BMW Club Oxford Section Report for November 2015
Riding in autumn can be wonderful with lovely cool and misty early mornings, still air, a diffused sun dappling through the changing colours of the leaves on the trees and all is right with the world. The last ride out of the season on the 11th October proved to be just as superb as John Hillier led 32 bikes from Newbury to close to Farnborough along a superb and varied route in glorious autumn weather. After assembling in a large lay-by, the tail end of Andy Clowes took over the lead with John as tail end for the last stage to the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust site as he knew the area. This apparently quite compact museum proved to have masses of artefacts and information about aviation and just as they advertise “from Cody to Concorde”, including a number of important airframes and a replica of the “Cody” Flyer. We did cause a bit of a hiatus in everyone trying to get drinks from the coffee lounge at the same time; the charming lady operating the machine pointed out that they normally only get about 12 people a day. The other reason for the crowds later in the day was caused by the farewell tour of the south of England by the Avro Vulcan turning over the aerodrome on one of its last flights before being grounded at Robin Hood aerodrome, Doncaster.
After the visit we agreed to go to Blackbushe aerodrome cafe for afternoon tea and Geoff Clough had the great idea to reverse the route we had just done on his GPS as we had passed the aerodrome on the way. After a few false starts the group got separated and two of us found ourselves at a café near Newbury having faithfully followed Geoff! As Geoff keeps saying “Don’t follow Geoff – he will only get you lost!!!” All the others enjoyed the Aerodrome café!
The day before this ride on the 10th October the section supported the Bahnstormer Alton ‘Oktoberfest’ event where a fascinating talk was given by Squash Falconer; the adventure traveller.
It is very worthwhile checking out the Oxford Section blogs as there are some very good write ups of trips including some very good videos; the details are at the end of this report.
One of these is the excellent report from Geoff Clough on the trip he and Dave Shanks completed down to Corsica with MSL Tours. With good roads, apart from the many road works, stunning views and some very good hotels it sounded like an excellent trip, if a bit hot. Geoff summed the adventure up by saying “Would I recommend MSL Tours? – Yes definitely! The hotels were well chosen. Booking in was streamlined and efficient. Peter and Gloria are excellent hosts”. A glowing recommendation for others to follow up.
The “Short Notice Rides” proved popular as people took advantage of the predicted good weather intervals. A trip to the Museum of Army Flying on the 19th allowed a couple of members the chance to see some of the aircraft they had flown in the past. On the 28th a group ventured to the Tank Museum at Bovingdon and on the 1st November another group took in the delights of Bourton-on-the-Water. Not all are in good weather though as John Ottaway led a group of five down to the Wolf Conservation Trust on the 5th November in some damp and overcast weather; they seemed to enjoy the trip though.
The event of the year was, as Steve Moxey put it in his face book report “not the rugby, Formula 1 or the Moto GP; it was in fact the Oxford Section versus Western Section annual skittles match which Oxford Section won 2-0”. Denis Bradbeer the Western Section organiser said “they let Oxford win as an encouragement to us all, but I have to say we were beaten but only by 10 points”. Our thanks to Denis for arranging the event and we’ll take up the challenge again on the 30th October next year to see if the teams have improved.
By the time you read this we will all have enjoyed the first of the winter meetings on the 8th November at Uffington Village Hall where, after devouring the fine food cooked by the excellent team led by Rosemary & David Hicks, the AGM will have the committee elected for the coming year. A further Uffington meeting on the 13th December will be a special social with seasonal food again cooked and presented by the Section Cooking team led by Rosemary & David.
As the nights draw in and the weather can be a bit damp we do have the four Pub Social Christmas dinners to look forward to. The dates are on the email sent out by Rosemary Hicks and this is always a good precursor to the main event in December.
The start of the New Year will see us meeting on the 1st January at the Lock, Stock & Barrel in Newbury to get the social activities off to a fine start. The next event at Uffington on the 10th January will be the ‘Bring & Buy’ sale, so you can start to look out all those bits and pieces that have been lying around for ages to be put on one side to take to the event.
Now, the reality of this time of the year is that it can be foggy, damp, cold and with leaves on the roads, slippery plus the days are getting shorter so take extra care and stay safe out there.
John L Broad