BMW Club Oxford Section Report for February 2016
Having got the year off to such an excellent start with the meeting at the Lock, Stock & Barrel in Newbury on New Year’s day, the indoor meeting at Uffington village hall on the 10th allowed everyone to have a good clear out or purchase of new stuff at the Section Bring & Buy event. The catering team provided a good idea of how popular this was by noting the number of pints of milk required. This year they had to go out to restock and claimed a great success as this was a 7 pint event! Lots of good food was produced and consumed at amazing speed but the team have our thanks for keeping up so well.
As to the bring and buy itself, four rows of tables groaning under the strain of various bits of bikes, books, clothing and items that needed an explanation to be able to sell were eagerly browsed by the members. Many good bargains were taken away at very reasonable prices and of course those who came just to browse but ended up buying now have something to bring along next year. Welcome to Noel Robertson and his wife, Ann who enjoyed the event so much they joined the Club. We look forward to seeing you both at future events.
After our treasurer, Geoff Clough had rounded up the commission on the sales we have a nice little sum towards the club funds plus a donation of £44.81 towards our support for the Air Ambulance. Taking the Air Ambulance donation container round added a further £24.81 and, with our thanks to Bahnstormer Thames Valley, we ‘sold’ a voucher for a further £20 which is also donated to the Air Ambulance.
Getting the bike ready for another season of riding should be more than just a quick clean. On the 23rd January the Oxford Section and BMW Thames Valley Bahnstormer at their recently refurbished Maidenhead showroom organised a ‘Service Day’ where members and their friends could view the workshops and discuss maintenance issues with the technicians. It proved to be very successful as those who attended and the dealer had the opportunity to answer many questions and to allay all those myths and forum comments.
As a bonus for the day, Bahnstormer Maidenhead provided 75 bacon butties; as there were more than 40 people attending I suspect some had more than one and some missed out. A big thank you to Bahnstormer for these, the one I had was very tasty. Bahnstormer Maidenhead also had an offer of a 20% discount on all their stock items of clothing and a 20% discount for any service booked on the day. The workshop tours proved very interesting and showed the high level of customer satisfaction that this dealer tries to aspire to. Using the technology of the computer and internet alongside the trained technicians with the support from BMW proved a very convincing argument to have your machine looked after by dealers such as Bahnstormer. As Steve Moxey said, “A great day at Bahnstormer Thames Valley with many thanks to Dean, Terry and Rob for hosting the event and managing the workshop tours. Even the GS911 demo worked without a hitch. We also had the Oxford Section video running on the new video screens”. The video mentioned here has been produced by Brian Garforth and looks very professional. Featuring photographs and video taken at many of the events the Section members have taken part in; it is a superb advertisement for the section to prospective new members.
On the evening of the 4th February, 13 Oxford Section members attended the Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue ‘Biker Down’ workshop that took place at the Slade headquarters near Headington. As the adverts for the workshop states; “So you’re the first on the scene of an accident involving a biker. Do you know what to do?” We are indebted to Andy Ford and Debbie Lamb for taking 3 hours of their time to present this fascinating and very informative evening. I can thoroughly recommend all motorcyclists do try to attend one of these workshops as they are being rolled out across the country. I also have to thank Julie Jones for her help in arranging this special workshop for the BMW Club Oxford Section members. The members learnt how to manage the scene that they might have come across. With the knowledge and the practical experience during the evening of assessing and coping with any injured people using basic first aid, those who attend are in a much better position to do something that just may save a life. The final part of the workshop regarding how the human eye and brain perceive things was also very thought provoking. Aspects of how other motorists and people ‘see’ a bike and what we, as the riders, might be able to do to improve our chances could prevent us becoming one of those statistics. You can find out more at the facebook page Biker Down Oxfordshire where you will also find a list of other events planned through March. Amazingly, these workshops are free although a good donation to the Air Ambulance will be appreciated.
March 13th will be the last of the indoor meets at Uffington Village Hall where, after another superb repast from the catering team, John Ottaway will enthral us with tales of his “Grand European Tour”. According to Wikipedia “The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means, or those of more humble origin who could find a sponsor. The custom flourished from about 1660”. I don’t think John fits into either of these descriptions and of course the BMW GS hadn’t been invented way back then. We look forward to hearing this traveller’s tales.
Rob Allen’s Bournemouth Hotel Weekend on April 1st will get the touring season off to a fun beginning; I’m sure the date is not significant. In the past they’ve had sunshine, sleet, and everything in between and so we hope that the weather sorts itself out before then.
Speaking of touring there will be another dealer / Club Section event on the 23rd April at Bahnstormer Thames Valley, Maidenhead which is planned to feature all things related to touring. Presentations of equipment and a chance to discuss any issues regarding the Garmin devices with the experts plus of course the excellent hospitality of the dealer make this an event not to be missed.
For those who fancy finding out just where the borders of the Counties in the Oxford Section are they could register for the “Ride the County” in aid of the Air Ambulance that takes place on the 21st May. Details and registration can be found at http://www.ridethecounty.org.uk/
Looking further ahead to the weekend of the 2nd & 3rd July there will be the ACU National Road Rally and the Oxford Section will ‘people’ a checkpoint at Carterton. Volunteers are required to help with this task and so please put your name forward for a couple of hours of fun to Andy Lawson (01993 212561 or firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. This will help him produce a rota for the checkpoint.
Don’t forget the pub socials to meet up for a chat with other Section members. The first one for the north of the County at The Red Lion at Evenley on the 28th January had 27 people who enjoyed the good food and to meet up with members who in the past haven’t wished to travel to the more southern socials. Another success for the Section thanks mainly to the friendly nature of all the members.
And a bit of amusement nicked off a facebook page “When I was young I just wanted to be older. What the hell was I thinking?”
John L Broad