Nacelle Report – May 2022

Below is the report published in the May 2022 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in March 2022.

Here comes the sun!!! And I say, It’s alright. We kicked off the month with a short Sunday morning ride to the H Café in Oxfordshire. Two weeks later, the sun shone as a happy group of riders set off on a ride to a new venue, Annie’s Tea Rooms near Kidlington.

Branch ride to Annie’s tea room

The warm, sunny weather continued, so we had a mid-week ride to Lee-on-Solent and enjoyed sunshine and ice-creams on the sea front. But all things must pass, and the next Sunday was cold and foggy. Undeterred, we set off on a ride-out to Saddleback Farm Cafe anyway. The combination of fog, confusing sat navs and a dodgy carburettor created a few challenges for our last ride of the month. But some tools, dazzling mechanical expertise and a squirt of WD40 sorted out the carburettor and all ended well.

Enjoying the sun in Lee-on-Solent

We’ve had some new faces at both our rides and our Thurday club nights this month. A warm welcome to Tom, Andy and Chris.

With the weather warming up and the lighter evenings,  we’re hoping to see more bikes and riders at our weekly Thursday club nights. We’ll be holding The Old Motorcycle Gathering, our annual show for old bikes, on Saturday, 11 June.  If you’ve got a classic, now’s the time to get it working so you can ride it to the show. If you don’t have a classic, please still come along, it’s always a fun afternoon. Check out our website for details.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – April 2022

Below is the report published in the April 2022 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in February 2022

The times they are a’changin’! We had our Branch AGM in February and elected three new people to our committee. Congratulations to: Bob Cromwell, our new Chairman; Steve Yarwood, Vice Chairman and Graham King, Events Coordinator. The existing committee were all re-elected with some role changes. See the Branch website for more details.

Pausing near the end of a Sunday ride out

While the January cold failed to stop us riding, the February storms got the better of us. Two Sunday ride-outs were cancelled at short notice due to rain or high winds. Determined to get a ride, a small group set off for Popham Airfield one Sunday and got drenched to the bone, testing the limits of their wet weather riding gear. Finally, for the last Sunday of February, we had a clear, sunny day. Nine members turned out for a ride through the country lanes of Hampshire, ending up at the Flower Pots Inn at Cheriton, where it was mild enough for us to sit outside at picnic table for drinks and brunch.

We are looking forward to hosting the National Club AGM on 10 April. For those that want to come for the whole weekend, there is a Bike Meet on Saturday 9 April and beer, food and skittles on Saturday evening. You can camp overnight onsite for free (please contact the Berkshire Branch if you plan to camp). Then you’ll be ready for the AGM on the Sunday. Check out the Branch website for more details. We’ll see you there.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – Mar 2022

Below is the report published in the March 2022 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in January 2022

Dashing through the snow!! Oh, what fun it is to ride!! We’ve had some very cold, but fun rides in January. We started early, with 12 of us meeting up for our first ride of 2022 at 10.30 on New Year’s Day. After a brisk ride through the back roads, we stopped at the H Café near Berinsfield for hot drinks and a late breakfast.

Our first ride of 2022

The cold didn’t put us off following this up on the next two Sundays with rides to Court Hill and the Leckford estate. The only problem was that our bikes needed cleaning afterwards.

We held an evening bring and buy sale at one of our club nights, with people spreading out their wares on tables. Browsing through the motley collection of motorcycle clothing, books, spare parts and tools made for an interesting evening.

items for sale at our Bring and Buy evening

We had a new face and venue when we went on a mid-week ride to the Red Lion Café. A warm welcome and thanks to Neil who was on his first Branch ride and suggested the venue.

We rounded the month off with a Sunday ride to The Iron Bull Roadhouse for breakfast followed by a fun ride through the Pirbright bends.

Put the weekend of the 9/10 April in your diaries!! We are having a bike meet during the day on the Saturday, a social event in the evening and the National AGM on the Sunday. All at the BCSA. See the Branch website for details.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – Feb 2022

Below is the report published in the February 2022 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in December 2021.

I’ve got a feeling!!!  Everybody had a hard year, but this year will be better!! The Reading Toy Run was back on at the beginning of December this year and a group of Branch members rode together to the start point. A massive crowd of riders and bikes, many in Christmas themed fancy dress, congregated there before riding off in a gigantic convoy for the 7 mile ride to the Dr Barnardo’s school where we dropped off toys. Lots of people lined the streets to watch. The following Sunday we had our last Sunday ride out of the year with a run to Popham Airfield and a late breakfast in the café there.

Getting together for the Toy Run start

We used to have a Christmas dinner on a Saturday, but we couldn’t last year because of Covid. This year we decided to do something different. So instead of a dinner, we had a free buffet at our Thursday evening meeting on the 16th December and about 40 people attended and had an enjoyable evening.

Helping themselves to the Christmas buffet

We also took advantage of some dry weather to have a couple of mid-week ride-outs to the Iron Bull Inn and Midhurst.

In 2022, the TOMCC National AGM will be hosted in Berkshire. We are planning to have a bike meet on the day before (Saturday 9 April) and organize some other activities so anybody coming to the AGM on the Sunday could come for the weekend if they wished. We’ll provide more details nearer the time.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – Jan 2022

Below is the report published in the January 2022 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in November 2021.

So here it is Merry Christmas! I hope everybody’s having fun when you read this and Covid hasn’t cancelled everything.

Members wracked their brains to answer Uncle Bob’s fiendish set of questions at our Branch quiz night. Teams of up to four competed to win the prizes on offer, assisted only by glasses of beer. There was a quick half time gap for people to refresh their glasses at the bar and then onto round two. Congratulations to the winning team of visitors from the VMCC.

Bob testing our brains at our quiz night

We had a good turn-out for our curry night that we arranged with the caterers for one of our Thursday evening meetings for members and partners. Everyone had a choice of three curries and then helped themselves from a table of side dishes. We played some Ravi Shankar albums in the background to provide the right ambience.

Members and their bikes at Alton Station

We were back on the road again with four Sunday and two mid-week ride-outs during November. We went to some new venues: the Tree House in Four Marks, the Grange near Saunderton and the Iron Bull Roadhouse in Old Basing; as well as repeat visits to Loomies and Sally Pussey’s Inn. We had a run to the Departure Lounge, but found it closed for a wedding, so went to Alton Station Café instead. For our last Sunday run the weather was barely above freezing, but that still didn’t stop six members donning their winter riding gear and coming out for the ride.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – December 2021

Below is the report published in the December 2021 issue of Nacelle, which covered Branch activities in October.

We met again some sunny day when the blue skies drove the dark clouds away for our October lunch time bike meet. Around 70 people rode in on their bikes in response to our open invitation to lunch on a Saturday at the BCSA. With so many events cancelled early in the summer (and all of last year), it was great to have this extra event late in the year.

Around 70 bikes came to our lunchtime bike meet

We’ve also been out motorbiking on the queen’s highway again. Despite anxiety about being able to get fuel, on the first Sunday in October we rode out to the idyllic Weald and Downland Museum near Chichester, where we enjoyed refreshments in the bucolic lakeside café there.

We also revisited some of our old favourite destinations and had Sunday ride-outs to: Popham Airfield near Winchester, the Artyard Cafe near Enstone and the Haven Café near Salisbury.

A brief stop on the ride back from the Weald

We finally held our much delayed Branch AGM, which should have been held back in February, when we were all stuck in lockdown. During the last year, two committee members had left and their duties were taken up by other members. With these changes, the existing committee were confirmed in their roles until next year’s Branch AGM, which is only four months away.  It was good to reflect on what has been a very disruptive period and start planning positively for next year’s activities.

We’re planning some winter indoor events so keep your eye on the Branch website for details.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – November 2021

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.

Branch members at Loomies Cafe on a ride-out

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.

Branch members and their bikes line up at Thruxton

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.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – October 2021

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.

Our Branch stand at Popham Megameet

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.

Old and new Triumph twins ready to rock

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.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – Sept 2021

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.

A Limited Edition Silver Jubilee Bonneville at the Old Motorcycle Gathering

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.

The first ever Triumph Thruxton at the Old Motorcycle Gathering

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.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted

Nacelle Report – August 2021

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.

Enjoying refreshments at the Torque Moto Cafe

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.

Taking a mid-ride break at Bampton Garden Centre

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.

Keep on rolling! 

Ton-Up Ted