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Saturday 22nd April 2017

On Saturday April 22nd 2017 we hosted the annual National AGM at the Bedford hotel in Tavistock .
After the meeting I led a ride out over Dartmoor departing from the quay car park quite close to the hotel. Eleven bikes initially joined me and spotting Ray Cawte from the Oxford section in the garden of his B&B he quickly tagged on behind.
We climbed up over towards Princetown passing the huge stacked rocks of Merrivale Quarry, from here we turned right into Princetown getting a good view of its famous prison.
Then we headed pass the clapper bridge at Postbridge then the Warren House Inn where reputedly the fire hasn't gone out in over 550 years.
We then headed towards Moretonhampstead before turning off right heading pass Kitty Jays grave and then pass Hound Tor of the hound of the Baskervilles fame.
Turning right we made the steep decent into Widecome In The Moor then out towards Ponsworthy with its infamous narrow bridge ! No problems for us of course as we then turned left down into Poundsgate and down towards Spitchwick.
Climbing up we now headed towards Holne and over the Dam at Venford Reservoir , we eventually stopped for a short break at Combestone Tor which is point 13 on the South West challenge.
Leaving we now took the steep descent down pass the Forest Inn ( 1 in 4 ) outwards over the West Dart River and back very briefly into Princetown.
Now it was down into Dousland and onwards through Yelverton before joining the A386 back into Tavistock were we all dispersed.
Many thanks to those who joined me and especial thanks to Jim and John who acted has sweepers on the rear end.






Over the Easter weekend 13 of us on 11 bikes camped at The Blue Hills Touring Site near St. Agnes, Cornwall. The weather was quite kind to us because although there was a chilly wind for most of the weekend, the showers that we awoke to on Saturday morning dissipated and the rest of the time was dry and occasionally sunny. Some of us sampled the beer and food at Wetherspoons in Perranporth (well, you've got to haven't you?) on Friday night then Saturday saw us watching the Blue Hills Stage of the Lands End Trial which is staged every Easter by The Motorcycling Club. The camp site hired us a gazebo which was great for getting out of the wind and gathering in in the evenings. The 130 mile Sunday ride out took us to Smokey Joe's for breakfast and then to 2 of the SW Challenge points; Bollowall Barrow, which was a bit of a sod to find, and St.Mawes Castle, which wasn't!  Thank you for your company, those of you who attended, especially first timers Jill and Kevin. I hope to see you at another of our events soon.

Take care and ride safely, Jim.




I had been enjoying the BMW Club South West Challenge and with just seven left I decided a short break would be an ideal opportunity to celebrate having my bike licence for 40 years and enjoy Cornwall before it filled up with visitors for the season.

Roping in some willing suspects we set off from Exeter Services on Friday 17th March 2017. I chose my company well and one of the lads offered to lead. We headed to Bovey Tracey and up over Dartmoor, past Haytor and on to Widecombe-in-the Moor - we had clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine - perfect. Then the road was blocked by a very large lorry - it had managed to jam itself in a farm gateway - as we turned around I could hear the cab crushing and crumbling on the stone wall opposite the farm - whoops. This meant the very wiggly route to Combestone Tor and new roads within a few miles of home which was wonderful having lived in Devon all my life. After our first photostop we enjoyed coffee at the Police Station Cafe in Princetown. There was an abundance of daffodils, primroses, snowdrops and almost a tunnel of yellow gorse along the way.


On to Yelverton and Bere Alston for a photo of the Weir Quay Boatyard before skirting Plymouth City and on to the Torpoint Ferry where Dave got into trouble with the lovely lady in charge....he thought it was a racing start and tried to disembark before the safety gate was locked in place.... I'm not sure who enjoyed the chastisement more....


On to Rame Head for a photo of the National Coastwatch Institution Building and a break at the Cliff Top Cafe, Whitsand Bay where we enjoyed lunch with sea views chatting to the Mum of the Cafe Owners - a lovely lady who's hubby had had a BSA.

On to Taphouse, St Austell, Tregony and to our last photo of the day at St Mawes Castle - a stunning location. Along the way we enjoyed Magnolias, Camelias, fields of Daffodils and even Rhododendrons - they have their own tropical climate in the far south west! Then the King Harry Ferry across to Falmouth for some filtering in the Friday afternoon traffic to Tregaddra Farmhouse B & B, just outside Helston. We received a warm, biker friendly welcome from June who showed us around and served tea by the wood burner. We took a taxi to the Ship Inn at Mawgan - an excellent recommend - for a relaxing evening.



Sadly the weather took a turn and we had wind and mizzle as we set off to meet Rod and Chris who were joining us for Ballowall Barrow at St Just. This would be a stunning location if you could have seen the views! Up the coast road to Hayle for coffee before heading to Thor Motorcycles just outside Bodmin. Dave didn't want to make it too easy so we had more green lanes and a U turn in a farm with copious amounts of slippery cow poo - John said he could smell it cooking on his exhaust - luverly! We received a friendly welcome at the bike shop and enjoyed their mixed collection of machines especially the Nortons.



Our last photo of the trip was the Arthurian Centre at Camelford (which is closed until Easter) before heading across country to the A30 and farewells at Whiddon Down before home and some serious bike and kit cleaning. Thank you for a great couple of days!





You will have seen it advertised - Tim's South West Challenge - 20 places to visit in the 4 counties of our beautiful corner of England.

Well - we all like a new reason for a day out and here were several gifted to us and you can see the photographic evidence from those participating on our website.

Mark - one of the salesmen at CW's - offered to take us round the ones in Dorset - he's proud of where he lives and wanted to show off his patch. But like all the best laid plans of mice and men we were thwarted - the day before the forecast was for very strong winds so, having been blown off before, we turned to Plan B and number 12 on the list - Lovacott Chapel in North Devon.

We met at Exeter Services as I was the nominated run leader.... how foolish were those lads! Off we set up the A377 through Crediton, Coppletone and Umberleigh. Spring was evident with daffs and snowdrops, the sun was shining and not in our eyes - all just perfect. Then my sat nav said left...... apparently the others didn't but like good boys they duly followed. The road then got very narrow, very twisty, very hilly, very potholey, very muddy, very gravelly and very wet.... a few glimpses of tarmac were seen in about 5 miles. On one very steep downhill tight left hand bend, where luckily the mud was dryish, a lorry was trying to negotiate the curve...... the driver was a good egg and manoeuvred into a gateway - possibly prompted by the strong look of fear in my eyes. Eventually we came to the B3232 (please note this if you are going to Lovacott - this is a fully tarmaced road between Barnstaple and Great Torrington) and crossed it to arrive at the chequered flag.

We couldn't see the Chapel so I asked someone who thought I might be getting married - nice they have a sense of humour in the sticks! We soon located our destination and took the obligatory photos. Fortunately a local recommended a brilliant nearby pub - The Hunters Inn in Newton Tracey - which was perfect for sustenance and some serious mickey taking.

Luckily the lads still love me but John did say the tyres on his RT felt like slicks when they filled with mud. In my defence I asked if they enjoyed the stunning views but apparently all they could see was the muck from my rear tyre. We had a good laugh as we dissected the journey and funnily enough I wasn't nominated to lead home! We had a lovely ride back via Torrington, Hatherleigh and Okehampton and waving the lads off on the M5 I had time to clean Daisy before dark. Another fun day out.

PS One pud was enough for 3 with racing spoons.....





Tues 14th March

Here is just another short report on the Engine House, on a reasonable day for March we had our best turnout  of members at the Engine House that I can remember, I think it was ninteen or twenty and most came by bike, we had members from as far afield as Hayle,Torquay, South  Molton, Camelford, Taunton and everywhere in between. After we all had plenty to eat and drink and a good natter we all made our way home and still in dry weather that's all for now hope to see you all again soon.

Regards Phil.




Sunday 12th March

Here is just a quick report for Jamaica Inn on Sunday 12th March, the weather was fairly  favourable and we had quite a good turn out, I think we had about 18 or 19 turn up altogether  mostly on bikes and some by car, I think the furthest  travelled was Pete Frost from Weymouth or possibly  Tim and Anne Wellock from Ilminster. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and after about two to two and a half  hour's we all headed for home, it was good to catch up with some members that we do not see very often, hope to see you all again soon.

Best Regards

Phil Sampson





Sunday 5th March


Just a couple of weeks earlier, I threw in an extra ride out for Sunday the 5th of March, of course not knowing what the weather would be like that far in advance. As it came closer to the date the forecast just got worse and on the day they were right. I did not expect any one to arrive at the start, The Engine House Callington, but 3 members appeared, Phil, Charles and Dave Fox-Spencer, who had just arrived back from spending the winter in the sun in Australia. After a coffee the 4 of us set off, in heavy rain and high winds, for the first of the Challenge points of the day, number 15, the Boat Yard at Bere Alston, a long winding road, a bit tricky to find the right location of the yard but 4 photos later, job done, and all on the way out again. On to the next number 14, The Pigs Nose Inn at East Prawle near Kingsbridge. No need to use the sat nav to get to Kingsbridge but once there, on it went, and that’s where it went wrong, the machine took us down roads which can only be described as narrow, rough tracks, rutted, muddy, steep, nadgery and still raining heavily! It would have been fine if we were on enduro bikes, but we were on an RS, RT, LT and a scooter, and on arrival at the Pigs Nose Inn I was much relieved that all were unscathed, what was said under those helmets, best I don’t know, but after the photos we made sure we headed back on proper roads. As time was not on our side and every one had had enough, we decided to cancel the last visit, that will come next time. I would like to thank those who were brave enough to accompany me on the day and very pleased there were no tears before bedtime!





Helen Beer reports


Storm Doris caused havoc on the Thursday so we postponed our journey to the beautiful village of Beddgelert until the Friday. The Chain Gang met at Abergavenny for hugs and coffee before Sally led us over hills and down dales in glorious sunshine. The Talgarth Twisties always bring a smile, over the little wooden suspension bridge near Erwood . Builth Wells, Rhayader, Llanidloes and a break at the Llyn Clywedog to enjoy the views. On to Staylittle and the mountain road that dropped us into Machynlleth for lunch.

This annual gathering is very special - we don't ride together often enough and there are precious memories here. Passing the Corris Craft Centre and Dolgellau we take the longer route through Blaenau Ffestiniog and Betws-y-Coed and as we descend from Capel Curig we stop to admire the snow capped mountains and the fast flowing river - we have landed again. We have stayed at the Tanronnen Inn, by the bridge, for several years now - always a warm welcome, log fire, comfy rooms and scrummy food. Bike parking at the rear and, if I'm lucky, a room with a view up the Aberglaslyn.



A pleasant evening catching up with friends and Saturday an early start to join the CW Rideout from the Royal Goat. There was a flexible plan which turned into visiting two bike shops followed by The Ponderosa. This was ably led by Stuart in his new toy - a sidecar outfit - lovingly crafted by himself and Wally. I understand his arm muscles doubled in size over the weekend. First stop was Colwyn Bay Motorcycles (many of you will know this used to be a BMW Dealership). The welcome from both KTM and Honda was fantastic. Traditional shops with a healthy mix of old and new machines. They made us very welcome as we used their facilities and emptied their drinks machine of free hot chocolate! I think a few purchases were made in their clothing sale too - bags were spotted being hurriedly stuffed into panniers. The second stop was A & D Motorcycles in Denbigh who were able to oblige with new tyres for one of the gang. The weather was mixed but we enjoyed stunning scenery including the Horseshoe Falls, a healthy mix of roads and the naughty guy who jumped the red light (maybe the colour didn't suit him?) missed a great catch up play.




It was a shame more rally attendees didn't gravitate to the main venue for the Saturday night - especially after Mark's efforts to try to gather all together again. But a fun night was had with plenty of banter and chatting with friends old and new. The Royal Goat produced a delicious dinner served by friendly and helpful staff.

Sunday and an early start to try and get ahead of the promised strong winds. Fond farewells before we rode the wiggly route via Nantmor through to Rhyd and on down past Rhayader for coffee at Builth Wells before Tretower, Crickhowell and Abergavenny for final fuel and the bridge to England. Thanx to all for your company, to those who led and swept and especially for the laughs and new memories.







Kents Cavern & Buckfast Abbey Wednesday Feb 22nd 2017



On Wednesday 22nd Feb eight members on six bikes and a trike met at Haldon Grill on top of Telegraph Hill near Exeter for a fine cooked breakfast . I decided to take a twisty wobbly route to Torquay as the new road from Penn Inn in Newton Abbot to Torquay would have only taken 15 minutes from Haldon ( for now anyhow as a practically new town is planned on being constructed around it !!!) So we headed through Mamhead Forest and then on through Cockwood towards Dawlish Warren. From here, it was on past Teignmouth railway station across Shaldon bridge and out through Ringmore and Combeinteignhead. From here we headed into the top of Newton Abbot with spectacular views across the town, the Teign estuary and Dartmoor.

Onwards through the villages of Coffinswell and Daccombe and eventually passing the cliff tops at Babbacombe and through the very upmarket area of Wellswood to its most famous property the UNESO world heritage site of Kents Cavern. The fully guided tour took around an hour and the guide explained to us about the caves history and its importance on early British man , in fact the early human remains found here are amongst the earliest know in Europe.

The caverns and passages were formed in the early Pleistocene period by water action, and have been occupied by one of at least eight separate, discontinuous native populations to have inhabited the British Isles.

After exiting the caves we enjoyed a coffee and a snack before heading off to another ancient monument Buckfast Abbey. Again we chose an indirect route passing through Cockington and Berry Pomeroy, through Totnes and Dartington before following the River Dart to the Abbey which is gearing up for its one thousandth birthday.

Unfortunately we arrived just as service for hot food was closing but did manage to bag a bowl of chips and grab whatever else was on offer. From here we dispersed and made our way home.

Thanks for coming







Engine House Compton Park Tuesday Feb 14th 2017



Engine House 14th February. On another dreary Tuesday a total of fifteen turned up at the Engine House at Callington for our monthly  brunch meet, I was late arriving as I had mechanical problems so made it just in time for lunch.
It was good to see Colin out on his bike for the first as he is getting  over a knee op, after we all had a good natter eight of us on seven bikes decided  to go to Rame Head and tick off another of the points  on the Southwest Challenge the National Coast Watch Station, after that five of us on four bike's  went to Thor Motorcycles so that they could tick that one off the list as well.
It was another good day out with like minded people, so hope to see you all again soon

regards Phil.




Bovey Tracey Sunday 12th Feb 2017

The Dolphin Hotel meet on the 12th which was moved a week as the pub was fully booked out, it was a success as I booked for 15 and 15 arrived ideal. We all enjoyed the lunch and the general banter, the Dolphin always put our party up out the way which nice for the group, or is it because they don't want a bunch of hairy bikers in the middle of the pub? It works for us. The menu is varied so suits all tastes not just the roast, hopefully we will visit them again later in the year. It was dry but cold ride, full thermal and the bikes full heating arrangements, were very much required and appreciated, it's a nice ride for us, as we travel through the eastern edge of Dartmoor from Okehampton down to Bovey Tracey, the bit from Camelford to Okehampton is on the dual carriageway very quick, but boring and even colder.




Engine House Compton Park Tuesday January 10th 2017


On Tuseday 10th. January another wet and windy day ten people still braved the weather to come to the Engine House for a natter, five came by car but it seems  that the rain was a lot worse in some areas  than others, we even had Keith who belongs to the Western Section turn up in his car all the way from Taunton where he now lives.
After a couple of drinks and a good breakfast for most of us some even had cakes as well, after we all had a good chat mainly on bike related topics such as planed holidays and rallies for the year, we headed our separate ways towards home I was lucky as I made there and back without getting wet that's  all for now hope to see you all again at the next meeting cheers Phil.

Best Regards

Phil Sampson





To Coombestone Tor, Point 13 on the 2017 SW Penninsular Challenge.



A conversation at the Fishermans Cot meet regarding a ride to one of the South West Peninsular Challenge points on New Years Day – a suggestion, why not make it a ride out then? - so with some trepidation I volunteered to organise it!
I didn`t think many would be up for a cold, wet and muddy ride – how wrong I was, 13 people on 11 bikes turned out for a gentle ride around Dartmoor.

Starting at Whiddon Down, to Bovey Tracey up on to the moor and a stop for photos at Coombestone Tor and the first Challenge point in the bag. On to the Fox Tor cafe at Princetown, very busy, bit of a wait for food but warm and dry and nobody seemed to mind the delay. Off the moor and finish with a coffee at Sourton.
My first attempt at organising a ride so thanks to all for their patience and support but mostly for their company, what a great group. Special thanks to Phil for sweeping and his encouragement and Don and Jim for their help.
Have a great biking 2017 and hope to see you on a ride somewhere


Tim Pattemore




Engine House Compton Park Tuesday 13th December 2016


Hi all just a short report on the Engine House for Tuseday the thirteenth of December, the mid week meets still seem to be quite popular, and we had twelve turn up again on what was a wet and miserable day,  five came by car and seven by bike we all had plenty to eat and drink and most of us stayed untill about 1 o'clock before heading for home.
We also had a new member from Okehampton turn up I think he is called Colin but am I sorry to say that I didn't  get a chance to speak to him as he didn't stay long as he had to go somewhere, so hopefully  we will see him again soon and I will get a chance to speak to him then.
While I was on the way home I had to stop off at Bugle and when I went to get on the bike the rear tyre was looking a bit soft, I managed to get to a friend's place and put enough air in it to get home, and then on Tuesday morning I removed a 50mm. nail and plugged the hole ready for the MOT in the afternoon.
That's  all for now hope to see you soon regards





The Fishermans Cot Bickleigh, Saturday 10th December 2016



On 10th December 35 of us gathered at The Fisherman's Cot, Bickleigh near Tiverton for our evening Christmas Dinner. An evening “do” was requested by one of our members as a change from our usual lunch time dinner and I must say it seemed to be very popular with 5 camper vans staying the night in the car Park and about 7 people in rooms.
We all gathered quite early, to get started on the fine real ales and to organise the seating and raffle and to catch up with friends who hadn't seen each other for at least……………….a couple of weeks!
Once Phil realised that the venue had only set 31 places we managed to get the staff to squeeze in the remaining 4 and we were all seated for 3 courses of very fine food, very well served in a polite and friendly manner. Coffee followed after for some, more real ale or wine for others.
There seemed to be loads of prizes for the raffle, thanks to Debbie buying some and everybody else for bringing them. Our main prize was won by Chris Baker who was reimbursed the cost of her meal. The raffle made a £70 profit which will go to Charity, whether one which your Committee will nominate or added to our Charity Fund which accumulates over the year and is awarded to a Charity of the member's choice at our 2017 AGM.
I didn't get one single complaint so I assume everybody enjoyed themselves, which seemed to be the case over sore heads at breakfast the next morning. The food was superb, I thought, and being in the company of motorcycling friends was a pleasure.
Thanks must go to the venue for good service and good food at a reasonable price. Debbie and Phil for the organising and the raffle - and ME for taking the bookings !
See you all again very soon, have a great Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
Lots of luv,






Sunday 4th December 2016


On a very cold and dry day eight people turned up at Jamaica Inn for the lunch meet, most came by car but two hardy souls came by bike, one a new member called Pete Lomax from Port Isaac and the other was Chris Rodgers from Loddiswell.
After spending a enjoyable couple of hours having lunch a drink  and a good natter,  it was good to meet Pete and have a chat with him at his first club meet and hope to see him again soon.
I then spoke to Alistair and found out that his bike is still at Ocean BMW Plymouth awaiting  repair after it was damaged  about six weeks ago when a car reversed  into him, I hope he gets it fixed soon.
That's  it till next time Phil.



Tuesday 8th November 2016

On cold and overcast  day ten members turned up at our monthly Tuesday  meet, five came by bike and five by car, it was good to see Dave Charlton on his bike again now that he his feeling better. Jim even came down from South Molton on his bike as there  was not the frost that had been for cast,  and Alistair was riding a Suzuki as his BMW is awaiting repair afer they were knocked off of it, when a car reversed into them a couple of weeks  ago.

After we all had plenty to eat and drink we all headed for home by about one o'clock as by then it had started raining, it was good to have catch up and good natter,thats all for now hope to see you next time






Sunday November 6th 2016



On Sunday the 6th. November we had seventeen turn up at Jamaica  Inn on cold day with heavy shower's, but that did not stop eight people turning up by bike and the other nine on four wheel's. As usual we where  made welcome at the Jamaica  Inn, and most people had the carvey while  the rest of us had snacks  or in some case's just a drink. After about two hour's and we all had a good natter and catch up we started to go our own way, some for a walk on the way home and the rest just trying  to get home without getting  wet. That's  it for now hope to see you all again soon.






North Tawton RFC 21st -23rd October 2016


Well I think we got it right again this year. Following the same format seemed to please the 54 souls who attended The 30th Hippo Rally, at North Tawton Rugby Club for the second year running. Our ride out to Ocean BMW in Plymouth for coffee and then The House of Marbles for lunch was enjoyed by 16 bikes. Pete brought us back across Dartmoor. Thanks to Pete and Jon for your ride out support, as usual.

Bideford Town Band entertained us on Saturday night with sing along songs, dancing and general hilarity. It made a great change for them to perform to a fun bunch of bikers instead of their usual formal events.

Kirsty from Kirty's Kitchen in North Tawton catered for us and did a grand job. That chicken curry was probably the best I've ever had and fortified by a hearty breakfast each morning - nobody went hungry! Thanks Kirsty and team. Loads of Club members helped out on the Rally and I must thank all of you. Naming individuals is always dodgy because if I forget somebody, I might offend them. However, I must name Gemma and Chris for their assistance at meal times. They seemed to spend most of their time in the kitchen! Well done and thanks.

The Hippo Rally is probably the South West Section's primary event and I'm proud once again to have organised it for you (if a little relieved that it went well and is now over!) but it totally depends on our Club members getting stuck in voluntarily. It's great to count you all as friends.

Thanks, Jim



Tuesday 11th October 2016


On a cold but dry day with some sunshine, a total of twelve people turned up at the Engine House for our monthly  meet, coming from as far as Poole and Veryan to Okehampton and North Tawton and everywhere in between.

We had a perspective new member from North Tawton called Ken that came to his first meet, and a member that I had not met before called Paul from Veryan on a very nice R100RS.

After a good natter and plenty to eat and drink people started to head for home at about twelve thirty and the last of us by one fifteen, so another  good turnout for a Thursday and two new faces, hope to see you all again next time regards Phil.






Saturday October 1st 2016

Healey’s Ride out, Saturday 1st October. The start was from Morrisons carpark Bodmin 11.00, but unfortunately heavy rain was forecast by the weather man, and this must have put a few off. For the 3 bikes and 5 club members, who had more confidence in the weather, it was clearing from the west. We left the carpark in sunshine, we did encounter an odd light shower on our way down Cornwall but we manage to arrive at the Healey’s Cider Farm dry.

After an unusual cream tea which included savoury scones with pickle down to the conventional scone for lunch, and a trip around the animals and then the shop, we headed off on a route to Padstow via Perranporth, Rod and Chris at this point peeled off and headed back to Hayle, Bryan and I headed to Newquay via the coast road, the forecast of the high wind did prove to be correct as we were buffeted all the way to Padstow, we decided leave the Fish and Chips and to just have a cup of tea and then we headed home.





Saturday 24th September 2016

Eight bikes and eleven people left Exeter Moto Services for CW's via Colyton, Kilmington, Birdsmoorgate and Beaminster to be greeted with coffee and a huge selection of cakes. John my sweep had a puncture just after he left home early in the morning and had to swap his GS for his RT....which meant the tyres he was saving up for became an imminent necessity and were changed swiftly while we all relaxed and  browsed the shop.  We then headed to Martinstown and over HardysMonument to Abbotsbury and along ChesilBeach to WestBay where they had kindly reserved a table for us. Those that didn't go straight home enjoyed a wiggly ride via Axmouth, Seaton, Beer and Branscombe (believed to be the longest village in the UK) back to Budleigh for more tea and cake. A relaxed fun day out - many thanx to those that came to play.


H xx



Saturday 17th September 2016


Exmoor ride out starting from The Sorebutts Rally, Don Rabson reports...

The Sorebutts Rally is one put on by the Western Section and they regularly hold it at a campsite in Ilfracombe, it is well attended, with some from other sections. They asked if we could lead an extra ride out as we are local to the area, as Dave Fox Spencer is very local and was already running a ride out for the South West Section, he agreed to change his Saturday ride to coincide with the Sorebutt ride. Nine of us left the campsite at 10.30 for a ride around Exmoor, Dave’s home turf. Up to lunch time the ride went well with no incidents, exploring deep into the Exmoor back roads, including, Lynton, Countisbury Hill then left into Brendon, on to Oare (Lorna Doone Fame) over Robbers Bridge, onto Porlock Bay lookout, where we stopped for a quick viewing out to sea.

Our next stop was for lunch at Dulverton, we all squeezed into the Tantivy Café for lunch, with the tourists that are still around, we made them very busy for a while, but they managed, and they sorted a very nice lunch. The afternoon started marginally later than Dave planned, and we set out for even deeper parts of Exmoor, including Withypool, over the common onto the Sandyway. After The Sportsmans Inn (birth place of the Hippo Rally) then on to the high moorland roads with spectacular views of the moors, we then worked our way back to Lynton.

We were travelling down a narrow lane, and met a lady with a very highly strung horse, whilst trying to pass the very considerate group of BMW motorcyclists, three bikes managed to get past and then the horse panicked and knocked over the woman and escaped! As I saw this in my mirrors, I stopped and parked and blocked the horse’s path as the riders from the other end managed to rescue the beast, help the lady to her feet and reunite the lady and horse. As she walked past the other bikes she explained this was the first time the 8 eight year old horse had been on the road, and she plans to ride it across Europe!! We collected ourselves together and carried on, when next we met the Stag hunt followers on the narrowest of lanes, it would be no exaggeration to say we met 50 plus vehicles, I never knew they had so many Range Rovers on Exmoor! Ron, with his Trike, had the hardest job to try and negotiate the oncoming charge, who seemed so surprised that anyone else was on the road, let alone not following the hunt. The excitement over, Dave had to reassess his route because of the time lost and had to leave a visit to the Valley of the Rocks. We travelled on to The Old Station House Inn at Blackmoor Gate for a very pleasant cream tea which Dave had pre ordered. After discussing the day’s trauma, the campers went back to Ilfracombe and the visitors went home, a very nice day had by all, thanks to Dave for planning the route.





Sunday 11th September 2016 Harford Bridge Tavistock





















BEST F650/800







The Concours Bike Show 2016
The nice dry weather ordered for the day turned up on time, inviting the members to come along and show off their bikes. Held for the second time on the Sunday of The Dartmoor Rally weekend on the 11th of September, with more bikes on show than last year, has proved it is a popular venue. Graham Parsons from Grahams motorcycles in Taunton judged the bikes in the eleven different classes, a difficult job as there were a lot of nice bikes on show, they were the bikes that members attend meets on not ‘show bikes’, so next year your pride joy could be there in the mix, it’s more of a social gathering. All the winners keep the award for one year and also a small replica for you to keep polished in your trophy cabinet!

While the Judging continued we were delighted to sample the Hog Roast supplied by Hungry Hogs Southwest which went down very well. The weather stayed nice all day but the club have invested in a new domed shelter and with the older pop up gazebos we would have been Ok, even if it did turn a bit damp. And finally thanks to the committee for the work involved to put on the event and to Graham, who came in at the last minute to do the Judging.


Don Rabson.



Thursday 8th to Monday 12th September 2016


Debbie and myself  arrived  at Harford Bridge campsite  near Tavistock at 12-45 on Thursday  8th September  for the start of the  Dartmoor Rally.We were  not the first to arrive as Rob the Dog dancer from the Northern Section had arrived  on Wednesday, and John and  Sally were  already on site but had not yet moved on to the camping field.
As the afternoon  progressed  more turned up and we finished  up with sixteen on the Thursday and a total of twenty two  all together,  ten in vans  and the rest in tents, some stayed two nights  and some as  many as six nights.

On the Friday, Debbie and i went off  on the bike to Buckland Abbey for a cup of tea and a walk,Morrisons for lunch and supplies, then filled  the bike with fuel ready for Saturday's  ride out before returning to the site.
After seeing  the other new arrivals Debbie had to start getting  the pasties, chilli and puds ready to feed all of those that had ordered them, and the first group had theirs at about  6-15 and the others not long after. The rest of the evening  was spent chatting  and drinking.

On Saturday  morning  it started wet with very low cloud on the moors but by the he time we left the sun was out and the cloud had lifted,  so nine bikes and one trike  and eleven people  set off at 10-30 for the ride out, first we headed to  Tavistock, Yelverton, Princetown, then towards Mortenhamstead.  We then went down some narrow roads to Chagford and on to Whiddon Down, North Tawton and Okehampton  for lunch at the old railway station café.
After lunch we carried  on to Sourton Cross, Launceston then to Callington and the engine house  café for tea and for some cakes as well,  we then headed back to the campsite via Morrisons for people to get supplies and fuel.

At six o'clock I went into Tavistock  and met Debbie  and we collected  17 lots  of fish and chips and 1 lot of sausage and chips, and delivered them back to the site. When all of us had finished and all the empty boxes collected for binning, we returned  to chatting  and drinking, by this time it had started raining again and the wind was getting worse, but most of us managed to squeeze  into the gazebos for a bit of shelter.Later on some went into the game's  room where  it was a lot warmer,the other hardy souls stayed put for the rest of the evening  with the weather getting  worse, but it was still a very enjoyable evening.

On the Sunday we held our annual Concours bike show and hog roast.There will be a separate report for that.

After the show some of the people went home but a few stayed on until as late as Wednesday.
The weather could have been better it was still a good turn out and i hope  everyone  enjoyed themselves.We have already  booked the site for next year's rally and as there is now a catering van available on site we shall be changing the hospitality arrangements so hope to see you there.  Many thanks for supporting our event.  Regards

Phil and Debbie.





Saturday 13th August 2016

Almost ready to leave Morrisons in Liskeard .
By the canal in Bude .
Enjoying coffee by the canal .
Ok you can open your eyes now !
End of the ride and pasty time !
Enjoying the lovely Cornish weather.

Saturday 13th Camelford Pasty ride started from Morrisons Liskeard, nice to see four lady pillions plus a couple of new faces, all assembled we set off. I had planned a route to keep out of the way of the holiday traffic but unfortunately so did half of Devon and Cornwall so we had a very busy wet ride ride up to Launceston, then on to Red Post and we headed towards Bude and beautiful blue sky and sunshine!

We stopped for a coffee break on Bude Wharf, and all rain was forgotten in the beautiful setting of the Canal and Harbour, we did stay a bit too long in the sun and had to cut out the Crackington Haven part of our journey, however we did take in Widemouth Bay with brilliant blue sea and lots of people on the beach and Boscastle, before ending up in Camelford for Pasties and Cream teas. The lovely sunny weather held and everybody enjoyed a very sociable get together.




Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August 2016

The sections new gazebo

On Thursday 4th August Debbie and myself arrived at Tudor Campsite Slimbridge to find that five others from the Southwest section had
already arrived, we had a couple of showers on the way there but the weather for the weekend turned out to be excellent.
We had 29 turn up all told some for 1 night and others for 2- 3 and some even for 4 nights, we had 3 from the East Anglia Section 1 from the
Northern Section 21 from the Southwest Section and 4 from the Western Section plus 2 day visitors.

People did their own thing on Friday while Debbie and I went to recce the rideout ready for Saturday, When we arrived back on site quite a few more had turned up, Jim and
Hilda had brought the new section gazebo and two new tables which Jim had already erected with the help of Pete.
The evening was spent drinking and chatting all in excellent weather, I think most had gone to bed by about eleven.

Saturday morning it was arranged that the ride out should leave at 10-30am and Jim had already agreed to be sweeper, so seven bikes ,one trike and twelve people set off for a ride around the Cotswolds, first to Cam then Wotton Under Edge through to Tetbury, Malmesbury, past Kemble airfield with all of its planes parked up then on to Cirencester, and a lovely
village called Bibury where it was too busy to find any parking, so on to Bourton on the Water for fuel then lunch at a nice pub where we sat outside as it was so lovely & warm.Although the food was very good, the service for some of us was slow as alot of customers arrived behind us
and the staff lost the orders as they should have come out.

After lunch it was back to Andoversford, Birdlip and then onto the M5 for one junction then the A38 and into Attwolls camping shop as we
needed a new kettle then back to the site.

The evening was again spent chatting and drinking untill about 11-00pm when we all went to bed. Sunday morning was again nice and sunny as most people started packing
up to go home, all but two couples were gone by lunchtime.

We have already booked the site for next year, but have moved the rally to the weekend of the 23rd June as we feel that it is just too busy in August.

Lastly we would like to thank everyone that came and hope that you all enjoyed yourselves.

We would also like to thank Jim for acting as sweeper on the rideout and hope to see you all again next year.

Phil and Debbie.




Sunday 31st July 2016

At Hellsmouth Cafe
Another group shot at Hellsmouth
Into The Abyss at Hellsmouth
Rockpool Cafe by the sea in Mousehole
Rockpool Cafe


The last ride out of July on Sunday 31st was a trip down to Mousehole in the far west of Cornwall. After some confusion as to where the start was, due to wrong post codes and the difference between old and new Services, eventually we all got together on a pleasantly warm day, to start a scenic ride down through Cornwall via Ladock onto Truro, then heading towards Falmouth before peeling off for Helston, then after Penzance looking for the Newlyn turnoff for our destination of Mousehole.

We picked out the Rock Pool Café for lunch as they had a convenient car park but as it was we had a nice snack on their outside eating area overlooking a sparkling sea. By this time it was quite hot with a clear blue sky. After lunch we had a change of planned route by heading towards Lands End and taking the St Just road, we took in the picturesque coast road to St Ives then onto Hayle, then following the coast to Gwithian and Godrevy, stopping for an Ice cream break at Hellsmouth Café.

The change of route may have been a bit too much for some as they still had a long ride home, we then made plans for the different routes homeward, the last few continued on to Portreath then joining the A30 for home. A big thank you to Phil for being tail man and Dave for guiding us through the extra routing, and to all those who came along.







Wednesday 27th July 2016

Wednesday 27th fish and chip meet at Bude with a new venue 'Rosies' just off Crocklets Beach with a handy car park. This was fish and chips with a little style, on china plates, nice piece of fish with chips  and with a bit of side salad, plus a varied menu for those not wanting fish and chips. It was nice sit outside on  what turn out to be pleasant evening, everyone enjoyed their grub and banter.  Dave Fox Spencer earned the £10.00 for the furthest travelled,  we eventually all drifted off homeward, thanks Dave, a good choice.




Saturday 16th July


Starting from the Lifton Farm Café on Saturday the 16th, six bikes left and headed towards Holsworthy, we left Phil behind to wait for a member who was held up on the A30 road works. After Holsworthy we made our way up to Torrington through nice biking roads, this is where the drop off system went wrong and unfortunately we lost Bryan and Charles, after leaving messages on mobile phones with Bryan and now Phil we headed back down to Winkleigh through to Copplestone, with the hope of meeting up with our lost comrades. On arrival we found Phil and Paul waiting, but no Bryan or Charles, after another desperate phone message, we left for our final destination The Stoke Cannon Inn near Exeter. Two years ago this pub had closed down, and with help from the community it has been renovated and become an active part of the Village, it is worth a visit or to make it part of a ride out. Checking the mobile a message from Bryan to say all Ok, at least they were lost together, so not really lost, just not with us! We left the Stoke Cannon Inn and headed back with Phil taking the lead to show us some short cuts around Crediton and eventually arrive at Sourton Services, we went our separate ways home. A big thank you to all who came and for your patience in trying to get things sorted out. An apology to Bryan and Charles for losing them off the back of the ride.





Section member Helen Beer Reports..

We'd had a fab time in Austria so I tentatively asked where to next and dropped a hint for the Rockies. Amazingly the challenge was taken up and a plan hatched which saw us arrive at Heathrow bright and early on 19th June with helmets for hand luggage.

The Ramada Hotel in Downtown Vancouver was our first stop and here I discovered that a single room in Canada means two double beds and a fresh coffee machine - so much space for sorting kit - brilliant. We had a few hours to spare so took a boat trip to Granville Island and had a walk round Sutcliffe Park  looking at art galleries, fresh markets and crafts stalls and listening to local musicians.

Our trip was booked through H C Travel and we arrived at BC Rentals Monday morning to collect 3 brand new bikes - Nick had the new Africa Twin and Jill and I had Vstroms. They came with panniers and topboxes and the lads gave us puncture kits (which were returned unused), pressure gauges and chain lube. They laughed when I asked about spare oil - guess that comes from having a thirsty GS. We escaped the city and  rode over LionsGateBridge towards the snow capped mountains.

First stop was ShannonFalls and the Sea to Sky Gondola at Squamish where we walked the suspension bridge and enjoyed lunch with  stunning views of lakes and mountains. Next was BrandywineFalls and DaisyLake - here we were privileged to witness a very relaxed wedding ceremony where they had the waterfall as the backdrop of their photos and we cheered the newlyweds.

Next stop was WhistlerVillage - lovely twisty roads when I did wonder if we had strayed onto the Stelvio..... and a fuel stop in Lillooet showed we had played all day for the equivalent of £6 - good result! More curvy roads to the Sandman Hotel at Cache Creek (Gold Area).

It had been a good start on the bikes - the Vstrom was very comfortable and I love riding along rivers, lakes, coasts and twisty mountain roads. Route 99 is highly recommended and other road users were courteous - any slow trucks pulling over.  Their road works were something else - inches deep in loose dusty gravel for several k's - that stopped the bikes looking shiny and new! And the size of the vehicles was staggering - mega big boys toys.   First day 345 k.

Up early, FraserValley and The Packing House at SpencesBridge for coffee - wide open spaces and quiet smooth roads. NicolaValley, Merritt , past  Kamloops and the realisation we are somewhere very new and different with the signs for Indian Reservations and Rodeos. Past ShuswapLake - an affluent area with water skiers, jet skis and boats. We were earnestly searching for bears - saw plenty of BLOBS (Bear Like Objects) but no confirmed sightings.

We had arranged to meet friends at DreamcycleMotorcycleMuseum at BlindBay (Shuswap) and back to theirs for lunch and to admire the view of the lake from their home. Then, with local guides, we set off for Salmon Arm Pier, Craigellachie where The Last Spike for the railway was driven for the completion of  Canadian Pacific Railway in November 1885. We watched a goods train go by with 152 carriages and 3 engines to help it on its way. We all stayed at the Glacier House Resort in Revelstoke  - up in the mountains with clear air, snowy peaks and we took over the lounge with our delivered pizza and maps (their restaurant and bar were closed Mon-Wed). 430 k.

Wed morning and time for the girls to name their bikes - Bear and Matt - you just have to bond properly! We had challenged Pauline and Don to find us bears and we set off to MulvehillCreekBridge and the quiet roads along the Columbia River looking at Mt McKenzie. We had a James Bond moment as a helicopter checking power lines followed us for a while. Then a real treat - a free ferry across ArrowLake from GelenaBay to ShelterBay.

Along ArrowLake to Nakusp for first Iced Tea (official holiday drink) - perfect. New Denver, Silverton and Slocan LakeViewpoint in Kootenay. . Then a fantastic ride of miles of twisties with trees, snow capped mountains and a wide fast flowing shallow crystal clear river. Am sure you can feel the grin factor! Kaslo to see the Canadian Pacific Paddle Steamer and back the way we came to the ferry .... and here was our first sighting of bears. A mum and baby were feeding by the side of the road, shortly afterwards one crossed in front of us and another was spotted in a clearing - so lucky.

465 k by the time we had dined in Revelstoke and returned to our hotel and a 12 hour play day.

Pauline and Don waved us off on Thursday morning - it had been fab to catch up with them again after 7 years. They had been great company (especially Don for Nick who had two chics or old broilers to cope with) and super tour guides (we were going to do Meadows in the Sky Parkway but it was closed due to snow and Plan B turned out to be Plan A+).

Highway 1 today with lots of stops first being the Giant Cedars Nature Trail - a circular wooded walk. Then Rogers Pass Museum with educational films on bear behaviour and avalanche control. Past KickingHorsePass and to Golden for our first Tim Hortons...can see why everyone recommends it.... a huge choice of  fresh naughty delights at bargain prices. Someone stole an hour of our day today  (another time zone crossed - BC to Alberta) and also the sunshine so we abandoned the sightseeing and headed direct to  Lake Louise. 245 k

The weather had improved next morning so Nick checked the bikes and we resumed our schedule - NaturalBridge being the first stop on KickingHorseRiver inYohoNational Park. The roar of the water was awesome and you could see how the water had carved its way through. We passed the Great Divide Lodge which made me smile following the Brexit Result.

On to EmeraldLake watching the fish jumping and then TakakkawFalls, Two Rivers Meet (Kicking Horse and Yoho)  and the Upper Spiral Tunnel where we were lucky enough to see a train go in and come out whilst still going in. Back to Lake Louise which was heaving with tourists so we took the wiggly route to LakeMoraine inBanffNational Park and the Valley of Ten Peaks for lunch taking in the views.

We took the 1A Bow Valley Road to see our 5th bear stroll across the road in front of us. Riding into Banff the town felt welcoming, clean and friendly and that is how it turned out. We stayed at the Mount Royal Hotel in the middle of town and had dinner at Wild Bills on Caribou Corner relaxing to live country music (here you are safe to admit you like it). 196 k.

Saturday started well with one of my favourite songs playing in the breakfast bar and a walk to see BowFalls. The town had beautiful art galleries with pictures of local wildlife and scenery. After lunch in the sun we rode past Lake  Minnewanka, the Three Sisters, Canmore and to Kananaskis and the PeterLougheedProvincialPark.

Back to enjoy the hotel facilities and 229 k's.

Jasper was our destination for Sunday along the stunning Icefields Parkway. We had purchased National Park Passes before we left which meant it was easy to enter the beautiful parks and we were supporting their upkeep. We stopped at Mosquito Creek, past HelenLake and Bow Glacier and stopped at Bow Summit. You really cannot describe the beauty - you need to be there. And we kept checking the mirrors for amazing views too. We walked to PeytoLake and what a wow moment - the water was a vivid bright turquoise.

Back on the highway past Rocky Mountain House to the Crossing at Saskatchewan for lunch and passing Athabascha Glacier. As I rode along I hoped my darling John would have been proud of me - we talked of doing this route many years ago and studied books together - it felt good to be here with special friends that knew and loved him too. They made it all happen and my holiday plan was simple - just keep up with the bike in front :-)

A short stop at Tangle Creek then to SunwaptaFalls. Despite the signage promising all sorts of wildlife would be hiding behind the trees keen to cross in front of us we saw nothing but this was probably because being a Sunday the Park was quite busy. One section was called Endless Chain and that is how it was - mountains and trees every which way - stunning. The temperature varied from 13 to 25. AthabascaFalls were beautiful and then to Lobstick Lodge in Jasper  watching the setting sun. 302 k.

Monday was a very early start for our scheduled boat trip and our reward was sightings of Caribou and Elk. We were on the Spirit Island Cruise on LakeMaligne and what a day! One range of mountains had been given to our Queen and were named for her - sadly she has yet to visit them. The water changed colour as our boat cruised up the lake - this was due to the Islands and Glaciers.

Nick and I then failed to resist the urge to take a red canadian canoe for a paddle on the waters before heading off to PyramidLake. Temperatures today ranged between 6 and 30. 111 k.

Tuesday and someone very kindly gave us our hour back as we headed to Mount Robson National Park back in BC.

We stopped for photos along the way and a local welfare checked us - everyone was friendly and helpful. We passed Tum Tum Creek and when it hit 33 degrees we stopped at Clearwater before a lovely twisty road to  Helmcken's Falls in Wells Gray Park. On the way I spotted a photo opportunity at MushbowlFalls and then we looked down ThirdCanyon on our way to the Ace Western Hotel in Clearwater. 423 k.


Breakfast was taken watching our first roundabout - they go for 4 way stop streets so a flowery circle in the road  is a rare sight. Despite the high temperatures there was still snow on the mountains as we headed past Little Fort and on to Highway 24 to 100 Mile House via Peacful Cove, Eagle Island and Lone Butte. The roads were quiet and fun. Along Lac Le Hache to WilliamsLake which is in the Heart of the Cariboo District and we stopped at the Discovery Centre to read about Rick Hansen who wheelchaired around the world for spinal chord injury research. His motto was Anything is Possible and his hopes are that one day the only place you will see a wheelchair is in a museum. He is inspirational - having spent a few months in one the thought of going a few miles was daunting nevermind a mega challenge like his. A picnic lunch at McleeseLake and on to Quesnel and following the FraserRiver to the Sandman Hotel in Prince George. The scenery had changed by the end of the day to no snow and rolling hills. 481 k.

Thursday and our destination was Smithers, Vanderhof for coffee and we had a brilliant flying display by two bald eagles. Road signs offered us chicken racing - we were really in the outback! FraserLake was a beautiful dark blue and BurnsLake provided another excuse for a leg stretch. An interesting stop at Houston Visitor Centre to admire the stuffed grizzly and then on through Telkwa  with more snow capped mountains - The Hudson Bay Range. Arriving at the Sandman Inn we had done 383k and chose the steakhouse with mountain views.

Friday 1st July was Canada Day and Public Holiday. We weren't sure what to expect but everything was open to take our dollars. First stop MoricetownCanyon on the Yellowhead Highway Trans Canada 16. On to Terrace and wiggling along the SkeenaRiver we were treated to our last bear sighting - he or she sat very cutely in the wild flowers and long grass by the roadside. The River was vast and we decided that folk in that area go fishing on Canada Day as we didn't see much else - there were BBQ's along the waters edge and on the islands. We arrived at the Crest Hotel in Prince Rupert early which gave time for a stroll along the waterfront before dinner watching the eagles. 358 k.

Saturday was the very long boat journey along the Inside Passage to Port Hardy. We were up at 0430 and serenaded in the queue for the ferry by Red Red Wine from a Harley - they love showing off their stereo systems! The Northern Expedition left on time and we had 15 hours of moving scenery despite the rain - Butedale, Boat Bluff, Bella Bella - waterfalls and hills and trees - lots of trees! Just 12 k as we pulled into the Glen Lyon Inn at nearly midnight.

Breakfast was enjoyed watching a dozen bald eagles at close range and a seaplane. Our view of the estuary was lovely but we could have stayed a few nights in this relaxing place but our agenda was calling and we rode off following the NimpkishRiver to Woss where some local bikers recommended Sayward at KelseyBay. So glad we followed their advice. We arrived at Painters Lodge at Campbell River to be delighted by huge rooms overlooking the water, an outdoor pool and dinner on the terrace watching seals, canada geese and eagles. There was a free boat trip to their sister lodge across the water on QuadraIsland so we enjoyed this treat watching the sunset. 264 k.

As we hadn't seen Whales we decided to take an early Whale and Wildlife Experience  and by 0800 we were kitted up in bright red onesies ready for 3 hours of Discovery Channel in the Zodiac. We had a wonderful time - fantastic scenery, changing waters from flat calm to 3 foot waves, mountains, islands, seals, eagles, harbour porpoise, deer and yes, 2 humpbacks, known locally as KC and Ariel. We were so lucky. 70 miles of smiles. After lunch we took a ride to GoldRiver - bends galore and very quiet - enjoying a cuppa in a craft shop discussing Brexit with the owner. 188 k.

Tuesday and after breakfast watching a sea otter, eagles, a heron and sea planes we found the 19A with no help from the sat nav. A lovely road along the river with plenty of entertainment - wood carvings, totem poles, beautiful waterside houses - to Courtenay. Brief stop at QualicumBeach and to  Port Alberni  - a pretty but very busy town.  Past KennedyLake in the Pacific RimNational Park to the Tin Wis Resort in Tofino for a paddle in the chilly waters. Tin Wis means Calm Waters - odd that we were looking at Tsunami Escape Route signs! 287 k.

This was another place we could have spent more time at - we were right on the beach and woke to the gentle sound of the waves. We had a ride into Tofino just to see it and then took the only road out - KennedyLake looked even more spectacular going East. Port Alberni and then a detour to EnglishmansFalls in the ProvincialPark of the same name. Ladysmith next - a pretty town and the last roundabout we saw - that averaged out at one a week on our trip. Into Victoria and sadly the traffic we were promised materialised but the bikes were fine - no problems with the heat and they had behaved brilliantly in the high altitude too. Good to see Trans Canada Highway signs and not to be caught by the speed traps (were we good or lucky?) We arrived at the Best Western to all be given free upgrades...did we look that wrecked??? Bikes secured in a nearby car park and off to the Irish Pub as recommended by the hotel staff. 353 k.

Thursday morning was a quick walk round Victoria before heading to SwartzBay and the ferry to TsawwassenBay on Vancouver. The  ferry ride was about 90 mins and the traffic into the big city tough after so many lovely miles on quiet roads in wonderful scenery. They don't filter out there but we returned the bikes on time and unscathed. We did it!! 90 k today and a total of 5162 k 3207 miles.

Our friends missed us so much they met us at the bike shop and took us to our last hotel - The Sylvia - and heard all about our travels over dinner. And Friday morning they took us to the local BMW Dealership and then on a tour of StanleyPark before depositing us safely at the airport. Along with the wildlife mentioned we saw horned sheep, american robins, yellow butterflies, black squirrels, vole, gofer, chipmunks and a clarks nutcracker. Food and fuel were cheaper than the UK but accommodation quite expensive especially if you're not sharing.  It was truly a wonderful adventure - if you're thinking of it then our advice is Just Do It!







Tuesday 12th July 2016

On  Tues 12th July  ten  members  turned up at the Engine  House at Callington  for our monthly meet,  six came by bike  and four in two cars,  Alistair  and Jane had a good reason as Jane has just had a knee replacement so as yet is not allowed on the bike.

Where as Debbie and myself  came by car as it was raining when we left Hartland.

After a couple  of hours  we all went on our way, after a good natter and some good food and drink.

That's all for now hope to see you all again next time

regards Phil.



Friday 8th July to Sunday 10th 2016

How many syns ?
All smile for Jim
It needs a Womans touch !
Can it be tig welded ?
Sitting around the camp fire telling tall tales or was it ripping yarns ?
Mikes flame thrower seem to do the trick !
Can it be mig welded or super glued?
Ian & Jans impressive combination.
"Im gonna get you Isherwood even though your ma pa ! "
Rons Triumph America LT
Ride out gang at Widemouth cafe.
Johns GS Trike

Once again the Lavender Rally at Hartland, Devon proved to be a popular one with 21 people attending in 6 camper vans and 8 tents on the weekend of 8th 9th & 10th July.
The weather once again proved to be challenging and although we didn't actually get too wet because the rain happened mainly overnight, the gale force winds were a bit of a problem with the Section gazebo getting a battering and Peanut's tent suffering a snapped pole. Good job the barn was available for us to party in on the Saturday night.
Ron and Jan's fire log provided entertainment taking at least 6 people to get it lit but was cozy once it got going.
Good to see new member Simon on his first camping weekend with us - he might even stay the whole weekend next time!
I hope Chris is feeling better now as he had to leave us early due to a medical problem.
The ride out went to  the ex RAF Davidstow Moor airfield where there are 2 museums dedicated to the armed forces. We visited the one for the RAF and were impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the owner, explaining some of the exhibits to us. An interesting and well kept attraction. Lunch was taken at the nearby Widemouth Bay cafe.
Also the walk to the Hartland Quay led by Hilda was enjoyed by 8 energetic people.
Thank you to Hilda, Jan and others for providing cakes and a buffet on the Saturday evening.
Next year's Lavender "Hurricane" Rally should have some interesting developments.

Thanks for coming, it was great.





Sunday 3rd July 2016

Start at Morrisons Bodmin
'After signing Jane's get well card'
View towards Falmouth
Sea view
Henry's holiday home
SW Section's 'Defenders of the realm

Five days of forecasting rain for Bryan's rideout to St Mawes Castle didn't stop nine of us from starting from Morrisons at 10.30 on Sunday. Somebody's righteousness put paid to it so we started off to Lanlivery, through Bugle turning right towards High Street via the vast Blackpool clay pits down along Chegwin Hill to admire the far-reaching views over towards the west of Cornwall. Then turning off at the top of Long Lane we drove down towards Sticker via what seemed like endless Cornish motorway? making it easy to join the main road for a few hundred yards before joining the ponderous twisty road through Tregony leading to St Mawes. Having parked up in the castle car park we all bought our tickets before walking to our lunch place whilst taking in the ambience of the picturesque small harbour. At the castle (built by Henry viii as part of south coast defences against the French) we all collected our tour players and wandered through the different levels of the castle taking in the brilliant views across the Carrick Roads to St Anthony's lighthouse and westward to Falmouth. In brilliant sunshine we chatted and took photographs before setting off to the King Harry ferry across the River Fal knowing that was on the way to an ice cream at Trellisick Gardens. From there we rode home after a pleasant day, I hope all enjoyed it as much as I did.....  

Bryan from Fowey



Thursday 30th June 2016


Seven members met at this regular meet at the Fishermens Cot at Bickleigh beside the river Exe, Furthest travelled was Phil Sampson who came up fromSt Austell. Ron Lyford turned up on his new Triumph America LT ( Very nice !!! ) We all once again enjoyed a good value meal and natter before making our way home.




Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th June 2016

Mick and Chris's bikes
Early arrivals Thursday
L2R Mick, Kay , Martin & Chris
Getting ready to leave for the ride-out
At Hells Mouth Cafe.
Helford Passage


Once again the weather was good with some cloud keeping the temperature down . We did have some very heavy bursts of rain overnight every day but come mid morning these had disappeared leaving a pleasant day from, the Thursday to Sunday. Over the four days we had a total of four campervans/motorhomes and myself in a caravan, (I only live 10 miles away so after setting up went back for my bike) and four tents. The furthest traveled was Chris and Mike from Leeds, a distance of over 400 miles ( done in one hit !! )followed by Pete from Weymouth and Peanut from a far flung galaxy, all camping under canvas. In campervans was Jim and Hilda from South Molton and Kay from and Martin from Ivybridge following on his GS , Rod and Chris came the short distance from Hayle and Phil and Debbie from St Austell and of course myself from Mawnan Smith. The fact that there were as many tin tents as canvas is either a reflection of the growing age of the members or getting whimpish.

On the Friday evening we went for a meal in the very pleasant bar at the site and had a very enjoyable time returning to Phil and Debbie's mobile bar until lights out. On the Saturday I led a ride out having been joined by Bryan from Fowey on his K1300GT and in keeping with tradition had to stop a couple of times as it was overheating (having just been serviced of course !) We rode through Falmouth and onto a very pretty place called Helford Passage on the River Helford. From there  we intended to stop at Marazion for a break but did not stop as every car park (Council Owned) wanted to charge a minimum of £2 for bikes. From there we road to the very popular Hells Mouth Cafe between Hayle and Portreath for coffee and food. From here we made our own way back to the campsite, some via Tescos, and Bryan back home to Fowey.

On the Sunday due to the breaking weather, we all headed home with the exception of Peanut who had returned home on the Saturday as he was feeling unwell and Mick and Chris who were departing on Monday to continue their holiday elsewhere in Cornwall.

My thanks go to Phil and Debbie for providing sustenance and shelter under their porch awning hoping to see you all again next year.





Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Ten members met at Fryer Tucks in the small village of St Merryn nr Padstow for an excellent fish n chip supper. Phil and Debbie took advantage of our near by rally at Radnor and pitched up on Wednesday and incorporated this fish n chip meet . The £10 for furthest travelled was won by Alistair Magor from Okehampton.





Saturday 18th June 2016


On what turned out to be quite a nice day, dry with some sunshine we had fourteen members turn up at our place for tea, coffee and a breakfast bap, the first one turned up at about 9-15 and from then on it was just a steady stream of one or two every five to ten minutes.
After we were all fed and watered, thirteen bikes and fifteen people left right on time at 10-45 for arrival in St. Austell at 11-00am, where we were met by Annette Miller the organiser of St.Austell BID. On the way there another member joined us, so we then had fourteen bikes and sixteen people, and twelve of the bikes were BMW'S and the other two were Honda's.
Annette then placed us up through Fore Street in pairs, and gave us some charity tins to try and collect some money for Childrens Hospice South West which we duly did, there was quite a lot of interest in all of the bikes but some more than others.
We had quite a variety of bikes from a R80/7 and 1979 R100RS through to the latest R1200 Adventure and K1600 tourer, we will hopefully get a couple of new members for our efforts, because we spoke a few BMW owners that did not even realise that there was a BMW Club, so personally I think it was worth the the time and effort just to try and raise the profile of our club.
And lastly I would like to thank Debbie for all of her hard work and time doing the breakfast baps,
I should also like to thank everyone that gave up their time to come along, especially Ramon and his wife Jenny (I hope I have your names right if not I do apologise it is my age my memory is not what it was) from the Western Section that came all the way from Bristol for the day, a round trip of over one hundred and fifty miles on their 1979 R100RS that he has had from new, and I hope we see them again sometime soon.
Before I left St. Austell I was given £50-00 by Annette to give to our chosen charity, as was agreed beforehand for our time and effort, we all departed between 3-00 and 3-30 some with a lot further to go than others.
That's all for now and thank you all again for taking the time to come.


Cheers Phil.



Tuesday 14th June 2016

On this monthly meet, held on the second Tuesday of each month, their where ten that turned up, despite  it not being  the best of days.
Debbie and I went by car as we were still having some showers and had to go shopping on the way home.
We only had three bike's with four people on board, the rest came by car, it was the usual mix of regulars, and some that we do not see so often as it is a long way for them to come.
We all had plenty to eat and drink and made our way homeward between  one thirty  and two.
As always  it was good to see those that made the effort, that's  all for now hope to see you all again soon.

   Cheers Phil.




Thursday 2nd June to Friday 10th June 2016

Twenty members and guests joined me for my third BMW South West section rally in Josselin Brittany.
Camping Des Cersiers must be popular with the membership as everyone seems to fall in love with this charmingly rustic site and twenty one is a good healthy number especially for an overseas rally.
I kept getting asked “when are we returning to Josselin ?” So I went about setting up this rally.
Numbers would have been more but we had a few cancellations and to be honest I breathed a huge sigh of relief as my original target number was a max of 15.
However at one point the whole rally seemed to be in jeopardy as the French went on strike and petrol became a scarcity just days before our departure.
Keeping a sharp eye on proceedings ( I was forced to read some news for the first time in 8 years ) and getting a good real time picture of the situation from my neighbour who had just returned from La Rochelle, it appeared that as with all things in the news these days , this story was blown out of all proportion and we really had nothing to fear.

Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd June

Arriving at the ferry terminal in Plymouth our gang with the exception of Ron & Jan Lyford were already waiting for me, John and Sally Robinson had travelled a day earlier via Portsmouth and Rod and Chris Baker were catching the early Friday morning ferry and would join us on Friday evening.
Our ferry across to Roscoff was the impressive Pont Aven.
We soon boarded, found our cabins and made our way to the bar only to find it wasn't going open until 20:00! So much for Brittany ferries “board early and enjoy our facilities policy!
As on a number of occasions now when using this Thursday night crossing, the Pont Aven duly sailed at 21:00 hours and made it just passed Drakes Island where she moored up for 4 hours before finally firing up her engines and getting underway at 01:00am.


On board The Pont Aven.

Disembarking at just before 09:00 hours a rather large group of motorcycles and a trike started the 110 mile ride down to Josselin.
One of our continental newbies soon found out that its just not about concentrating on riding on the opposite side of the road but also concentrating whom is in your own group and duly followed another group of bikers! Luckily he was spotted by an eagle eyed Dave Charlton who managed to round him up.
Unfortunately this split the group somewhat but thankfully I had told everyone that we were stopping at Porz An Parc service station for breakfast, coffee and fuel if needed.
I was now having trouble of my own with my sat nav not getting any power and it duly shut down.
Luckily for me I knew where the service station was but it is a bit of a faff getting into it.
Five minutes later the rest of the posse followed in led by Dave.

Dave was now designated ride leader ( due to the fact he has the latest BMW navigator on his GS1200 ) and the drop off system deployed.
The drop off system is without doubt the best way to get a large group of bikes from A to B and thankfully it worked spotlessly on this ride down.
Ron Lyfords Trike had lost a nut from the gear lever and he could not get any gears, cable ties and a roll of electrical tape where improvised and soon sorted the trouble temporarily but a twenty minute delay ensued.
At this point I wish to praise Ryan and Chris who stayed at their drop off points. Full credit to them and to the fact that being in their early twenties showed huge maturity and insured that this drop off worked seamlessly, the leading group realised no one was following them and pulled over in a small rest area a few miles further on, they certainly are the future of this club.
Just after 1:00pm we arrived at Camping Des Cersiers in Brancillet just outside the stunning medieval town of Josselin greeted by the ever cheerful camp site owner Nathalie. We all soon quickly settled into our accommodation for the week and headed for the Super U around 2 miles away for food and drink and other supplies.

Saturday 4th June.

The whole idea of this rally was a motorcycling holiday in a stunning location and to enjoy good food, drink, company and ride outs on some of the best biking roads in Europe.
Ride outs were planned for each day and to a particular destination and you could choose to drop in or out of them as you so wished, it was all about relaxation and enjoyment. On Saturday I asked Dave if he would like to be ride leader for the week a challenge which he jumped at and Pete Frost duly took up the position of tail end Charlie.
Some chose to rest today and some to have a gentle stroll into Josselin and visit the impressive street market which fills the town every Saturday morning.
The rest, a group of eight people on seven bikes, headed for the pretty seaside town of Piriac-Sur-Mer on the suggestion of Dave .Our destination was Le Croisic but deciding to have lunch in Piriac – Sur – Mer we gave it a skip as we have visited it before.
Our route took us down the D139 and over the impressive barrage at Arzal before arriving in Piriac -Sur-Mer where parking was a little tight due to the weekly market being held on the large car park.
It was a hot day and walking around its small narrow streets in bike gear was not great.
After wandering down to the marina we chose to eat in a restaurant called Crepiere Burglin -Lacomere located on Rue De Keroman.
Most of us opted for the Plate De Jour and this was our first taste of what the French do best..Food !
The starters were a meal in themselves followed by cauldrons of freshly cooked moules ( mussels ) and chips and a choice of great sweets.
The owner Messr Burglin spoke great English and revelled in showing us his very British Triumph Bonneville followed by a complementary glass of calvados whilst doing so.
Our route home took us over the old suspension bridge at La Roche Bernard which spans the La Vilaine river. Here we parked up at the viewing point to take in the great views.
We then visited the beautiful town of Rochefort en Terre enjoying a fabulous big cooling ice cream in the hot June sun before heading back to the site for a few chilled beers and wine and an evening of merriment.

A real life Cheshire cat in Rochefort En Terre

Sunday 5th June.

Sunday is always a quiet affair in Brittany with most shops closed. We chose a lazy morning before leaving at 13:00 for a one hour ride to the small village of Loheac to visit one of the finest motor museums you will ever see, which is at Le Manoir Automobile and given that it is a private collection, just adds to the awe of it all.
This coincided with the museums afternoon opening of 14:00.
There are halls of F1 cars , Ferraris , Lamborghini's, rally cars, every car you can think of. The Billionaire owner certainly is a petrol head ! In fact John Robinson said there was just too much to see and you simply couldn't take it all in.
The museum also has several race tracks built around its perimeters and some kind of event was taking place with people taking out rather fast cars on one of the circuits.
However you could pay to sit in with a pro driver and let him take you around and we stood up on the bank and watched this superb professional driver put his car through its paces with I can only imagine one terrified passenger at his side !
Our route back took us to the standing stones at Monteneuf.
When I first visited these stones, some 12 years ago, they were just hidden in an over grown forest and their location only known by the locals.
However, their importance has been well noticed and now you must enter through a newly built visitor centre, thankfully this was unmanned on a Sunday.
Long gone is parking at the road side and simply walking in.


Party time !



Monday 6th June

Its Monday and no longer half term and another glorious day. We used this opportunity to visit the World heritage town of Dinan in the north of the province and it worked! Dinan was very quiet for Dinan!
We plotted a route that would take us to the superb lake side abbey at Paimpont where we stopped for coffee and sat outside in the morning sunshine on the sofas.
We then went inside the abbey itself to witness the splendid architecture, leaflets were available in English which gave a potted history of the place.
Soon we were on the road again ( a song by Willie Nelson I believe ? ) and heading up through Gael, through Caulnes and on into Dinan.
Every time I have been to Brittany I have visited Dinan, with its twisty streets and higglety pigglety buildings it is a place I have never tired of. Given that it also has some of the most superb roads for motorcycling on the way up.
We all congregated around the city walls which tower above the La Rance taking in the breathtaking views which this elevated position allows.
It was soon time for lunch and we split into three groups with some bringing their own, others eating in a boulangerie and the rest opting for a sit down meal.
Our route home followed one of the best roads for biking, taking the D793 down through Brusvily, Yvignac -La-Tour and back to Josselin, only to be slightly blotted by road works and a few detours.
Thunder storms were forecast in Josselin for this evening and it rained for a while, but we were still able to congregate in one of the statics.

Tuesday 7th June

Any sign of the overnight rain and storms have now gone and its a stonking good day, clear blue skies and hot !
Our destination today is to the World famous stones at Carnac and a lunch stop at the seaside town of Quiberon.
A large group decided to join this ride and Dave and Pete again managed to get us all there together, even though a rather large French camper tried to prevent it. He had obviously taken a wrong turn, decided to reverse out into us group of bikers, totally oblivious to what he was doing. A lot of horn blowing and pointing soon put pay to that.
We could basically choose any spot we wanted at Carnac to park up and chose to view the stones from the viewing platform built above the small visitor centre and shop.
Onwards as ever and the slow ride into Quiberon with its one road in and one road out and a myriad of roundabouts! It is all so worth it once you reach the seafront though.
Most of us ate at Le Colibri and mostly opting for the two course Plate Du Jour although some decided their bodies needed building up and went for the three courses.
There was also a rumour spreading around that somewhere there was a restaurant offering a four course plat du jour and a bottle of wine for just eleven euros , some say that this is a myth, others say this restaurant is in Brigadoon and only appears every 100 years ? If you know where it is send a postcard please !

Wednesday 8th June

Today we said goodbye to the four youngsters, identical twins Dale and Ryan ( who also celebrated their 22nd birthday whilst in France ) and Joe and Chris all of whom had to make their way back early due to work commitments. So it was over to Jim & John to move into their vacated static.
The ride today was down to and over the impressive Pont Saint Nazaire suspension bridge which bridges the mouth of the Loire river and onwards to beautiful Pornic led by Mr Isherwood , however a rather heavy chest cold or a night mixing red & white put pay to this and the task of squadron leader was handed over to Pete Frost. Dave Charlton had left at 8:00am to travel solo down to Nantes to see the fantastic machines at Les Machines De L'ile so just the five of us rode down to Pornic.
It was a scorching hot day, the hottest of the week so far and walking in bike gear was no fun. We found a lovely little restaurant in the back street that runs behind Quai Leray called L'Antre Amis.
It was a pizzeria and we ate in the courtyard under the shade and as always the food was excellent.
Pete decided to have a little fun on the way back and set his Tom Tom Rider to twisty routes and we certainly got that. We had a great ride back only marred by a learner driver who was well over the solid white line who duly detached Petes pannier into the centre of the road.
Celine the driving instructor was horrified and gave Pete her details ( lucky chap !! She certainly was a looker ) but apart from a scuffed and scratched pannier no real harm was done..It could have been far worse.
For the evening we decided to make use of the sites communal barbecue and those that stayed behind at the site set about buying the sausages and burgers etc for the event.
It was a great bbq and still so hot in the evening sun, bowls of salad and large bags of crisps were passed around and Sally made an exceptional fruit cake which was soon scoffed down.
Many thanks to Jim, Jon and Mark who did the cooking and serving, another fantastic day in Brittany was over.


The chateau in Pornic



Thursday 9th June

Today was time for a little Shakespeare “ much ado about nothing” or rather “nothing much to do!”.
We had all decided to have a lazy time on another glorious hot day.
We had also decided to have a meal in the medieval square this evening in Josselin as this was our last night.
Just after lunch time a group walked down into the town and went on a voyage of discovery . Some decided to brave the very steep climb of the church tower but say the chest pounding palpitations on reaching the top were well worth it as the tower offered spectacular views over Josselin, the château and canal . I rode down and made a reservation for the evening for thirteen people as Phil, Glen and Lisa all decided to stay back at the site and finish off what food they had left.
We ate al fresco and had another cracking meal before making our way back to the site. The bar manager also offered to act as a taxi service for us and whilst the majority decided to walk off their meals three of us took him up on his offer.



Friday 10th June.

So its morning time and packing up time too..Boo! The skies are looking rather ominous.
Everyone with the exception of John & Sally ( who are staying on in France ) are making good their departures.
Nathalie comes to say her goodbyes and warns us to ride careful as very heavy rain has been forecast. Dave as the nominated squadron leader decides to take a more rural route back and this was showing a journey time of 3hrs 35mins opposed to 2hrs 11mins the direct way.
Everything was plotted into his navigator and a lunch stop planned in the small lakeside town of Huelgoat.
Nathalies warnings were correct , fifty minutes after leaving the site it started to rain.
As the rain got heavier Dave pulled over to allow us to put on our boil in the bag suits.
Arriving in Huelgoat the rain was starting to ease slightly but for Jon it was no fun as he had trusted his gear to keep him dry but in fact was soaked through to the skin, so he and Jim both carried on in hope of finding an outdoor store to buy some kind of waterproof attire.
The problem for Jon was that he was riding up to Roscoff to meet his wife in their camper ( she was on the inbound ferry from Plymouth) then riding back down south for another week and in front of her, guiding the way soaking wet! I think the plan now was to find an aire for the evening to try and dry out.
Huelgoat is a fascinating place, with the large lake emptying into a steep boulder valley covered in moss, with tales of fairies and goblins not dissimilar to Becky Falls at Manaton.
Small creperies and cafes surround the lake side with most having outside seating, but not on a day like to day.
We tentatively went inside a small creperie called “Le Creperie Bar” dripping wet and asking if they were able to accommodate us ?
The proprietor, an older lady didn't speak any English but rearranged the seating and made us welcome.
She called on her middle aged daughter to come and help and you couldn't help but notice the look of horror on her face as she looked out at a packed creperie full of dripping bikers !
However , neither of them ever got ruffled and calmly went about serving us as well as other customers who had come in including two French bikers on a Harley.
It was now onwards and up through the national park of Amorique but thankfully the rain had eased considerably.
By the time we reached Roscoff the rain had stopped and we queued to board an half full MS Amorique. Jon met up with his wife ok and continued his holiday and we all enjoyed a mill pond crossing back to Plymouth.
At this point I would like to thank all those who attended my rally and special thanks to Dave Charlton for leading the rides and to Pete Frost for being tail end Charlie and to Phil Sampson who carried the section flag and pole on his bike and to everyone who sent me such a good selection of great photos.
Will I do another Brittany rally ? Well this is the third time I have held this rally with The BMW club and around the seventh time I have done Brittany by bike.
There where half cut musings about running a rally down towards La Rochelle next year ? Will it come to fruition ? I don't know although it wont be me running it, just keep an eye on the journal.




Waiting for the rest of the gang at Plymouth .
Camp site headquaters .
Trio of Beemers .
Jim & Jons tents..The lads had the static !!!
Chatting in the Sun .
Jon getting a tan and enjoying a 1664 .
And at the other end of the table.....
Dale and Ryan opening presents on their 22nd birthday.
The Isherwood clan celebrating the twins birthday in the square in Josselin.
The chateau and weir from the canal.
Josselin town .
Restaurants in the square.
Main street in Josselin.
The square in Josselin.
Some of our group on their way to Piriac-Sur-Mer .
Parked up in Piriac - Sur -Mer .
Phil's starter in "The Crepiere Lacomere" .
Moules and frites... a firm Breton favourite.
Glen & Lisa with their starters .
Getting stuck in .
The viewing point, La Roche Bernard .
The new bridge is in the distance carrying the N165 (E60)
Rochefort En Terre
Rochefort En Terre
The motor museum : A Ferrari 386GTO (note the ferrari carpet ) .
Hall of F1 Cars ( Damon Hills on the left ) .
Vintage bikes near the coffee shop .
The new chapel of engines in the museum .
Getting ready to go out on the race track.
Out on the track.
Enjoying a coffee at the museum.
The Menhirs De Monteneuf.
Some Neanderthals spotted at the stones .
The abbey at Paimpont .
Enjoying a coffee outside the abbey .
Beautiful Dinan .
La Rance from the city walls .
Another fine view from the walls of Dinan .
Some of our merry group in Dinan .
Parked up at Carnac .
The Carnac Stones .
Carnac Stones .
The beach in Quiberon .
Lunch in Quiberon.
The impressive Saint Nazaire suspension bridge ( web photo ) .
Parked on Quai Leray in Pornic .
L'Antre Amis in Pornic .
Jon and his rather large calzone pizza .
The huge mechanical elephant at Les Machines De L'ile
Another shot giving perspective
Pete's scuffed pannier, could have been a lot worse !
Cue, The Prodigy .... "Im a fire starter a twisted fire starter".
Smokin' out the neighbours !!
We needed a long baguette for these sausages !
Enjoying the bbq in the hot evening sun .
Pete and Phil getting stuck in .
Sallys delicious fruit cake .
Stuffed !!
View of Josselin Square from the tower.
The chateau from the tower .
Our table for tonight.
Cheers me dears !
Great service ! Jim looks impressed anyhow.
Excellent food and company .
Waiting at Roscoff to board the Amorique .
Arriving back in Millbay Dock Plymouth .



Wednesday 8th June 2016

Twenty gathered for Fish and Chips on a lovely summers evening - we even had cake for pud. Many thanx to those that turned out to make it a fun and relaxed time by the seaside.

Helen xx



Thursday 26th May 2016

On a stunning day for a ride ten members met at this now regular meet The Fishermans Cot at Bickleigh nr Tiverton.So nice was the weather that we decided to eat alfresco and enjoy the views over the fast flowing river Exe, we also welcomed a new member Simon Foxley from South Molton who has relocated to the area from Yorkshire.

Thats it for now cheers





Wednesday 25th May 2016

This was a welcome return to an old favourite ,West Bay in Dorset. West Bay certainly is a mecca for motorcycles particularly at weekends and to accommodate the sheer volume of two wheel traffic to this poplar meeting place, the harbour has its own motorcycle parking although you do have to pay . Unbelievably, Westbay also has a store of Helmet City ( bottom right photo buildings in the distance, far left whole ground floor ) . Eleven members made the trip on a very pleasant evening and sat by the harbour eating fish n chips and talking about bikes and upcoming trips and in particular the forthcoming Brittany rally and our consternation at the current fuel crisis in France. The £10 prize for furthest travelled was won by Peanut.



Tuesday 19th May 2016

The forecast said 'rain by lunchtime' but a two minute drizzle whilst inside was all it turned out to be. There were four from Devon and three from Cornwall and the usual chit chat and brunch made it a pleasant meet. Rod from Hayle was furthest travelled, he must be saving up for something as he left without paying ; but he got hold of me via Stella,so I paid, have heard nothing since! Good twisty ride back though!  

Cheers  Bryan



Sunday 15th May 2016


On rare sunny day fourteen of our members met at Jamaica Inn at Bolventor on Bodmin Moor just off the A30, a historic pub made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, where we were happy to meet new member Alister and Jane on their very impressive K1600 , also a warm welcome to Bob and Bev, new members who had travelled down from Minehead.

After an excellent lunch, ten of us set off on a steady 30 mile ride to the equally historic port of Charlstown, near St Austell, once a busy industrial village exporting china clay from its harbour. Its present funtionseems to be maintaining and repairing classic sailing ships two of which were in the dock on our visit, and playing host to crowds of tourist drawn there by its association with the TV epics like Poldark, hopeful, on the part of some perhaps of spotting some brawny actor minus his shirt!

Our members here went back fourteen when were met by Brian and Stella Boothby, Debbie Sampson and my friend and ex apprentice and bike maintenance mate Gordon Bartlett who had travelled independently. Our main reason for this visit, now I’ve got around to it, was to see the Charlstown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, which I can thoughly recommend. It is a maze of tunnels, stone steps and alcoves with hundreds of exhibits at every turn, including tools and equipment of the clay trade, hundreds of items salvaged from wrecks at the bottom of the sea, a video presentation of Charlestown histort ect ect.

One visit is not enough, one could spend all day there and still come back for more. After a well earned cup of tea in the excellent restaurant above the museum we went out separate ways, reflecting on a highly enjoyable day.

Don Rolling .



Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May 2016

Only 5 people turned out for the Tour of Devon & Cornwall in 2 campervans and 1 tent. There were no South West Section members there at all, so this obviously isn't the type of event that's wanted. Can members please let us know what sort of event is required? Perhaps we can meet in the library and I will read the Journal to you?
It started at Sunny Lyn camp site at Lynton in North Devon on Monday 9th May with a lovely warm day and we all settled in to our tents and campervans and socialised in the evening. Jack had turned up with a 185cc scooter and so couldn't join us on a rideout on Tuesday down the Atlantic Highway with an ice cream stop at the beach in Instow then a lunch at the beach cafe at Widemouth Bay. Our ride back over Exmoor was marred by rain and mist, but the 3 bikes and passengers had enjoyed the day. 
Wednesday was raining and Linda & Pete's tent had been leaking so they went home and Sue & Ray & I decided on a walk around Lynton and Lynmouth, stuffed ourselves with cream teas and rode back up on the Cliff Railway.
It was obvious by the evening that a trip down to Cornwall wasn't going to be supported so come Thursday morning, disappointed, and again in rain, I packed up and went home. Thank you to those that came, I enjoyed your company. I just wish more had attended.

Ride safely, Jim




Thursday 5th May 2016





Thursday 5th May saw our Section hosting a party of twenty three members of BMW Motorclub Noord Nederland who were on a week's holiday based in Weston-Super-Mare. Their leader Tijn had asked if we could show them around some of our patch by way of a ride out. On arriving at their hotel I was struck by the awesome sight of twenty odd BMW motorcycles belonging to them and some of our members too. As Dave Charlton said "we haven't seen so much Bavarian metal in one place for some while! "

The Dutch don't use the drop off system and so some time was spent explaining it to them and eventually we set off with some trepidation, having split the group into three, each with it's own sweeper/leader. It was obvious at the first drop off that they hadn't got the gist of it as the second bike failed to stop.
And so thirty bikes carrying thirty six people made our way towards Exmoor. First stop was Dunster for coffee and ice cream, then on to Withypool via the ford at Winsford ( well, for some of us) for photo stop.

On arriving at Withypool there was only the first group behind me!  Seems one of the drop offs hadn't waited for the Sweeper, so once again I explained the system ( in a rather loud voice, along the lines of " What don't you understand about 'wait for the sweeper? '" ) eventually the rest of the group joined us. We had hatched a rather cunning plan to enable us to regroup, so thanks to my Sweeper/Leaders Dave Charlton, Tim Whellock, and Debbie & Phil Sampson, you all did a grand job. Our lunch stop was at The Poltimore Arms on the moor for complimentary Pasties and a brew. Hands up those who had two pasties !

Onwards then through Blackmoor Gate, Watersmeet, Lynmouth, Countisbury Hill, Porlock, to Minehead for another ice cream. I think our visitors finally got the hang of the drop off system because we did eventually get them all back to their hotel where Tijn treated Debbie, Phil and I to a beer.
So one hundred and fifty miles by twenty bikes and twenty three people in the Dutch contingent plus ten bikes and thirteen people of our own members had a great day out in perfect weather, phew!
I hope the rest of the holiday was enjoyable for our Dutch friends. It was a pleasure showing you around our patch and who knows, one day we might let you return the favour.

Ride safely, Jim.



Thursday 28th April 2016


This was a slightly disappointing turn out on such a glorious day, with just five members and three guests making this now regular monthly meet at the Fishermans Cot set beside the stunning river Exe. However with our ever popular Six Penny Handley Rally starting just a day later, perhaps this was to be expected ? Duncan brought along two guests and potential new members in Victoria and Scott ( a keen biker ) from Silverton. We sat down to an excellent meal talking of bikes, knee replacements and forthcoming meets before heading our seperate ways. Bryan made the long trip from Fowey and almost brought his own lunch with him in the guise of "Pheasant a la creme". The Fishermans was very busy and the empty spaces at our reserved table was a little embarrassing and we can only assume that its going to get a lot busier as we approach Summer.

Thats it for now.





Sunday 24th April 2016


The Queens  Head at Tavistock saw fifteen members  turn up for the Sunday lunch  meeting on a cold but sunny day.

Two cam by bus two came by car and the rest came by bike, Pete Frost being the farthest travelled having come down from Weymouth,  but as it was such  a nice day for a ride i don't  blame  him, it was good to see Glen and Lisa again, and Alistair  seemed  quite  happy to be let out on his own for the second time this month as Jane had gone to Budapest with her daughter.

We also  had two other's  that are becoming  quite regular, and that is Paul  Townsend  and  Chris  Musson, as they both still work its  not so easy for them as it is for a lot of us.

After about two hours, and a good lunch we all started to head for home some via the scenic  route  and others  straight home, that's  about it for now hope to see you all again soon Don.





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