who did found it very good. We found out about the history of rowing from the ancient Greeks to the present day, the Univercity boat race, the Henley regatta and the history of the town. We also recalled childhood when we looked at the exhibits about Tales from the river bank by Kenneth Graham with Ratty,Mole, Badger and Toad.

All in all a good day out. Just as we were about to go home we met a East Anglian member, Ken Tabor, who had made his way down from Peterborough to join our ride out.

12 – 22 June – Wild Ireland Way – Chris Bond takes us on a personal journey

Energising 160 mile run and 2 ferries along the copper coast from Wexford to Ballyvourney Co Cork with a few stops on the way, including The Jameson Whiskey Distillery at Midleton and Cobh Co Cork formally Queenstown famous for the final pick up point of the Titanic. Weather is dry fingers crossed for tomorrow and the infamous Healy Pass

Another stonkin days riding clocking up around 180 miles taking in Macroon, Kinsale with it’s lovely Harbour and Dinos famous fish and chip shop though arrived a tad early to try. Then on to Old Head the site of the sunken Lusitania, on along the coast road to Skibbereen, Ballydehob, the infamous Bantry Bay, Glegarriff and the highlight of the day The Healey Pass with twistys and hairpins aplenty. Finally Kenmare before arriving back at the Mills Inn Hotel. Absolutely cream crackered but smiling from ear to ear.

Already day 4 and what started as a damp and dismal day turned into a bright and breezy run around the Ring of Kerry. Spectacular coastal views of the Atlantic, crossing Valentia Island via the new bridge then exiting by way of the ferry.
Upwards and onwards heading towards Killarney and down through the breathtaking national park with its winding roads, lakes and waterfalls. This is gods country. Tomorrow we leave County Cork to our next hotel, Spainish Point County Clare but first we have to ride there!

A Long days riding today in what started with an overcast sky started to brighten once we were in the saddle to Dingle, and its wonderful peninsula passing through Killorglin. The Slea Head drive on the R559 and its spectacular views of the Atlantic coast line passing Ventry and the Beehive hits through Dunquin back to Dingle and up and over the Conor Pass only to be met with thick low level cloud with practically zero visibility, bugger!

Next came the long ride to the ferry at Tarbert crossing the Shannon, disappointingly no Dolphins to be seen but hey ho, next came Kikee and our next Hotel at Spainish Point county Clare.
Tonight will be passed by the consumption of the Black Stuff Cheers everyone!!

Scorching day with a wonderful breeze coming off the Atlantic, beginning at Spainish Point and on to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher a real treasure. Next came Doolin, Fanore, past the Ailween Cave onward to Poulnabrone gave Father Teds house a miss lol passing Fountain Cross and through to Inagh. All in all a grand day albeit for the coastal cycle race, in weather you’d die for.

A new day and another corker of Ride covering some 190 miles. Left Balina for Crossmolna across the R312 to Westport Co Mayo, Louisburgh to the beautiful Famine Valley through to Delphi passing the magnificent Kylemore Abbey. Next the Sky Road loop in glorious sunshine the beauty to behold. Lunch at Clifden Co Galway then across country to Maam Cross, Clonbur, Cong and finally the winding roads from Pontoon back to Balina. Ireland is leaving such an impression on me.

Well never let it be said that Ireland is always wet because for the last 9 days we’ve basked in sunshine with a cooling breeze from the Atlantic, pure biking weather and today stayed true as we headed out to Downpatrick Head, a powerful reminder of the will of the sea, leaving the Head across and southernly to Ceide Fields then though Ballycroy National Park and onward to the splendid Achill Island and Keem Bay for lunch. Back on ourselves to Newport County Mayo then a fantastic ride across country to Balina. We’re coming to the end of our little adventure when tomorrow we leave for Wexford. There is a certain sadness in the air

So tonight is our last night on the Emerald Isle, although a feeling of sadness in leaving, the thoughts of the last 10 days riding some of the most scenic routes around will always put a smile back on my face. Today’s ride although long again passed through some beautiful countryside. From Ballina we headed out towards Roscommon onwards to Athlone passing Birr then over the Slieve Bloom Mountains through to Kilkenny and finally to Wexford. Again the weather was kind though we did have a few spots of rain throughout the day, I think it was the Lady of Ireland’s way of shedding a tear on our departure.

26 June – Cassington Bike Night

For several years, volunteers from the Oxford section have been marshalling and manning the section” pagoda”. The format is the same as previous years – thousands of bikes to see, lots of food options and a beer tent on the village green. What better way to spend a summer evening!

The road through Cassington is closed to non-event traffic and is a free-to-enter event. The organisers do ask for parking donations to cover the cost of road-closures, cones, first-aid, toilets etc.… to raise funds for:

  • Cassington St Peter’s primary school PTA
  • Sports and Social Club
  • St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers
  • Woman’s Institute
  • Cassington Village Hall

The village has hosted the event for almost 30 years. The event was run for many years by The British Motorcycle Riders Club Oxford (BMRCO) who used it as their annual club membership renewal meeting. In 2013 the village opened up further parking and topped all previous years’ attendances with almost 10,000 bikes attending.

This year was a busy as ever, we had several members marshalling the event and many more turning up at the stand together with numerous enquiries about membership – a very successful evening.

1 – 2 July – ACU National Rally

Several members turned out from midday on Saturday 1st to 7am on Sunday morning to man the Carterton marshal point for the 2017 ACU National Rally.

Why do people participate, I will leave it to their own wise words:- Because it is what I enjoy – riding my bike on different roads, in different parts of the country on one of the longest days of the year. Allowing me to meet old friends who compete in the rally, meet the volunteers who sand by the control and provide the witty banter and refreshments, which make the event what it is and at the same time making new friends as the popularity of the rally increases.

Future Events:

1 – 2 June ACU Rally members from the Oxford section will be manning the Carterton checkpoint Andy Lawson mail:

3 July Lugershall Bike Night Oxford Section stand Dave & Rosemary Hicks mail:

9 July Mystery Tour ride out Pear Tree services with David Lisk 01993 843988

July 15 – 50th Anniversary Event Barn Dance: Wooton Village Hall contact Wendy Ottaway mail:

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.

Dave Tomlinson



Author: bobmack70