The BMW Club Journal October 2017 – Oxford Section Report

BMW Club Oxford Section Report for August 2017

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2017 organising several social events. Most of these planned events taking place in various restaurant or eating establishments throughout the year.

SNR’s: Oxford section have also introduced Short Notice Rides, these tend to be mid-week events with a day or more notice, which have been very popular.

Sun August 6th – Vintage Run

A proper vintage ride out planned by Dave Hicks to attend the Vintage Motor Cycle Club Bill Lacey memorial run gathering at the Red Lion, Evenley seemed like an excellent idea on Sunday the 6th August.

Legend has it that Bill, a famous Norton race engineer and racer in the 1920’s & 30’s, offered to buy motorcyclists a pint if they came to his local pub, the Red Lion. While there are no more free pints, the riders keep coming once a year on the first Sunday of August.

A bit odd, but worked out well, to meet at the Waterfront cafe, Benson as four of us rode from Bicester. What a fine collection of machines from a R 69S, R100 RS, my R80 RT, a K75 and K100, a fine Norton Commando and of course tail ender, Dave Shanks on his F800. The ride took a wide loop to the east taking in many places known to many but never approached from the directions Dave had worked out.

Nearly all back roads including rising up to Christmas Common and back down on ‘Alpine’ like roads and winding through delightful hamlets. Speed had to kept low as apart from all the turns and junctions there were lots of cyclists and horse riders to be polite to; and we never lost anyone using the buddy system.

The scene at Evenley had the pub surrounded by a huge range of mostly nice vintage machinery with the occasional modern bike scattered around. A very pleasant chat with a chap called Ian on the other side of the village green who had an immaculate K100 RS might encourage a new member. He did point out an amusing episode when he arrived with his friends and bought a couple of pints in the pub. As he came out to the crowd he had to find his friend and thought ‘he has grey hair, wears glasses and is wearing a motorcycle suit’ – none of which of course helped as almost everyone looked like that!

All thanks to Dave Hicks and Rosemary for an excellent gentle potter around the relatively local area and to Dave Shanks for acting as sweeper.

Sunday 13th August – Brackley Festival of Motorcycling – Dave Shanks

Some people got up far too early on the morning of the 13th August to get the stand set up at the Brackley Festival of Motorcycling, but then it was a beautiful morning for a ride. Gazebo erected, flags and banners up, bikes parked, merchandise set out, information for new members ready and the team of Rosemary and David Hicks, Dave Shanks, Martin Skennerton and Steve Halliday ready to receive the public and all before 09.00. Teas and coffees courtesy of Martin and his kitchen on the back of the GS.

With such superb weather the crowds duly arrived and a steady stream of visitors showed an interest in the bikes and the club.

Out in the High Street some rare motorcycles were being given an airing running up and down a laid-out course. Going up the hill allowed the bikes to be opened up to produce that wonderful cacophony of noise that the PC world of today seems to want turned down in future. Certainly, the Hondas, MVs and Gileras made enough fantastic sound to please any real motorcyclist who needed to get the wax out of their ears. Amusingly the first session was called “Wakey, Wakey Brackley” and lived up to the title.

The blood bikers were helping with marshalling and had a stand with a new bike on show. The main sponsors this year being BMW Motorrad North Oxford Garages and Northampton Wollaston meant they had a big stand with all the latest machines for people to sit on. They even had an electric pedal cycle with some really trick, high tech’ stuff built in.

Down in the other field could be seen demonstrations of scrambling, or what today is called Motocross, with bikes from the 1950s to the latest machines really going for it. In the nearby arena Steve Colley demonstrated just what can be done with a modern trials bike that was almost unbelievable but shows what years of skilful riding can achieve.

With custom bikes, a range of the Millyard creations, club stands, a fair ground, the wall of death and many other attractions it should not be missed in future.

Our thanks to John Broad for the words, Rosemary and David Hicks, Dave Shanks, Martin Skennerton and Steve Halliday for organising and supporting the event.

Friday / Saturday / Sunday 18th 20th August Oxford Section BBQ – Words by Wendy Ottaway

We had people who’d travelled from Dartmoor, and Western section as well as Oxford Section, 23 in total over the weekend. With typical English weather, rain wind hail and fortunately sun.

As then campers start to erect their tents, the entertainment began, watching (or listening) to the tents going up!! all various shapes and sizes even blow up ones, not all quite going to plan, (we particularly enjoyed bijou Daves’). After a cup of tea and introductions we had a go at Cornholing (an American game I believe originally played in the corn/maize fields), apparently, on google there were ‘other descriptions’ but in Geoff’s words ‘we are not that type of club’. A good ice breaker and gave us a chance to get to know one another.

Later in the evening a short walk to the pub or chip shop, luckily back before the heavens opened, glad we put the spare tent up, at least we could get out of the weather and do what we all do well, talk and drink, whilst the rain and wind was howling outside. Saturday started off with the sun shining and bacon butties before more members joined us for the ride out. John led them, picking up more riders at Thame then via Chequers to the Dashwood arms at Piddington for lunch then back again all on scenic routes on varied types of roads, in total 13 bikes participated.

Some stayed at the site, either walking to town, or up the ridgeway, both just a short distance away, or just enjoying the peace and quiet watching the Red kites souring above us. One bird, scraggy tail, was very brave and landed quite close to us several times, (we were told not to feed them as they had snatched food from peoples’ hands and they didn’t want to encourage this.)

A few more campers arrived, when ride out returned we had a ‘Cornholing’ Knockout, for some of us this was over very quickly. Another evening much as Friday, less wet, less windy and now as we all knew each other less reserved!!! The weather was improving daily and Sunday was pretty much perfect. Some of those who had further to travel headed off home before the BBQ. After a quick goodbye a few of us went for a walk up the ridgeway, fantastic views and it was our turn to be above the red kites and buzzards, apparently 20 types of Butterflies are said to be on the ridgeway, we only saw a few and not sure if one wasn’t a moth when someone opened their wallet!!!,

We also had a couple of lapses of the drop off /buddy system when Mo and I thought we’d been left in the woods just like Snow white, well anyway we caught up and were soon back to the site. The BBQ was miraculously smoking away, was it the 7 dwarfs? no, just the Oxford BMW club. Members began bringing lots of lovely donations of food, (particularly tasty cakes) adding to our BBQ feast.

Tim arrived with others who’d joined him for his ride out, although only about 10 minutes away managing to have a good ride of about an hour or so.

Although we had less people at the BBQ this year, this may have been because of a change of date and location, however, all those I spoke to enjoyed it, how could you not? with the sun out, red kites flying in the sky, food plentiful, and excellent company.

I’d like to thank all those who made what I believe was a successful event, including those who brought over/and set up equipment, to the people who did the cooking and of course the clearing up after the BBQ, and not to forget those who attended, it wouldn’t be anything without you all.

Oxford Section Sat Nav Project and Survey

Earlier in the year we announced the start of the Oxford Section Sat Nav Project between the Oxford Section and North Oxford Garage. The aim of the project is to improve our collective knowledge of how to use our Sat Nav’s and to help members get the best from them.

We have established a small ‘Expert User Group’ of experienced Sat Nav users and James McMinn hosted our first meeting at NOG. The meeting was very useful and we have a preliminary plan.

I am pleased to announce that we are now ready to take the next step. We all decided that it is very important that we survey the Oxford Section membership to get some feedback on what people are using their Sat Navs for and what areas they find difficult. We will then aim to address these problems through training, help guides, Q&A forum amongst other ideas. Next meeting is scheduled for early October

Future Events: October / November

8th October Ride Out: Mystery Tour start 9.30am at the Sun Inn, Swindon contact Ian Dobie mail:

22nd October Skittles Challenge: Western Section vs Oxford. The Old Royal Ship, Luckington, Wiltshire SN14 6PA contact Dennis Bradbeer mail:

4th November 50th Anniversary Dinner & Disco: Oxford Belfry Hotel, Milton Common, Thame OX9 2JW contact Geoff Clough mail:

Don’t forget to make a note of the dates from the trifold calendar that you wish to attend into your diaries and make sure you add in the special 50th events. We will also be updating the website regularly and posting on Facebook.

Here’s to safe riding and some good weather.

Dave Tomlinson


Author: bobmack70