BMW Club Oxford Section Report for October 2015
For a change, and because it has been such fantastic weather, I’ll start with the end of September rides. Bob Mack organised another of the “Short Notice Rides” (SNR) to the international helicopter museum at Weston Super-Mare on the 1st October with a stop off in Bath for Bath buns. I can’t help smiling every time I read this new title as the letters ‘Snr’ usually refer to us retired folk and with the runs arranged for midweek those who can participate of necessity are generally of the Snr types! This museum is unusual in showing the development of helicopters from around the world in the one fascinating place.
Working back through the month of September the long weekend from the 25th to the 28th on the Isle of Wight was also blessed with superb weather. Some 38 people had a great time exploring this little piece of England including rides right round the perimeter and finding interesting places all over. The Keats Green Hotel at Shanklin proved to be excellent and ideally located for walks, views and the starting point for trips out. With attentive and friendly staff, good food every day and being biker friendly it proved an ideal location. Arriving on the Wightlink Ferry, the group managed to split up and some followed Rob Allin all the way to the Brading Roman Villa. Turned out to be an interesting site although the photo I took made us all look very studious as we listened to Helen Williams describing the history and renovation. On the Saturday morning we were slightly amused when one chap found that his bike, the only one in a row of bikes, had been severely attacked by bird droppings. As this was the only non BMW bike it was decided that the birds knew which one to use as a toilet! The BMW Club was not the only bikes on the island though as the hotel next door had a superb gathering of the Norton Owners Club machines. Elsewhere there was also a meeting of the BSA Owners Club altogether making some lovely vintage sounds and sights. A short walk from the hotel could be seen the remains of the wartime PLUTO project; an amazing piece of engineering. Now, if they could just get some of the road surfaces a bit smoother and less potholed it would have been perfect!
The advertised “annual mystery ride” on the 13th wasn’t a mystery at all as Tim Bolderston led a group to the Watercress Line. He commented that “Despite having a few members away in France and Spain this weekend we had a great turnout at the Waterfront Cafe of 20 motorcycles from vintage to the very latest. The forecast rain stayed away and we had some sunshine, but most importantly it stayed dry right up to the end of the run. The Watercress Line came up with extra parking and did a good trade in cheap lunches at the station buffet, with an authentic sooty flavour from the steam engines going past. All the riders managed to find their way with the drop-offs and no-one got lost, which was a minor miracle considering we were using unclassified roads a lot of the time”. It was an excellent day out with many thanks to Tim for arranging a varied route with an interesting destination.
As mentioned above, a few members have been over to France and Spain with others going as far away as Corsica making the most of the last days of the summer.
As this year we remember the many members of our armed forces a special ride to the commemorative wall at the National Memorial Arboretum took place on the 3rd October. Andy Lawson and many other members of the section joined the ride up the M40, M42 and M6 in large groups to gather at the wall to remember those who gave their lives for our freedoms. There were around 7,000 booked to take part in the ride this year but some 20,000 are expected at the event.
Looking towards the next couple of months you might have received this just before the Section AGM where we hope you have either been satisfied with the committee or have volunteered to help. I will be contacting those who ‘volunteered’ to lead ride outs next year for more details of their plans as I am compiling the calendar for 2016 ready for printing.
As Christmas rapidly approaches the pub social locations will be arranging suitable festive meals, which I hope you will all support. Get your names down soon as there may be limited space in some places.
The AGM on November 8th starts our winter meetings at Uffington Village Hall with the gathering on December 13th being a social event including festive food and maybe some fun and games.
Now that autumn is upon us, watch out for those damp and foggy days with wet leaves on many back roads that are as slippery as ice. Stay safe out there.
John L Broad