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.

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


Photos from the Winter Run 2020

The Winter Run yesterday must have set some sort of record for a Dorset Section run.  The heavy overnight frost, coupled with weeks of rain which was still running off the fields, meant many of the roads had quite large patches of ice on them.

There was a good turnout for the start at Dike’s Supermarket and it was beautiful day but many of us had already had a slippery journey just to get there and, as a result, had already decided not to do the run.

Of those brave souls who did the run, four came off their bikes : Bernard Jones, Phil Allen, Richard Hutson and his friend Dave.  Thankfully, no-one was badly hurt and with only little damage to their bikes.  Richard’s comment sums it up nicely, “It was interesting trying to lift up the dropped bikes standing on sheet ice. Dave and I would have scored a perfect 6.0 if it were Dancing on Ice. The main thing was we were not hurt – just our pride.“.  All four of you get a perfect 6 from me.

While that was going on, those who didn’t do the run either dived into Dike’s Café or went in search of another one; I ended up in Coffee One in Shaftesbury.

Photos from the New Year’s Day Run 2020

As our Chairman said on our Facebook page : January the 1st, time for the Dorset Section to start as they mean to continue – going for a ride! We assembled for the New Year’s Day charity run this morning, followed by lunch at a local pub. A few snaps.

The weather could have been kinder as it was both wet and cold.  But on the positive side, there were four Ariels taking part, so what’s not to like.

Many thanks to Peter Miller for handling the signing-on and producing the bike-friendly tulip route sheets. And to Ray Dickonson who was seen helping to direct traffic.

Lunch at the Virginia Ash seemed to be a success with staff serving both bar food (baguettes, sandwiches etc) as well as the more formal booked meals.

At the start in Sturminster Newton:
At the Virginia Ash in Henstridge:

A bit of a challenge

After not riding a bike for at  ten days, I needed to get out, so opened the garage door and decided the Black Ariel would be the chosen steed as it started after three kicks. On the way to Okeford Fitzpain it jumped out of 3rd gear, so had to ride with right hand on hand change lever, with lever throttle acting as cruise control. Quick adjustment of the hand change lever arm at Paul W’s and thought that would fix it. However, after riding a few miles, still jumping out of 3rd gear and the other gears now misbehaving as well, we returned to Paul’s to find a shaft had lost a nut and started to try and escape from the gearbox. We both decided riding further could be costly to limb and wallet. So, the bike was trailered back to my house (just thinking the only bike that has not been trailered or pushed home is my KTM SuperDuke). Its a gearbox out job, on the bright side I can investigate the state of the bearings etc, at the same time.

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R  to everyone.

Puzzle  –  “The more you take, the more you leave behind…What Am I ?”

NO GOOGLING   !!!!!!!!!!


Photos from the Mince Pie Run 2019

Due to family commitments, your Secretary wasn’t able to take part in Sunday’s Mince Pie Run but I did manage to slip out of the house and see the bikes off from the start at Morrison’s car park in Blandford.

Phil Allen, the run organiser, tells me 15 people signed on and the weather remained clear, although our Chairman reports that he got thoroughly drenched on his way home and had to battled through 70 mph winds.

Many thanks to Phil for organising our last run of 2019 and to his wife Sue for providing the delicious mince pies.

Photos from the Memorial Run 2019

Frosty start for people in the Blandford area this morning, but by the time we had strayed into Wiltshire for the start at the Hillbrush Centre in Mere, it had warmed up a bit.

Thanks are due to Ray and Linda Dickinson who had put a great 45 mile route together that took in Stourhead, Kingston Deverille, Sutton  Veny, Wylye, Dinton, Hindon and ending at the Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham.

Message from Ray:

Thanks to all the 21 riders and other club members for their generosity,  we have raised £142.50 today. I will ask the Committee at our next meeting to round this up to a level amount which will be presented to Marie Curie cancer support.

We had a dry sunny day for the ride of 45 miles from The Hillbrush Centre, Mere and finishing at Orchard Park Garden Centre. Every one seamed to enjoy the scenery and no breakdowns reported. This Memorial Run is the time to remember those who are no longer riding with us.

Regards Ray & Linda Dickinson.

Photos from the Autumn Run 2019

After days, weeks, of wet weather, it finally stopped raining for Roger’s Autumn Run.  In fact, it turned out to be a warm and sunny autumn day; our only worries were dodging the numerous tractors and acres of mud on the roads.

The usual start location was Bradford’s Yard in Sherborne although Bradfords Building Supplies have now vacated this site and it is up for re-development, so we may not be here next year.

Coffee stop was Haynes International Motor Museum.  Some of us arrived rather late; we got lost and had to be rescued from the depths of Dorset by Peter Hallowes.  The same people then ended up at Hamish’s Farm Shop & Café; how did that happen? 🙂

Many thanks to Roger Gillard for arranging the weather and putting together another excellent Autumn Run.

Photos from Mid-Week Run 18th September 2019

In glorious weather, we had the last of our four 2019 Mid-Week Runs today.  I believe they’ve been a great success and I look forward to the ones we have planned for 2020…

Rod and Carol Hann organised this one and when Rod said “I guarantee I’ll take you down roads you’ve never been on“, he wasn’t kidding.  I usually like to do a Google Map route after the event, but there was no chance after today’s run as I have no idea how we managed to start from Milton Abbas and end up at the Rainbow Garage and Café in East Knighton.

And we used the drop-off system which worked very well without any hitches at all.  Some people don’t like this system, but I’m not one of them; these Mid-Week runs, being less formal than our Sunday runs, are perfect for this system.

We had 16 signing on and covered about 40 miles.  Many thanks Rod and Carol for another very enjoyable afternoon.

Photos and Videos from the Last of the Summer Wine Run 2019

Many thanks to Phil Allen for stepping in to organise this run.  His run report is here.


A few photos that I took at the start and at The Horton Inn.

And a couple of videos:

The first one is the parade of parked bikes before the start of the run at Hinton St Mary Village Hall.

The second one is me trying out my new Drift Ghost X camera mounted on the handlebars of my Ariel.  Wind noise is always an issue with these action cameras, so I’ve turned the sound off.