Some of our 2017 rides
January 22nd Ride to Cheddar. 85miles
A slightly later start time in the hope the weather might warm a little - which it did by reaching 3* We covered an 80-85mile meandering route initially led by Frank on the long way to Cheddar and from there by Phil directly to a coffee stop he knew of, then again by Frank to the regroup&split on the A37 opposite the Keynsham turnoff. Dawn was Back Marker throughout.
Upon reaching the Pub in Cheddar most opted for the Sunday roast and those that didn't ended up with a long wait instead because all the non-carvery orders went missing.
At the coffee stop Dennis bought some inedible candlesticks, while the rest of us bought some edible cakes to accompany our hot drinks. Unusually nobody decided to try out their own route
Club Members - Frank, Nick, Kay, Dennis, Rob & Rich.
Others - Dawn and Phil
New faces - Tim and Savash.
February 19th Ride to South Wales. 130miles
Usual prompt 1030 departure from the Colly. 21 bikes lead by Frank with Nik as the back marker headed off over the old bridge to meet Dawn (who took over back marker duties from Nik) and one or two others who were waiting in the Wye Valley Link Rd lay-by (a466 just of the m48 J2 roundabout).
24 bikes then headed off in convoy for the Steel Horse cafe as agreed during the pre-ride plan (we do occasionally have one, despite rumours to the contrary) where we would have a quick tea stop, then navigate some unmarked roads between Crickhowell and Llangynidr and then hit the Steel Horse afterwards for another drink or two along with some hot food if required.
Unusually we all managed to get to Crickhowell in one group before a partially marked junction split the group 13/11. 13 of us turned left, 11 went straight on. The main group waited and waited and having no phone signal to contact the remainder then continued onto the 4560 crossing over the river Usk using Llangynidr bridge before joining the A40 and heading back for the Steel horse.
Due to a gap opening up within the main group a spontaneous Sub-group formed when the lead rider of the last 1/2 dozen bikes took a short cut which intersected the front riders leaving those originally at the back now right up front almost within sight of the ride-out leader. The main group arrived just before the second group led by Frank with Dawn still bringing up the rear pulled into the cafe car park all of whom had upped the pace a little 'knowing' the tailender of the main group was probably only just out of sight around the next corner.
In conclusion a perfect ride. We all left the Steel Horse for a ride around South Wales and we all returned back at the Steel Horse - exactly as discussed during the preplanning stage ;) Other than encountering a slight bit of mist over the mountain tops we were gifted with good weather throughout the day with the planned route covering some 130 miles.
All other route mileages discounted for clarity.
Club Members :-
Frank, Mark, Andy, Dennis, Shirley, Kay, Nik, Neil & Linda, Glyn, Splash and Rich (your friendly Webmaster...)
Other familiar faces, Dawn, Phil, Ady, Tim, David, Jon, Mervyn, Stephen and Mark. With appologies to those I haven't mentioned who helped make the day what it was.
March 16th Mark's midweek ride around Exmoor. 180miles
I'll just let the picture tell the story of this fantastic day out.
(You had to be there to appreciate the reference)
Club Members - Frank, Mark, Nik, Rob, Rich, Terri, Jean,
Others - Dawn and Stuart.
March 19th Ride to Fordingbridge, New Forest Borders. 160miles
14 bikes set off from The Colly at 1030 on what started out as a fairly normal March Sunday morning. Several new faces were dotted about within the group which was led by Frank and saw Dawn bringing up the rear on her Combo sans seat which had apparently been removed in anticipation of fitting some sort of grass cutting attachment.
Lunch consisted of coffee being served in cups normally associated with a children's tea set and food choice was somewhat limited because the kitchen couldn't cope with people wanting to order it all at the same time.
With ever darkening skies the return journey turned very wet with enough surface water around that even Noah could have joined in on the ride back to Bristol.
I've been assured by the reports from varous sources that nobody got lost, nobody attempted to find a shortcut or take an off road sorte during the run, fill up at the wrong forecourt pump during a refuelling stop and there were absolutely no deviations from the preplanned route. The only thing untoward was Mike's ageing Japanese multicylinder developed a touch of senility on the ride back and forget to fire on all four cylinders all the time and not just when it remembered to.
March 26th Mother's day mystery tour 185miles
After a bit of map consultation about 60miles into the journey by the group leader, nine of us ended in Sidmouth for fish&chips, or if your name was Frank, a rather large ice cream as well. Roads were dry, weather was bright and sunny and relatively light traffic for most of the route.
All junctions were marked and as is often the case with a small group sometimes was just a formality used to change position in the group as Nik who took up the duties of rear marker was in sight for most of the time.
No Breakdowns, no one went astray and for those remembering to change their clocks before going to bed the ride left right on (British Summer) Time.
Club Members - Mark, Frank, Jean, Rich & Nik
Others - Brian Brian Andrew & Ed.
April 2nd Ride around the Stones. 170 -180miles.
...and it all started out so well, with almost clear skies and the temperature rising to 15* by midday. A few new faces were among the 27 bikes that turned out for this ride, some of whom unfortunately missed the pre-ride chat about group riding/junction marking. To hopefully avoid making this more regular than it normally our facebook site - https://www.facebook.com/BristolandAvonRoadrunnersMCC/ has been updated with some need-to-read information (written by one of the RBL riders).
Everyone successfuly found their way to the Stone circle at Stanton Drew but from there to the first planned Tea stop at a waterside cafe in Radstock a couple of unmarked junctions successfully managed to split the group into a) those that we never saw again, b) those that ended up going straight to the last planned stop to wait (and wait and wait) for everyone else to arrive and c) the half dozen bikes that eventually found their way to Radstock by a totally different route once contact had been made to find out that's where everyone had gone.
Unsurprisingly after a few words were muttered much better junction discipline was in evidence after leaving Radstock as we headed off towards Stonehenge. The short rest at Stonehenge saw the odd sandwich and drink consumed before arriving at Avebury for a rather late lunch at The Red Lion pub where upon her arrival Dawn found a willing volunteer to push her combo backwards into a parking spot because she'd forgotten where reverse gear was. Despite arriving later than planned there was still a queue for ordering food but for those that had the Sunday Roast or Fish and Chips it was apparently worth it and for those that sampled the fresh cake on offer it most definitely was.
From the pub some left early to make their own way home whilst some headed for the Motorway and for others it was the A420 towards Bristol with the group gradually diminishing in size as it headed West. A special shout to one of our club members who I won't name to save embarrassment, but at some point decided he had either ridden too far or simply wanted to go back home to feed his horse instead of riding as far as Stonehenge. Oh and before I forget Steve, I need some money off you for the Website renewal fees.
Mark led the group along a terrific mixture of dry roads with Dawn as Back Marker in her easy to spot (and hear) Motorcycle Combo.
Group Members - Mark, Keith, Kay, Terri, Steve, Rich, Rob, Mike, Nik, Jean and Dawn (not a member but for some reason still deserves a special mention) and on occasion up to 15 others including Stuart, Brian, Mark, Higgo, John and Steve.
April 23rd Ride to the Cotwold Water Park. 100miles.
Another day of dry roads and warm temperatures for the 20 or so bikes that participated in this ride - a couple of bikes helped swell the numbers by joining the main group whilst enroute to the Gateway Centre from a prearranged pickup point. Just one slight detour by a small breakaway group of bikes who decided to take a short cut to a preplanned stopping point (The Vale of the White Horse).
The rest of the group led by Mark continued on to the Gateway Centre where the helpful staff for some reason decided to put all of our food and drink on order No.42. This would probably have worked out sucessfully if we'd all been sitting at one very large table where the staff could have distributed our various orders, but we were instead spread across several tables dotted in and around the eating area both inside and out..
Unfortunately for the small group that went direct to the advertised pub, unbeknown to them this had been discarded from the ride over the final breakfast briefing in the Colly about an hour prior to departing. Partly due to a last minute change of Ride Leader making a slight variation to the exisitng route and also over what was considered an advertising fail - it didn't appear to be in a Vale, and if it was no evidence of a white horse could be found found nearby. It's replacement on the other hand, The Tunnel House Inn, was an Inn by a tunnel and also happened to be serving a Sunday Roast - always a good option when many within a large group wants hot food at the same time.
Mark led from the front and Dawn led from the back with half dozen Roadrunners spreadout in between.
Several new faces along with those that hadn't had quite enough of us joining in for another well planned, if not perfectly participant excecuted ;) ride into the Cotswolds.
MAY 14th Ride around the Brecons. 230miles.
Club members unusually outnumbered the non members on this Bijou Brecon Bike Bimble.
Ten bikes set off from the Colly at 10.30 with Nik leading and Dennis acting up as back marker. We headed over the old bridge with a quick layby regroup before collecting Dawn who opted to take up pillion position on Nik's Yamaha road barge. First Tea stop was the Steel Horse Cafe where Bristol Mag were already in attendance grabbing all of ther good seats having set of for their run to there from Aust Services at 10.00.
We left at 1200 heading for Brecon Town Centre where a pit stop in Aldi's car park had Mark take over as ride leader with Nik now bringing up the rear.
Lunch was at the East End Cafe, Llandovery, where Terri was almost bartered for some road kill and a bit of a struggle ensued to grab the pillion place on Kay's bike for the Mountain road ride back towards home. A variety of road types were covered with something for everyone including a bonus game of playing chicken by using a Harley against an oncoming Police vehicle during one of the twisty sections.
A further Tea stop was planned but had just closed prior to (or perhaps on) our arrival. It was then discovered one of the bikes and the back marker hadn't arrived at the marked junction for this Tea stop. After what seemed liked several hours of worry and cursing ( the worrying bit lasted all of 10 seconds) we headed off for the Oasis Cafe for our drink instead where the two stragglers (one now sporting a full tank of petrol instead of an empty one) reappeared and joined the winning group. Teas were drunk, cakes were eaten and we decided to go our seperate ways as and when from there with the group getting smaller ands smaller as the miles progressed.
Club members : Mark, Dennis, Nik, Kay, Terri & Rich.
Non Members : Dawn, Phil, Mark, Chris & Andrei
July 23rd Run to the coast
At about 1015am there were Four. Four members plus the ubiquitous 'Not a Member' who only turned up hoping for a pillion ride down to Sunny Weymouth (allegedly).
Not the pillion bit - the Sunny Weymouth bit, because outside the Colly it was raining cats, dogs and ugly stair rods...
But before there were four there were three. The ride leader, Mark. The Back Marker Wiz and the guy left in the middle (me, Rich), which was an odd number of bikes for a ride in more ways than one. It also begged the question of marking the junctions just for the back marker.
While one of us one tucking into a feast for ten (aka a rather large fried breakfast) Dawn arrived in her newly waterproofed jacket shortly followed by Steve in one that looked as if it wasn't. At least that answered the junction marking question, two of us would leapfrog each other all the way marking any junctions for each other and Dawn could shout at us from her pillion seat if we weren't getting it right.
We eventually migrated into a small circle, which looked remakably like a square anxiously waiting for the 1030 departure time to arrive still in the belief that the dozen others who normally participate must have been caught up in the Bristol Harbour Festival diversions (and undoubtedly hoping we hadn't left promptly at the usual time) would suddenly all appear outside. We left it a bit longer sitting in our squircle whilst agreeing on dates for the next couple of future rides and came to the conclusion that we were the only idiots who were prepared to go for a ride and get soaked in the process. So we decided to cancel the trip to the seaside, took a photo or two and managed to leave when the rain eased a little.
August 06th Ride to the Malvern Hills. 145miles.
A warm and sunny day coaxed a few more bikes out of hiding for this cracking little run up to the Malvern hillls via the Forest of Dean, Ross-on -Wye and Herefordshire. A good mix of club members and non members with one new face making the group 15 strong. A vareity of roads with just one slight hiccup - an unmarked junction causing 5 bikes to add a couple more miles to their journeys before regrouping at Sally's Cafe opposite the Malvern Hills Hotel (did I mention a new face ?).
From there it was onto the final regroup and split at Tintern Station via the A466 and the Wye Valley.