Below is the report published in the November 2021 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in September.
We love the long and winding road that leads to a biker café!! Sometimes it leads to a Triumph dealer as well. We set off on a ride to Loomies Café, met some other members there and then went on the nearby dealer, Destination Triumph, to browse through the latest bikes on offer.
The following Sunday, we had a ride-out to Thruxton, and visited the Jackeroo café there. There was no racing, but we took advantage of a great photo opportunity and lined up with our bikes by the iconic Thruxton sign at the entrance.
The next week, the weather forecast looked wet and most people stayed at home, but five hardy members defined rain and puddles at our start point. They were rewarded with dry roads and sunshine by the time we got to the Leckford estate for a late breakfast at the café there.
We have had a number of new faces at rides and at club nights this month, so a warm welcome to Aiden, Mike, Richard, Kevin and Phil.
The petrol stations ran dry on the last Saturday of the month leaving many members with not enough fuel in their bikes to go for a run. Despite that, a few members managed to join many other local riders on a memorial ride for Ben Spiller, who passed away in April this year. Ben was a long term organizer of the annual Christmas Reading Toy Run which he founded 36 years ago.
Below is the report published in the October 2021 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in August.
Raindrops kept falling on our heads at the Bike Megameet at Popham Airfield. This is probably the largest bike show in the area. Despite the torrential rain in the morning, a group of Branch members rode there on classic bikes to go on display on our stand. There was a good turnout from other bike clubs and traders, but attendance was down and a lot of the visitors came in cars.
The rain held off during the middle of the day, so we were able to enjoy wandering around the other stands, but it started again as we packed up, ensuring that we got completely soaked again on the way home. One of our member’s chain broke near the venue, but a quick phone call enabled another member to pick him up in his van rather more quickly than the official recovery services would.
We had a good turnout for our ride to the Super Sausage Café near Towcester and we all got there without mishap, but we did manage to get split up on the ride back and even met each other riding in opposite directions later on. Probably something to do with the curvature of the earth. Modern bikes normally outnumber classic bikes on our rides, but six of the nine bikes on our last August ride were classics. Other rides in August included runs to: the H Café in Berinsfield, the AV8 in the Cotswolds, Saddleback Farm and the Court Hill Centre.
Don’t believe a word! Weather forecasters warned of torrential rain for our Old Motorcycle Gathering on the 24 July. Fortunately, lots of people ignored them, so we had a good turnout for our first real show for two years and it barely rained at all. It was good to be back!!! With a beautiful collection of bikes, a bar, hot food and good turnout of fellow bikers, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Congratulations to the prize winners which were: Best Triumph: 1970 Trident; Best British: a BSA Twin; Best Foreign: a Suzuki TR750 XR11 race bike; and Best in Show: a 1951 Ariel. The Steve Butcher memorial prize for Best Branch Member’s bike went to the first Thruxton produced in 1965. It was signed by Ray Knight, who used to race it, and has been fully restored by Berkshire Branch member Greg, who rode it to the show.
We’ve gone on rides to the Haven Café near Salisbury and the Court Hill Centre near Wantage.
Thursday nights are back to normal. Drinks can be ordered from the bar. There is outside seating and on sunny evenings, expect to see people by the bikes outside, chatting together with a beer in hand.
Our last ride of the month was to Sammy Millers Motorcycle Museum near New Milton. This has a fantastic collection of around 450 immaculate bikes, from the very first in the 19th Century to the present day. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at them all.
Should we stay or should we go? Last month we announced our Old Motorcycle Gathering, expecting the Covid rules to be relaxed in time, but we have since had to delay it to 24 July.
Our first ride of the month was to Horsham, where we discovered the Torque Moto Café, which was full of car driving petrol heads, but very welcoming to bikers as well.
For our next ride, we stopped at a tea room in Thrupp before heading on to the wonderfully named Blaze Inn Saddles, finally getting ice-creams at Lechlade on the way home.
Rain stopped play the following Sunday, but we took advantage of a dry Wednesday to have a mid-week ride. On the last Sunday of June, we shrugged off wet weather warnings and had a dry ride, stopping at a garden centre in Bampton for a late breakfast.
We have re-developed our Branch website, keeping the same name as before, but with a new look and structure that will be easier to update. We’re posting news and photos of our activities there, so have a look at www.berkshiretomcc.org.uk. We have also re-launched our Facebook page, which is www.facebook.com/berkshiretomcc, so please follow us there. Ride-outs are still organized via dedicated Facebook or Whatsapp groups, so remember to ask to join one of them if you want to join our rides.
Remember we have weekly club nights on Thursdays where we get together, have a few drinks and talk about bikes.
Happy days are here again!!! Covid rules relaxed during May and despite a lot of wet days, we managed five ride-outs and restarted our Thursday club nights in person.
Our first ride was to Whiteways Takeaway Kiosk at Bury Hill in West Sussex, a well known biker meeting point. The following week we rode to Popham Airfield. No planes were flying, but the café was open. Next was a mid-week ride to the Flower Pot Inn and Brewery in Hampshire, a great venue with outside seating, good food and excellent beer. After two wet weekends without rides, we had a mid-week ride to the H Café, a leisurely browse round the motorcycle clothing shop next door and then rode on to the Court Hill Centre near Wantage. The sun shone on the last Sunday of the month and we went for a long ride through the majestic scenery of Salisbury Plain to Compton Abbas Airfield. We were lucky enough to see an old US Marines plane landing.
We had our last virtual club night using Zoom on 13th May and on the 20th May, we had our first real club night since November. We all enjoyed being back at the BCSA even with the new Covid restrictions.
We’re looking forward to more rides and club nights and we are hoping to be able to hold our Old Motorcycle Gathering show on 17th July. Let’s hope Covid rules allow it and the sun shines for us.
We’ve been out on the road again, rolling down the highway with no particular place to go. When the new rules came in on 12th April, we could not wait for Sunday, so our first ride-out was on Thursday to the Leckford estate. The following Sunday we went on a ride-out to the Departure Lounge Café near Alton and then finished the month with another Sunday ride out to the Rowdey Cow dairy farm shop.
The BCSA re-opened this month, but only for Saturday evenings outside. Four of our members went to its re-opening on Saturday 17th April. It was well organized with gazebos and tables outside and new caterers and we stayed until 8pm when the chill set in.
Ten members formed a motorcycle escort for Ross Clements’ funeral as his coffin was carried on a side car attached to a Triumph Thunderbird, setting off from his house for a 45 minute ride round the back roads before finishing up at the crematorium for his memorial service. It was good to go on a last ride with him and see him off.
As it looks like the summer will be opening up now, we are starting to think about what other activities we can do. We’ll be having more rides, of course, and we hope Thursday club nights at the BCSA will start again soon. We expect to go to some local shows and we’re discussing whether we could even have our own show.
As I write this,
we have finally been told we can head out on the highway again and ride with up
to six people. During the last month, we’ve been fettling and polishing our
bikes in preparation and one member has even had his ceramic coated. The weather’s
getting better all the time and at month end, we expect to be riding along together
with no particular place to go. By the time this you read this, we should have had
While waiting to
get out, we have put together a photo album of our rides from last year which
you can see on our website together with a YouTube video to remind us of some
of the great rides we managed to do in 2020, despite COVID-19.
We are hoping
the BCSA will open up again for Thursday club nights soon. In the meantime, we will
continue to hold our Zoom meetings at 8pm each Thursday.
Sadly, long term Branch member, rocker, biker and friend, Ross Clements, passed away this month. Our thoughts are with his wife Anita. Ross went on several of our Branch rides last year and was well known to many members.
street artist, Banksy, surprised everyone by painting a man trying to escape on
the wall of Reading prison. One of our Branch members could not resist parking
his Tiger as a get away bike in front of the picture and taking a photo of it.