Photos from The Last of the Summer Wine Run 2020

Nice day for the Dorset Section’s annual Last of the Summer Wine Run.  We couldn’t meet up at our usual starting / ending venue due to social distancing requirements, so this year there was no tea / coffee, cake or prize giving, but the hot weather more than made up for it.    And Phil gave us a 34 mile route that felt more like 134 miles!

Our Ariel-hating Chairmen couldn’t be with us today, which is just as well as he would have hated it with three vintage Black Ariels taking part (and none of them broke down).

Many thanks to Phil Allen for organising the run and giving us an interesting and unusual route.

The Start at Sturminster Newton Car Park
The End at The Horton Inn
Post Run Meeting at Bakers Folly on Bulbarrow

On the way back home, a few us went looking for an ice-cream first at the top of Bulbarrow Hill if there was an ice cream van there. There wasn’t, so the back-up plan was Bakers Folly halfway down Bulbarrow.  I got there, but I was all on my own…not sure how that happened.

 

Photos from the Northern Run 2020

Today marked a return to our 2020 Programme of Events with our Northern Run.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we limited the numbers to a maximum of 30 riders and all participants had to pre-register, but apart from that, it felt like business as usual.

A great selection of bikes turned up at The Virginia Ash ranging from glorious Ariels to lowly Velocettes.  The pub opened specially for us at 9:30am and it was good to see many of us ordering breakfast, coffees and teas; we need to make it worth their while and I think we did that today.

The first part of the run to the Windwhistle Pub at  Cricket St Thomas was in glorious sunshine, but after that it became overcast and by the time people left Hamish’s Farm Shop & Café to head home, many of us got caught in the odd downpour.

But another very enjoyable run and thanks are due to Bernard for organising it.  Look out for the next Sunday’s run : Last of the Summer Wine Run. A few places are still available but you must pre-book.

Photos from the Mini-GIANTS Run

Wylye Down National Nature Reserve

At the end of July, with 100 registered entrants, we sadly had to cancel our GIANTS Run due to Coronavirus related restrictions.  It should have taken place yesterday 🙁

But with our Informal Runs being such a success, your Chairman and Secretary decided to hold a 66 mile mini-GIANTS Run for 12 section friends who own girder fork bikes.  In glorious weather, it took place yesterday and I believe a great time was had by all.  It was nice of Maurice McGladdery to see us off at the start, and Peter Hallows and Peter Bovenizer be there at the end.

ZigZag not challenging enough for you?

Andrew Rae needs a mention.  While the rest of us struggled up ZigZag Hill on tarmac, Andrew did a bit of green laning on a track that runs parallel to ZigZag.  Should we ban him or give him a prize? The latter in my view 🙂 :).  It’s the red track in the photo on the right; click the image.

Before you view the event photos, please remember that we have our Northern Run on Sunday 6th September and our Last of the Summer Wine Run the following Sunday on the 13th.  Both are limited to 30 riders and require pre-registration. All details can be found in our Events calendar.

The Start at Spire Hill Farm / Thyme after Time Café:
On Route and The Ginger Piggery & Ginny’s Cafe:
End at the Udder Farm Shop and Café:

Photos and Video from the Informal Run 8th August 2020

Our Chairman was dressed as a pirate today. Anyone know why?

What a scorcher it was today — a high of 32°C in North Dorset.  Despite the temperature, we had more people turn up for our run than had booked. In future, to help us plan and keep legal with respect to the current Covid-19 restrictions, please ensure that you have pre-booked with the secretary.  At the moment, we feel we can only support 4 groups, each with 6 riders, so pre-book early to reserve one of the 24 places.

We all assembled at Spire Hill for an initial coffee, tea, cake, natter etc.  But by 11 am, we had rather randomly split into 4 groups and headed off in different directions.

I know many of you don’t read Facebook, but there is a Dorset Section VMCC page that is maintained by our current Chairperson, and I quote from his post about today’s run: “Your correspondent played tail-end Charlie of our six and not only followed an Ariel that smoked like a Soviet Steelworks but had to push start another of the wretched things; there ought to be a law about mass gatherings of Ariels…“.  Now we have a virtual AGM coming up in October and I ask you:  Should we have a Chairperson who is so blatantly anti-Ariel? 🙂

I didn’t hear of any breakdowns or accidents during the run.  We all seemed to arrive at Hamishs in good order.  Another successful, but somewhat hot, Informal Run.  See you in two weeks time, but only if you’ve pre-booked.

BTW: I’ve dropped the numerical reference to the Informal Runs, and the reference to them being Post-Lockdown (but in case you haven’t, this was the Fourth Informal Post-Lockdown Run; what a mouthful!)

Latest version of COVID-19 Riding Guidelines : 28th July 2020

Latest version of COVID-19 Riding Guidelines gains National Police Chiefs Council stamp of approval.

The Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations has issued a revised version of its COVID-19 Riding Guidelines. This third iteration of the guidance based on the latest changes to Government guidelines includes advice on group riding and first responder incident management. The coalition are delighted that the guidance has now received an official seal of approval from Nick Adderley, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for motorcycling.

The coalition has worked hard to distil Government coronavirus guidelines into a single guide relevant to motorcyclists. The guidelines have been updated to encompass recent changes in the constantly evolving advice designed to keep individuals and the wider community safe in these challenging times.

The new guidelines remind riders to plan carefully and to check Government websites including for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and any local lockdowns. They remind everyone not to ride if they are suffering symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact in the last 14 days with someone who has had symptoms or tested positive. Other points of emphasis include: checking out COVID-19 security arrangements at indoor venues (but ideally not to meet indoors); keeping riding groups to no more than six; and observing distancing, hand hygiene and mask requirements at all times.

Commenting on the guidelines and the work of the Coalition members, Nick Adderley said:

“I have been asked to review this guidance on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycle Organisations in my capacity as NPCC lead for police motorcycling and motorcycle related crime. Policing the pandemic has been challenging and often confusing time for all including motorcyclists. We are keen to ensure the public can enjoy social activities and meet up within the parameters of the guidance set by Government.

I am reassured by the work that has gone into the production of these motorcycle specific guidelines. I would particularly like to commend the lead authors, Roger Bibbings of the VMCC and Richard Gladman of IAM RoadSmart for their tireless work on this project. I would encourage all riders, whether they are riding alone or in groups, to consult the guidance and to follow the rules at rest stops and whilst visiting public places. Please act and ride responsibly.”

The revised guidelines can be found online at https://bit.ly/COVIDRideV3 . The member groups of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations encourage their members and all other riders to read the guidelines and apply the advice to their own efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

Issued on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations by the Motorcycle Action Group

Press and other enquiries c/o MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

Photos from our Third Informal Post-Lockdown Run

 

Tremendous support for our informal run this morning!

24 riders assembled at Thorngrove Garden Centre in Gillingham.  After a coffee and a bit of a chinwag, we split into four groups of six riders and headed off on north, south, west and east runs, ably led by Bernard Jones, Paul Miles, Ray Dickinson and myself.  About 40 miles later, the four groups arrived at the Udder Farm Shop.  The weather was kind; most of us were still dry.

Another successful informal run; look out for the next one in two weeks time.

At The Start:
At The Udders Farm Shop + Old Clonkers Route

Photos from our Second Informal Post-Lockdown Run

On our first informal post-lockdown run two weeks ago, we had 17 riders.  Today was our second informal run and we had 28, no doubt boosted by the sunny and warm weather.  We had several people join us from far away:  Dave Owen drove down from Swindon and Ian Myers from Torquay!

Today’s run started at Thyme after Time Café at Spire Hill Farm, Stalbridge and ended at the Udder Farm Shop, East Stour.   With 28 riders, we needed 4 separate groups of 7 and I’d like to thank Ray Dickinson, Paul Miles and Bernard Jones in helping me out as the four group leaders. The run was meant to be about 40 mile in length but Ray got carried away with the excellent weather and his group did 55 miles.

Stories I heard:  John Young broke down on his 1938 Douglas with a stuck open exhaust valve, Phil Allen broke down in Durweston, someone’s Lucas Altette horn broke off but thankfully wasn’t lost,  and my group almost ran over an enormous grass snake crossing the road at Stour Row.

The Udder Farm Shop was very well organised in these difficult times, but who expected to have to give their name, phone number, post code and have their temperature take just to use the loo….what a weird period we’re all going through.

Another great ride out. 🙂

At The Start:
At The Udders Farm Shop + Old Clonkers Route

Photos from our First Informal Post-Lockdown Run

As the UK takes small steps coming out of Lockdown, we held our first informal run today and followed all the regulations currently in force in England.  So no signing-on, no route maps, no fee and no indoor gatherings…and riding in groups no bigger than six.

As this was our first attempt at this, we limited the run to a maximum of 18 bikes, arranged in 3 groups of 6 with a route leader in each.  The start of the run was at Thyme after Time Café, Spire Hill Farm near Stalbridge and the end point for all 3 groups was Compton McRae near Semley.  This destination is a new venue for us; my wife and I visited them earlier in the week, and I discussed the possibility of us using them and they were delighted with the idea.  Today they made us feel very welcome and provided an outside table service with some truly excellent food — the sausage rolls were to die for.  I hope we come back here often…

By the way, how do people feel about having runs on a Saturday rather than the traditional Sunday? Both start and end venues would have been closed on Sunday, so holding runs on Saturdays does give us many more options.

The three leaders were Paul Miles, Ray Dickinson and myself.  Paul organised a fast route (50+mph) going north over the Deverills etc, Ray’s route headed towards Stourhead and Shearwater and I took the slower group (40+mph) south via Child Okeford, Tarrant Hinton, Tollard Royal, Ansty and Old Wardour Castle (route in the last photo below).

I’m sure we all felt great to be back on bikes again and riding together.  The 3 group system worked well and we hope to organise another run like this in the very near future.

Oh yes, and it rained a bit.

Covid-19 and its impact on Club and Section Activities 16th March 2020

Dear Dorset Section Members,

Please find attached a statement, with recommendations, received today from HQ on the Coronavirus outbreak.

Your Committee had already been discussing the potential impact of the outbreak on our events and were in the process of writing up some recommendations which involved cancellation of Club Nights, Breakfast and Lunch Meets, but still allowing local runs provided there were no pre-run gatherings, no coffee and / or lunch stops. In the HQ letter below, local runs are left to the discretion of the Section Committees.

But this is a fast moving situation and listening to our Prime Minister speaking an hour ago, it seems that gatherings of any size are to be discouraged, irrespective of indoor/outdoor staging. So reluctantly, your Committee has to inform you that the following are all cancelled until further notice:

1) Club Nights
2) Breakfast and Lunchtime Meets
3) Formal Runs

We will try and reschedule some of our runs later in the year.

Stay well.

Best Regards

Paul Wirdnam
Secretary, Dorset Section

—— Forwarded Message ——–
From: xxxxx@vmcc.net
Date: 16/03/2020 16:57:24
Subject: Covid-19
To: secretary@xxxxxx

Dear Section Secretaries

As we are sure you are aware, the next steps in the Government’s approach to the Coronavirus outbreak have recently been announced. The Prime Minister, alongside the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, indicated that the United Kingdom is moving into a ‘Delay’ phase, the aim of which is to push the peak of the outbreak into the summer so as to give as much time as possible for further research into the virus and to ensure that the NHS is as prepared as it can be. You will also have seen the more focused recent advice in relation to those over the age of 70, which describes a significant proportion of the Club’s membership.
The VMCC is by a long way the largest and best-known vintage and classic motorcycle club in the UK, and we feel we have a responsibility to show a clear lead in reacting to the situation with Coronavirus, as well as a duty of care to our members and our staff. Against this background, the Board’s position is as follows. For the duration:

• Section meetings should be suspended;
• the Club should not attend shows and suchlike;
• runs that involve a substantial amount of on-the-day organisation, and thus contact between participants and people such as marshals, sign-on staff or caterers, should be postponed or cancelled;
• formal or social runs may take place at the Section Committee’s discretion, but should not include pre-run gatherings or stops at cafes, public houses or suchlike: if that is not practicable, the event should be postponed or cancelled.

Sections are also asked to consider the situation of elderly or infirm Section members who may need live alone and/or need additional assistance at this difficult time. Phone calls would in general be better than house calls, but please do think about those who may need a hand or a friendly voice that cares.
The situation with major events such as Banbury and 1000 Bikes is a little less clear, but contingency plans are being investigated. Neither the Government, the ACU or the MSA, have so far said that public events of this type may not take place., but our anticipation is that this year’s nationally-organised events are likely to be postponed or cancelled. We cannot, however, confirm this until we hear officially from the appropriate regulatory authorities or the sites where these events are due to be based.
The Founder’s Relay Rally planned for Sunday 3rd May will be postponed until later in the year, provided a date can be found. The Rider’s Sheets for this will not now be distributed with the April Journal as originally planned.
As far as Allen House is concerned:
• the Library is closed for the duration, to both enquirers and volunteers;
• no visitors are permitted to enter the building;
• unless absolutely essential, staff will not for now attend external meetings and events.
At present, all of the Club’s staff are healthy, but anyone who shows the stated indicators of the virus will be sent home and told to self-isolate for 7 days. If this happens, we cannot guarantee that the office telephone will always be answered. In such circumstances, we ask for your understanding and patience, and suggest that for the duration, wherever possible contact with Allen House should be by email rather than telephone.
An ad-hoc Committee consisting of the Chair, Bob Clark; the Vice-Chair, Richard Thirkell; and Board Member Mario Costa-Sa, has oversight of the situation and I will be reporting to and reviewing matters with them on a regular basis. I fear that in the short term things are going to get worse rather than better, and that it may well be some time before the Club can resume its normal activities.

IAN BOTHAM
General Manager

40th Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show 2020

Chris’s 1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante 175cc

It’s February, so last weekend it was time for another Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet.

The icy weather this time last year resulted in the show being postponed at very short notice;  the re-scheduled show at the end February never really recovered and the numbers of traders and visitor were down.  But none of that in 2020 — the place was packed out, particularly on the Sunday.

Andrew Rae and Ray Dickinson kindly organised our stand and they were ably assisted by Linda Dickinson, Paul Miles, Ken Druce, Peter Miller, Bettie Barber, Ian Clarke, Chris Biddiscombe, Phil Allen and many others.  Thanks to all those who helped to put up the stand on Friday and take it down again on Sunday. My favourite on our stand (not including Bettie’s sponge cake) has to be Chris’s MV “Flying Saucer” — that tank is a thing of beauty.

The Dorset Section won three awards!

  1. Chris Biddiscombe : 1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante 175cc : Highly Commended Continental Class
  2. Brian Casely : 1966 BSA ISDT Arthur Lampkin’s gold medal winning bike : Best Competition (Trials & Scramble)
  3. Paul Wirdnam, Paul Miles and Nick Field: for the three 1930 Douglases (1 x T6 and 2 x S6) : Jeff Clew Endeavour Award

If you’ve never attended this show, it really is a very enjoyable social event with a chance to meet up with old and new friends.  Oh, and there are a few old bikes to see.  A few words from Ray Dickinson who has organised our stand at this show for many years:

My thanks to all the people who have helped with the show over the years by providing bikes, cakes and giving their time.

I will continue to help & support Andrew Rae, who has taken over as show organiser and has great new ideas to take the show forward.

Regards Ray.

Setting Up on the Friday
Saturday and Sunday
In The Auction
Presentation of the Awards