BMW Club Oxford Section Report for June 2015
Here we are at the halfway month of the year and the main talking point of the British is still the weather! According to the weather people, the month of May was colder and wetter than it should have been which makes the successful rides so far very lucky. Both the pre-arranged and the spontaneous rides over the last month have been very well supported with good weather, if a little chilly.
Geoff Clough led 22 bikes, plus 1 extra at Avebury and 2 more in Calne, to the seaside at Weston-Super-Mare on the 10th May by a wonderfully devious route to stop for tea and buns at the West Somerset Railway near Shepton Mallet. Geoff had not planned any rain but a shower occurred anyway for a short part of the run across the Mendips, Cheddar Gorge and on to Weston Super Mare. As Geoff said “We helped to fill up the Bike Park on the front alongside the big wheel before dispersing for food, drink, ice creams, donkey rides (really? – JLB) or alternative pursuits. Some of us went to the Helicopter Museum at Locking; a very interesting museum and bike friendly – well worth another visit”. It was good to see Stuart Thomas on the run as he only joined the Club the day before; welcome Stuart, glad you enjoyed the run and the company and your thanks are always welcome. Stuart sent in a photograph of the beach and the donkeys but didn’t volunteer to say whether he rode them! Thanks must also go to David Shanks for his work as tail end. Geoff commented that they called in at the Bear Hotel in Devizes on the way home looking forward to a cream tea like the one they had on the recce’. I guess the cream tea was off the menu as Geoff said “This time Quel Horreux! Rien de scones! We had to make do with Tea or Coffee and cakes. Um! I had the black forest gateaux. Now need to ride the B500 to exercise the calories!” Google translate suggests this is a mixture of Italian & Basque languages, ’so I can’t tell you what it really means but I guess he wasn’t too unhappy having to eat the gateaux.
On the same day, 10th May it was BMW Day at the ACE Café in London with a run organised by North Oxford Garage. As I’ve never been to the ACE I thought I would join them. Although there was a bit of a hiccup at the start a good ride taking in some of the back roads to Long Crendon, Thame and West Wycombe; a short run up the M40 and the North Circular brought us to the ACE. For me it was an interesting place but I was a little disappointed that there were not more BMWs or dealer support.
John Ottoway’s ‘Welsh wander’ round the Brecon Beacons area from the 14th May proved a great success once the very heavy rain had tested the waterproofing properties of the riders clothing. Good customer relations from North Oxford Garage for Dave Shorten as they replaced his leaking Street Guard jacket under warranty without him even asking. As Steve Moxey pointed out the next day, “nice weather today after the rain. Buddy system failed at the first turn when the last three riders went the wrong way! The rest waited on the Senny Bridge military road” suggests the drop off system is still the best. At least one of the places they stayed at produced some excellent food as the photo’s on the facebook pages show them tucking into huge platefuls! I recommend you to look at the facebook pages as there are many more photo’s of this superb trip although many of them seem to be good adverts for the BMW Clubstar Hi-Vis vests in all colours.
The end of the month (29th – 30th May) had the hardy folks camping with Dave Hawkins at Lechlade for a long weekend. Dave reported “In all there were 3 sidecars and 1 solo with trailer as well as the usual loaded up solos. Martin and Angela from Oxford Section are seasoned campers but this was their first camping trip on a bike. We were all impressed by Martin finding room for the bike cover along with all the other gear on his 1200GS”. I did hear a rumour that they had the bike cover but didn’t pack any clothes! We really have to thank Dave for arranging these camping weekends as he has to book holiday time from his work to run the event. It was good to see visitors from as far afield as Cumbria on the site and they were made very welcome.
Dave said “11 bikes in all had a leisurely ride over the Lambourn downs to the Ridgeway Centre at Court Hill for tea and cake before returning to Lechlade via White Horse Hill and Faringdon, with some of the day trippers peeling off and heading for home along the way”. Dave thanked Mark for the tail end job. Dave reported that “After a hearty meal of fish and chips brought back to the camp site from the local chip shop it was back in to town for a few beers, then a walk back across the cow field to the camp site. Watch your step and don’t forget the torch!” The hazards of camping at night eh! The campsite is happy to have us back next year and so put the dates of the 3rd to 5th June 2016 in your diary now.
I must reiterate the pleas for volunteers to help out at the amazing Cassington Bike night (29th June), names to me please, and for the ACU Rally checkpoint at Carterton (4-5th July) with names to Andy Lawson (01993 212561).
Due to the trip to Berlin the June ride-out led by Ian Dobie to Portsmouth was on the first Sunday, 7th June and I’ll report on that next month. The July ride out will be on the 12th led by Willem van Zyl into the wilds of the Welsh borders, should be fun and interesting.
A quick forewarning about the Section BBQ on the 9th August to let you know that it will take place back at Postern Hill, Savernake Forest, Marlborough and not as advertised in your section calendar.
I’m reminded of an advert for SAAB that I think we could adapt “Go swift, Go safe, Go BMW (SAAB)! Doesn’t quite work but the sentiment is the same to ride safely.
John L Broad