Large, well-organised runs are great but impromptu get-togethers are sometimes better, and that’s just what a few of us did yesterday.
We met up at the café in Visit Hillbrush in Mere, a favourite half-way meeting place when friends are coming from Wiltshire; it is also where our Memorial Run in November will start from. It was meant to be for coffee and tea only, but that quickly turned into an early lunch with English breakfasts 🙂 .
Then off over the Deverills to Sutton Veny, Tytherington, Stockton, Wylye, then turning south and over the hills to the very pretty village of Dinton where we stopped for a bum rest — I’ll be changing my worn out seat cover on my Red Hunter this week and I’ll not be following the suggestions of Ken and Kevin to fit a sheepskin to it.
It was at Dinton that I noticed something stuck to my bike. Sadly, it turned out to be a young blackbird jammed between the offside exhaust pipe and crankcase. I wasn’t aware of it hitting me and the riders behind me hadn’t spotted it either.
From Dinton, we headed to Compton Abbas Airfield café, for another cold drink and then finally back to Child Okeford, Shillingstone and Blandford. A very pleasant 65 miles…and with no breakdowns which is always an added bonus for Ken.
It didn’t start well. Phil Allen, Ken Druce and myself set off in dry weather at 5 a.m. from Shillingstone towing two Ariels. By the time we joined the A34 at Andover, we were in heavy rain and the depression had set in with comments like “let’s leave the bikes on the trailer and just do the autojumble and museum“. But the rain stopped just north of Oxford and by the time we got to Gaydon at 7:45 a.m., the roads were dry.
The Dorset and Wessex V&V Sections were both well represented. We saw Ian Clarke and Bette Barber on their autojumble stall, Rod Hann was in the bike parking area, as was Peter Bovenizer (#190) with his Harley. Paul Miles (#314) was there with his 1928 AJS, pigeon and Dorset flag. Ken (#383) and I (#382) were riding two Ariel Model F, one 1929 on loan from Peter Batton, and my 1930 example. There were probably other members there that we failed to see…it was busy and crowded.
Apologies if there are too many photos of Ariels…I got carried away 🙂 . And no breakdowns: Paul, Ken and I completed the Class C course together, approx 72 miles, with no bike-related issues, although Paul’s pigeon came a cropper.
Would I do Banbury again? This was my sixth, it’s a lot of effort, it’s expensive, it’s a long, tiring day, and, frankly, it nicer riding around Dorset and Wiltshire, so definitely not next year. Look out for a possible Dorset Section Girder Fork Run in the 2018 / 2019 Calendar of Events!
In the Autojumble:
In the Rider’s Bike Area:
Two short videos of Ken and me taken by Alan Skinner — thanks Alan!
Write up by Paul Miles. Photos by Paul Miles, Paul Wirdnam. Many thanks to Chris Smith and others for organising this event…and, of course, to Sandy at Henstridge Golf and Leisure for that excellent English breakfast.
First ride of the Dorset Section camping weekend. Nice bikes, nicer people, what’s not to like?
Our second major run of the weekend, concluding the camping event. Fantastic turnout, including another Brough (with wings! , I’m so jealous), sat next to a MZ 250- only in Dorset section😉.
New route, really excellent, stopping for coffee at the Haynes Museum. One of the Ariels broke, my suggestion of putting a coat hanger in the hole didn’t seem to be appreciated. Your correspondent’s Norton International snarled its way round the route, spitting hate and bile at everyone and everything. It didn’t break, of course, being unapproachable an’ all.
If you didn’t come this year, keep the date free for 2019!
Apologies for the title of this post! Hope I haven’t put you off your breakfast.
There are two, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday, both starting from Henstridge Golf and Leisure at 10:30 am. Arrive earlier if you want coffee, breakfast etc. Non-campers are more than welcome to take part in the runs.
Details are still being finalised but the Sunday one will be approx. 55 miles in length with an optional stop at the Haynes International Motor Museum. The Saturday one will probably be longer and in two parts, depending if people want to visit the Dorset coast.