The BMW Journal December 2019 – Oxford Section Report

BMW Club Oxford Section Report for October 2019

October 4 – 7th Autumn Weekend Break Gwbert Hotel Wales – Dave Tomlinson

Our Oxford Section autumnal weekend saw around 11 bikes meet at the Burford Starbucks at 9.30. An excellent route devised by and led by Geoff Clough soon found us enjoying lunch at the Steel Horse Cafe, roughly following the A40, where we were joined by 3 other members on their bikes. After “refuelling” we made our way through the amazing Welsh countryside to the Owls Nest, for more celebratory cakes and coffee. Following a rather wet ride, we arrived at the hotel in splendid sunshine and extraordinary views over the Welsh coastline after 220 miles of sublime roads…..We were joined by a few others who had travelled by car, one riding member was so keen, he stayed at the hotel for a few nights before!

After an excellent evening meal and friendly staff off we went to bed, The following day was a little cloudy but we decided to visit the Internal Fire, Museum of Power ( and David Hicks gallantly led the way and a warm welcome awaited us from all the staff, a very friendly and welcoming place. It’s is full of fully working diesel and steam engines, telecommunications exchanges, radar and wireless equipment all based in realistic scenarios – very interesting for those interested in engineering. We got chatting to one of the staff, he kindly showed us a motorcycle display that was being set up for completion Easter 2020, even the BMCT have been to discuss the week before we arrived.

The “team” then took to the road to visit the cathedral in St David’s, led by Dave Tomlinson on a Garmin induced curvy routes “tour”! after the first green landing episode, he wisely amended to fastest route and vowed never to use curvy routes in Wales, this was reinforced by other members “reinforcing” this good idea….. once we reached terra firma, a ride through the Pembrokeshire coast roads led us to St David’s for a very pleasant lunch…..

Back to the hotel for a wash and brush up before dinner…

A superb weekend, my thanks to Geoff Clough for the planning and organisation, Tim Bolderston for his sterling work collecting deposits etc and to David and Rosemary Hicks for the planning and leading of a number of ride outs. Of course a huge thank you to all those members who attended the weekend and made it so memorable!

October 13th Ride Out RAF Hendon – Tim Bolderston

Sunday morning erupted with severe weather warnings from the met office, however 4 riders made it to the Peartree services, but because of the weather conditions and riders experiences on their way to the meeting, a decision was made to cancel the ride out, very wise me thinks, however one bike made it!

Sunday’s rideout to the RAF Museum at Hendon suffered from massive rainfall around the starting point at Peartree Services. So much that the few brave souls who made it to Peartree decided to go no further.

However, starting from Reading, we had decided to go straight to Hendon, and although it was wet it was manageable. Unlike the traffic which was heavy with the main road out of Reading shut down because of an accident near Cemetery Junction. So we ended up as the sole representatives of the Oxford Section looking round the aircraft, but still plenty of aircraft to look at…

October 27thPC Andrew Harper Memorial Ride – John Broad

I knew about the ride from my brother Jeremy as he had told me that a friend of his, Abby Clayton was going as she had been at the wedding of PC Harper just a few weeks ago. Abby and her husband Sam borrowed a couple of bikes and rode with the family at the head of this amazing turn out of riders supporting the family and the emergency services. I have copied a report from Lissie Harper that is on the facebook page below as it says it all.

The arrangements were to meet at RAF Benson before 11.30 and so I rode over to Jeremy’s house in Thame for 09.30 for us to ride down together. After an appalling Friday and Saturday, the weather behaved as it was clear and sunny but very cold. When we arrived the column of bikes making their way in stretched for miles, but good organisation allowed us to flow in and line up with the hundreds already parked. Yes, our bikes were in the middle – somewhere!?

The military had organised food and the queue must have been a hundred yards long, but everyone just chatted and waited patiently. Another gazebo had a flag for everyone to sign that was going to be given to the family as a memory of those who attended, and they were providing blue ribbons for a donation.

Next was the long line of portaloos and the even bigger queues trying to use them but again everyone just waited patiently.

Start time of 12.00 and an announcement from the wonderful lady who organised this event, Sian Sloper to get ready and that we would be leaving in groups of about 500.

First thing to do was find your bike. Lots of people searching and one chap stood on the saddle of his bike shouting to others to see if they could find bikes for owners. Luckily, Jeremy had worked out that we were lined up with the end of a hangar that gave us a steer as to where to look. My old BMW R80 RT’s red fairing stood out amongst all the smaller machines as it was on its main stand whereas most of the others were on prop stands. Jeremy’s Moto Guzzi California Jackal stood out alongside as it is a nice shade of grey.

As the first columns set off, we all put our helmets and gloves on and got ready with some starting their engines. Then a marshal came along and said we would have about a 45-minute wait as each group of 500 left and a gap made to allow traffic to flow before the next 500. Turn off the engine and remove the helmet to await our turn. Around 13.00 hrs we were off following the road down to Wallingford and thousands of people were along the roadside waving, clapping and cheering the riders. This continued all the way past the H Cafe near Dorchester and down to Abingdon where the market square was filled with people.

At Abingdon aerodrome the flow of bikes were parked up on the main runway and more food, drink and portaloos had masses of bikers gathered talking about the amazing support of the local people in spite of being cold as they watched the thousands of bikes pass by.

We left at about 16.00 hrs and the last group were still arriving.

Truly humbling to see the support from local people and the police who stood with their marked car under the A34 flyover to cheer the rider’s past.

The police helicopter that is based at Benson took a few shots of the bikes at the start of the ride and I’ve copied this and some of my snaps for you. By all means use any of my photo’s as you wish.

From a disaster for the Harper family came Sian to see if there was any support for the thin blue line and the family; was there just!

Entry on the facebook page from Lissie Harper
A few months ago, in an incredibly sad and heart breaking time, one of many events shone through to us… A ride of respect for our favourite man and everything he stood for. At a time like this it gave us all something good to think about. Little did we know at the time how many amazing people we would meet because of it. There are so many people I need to thank for this day, Emergency services, The Police force, The Police Federation, Benson and Abingdon RAF bases, backup vehicles, members of the public showing support in the freezing cold, food trucks, volunteers, generous people, businesses and shops donating and of course all of the people taking part, I wish I could thank you all personally but I hope this will suffice. I know that it was a long day with lots of waiting in the cold but I can’t tell you how proud I was when I saw every biker and pillion lined up waiting to begin… you have all touched my heart and given me hope again. This event started off as an idea from a kind lady wanting to make a difference in a hopeless moment for our country. She envisioned a small group of riders showing their respect on their motorbikes, little did she know how huge it would become. Not daunted by anything Sian Sloper began organising one of the biggest events in this country. My little brother began work on Andrew’s Honda CB 250 RS that he bought last year, it was Andrews project and Jake wanted to complete it for him, keen to get his sister involved Jake and I decided to ride the bike in the event together in Andrew’s honour. So many kind and generous people helped with the rebuild, ensuring that Jake got it to the start line as Andrew had envisioned. I first met Sian a little time after the event had been announced, and since then she has been an integral part of the journey me and my family have begun. The kindest Lady, she has become a supportive friend to us all, I don’t know how she managed to pull it off but with so much hard work and conquering every obstacle that was put before her, Sian and her team brought us all together to show Respect for Andrew, Bikers, The Police and many more important people. Alongside Andrew’s Brother and Sister, the rest of the Harper family and the Beckett family took to our bikes with some of Andrew’s closest friends to lead the way. I can’t express enough what an honour it was to ride with you all. 6000+ people coming from all ends of the country and further. I know that Andrew was looking down on us all with pride. So thank you so much to every single person who made the day possible. It sure does make me proud to be British. Sincerely, Lissie Harper.

October 27thSkittles Challenge Western vs Oxford Section – Tim Bolderston

On a cold, crisp, but above all dry, Sunday, we turned up to The Old Royal Ship to find a car park full of cars! We managed to find a slot for the bike, though, and navigated around the building works to the skittle alley, where we found the Western Section. Sadly, our doughty social secretary, Dave, was unable to attend owing to unexpected family commitments, but we found volunteers to keep things going. A special mention to Marion who did a splendid job keeping the score and keeping the teams in order.

The pub provided a good lunch of sandwiches, sausages and chips, and once we had worked our way through the excellent spread, battle commenced. This time the Oxford Section won by 106 points to 98, helped (?) by some very small members of the Rodger family. A very enjoyable event supported by helpful and friendly staff at the Old Royal Ship.

TVAA, Life Saving Ap – Dave Tomlinson

I am very grateful to John Broad for bringing the Thames Valley Air Ambulance 3 Words Save Lives (using What3Words) to my attention. Basically, this little app, which you can download onto your phone, will give your 3M x 3M position square in three words X.Y.Z which you can then give to the emergency services. This could easily be a life saver if you need help away from a landmark and is MUCH easier than quoting gps coordinates! It is also quite good fun for instance the What3Words square for the BBQ on Sunday at Postern Hill is ‘trucks.worksheet.widely’ – although hopefully we won’t need TVAA…… For more information and to download the app see

Sat Nav Event – Steve Moxey

BMW Navigator V,VI Top Tips guides available so that members can get a copy for a £5 donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance and £1.50 postage, a very good cause to support

Future Events: October 2019 / December 2019

December 8th– Christmas Indoor Meeting Uffington Village Hall

January 1stNew Year Day Social– Lock, Stock & Barrel, 104 Northbrook Street, Nr the Wharf, Newbury, RG14 1AA from 12.00.

January 12thBring & Buy Sale: Uffington Village Hall, SN7 7RA; Food available & Seller set up from 13.00. Sale starts at 14.00

February 9thINDOOR MEETING:Uffington village hall, SN7 7RA, soup & food, Speaker: Katy Eyton 14.00. Thames Valley Air Ambulance

February 24th– Southern Section vs Oxford Section Challenge Dave Tomlinson

March 8thIndoor Meeting: Uffington Village Hall, SN7 7RA.  Speaker Andrew Slater 14.00 from Thames Valley Advanced Motorcyclists

March 22nd– Sunday Lunch: Hongxin Chinese, Pepper Box Hill, Peatmoor, Swindon SN5 5EZ. 12.00 for 12.30, Martin Skennerton

April 10thRIDE OUT: Charity Berkshire Egg Run, meet at Sainsburys RG31 7SA J12 M4 John Hillier

April 19thRIDE OUT:tbc Dave

Don’t forget to make a note of the dates from the trifold calendar that you wish to attend into your diaries, we will also be updating the website regularly and posting on Facebook.

Here’s to safe riding and some good weather.

Dave Tomlinson

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Author: bobmack70