June 2020 Report
‘RIDE together’ returns
‘Flaming’ June arrived and lifted spirits of Oxford Section members. The Government eased the lockdown and permitted up to 6 people from different households to meet outdoors. This was followed up on June 5thby guidance from COMO (Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations) on riding singly and in small groups. It was time to get planning. No changes could be made to the bigger weekend rideouts but our smaller mid-week Meetup rides could be slimmed down to 6 riders. The plans for the new style rides were closely scrutinised by the Section Committee. As they fully met COMO guidance, we were ready to finalise our arrangements. So, come 9thJuly small numbers of us will have the pleasure of riding together again. And it looks like the cafes will be open then too!
The Motorcycle Diaries.
It’s a biopic about the journey and written memoir of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, later know as the revolutionary Che Guevara. The film recounts his 1952 journey not long before completing his medical degree, he and his older friend Alberto Granado, a biochemist, leave Buenos Aires to travel across South America. While there is a goal at the end of their journey – they intend to work in a leper colony in Peru – the main purpose is initially fun and adventure. They desire to see as much of Latin America as they can, more than 8,700 miles in just four and a half months, while Granado’s purpose is also to bed as many women as will fall for his pickup lines. Their initial method of transport is Granado’s dilapidated Norton 500 motorcycle christened La Poderosa (“The Mighty One”). After our greet and meet, we watched the film at home and then re-joined Zoom for a short but fun quiz. If you’re using ‘free’ Zoom it does help you to speed up to avoid the 40 mins deadline!
June 9thbrought some variation to our regular online meets. Geoff Clough, our Section Secretary, hosted a ‘I can see you Chat Room’ a bit more personal than the standard text only version. A number of club members ‘dropped in’ during the evening and it proved a very social occasion, with a lot of chat, good humour and recollection of daring feats on BMW motorcycles, some of which might even have been true!
June 16thand the film enjoyed prior to this gathering was ‘The Best Bar in America’. A whisky-fuelled writing assignment takes one man on an epic motorcycle road trip through the bars and taverns across the American West. Motorcycling, sleeping on the ground, chasing mermaids, & drinking in America’s most legendary taverns, Sanders experiences first-hand the brotherhood of the bike and bar. Along the way he gets advice from Ernest Hemingway & Jim Harrison on writing & drinking
The photography was brilliant, especially when it came to the “on the road” shots. They captured the expanse and beautiful desolation of the rural west. The “motorcycle” is a BMW outfit. The whole tale is thoughtful and deep. The journey becomes a search for Sanders’ identity. Contains some “colourful” language and some brief adult scenes but is very watchable. Again, a chance to engage in a quiz and rapier-like banter before everyone was chucked out at closing time – aah memories of the Pub Socials we knew yesteryear!
Presses roll for the COVID-19 ‘Special’ Newsletter
Under the stern eye of our diligent Editor, Carl Flint, unwilling volunteers are regularly press-ganged into contributing copy for the seasonal Newsletter. As a newcomer the writer actually found it an awesome enterprise. Not only does it require you to extend your gnat’s attention-span to producing something readable, but includes the fun of composing a Web page (with links that actually work). Further dark arts are explored on Trello project boards not to mention storing images in Dropbox. After a flurry of activity, 15 articles were produced and the Newsletter was out there for the Oxford Section to enjoy. Carl maintained a serene equilibrium throughout the endeavour and is to be congratulated on a first-class publication.
Steve Moxey is the driving force behind Motorcycling Under Covid-19 bulletins. The plan was to keep stimulated the interest of members by informing, entertaining and occasionally refreshing memories of happy past events. The plan was to help keep the miseries at bay and interest alive until we could ride together again as a club. This led to ‘don’t book anything else’ Thursday mornings. We usually needed an hour or 2 on Zoom to generate ideas, allocate items for authoring, review current bulletin and plan for the following week. Regular as clockwork Rosemary has been emailing out the bulletin every Friday. As Steve had to furlough, hopefully for a short while, Tim Bolderson our Treasurer stepped into the Ed.’s role and has steered this much appreciated weekly publication.
The English Riviera Hotel Weekend in Paignton 2-5 Oct 2020
This is the latest news of Paignton:
The Palace Hotel in Paignton is now planning to open on 4th July, which means that it should be open for our planned trip in October. There may still be a few vacant rooms.
When it opens the hotel will be operating under government restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19, some of which are detailed on their website. This describes how the hotel will train and monitor their staff to ensure COVID precautions are maintained. In addition there will be changes to assist guests to maintain social distancing and in the serving of food and drink. Dinner will be served in multiple sittings allocated in advance to guests. The buffet breakfast will be replaced by service to the table and screens will be erected to protect staff in the lounge and bar areas. Tables will be separated to ensure social distancing.
Some of our usual activities may be affected by the COVID restrictions, as, for example, rideouts are currently severely restricted in size by the limit in numbers of people allowed to congregate in public spaces.