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ARTICLES

Summer 2009, Volume 47 No. 2 Editor / Designer Tim Lee editor@hoc.org.uk Diary Co-ordinator Andy Stryczko webmaster@hoc.org.uk Advertising Co-ordinator Erica Gassor advertising@hoc.org.uk Thanks to all contributors All feedback regarding the content and delivery of Golden Wing should be addressed to The Editor at the address below or e-mailed to: editor@hoc.org.uk. Golden Wing Honda Owners Club (GB) 232 Leigh Road Chandlers Ford Eastleigh Hants SO53 3AW Tel: 023 8025 2113 Web Page: www.hoc.org.uk Summer Issue Copy Date 1st September 2009 Published by end of September 2009 Printing & Distribution by: LPC Printing Ltd Hardley Industrial Estate Hythe,Southampton Tel: 023 8084 6334 We believe the contents of Golden Wing to be correct at the time of publication. The Honda Owners Club (GB) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions, or for subsequent changes to details given in this publication or for the consequence of any reliance on the information. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Honda Owners Club (GB) or the Executive Committee

©

Honda Owners Club (GB) 2009

SUMMER 2009

Membership Matters ............................................2 Dibble Rattle’s On ................................................3 Pigeon Post..........................................................5 Editor Says ..........................................................8 Kicking Back ......................................................10 Barry’s Tales from the Past ................................14 Competition ........................................................16 Classic Corner....................................................18 The Open Rhodes..............................................22 Testing Times ....................................................28 Down Your Way..................................................30 Reports from: Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Bristol Cambridge, East Midlands, Eastern, Lakes & Coast, Manchester, Manx Offshore, Norfolk, Northumbria, Northants & MK, North London, Oxford, Reading, South Wales, Solent, South Wales, West Coast Riders, West London, Wiltshire

Racing Report ....................................................81 Mancunians Abroad ........................................100 Shop@HOC ....................................................103 Soapbox ..........................................................104 HOConsumer ..................................................107 Members Free Ads ..........................................110 Members Discounts ..........................................111 Tail Lights ........................................................117

PLACES TO GO & THINGS TO DO Devon & Somerset Social W/end ......................17 Birmingham Camping Weekend ........................38 Lakes & Coast BBQ & Airshow..........................55 Three Shires Rally ............................................56 Diary Dates........................................centre pages Oxford Rally ......................................................83

FRONT COVER The front cover shows Chris Ward, Reading Branch Webmaster taking part in the Honda Institute brake test day in March. See article on page 28. Photo courtesy Honda (UK) Ed. 1


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CHAIRM MEMBERSHIP M A T T E R S ... WELCOME Welcome to those of you who have joined recently including those at the BMF show and at the ACE Honda day at the Spring Bank Holiday. I hope you enjoy your membership of the club and I know that some of you have already attended branch meetings and received a warm welcome. With the Spring weather having turned to Summer recently, I have been spoilt for choice amongst my 4 bikes in which to ride. It depends which one is nearest the front of the garage without having to shunt them around! By the time you read this I will have had a week in France on my trusty Pan, now with over 90000 miles on the clock!

MOVING? Don’t forget if you move, let me know, and no other club official, as I keep the address files up to date, (You can write or send an email). We got two copies of the last magazine returned by Royal Mail , so don’t let it be YOU who we lose contact with.

President Trevor Thompson

Vice Presidents Dave Barton, Tony Eldridge, Graham Gull

Chairman 

General Secretary Graham Seymour 6 Kestrel Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1RB 01525 633169  gensec@hoc.org.uk

Membership Secretary Graham Gull 61 Vicarage Road, Ware SG12 7BE  membership@hoc.org.uk

Saddle Sore Shield Co-ordinator 

Stephen Davenport 07968 810435  saddlesore@hoc.org.uk

Regalia Co-ordinator Jennie Clarke 6 Bugby Way, Raunds, Northants, NN9 6SX  01933 399463 / 07759 805181  regalia@hoc.org.uk

Treasurer Ruth Stryczko, 38 Bower Street, Bedford MK40 3RE.  treasurer@hoc.org.uk

DIRECT DEBIT Don’t forget that it makes life so much simpler to sign up for Direct Debit, so you needn’t worry about letting your membership lapse. All you need to do is return the renewal form when you receive it with your bank details and we will do the rest. Remember subscription rates are guaranteed until 2012.

Andy ‘Dibble’ Young 1 Severn Way, Kettering, Northants. NN16 9HN 01536 412086  chairman@hoc.org.uk

Advertising Manager 

Erica Gassor, 07799 49 2235  advertising@hoc.org.uk

Webmaster Andy (Stritchy) Stryczko 38 Bower Street, Bedford MK40 3RE  webmaster@hoc.org.uk

BMF Liaison Officer

Graham Gull Membership Secretary 61 Vicarage Road Ware SG12 7BE  membership@hoc.org.uk 2

Jim Peel-Cross 11 The Green, Wilcot, Pewsey, Wilts. SN9 5NN  01672 563450

Classic Secretary Dave Barton 53 Northlands Road, Totton Southampton. S040 3HA SUMMER 2009


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CHAIRMAN DIBBLE RATTLE ’S ON! from Andy “Dibble” Young - Club Chairman

News as it happens? Join Andy’s email list by sending an email to

chairman@hoc.org.uk BMF SHOW Well if you were there you would be in full agreement that once again the HOC marquee was the best club stand at the show. It’s such a shame the judges were of the belief that we get it paid for in some way by Honda UK, and that we are not an independent club. Our display organised by the Cambridge branch; with others assisting; had a theme of getting out and about to the great outdoors on your bike. The brilliantly painted back drop with signs on, the tent pitched to the fore and an array of fine bikes made it all seem very obvious to me. Then of course there was the fine array of club regalia and the membership desk with full information about the diversity and spread of our fine club. There were staff available to talk about their bikes and accessories. The refreshment area once again allowed members to take the weight off their feet and enjoy a FREE drink. For those who were peckish, a selection of lovely homemade cakes were available , with donation going in the charity pot. The helmet park once again proved very popular with members who did not want to lug their bargains and kit around with them all day; again, donations went to charity. This year, the chosen charities were Riders for Health and MAGPAS, and I am pleased to say that significant funds were raised. Somehow the judges missed all this! Despite their being staff present from all over the country, they thought it was a branch display??????? We were awarded a joint 10th in the one make clubs competition. Of those who were ranked above us I saw nothing that attracted me to them and certainly no real hospitality offered for SUMMER 2009

hundreds of visiting members. The winners tent was a frame tent with very few bikes stood around and two decidedly worn looking people sat drinking tea in front of some jaded photos. Seems the judges think that amounted to the best show in the categories - what with the quality of the component parts, originality of display, effort put in by the club, the overall impression and the fact that the display is supposed to convey the message the club is trying to portray. A letter has been drafted to the BMF regarding the above and some other comments made in their results letter. Regardless, well done Cambridge excellent display and thanks to all those who supported the show.

OUT AND ABOUT The ‘Sno Rally was a fine weekend again, with superb guided tour of the Dales and excellent hosting by the farm. Those who came were treated to a ‘kippering’ for breakfast with Kevs indoor BBQ. Wiltshire rally this year was at a new site and this proved very popular with a good pub just at the drive end. Food of all sorts to suit most tastes readily available and good local beer. The Saturday run was blessed with good weather and lunch looking over the plains and planes was terrific. Then home to Lardy cake and a short walk to watch the local wild life on the river keeping many entertained after a little concern for the welfare of one little duckling. Back for the BBQ which also saw new arrivals to the rally and several visitors. The host team did a brilliant job of getting every one of the 50 or so fed with the assistance of Theo’s local shopping skills. 3


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There were two further run outs on the Sunday and Monday and we were joined by several guest riders which made for a pleasant and rewarding attendance for the teams efforts; well done, I am looking forward to next years already. I know that branches are having bumper attendances at some events this year already and hope that new members will be coming along to enjoy the efforts being made by the staff of those branches. We are lucky to be in the situation of having something on nearly every weekend and many week day evenings as well. What with visits to the Speedway, inter branch sporting events, and some less strenuous games, we seem to be creating a special atmosphere this year and I hope it continues. I am hoping to be at the Oxford Rally and certainly at the National Rally hope to see more of you there.

BIKE SHOW? One event not on the calendar this year as yet is any sort of ‘Classic/New’ show which we have held every year for the past couple of decades. The logistics and support for another show at Gaydon along the same lines as last year were simply not sustainable. For the show to work, we would have needed the support of Honda, and with them pulling out of many other events, we did not think it appropriate to expect further support in the current climate. However we are still keen to have a show and are attempting to create a ‘simple’ one day event for all those with shiny Classics, unusual customs, old stalwarts and bright shiny new bikes who want to come along and show their pride and joy. The event will be a bit later this year, but we will publish it on the website and through branches, so keep a look out.

WEBSITE FORUM Got a bike problem? Got a bit for sale? Want some parts? Want a little rant about something? Well we have a very active 4

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Forum on the club website which can help with all those needs. Please do come and have a look, it might be better than you think. It is also the quickest way to answers about things going on in the club. Get on and try it you might even like it. Ride on but most of all ride safe

Dibble

CHANGE OF ADDRESS Please send change of address details to the

Membership Secretary not to Golden Wing Thanks....ED

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PIGEON POST !.... General Secretary - Graham Seymour Hey Ho. The summer edition is upon us and I’m sitting here, late as usual and wondering what to say this time! It is early days yet but it looks like the HOC may at last have spread its wing as far as Scotland, with some interest there in forming a branch. Having just returned from a week sampling the unbelievable scenery and roads, I can see that this will be popular with the rest of the club! Though having spoken to every Scot that would listen, I am no closer to a guaranteed deterrent against the midges! (Avon skin-so-soft was the most commonly recommended but just as many told me it was useless. I guess it must be a personal thing) We saw hundreds of bikes up there. Instead of the usual 1%, I would guess that bikes made up 5-10% of the traffic, the majority being adventure bikes. However out of these I saw two Transalps’ and a grand total of no Varadaros’! The overwhelming majority being of a well known German make with a sprinkling of Triumph Tigers’. (Mainly due to meeting what looked like an outing by the Triumph Owners Club one day) Come on Honda. Let’s have something that can compete in the popularity stakes! In the meantime I shall employ any excuse to visit again! On a separate note I have had occasion to speak to some of my colleagues at branch level, who shall we say, feel a little unappreciated by their members at times. Come on people, these folk are giving their time voluntarily on your behalf and need encouragement just like anybody else! The trouble with this country is that we are always quick to complain but often fail to say when we are pleased with something. So if you know someone who has done a good job for instance organising an event, manning a stand or begging prizes for a club raffle, please give them a pat on the SUMMER 2009

back for their trouble and let them know their efforts are appreciated. This is our busiest time of the year, so enjoy! Cheers

Graham

COMMUNICATE Do you need to get something in Golden Wing, and on the website, and in the Monthly Mail Out all at once. Do it with one e-mail sent to;

new@hoc.org.uk Your message will automatically go to;

TIM (Golden Wing Editor) STRITCHY (Big Ed, Webmaster) GRAHAM (General Secretary)

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HONDA GENUINE PARTS

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E D I T O R S A Y S .. In the last issue I finished up by saying that we would look at how the production of Golden Wing continued after the layout/artwork DVD had been passed to the printer. I don’t imagine for one moment that there were members holding their breath in anticipation, but in case there were, please accept my apologies; it will be in the Autumn issue. Please also accept my apologies for the magazine being somewhat late, but events have somewhat overtaken me in the last few weeks. Those of you who are eagle-eyed will have noticed the change of address for Golden Wing, and the new contact telephone number. For those who have missed it, the new details are on page 1, but the email address remains the same as do the copy date deadlines and just about everything else. As some of you know, Golden Wing was run from the offices of The Mortgage Warehouse (GB) Ltd, an internet based mortgage brokerage which my brother and I started some ten years ago. Unfortunately, we have become a casualty of the current economic climate, and despite having made all our staff redundant, and cut costs to the bone, we were unable to meet the capital requirements of the Financial Services Authority and have had to advise our creditors we are insolvent. As anyone involved in running a business will know, the operation of director’s guarantees in support of corporate loans and overdrafts effectively means the company’s problems become personal problems and a visit to the bankruptcy court was inevitable. I like to think that I have a positive outlook, and indeed, I believe that any problem which doesn’t relate to the health or freedom of those you love is simply a part of life’s rich tapestry. Whilst waiting to go before the district judge, we met a young 8

lady with a similar outlook; she informed us that what we were doing ensured our i m m o r ta l i t y, enshrined forever within the pages of the London Gazette. After having received the commiserations and rubber stamp from the district judge, we bumped into the same young lady as we were leaving. She said; “Do you realise how many celebrities have been bankrupt? - I knew I would make it onto the A list eventually”. I liked her attitude, and Mandy and I decided there and then that this would be an adventure. The first part of the adventure came about when I started to investigate the receipt of Job Seekers Allowance. It struck me just how often people make assumptions, and how much happier the world would be if they didn’t. Dibble has already written about the injustice suffered by the Cambridge branch at the BMF Show, and whilst I didn’t go this year, I know from previous years what a superb job they make of the marquee. Unfortunately, their tenth place was awarded on the basis of an incorrect assumption that they had received help from Honda. The young man at the Jobcentre also made assumptions. He assumed that because he was working, he somehow had a higher level of knowledge and skills than I did; he certainly had more arrogance and I understood very quickly how some people can lose their temper in these situations. One bad apple perhaps, I wonder? SUMMER 2009


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Evidently, to qualify for the grand sum of £64 per week (for six months only), I would have to keep a diary detailing the activities I had undertaken in the pursuit of gainful employment. Not only that, but I would have to report to this callow youth on a fortnightly basis so he could check on my progress. I suggested that with four children to provide for, he didn’t need to worry himself with the possibility of my retiring to a life of benefit fuelled luxury, provided for by the tax-payer, but he said those were the rules. To add insult to insult, he informed me that I would have to attend a course on how to write application letters, and of course, he or someone else would be more than happy to check them for me! All this from someone who believes capital letters have no place in the modern world, and grammar is someone who sucks eggs and drinks too much sherry at Christmas. He concluded by advising me that when I was ready to make an application, it would

A T OAST It was with great regret that we learnt of Elaine Stamp’s passing and pass on our deepest condolences to her family. Sally and I will always remember how kind and welcoming she was when we first went to the Bedfordshire branch many moon's ago, and the many laughs we had over the years. It was a big worry when we realized that the day of Elaine's funeral was the day the club was off to Ypres for a weekend which had been booked six months previously. After much consultation amongst the members going it was decided that knowing the type of person Elaine was, the last thing she would have wanted was for us to cancel the trip. We arrived in Ypres on Friday afternoon and in a quiet moment Sally and I went to St SUMMER 2009

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take approximately forty five minutes, and that any “income” I received would reduce the benefit pound for pound after a certain (low) amount had been received. Needless to say, I didn’t bother applying and decided to become self employed. The last couple of weeks has been somewhat varied, and has included garden clearance, labouring, a bit or courier work and helping people with form filling and writing official letters. I have also spent several days acting as a relief driver for LPC Printing who print Golden Wing, including one delivery on the Isle of Man. The upshot of this is that as well as editing the magazine, I might very well end up delivering it as well! On that note I will sign off, once again apologising for the delay of this issue. Keep it tidy,

Tim TO

ELAINE

Martin's Cathedral and lit a candle and had a prayer for Elaine. That evening at the group meal Elaine was at the forefront of everyone's mind and we all raised a glass and toasted her memory.

Ian Parris.

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KICKING BACK .... Something to Say - Say it here THANKS JOHN Dear Sir, Please find enclosed a copy of a cancellation of a fixed penalty notice for speeding. The bike was subject to a recall from Honda due to water ingress into the wiring harness which could lead to a malfunction. In Honda’s words “the rider may experience erratic or incorrect speedometer readings, thus not enabling the rider to maintain speeds within the road regulation limits”. John Measures was very instrumental with his legal expertise in advising me as to how to instigate matters. I would be grateful to learn of your comments. Yours sincerely

James French Membership Number 30929 Thanks for your letter James, and it is nice to know that in some cases justice prevails. I have not printed the actual cancellation notice as it contains personal information about you. I suspect the case was not quite as clear cut as the decision would seem, as it is my understanding that it is not a requirement to have a working speedo to comply with the law. Indeed, my Fireblade passed an MOT test a few years ago whilst the speedo was not working. I don’t think I would have got away with the excuse that my speedo had broken, had I been caught speeding! I suspect that the difference here is that you did not know the speedo to be faulty and had no reason to suspect it couldn’t be trusted. Of course, having someone with the experience and expertise of John Measures on your side is almost like having an unfair advantage to begin with. Ed 10

CARLTON OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTRE Dear Tim, I am sending you a leaflet which describes the facilities at the Outdoor Centre at Carlton-in-Cleveland. We used to have our August Bank Holiday weekends there, I can’t remember if you ever came to one. We stopped using it as it closed down, temporarily as it happened, when the three local authorities disagreed over funding. It has now been taken over by Hartlepool Borough Council and extended, and run much on the lines of how it was run originally. They are willing to provide breakfasts and other meals if asked. I thought that perhaps some of the branches might be interested if they were planning on coming up this way. They have accommodation for 68, and room for tents on a large lawn. I would be pleased to act as liaison if anyone would like me to. Perhaps you could mention it in Golden Wing. Naturally availability is governed by whether the prime users need it or not. Cheerio for now Yours faithfully

Dave Linden Membership Number 14 It’s great to hear from you again Dave. Unfortunately, I never did make it to any August Bank Holiday weekends. The Carlton Centre certainly looks to be something worth considering for any branches wanting a base from which to explore the area. The Carlton Outdoor Centre can be contacted on 01642 712229 or by visiting www.carltonoutdoors.org or via Dave. Ed SUMMER 2009


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GOING, GOING, GONE Hi Tim Just to let you know what a splendid job you did on the advert for my luggage in the Members Free Ads 2009 Vol 47 No. 1 of Golden Wing. The photos and text stood out and attracted lots of interest. I received my copy of the Golden Wing on the 2nd May and by the 11 May I had sold everything. Brilliant.

Kicking Back Letters for the next issue to arrive by

1st September 2009 E-mail to editor@hoc.org.uk or post to:

Many Many Thanks

Thanks for your letter John, and I am glad the advert worked. I sometimes think members forget about the “free ads” service, but like all our advertisers, it is advertsing to a very targetted audience of several thousand Honda enthusiasts. Ed

Golden Wing 232 Leigh Road Chandlers Ford Eastleigh Hants SO53 3AW

FANCY A TRIP TO THE SOUTH OF FRANCE?

VOLUNTEERS FOR NEC 2009

This is a call out to anyone who wants to join us at West Coast Riders on our holiday next year to the South of France. Everyone is welcome, the more the merrier. We will be leaving the UK on 19th June 2010 and returning on 3rd July 2010, taking in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium on the way home. I need to know who’s coming by 1st September 2009, so if anyone is interested in joining us, please feel free to e-mail me on tazzy2001@hotmail.com for further details. I will send you over a rough itinery in the reply. Looking forward to hearing from you. Love

Hi all, As some of you are aware, Honda have pulled out of the NEC this year. Very shocking and sad news I know. I have therefore no need for volunteers for their stand, so I have moved everyone that was working on their stand over to ours. I still have some places available for volunteers, but very few so it will be on a first come first served basis. If anyone would like to help out the stand this year then e-mail me on tazzy2001@hotmail.com and I’ll see what dates I have left. Thanks a lot for all that have volunteered so far Love

John Holtham Membership Number 25338

Rona xxx

Rona xxx

It sounds great Rona, I am sure you will get a lot of interest. Ed SUMMER 2009

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OUR HISTORY OF HELPING ON THE HONDA STAND Hi Tim I am forwarding a photograph taken in about 1966 at the Earls Court Motorcycle Show when members of the HOC had been invited to man the Honda stand. We were all members of the then London Branch of the club. As club Secretary,I turned up by bike, so guess who that is?! So, the idea of Honda UK inviting club members to help at exhibitions is nothing new at all. However, with Honda UK not intending to exhibit at this years NEC, the services of the HOC will not be required. Regards

Tony Eldridge

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Thanks for the photo Tony, and I have to say that I don’t think anyone who has met you will have any trouble recognising you as a young man! With our 50th anniversary now less than two years away, it would be great if we could meet up at some time and investigate what other treasures you may have filed away. Indeed, it would be great if all our long standing members would have a search through their albums and attics and see what they can find. We would love to be able to produce a commemorative publication charting the history of the club, and would like to include the anecdotes and memories of as many of our early members as possible. With there having been in excess of 31,000 club members over the years, it is great to note that almost all of the first ten or twenty are still playing an active part in branch life. Indeed, our current President, past President and all three Vice Presidents have single figure membership numbers. Ed

HOC Vice President Membership No: 8

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POLISH WOMEN The Narodni National Park is among the mountains of Southern Poland. There is skiing there in the winter but in May, is it just high meadows, rushing rivers and spring flowers. It is between seasons and therefore the hotels are good value. I chose a modern hotel, just on the edge of town with a nice car park behind big gates. The car park was empty as was the hotel. Twenty Euro a night B&B, nice room third floor - with elevator! I had picked up a bottle of red wine at my lunch stop earlier. It was now 16.30. I showered and settled down with my bottle of wine and pipe, looking out of the window across the mountains. After only one glass a drowsiness overcame me, so I flopped on the bed. I woke at 19.00 hrs. Quick slouch, dressed and downstairs - dinner was from 19.00 to 20.00. Gob smacked is not a word I normally use, but I can’t think of a better way to describe my reaction on reaching the lobby. The place was heaving with elderly people, it was a sea of grey hair. I made quickly for the bar and ordered a beer. By gesture I enquired of the barman, where did all these people come from. He pointed out of the window and there in the car park stood my bike and three very large coaches. I took my beer and ventured into the dining room. There before me sitting at long tables were rank upon rank of grey haired men and women - mostly women. Whilst I was gathering my senses a waitress took my elbow and propelled me foreword into the hoard. A group of women indicated that there was a chair free at their part of the table and to there I was propelled, sat down and had a menu thrust in my hand - the waitress was obviously used to handling befuddled old men! The woman next to me planted some cutlery before me and nodded 14

in approval. I wanted to run, but would I get by the waitress on guard by the door? Suddenly there was a plate of soup before me and the lady next to me again smiling and nodding at me. Then she asked me something and I nervously blurted out ‘sorry I don’t understand’ - as she was reaching for the bread basket as I spoke, I would probably have got away with my impersonation as a befuddled old Pole if I had said nothing and just taken a piece of bread. As it was it was now the ladies turn to be surprised along with three or four others in close vicinity. The lady said "Deutsche? Hollander?" "English" I replied. Together all of them exclaimed "Englishman!" Within seconds the news had passed down both sides of my table jumped a gap along another table, and so on until it had lapped the room. At some point the waitress guard picked up the news. She approached me with some consternation - her system had been breached! She spoke to me. All I could do was to show her my key and room number. She was unsure, but they my companions on the table came to my rescue. What was said, I know not, but she retreated and soon my main course - rabbit stew? - arrived and the ladies at my table were all smiles and nods. As I was, I like rabbit stew. The ladies made an attempt at conversation, but all I could indicate was that I was touring on my moto. Big mistake! Now it was the ladies turn to be concerned. Again the news did a lap of the dining room. Now they were talking to me very s l o w l y. I did pick up on one word, family. It would appear that they were worried that this old fool who couldn’t even find his way to his proper dining room was wandering round Europe on a big moto without a keeper and were wondering if my family knew where I was. SUMMER 2009


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I nodded and said ‘family’ and produced my wallet and a picture of my wife, then my children and onto my grandchildren. They smiled and nodded approval and my pictures disappeared on a lap of the dining room. I think they gradually came to the conclusion that I wasn’t senile, just deaf and dumb, and of course a man! I survived dinner, which was really quite good, and during the mass exit from the dinning room, made my escape out of the hotel. It was a very nice village, typically alpine. On my stroll through the village, I had noticed a couple of pleasant looking bars and I had just past one when I was accosted by 4 ladies walking in the opposite direction and steered into the bar I was passing. There sat ‘my’ ladies drinking chocolate. Another round of chocolate was ordered which the waiter duly served and then topped it up with a great slug of Slivovitz! - plumb brandy to the uninitiated. I am not being unkind when I say, these were large ladies and at the rate the chocolate and Silvovitz was disappearing it is easy to see why. At some point I managed to excuse myself and get to the toilet. The

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door to the gents was in a quiet corner of the bar and there sat a couple of elderly gentlemen. They smiled and nodded. I did likewise and enquired by gesticulations if they were part of the coach group. They nodded and both rolled they eyes. I sat down beside them. They knew why, like them, I was seeking sanctuary! I guess the Slivovitz eventually took it toll, because suddenly it was quiet. The ladies had departed. The three of us stood at the bar, no longer under threat and had a quiet beer before we to headed back to the hotel. I took breakfast in my proper dining room - alone! They were getting on the coaches when I took my panniers down to the bike. Lots of smiles, head wagging, waves and even a few hand pats. They were obvious wishing me well, as I wished them. You meet the kindest of people when you travel alone.

Barry Tinson


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I don’t know whether it was the picture of Dibble, or the prizes offered by those nice people at “The Best Rides”, but we certainly had some entries.

PRIZES The prizes are all the same, being a copy of

The Best Rides Motorcycle Atlas, France to the four best entries. So in no particular order the four winners are: Stephen Levis from Cardiff with;

Blimey! Where has my side car gone?. Mr A Raybould from Norwich with;

Opps! I was sure this was mine! Graham Seymour with;

With a bit of luck nobody noticed..... Andy Stryczko with;

I thought you had to be a retired policeman to talk out of there! Prizes are on their way!

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Devon H.O.C. Social Weekend Ilfracombe Holiday Park, North Devon 2nd - 5th October 2009 BOOKING FORM Name: ____________________ Address: ____________________ ____________________ Phone: ____________________ Price £95 for a two bed “gold” appartment Please make cheques payable to: John Fowler Holidays Send to : Pat Jennings, John Fowler Holidays Marlborough Road, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 8PF No later than August 31st 2009 and then subject to availability

WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU


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CX500 Turbo 1982

Once and a while any manufacturer will produce a showcase motorcycle that makes everyone else sit up and take notice. Honda were first off the mark with the Single Overhead Cam CB750 in 1969, followed by all the inline four variations. Honda needed to show their prowess with a greater challenge, and choosing a 500cc 80 degree V Twin as the first venture in producing a turbocharged production motorcycle was it. New technology was the name of the game starting with the development of a new special turbocharger with the smallest 48mm compressor wheel ever produced and an integral waste gate. It was designed to spin up to 100,000 rpm and exploit the power otherwise lost in the exhaust. 18

The Turbo was mounted between the exhaust ports behind the radiator. Air was drawn through a filter by the compressor, then fed past a resonator chamber and a surge tank designed to smooth the air flow. The boost was limited to 19 psi which is much higher than other systems. A sensor on the inlet side connected to the waste gate that bypasses the turbine, in order to keep internal temperatures under control. The compression ratio has been lowered to 7.2 to 1 compared to 10 to 1 of the standard CX500. The valves were also made smaller with their opening times shortened, with intakes at 5 deg BTDC and closing 30 deg ABDC, with exhausts opening 30 deg BBDC and closing 5 deg ATDC and all at 1mm lift. Fuel metering was by injectors controlled by a management computer. Information was supplied by sensors measuring pressure in the air chamber, surge tank and adjacent to the injectors, air temperature at the intake, water coolant and throttle position. With this information the computer then controlled the electronic inductive ignition system and high power coils. These were necessary to fire the spark plugs under the more demanding conditions provided by the turbo. The computer also had a fail safe system that covered the throttle or boost pressure to get you home if there was ever a problem. In addition there was a new self- diagnostic system using light emitting diodes that provided codes for analyzing faults. SUMMER 2009


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with wider 2.50 rims and fitted with V rated Japanese Dunlop Tyres. The CX500 Turbo was shown as a concept prototype machine at the 1980 Cologne Show in Germany. Two years later we saw the first production machines. Performance was provided by the peak power of 82 bhp compared with 48 bhp on the standard CX500. To cover this, the CX500 needed to be up-rated including the crank cases, bigger and stronger clutch, bigger main and big end bearings. The lubrication system which included the plain bearings in the turbo charger had a higher capacity as well including a deep finned sump. Overall gearing war also raised to 2.056 from 2.242. Also the five internal gear ratios were also raised, mainly to speed up the gears further and reduce engine load. Peak power at 9,000 rpm gave 128 mph. The frame was up-graded with a stronger spine. The front forks were given a larger diameter with 37mm stanchions and TRAC adjustable antidive valves mechanically connected to the twin piston front brake callipers. The two front units were also air pressure assisted. Rear suspension used a light alloy swinging arm that has been lengthened to give a longer wheelbase of 58.8ins as this gave more stable handling. The ProLink rear suspension unit with air pressure adjustment compensated for every need. The wheels were gold finished six spoke light alloy fabricated Comstars, measuring 18in front and 17in rear, but SUMMER 2009

As you already know I have owned three CX500’s in my time and the best was the CX500 “Eurosport”. So the CX500 Turbo had a complete fairing and was based on the Eurosport with a longer wheel base which makes it very stable to ride. cont....

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On the instrumentation between the speedo and the rev counter there is a liquid crystal boost gauge display. On starting the engine and blipping the throttle, you would notice that pressure was being generated by the turbocharger from idle. This led to a very smooth uptake rather than a sudden rush of

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power. Under heavy acceleration the turbo responded by kicking in the engine power. At speeds of over 100 mph the down thrust of the fairing held the machine very steady. On normal riding days the machine will average between 45 and 50 mpg and with a tank capacity of 4.4 gallons, re-fuelling happened roughly every 200 miles. The perfect riding position the CX500 Turbo made this the cream of a perfect touring motorcycle. It would cruise all day at speeds over 100 mph, and at the time comparisons between the CX Turbo and the CB900F were commonplace, especially as they both had about the same top speed of 130 mph. However the CX500 Turbo was a touring motorcycle with a “Touch of Class� Then in 1983 Honda gave us the CX650 Turbo refining it to make the perfect machine. Then the cat had the cream to enjoy. Let the Good Times Roll

Dave Barton Classic Secretary

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It’s the 6th May and i’m off to, you guessed it, Rhodes, my copy of Goldenwing arrived a few days before so I have something to keep me entertained on the 4 hour flight going over. In fact, I read it front to back and found I had arrived in Greece within what appeared to be no time at all. It’s my second copy of the Mag and I find it a great read seeing what all the other branches (and individuals) are up to (I particularly enjoyed the trip across the US of A on a Goldwing) With 12 of us on the trip to Rhodes (friends and family of Stacey’s, the other ‘alf) I knew it wasn’t going to be a boring vacation, in fact, I was quite pleased we had been to Turkey a couple of weeks before, vegetating at an all inclusive Hotel in Marmaris (having also been skiing in Slovenia in January and requiring a warm up!) A member of our party in Rhodes had ridden motorbikes (well several had ridden) but Mac was expressing an interest in hiring out a bike for a couple of days and gave me the idea of also hiring one. We trundled around for the first few days of our holiday doing the touristy thing and come Sunday, Mac had hired out an XT660. I was a bit dubious of hiring out a bike as I have only ridden on the wrong side of the road once in the USA 17 years ago in a rather large, 3 Litre Dodge Dynasty. I gave it another day to see how Mac had got on; as he was still alive on day 2 I thought I’d give it a bash. Seeing people ride and drive in Rhodes doesn’t in-still much want of “enthusiasm” to be hiring a bike out! I was lucky that there was a hire company at the back of our hotel where Mac had got his from, and it was fairly reasonable at 30 22

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Euro’s for the day with insurance (luckily, we were still in low season, hence a low price) It was a swift process getting the bike, no need for leaving an arm and a leg deposit as you would in the UK and reading a billion lines of small print, in fact, I hadn’t even checked the bike out before handing the cash over, I’d seen a rather dirty red XT660 outside the shop and decided I’d give it a go. (there were no Honda’s available other than ped’s, so they were a no!) I had joked with the hirer that I fancied the Honda 1300 that was gleaming and sitting not 2 foot from his desk but he said his mechanic would be a bit annoyed if he hired out his bike to customers! 10 minutes later and we were in and out with a courtesy map of the island (all 77KM of it in length) we were at the very top of the island near Rhodes old town and with some terrific views across to Turkey which was 17 miles away, so we had nowhere to go other than South! The rest of our party had gone to Lindos for the day so having looked at the map, that’s where we decided to head for. Having managed to scrape 10Euro’s of petrol into the tank at the local Shell Station, the sun out (thank god) we were off. Now I hadn’t exactly packed for this early summer holiday with the intention of Motor-biking around it. Stacey at least had jeans and had we come off, at least she was slightly protected. Whereas I was in K Swiss trainers, some urban camo shorts and a Ben Sherman white T-shirt (White t-shirt and hot sunny climate with flying bug’s riding a Motorbike may not have been the wisest of choices, in fact, it was probably the worse choice I had made that week)

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map. Half hour went by and we called back to the party, they had arrived and were apparently looking over a vast sandy beach which had a yacht and a ferry boat moored up in the bay and a rather large “castle” on the top of a hill. Being slightly more different to the view we was looking at (nigh on empty beach minus the yacht) I enquired at the beach bar waiter as to where we were on the map, he pointed to the next bay down Taz In Not the Lindos Harbour from Lindos, (what did I say With virtually one road going round the about getting lost?) islands perimeter, even I wasn’t going to get Luckily, it was only a 5 minute ride over lost doing this run, (there was also no place the next ridge to get to Lindos and the view called Aldershot, so that was another was somewhat quite amazing, having advantage; local branch joke, wink, wink) turned the last bend, the castle came into sure enough, having got out of the mayhem view sitting majestically on its hill, guarding traffic of the harbour and old city, we were the harbour (several hundred feet below) as seeing signposts for Falaraki (a point we if to say to its enemy “you can have a go if needed to pass to reach Lindos) the first 30 you’re feeling lucky” I think I’d have turned odd Kilometres were a bit tedious, I’d have the boat round if I was attacking. We saw said we were in fact riding in the UK as we the sign leading us to the harbour and I were going through single file road-works!. must have looked like the “green cross code Well, at least they were actually working on man” having made many “left and right” the road as opposed to supping cups of tea looks (still getting used to this wrong side of by it. the road malarkey). Riding slower than I normally would and It was a steep and quite narrow hill with both of us having open faced helmets, leading to the harbour and we played dodge I noticed how odd it was being able to have the pedestrian for most of it (successfully I a normal conversation whilst trundling along might add) an RAB greeted us half way on our intrepid adventure. At the end of the down the hill where the Taxi’s were also road-works that felt like they ran the length stationed and this was as far as we went on of the island, we started to see signs for wheels. We did a quick “u-ee” and parked Lindos and “the Beach” which we headed up by some wheelie bins (hoping with the for. I was rather intrigued how small the state of the bike it was in, it was not beach was and all the pebbles (and lack of mistaken as rubbish and it would still be people) so we phoned a member of our there on our return) our party were waiting “beaching it for the day” party, who had for their food in a nearby Café (we heard the decided to take the 1 hour + Bus journey usual Cooooie! You get when you have down and asked them if they were near been seen) and quipped they had still “about half way” came the reply. So, we beaten us there despite their somewhat decided to find a shady spot and have some “different” type of a bus journey. freshly squeezed orange juice and take a look at the next part of our journey on the SUMMER 2009

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As we wanted to get round the whole of the island, we decided to press on down the narrow path’s leading to the harbour, there were Donkey rides available down the steep hill but they already looked in a sad and pathetic state to me. I personally find it unfair that these creatures get abused at the cost of Human laziness. How ironic they are aptly named “Beasts of Burden”, there were certainly some burdeness loads being taken at the time. The walk took us past many nooks and crannies with small shops selling the usual tourist items (namely fridge magnets) there was also a tiny church which looked like I could not have stood up in, painted in the traditional Greek “White” theme with hints of blue. The last part of the walk was the steepest and lugging a rucksack and crash helmets wasn’t making it easier. The Beach was fantastic, almost enticing us to stay for the day (we had swimwear) but despite a paddle in the cooling water, it was onwards and upwards (more upwards in fact, the hill seemed to get steeper going back, but then don’t they always??) we bumped into Mac on his blue XT660 at the car park, he had already done the island the day before so pressed on under his own steam and left us to our “Mini Adventure” no BMW’s here though, just 2 wheels.

Lindos Castle 24

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As we turned left out of the harbour road, I noticed a photo opportunity in a lay by which looked across to the castle and harbour. An Amphitheatre could be seen on the hill under the Castle; a trek for anyone seeing the latest pop group of the time! Coming out of Lindos, there were only a couple of small towns we passed through, it was following the coastal line more or less and the cooling breeze was welcome. We were now heading for Prasonisi. Traffic was nigh on extinct with just the odd Cement mixer and Taxi to overtake, this is what biking is all about, open roads and no traffic, heaven. After one slight “hiccup” we took a wrong turn, or rather missed where I should have turned, we made a recovery which cost about 15KM, we had somehow ended back up on the road we came down to Lindos on as there were some familiar hotels we had already seen. Having now come inland slightly and venturing over some twisty mountainous peaks (a joy to ride on) we once again started to see various brown signs indicating to beaches that we were near. We managed to find some speed humps (the roads aren’t in the best of nick yet they still build speed humps, yep, this could be the UK!) through one town after our minor detour but were soon back following a long coast line down to Prasonisi. The sun was at its hottest now and despite doing 90+KMH, it was still burning on the skin. The view across the sea was amazing, the sun shimmering upon the water only being disturbed by the odd boat bobbing along. I could feel the pillion getting a bit fidgety and put it down to the fact we had been on the bike for a while. We were coming into more built up areas having run a good 40 minutes on straight open roads with just the odd tumble weed crossing our path (well, it felt like there should have been anyway) SUMMER 2009


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With welcome signs popping up for our destination, we made a final turn en route to the southernmost part of Rhodes. The wind by now was quite strong, it appeared the mountain range we were passing through was funnelling it and giving it strength. As we came into Prasonisi, we were ushered to a spot where the bikes were parked (next to a café where no doubt the usher also worked) but it was none the less a welcome sight. I asked Miss Pillion if the bottom was aching due to the noticeable fidgeting earlier. Apparently not however, as we had appeared to have gone through a bug infested stretch of road and the bugs were ricocheting off of one’s helmet straight down the top of Miss Pillion who was plucking them out as fast as they were landing! A fact that I had noticed as the swine’s had also been slamming into my bear skin extremities with some force. Having downed the rather refreshing Frappe with Ice Cream (and lathered up in suncream) we had a stroll on the beach, well, two actually as this part of the island had a broad piece of sand before meeting land once again. The Kite surfers were making the most of the wind and we could see why it was such a popular spot for them, speeding up and down the water as if in some sort of synchronised display. I felt like taking the bike on it (the sand that is) though it would have not been insured (beaches are excluded) and I was talked out of it. It was a bit of a trek had I ended up stranded but cars were driving over it fine, still, rain check for another time on that one. Time to tour the West part of Rhodes and with a couple of very interesting POI’s on the map, it looked like an even more interesting journey than our first half. Though I was somewhat confused as to why there was an abundance of Petrol stations indicated on the far right of the island but not the left. I put this down to “who reads maps anyway” and “there must be a petrol station somewhere along that route” an assumption that later turned out to be true, luckily for me. The initial part of the journey had much SUMMER 2009

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the same scenery as our last half, though of course we were now on a different route. We passed the odd farmer tending their crops and passed some “huts” with cardboard signs indicating “Café” in the most bizarre, remotest of places. It was a wonder how they made any business but I suspected they belonged to the farmers who would no doubt return from their field should any punters pull up.

Monolithos & Bike! Monolithos was the first “mound” to visit and the views on the roads leading up to it were spectacular. Riding near the side of sheer drops off the edge of the road I was pleased there was no traffic coming, indeed, from any direction. A swerve to the right and I would have been back on the skiing holiday minus skis. Apparently some of the Abba movie, Ma-ma mia, had been filmed at this location and I can understand why. There were quite a few steps that led us up to the tiny church at the peninsular. The very thick walls provided some wanted shelter at this point; I couldn’t help noticing just how much cooler the church was compared to the mid afternoon sun outside which was now bellowing heat out like a furnace. The view from the church overlooked some small islands (photo’s) and the peace and quiet of the place reflected upon why the church had been built on this remote spot. 25


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Stacey at Kitrinia Castle Arms now feeling a bit sore, exposed to the sun since 10AM with obviously not a high enough factor cream on, we moved off and towards Kritinia Castle. Entering the car park was a somewhat “wobbly” experience since a Lizard about a foot long came from nowhere. It went behind the front wheel and I waited for the crunching sound, only to find I must have broke at the right moment as he continued to scarper across the road. I was instructed by Miss Stacey to execute any more as she would prefer that than to wobble, that’s love of animals for you. The climb to the castle wasn’t quite as far as the one at Monolithos but the views were no less spectacular, looking out across several more islands that appeared to be hovering in the afternoon haze that had started to form. Mac had warned me that the road on the west side was being worked on with somewhat less “enthusiasm” as the East side; he wasn’t wrong. “Loose Gravel” indicated the sign for “3KM” Joy, especially with shorts on. Now in my lessons last year “slow and steady” was the notion with “go easy on the brakes” following on. I had no intention of doing anything but; avoiding the hundreds of potholes like some sort of space invader game I was once again glad the road was empty. We were going from one side of it to the other to avoid the gouges. I was more than relieved when we hit tarmac again, I didn’t realise 3km could feel like 300. Just one more stop at “Apollo’s Temple” was on the list as time was cracking on, the 26

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bike had to be back for 7, though I was already considering hiring it another day if there was more to do. The ride took us right next to the beach and the westerly breeze was more welcome than ever as my arms felt like they were on fire at the last stop. The recognisable radar globe on the top of the hill near the airport could be seen in the distance so I knew we would be back in an hour or so. Traffic was also now building up as we came into civilisation near the airport. A small sign that we nearly missed indicated a small slip road to our right had the Temple 1km down it. We drove passed some houses and some railings with a plaque on but didn’t think it could be the Temple as the grass was overgrown but it was. There were some stones at the end of the field and it didn’t appear to be much of a Temple but I ticked it off the list anyway after a brief pose for a photo before we finished our day off. Traffic passed the airport was resembling the M25 in rush hour and the road-works weren’t helping the situation. Coming to halt after a brief diversion I found some narrow back allies and took some shortcuts that “felt” right and that cars obviously couldn’t get down, it paid off. We were soon on the main road once again heading for the hotel. We made a brief “flypast of the harbour” viewing the new cruise liners that had come into port before stopping for our last refreshment, an ice cold coffee and can of coke. I de-bugged the helmets of their roadkill, it was like carrying out an autopsy and my Ben Sherman now resembled a “splat attack” art painting done by Nursery school children. Getting utterly confused by the one way system surrounding the hotel I gave up in the end and made, from what I recall, my only breach of road regulations during the day (other than perhaps the odd fracture of NSL’s) and went through the no entry sign which the hire shop was sitting just behind. Both back alive after a very much enjoyable day, time to find another island to go the “long way round” on. Here’s to more Happy Summer Riding

Taz SUMMER 2009


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Motorcycle Safety and Electronically Controlled C-ABS System for Honda Sportsbikes Honda Institute 18th March 2009 We had two members attend this day, courtesy of Honda, and both were so impressed that they both sent in reports for publication. The first is from Chris Ward of Reading Branch, followed on page 30 by Danny Beck from Northants & Milton Keynes. Ed The weather forecast was perfect as I set off for the short drive over to the Honda Institute at Colnbrook, near Heathrow Airport. I had a gut feeling this was going to be a good day. Once at the Institute I was greeted by Alex Thrussell who checked my driving licence and sorted out the necessary paperwork to allow me to ride later in the day. The group attending was made up of media journalists and motorcycle club members and when all had signed in we made our way to a conference room where we were provided with refreshments before the presentations began. We were introduced to the day’s program by Fiona Cole who led us through the usual housekeeping and safety information before handing us over to Dave Hancock, who is Head of Customer Operations, Honda (UK) and Honda Motorcycle Development Test Rider. Dave’s presentation on safety began with an overview of their development from the Honda Rider Simulator to the current Rider Trainer; an example of which was available for us try. The next part of the presentation concentrated on conspicuity. We were shown that frontal views which closely resemble the human face were more easily detected by oncoming road users. Lighting 28

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was also discussed with lights placed at different heights accentuating the longitudinal size of the motorcycle. The presentation continued with the history of Honda’s braking systems from the introduction of the disc brake on the 1969 CB750 right up to the combined ABS currently used. We were also given a short presentation on the development of air bag safety systems for motorcycles. We were then handed over to Oliver Fuchs from Honda R&D Europe who gave us a presentation on the new electronically controlled combined ABS that is now available on 2009 CBR600RR and CB1000RR models. One of the problems facing the design engineers was that currently available ALB systems could not provide the stability required for supersports motorcycles. This has been overcome by effectively providing an electronic, brake by wire system. Naturally should there be any fault or failure of any of the systems electronic components the brakes revert to a conventional hydraulic set up. We were split into two groups and I was assigned to the first with a CBR1000RR as my test bike. After changing into our leathers we went to the rear of the building for the brake testing demonstration and trial. The brake test consisted of two, coned off, separate lanes in the rear car park. One lane had been soaked in water, while the other was covered in sand, an interesting and normally frightening set of road conditions. The test rider made a couple of passes up and down the car park to familiarise himself with the bike, braking heavily on the dry surface. He then sped down the car park and braked hard onto the wet surface. There was no drama or the slightest loss of stability, the bike coming to rest in a straight line with no loss of control or wheel lock up. SUMMER 2009


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This was repeated before the sand covered surface was attacked, but each time the same result was obtained, which was truly impressive. We were then, in turn, told to mount up and try the test ourselves. After a couple of guys had their runs it was my turn. I jumped aboard my Fireblade and spun up the willing engine. It was showing just over 200 miles on the clock so was still a very new bike. Although I have ridden Fireblades before this was the first time I had tried one with the electronic steering damper. I found the bike very easy to manoeuvre at low speeds and U turns in the car park presented no difficulty. First gear was quite high, although that is something I am used to with my own bike, and was all that was needed for the braking tests. I ran up and down the dry section of the car park to get used to the brakes and the headed for the wet section. I think because of the professionalism of the presentations, understanding how the systems work and of course seeing others do the test before me, I had no fear whatsoever about grabbing a big handful of brake as I hit the wet area. The bike pulled up as if there had been no water on the road at all. There was no sensation of the ABS working at all, no pulsation at the lever and no noise from the tyre. I repeated the test again before moving onto the sanded surface. Each time however the result was the same. It was an amazing feeling be able to perform emergency stops safely under these sorts of conditions. After the brake test we were given a short briefing before heading out for our extended road test. I was at the back of the group which was quite nice, allowing me to catch up with the other riders when necessary. The test ride featured around 30 miles of motorway, A and B roads of all speed limits. As mentioned earlier I have ridden Fireblades before, but this model is without doubt the best I have ever sampled. The riding position was fine for me, offering more comfort than my NC30 with less weight on my wrists. The seat was maybe a little long for me as I’m not the tallest and I did find myself slipping backwards when I turned my right hand! The electronic steering damper is a superb addition and SUMMER 2009

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stops the front end wagging compared to earlier Blades and the brakes are awesome, being able to haul the bike down from speed with consummate ease. Although I didn’t explore the full potential of the engine, let’s just say it could overtake anything safely without any fuss. The engine emitted a superb growl when the flaps in the exhaust opened and I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to change this for an aftermarket system. As mentioned earlier, the bike is quite high geared and I think it could probably reach around 90MPH in first gear. As a result, I managed to stall the bike at a junction at one point. After pulling into the road and having to play catch up, a turn of the throttle produced a very graceful front wheel lift purely due to the power without any encouragement from the rider. The bikes handling was fantastic and I found it very easy to change direction. The tyres also offered plenty of grip and although slightly warm at the end of the ride I was quite surprised to see how wide the chicken strips were as I thought I had leant it over quite far! After we returned to The Honda Institute we had a buffet lunch followed by a tour of the impressive facility which houses some lovely pieces of history including two RC30s, an RC45 several NS400 engines and evens parts from an NR750. During this part of the day we were able to inspect a C-ABS equipped CB600RR bike that had been partially dismantled, allowing us to see the location of the various components. It really was a shame to give the bike back as it was one of the best test rides I’ve had the pleasure of taking. If I were in the market for a new bike, I wouldn’t look any further than the Fireblade and without doubt I would pay the extra for C-ABS version. The Electronic C-ABS is a major leap forward in motorcycle safety and will, I’m sure, enable riders to stay in control in those panic braking situations which many of us have experienced in the past. In fact I’d better start saving now.

Chris Ward 29


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My day started nice and early; first, check out the weather, a quick look out of the window, DAM IT, its foggy, not ideal for my trek down to The Honda Institute in Slough, never mind its happening anyway. So, I shower, and then straight into my leathers, no need for breakfast, as I have previous knowledge of The Honda Institute. Then its load up the bike (Honda Goldwing 1800 today) Comms on, Phone on, Music on, Satnav on, launch sequence initiated, Lift Off. SatNav says motorway, brain says not. SatNav wins. 30 minutes into the journey and the fog seems to be burning off. After 1hr 20 minutes I arrive at The Honda Institute, although 20 minutes of the journey was spent filtering (no mean feat on a Goldwing) but no real dramas. I parked up in the car park in front of The Honda Institute, using a space allocated for three normal sized bikes (nothing unusual there) de-robed, plenty of room on the Goldwing to use as a changing room, stowed my kit and made my way to reception. I was greeted by Alexandra Thrussell, Media & PR Officer, and Fiona Cole PR Communications Manager (Motorcycles) to be signed in, and on production of my driving license was deemed to be showing off by Alex, as my license showed that I could drive and ride anything, and with no points or endorsements. After my signing in and name badge firmly pinned on, I was asked to take a seat where all invited parties were assembling, all of course, with an interest in motorbikes, and mostly all riders at some time. In speaking to some of the other people, it became very evident that, if not personally, almost everyone there, at sometime, has had experience with motorbike accidents, myself on a very personal level. This was very apt, as the main focus of Honda is SAFTEY, and that’s the purpose of this THE SAFTEY WORKSHOP, and also to demonstrate the new Electronically Controlled C-ABS braking System for Honda Superbikes. When everyone had been signed in, we were escorted through the facility by Alex and Fiona and invited to partake in refreshments. As I had been fortunate in visiting The Institute before, I knew this would be the case, hence no breakfast. 30

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After a while we were shown into the conference room where the technical side of the new braking system was to be explained, with the assistance of a Power Point presentation. Heading up the conference were Dave Hancock Head of Customer Operations Honda (UK) and Honda Motorcycle test rider Oliver Fuchs, Section Manager Motorcycle Engineering, Honda R&D Europe (Germany). Also sitting in, and test rider on the day was John McGuiness fourteen times Isle of Man TT winner. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions both during and after the conference, although, as the speakers were very thorough and spelled out everything in easy to understand terms, very little needed to be asked. All finished, we were split into two groups, so as to distribute the load on the test bikes that were available for testing, and asked to make our way out to the test area. The bikes on test that were fitted with the new Electronically Controlled C-ABS system were the CBR 1000 RR Fireblade ABS and the CBR 600 RR ABS In anticipation, I was hoping to be allocated a CBR 600 RR ABS for my test bike, as my own motor bikes are all large capacity and I do not very often get the chance to ride the smaller engine machines. Groups selected, I was in the first group, and YES, my name was on the board, along side the CBR 600 RR ABS, ‘GREAT’. The test road was set out to the rear of the facility, and had three different road scenarios. 1.

Normal road surface with good grip.

2.

Road surface was very wet in the brake test zone.

3.

Road surface was covered with loose sand over the test zone

John McGuiness, as the expert rider, was the first to mount his trusty steed and show us other mere mortals what we should be expecting. A few passes up and down the test area, applying the brakes heavily, had our lower jaws dropping at the results of what we were seeing. SUMMER 2009


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One by one we took it in turns to mount our bikes and ride the test road. Then it was my turn. Although I had just seen others riding over the test road, with no problems, what did I expect? What feedback was I to get. Heavy breaking on road surfaces such as these would normally be avoided like the plague. Oh well here goes; A pass on the normal surface first, line up, accelerate, enter the braking zone, apply the brakes, done, no drama. Enough of that then, now let’s try the wet road, a road condition I am sure that we are all familiar with, although I’m sure that we would all avoid heavy braking if at all possible. Line up, accelerate into the zone, and apply the brakes, perfect, how’s that?, just check the road to make sure that its wet, yep, it sure is. Ok we will do that again, and I did, several times, with amazing results every time, amazing to the fact that there was no drama and all was completely uneventful. Now it’s time to enter the no go zone, normally taboo, loose sand on the road. I’ve just witnessed it, so it must be ok; even so, I have to find out for myself. Same as the other runs, line up, accelerate, good speed, into the test zone, and grab the brakes, same as the other passes. The CBR 600 RR ABS pulled up as if the sand was non existent. Now, full of confidence in the brakes, more speed, and increasing with every pass, even with the tail end of the bike snaking from side to side, the bike still managed to achieve maximum deceleration, without drama, and in complete safety. And yes, that is what I think the new Electronically Controlled C-ABS system allows the rider to achieve. Maximum declaration without drama, in complete SAFTEY. I was enjoying the test so much that I could have stayed on it all day, and then I had the nod to pit. When asked what I thought of the system, at the time all that I could say was, “unbelievable.” John McGuiness said to me, that he thought that I was the most aggressive rider on the brakes to do the brake testing, I thought that’s what it was all about, test it to the limit, never found it, don’t think its got one. Now it was time to put it to the test under normal road conditions. After doing the SUMMER 2009

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normal check to see that all was ready to roll, we set off, armed with our route maps, just in case we got split up, escort rider as run leader, and John McGuiness as tail end Charlie. We rode off towards the M25 and then onto the M40 before turning back inland onto some more rural roads through towns and villages. Along the way we were entertained by John McGuiness coming past us on his back wheel (hope this doesn’t get you into trouble John) and overall we experienced a good variety of road surfaces, bends, and braking situations. We then returned to the Honda Institute and parked up where I am sure others were anxiously awaiting to make sure that the bikes were returned in a rideable condition. After a chat and time to reflect on the ride, followed by time for a couple of informal photos, time to get out of the leathers and have some lunch. Yes more great hospitality. Over lunch we had time to chat and reflect on the brake testing, I felt the consensus was extremely good to the fact that this is a faultless braking system. After lunch an invitation was given to have a tour of the facility, a few of us took up the offer and was escorted around by a very informative technician. The tour just bolstered the fact that Honda’s main focus is on SAFETY: Excellent. The day was over and it was time to go home. This time I followed my head and not the SAT NAV. To sum up, the electronically controlled C-ABS braking system is excellent, and in use, very uneventful, and that’s what braking should be. If you didn’t have any knowledge that the system was fitted to the machine that you were riding, you just wouldn’t know how much the system was helping you out under severe braking. Road conditions such as wet surfaces, and loose road surfaces such as sand on the road, like the ones we tested, will always dictate the outcome, of the input, given by the rider. This braking system eliminates the error that is made by the rider, in a reflex braking situations, as well as having the most usual feeling in normal braking situations.

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D O W N Y O U R W AY Reports from the Branches

BEDFORDSHIRE Secretary: Glen Pringle - 07702 233 524 Now that the good weather has started we are starting to get out and about a bit more on the bikes, with a rideout to Foxton Locks, which was a nice ride in good weather and a nice place to visit. We also had a small trip to the Stoke Goldington Steam Rally (Just me and the twins).

Enough said! In April I threw a small party for my 50th Birthday to which a large number of my branch and a few from around the country also came including John and Jude Steve 32

and Maureen from West L o n d o n , Barbara and Alan Pam and Dave from Solent Jenny f r o m Northampton and Erica Gerald and William from Oxford. A good time was had by all I think. Thank you all Steve Tyler for coming and thank you again for all the thoughtful gifts (I need never buy another bottle of whiskey again hic!). Our rally, which we had in advance christened 'the wet one' after successive years of miserable weather, turned out very nice. Many of our regulars turned out from our own and other branches, including a new guy (Jimmy) from Huntingdon on his CBF600 who was good company all weekend. We had a nice ride out led by Roger Elvin through the Cambridgeshire and Suffolk countryside for Saturday lunch at a greasy spoon. Roger used to lead our runs for many years and always picks good roads and keeps a good constant pace, perfect for group rides (thank you Rog.). SUMMER 2009


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National Rallies – well I'm going definitely and I'm pretty large! Having appeared on the front cover last month on my KAWASAKI! I should like to thank Graham for sending the photo in and especially the editor for including it; I've been smiling ever since. On the Honda front our member Ian Woodcock bought a shiny new CB1300 which looks gorgeous and I bought a CBF125 on which I look John & Pete at the Steam Rally ridiculous; I hope this makes up for the Kwaka. The run was followed by our usual After basically a happy report, I'm afraid Barbecue in the evening. Then on Sunday I tried to find an interesting route for our ride I have to report some bad news. A very dear friend Elaine Stamp has out to the Ace Cafe for passed away having been a the Honda day. member of our branch for By the time you many years, in company with read this we will have her husband Bob who had our annual outing passed away a while back. to France which sees Elaine had been fighting most of our branch led cancer for many years, and by Chairman Ian Parris was a caring and loving soul sampling the delights who will be sorely missed by of Arras and its vicinity. many. My lasting memory will The July 26th sees be of the lakes rally a few us hosting the HOC Who ordered Flame Grilled? years back where Elaine, roast, and in June, August and September we hope to have Heather, Ian and I (Ian is also sadly no large contingents at the Solent, Oxford and longer with us) went by car! The forecast was awful but it was a lovely weekend. Elaine’s funeral will have been on the 5th of June. At times like these you appreciate the friends you have and how lucky we are in this club to have had so many wonderful people to share life with. God Bless

Glen more rally pic over... Refined Eating - Dave, Mick & Jimmy SUMMER 2009

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Glen

Erica

Jimmy & Pam

Erica & friends

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BIRMINGHAM Branch Contact: Nick Parton - 0121 603 8983

And they are off!! We have started our schedule of ride outs and the first one was lead by John & Debbs Churchill, with Big Dave and AnnMaria bringing up the rear; Dave knows his place in the club. Ho ho! John took us on a great trip to Burford in the Cotswolds, via Stratford upon Avon, 11 machines and 15 members.

Apparently according Forbes magazine Burford is designated the sixth most idyllic place in Europe and for those Yanks wanting to buy property in the UK, it was that the first place to look. We soon sorted that out, it’s now, as desirable as Tipton in the Black Country, thanks to Dave doing victory wheelies up and down the high street on his Pan. Roy had a chance to air his new leathers 'Sex on two Wheels' .The ride back was via The Fosseway and back to Stratford, weather was fantastic as was the company. We have all had to have a word with Ray? The shocks on his ‘Sachs’ (yes I know, we have had several words with him) have 36

been a source of amusement to members for some time now. Its very scary and almost hypnotic, if you’re behind him going into a bend, they seem to oscillate and weave rhythmically, even Ray has noticed something is not right, I hear you say Ray has noticed? He is an engineer you know. The word from the membership after due consideration, contemplation and a mass debate is, that they are actually F****ked. Even the girls have noticed the rhythmic oscillations of Ray’s shocks, he likes that thought. Get em sorted for France, Ray. I led our next ride out which was to the Thunder Sprint, Northwich, in sunny Cheshire. We set off early in good weather and all met Bassett’s Pole. We comprised of two BMW’s, one Suzuki, one Yamaha and two Hondas; the Honda Owners Club? Oh well they have all had Hondas in the past, and it does speak well for the club that members want to remain members even when they change bikes. The ride up was a bit monotonous on the A5 and M6, but we had to do the hard yards to get there and see Mr Toseland doing donuts. The day was good, very busy; too busy really, it was difficult getting around the town. Traders had set where ever they wanted to, selling crappy sunglasses and sex aids? Around the Thunder Sprint course so you couldn’t even see the track? If they are reading this, the organisers really need to sort that for next year. SUMMER 2009


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Trev and Geoff are both making steady recoveries but are still a long way off getting back on their bikes though. Geoff has got to have a second operation on his back, the Doc’s missed one the damaged vertebrae, when they did the first operation. Not sure Doctor is the right word? The club wishes you both speedy recoveries, you are both missed on the ride outs, as is Jean, Geoff’s wife who used to keep us to all in check on the rides. Get it sorted Guys. We are all gearing up for our French Excursion, at the beginning of June 2009 that Ann and Dave have organised. We are going over via the Tunnel, stopping in Calais. They have planned a few ride outs one into Belgium and I understand they are also planning some mystery gastronomic adventures as well. Not sure what those will entail, snail and frit? I will let you know in my next report. Our Camping Weekend is reaching the final planning stages. Debbs and John along with Dave and Ann-Marie have spent some considerable time and effort on this. We are going back to one of our old sites at Wolvey, not far from Hinckley, just of Watling Street (A5). We have purchased a new Gazebo for the event and the girls are planning to do breakfasts and also a barbi, all at a very SUMMER 2009

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reasonable cost. The site has good facilities and it would be good to see as many of you there that can make it. You will enjoy it. Wayne is doing a sterling job, as our ‘scoop’ having taken over from Dave ‘Kiwi’ Langdon our antipodean correspondent. He is also wrestling with the web site and he will crack it soon. Roy continues to threaten members ‘with menaces’ with the raffle. The prizes he sources continue to generate much amusement with the members. For instance last month I won a pocket Air Band Scanner, not! It’s massive, like the radio’s they have on ‘Ashes to Ashes’. I have given it back to Roy, for some other lucky punter

to win. You can have too much of a good thing. Personally, I went to the Red Marley Freak Hill Climb, Easter Monday. What a fantastic day out, if you haven’t been, do it next year, you will enjoy it. The all comers winner this year ‘King of The Hill’ is Arthur Browning and what a final it was. Yes, the Arthur Browning, he is 64 you can’t believe how he handles his 1965 ‘Jawa Metisse’ 500. Keith is getting himself a new machine, he going for a BMW GSA, JPR is looking to trade up as well I understand he’s looking to get an Ex Plod Pan. Keep it sane.

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LINGS HONDA At Lings Honda we offer the full range of Honda motorcycles, including the incredible new CBR1000R and the legendary Goldwing to the entry level CBR125. We offer superb finance options, and our highly trained staff will be more than happy to talk you through your choices to make sure the Honda motorcycle you choose is absolutely perfect for you. With superb deals available both online and in our showroom, there's no reason to look anywhere else for the best deal. For over 50 years Lings Honda has been the premier dealership for all new and used Honda Motorcycles in East Anglia. With 4 dealerships across East Anglia, including our multi-million pound 40,000 sq ft acre flagship Honda Brand Centre in Lowestoft, Suffolk, encompassing every Honda product division under one roof - the first of it's kind in Europe, we offer the complete Honda experience under one roof.

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At the core of our success has been our devotion to delivering the highest standards of customer service throughout the buying process - from initial contact with one of our friendly, highly trained sales advisors to exceptional after-sales care. Further to this, as the largest stockist of Honda Motorcycle Parts in Europe we offer complete confidence in our ability to supply the parts you need for hassle-free riding. We are hugely proud of our reputation for reliability, honesty and value we have cultivated, and are constantly striving to improve yet further. Give us a call or pop into one of our showrooms today to see how we can help you.

LINGS - FOR EVERYTHING HONDA.

SUMMER 2009


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BRISTOL Branch Contact: Pete Casling - 01454 416417

I hope all of you have had plenty of opportunities to get out and about on your Hondas this Spring and Summer. Considering the reasonable weather we've had (up to the time of writing this), there really was no excuse not to make the most of it! There's still plenty of this year left, so let's hope that we get a good Autumn too. Since the last Bristol Branch report, we've had our first scheduled Sunday ride, in March, to the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham. Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, our two regular participants were unable to take part, much to their disappointment. So we, namely my father on his bike, and me on mine, both went as we had been looking forward to visiting the museum for some time. It had been a while since we last went there, and long before catastrophic the fire which consumed it. For those who haven't been, it is virtually a history of British motorcycles (no Japs allowed!), displayed in a vast, spotless building, in conditions not normally associated with British bikes! Well, some exhibits are just so special, they really should be kept clean! It really is an amazing recovery from the ashes of the fire. We shall return again next year, so that those who couldn't go will see what they missed. Recently, we've had a few more potential members attend meetings and ride outs. Two 'visitors' came to our March and June meetings, and are interested in joining the HOC. At the same meeting we had a visit from one 'long lost member' who we haven't seen for a long time. Welcome back, J.J.! He was keen to get out on his VFR750 again after a long lay-up, so on Easter Sunday, the two of us went for a ride over the Severn Bridge to the popular Abergavenny bike meet, returning via

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Monmouth and the picturesque Wye Valley. J.J.'s now keen to get out on the bike a lot more to make up for lost time! For our scheduled April ride out, we had a tour around the Cotswolds. After making enquiries about the HOC, prospective members Pete and Karen Wood joined us on a VFR800Fi (a fast one, because it's red). The 'us' was Andy and Tracey Cox, J.J., Ram Thiyagarajah, and me for a pleasant tour meandering around the Cotswolds via many of the the well-known towns. The day started off dry and bright, if a little chilly, so after an hour or so a very welcome stop for coffee and a warm-up was made at McDonalds in Cirencester. (We had intended to use Greasy Joe's, but it's now closed on Sundays. Doh!) J.J. was rather impressed with the toilet's hand dryer, so much so, that he wanted one like it at home. Not only did it dry your hands most efficiently (it very nearly blasted them off your arms!), but it also had a blue light illuminating your hands. That matched the blue side-lights fitted to his bike!

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As it happened, I had unwittingly scheduled our tour of the Cotswolds for the same day that the Birmingham Branch were also doing a Cotswolds run, and we had hoped we might meet up with them somewhere along the way. Passing through Burford, we spotted a row of Hondas parked up at the roadside, which could only have been theirs. Unfortunately, Burford, being so popular, was by that time 'full up' as it very often is, and there really was nowhere for us to park, so we decided to carry on to Bourton-on-the-Water for our lunch stop. It was very busy here too, but we nabbed a very convenient adjacent pair of car spaces right in the middle of Bourton to park our five bikes, much to the annoyance of car drivers! A Sunday lunch of fish and chips and tea was had by all of us, sitting in warm sunshine, and then it was back to the bikes to carry on the rest of out tour. Car drivers, seeing us heading back towards our bikes, were waiting for us to vacate our two spaces, so we took our time in getting saddled-up! We headed via Stow-on-theWold to Broadway, and then on to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway at Toddington to have a photo-stop and an ice cream. (A trip there just for a ride on the steam train is a possibility for next year, too.) After that, we carried on into Cheltenham, Cirencester again, and then

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back to our starting point. Since then, Pete and Karen have joined the HOC, and they hope to join us regularly at meetings and on our outings. The following weekend, Andy Cox and myself joined in the Oxford Branch's Test Ride day at Abingdon Honda. This was an absolutely fantastic day, where we were able to test a wide range of bikes, from the CBR125 to the CB1300S. We had a very obliging police 'escort', and he took us on a route which allowed us to really use the bikes' performance and get the feel of them, and we both managed to have seven test rides each! As Abingdon Honda is only half a mile from open country roads, it was great to be able to test the bikes properly, without riding miles through congested roads, as would be the case at our local Honda dealer. Many thanks to Abingdon Honda for the event, and especially Erica from Oxford Branch for organising it, allowing us to participate, and for providing her delicious home-made cake for all of us test riders. Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, Wiltshire Branch held their Spring rally, and whilst I was not actually attending, I endeavored to go and join in at least one of their ride outs. Unfortunately, no-one else from Bristol was available that weekend to come along with me, so I went and joined in the Sunday ride out. About eighteen bikes had a tour of around 140 miles through Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire, over an interesting and scenic route, many roads of which some of us had never used before. We took the obligatory tea stops, and lunch at a very busy Compton Abbas airfield. An amusing moment occurred at one point when another group ride out (mostly non-Hondas) seemed to think we were with them! It was good to go and meet some members from other branches, and they were good company to be out with, even if I was just along for the ride out for the day. cont....

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The weather beat us for our May ride out. About seven of us (plus some pillions) were looking forward to our ride to the Elan Valley in Wales, but we decided not to go as the forecast was pretty dire, continuing the fairly unpleasant weather from the previous few days. Mid Wales is not the best place to go if “prolonged heavy showers� are forecast! OK, yes, we chickened out, but it was a long way to go to guarantee getting a good wetting, but we do intend to go when the better weather comes, and we may well have made the trip by the time you read this. To make up for our postponed ride, J.J. and I tried organising at short-notice a ride on the following Sunday, as it was forecast to be a sunny one. I knew a few were away over that weekend, but a quick ring-around could not increase the numbers, so just the two of us went south for a ride out to Swanage. There were huge numbers of bikes out on the roads, and en route we encountered what was probably a VMCC ride out, passing all sorts of old British irons, many of them leaving the distinctive aroma of Castrol R in their wake! We arrived at Swanage around lunchtime, later than most of the tourists, yet we had no difficulty parking two bikes. The town was quite busy, and the beach crowded, but we hadn't really gone for a dip 44

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in the sea! A stop for lunch (fish and chips and an ice cream, what else at the seaside?) a crossing over the Sandbanks ferry to Poole, and then returning via more or less the same route for home. Well, that's just about all we've got up to since last time. We've seen some new faces join us this this year, but it is still only the same few who turn up. We're not trying to be too ambitious in what we do, only scheduling once-a-month Sunday rides, as unless more turn up on a regular basis, we can't really plan to do much else. If any of you out there want to join us on a ride we have yet to do this year, please do get in contact with me, as you really will be welcome to come along. The few rides still to run this year are listed in this magazine and on the HOC website. Our monthly meetings are really just a friendly social chat, nothing formal at all, and not just about the HOC! If you have any ideas for somewhere to go or something to do (most likely next year now), and you think others will be interested too, please do get in touch. Bye for now,

Pete

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CAMBRIDGE Secretary: Kim Woodruff - 01353 740883 Hello Everyone So much has happened over the past few weeks including a change in the weather which is nice, and it looks like we might have a summer! Sshh don't tell anyone! Since the last time of writing, Cambs HOC have been on their first break of year. Ten of us booked to go to Ypres for the weekend of 24th - 26th April, and so three bikes left at 2pm to meet up with others along the route. As many of you know this start was not a good one. Unfortunately, Roger and Sue Hutchcraft had an accident on the A14 which resulted in their lovely Gold Wing being a write off. Roger suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung and a ruptured spleen whilst Sue sustained various cuts and bruises and both were very very badly shaken. Roger was hospitalised for 13 days and is still recovering, but is now on the mend. Sue's bruises took a while to disappear along with the shock of it all, but it seems now to be OK. We took the decision to carry on with the trip, but it did feel weird seeing our friends going one way in the ambulance and us the other. Jim and Debra met us at the scene so three couples again headed off to Folkestone to catch the shuttle to Calais. The other two bikes were waiting at Lakeside services, but we had phoned and told them what had happened; they actually caught the train after us and we all finally met up French side at around 6pm French time. We headed off to Ypres to the Ambrosia Hotel, a little family run affair which was lovely. After a quick shower and change it was into the town, which was about 300 yards away, for a late dinner. It was Paul's birthday so we had to celebrate with a few drinks, which no one minded, and then SUMMER 2009

headed back to the 24 hour shop for drink supplies which we opened in the reception of the Hotel for a nightcap. We had breakfast at 9am and it was suggested by Debra that we have a walk to let it digest. This was a very good idea as during our travels we stumbled across the Anzac parade. We followed them to the Menin Gate where the National Anthems were played and wreaths laid. The Belgian Pipers played and a lady with an extraordinary voice sang Abide With Me; it got a bit teary here. The rest of the day was spent looking round the Museum which took a while as a lot happened in Ypres during WW1. If you have seen the Cathedral in Ypres you will know that is looks really old but in fact it was blown up in WW1 and completely rebuilt, not actually being finished until the late 60's. On Sunday morning we departed to the Cemetery, as Debra had traced a relative and wanted to visit. It was an emotional moment and we left Jim and Debra to go in alone for the initial find. The cemetery was well kept, as they all are and I always find them a humbling experience. We then headed off to the Blockhouse where they made the V2 Bombers. Apparently 22,500 were made here and over half were launched on London! It was a very imposing building and you could feel the sombre atmosphere; it chilled you and was not a nice place. We left for Calais for a late lunch but found a lovely restaurant willing to take eight hungry bikers. The meal was excellent and it just finished off what turned out to be a really good trip despite the start. On the way home we stopped at Thurrock services for a coffee and said goodbye before we all went our separate ways home. 45


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The BMF Show was once again a great success, and we were very pleased with our stand. Roger H had arranged for some artists to come in and paint our back drop this year and it definitely had a WOW factor of 100%. I could not get the day off for the set on Friday 17th this year due to work commitments, but was kept in touch with things going on by Roger H who went as chief cook and bottle washer. The back drop did prove difficult to get up so that everything was leveled up and I know that it was a fractious day. We headed off early on the Saturday morning and I was well impressed with what our members had done the day before. It looked great and the finishing touches of the hanging baskets and pots courtesy of Mrs Nina Burgess did the job. It was busy despite them saying the attendance was down, and our Marquee was filled with lots of people showing interest AND we had 28 new members sign up. I know Graham Gull was especially pleased with this. I did get some funny looks from people when I went round with the sweetie bucket asking if anyone wanted sweets but most took some anyway. Palma Violets were by far the most popular as they seem to bring back childhood memories. The Regalia sold well, turning over just under £400, which was excellent, and we raised £333.34 for M.A.G.P.A.S through the tea, coffee and cakes so thanks everyone for your generosity. Paul and Fiona White sold nine books of draw tickets for Riders for Health with a chance to win a CBR600 so well done them. If you visited the Marquee perhaps you could contact us and give your views on it and let us know what you would like us to show in future. I would like to thank Dave and Jackie Harris for the lovely special cake that they presented us with again this year. It was covered with an iced copy of a photograph of the tea stand of last year and the chocolate cake underneath was quite delicious! Well I had to try it. Thank you very much everyone. We had a ride out to the Norfolk Broads on Sunday 24th May, Paul and I led this 46

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from Ely Services leaving at 10am. Eight bikes left for the meander through the scenic route through Brandon onto Watton then onto Bramerton where we had lunch overlooking the river. Stephen and Joyce joined us in the car so we had thirteen for lunch, and it was lovely. We did feel sorry for the waitress who was a little fractious as it was so busy. I had to sample the Whiskey infused Bread and Butter Pudding with cream, and have to report that it was delicious. We said goodbye to Dave who was heading home while we headed further round to Wroxham for another drink by the river and Ice Cream. It was another lovely day helped along by the brilliant sun shine that we had for the whole of the bank holiday weekend; unusual I know. By the time you read this we will be back from our holiday in Normandy. We depart on Thursday 4th June on the 11pm ferry from Portsmouth to Caen for the D Day celebrations. There are sixteen of us going over and Roger and Sue are coming in their VITO, so it will be good to have them with us while still recovering from their accident. We are so glad they are still able to join us, and we’re really looking forward to this and we will be reporting on it in the next issue so watch this space. Dave Furness is off to America where he is riding Route 66, and as he has my mobile number and I am hoping to hear from him during his travels; have a safe time Dave. I understand Dave is not the only one doing this route this year! May we thank everyone for their good wishes to Sue and Roger since their accident and for everyone's support with the BMF, we couldn't do it without you and we hope to catch up with many of you again soon, and look forward to hearing about all your holidays and trips around too. Take care and safe riding. Love

Kim x SUMMER 2009


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EAST MIDLANDS Secretary: Steve Pugh – 01332 515767

Honda Test Ride Weekend 20th-21st February Although both Minions in Derby and Pidcocks in Long Eaton were approached regarding the Test Ride Weekend we were only able to attend Pidcocks due to Minions not having a very good response and only having a few people booked in. Friday 20th was covered by John Measures and Ken & Margaret Wells, when they received a lot of positive interest in the club from the people that they met during the day. Saturday 21st was covered by Phil Hammond and Steve & myself, where again we received a lot of interest and had 11 people leave their email addresses for us to send out more information about the club. All in all a successful PR weekend for the club. All we have to do is wait and see if any were interested enough to come and visit us at the Royal. Thanks to everyone who gave up their time to help. Al’s Mystery Pub Ride Out – 29th March A good start to the first Pub Ride Out of the year, 9 bikes gathered outside the Royal Hotel waiting to see where the ride would take us on one of Al’s Magical Mystery Tours.

True to form the route found us winding our way around the Leicestershire countryside with the occasional foray into South Derbyshire. We passed many road signs pointing to familiar place names such as Shepshed, Copt Oak, Quorn & Markfield, finally ending up at the Griffin Inn

at Swithland where we met up with Ken & Margaret. Ironbridge - 5th April Another bright sunny morning saw 10 bikes starting off from the Royal Hotel and heading off through some winding country roads, there was an 11th bike joined us a short way into the ride. The 11th bike was a potential new member who had said that he might turn up for the ride, weather and wife permitting, but he had been delayed by a dodgy wing mirror. Unknown to Steve and I, an incident occurred at the rear of the party which meant that we were 2 bikes short – Walter, a friend of one of our members, had missed the bike sat marking the junction and gone straight on leaving John Measures (or Shep as he’s now known) to chase after and retrieve him. cont....

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Ironbridge. Parking was a bit of a squeeze as there seemed to be a lot of other bikers having the same idea for an afternoon out and all of the free bike parking had been taken, but eventually we all managed to wedge the bikes into the designated motorbike parking space in one of the car parks.

We had a stop for an hour or so at Amerton Farm and Craft Centre where we were all re-united for a well deserved cuppa and cake (or in one person’s case a full breakfast). There was time to wander round the garden centre, take in the pottery, glass making or jewellery shops and of course the ever welcome ice cream shop. Fed and watered we all set off again along our designated route, until one minor glitch when we were nearing Eccleshall, previously when we were planning the route there had been a diversion in place at the roundabout before Eccleshall with a notice saying that it would be there until May 2009, when we got there this time the diversion had been removed so we followed the correct route into the village. Approaching the cross roads from a different angle caused a slight delay while we re-orientated our selves and worked out the correct turning to take (the sign post was of no help at all as it didn’t mention the road number or our next reference point). The remainder of the ride passed without incident and we all arrived in

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After a wander along the river, around the shops and over the bridge, it was time for another cuppa and the usual photo opportunities.

Back at the bikes, there was the usual donning of various bits of aparel and then we all set off for home in a more direct manner, peeling off along the way as we got closer to home. Thanks to every one who turned out for the ride, it made it all worth while.

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Dave Sansome’s Memorial Run 18th April It was nice to remember an old buddy who was sadly taken away from us last year. The best way of doing was to do what he loved, riding bikes. A ride out was planned and the weather was excellent. Thanks Dave for organising that!! 24 bikes and 28 bikers left the Six Hills Hotel, lead by Captain with Lynn as pillion, riding over to Melton Mowbray where we stopped for coffee at Len Manchester Motorcycles. From there, we rode Dave’s favourite route The Langtons. Dave and I rode this road regularly and I will always remember the smile that was beaming all over his face every time we got to the other side and he took his helmet off. We were joined on the Ride by Andrew, the Landlord of the Coach & Horses, Kibworth. We stopped at his pub and a hearty lunch was had by all. From there, we rode by Gartree Prison, up to Husbands Bosworth and then to Wigston Cemetery. Jay from the Christian Motorcycle Association said a short prayer and this gave us time to remember Dave.

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The nice thing about the ride out was that there were a number of bikers there that didn’t even know Dave. It didn’t matter...he was a fellow biker and a friend that they did not have the opportunity to meet. We were blessed with that privilege.

God Bless you Dave and just remember, let the Almighty be right once in a while.

Now, Dave did have his little ways and you were right as long as your opinion was the same as Dave, otherwise you were wrong. You never needed a map when you rode with Dave as he had an inbuilt SatNav. If the chips were down and you rang Dave for help, you knew that even before the phone went down, he was in his car to come over to you. He was a diamond geezer and we will always remember him.

SUMMER 2009

Thanks to John Measures for the write up about the Memorial Ride Out. That’s All For Now Folks

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EASTERN Secretary: John Hewson - 01469 560306

The Eastern Branch has made a very promising start to 2009. We have a few new or potential new members turning up at meetings. The club adverts in Motorcycle News have helped with this. On a fine Saturday 7th March Martin, Lorrie, Graham, Paul, Phil and me met up at the Caenby Corner CafĂŠ for our afternoon run; travelling from Market Rasen on the B roads via Wragby, Bardney, Metheringham and Sleaford to Grantham Honda.

pass through the red lights and the police helicopter swooping overhead. The event had very positive coverage on the local T.V. networks. Well done Three-Shire branch for an excellent event.

hs

grap ns auto ig s d n osela ames T

J

Graham, Martin & Phil at Grantham Honda The following day was cold & wet and found Lorrie, Martin & I looking around the Newark Auto-jumble. There were good buys to be had, especially someone looking for a bike to restore or for a get to work hack. Fortunately we had excellent weather the following Sunday for the 3-Shires Sheffield Easter egg run. The turn out was truly massive. For me, Lorrie & Martin a memorable event to take part in, with the police blocking junctions allowing the run to 50

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On the 21st March Martin & I had a run to the Yorkshire Dales. We set off from Barney’s Café and road over the Humber Bridge before taking the B-roads from Beverly, Malton and over Sutton Bank to Thirsk. At Masham we headed south for Lofthouse via Leighton Reservoir, stopping for lunch at the Howe Stean Gorge Café. Unfortunately the road from Pateley Bridge to Grassington was closed at Greenhow Hill. This meant a diversion down to the A59. We refuelled at Settle and headed north up the B6479, stopping for a coffee at the Ribblehead Viaduct. We followed the road down the picturesque Dentdale to Sedbergh and turned east on the A684 to Hawes, Leyburn and Northallerton before turning south and heading home via Thirsk and York, a good run with little traffic on the roads and bright dry weather.

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Martin, Lorrie, Graham, Paul & Phil at the Caenby Corner Café for the sand race

Paul (above) Phil (left)

Ribblehead Viaduct We had a fine if windy day for our run to the last Sand race of the season at Mablethorpe on Sunday 29th March. Unfortunately the races didn’t get started until late due to the on shore wind keeping the water level up and that was despite changing the track orienation. The racing was enjoyable to watch and it was good to see the level of support shown by the number of spectators gathered on the sea wall. cont....

Sand racing

Spectators at the sand races

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The weather gods smiled again on Ray, Phil, Martin, Lorrie, Paul, Ann, Andy and I for our run to the highest pub in England at Tan Hill for lunch on 5th April. We covered about 250 miles by the time we got back to our start point of Barney’s café just south of the Humber Bridge; enjoying some of the best roads the Yorkshire Dales have to offer.

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On Sunday 26th April Lorrie & Martin called in on me on their way to meeting up with Phil, Paul and Ray for our run to the Stafford Classic Bike Show. I didn’t get very far, about 5 miles in fact, before reoccurrence of the electrical fault forced me to return home and complete the journey in the car. The Classic Bike Show was very well attended and this year proved to be very popular with continental visitors, probably aided by the favourable exchange rate. On the 3rd May Martin & Lorrie had a run down to the Japanese Motorcycle show held at Donington Park.

Martin, Andy, John, Ann, Phil, Ray

Paul & Ann on their Pan On Good Friday, Martin, Lorrie and I met at the assembly point for the Scunthorpe Bikers egg run. Unfortunately I had to leave just after the start due to an electrical fault on my BMW. Yes, the Michael has been taken at every opportunity. 52

Paul & Ann on their Pan Martin, Lorrie, Phil and me made our annual trip down to the BMF show at Peterborough. I was disappointed there was no discount for members on the gate and even more so when I found the only manufacturer with a display was Triumph. Martin, Lorrie and Phil all found bargains on the stalls, more than saving their entrance price. SUMMER 2009


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I just couldn’t help but feel I had some how materialised at the Tailend rather and the BMF show. The Honda Owners Club stand was magnificent. If it didn’t win best stand I don’t know why not. I saw nothing to compete with it.

Ray, Phil, Phil’s mate, Paul, John, Lorrie, Martin

Lorrie, Martin & Phil at HOC tent Any branch is only as active as its members. If you want to have your voice heard and make suggestions for activities please attend the meetings. If you have difficulty attending meetings contact me via email from the Eastern Branch website or on the above telephone number.

Inside the HOC tent The most important thing is to get out and ride no matter on what and who ever you choose to do it with. Cheers

John

Branch Secretaries: The deadline for the next Golden Wing is;

1s t Sep t ember 2009 These pages are your advertising space, to let members who are local to you know the real benefits of active membership. Tell them what is happening in your area SUMMER 2009

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LAKES & COAST Secretary: Mike Bell - 07738 830917 Already the months are flying by, and soon the nights will be getting longer, where has the summer gone? Still, lots to plan for in the future. For the last week-end of July, we have booked the RAF Red Arrows to perform overhead for our HOG Roast event, yes, we have, and we shall prove it by sending in the photos for the autumn issue. We will also have a recently restored XH558 Vulcan Bomber which will fly over Windermere on Saturday afternoon On both days we will see a display by the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Spitfire, Hurricane & Dakota. In addition to these highlights, there will be some stunning aerobatic displays from the Yakovlevs and the Pitts12 pilots. Also not to miss is the daring and beautiful wing-walkers from Team Guinot who display not only beauty but courage on top, or hanging beneath, their Stearman Biplanes. The old favourites will also be back including the privately owned Jet Provost, the RAF Hawk and the Chinook helicopter. Now what other Branch event can boast all that?!

Let us know, and join in all the fun lakes@hoc.org.uk We continue to get out and about in this The Most Beautiful Corner of England, and I make no apologies that everything is very last minute, but with the weather pattern being as it is, long term planning is difficult, especially when we are a “designation� branch. One of us is out most week-ends, email us for details. On the 25th of May, many of us took the opportunity to go to the official opening of Lloyd Honda at their new Carlisle showroom. It was a great day, and there was even the Honda Demonstrator unit in attendance. There were demo and test rides, which many enjoyed and a great hog roast was provided free of charge by Antony and his team. There were loads of soft and hot drinks available too. Paula, having bought a new Arai helmet a few weeks earlier took the opportunity of making it fit her head, without all the problems she was having getting it off. Well done to Arai technicians who made it fit her. We had a super Burger in a Bun Run, in mid June, when the idea was to ride to Bowness-onWindermere, for what became a great evening while watching the sun set on the Lakeland Hills, and Lake Windermere simmered in the evening natural light. Did you join in? but did you email us first?

Lloyd Honda Opening Day 54

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Paula with the helmets Sunday 13th September will see us joining in with another local bike club for a charity run for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, (GNAAS), which operates from its new base just outside Penrith. We will be out again into the English Lake District, The Scottish Borders and the Yorkshire Dales. These are our usual SUMMER 2009

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playgrounds when they are not shrouded in mist and clouds, the roads wet with stones and puddles, and as for the potholes! But still the roads are fantastic, and the views amongst the best in the UK. If you don’t believe me, come and have a look, and I will prove it! Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale is another popular meeting place, together with Hawes, Middleton Teesside, Hartside and Glasson Dock and we hope to get over to Squires Café again, and up to Tan Hill. Come and join us, send me an email, at Lakes@hoc.org.uk and lets meet up in 2009. We are a large geographically area, but what fun we have in that area. It is not just for the tourists; we can and do enjoy ourselves! Meet soon

Peter & Mike

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MANCHESTER Secretary: Stephen Davenport - 07968 810435 Our year is going well, we are getting plenty of interest in our club via dealers, the internet and so far 7 from MCN. This has meant plenty of new faces. Our meetings are still pulling an average of 15 people and our ride out’s more so.

We have found the only down side, if you can call it that, is our ride out’s are proving to be a bit too popular. Gary our rides coordinator now has his work cut out looking into how we make our rides manageable. We have had 7 ride outs and 1 weekend away to Tintern Abbey, all have been a success, even the British weather seems to have been kind to us so far. We have had an average of 10 bikes per run and some pillions have braved it as well. The calendar is all set for the rest of the year, with the exception of a 62

destination and meeting point for the Sunday Dinner run, this is to be announced. I may look to head south this year in the hope of meeting other clubs, or we might just invite you to come to us Our trip to Montigny-le-Bretonneux in France is now organised. We have been invited, by a French bike club, to join in their towns celebration of their link’s to other towns in Europe. There are 9 of us representing Manchester and we will be staying with various families in the town. The only board required is a small gift of something typically English costing around £5.00, a bargain. Just don’t know whether the fish & chips I am picking up in Dover will last. There are two other clubs from Europe joining us and they are from Marostica in Italy and Kierspe in Germany. We have been sent pictures from the German club so we will be able to recognise them when we get there, though I thought the brown leathers that German bikers allegedly wear would be the give away. Lionel, our main host has a full list of events for us over the three day’s we are there including a visit to the palace at Versailles.

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we hope we will have plenty of extra day’s to ride bikes.

The whole town is getting really excited about all the festivities and it’s all backed by the local mayor. In France I believe there is not much of a bigger endorsement. I will organise a full article for the Golden Wing which should be in time for the Christmas edition. After this we still have a full ride calendar and a weekend coast to coast run in September. Still if the summer is as good as

Only a short article this time I’m afraid as I forgot about the Deadline, sorry. Till the next edition, all the best for a good summer to all branches from Manchester.

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MANX OFFSHORE Secretary: Karen Angela - 01624 629299 At the risk of sounding repetitive, I can’t think of anywhere better in this universe right now where I would want to be other than right here in paradise! Glorious weather and even more glorious racing classic bikes down at Castletown on the Billown circuit during the day and practice on the TT mountain course tonight. The only downside, and there has to be one or you might forget to appreciate the good things, are those pesky little midges. Still, I’ll be safe tonight plastered in oil of citronella, the smell is a bit pungent but it works. I now have proof positive that John is a party animal, albeit part of a stretcher party but it’s a start!. This all began on Saturday night, the first practice session for the TT. An American rider, Scott Jensen, failed to make the right hand bend through Union Mills where we marshal and hit a Manx stone gatepost head on! Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt and after a check up by the doctor on duty with us, he was stretchered off to the ambulance and rushed to Nobles hospital. Released on Sunday, he was back out on the Course tonight, Monday, for more practice. These racers must be made of rubber. Highlight of the Saturday night practice was a visit by Shaun Harris, a well known racer who had a very serious accident at Union Mills in 2007. After spending around 8 months in Hospital before being sent home to New Zealand, he has only just reached the point of being able to work again. He is on the Island again going round thanking all the people who helped him and has signed on as a marshal to help out. It must have been a shock to him seeing Scott hit the wall, as he is a friend of his, and it must have stirred a lot of painful memories because this was where he came off 64

himself. That was why he was there in the first place, to meet the marshals who picked him up. He must be OK though because when we talked to him he said he was thinking about trying sidecar racing, and they said he didn’t have brain damage any more! The last three months have all been a bit of a blur of DIY jobs for us, but we have finally got the top floor shower installed and the room tiled. If you want some tiling doing I’m your girl, but I don’t come cheap! Every where else has been cleaned up and / or repainted and I think we are now ready!! During April I finally managed to get the bike out and test ride the new heated gloves, they work, thank god, so I can now ride again, although as we are now in June and the weather is hot I don’t need them, hey ho! Once TT is over I’m going across to the adjacent Island, where you live, to visit family and friends and attend the christening of the new grandson, well nine months old now. Whilst I’m over I’ll be attending Donnington for the WSB races to marshal for them, well it gets me in for free, although I do have to work hard as I found out last year at the Moto GP. John can only come over for a long weekend for the christening so will have to miss out on the fun, still, he will be able to play with the bikes at home for a while on his own. We were thinking about coming to the National Rally again this year but unfortunately wont be able to make it, as for John’s 60th birthday I’m treating him by having most of the sash windows refurbed! He’s really looking forward to it, it’ll be warmer this winter, only two jumpers and a fleece! This also means we wont be getting married this year as this is the wedding fund spent yet again. SUMMER 2009


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No pictures to send again this month but we are trying to get some racing shots of our new branch member, Jim, on his VFR400 racer up at Jurby road circuit to send, maybe a front cover shot if there any good enough, will try for next Golden Wing. Meanwhile, we have got his partner, Mary hooked on marshalling. My finger, by the way, is still hovering over the keyboard (John types all this) but I will try, I promise, to send an E-mail myself soon. Apologies if this is a little brief compared to normal, but we are in the middle of practice week as I write so hopefully a full TT report and more local news next time. This is MOB signing off, Be safe, be happy.

Karen & John

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Do you provide products or services for bikers? Have you thought about an advert in Golden Wing? For details of all advertising options and costs, please contact Erica Gassor advertising@hoc.org.uk

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NORFOLK Contact: Julian Richards - 07717 306 201 Like many branches we seem to have a magical diary list, the more we do, the longer it gets, but that can only be a good thing. Many members, me included, work shifts, therefore cannot and are not expected to attend all events and meetings but with suggestions coming thick and fast there should be something for everyone. Since my last report we have indeed visited Quidenham Hospice to see their fantastic work, we had a good informative tour around and decided that this was definitely a great place to support, we have also helped with their “Ride for Life” but more of that later. Geoff led ten of us on a ride-out to Walton-on-the-Naze, on Sunday 26th of April, leaving the Apollo, Harleston at 10:30am threading the route through some lovely Suffolk and Essex countryside and villages.

Meeting at the Apollo We met the usual motorists who turned without indicating but arrived safely at Walton just after midday then had the usual coffee and loo stop. Splitting up some of the group found something to eat while others enjoyed a stroll along the pier and the rest just sat and chilled out watching the world go by. 66

Walking along the pier. All too soon it was time to meet up and enjoy a nice relaxed return home ride, which we did, thanking Geoff for his efforts.

. r home start fo to y d Rea O n Wednesday 6th of May was the branch ride to watch speedway at Kings Lynn, I met Roy and Lesley on the outskirts of Norwich and we enjoyed the forty odd mile ride along the A47 without too much traffic. Once parked and inside we met Dave and Sue on corner no.3 and settled down to watch the parade of riders and then the racing. A depleted Birmingham side put in maximum effort and we saw quite a few exciting and close races, the final score of Kings Lynn 63 to Birmingham’s 30 didn’t really reflect the night’s racing. SUMMER 2009


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It has been some time since I went to speedway and forgot just how much I enjoyed it but would thoroughly recommend it, so go along and support your local team. The return journey from Kings Lynn to Norwich in darkness was with quite a blustery cross-wind but we made it safely to our homes. We have two more dates for the speedway in our diary, one at Ipswich and the other at Mildenhall. On Sunday 17th of May the volunteers for the E.A.C.H. “Ride for Life” on behalf of Quidenham Hospice were all up very early as we had to meet by the HQ tent in Santon Downham near Thetford at 7:00am for a briefing. For those who do not know, Thetford forest is the largest lowland forest in Britain, I’ve been lucky enough to have visited many times and always remember the heady scent of fresh pine on a zephyr of a breeze, the springy feel of walking on a three-inch deep carpet of pine needles, the trees majestically reaching for an azure blue sky and the sunbeams cascading down

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through the canopy of leaves. And today it was a memory as the waves of wind lashed the cold rain across our faces again and again, but heh, we’re British and this is nearly summer so what the heck!! Briefing completed we set to work erecting gazebos, furnishing them with tables and chairs,

Another group starts.

assisting with moving boxes, plants, and all the things which you know only to well when setting anything up. We then turned to carpark duties and marshalling the entrants. Around 1200 participants had paid their entry fee for their choice of various on and off-road cycle rides and two walks of d i f f e r e n t distances, all set off with great enthusiasm in teams of friends, families, or organisations, the age and condition of the bicycles was reflected in that of their owners, but all had a s t e e l y determination. Rob, Dave, Sue, Jessica, Lesley & Roy cont.... Branch members at the briefing

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We also set off with enthusiasm as a team for the barbecue which we helped sell out during the afternoon, we didn’t get a medal for that though! Sue walked around and around the green selling raffle tickets to boost the funds a little more. In no time at all the first of the road racers had returned and we were pressed into service presenting medals to all the mud-covered finishers, the triumphant look on their faces of young and old was a story in itself and gave us a very satisfying feeling of a job well done.

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patches, and clothing for us. The subject of the badge is a secret and we will unveil it to the world once everything has been sorted. The next ride out is on May 31st which, as I write this is in the future, following that we have a day out at Snetterton on 7th June watching club racing with the BMCRC. A little more in the future is yet another “diary lengthener” the “East Coast Challenge” where groups can ride approx two-hundred miles around Norfolk and Suffolk for charity visiting places which begin with the letter “S” viz, Sheringham, Swaffham, Stalham, Southwold, and Stowmarket. We are meeting at the café in the square in Swaffham on July 12th, more details can be found at: www.eastcoastchallenge.co.uk That’s about it really for this report, of course we are still weaving in our meetings at the Apollo Harleston on the second Thursday of the month with all the above, so if you’re in the area, please come along. Safe riding to you all, I’d better go now to see if I’m needed to add anything else to the diary!

Rob Ride for Life medal This fundraising event is the largest on the E.A.C.H. calendar, last year raised some £60,000 towards the annual £5,000,000 they need. Even the sun made an appearance when the Morris dancers started entertaining all of us on the village green. Our work done we squelched our way back to our vehicles and made our way home. Dave sent a group photo to Jessica, one of the helpers and fundraisers at Quidenham and received a very nice letter by return thanking us for all our efforts. The branch badge competition has been completed and the winner chosen, I am at the moment looking for someone to help with the artwork so we can then send it to various companies to manufacture badges, 68

Are you selling your bike? Want to get rid of some kit? Too many spares cluttering the garage? Members can advertise in the Free Ads section of Golden Wing simply be emailing the Editor on editor@hoc.org.uk or writing to the address on page 2 SUMMER 2009


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NORTHUMBRIA Secretary: Graeme Burrough - 07050 158 381 HARTZ MOUNTAINS TOUR (FORMER EAST GERMANY) Saturday 23rd May We set off lunch time heading for Hull ferry port picking up on the way and eventually twelve bikes 18 people arrived to book in. Because Graeme Burrough is so well organised and had all registration details booking references and names all listed on one sheet booking in was a doddle. After tying the bikes down and making sure everyone was happy their bike was going to stay shining side up we all made our way to the cabins to shower, change and get ready for the start of our holiday. Sunday 24th May A good meal and few drinks and a reasonable night’s sleep (who can sleep on a boat?) We docked at Rotterdam Euro Port and emerged from the boat to a beautiful sunny day. After all getting through customs etc and taking liners out of jackets and changing to summer gloves etc. we set off to do 370 miles to our hotel for the next six nights. Everything went quite well only two minor slip ups, Mattie decided he wasn’t quite ready for a stop and went past the marker for the services but we all knew he would be waiting at the next services for us. Sure enough there they were Mattie and Paula, ice lolly in hand and grinning at the next services, yes we believe you when you said you weren’t quite ready for a stop and wanted to go further on!! Only other minor problem was after leaving the services after being suitably refreshed Graeme’s Sat Nav decided not to even turn on. Luckily Ian has the same one and had all the routes so a quick swap meant we were soon on our way again except Ian has an external aerial on his and there’s only so many times you can listen to SUMMER 2009

“lost satellite reception”! So at next stop the aerial was put onto Graeme’s bike too. We arrived in Bad Harzburg and found the first hotel for George and Tim quite easily (they do work well sometimes these Sat Navs) arrangements were made to meet up later and we found the other hotel just as easily all arriving suitably tired, hot and ready for a cold beer. Rooms were allocated, bikes unpacked and arrangements made for a time to meet later. A good meal and few (yes only a few) beers later everyone was suitably refreshed and ready to start our adventures. Monday 25th May Breakfast was arranged for 8.00-8.30am and a very good breakfast it was too, lots of choice of teas for anyone interested, hot coffee, cold meats, cheese, eggs, bread and home made jams. After everyone had been satisfied we met at the bikes to another beautiful sunny day and all 16 of us set off to meet George and Tim at the other hotel to find they have been served Bacon and Eggs! Because of the long day yesterday it had been arranged that a short but interesting day would be put together. So after refuelling we left Bad Harzburg (what did I say earlier about Sat Nav’s working ) only to find that the sat nav wanted to take us back to the hotel! After a couple of U turns, which can be fun with twelve bikes! We pulled into the side of the road to reset the sat nav and try to find the way when all of a sudden a car pulled up and a man was asking if we were looking for the Autoban. After numerous times of Graeme trying to pronounce the place we were looking for to no avail the man got out looked at the sat nav went to try and direct us. Then with a lot of pointing and waving of the arms jumped in his car and we all followed. cont... 69


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He actually took us up onto the dual carriage way and travelled quite a few miles out of his way to put us on the right road and all we could do was all wave our thanks as we went past. These trips always seem to show us all that there are still some nice people in this world. Now on our way we found Weinigroder and after checking with a taxi driver found a free parking place for all the bikes. As planned we found the train station and bought our tickets for the 1936 steam train to take us up the mountain!

An interesting trip up the mountain to Brocken taking 2 hours and lots of photo opportunities, Graeme being told off for hanging off the foot plate, there’s always one trying to get you into trouble! We arrived at the top to thousands of midges but fantastic views and opportunity to sample the German Sausage which most of us took advantage of, with a couple of us even having sausage soup which apparently was very good even when flavoured with a few midges. The journey down in the train was just as good as on the way up even though it was packed and we all had to stand most of the way out on the footplates. This is true East German territory, as was! Back to the bikes and Ian and George decided that they were ready to return to the hotel so made their own way back the rest of us went off the explore the National Park and the interesting roads. After a few twists, 70

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turns, bends and even a couple of hairpins Graeme and I stopped to let everyone regroup, Mattie was the first to pull up behind us and was heard to shout “Graeme I “*!!@@ ing love you!! We took it that he had enjoyed riding the roads! After showering and meeting up in the garden of the hotel to have a couple of beers before leaving it was discovered that it was in fact Sue’s birthday, she kept that one quiet so everyone decided a Chinese would be a good celebration so off we set. Lovely meals were eaten and a happy birthday sung and even whiskeys passed around by the owner to toast Sue on her birthday. Tuesday 26th May After another good breakfast we set off collecting Tim only as George had decided not to join us today, a fall earlier in the month had left him with a very painful knee and as today was a longer day he had decided to give it a miss. The plan was to visit Colditz Castle and was to be a long day (turned out to be much longer for some than others!). It was another very hot day but it was also very humid and along the way we encountered a couple of thunderstorms but not really getting that wet. Part of the route was to go through Quedlingburg which has a very nice Cathedral, but on entering the town it was found to be having major roadworks carried out and we ended up in the middle of the town with no visible way out. Graeme went off to find someone for help and came back with a town map with a route out drawn on it, so map in my hands behind Graeme we set off with me telling him which way to go until the sat nav could pick it up without roadworks blocking the road. Why do they close roads and don’t give you an alternative route????

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We eventually arrived at Colditz much later than planned and very hot. Few of us changed into jeans and shoes etc. and everyone tried to put as much of their kit as they could in the bikes. After a climb up steps and banks we arrived at the entrance of the Castle to be a little disappointed that they had painted and rendered it all white so it didn’t quite look the way we were all expecting. Ice creams were the call of the day, after all getting what we wanted we all decided after coming all this way, a tour was definitely the way to go so purchased our tickets and found out the time of the next tour and then all visited the museum which was very interesting. We were called together a little earlier than first told which was good and the poor lady tour guide was confronted with Jim - pants down in his boxers cooling his bits in the archway where the cool breeze was blowing so she soon realised what kind of crowd she was dealing with. It was a very good tour giving us all a lot of information we didn’t know and a lot of funny stories about attempted escapes etc. also demonstrated the difficult times too, showing us a tunnel that took 9 months to make and was only a short way of being finished when it was discovered.

The tour ended and we made our way back to the town for refreshments, sandwiches, cakes coffees etc., Poor SUMMER 2009

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Lindsay was ill with a migraine and needed to get back to the hotel and we were supposed to be meeting George for a meal. So Graeme and I, Lindsay and Paul, Ian, Tim and Ritchie set off the and rest decided to stay and have a meal in Colditz village. John was confident him and his sat nav could get them back to the hotel. At the petrol stop Lindsay was still very poorly so Paul wanted to take it slowly and also had sat nav to find his way back. Tim was staying with him and that’s were things went wrong, to put it mildly. Graeme myself and Ian set off back for the hotel thinking Ritchie was staying with Paul and Tim but no he had set off after us and when we left the motorway to change to another, no-one marked the turn and he went on ahead. We knew nothing of this until after a very quick shower and change and a quick call to George we were sitting in the restaurant when a telephone call came through from Ritchie to say he was lost! The problem was he didn’t know where he was, so Graeme told him to find out where he was and call back. A call to Paul to watch out for Ritchie was also made. To cut a long story short, Ritchie was sent up and down the same motorway by numerous nice? people. With Paul chasing around the countryside trying to find him. Eventually Paul found John etc. who then called Ritchie again to be told he was in a motorway services and after getting the post code and putting it in the sat nav, all was sorted. Yet again the sat nav came good, and he was found. However, it was 12.45 in morning before they all arrived back at the hotel, and all in all Paul managed to do 500 miles or thereabouts in one day! 71


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Wednesday 27th May A quiet day was obviously in order after yesterday so after breakfast it was decided to have a walk into town and have a trip on the cable car. Tickets were kindly given to us free of charge by the Hotel. Couple of us girls had to buy flat shoes, any excuse I know but they were necessary for the walk! The trip up the cable car was very good and there we were around the obelisk shouting to each other “you can see our house from up here”! A few of us decided to have a run out on the bikes in the afternoon and the rest decided to have a quiet day around town. So off we went 5 bikes to have a run in the mountains, we visited two of the local dams and while at the second Graeme went off to ask a local paramedics team if Paul who works for the ambulance service in the UK could look at the ambulance, so there are a crowd of bikers looking into an ambulance and Paul was having a lovely time!. Busman’s holiday or what? Off we went again on our travels and stopped at the picturesque town Goslar so typically German it was a delight

Thursday 28th May After breakfast we set off for Belsen Bergen and on the way stopped off at another lovely town Celle most of the bikes got parked in the street in allocated bays but three or four parked on the street opposite, a man came out of the casino and informed us by of course the normal sign language 72

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that it was not a good idea to park there and there could be a fine, so back on the bikes and moved to safer parking.

We arrived at Belsen Bergen where there is a very large area which was of course the concentration camp but there is also a very large exhibition/museum which was so very informative and at times a little distressing. Obviously the sight of all the mass graves giving the quantity of bodies buried in them was also very distressing but a reality of the bad times of 1939-45. We left Belsen feeling very humble and thoughtful and a stop at Celle for lunch/afternoon tea brightened us up once again. Friday 29th May Because we would be having a long journey back to the ferry it was decided that a reasonably quiet day was in order. So off we set to visit Mittlebau Dora where the V2 rocket was developed and of course another concentration camp. On the way a few nice roads were used giving all the lads the chance to enjoy their bikes on the way. Upon turning one bend we found a police officer in the road telling us to pull into a car park, obviously we all parked up. We got off our bikes and they were surprised to find twelve British bikes facing them, they were pulling in bikes to have a chat about safety etc and were happy to tell us we hadn’t been speeding (phew!!) and were of course we were all wearing the correct gear. After a couple of photos with a couple of the officers we were on our way again. SUMMER 2009


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limits. We even got stopped by the old “East” German police and what for? For riding so well and to compliment the fact we were all riding with the correct kit on!! (see photo). We did of course still enjoy the roads and the fantastic scenery stopping off on the way for a coffee stop – these are essential to catch up with everyone and make sure all are enjoying themselves.

Unless you did research as Graeme obviously had you would never find Mittelbau Dora, tucked away at the back of the town. Another interesting and very distressing place to visit but it should never be forgotten what happened to these people and the sacrifices that were made for us to be living in the way we are used to today. Another trip through the National Park at the way home to enjoy the local roads but after being warned by the owners of the hotel we stuck very rigidly to the speed

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Saturday 30th May After having an early breakfast which the hotel kindly arranged for us and all packed up we set of for the journey back to the Ferry port. We arrived at the ferry port in plenty of time and booked in with no problems. Sunday saw another lovely day to finish off our journey a good time had by all.

Joyce Wearn HOC Northumbria

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NORTHANTS & M.K Secretary: Sue Beck - 07863 599992

Hi All, we have had some eventful months of late. On Wednesday 4th March we had a presentation by Mark Talbot from WNAA (Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance). A packed bar enjoyed a very interesting and informative evening and we learnt that despite costing over ÂŁ2,000,000 a year to run, the WNAA receive no Lottery or Government funding. We, as a branch, have raised just under ÂŁ26,000 which in theory means we have saved six lives. Incidentally the majority of all call outs are not Road Traffic Accidents but Horse Riders! The following week we had another guest in the guise of John Measures who treated us to a very interesting and thought provoking evening. Our AGM was held on Wednesday April 8th, and the Committee remains the same with Stritchy as Chairman, Sue Beck (me) as Secretary and John Childs as Treasurer. The following week saw the 1st EOR of the year led by Stritchy and ending up as usual at Stibbington Diner. Twenty three bikes including three new comers enjoyed a gentle bimble about before consuming a not very healthy but delicious Mega Breakfast. One of our new members Andrew coped really well on his CBF125 considering he had only been passed his CBT 2 weeks earlier. Our 2nd EOR on 29th April led by Dan was a mixture of small twisty country roads and a few slightly bigger faster roads, finishing this time in Spratton. Again twenty 76

three bikes, thirty one people and this time five new comers. On Saturday May 9th, a bright but slightly windy day saw a few of us enjoy a ride to the Heart of England Bike Show at Gaydon for quite an enjoyable day. On Wednesday 13th May the 3rd EOR led by Shaz was attended by twenty one bikes and two new comers. On the 27th May John led the next EOR, despite the weather being somewhat dodgy ten bikes enjoyed the ride out. Now something special happened on May 30th.....STRITCHY and RUTH GOT MARRIED. What a fantastic day, the weather was perfect and Ruth looked gorgeous, Stritchy scrubbed up pretty well too. We still have plenty in the diary for the coming months including the HOC Roast on Sunday 26th July. Have a look in the diary pages or on the website for more details. On a downside, we have had 2 bike thefts within the branch this year. Scott had his Blackbird stolen from outside his house, and it is still not recovered, and Jason had his CBR1000 also stolen from outside his house, he has been lucky enough to have it returned with only minimal damage. Here's hoping for a fantastic summer of riding, especially if this good weather holds out Ride Safe

Sue SUMMER 2009


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NORTH LONDON Contact, John Saffer 020 8505 3664

We are a very fortunate group here in North London as we continue to get new members turning up each week for our meetings at the King’s Oak. This is very heartening for us and inspires the whole group. We have a very diverse mix of members and everyone that joins is given a warm welcome and follow up later with e-mails and information about events that may be coming up (we are not too formal here in the forest). After our special night when we went to the famous Romford Dog track our next main event on bikes was our trip to France codenamed “The Ride of the Few” when about 20 of us invaded the Gallic Roads and headed off for a slap-up lunch at Le Touquet (or Le toupee as one of our follicly challenged members insisted on calling it). Despite having had turbulent weather the few days before we travelled we had a damp start to our meeting point on the M25 at Brentwood but it quickly dired out and we enjoyed good weather all day. That is until we arrived a bit early at the docks in Calais for our return journey. If I say that the heavens opened up and it poured all its wrath onto us – you get a picture of what it was like. Not “Die Hard” but certainly “Weather With a Vengence”. If the ship would have been there it wouldn’t have been as much of a problem as it turned out to be - but we were in the rain for about 30 minutes and had to get all the wet weather gear out and tog up. The crossing home was, as a result of the bad weather, a little rough, but we returned to Dover and dry weather quite SUMMER 2009

safely. Yours truly had an idea we were going to see more bad weather and spent the usual 15 minutes longer than anyone else togging up again just in case we hit it on the way home (about 2 hours from Dover to the Forest). Sure enough the deluge returned about 40 minutes from the Dartford Tunnel and it didn’t just rain but snowed and sleeted as well. We all made it home safely – let’s just say some a little drier than others. Well, what do you expect in March?

Southend Shakedown The 14th of April saw a dozen or so of us turn up at the Annual Southend (on Sea) Shakedown which is actually a mass ride to the seaside from the Ace Café in North London (see below). We were too smart to go half an hour in the opposite direction to the start of course as S-o-S is 35 minutes up the road from our little house in the forest - but we did all meet up near “The longest pier in the world”. Loads of great and strange looking bikes to oggle at – bit like some of the people there! cont.... 77


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On the 19th of April twelve of us plus two from Kent Branch (who we obligingly allowed in) had an exclusive BikeSafe session with the boys in Blue from North London group at the Ace Café. A good time was had by all except one whose bike failed to start in the parking lot just before the assessed rides took place. A bit disappointing for the individual concerned but he’s able to do it again later.

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Paradise (Wildlife) Show organized ) by Herts Bikers near Hoddesdon. This was a good opportunity to draw in some new members at this event.

Graham at the Wildlife Park Ace Cafe The only downside to the day was that it coincided with another event at the Ace; so space there was limited and, as a result the group had to Ace Cafe change classroom / chat location to one of the local nicks - which was not as congenial as the café. Anyhow – circumstances beyond anyone’s control really. Everyone had a good time though – maybe a tip for next time is to have it in an area that’s more suburban. One of our group, Mike Barrat was also busy on the 19th April, when he was asked to be lead biker in a the Stratford (London) 10K Classicroad race promoted by Olympian Tessa Sanderson because the Police were unable to attend. She needed an advanced rider for the event. This race is planned every year in the build up to the Olympics.in 2012. Mike’s not used to riding his CBR 1100 at 16mph so it was a big event for him too! We had a presence (Graham actually) on the 26th of April for the Bikers in 78

Aryeh at Ace Cafe

Towards the end of April we had a quiz night organised by Tony Q which raised a significant amount of money for charity. Thanks for that Tony! The event was treated non-too seriously by everyone except our Group’s Headmaster (see website for details of who that is). Keith’s partner Mary again provided food which went down very well – thanks Mary. Thanks also to the internet for helping the winning team secure a good victory over the general memory retention of the rest of the group! I’m sure no one noticed….. SUMMER 2009


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The event of the year for four of our guys at the NLHOC was to make an epic trip from London down to Lands End to start their End To End Run up to John O’Groats (E-2-E or LE/JOG) covering a route of 1,000 miles which they aimed to complete in under 24 hours and so qualify for membership and accreditation by the famous Iron Butt Association of America. This had to be done without exceeding speed limits and was made doubly difficult because of excessive road works for most of the journey requiring extremely long periods of filtering on Motorways choked with road works.

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LE/JOG told us just, before the ride, that he was actually leaving these shores soon to go and live back in the States. Russ was in our “Band of Merrie Men” for about 3 years and was a very experienced long distance rider having been a Harley man and Chapter Ride Planner in America for a long time. However, he loved his Honda Deauville and found it ideal for English and European roads. Read about his exploits in our Branch report of last Summer 2008. Good Luck mate and we hope you appreciate what you’re missing over here when you take up residence in Las Vegas. It’ll be very dull after North London I can tell you ! Russ’s home address and contact details will be available from me at a price….

Lands End The four who earned our respect by completing this journey just before this edition went to press and doing it within the time limit were: Steve Saffer, Russ Ruttledge, Roland Murphy and Mike Dignum. Between them they raised very significant sums of money in aid of the charity SERV (The Blood Runners) who came to give us a talk a few months ago about their work providi9ng blood from bloodbanks to hospitals out of hours when the ambulance and usual medical services clock off. The only alternative is for very costly taxi services to carry the blood hitting the NHS very hard. Very well done to these guys. As it happens we had a surprise when Russ who came up with the idea of the SUMMER 2009

The End of the Road A small number of us (Phil, Jim, Keith & branch sec.) took a trip the day before the Bank Holiday (hottest day of the year) to Aldeburgh on the East Coast in Suffolk – a ride suggested by Rob. cont.... 79


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We had a good lunch at Wally’s Shed in Acton, Nr. Long Melford, Suffolk then on towards Ipswich and through to the coast. The roast lunch with drinks and pudding at under £5 had the branch sec. feeling a little sleepy just as we got to Wikham market before our destination and he just had to stop and grab some shut-eye.

John asleep With due regard for parking in permitted places he was asleep instantly. Just around the corner from this stop point was a lovely little pub with beautiful lawns and chairs outside…. ah well that’s the way things go – how were we to know? Just under 300 miles that day and great fun – particularly when we pulled up at the seaside next to a neat line of Harley’s that were grabbing the tourist’s attention. We obviously upset their party because 20 minutes later they decided to push off – our

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real-life bikes were too much for them obviously. Our next few events are: attendance on 20/21 June at the National BikeSafe Day at Hendon Police Training College followed by our SECOND French Trip 28th June - 17 bikes and a few pillions are booked for this invasion via Eurotunnel. Eight bikes are booked for The ACU National Rally on the 4th July followed immediately (on the Sunday) by a display of some the NLHOC bikes at Haven House, Woodford Green, Essex (a local Children’s Hospice in need of funds) for the kids to see and sit on the bikes. The HOC Roast will be with the Bedfordshire Group up at The Chequers Pub,Streatley at the end of July. Further rides etc., have to be arranged but with individual holidays coming up August will probably be a bit quieter with more impromptu rides taking place... This will give us time to think about our next events. I urge all the members who are on our email circulation list to keep in touch with the regular attendees up at the King’s Oak in High Beach, Loughton, every Thursday evening from 8pm. We get good numbers along each week and if you want someone to join you for a ride-out you stand a much better chance by coming along and mentioning it to the group. We know some good roads and are always open to new routes. Keep up to date with all our exploits on our Award Winning website at www.nlhoc.org.uk. “What New Website” said of our site “The NLHOC website is the best North London Honda website this side of North London. It beats South London into a cocked hat and should be top of your Christmas Wish List” how’s that for a recommendation ? Have a KOOL summer everyone

John SUMMER 2009


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THE BOY DID WELL Reading this headline, you would all make your own assumption as to whom it refers. Rossi must be in contention as the most outstandingly successful rider of the decade. Even though Rossi is now encountering tough competition, his success, skill and courage are indisputable. There are however, other contenders for this accolade. Like his self assured attitude or not, Lorenzo is doing exceeding well as one of the new comers in the GP and when you look at the courage of riders such as Pedrosa and Stoner, riding well before the doctor’s all clear from their injuries you can equally state that ‘the boys did well’ even if a little fool hardy. Again staying with the GP riders, look at Dovizioso his ‘never give up’ attitude, and Milandri on the well acknowledged below par Kawasaki. Nor must we overlook the grit and determination of riders such as Capirossi and Edwards. Possibly coming to the end of their riding careers, they still fight for every position. To really get a feel of the grit, determination and bravery of all the riders, everyone should take the opportunity of attending at least one live Moto GP race in person, not only for the amazing atmosphere but also to appreciate the sheer speed of the bikes. Watching them side on it is almost impossible to see which rider is which as they zoom by at amazing speeds, seemingly to hardly slow down for the bends and chicanes. ‘The boys did well’ could also apply to the 125 category and our own Bradley SUMMER 2009

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Smith. Calculated, calm smooth riding has resulted in the podiums he so justly deserves and it is great to see this popular young man standing with such pride singing the National Anthem. Alongside the other young Brits, Webb and Reading, they are seemingly fearless in making a name for themselves on the GP circuit. WSB and BSB also have their valiant achievers and we can again name those who have ‘gone the extra mile’ in their efforts and who would well qualify for this title. Spies coming over from the States and taking the WSB by storm with his calm and measured approach, dogged by the determined and gritty Haga who’s quest for the title has kerbed his wild and flamboyant style of riding …. just a little! In amongst the rough and tumble of the BSB there are some great characters and riders who have overcome much adversity to maintain their riding career. Stuart Easton and Chris Walker immediately spring to mind as we recall their expressions of ecstatic delight when they make the podium. So come on, who would be your nominee in this current season for the title of ‘the boy did well’ – would it even be in the major racing or would it be someone from Superstock or Supersport?

The Stiggette

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OXFORD Secretary: Erica Gassor - 07799 49 2235

Where do I start? Hardly had time to breath! Firstly I should officially welcome all the new members who have joined the Branch and who come along to our meetings and ride out’s. It’s great to see so many alongside our stalwart, hard working regulars. We have had lots of fun times – see separate article on the trip to The Biker’s Loft in Belgium, and another fantastic test ride day at our local dealer Abingdon Honda, trying out all their demo bikes.

Seeing the weather forecast we were slightly worried that we were going to get drenched but no, a nice day ensued and the rain held off. Our first ride out, lead by Pete, was to Jack’s café. Some 19 bikes from Oxford met up with the guys from the Bedford Branch and we had an excellent get together and some good value food at the café. We then joined up with Reading and West London and went to Box Hill on a 82

lovely sunny day, which meant that there was a great variety of bikes to view when we arrived. Oxford and Wiltshire Branch members enjoyed another excellent ride to Lulworth Cove and Tyneham Village lead by Don, when again we had good weather (is this the weather trend for the year? Yes please!). Even on the second Bank Holiday weekend when thunder was forecast for the Monday, Terry lead us down to Cheddar on some lovely roads and the rain and storms held off until well after we arrived home. We have had very interesting presentations at our well attended meetings. One of our members, Les, went on the fund raising Enduro Africa expedition and spent part of the journey in the company of the two young Princes, Harry and William. Les gave a very interesting talk and slide show, telling us of his plans to do a similar adventure in Brazil! We have also enjoyed a presentation from SERV (the local blood runner bikers). Pete our ride out co ordinator is already an ‘on call’ rider for them. SUMMER 2009


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April saw another well attended and keenly contested quiz night which tested our knowledge to the limits! Good job we have some meetings where we can just all sit around, chill and chat otherwise we would be worn out!

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Arrangements for Rob’s Charity Run and our Oxford Rally are coming along very nicely with lots of fun and laughter planned, and hopefully good weather! We also have an inter branch skittle match, an Aunt Sally with Wiltshire and other joint ride outs on the agenda over the next few months. So with the Summer sun shining, we at Oxford are looking forward to having a great time out on our bikes and seeing lots of folk from the other areas.

Erica


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READING Secretary -Chris Ward 07899 967327 The Reading Branch has been very busy during the spring of 2009, with substantial changes to the management committee, and many ride outs and social events taking place. The new management committee consists of; Chairman, Justin “Taz” Bellhouse; Secretary, Chris Ward; Ride Out Coordinator, Bryan Moody, with Marion Ward retaining her role as Branch Treasurer. The branch membership has also increased significantly over the last three months with 28 attendees’ at the most recent meeting. On the 25th of March we were visited by Ian “JJ” Jarvis of the British Legion Riders Branch. JJ gave us a very informative and interesting talk on the activities of the British Legion and how the Riders Branch came into being and has grown. The proceeds of our branch raffle were donated, which together with a collection made on the night, raised £64.00 for The British Legion. An Inter Branch Ride Out was organised for the 29th of March with Wiltshire, Oxford and West London joining us at the meeting point, the services on the A33 south of Reading. The plan was to ride to the Newlands Corner and Box Hill bike meets in Surrey. The ride started badly by trying to exit the services through the car wash, an omen of things to come. There was some confusion with the drop off system and the ride became separated in Farnham town centre. Some of the group made it to the first stop at Newlands Corner while the majority headed straight for Box Hill. We all ended up at Box Hill in the end by various routes including passing through 84

Group gathering at Box Hill Hampton Court and Aldershot which are miles apart. It was a shame as some of the best parts of the ride were omitted, but in typical HOC fashion, we all had a good laugh about it. And of course there’s always next time. Our EGM to elect new committee members took place on the 8th of April and was followed by an Easter themed quiz prepared superbly by Bryan and Colleen. The quiz was won by Bob, Jayne and Andy who naturally had to accept the challenge of organising the next one. The Easter weekend was busy for Reading Branch, with us attending two events at Reading Abbey Rugby Club. The annual Egg Run took place on Good Friday. I met up with Steve, Maureen, John, Jude and Michael from West London Branch and we rode over to Bracknell, where Reading members Taz and Andy were waiting for us. We then rode to the run starting point in Reading where Dave and Di joined us. Although the weather wasn’t brilliant there was a good turnout of around 250 bikes bearing Easter Eggs for distribution. We rode through Reading in a large convoy having right of way at all junctions, much to the annoyance of some other road users. SUMMER 2009


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At the rugby club two Gladiators from the TV show were on hand to sign autographs and keep the crowd amused. Over 3500 eggs were collected this year from trade and individual donations.

Saturday 18th of April saw a bowling evening take place with Wiltshire Branch at the Lakeside Super Bowl in Thatcham. Bob, Jayne, Ian, Angie, Colleen, her daughter Jennifer, Marion and I represented Reading. We had two games of individual bowling with food and drinks as well. We had a really good evening with the Wiltshire members and have promised to make this an annual event in future. The next day saw another inter branch ride out take place, this time organised superbly by Wiltshire with members from Oxford and Reading taking part. The meeting point, Countess Services on the A303 at Amesbury, was 82 miles from my home and I made it there with five minutes Gladiators signing autographs to spare, which was a bit to close for The Reading MAG Bike Show was held comfort. Also on the ride from Reading on Easter Sunday also at the rugby club. were Roger and Krys, Bob and Jayne, and Bob, Jayne, Marion and I went over on the Dave and Di. After leaving Amesbury the 23 Saturday afternoon to set up the HOC bikes headed south to our first stop at Stand. After we erected the gazebo we Compton Abbas Airfield near Shaftesbury pitched our tents inside it and headed to the for a tea, coffee and comfort break. We then bar for a good evening. We woke on Easter rode some beautiful roads through the Sunday to find it a little damp, which Dorset countryside to our next stop at unfortunately would limit the number of Lulworth Cove where of course fish and was visitors to the show, however after breakfast the order of the day. There was quite a we set up the regalia and waited for the queue at the shop but the freshly cooked rush. We were pleasantly surprised by the fish was worth the wait. It was quite warm interest in the HOC stand and lots of visitors and the refreshing sea air was welcomed as requested information. We have since had we all strolled down to the beach. Soon we a few new members join the branch from the were on the road again and heading for our show. We also sold £70.00 worth of regalia next stop at Tyneham Village. This village which I felt was quite a bonus. There were was deserted around WWII and has not a lot of varied trade stands at the show and been re-inhabited since; a fascinating place. also a bike competition which attracted After our stop at Tyneham it was back on the some nice bikes of all bikes and off to our ages. During the day final stop at the weather did improve Salisbury for a and we were joined by drink. I didn’t get Bryan, Roger and Krys. home until about 8 We were made most o’clock having welcome by the covered 290 miles Reading MAG and was thoroughly members and are tired out but it was looking forward to a great day and attending the next show thanks must go to in August to which we HOC Stand at the Reading MAG Bike Show Wiltshire for their have been invited. great organisation. SUMMER 2009

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Bob, Krys and Roger at Compton Abbas At the branch meeting on the 22nd of April we were treated to a very interesting and entertaining talk on Gliding by Mick Wells. If you thought that gliders were just towed up to altitude and then floated gracefully back to earth how wrong you would be. Gliders can travel hundreds of miles after launch and then turn around and come back, absolutely amazing! We hope to arrange a gliding evening with Mick at Lasham airfield in the near future. On the 13th of May we held our first BBQ at The Swan and were joined by Michael, John and Jude from West London. Jo Read from Sue Ryder Care also joined us and gave us an update of events at the Nettlebed Hospice. The food provided by our host Jenny was awesome and was too much for some but not others. We had a really good turn out for this meeting and everybody enjoyed themselves. Our raffle made a profit of £47.00 which was donated to Sue Ryder Care who have now been officially adopted as our branch charity.

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The Honda Day at the Ace Café took place on the 24th of May and Marion and I along with Steve and Maureen Hill of West London and Graham Gull of North London represented the HOC. As soon as the HOC gazebo had been erected and the stand completed, Marion and I joined Maureen in the café for a hearty breakfast. The breakfasts at the Ace are to be recommended and are reasonable value for money. Quite a bit of interest was shown in the HOC stand and four new members were signed up on the day. Many more prospects took away information on the club and hopefully they will be seen at a branch meeting soon. A ride to the Ace was organised by Bob and left The Swan bound for George White Motorcycles in Slough. There, more riders joined the group for the final leg into London. Reading branch was well represented at the Ace with 17 members present and was responsible for many of the HOC tee shirts that were to be seen at the event. The day also featured the London Monkey Run and a total of 47 Monkey Bikes from all over the country attended. There were also some very nice Hondas on display including many classics and one very special piece off Honda history, an NR750. The General Manger of Honda (UK) Motorcycles, Steve Martindale was also present at the event and visited the HOC stand. The Ace Café was also the destination of the Bedfordshire Rally Sunday ride out and we welcomed the participants and stored their helmets and clothing in the gazebo whilst they l o o k e d around. The weather was superb and there were some very red body parts by the end of the day. HOC at the Ace Café SUMMER 2009


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The Amazing Honda NR750

HOC at the Ace CafĂŠ

On the 27th of May we had a quiz night organised by Bob and Jayne. The quiz was won by Bryan, Colleen, Ian and Angie with a little help from Jenny the landlady. This meeting also featured the highest attendance of any Reading Branch meeting with a total of 29 visitors which included 8 new members. Saturday the 30th of May was our eagerly awaited test ride day with our local dealer, Reading Honda. Many bikes were available to test during the day including; CBR1000RR, CBR600RR, CBF1000, CB1000R, VFR800F, Varadero, Deauville, CB1300S, Transalp and Silverwing. Mark Clargo from Oxford led the rides which took us from Reading down to the A30 at Hartley Wintney, along to Hook and then back to Reading taking in some nice twisties. The rides were great fun, especially towards the end of the day. SUMMER 2009

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Everybody who rode the Fireblade arrived back with an inane grin and I think all agreed that the CB1000R was a real hooligan bike and provided a lot of fun. Colleen and Erica supplied refreshments which were much appreciated during the very warm day. We also signed up two new members for the branch and a number of others took away information. Thanks to Reading Honda for the loan of the bikes, Mark Clargo for leading the rides, Erica and Colleen for the lovely cakes and welcoming cold drinks and Bryan for putting the day together.

Ready For Testing The Reading Branch looks forward to making more friends over the next few months and watch out for us at the National Rally in September. Until then ride safely.

Chris

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SOUTH WALES Secretary: Donna Richards - 01639 766406 So far, this year, South Wales Branch has had a busy and enjoyable schedule. Gareth and I attended the management meeting at Leicester once again. It was nice to see people you don’t often have a chance to catch up with and get the latest on HOC news. It really makes you feel part of the National Club. However, as we were in Leicester, we missed a very successful rideout with the branch to Llyn Briane (or Lake Biriani as Mick calls it), a very beautiful lake in mid Wales. There was a good turnout and the weather stayed fine. Several members emailed to say how pleased they were with the way Terry and Alun organised the day. On 1st May, a group of us went to Paignton for the Bike Festival. We booked a few rooms at a very nice hotel and had a really good two days. The weather was fab and a good time was had by all. A highlight of the day was the arrival of the Air Ambulance to collect a cheque. One of our social evenings was held at our new meeting place. We went there for a

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meal to suss it out. We had a very nice meal and the staff at the pub were very helpful. Although everyone is very friendly, it can get a bit too noisy there to hold a meeting, so we might have to reconsider. I’ll keep you posted. On 10th May, we went to a race meeting at Pembrey. Once again, the sun shone for all it was worth and we had a really good day. We had a picnic and thoroughly enjoyed the racing. Surprisingly, it was the 125s that were the most exciting to watch. On Sunday 24th May, Gareth and I went up to the Ace Café for the Honda Day. North London Branch were manning the HOC stall and it was nice to catch up with them. There were bikes back and forth all day. There was a really good turnout; probably because of the fantastic weather. There were lots of monkey bikes there, which seemed like a lot of fun. The others in the branch went on a rideout that day, too; taking in Mid Wales and ending up in Porthcawl for fish and chips. Lovely!

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I am writing this having just returned from our annual weekend away in North Wales. We couldn’t believe our luck with the weather. It has been wall to wall sunshine for the full weekend. Something really strange happened on the way there on Friday. Gareth was leading and I was on the back. Suddenly, as we were gliding through the beautiful Brecon Beacons, Gareth announced that he could see a wallet resting on the boot of the Merc in front of us. He started trying to signal to the driver, indicating for him to pull over. However, being a car driver, and totally prejudiced against bikers, he decided to pull away and dangerously overtake the car in front of him. He must have thought that Gareth wanted him to pull over so that we could pass. Anyway, as he accelerated, the wallet flew off the boot and emptied its contents all over the road. Credit cards and money were blowing all over the place. Some of our bikes stopped to pick it up, (not for themselves, you understand, but so that it could be returned.) We chased after the “Burke in a Merc” to tell him, but of course, he just drove faster. Eventually, we SUMMER 2009

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managed to draw level and I waved my wallet at him. He got the message. We managed to return it, and I think he really did feel like a burke, then. After that, things settled down a bit. We had a lovely rideout on Saturday, around Lake Bala and around Lake Vyrnwy, (as seen on Springwatch). It was great. In Wales, we have certainly got the best biking roads in the world. We also visited Pistyll Rhaedar, (Rhaedar Waterfall), which was amazing. I’ve included a photo of some of us walking up to the waterfall. Of course, no trip to North Wales would be complete with a ride around Bwlch yr Oernant, (for those not familiar with the Welsh language, that’s Horseshoe Pass). Gareth and I rode ahead (and cut them off at the pass), no really, Gareth took a photo of the others as they made their way down. Attached. All this excitement and it’s only the last day of May. We’ve still got our Summer Holiday in Austria to look forward to, a mini rally we have yet to organise, manning the HOC stall at Llangollen Bike Show and, of course, the Christmas Party to plan. I haven’t got time to go to work. We need to win the lottery! Anyway, let’s hope the rest of the Summer is as good, weatherwise as the start has been. Have a good one!

Donna Do you provide products or services for bikers? Have you thought about an advert in Golden Wing? For details of all advertising options and costs, please contact Erica Gassor advertising@hoc.org.uk 89


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SOLENT Secretary -Tim Lee 023 8025 2113

I was going to say “Hi” to everyone from sunny Solent, but on reading the other reports in this issue, it would appear that the sun has put in an appearance right across the country. Let’s hope it stays like it. Solent branch have been up to our usual tricks, with our midweek Wednesday night runs and our first Sunday monthly runs. The destination for these is always “somewhere nice” depending on the weather, the numbers who turn up and the consensus of the group as a whole. The only exception to this is when the event is a pre-planned national event such as the HOC Roast. One of our major highlights of the year has been our New Forest Rally, which was again a great success. Apart from a couple of “sharp” showers, and some rain overnight, the sun was out for most of the weekend. Those of you who are regulars know that each year we tend to end up having to negotiate our way through a number of “issues” to enable the rally to run in the way we wish. This came to a head in 2008, when the stress and upset resulted in poor Barbara not being able to enjoy the rally as much as she would otherwise have done. For this year, I tried to pre-empt any problems by discussing with the powers that be at Forest Holidays exactly how we could achieve both our objectives and theirs. The management of Forest Holidays were very helpful, and on arrival, it appeared that this had filtered down to the wardens who were very amicable this year. There remained the issue of the size of our marquee, and the fact that we use a horse box to transport all the kit, both of which would appear to contravene the rules of the Verderers (commoners with historic forest rights). However, on the assurance that I would 90

accept personal responsibility for the marquee if hauled before the Verderers Court, all was settled. Or at least we thought it was, until we met the site Health & Safety Officer. The Health & Safety Officer (I have capitalised his title, as his status demands it) had a uniform, and a vehicle, and I am sure the vehicle contained a hat! Like Nanny Ogg, the single toothed witch from the novels of Terry Pratchett, he awaited our arrival with clipboard at the ready. Having informed us exactly where he wanted us to pitch the marquee, and having demanded that we complete a risk assessment for its erection (complete with full details of how pregnant women and disabled persons were to be protected during the task), he left us to get on with it for a while. He returned a little later to check we had the necessary fire extinguishers, and reminded us how important it was to ensure access to the fire engines that we would undoubtedly be calling upon within hours.

Perhaps you have been on an adventure, or taken part in something a little different. How about telling us about how it went? We love to get articles from members, especially with photos. Please send to: editor@hoc.org.uk SUMMER 2009


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On the Friday I had to leave the site to fetch my bike, and returned to a very cross and unhappy Barbara. Evidently, at the sight of our meat delivery, our mono-toothed tormentor had sped down the field in his vehicle to announce to all and sundry that there was no way we were going to able to do anything as dangerous as cooking in the marquee. With an Arne-esque cry of “I’ll be back”, he sped off to consult his “bosses”. At this point I must offer my sincere apologies to both John Measures and branch stalwart Tom Anderson. John is a very accomplished solicitor, and Tom is actually a health and safety officer for a large regional newspaper. Unfortunately, rather than greeting them with a cheery “Hello, I hope you had a good journey” I think my greeting was more along the lines of “Thank goodness you’re here, I need your help!” It had been a bad week for other reasons, and I am sorry to both; I am sure they will forgive me. As it happened, not another word was heard all weekend from Mr Health and Safety, and we can only assume his “bosses” cooled his heels. He did resort to taking photos at a distance, and I know that

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several members were keen to ask whether he had obtained permission from the parents of the children who were inevitably included, but by that time the medicinal effects of Hob Goblin precluded and further action. I suppose it wouldn’t be as bad if he had somehow had an issue with motorcyclists, but it would appear all were suffering. We heard rumours of him publically admonishing one camper who was helping his son cast his fishing rod into the pond. Fishing is restricted to under 14’s, and so parents are not allowed to physically assist their children without being guilty of a rule breech; I suspect his remaining tooth will not last the summer! The upshot is that we will almost certainly be looking for an alternative site for next year. Wherever we go, the format will remain the same but it will hopefully be a little more relaxed for some of us. On that note it is time to say cheerio and hope to see some of you at the National or before.

Tim

Take care Sam! Cows weren’t included in the risk assessment! SUMMER 2009

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WEST COAST RIDERS Secretary: Phil Bell - 07900 507187 Hi Folks, We’ve had a storming start to the biking season with two more new members, Alan and John, so welcome guys, and three of the best ride outs so far. First there was Barmouth on the 15th March. We had a gorgeous day for it, the sun was shining, it was warm enough for leathers and three bikes turned up for the jaunt. So off we trot down into Wales. First stop was Rhug, an organic farm café on the A5, which does the best food and hot choccie; not cheap, but well worth it if you’re ever up this way.

Brekkies and brew were had all round. After we were suitably fuelled up, we carried on our merry way and

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found a few gorgeous roads that we’d never been on before, including a lovely coast road just underneath Barmouth. We got to Barmouth and one of our guys had gone there to meet us, so we had a catch up with him as well as lunch in a fab café on the sea front. We got stuck in some serious traffic coming home and spent over 15 miles filtering and riding on the wrong side of the road LOL, but hey we got home safe and sound eventually. Then it was onto our rescheduled run to Ashbourne, known as the birth place of Gingerbread men, hence the name of the run. We had six bikes and seven people on this one, much more like it. We should’ve had seven bikes, but Colin’s CB1000 decided to have brake trouble on the way to the meeting point, so he went home after waving us off.

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Again another stunning day weather wise and lots of very nice roads, unfortunately now being ruined by new 50 mph speed limits on them, but gorgeous scenery and roads none the less. When we reached Ashbourne we went to a chippie for lunch, with some of the guys having the biggest sausages you have ever seen!

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Well what can I say about this ride‌.it was perfect. What with cracking the pavements weather, fantastic roads and scenery and brilliant friends to share it with, what more could you ask for. It all started at the Little Chef at 9am where we set off with six bikes and eight people. First stop Rhug again for the usual brekkie and brew. Unfortunately Colin turned back, so we were left with five bikes now, and wow, what roads we

found on the way to Elan Valley! I was sat on the back of the bike, shutter bugging away like a demon with the camera. The scenery was to die for and so were the roads. cont.... Then it was time to head home, and Brian took the lead for a while and stopped us at a fantastic viewing spot with amazing views over the Derbyshire hills. Then it was a quick stop at the services on the way home before we all parted ways. The last ride we’ve had was to Elan Valley on the 24th May.

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Back on the road and off up the other side of the dam and down the Elan Valley trail. What a stunning place this was. There were another three dams to visit and photograph and some amazing roads to play on.

We stopped at a dam en route as well, as the lake there was gorgeous, as you can see in the photo. Then it was onto Elan Valley.

After everyone stripped off for the occasion we trotted off to the café for lunch and THE best chocolate choux buns you will ever taste. So it was now time to work off those calories with a walk up to the dam itself. I have to say that the water tumbling down the dam was getting very tempting to stand under by this point, it was roasting. But we resisted the urge and eventually went back to the bikes.

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We ended up back in Rhaeder and went to the Kite feeding centre. We got there 10 minutes before it shut, so the lady only charged us £5 for all of us instead of £4 each; we were very grateful to her. We went for an ice cream fix and wandered over to view the Kites. There must’ve been about 30 or 40 of them flying around, and it was totally awesome to see them. They are beautiful birds. SUMMER 2009


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And so to heading home. We got to Rhyl and decided it was time for supper

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Stritchy’s wedding on the 30th May in Bedford. Phil and I spent the day at Whipsnade zoo in seriously gorgeous weather, then off to Graham and Jax’s house to get changed for the wedding reception. Thanks a million to Graham and Jax as well for the lend of the house. Ruth looked beautiful and Stritchy had scrubbed up well as well LOL. Nah you both looked gorgeous guys and congratulations. Hope you have many many very happy years together. Love you both xx

and I mean supper. By this point it was 10pm and we got a supper of chips and gravy etc and sat on the beach watching the sun set over Rhyl. As crap as Rhyl is these days, it was a totally cool experience. As you can see it was a very long day, with Phil and I leaving our house at 9am and getting home at just gone 11pm…..and it was worth every second. We had a totally amazing day shared with such good friends and weather to die for. So a massive thanks to Colin, Gary, Lewis, Richard, Graham and Su for making it a definite day to remember. The next highlight was Ruth and And that’s it from me for now…..so till next time, I hope you all have as much fun as we’ve had so far this year and that we have that hot summer they’ve been promising us for the last god knows how many years!

Love Rona & Phil xxxxxx SUMMER 2009

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WEST LONDON Secretary: Steve Hill - 020 8291 5263 Firstly, I must say it’s nice to see a Kawasaki on the front of the mag! Shows that we are not too precious and stand by our rulebook which (hopefully) still states that to belong to the HOC you have to ‘own or have owned a Honda’ Secondly, this is not Steve. He went off to the IOM and forgot to write the Branch report; tut tut Steve. In March we had a joint run with Reading Branch to Box Hill, which was quite interesting! Sorry to the two guys that went the ‘long way round’ to Box Hill from Farnham! In April we met up with Reading once more to join Thames Vale Vultures Charity Easter Egg Run. I love that run, loads of bikes riding through Reading; brilliant. A couple of ‘Gladiators’ were in attendance at the end of the run. In May we were back with Reading again (getting a bit cosy this liaison!) for a fab BBQ at their meeting place, The Swan. We were made very welcome by all members, especially Marion, Taz and Erica, and the landlady who produced a mouthwatering and substantial feast. Thank you Reading. That weekend Mike Jon and I went off to the BMF rally. It was a bit of a strange journey as Jon had tightened the chain on the Kawasaki but had been a bit too enthusiastic. It felt really weird and sounded even weirder, not a pleasant journey! Still, it seems ok now. The following weekend we went up to the Ace Café for Honda Day, featuring Monkey bikes. Apart from not being allowed to park in the car park (Kawasaki), it was good to have a mooch around all the different bikes, mainly Honda! I always enjoy the Ace, it has a great atmosphere. Well, that brings us up to date at the time 96

of writing. We’ve had a few new members down, and some come back, some don’t. We offer a varied runs list, so if you’re in the area why don’t you come on down and check us out.

Jude SUMMER 2009


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WILTSHIRE Secretary: John Theobald 01793 853701

Well, last time I submitted a report for Golden Wing (Winter 2008), I was strongly promoting our forthcoming Wilts Rally in the hope that many of you would not have been put off by the wet camp field that year. At the time of writing, we have just held the Rally and I’m very pleased to report that attendance was good (23 Friday night) and our rally was a great success, thanks to all the work our small committee (Claire, Robin, Rob, Jim, Ian & myself) put into finding a new site and planning this years Rally. So what did we do? Well after last year, it was obvious we needed to find a drier site, so first exercise was to ‘Google’ Wiltshire campsites, make contact by phone and find out what ‘key’ facilities were available. If it had no showers, it was rejected! If there was not a pub within walking distance, it was rejected! If there was, but the pub didn’t do good food (or breakfasts), it was rejected – that gave us a shortlist of 10. Next we got on our bikes and took a look – both during and after rainfall. If the ground was too boggy, it was rejected! If there was no space to play rounders, it was rejected! Now that is how you ended up with the Church Farm, Mildenhall site this year, which seemed to fit the bill. Likewise, thanks to John & Pam Desmond at the Horseshoe Inn for getting up early and making those breakfasts, together with making us so welcome. Clair, Ian, Robin & myself got to work the Friday morning, setting the site up – marquees to unbox and erect, banners to hang, road marker posts to position, power supply to connect and, most importantly, kettle to fire up! Our ‘Early Birds’ award this year go to Phillip & Pauline Dowling who arrived at 1.30, only 2 hours after we had – and we SUMMER 2009

The Horseshoe Inn had spent the first hour getting Robin’s motor home unstuck from a wet patch in the top corner of the camp field (well it looked dry!). Upon arrival, our guests were forced to commit themselves to a choice of athleticism for that evening – playing pool or shove ha’penny. To my surprise, most chose the shove ha’penny and after dinner that night the competitions began – 14 challenging for the shove ha’penny title but only 8 for the pool. At around 11.15 we heard the ‘victory roar’ as the competition winner, Dave Andrews, did his lap of honour around the table. The shove ha’penny competition however was more a marathon than a sprint. Some even tried to ‘throw the game’ just to get to bed earlier, but by around midnight, we had our winner – our very own chairman, Ian Hammond. Winners took prize monies of £5 & £10 respectively – mine’s a pint Ian! Come Saturday morning, we started our first ride-out, ably led by Robin, who gave us a great tour of northern Wiltshire, taking in a tour of Wilton Windmill mid morning and leading us down to Old Sarum (an ancient Hill Fort near Salisbury) for lunch. 97


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Silbury Hill pretty soon fired up the Wilton Windmill barbeque and yours truly to a “booze cruise” into Here we could sit on top of Marlborough to get our the embankment, watching light guests suitably refreshed aircraft taking off below us then by the drinks of their climbing over our heads, whilst choice. One particular munching our sarnies – could Lardie Cake member of our party almost see the pilots faces! By mid afternoon, the tour took us to a decided that port was to be his “tipple” and regular stop-over of Stonehenge, where we proceeded to put away a bottle of it (with a wrestled with international tourists to get a little help) before demanding that a game of rounders needed to be played! coffee & use the loo. This Rallier, now affectionately known Our ride out ‘drop off’ system had worked well all day, keeping everyone on as “Steamin” Glyn Davis began to the same route, but as we left our fuel stop demonstrate his hand to eye coordination in Devizes, later that afternoon, although 18 skills followed by his remarkable turn of bikes correctly turned LEFT, a certain rallier speed around the rounders circuit – yes decided to turn RIGHT, taking 3 other bikes literally “steamin”! Nobody can quite remember whose with him! Can’t say too much….but now I know why they call our HOC secretary ‘Mr team won as bad light stopped play, but Glyn's performance was truly 'memorable'. Right’! (first name Always??) Once this ‘splinter group’ realised their error we successfully brought them back into the fold in time for a group photograph in front of Silbury Hill, another of Wiltshire’s mysterious ancient monuments as nobody knows why it’s there (except us locals – cuz it was really a Lardie Cake mine!) We then finished off our route, passing through the stone circle at Avebury and past a White Horse at Hackpen Hill, before returning to the campsite and falling hungrily upon our first batch of lardie cakes. Trout Spotters As the weather was too good to miss, we 98

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Hangovers were promptly dealt with next day by a good full English breakfast in the pub before 'Spot on' Don Heaver led our Sunday ride out around other areas of Wiltshire, not normally found by tourists. Don led us on some great roads at a 'brisk pace' until our lunch stop at Compton Abbas airfield (again one of our favourite places) where we annoyed the catering staff by actually creating a queue - some businesses just hate customers! Our mid-afternoon stop took us to the Army Air Museum at Middle Wallop where the coffee was good and the planes were even older than my CB250RS At 17.05 'Spot On' Don led us back into our campsite to fall upon our second (and last) batch of lardies - and this is where Don got his handle because 17.05 was precisely the time he said he would be back on his 1st Ride Out Schedule - now that's timing! Not having the energy for a 2nd bout of rounders, our post lardie exercise was to be a walk down the nearby River Kennet, where we happily played 'spot the brown trout', but nothing like as exciting as 'will duckling number 13 (lucky for some) ever get back up the rapids to his/her mum and siblings??? After what seemed an eternity of natural history tension, we were all relieved to see mum & siblings slide down the rapids to meet and collect the 'prodigal duckling' which otherwise would not have lasted the night out! After dinner we split into 7 teams in the pub to test our mental prowess with a quiz night. After two rounds and the usual batch of queries, arguments, 2nd opinions and offers to hang the quiz master, I have to report that our HOC Chairman's team stole the show - nice one Dibble! A few more drinks followed, the midnight oil was burned back at the campsite and what seemed in no time at all we had started our Monday rideout, led again by Robin (Radar) Williams - who seems to know every road and footpath in Wiltshire (he needs no maps)! Our last (half day) rideout took us to the SUMMER 2009

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Bluebell Girls Crofton Beam Engine near Great Bedwyn where we had a wonderful tour by the Charity's Chairman, Ray, who explained the amazing workings of this two cylinder steam engine which ran at 11rpm, each cylinder stroke lifting 1 ton of water from the canal below each time! Our route to this, however, had been preceded by a 5 mile trek (@ 20mph) through the centre of Savernake forest - an ancient hunting forest - but never saw a deer once! Lastly, before returning, we called into a beautiful wood (at Clatford Bottom) to marvel at the carpet of bluebells which were just coming into their prime (I told you Robin knows all the best footpaths as well as roads)! I got told off recently by 'Big Jim' for not putting a report into Spring 2009 Golden Wing so apologies for the length of this one as it's making up for that. This will be my final report as Branch Secretary as I am stepping down after 3 years in the job to let 'younger blood' take the branch forward. I hope I have introduced some fellow members to the wonders of both lardie cakes and shove ha'penny as well as some of the delightful roads and sights within my beloved Wiltshire. I intend to remain an active member and hope to continue to enjoy the future meetings with my many new friends. Best wishes to all,

Theo. 99


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THE MANHOC LONG WEEKEND AWAY IN TINTERN Saturday So, the day arrives and with it, the nice weather. We all meet up at Poplar 2000 services and make ready for the journey down South. The part consists of: John & Judy, Paul & Jackie, Malcolm & Val, Peter, Tony, Alan - all on bikes - and Geoff & Karen in the car as our support vehicle (due to Geoffs new hip, not because they don't ride). After a bit of banter and another check of the route, we set off down the A49. I love this road - it's fast, smooth, has twists, very little traffic and no speed cameras (well, I didn't see any). We carried on for about 70 miles until we came to the Craven Arms. This is a village, not a pub and we found a nice bikers cafe at the side of the road. When I pulled in, the car park was empty. By the time everyone had parked, we were joined by two other biking groups and the place was packed. But never mind; we sat outside for a brew and some lunch (remember that nice weather I mentioned above - well, it was still here).

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A splash of petrol for Tony and we carried on. Geoff and Karen had set of before us and we expected to find them waiting when we arrived. So we shot off and had a nice time down the twisty windy roads of South Wales. Eventually we arrived at Tintern and soon found one of the hotels. We dropped half the group off here and proceeded to the other one. But, no Geoff. A quick phone call soon established that he'd missed the turn and had found Newport - a mere 30 miles away. Oops..... Next piece of fun was parking the two FJRs. The B&B owner (Ian) suggested we use his driveway. This did not go down well with John or myself since it was a steep 30 degrees with no wall. So, we put them next to the VW garage assuming that no-one would mind - WRONG! We got a call later to move them. So, we had to park them on heavy gravel - which was fun when it came time to move them out. Note to myself check this out before we book! But we were on holiday - so who cares. Once Geoff & Karen arrived, we got changed (in the lounge because the rooms weren't ready) and walked back to the other hotel to enjoy a nice drink before dinner. Here we found a "friendly ale" - a real ale of 4.6 sg. Very palatable and went straight to my head. Wonderful. By this time the sun was blazing down and I could feel myself burning a bit. But a makeshift cap soon cured that problem and more drinks were consumed (purely to restore the lost water, of course. The next thing we tried was the local vinyard. This just happened to be right next to the hotel and was offering free wine tastings. How could we refuse? So we didn't and walked up the hill to the shop. SUMMER 2009


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over the Severn Bridge and along the M4. Once in Bath, we were able to use the bus lanes to bypass all the traffic (sorry Geoff!) and we quickly got parked up in a town centre car park. [This was where Peter tried to head butt the barrier when it came down on him]. We got changed and headed out into the sunshine to find the Roman Baths.

We did have a nice time sampling the local produce and even bought some bottles to take home.

Then, back to the hotel for another drink before we ate. We booked for 7pm because "the place can get very busy later on". [Ha ha - we were the only people in the restaurant] This was followed by more drinks and eventually bed. A great first day.

Geoff & Karen went shopping, Malcolm & Val did the open top bus tour, Paul & Jackie did the tourist stuff and the rest of us went round the baths. Which was very impressive and worth a visit. Once we came out, John, Judy, Tony and myself headed for the chocolatier for a drink and some cake and then we all met up afterwards to continue our promenading around Bath. Once that was done, we headed back to the bikes and shot off back to Tintern. cont....

Sunday Up late the next morning and down for breakfast for 9:30. The fun soon started with the "Fawlty Towers" service. The owners were very nice, but everything seemed a bit disorganised. But the food was excellent and there was plenty of it. Once done, we went outside to wait for the others to arrive before we shot off to Bath for the day. [Just to remind you - the weather was hot and sunny all day.] The rest of the party soon arrived and we headed down the nice twisty roads to Bath SUMMER 2009

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The evening was once again pleasant. Drinks before dinner (as normal), a quick shower and we all met up at the Rose & Crown "The best steak in Wales". Once again, we were asked to be there early because it could be very busy later on. Once again, we were somewhat surprised to be the last people to leave - at 9:30pm. Before that we had some great food - my fillet steak was lovely and most people really enjoyed it (Karens was a bit underdone for her - so she swapped with Geoff). Drink and conversation flowed well into the night until it was time to leave. We walked back to the next pub and carried on. Ahah - we

have a pool table. It's amazing how well you think you are playing with a glass of something inside you. Then, back to bed and get ready for the next days adventures. Monday An earlier start for Monday. 8:30 breakfast which didn't please some of our party - "I've only been up 5 minutes and you are lucky I'm not down in my nightie". But she soon woke up and we all enjoyed a good breakfast. Then, onto the bikes and head 500 yards up the road to Tintern Abbey - a fabulous structure which dated back to the 11th century. We all met up here. 102

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Paul & Malcolm decided to head straight off as it was spitting with rain. The rest of us braved the elements and decided to stay. At which point, it stopped raining! We had a great time wandering around the site, marvelling at the grandeur of the buildings and wondering how they managed to build it all in those early days. Many photos were taken and much gazing was done. Eventually we tired of this and went

out to find Geoff, Karen and Pete who had parked themselves in a nearby cafe and were busy scoffing tea and cake. We joined them for a while before we all set off for the journey home. Not much to say here except that we stopped for lunch in the Craven Arms Hotel - much recommended for its bucket of soup and very large platter of potato wedges. Far too much for one person - Judy had to get Tony to help her out. Then, a speedy run back up the A49 and home. In conclusion, we had a great three days away - everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and many thanks to Judy for organising it all.

Alan Sharkey SUMMER 2009


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Standard £7.00

Skinny £7.99

£9.99

£19.99

£3.99

For National Rally T Shits please see advert on page 72. National Rally clothing must be ordered in advance. £11.99

T Shirts come in both standard and ladies skinny fit, with a choice of “living the dream” or plain back. Enamel badges are available at £1.99 (photo awaited). All prices include post & packing to mainland UK. Please contact Jennie for details of postage elsewhere

£5.99

£6.49

Contact Regalia Co-ordinator, Jennie Clarke, 6 Bugby Way, Raunds, Northants, NN9 6SX  01933 399463 / 07759 805181  regalia@hoc.org.uk SUMMER 2009

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WHAT DID YOU DO AT THE WEEKEND? COLIN A question you get after most weekends and more so after a Bank Holiday, especially after a four day Easter break. Well the first work colleague to ask that this very morning made me ponder my reply and in a split second re-live what I had indeed done at the weekend. It all started a few weeks back when Erica, our dynamo of a secretary, sent out an e-mail asking if anyone was interested in taking a trip to Belgium to stay at the Bikers Loft near Brugge. Well here I have to confess a sad lacking in my biking experiences. I have been biking since the age of 16 and am now fast approaching 64 and have never taken a bike out of England, but always thought I would like to. However, I certainly had a little voice in my head saying things like “they ride on the other side, not sure you could cope with that, what happens if you forget, em head on crash I suppose.” Well I mentioned it to my wife of just on 40 years Sue, and what do you think Sue said "Why don't you go, you have always wanted to" probably not quite what I expected if she said "You can't do that we cannot afford it or the garden needs digging at Easter" I would have had an easy out and still thought one day I will go "if I get over these nerves". Well to move on I like several others replied saying "Yes Erica we would like to give it a go" Case in top box, tank bag in place off I set on Good Friday morning at 08.30 heading to the Reading Services to meet up with the others 104

at 09.00, at this point my mind pictured all my travel companions, Erica and Gerald of course, Pete and Jenny, Jim and Sue, Richard and Maria, Ant and Richard who I would be sharing a room with ( my first conversation with Richard was at a club night when he asks "Do you snore " to which I replied " I have no idea as I 'm always asleep at the time”). Well into Reading services I headed to meet up with most of them only to be meet with our number one leader and expert front runner Pete, at this point my confidence took a trip downward as Pete had somehow developed a whopping great black eye and I was not sure if we would be getting into all sorts of fights or lost at every turn being led by a one eyed man. Well as it turns out, one eye, three if you count Jenny's and I think we must, was more than enough to lead us in a confident, safe and mile munching way, Thanks Pete and Jenny - you’re the BEST.

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A new experience at the Channel Tunnel with booking in and loading the bikes on the train but oh so easy you wonder why any one would use the ferry. A quick, comfortable 20 mins followed and we were soon on our way, ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! Actually, riding along with the others it felt O.K. A few miles in and I was relaxing thinking this ain't so bad and, as already stated with Pete & Jenny's leading and young Richard doing an excellent job as our tail ender, I soon felt ‘wow this is good’ (by Monday left hand seemed wrong!). A quick stop for petrol and a drink had us laughing and kidding around like schoolboys along with a feeling of excitement that I really think only comes from being BIKERS, then onto the Biker Loft. First impressions being ‘well this is different but looks good’. By the end of the trip the place had become a home from home and I don't think anyone wanted to leave. A few points of note:1. Food - cook your own microwave dinner. These proved to be tasty and plenty of choice and amount. 2. Rooms basic but clean and tidy - all we needed if somewhat prison looking what with the metal staircase to the upper floor. 3. Entertainment none this week - but hey we made our own which was spot on! 4. Showers - 1 block, open topped, looking like a Mexicans home 2 sides Boys/Girls, water long time to get the heat through but once it was you were up and running 5. Bar maid- lovely Vanessa 6 Bike park - inside in full view.

SUMMER 2009

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The ride outs included trips to Brugge, Dunkirk, Knokke Heist, Namur, Waterloo, Ypres, Passondale - I also got lost in Brussels but I do not want to talk about that.

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Young Richard showing his lack of ability at the game of Pool, beaten by a novice old duffer, me – oh how we laughed and took the P. 2.00 o'clock drinking by the bikes with Richard, Maria and young Richard. The rain hitting the roof - not sure it gets any better than that. Riding along by the Canal heading for Brugge a biking moment of pure pleasure.

Moments and events to ponder: Erica and Gerald made a trip to Church on Sunday, managing to sing along with the hymns in English which may well have got the locals thinking. Maria became our champion pole climber. Her man Richard was then determined to get to the top of this piece of equipment I could not see the use for - well several tries later up he went right to the top. Ant showing young Richard how to get your knee down on bends seems to have taught him a thing or two.

We returned home on Easter Monday having experienced, great riding, good laughs, inspiring sight's and most of all GREAT COMPANY. Coming out of my internal thoughts, each time I was asked the above question at work today I said; "HAD A BLOODY GOOD TIME"

Jim and Sue's travel stories keeping us entertained.

Colin

Erica's emotions at the Last Post ceremony in Ypres bringing home the recent history of the area we were in, Erica saying sorry for that but I think she has the nerve to show openly what we all felt and indeed should feel in such a place. Well done Erica for that "we should never forget" 106

SUMMER 2009


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HOC O N S U M E R AZONIC SOLUTIONS Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre, Survive! Motorbike Indicator Sounding Device to save lives A new device is now available for all bikers which will virtually eliminate potential accidents caused through biker error when failing to switch off indicators, thereby causing motorists to pull out in their path at junctions. All too often, bikers are injured or killed through motorists pulling out of junctions into their path. This problem is compounded if motorists genuinely believe that the biker is turning off the road when in fact he has no intention of doing so. The new Indicator Sounder from Azonic Solutions fits any bike, trike or trailer. It works on 6 or 12 volt, comes ready to fit and includes all fixings which take ten minutes to fit. There is no soldering needed and no technical knowledge required. Each time the indicator is switched on the Indicator Sounder will, at 12v, emit an 80db noise which not only will be heard by the biker but also any pedestrians can be warned that a bike is about to turn. Standard or Advanced Model As well as the standard model BISO1 which sounds as soon as the indicators are turned on, there is the more advanced BISO2 which has a built in delay and only sounds once the indicators have flashed 15 times. Azonic Solutions, who have a proven track record of supplying reliable and functional electronics which are used widely throughout the UK, are providing a simple, affordable and reliable solution which should be welcomed by safety-conscious bikers from all walks of life. If you would like to know more about the Azonic Solutions Indicator Sounder contact Stewart Lloyd, Managing Director, Azonic Solutions. Tel: 01767 319191 Fax: 01767 319192 Email: a20nic@aol.com

N E W P RO D U C T

N E W S E RV I C E ?

It costs nothing to promote your new product of service through HOConsumer. Please send your press release and photo to: The Editor, HOConsumer - Golden Wing, 232 Leigh Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hants. SO53 3AW or e-mail it to hoconsumer@hoc.org.uk SUMMER 2009

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DUKE MARKETING ONE DAY IN JUNE The glorious return of one of motorcycle racing’s biggest names to the Isle of Man TT is the stuff of legend, still one of the most talked about events at the fabled road race more than three decades on. Now fans can once again relive the incredible return of Mike Hailwood in the classic film One Day in June, at last available on DVD. In 1978, multiple World Champion Hailwood returned to the iconic 37.73 mile TT course, after a self-imposed 11 year absence from the world famous circuit. Few doubted Hailwood still possessed the legendary skill which had brought him 12 TT wins, but a comeback at 38, after more than a decade away, was still a daunting prospect. With a fine handling, but under-powered Ducati V-Twin at his disposal, Mike the Bike went headtohead with fellow great Phil Read, riding the much faster 4 cylinder Honda in the opening race of the TT festival. Amazingly, Hailwood roared to victory in the Formula One race. Fortunately a crew from Outrider Films was on hand to capture this historic moment, and interviews with Hailwood himself as he explains how boredom with his ‘95 lifestyle’ had brought him back to racing. This classic film also includes footage from the Senior TT, where Hailwood raced a Yamaha against legends like Pat Hennen and Tom Herron. In addition, this DVD includes a bonus audio feature offering fans the chance to hear ‘Mike the Bike’ discuss a decade of racing at the TT in the extraordinary Mike Hailwood: My First 10 TT Years. Recorded at Hailwood’s London flat in 1968, this chat with Peter Arnold chronicles the highs and lows of 10 years racing in the Isle of Man, from fresh-faced teenager to his apparent retirement in 1967. Digitally remastered from the original Stanley Schofield archive recording, Mike Hailwood: My First 10 TT Years recalls the exhilarating battles, frustrations and tremendous triumphs. It is a thrilling opportunity to discover how Hailwood managed to stamp his authority on the event, and offers revealing insight and first-hand accounts of some of the most memorable races ever. The soundtrack to the interview is provided by the Hondas, MV Agustas and other glorious machines that dominated the TT during Hailwood's heyday, plus race commentary from such luminaries as Murray Walker. One Day in June is released 25 May 2009 on DVD, priced at £12.71 and will be available from leading video outlets or direct from: Duke Video: Tel 01624 640 000, Fax 01624 640 001 email - mail@dukevideo.com. Visit www.dukevideo.com online.

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DREMEL DREMEL LEGO OFFER Dremel has teamed up with the world-famous Lego brand to create a promotion that kids and adults alike will love! The Lego Creator pack comes entirely free of charge attached to the packaging - with purchases of a Dremel 300 or 400 Digital multi-tool*. The instant reward of the Lego Creator three-in-one pack means you can build a monster truck, a fantasy sci-fi saloon car or your ultimate F1 driving machine as soon as you get home! The promotion runs until the end of August 2009. Dremel multi-tools are used worldwide for creative, modelling and DIY tasks including sanding, routing, polishing, drilling and cutting through all kinds of materials thanks to Dremel's huge range of 150 different accessories. The Lego promotion will run online at retailers such as: www.tooled-up.com www.tool-shop.co.uk www.dremel-direct.com www.axminster.co.uk PLEASE NOTE NEW DREMEL WEBSITE: www.dremel.co.uk * Participating products are the Dremel 300 Series (300-1/55) and the Dremel 400 Series Digital (400-4/80) multi-tools - priced around ÂŁ58 and ÂŁ93 respectively.

SUMMER 2009

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M E M B E R S F R E E A DS Adverts must be received by the 1st September for inclusion in the Autumn Issue. Email editor@hoc.org.uk Write to: Golden Wing, 232 Leigh Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hants. SO53 3AW

FOR SALE

HONDA 400/4 1976 Blue Approx 700 miles with proof. Fully serviced. Very good condition. 1 years MOT and tax £3,300 01493 722856 Mike (15950) Norfolk PARTS & SPARES

HONDA CM125 1985 Restored in 2008 New Seat Cover, New Chain & Sprocket New Clutch Cable, New Battery New Spark Plugs Re-sprayed Tank £650 01634 360227 pgrimmer@blueyonder.co.uk

Peter Kent

CB750K SOHC GENUINE WORKSHOP MANUAL Not looking for a fortune, would prefer it to go somewhere it will be of use £5 + p&p 01388 819571 cards87@tiscali.co.uk Carl

ADVERTISING IN MEMBERS FREE ADS MEMBERS free all sections must state membership number OTHERS FOR SALE (BIKES): £18 1st insertionsubsequent free (includes free membership) OTHER CATEGORIES: £3 per insertion

ADS CAN BE POSTED FREE ON THE CLUB WEBSITE AT www.hoc.org.uk/forum.html 110

SUMMER 2009


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Tail Lights CLASSIC OWNERS REPORTS

Motorcycle Rider the BMF magazine would like to carry "Classic Owner Reports" on early machines. So if you own a classic Honda and would like to see you and your Honda in the BMF magazine. Please contact Johnathan Lloyd - Assistant Editor 01652 680060 SUMMER 2009

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Golden Wing - 2009 Summer  

Quarterly magazine of the Honda Owners Club (GB), sent free to all members. Established in 1961, the Honda Owners Club (GB) is the oldest on...

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