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.
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.
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.
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:
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
Chris Biddiscombe : 1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante 175cc : Highly Commended Continental Class
Brian Casely : 1966 BSA ISDT Arthur Lampkin’s gold medal winning bike : Best Competition (Trials & Scramble)
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.
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.
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.