Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire . . .

It’s Thursday. 6 chaps. 6 BMW motorcycles and a morning in front of us to explore Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire roads, free of all but the lightest traffic. Oh, and lunch to follow. Our 3rd Meetup outing of the season and the second under COVID-19. We – David A, David T, Ian L. James O, Markus W and Steve S – have met for coffee at Starbucks, Peartree before our ride out east. Coffee, banter and a pre-ride briefing – no better way to start the day.

Our destination today is the White Horse at Southill, Beds. which is close to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Airfield – sadly remaining closed for the moment but due a club visit in 2021. A 2-hour ride just under 60 miles traversing mostly country roads with an A-road chaser to finish. A dry but overcast day with the promise of later sunshine makes for an ideal riding day. This was to be a nostalgic visit for Ian as he recalled landing a light aircraft at Old Warden back in his flight training days with ATC.


Leaving Peartree we headed towards Gosford. An encounter (?) with a lady in a red car delayed two of our number (they know who they are!) but gave the rest of us a chance to count buttercups and road kill as we dawdled along the Frieze Way!

We cross the county boundary near Boarstall heading towards Brill. The roads are quiet, Bucks residents still seem to be in lockdown – which makes for perfect riding. The local council seems to have misplaced their purse for road repairs but long-travel GS suspension shines. But not for David A today, as he stretches the legs of his RS. Passing through Brill we admire the iconic 1668 post mill filling the landscape. Renovated back in 1951 it looks in better condition that most of us.



Traversing the A41 we now head towards Quainton and the Bucks Railway Centre. Sad faces all round as it closed today to protect Thomas and his chums from the virus.




We have now been riding for some time so a leg stretch is in order as we approach Three Locks near Stoke Hammond. Time to reflect on roadworks amber/red signals. That man in the high-viz gesticulating was waving us through, wasn’t he? A pretty location, lovely looking pub but we have a further 20 miles before lunch.





Leaving the canal we encounter a road closure up through the ‘Brickhills’. Guarded by a nice smiley man in bright orange. He seems puzzled when I ask him about the diversion. “Probably that way”. OK. 5 mins later a circle returns us to the CLOSED sign. Whatever, the wonders of Garmin V1 allows you to skip a couple of waypoints and we find ourselves the beautiful parklands of Woburn Abbey. We obey the signs and avoid capital punishment of the local deer.





The nadgery parts of the route are completed as we emerge onto the A507 near Ampthill. A brisk gallop past Clophill and Shefford to our destination at Southill for 1.00pm. The White Horse turns out to be a delightful country pub.








A vintage car club has had the same idea and we sit in awe of ancient but well-maintained relics. Clearly no comparison can be drawn with our own dear club!




Author: James O'Shea

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