2013 June / July Newsletter
HELP NEEDED for this years Megaride on August 11th. Help is needed on the Hoe and at Lee Mill There are various jobs that we need volunteers for either in the Morning or in the afternoon or both. For those who arrive at Lee Mill between 7-7.30am breakfast will be provided at Buds Cafe (Please see me for a drinks voucher first) and for those volunteering on the Hoe a meal voucher to use at C+G catering outlets will be provided. Please speak to myself or Sue on a club night or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Castle Coombe Raceway Visit
Plymouth Motorcycle Club
Saturday 8th June saw two groups of riders leave for a days outing to the Castle Coombe Circuit. One group comprising of 10 members who obviously couldn't sleep leaving at 7am and another 6 leaving at a more respectable time of 8am. First stop Morrisons at Cribbs Causeway where both groups met for breakfast and fuel top up and of course purchasing sandwiches and drinks to eat at the track. Onward to the race track having negotiated the road works and the 50 limit on the M4 which seem to have been there forever in time to watch the start of racing at 1045. This race was delayed due to a rider literally baling out into the straw bales at Quarry. Visits to the pits and trade stands were very interesting as there were some unique bikes on show which later did some laps of the circuit. The weather was glorious if not a bit on the windy side which needed a jacket for some of the less hardy amongst us. After a great day of racing we left and all met up at Morrisons again on the way home for tea and reduced price cakes and pastries, one among us, mentioning no names (but he has a Faser) was over the moon at these reduced prices. We all had a good trip back arriving at our respective homes around 7.30 pm. Pictures of some of the 16 below, the rest were wandering the track or in the pits. Editor.
The road to Machu Picchu & beyond by Geoff Williamson th
On the 11 April 2013, we left the UK, en route for South America, leaving London for Madrid, to catch our onward flight to Quito, Ecuador . This trip had been in the planning, on and off for a little over a year. We planned to backpack the high Andes, through the centre of Ecuador into Peru, and finally reaching the highest city in the world, La Paz in Bolivia. What follows are the highlights of our 35 day trip. After a 13 hour flight we arrived in Quito, landing at the newly opened airport, high in the Andes, Quito is 2850 metres above sea level, and the views of the mountains prior to landing certainly grabbed our attention. Like all cities situated high in the Andes, this city is surrounded by mountains, and many active volcanoes, including the daddy of them all, Cotopaxi. What also came as a surprise, was the length of the city, its 44 kilometres long from north to south, running down the centre of a wide valley, the views of the city from on high are impressive. We spent 4 days exploring the city, the central historical area of the city being of most interest, it being full of vibrant life, presidential palaces, and of course dozens of churches. We went north of Quito, to visit the market town of Otavalo, to get there you have to re- cross the equator, back into the northern hemisphere. It was here, we encountered many of the indigenous peoples who live in the mountains, dressed in their traditional colourful outfits. Moving on by bus, we headed towards our next stop, Banos, through The Avenue of the volcanoes. What a little gem of a place, set in a beautiful location, this is Ecuador’s extreme sports centre, if you’re a thrill seeker, this is the place for you, and once again the scenery is truly spectacular. Next stop Riobamba, an industrial city with not much to offer, except this is where you buy your train tickets for the “El Nariz del Diablo” The devil’s nose, train ride from Alausi to Sibambe, and this train ride was definitely on our agenda. An engineering feat, this is one of the highest railway journeys in the world, and we had timed it just right, the weather for both our ascent and decent could not have been better. Bus once more, heading to Cuenca, a lovely city, on our first morning wandering about we were met by 5000 bike riders, doing their bit for local charities, we wondered why the traffic was so bad. Next stop Loja, we used this place to break the long bus journey to Northern Peru, we were out of the mountains by now, heading for the coast. We crossed the border from Ecuador into Peru, late in the evening, as soon as we were in Peru, we realised just how good the roads were in Ecuador and how much cleaner it was compared to Peru. Peru seemed much poorer generally than Ecuador. But what a country this turns out to be. After an overnight stop in Piura, we caught the bus to Chiclayo, on the coast, we were surprised by the levels of security on the buses, locals had their fingerprints taken then just before the bus left, a guy came on the bus with a video camera and filmed everyone in their seats. Generally, now throughout the rest of our trip, we would see many, many police, particularly in tourist areas, strangely though, no trouble. What a difference in scenery, everything is now desert, bland, boring, flat Chiclayo, turns out to be a very interesting place, due largely to the discovery in 1989, of the Lords of Sipan site, and the new museum at Lambayeque, dedicated to this discovery. Not crazy about museums, but this one is special. Next up Trujillo, this is the home of Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world. From here we set off for our first view of the Pacific, at Huanchaco. Now it’s the long ride down the Pan-American highway to Lima, the pacific ocean on our right, desert on our left, not the best of scenery, that would soon change though. On arrival in Lima we settled in the Miraflores district of the city, this area of the city is where most visitors end up, and there is plenty to do here, but there is a lot more to this vast city, as we discovered when we returned at the end of our trip. After a few days relaxing in Lima, we caught an internal flight back up into the high Andes, to Cusco, the views of the snow capped mountains on this clear sunny day , were spectacular. What a beautiful city this is, at well
over 3500 metres above sea level, this city can take your breath away both metaphorically and in reality. Cusco is a world heritage site, and it is truly deserved, the historic areas of the city are just superb, lovely little bars and restaurants, with an amazing atmosphere. But the real reason for us being here this is the gateway city for Machu Picchu. After a few days in the city, having obtained our tickets for Machu Picchu we teamed up with a couple from France, for the bus ride to the small village of Ollantaytambo, the ride across the mountains to get there, was once again incredible. We stopped in Ollyantaytambo, for coffee, and encountered our first Inca site, it towers over the small main square of the village, how they ever built these sites on the sides of these mountains weâ€™ve no idea. Humans look like ants, clambering over the site. From the village the only way to access Machu Picchu, is to take the train through The Sacred valley of the Incas, there are no roads to the small village of Aguas Calientes, now re-named Machu Picchu Peublo. This train journey takes about 80 minutes, travelling besides a raging river, through deep mountain gorges, before finally arriving at Aguas Calientes, this is another lovely village set high in the mountains, with two rivers passing through it. We stay overnight in the village, the next morning we are queuing up to catch the bus up the mountainside, the road is a series of switchbacks, climbing ever higher, everyone on the bus, people from all over the world are getting excited, as we near the entrance to Machu Picchu. The weather is perfect, bright sunshine, clear blue skies high clouds over snow capped mountains, then there it is, laid out before us, far bigger than you have imagined, the setting is incredible, you run out of superlatives. We have had an unforgettable visit, this place is very special. Now the journey back to Cusco, before moving on once more. After a nights rest in Cusco, we set off for Puno, on the banks of Lake Titcaca, this involved a 245 kilometre bus ride across the Altoplano, high in the Andes, this ranks as one of the best bus rideâ€™s we have ever had. We spent our first day in Puno, taking a boat trip out onto the lake to visit the famous floating reed islands called The Uros islands, and meet the indigenous peoples who live there. What a size, it is like an inland sea, 3700 metres up in the Andes, and tomorrow we would travel many miles along its shores, heading for Copacabana in Bolivia. Luck was again with us, we crossed into Bolivia, on our arrival in Copacabana, we were to find that that weekend, was the biggest festival in Bolivia, it was on national TV, and what a festival it was. Typically South American, religious icons being paraded around the town, bands playing and dozens of different groups of people, men, women and children, all in beautifully bizarre costumes, dancing in the streets. Hundreds and hundreds of people celebrating the festival, fireworks, food and drink everywhere, wonderful energy, it went on for two days solid, sleep, forget it. Now for our final destination, the city of La Paz, capital of Bolivia, nothing prepares you for your first sight of this massive city, 4200 metres up in the Andes, surrounded by snow capped mountains. The buildings appear to be dropping off the steep sided mountains, into the valley below, its jaw dropping, what a place. The main road that runs through the centre of the city is 500 metres higher at the top than it is at the bottom, Ford hill is not in this league. We spent 4 days in the city, enjoyed every one of them. Time to be heading home, bus back to Puno, nights sleep, then up the road to Juliaca, for our flight to Lima, last day spent exploring the historic part Lima, the squares, churches and palaces, some of the architecture is unique, then, the warren of narrow streets, markets tucked away in every corner, lunch in China town, people everywhere, just a great atmosphere. Tired after 35 days on the hoof, time for home. Flight to Madrid, onto Heathrow, home, job done. Geoff & Karen Williamson
Meet the Mega Ride Charity Beneficiaries On Monday 3rd June We had a meet and greet night at the clubhouse to enable club members to meet representatives from the chosen charities for this years Megaride. About 60 club members turned up and a 5 minute talk by each charity. We laid on a light Buffett of sandwiches quiche and Ali’s famous cakes. Thanks to everyone that turned up and Steve and Ali for the catering.
PLYMOUTH MEGARIDE 11TH AUGUST 2013
Your help is needed for various different tasks over the Megaride weekend. Saturday 10th about 3.30pm we need to arrange barriers on the Hoe this takes 2 hours. Then we need people to help with bin bag duty at Lee Mill, we tape bin bags to every other lamp post around the estate this takes about a hour. Sunday 11th. Some of us set up on the Hoe at 5am, then back to Lee Mill for Breakfast which will be provided at Buds cafe if you are at Lee Mill industrial estate between 7-7.30am .We then set up Cones, Pay gates and Banners. After that we start marshalling the bikes into the estate until 11am. The marshal’s who need to make there way to the Hoe leave at 11:00am,leaving a skeleton crew. We then need to Marshal the arrival of bikes on the Hoe and generally make sure everyone stays safe for the afternoon. One the Hoe we need marshal's to man the barriers as the bikes arrive. Park up the bikes along the Hoe. Control the flow of the bikes as they enter the Hoe Promenade. Move the barriers to the side of the grass verge as the bikes as are parked. Sell raffle tickets to the public and collect donations. To police the Promenade throughout the event to ensure the bikes leave via the Grand Hotel gate and don’t ride stupidly. Of course the best job is clearing the litter at the end of the event so that we don’t have to pay £500 to the council to do it. Plymouth Bike Nights Next event Thursday 20th June then Thursday July 4th & 18th then August 1st. Only £1 per person and all for good causes. Friday 21st June Midsummer's day 3am Breakfast run to Minions on Bodmin moor to watch the Sun come up, then to Goodbodies on Mutely Plain for Breakfast Then home to bed or work. Meet at Legacy Hotel 3am Jon Mac is leading this ride. PMCC SUMMER PARTY Saturday July 6th at City Bus Milehouse. 6pm to 1145pm. BBQ and Disco. Only £6 per person MEGA RIDE 11th August Meet at Lee Mill, If you want a free breakfast then come and help. Marshalls needed at Lee Mill, on the ride and on the Hoe. Be part of the action. Rideouts Every Monday Meet at Legacy ( Novatel) Marsh Mills 7pm for 7.30 pm .Marshalls always needed.
You asked for some content - if this does not fit what you are looking for then please ignore it! As a Plymouth Club member living in Brittany its a little bit too far to get back for the club rides, but I have found a group here, calling themselves Brittany Bikers, who arrange ride outs and other events. Its not a club, but a loose band of ex-pats who live and bike in the area. The women, who tend to be pillions, get together regularly for lunch, and laughingly call themselves Laydeez Wot Lunch. We recently had the first Women's Ride Out, "Laydeez Wot Ride" and it worked very well. Lynne on her BMW GS and me on my Honda CBF met up at my house as we live so close together and rode the 20 odd miles to Guemene Sur Scorff to meet Gaye and Janet on their Viragos. Janet, who lived nearest to the supermarket where we met, was last to arrive, saying as she pulled up "I'd forgotten how long it takes to get ready!" She was having trouble with new boots and finding it difficult to feel the foot levers. What's more she had forgotten where her choke was, so that led to us all walking around the machine trying to locate it. We felt very "technical" Once she had put on her reading glasses she was happy enough that the little lever we found just under her seat actually was the right one, because it said "choke" on it - always helps to have confirmation! Gaye. who had been to the places we intended to visit before, albeit by car, led the way and I took up the tail position, behind Janet. I gave her plenty of room, as she really was having trouble with her gears. First stop was the Chapel de St Barbe, a very strange little church built on living rock down the side of a small cliff. As the sun was shining and it was around 12.30 we ate our picnics at the top, in the car park, and then wound our way down to the chapel, only to find the doors locked. When we returned to the cafe in search of coffee the owner explained that the church shuts for lunch, and although we lingered in front of the log fire and sipped our coffee very slowly, it was still "lunch time" (the French have 2 hours for lunch break) when we were ready to leave. There is a big bell in a kind of hut between the cafe and the toilets, so we each gave it a good ring on our way to making ourselves "comfortable", and then it was back to the bikes for our second stop off. We went to the Buddhist Centre at Plouay and this was a real eye-opener. It is off down a winding forest track and I began to think Gaye had got us lost, )when I wasn't worrying about poor Janet who seemed to be using rather more of the track than I thought necessary, getting a little off-roading in at one point). But sure enough, once we parked up and walked down the footpath there opened in front of us a huge landscaped garden with some amazing buildings, like being in a bit of Tibet. We found a giant prayer wheel that, when spun hard enough, set a gong chiming, supposedly lifting your prayers up to heaven. So I should be getting a new bike before my birthday, if it worked! Of course there was a shop, and we spent a few euros each on little keep sakes before agreeing that what we all really needed after our arduous day on the bikes was a coffee. Outside Le Karong, a bar near my house, with the much needed coffee to hand, we agreed that it had been fun and the Laydeez Wot Ride must do it again at least once a month through the season. Lynne had felt much more confident than she expected to feel and had rediscovered her joy in riding. Gaye, who had never led a ride before, basked in the gratitude we expressed and Janet had an equal sense of accomplishment having managed her bike, new boots and all. Me, I'd never been on a ride out that only took us 67 miles but filled the whole day, and I had really enjoyed the female company for a change. I still miss the Plymouth crew riding together, but this was so different it bore no comparison! We are going to be following Lynne next time, she has a thatched village she wants to show us, and after that Janet says she knows of just the place to take us. I'm really looking forward to it! Bon Route! Safe riding
Best Regards Tilla