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Magazine of the Thames Valley HOG Chapter


It started with the Cider Rally and ended with Blazin’ Cannons. The rally season is just about over for another year. There’s still time, though, to add to your mileage before submitting your totals at the end of the month. And, as the Poker Runs finish, the Saturday Socials begin. Look out for the lunch venues on the website.

Month two. Not quite so scary as editing that first issue, but daunting nonetheless. I remember the previous editor standing up at club night and asking for people to send her things to put into the magazine. I never thought she meant me, I had nothing interesting to say or anything anyone wanted to read about. I feel quite guilty now, realising what it feels like to put together a whole magazine with nothing to put in it! I even contacted Lee to tell him my email wasn’t working as nothing had arrived in my mailbox with only 10 days to go for this issue. If we had only 120 members (and we have a lot more) and every member sent one thing each year - a picture, rally report, bit of trivia, photo, a suggestion, a tip or advice, - then I would have TEN items for each issue! Come on all you members, and I do mean YOU! You must have done something this year worth sharing, or taken a picture we’d like to see - send it now. Sue


Inside this issue…

October / November Birthdays

Front cover:

Guildford, on launch day - 2014 bikes

Page 2

Start your Engines

Page 4, 5

Don’s Words of Wibsdom

Page 6, 7

LOH - Sue’s Scribbles

Page 7

Mailbag

Page 8, 9

Blazin’ Cannons - by Nick West

Page 10, 11

News and Updates - Events

Nick West

Page 12, 13

Meet the Members

Elaine Shepherd

Page 14, 15

Calendar

Graham Fielding

Page 16 - 18 California 2013 - by Pat Jackson

Page 19

Thames Valley Christmas Party

Page 20, 21

Italy, 110th Party - by CJ (Part 1)

Page 22

Whose bike?

Page 23

Fine Pig

Page 24

Italy cont.

Page 25

Picture Gallery

Page 26, 27

Ride to the Wall - Don Wibberley

Back cover:

Meet the committee

Malcolm Poulter Hayley West

25th Oct

26th Oct 4th Nov

and BIG ones:Bernie Churchill 13th Nov 65th! Lee White 16th Nov 40th! Let’s Party…

Happy birthday to you all!

A big thank you to Pat, CJ, Nick, Mike, and regular contributors, Linda, Don, Sue and Lee, for their contributions to this month’s magazine.


Hi, and welcome to the October edition of Tales from the Riverbank.

Just when you thought the riding season was coming to an end, up pops the old sun again, totally out of the blue, and it gives us even more time out on the road enjoying the Harley lifestyle. Which brings me on to the mileage program and our Chapter based Miles for Fun cards. Both the mileage program and the Miles for Fun end on the 31st October, which gives you all around 2 weeks to cram in those last remaining miles to make sure you are at the top of the leader board on November club night. Both Nick and I will be on your cases nagging you for your finishing mileages and Miles for Fun cards during November. We hope to be able to give out prizes at next club night, providing we have all the results in. By club night tonight the final poker run will have taken place for the year at The Cunning Man in Burghfield. The poker runs this year have been very well attended by many of our members which will make the pot for the best hands of poker well worth winning. This, too, will be announced at November’s club night.

Blazin’ Cannons Sadly, this year Hazel and I were unable to attend Blazin’ Cannons but after talking to a few of you it would seem we missed out on a really great rally organised by New Forest Chapter. I’m told it was a far better venue with the site totally booked for Hog members, unlike last year. It was great to hear Nij took another trophy at this year’s rally for best in show, well done mate!

Ride to the Wall Sixteen Bikes from Thames Valley made the pilgrimage this year to the Arboretum to support Ride to the Wall. This is truly a great event which seems to grow in numbers attending every year, with an estimated 20,000 people passing through the gates to the Memorial during the day, most arriving on Bikes, Scooters, Cars & Coaches. This event is now not just a bikers event. We have a write up about Ride to the Wall further on in this month’s magazine.

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Thames Valley Christmas Party Following the announcement of a Thames Valley Christmas Party at a hotel in Reading this year, tickets have sold really fast. We now have 40 places booked with many of you staying at the hotel overnight. Tickets for the party, if we have any left, can be purchased from Pat or Barry on club night tonight. Winter Season As the poker runs finish and autumn starts, so do our Saturday Socials. Sue Brown, our Ladies of Harley rep, has taken up the challenge again this year to organise Saturday pub meets and social evenings. If you have any ideas of good pubs or local haunts you think would make an ideal evening out, drop Sue a line at ladiesofharley@thamesvalleyhog.org.uk or use the suggestion box at club night, with your ideas. Rides and Rallies for 2014 It’s time to start planning the calendar for 2014 in particular the Rallies that the Chapter are going to attend en masse. Bookings for the 2014 Cider Rally are already underway and, as always, you need to book ASAP to get accommodation on site. We always enjoy the Cider Rally and always have a large presence of members there. It has been suggested we take a large party up to Thunder in the Glens in August again next year. We all had such a great weekend this year it would be a shame to miss it next year, so Scotland is in the calendar for 2014. The chapter Chill Out weekend, in Tewkesbury, is booked for June. Details to follow soon. We need suggestions for the boys’ weekend away, a different rally or a campsite type biking weekend. How about ride outs and events - do you know or have any ideas of places or events to organise ride outs to next year? Your ideas are always welcome. Any suggestions or ideas forward to: activities@thamesvalleyhog.org.uk or, via the suggestion box. 2014 Committee At club night tonight, application forms for the 2014 committee positions are available. These need to be returned to Sue Moyler by October 31st for consideration. All committee members and road crew need to reapply for their positions in 2014. Before applying for a position on the committee or as Road Crew you are required to be an active member of the team, and not just wear the badge on your jacket. Ride safe and carry on having fun.

Don Director

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I would first like to say a big thank you to Sue Dodds for standing in for me and writing an excellent piece in last months mag whilst I was off on hols. I also wanted to thank Don for asking me to accompany Hazel in laying the Thames Valley Memorial Wreath at the 6th Ride to the Wall ( RTTW) event. It was a great honour and a very moving experience. Now that the autumnal weather is upon us and the Poker nights have come to a close, the Saturday Social has been resurrected. So, the November lunchtime gathering has been arranged at The Dumbbell Harvester restaurant along the Bath Road, Taplow SL6 0LJ www.harvester.co.uk/thedumbbellmaidenhead/ I have reserved a seating area for us so please come along, from 12.30 on 9th November, to enjoy the company, have a drink and maybe a bite to eat too! Everyone is welcome.

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I have been thinking about where to go for our annual LoH weekend. Last year’s outing to Butlins was a blast so I am looking for another venue with lots to do. So, watch this space or hopefully I will be able to announce the date and venue at club night. This year the ladies Christmas Party will be at The World Turned Upside Down, Crown Carvery, Reading, (same venue as last year) on Friday 13th December, at 7:30pm. It’s a three course meal and coffee all for £10. Please let me know by Saturday if you can make it and pay at club night. Luv Sue x

bag l i a M

Dear Readers, I looked in my mailbag and, alas, it was empty. If it is empty again next month I’ll take it that you all don’t want this feature and I’ll remove it. Signed, Editor.

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This is the place to share opinions, news, information, or your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be much, just a sentence or two, or a photo or news item, a bit of Harley trivia... Anything, really can go here. Send your contribution for next month’s edition to:

In 1907, police departments started to use Harley-Davidsons to catch criminals at a quicker speed Policemen today still use Harleys in USA

Approx. 20,000 Harley Davidson motorcycles were used in World War 1.


Last year, the rally was good but it wasn't GREAT. The site was fine, the parade ride was excellent and the weather held pretty well but the entertainment package was not quite up to Rally standards. The stage acts all mentioned that they were not expecting a load of bikers and so had a ‘less than exciting’ repertoire for us. Early in the year we reached out to New Forest with this feedback and THEY LISTENED! On arrival, we found a loo roll, pirate hat and eyepatch, some chocolate gold doubloons, a pin badge and glossy programme in the Goody Bag. The staff and volunteers were all dressed in pirate outfits which instantly created a great first impression and set us up for the weekend ahead. This year we had tailored entertainment; top class acts included rock band BrainScape and a comedian on the Saturday Night. The disco played music more appropriate to our group and whilst some of the ‘adult’ games were a little cheesy in places, they were well supported and taken in good fun.

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Again, the parade ride was professionally marshalled and supported by the local police. Weymouth residents were very welcoming and the reception by local Radio Station, Wave105, at the Pavilion was first class. The Lord Mayor presented five trophies in the bike show, two of which were won by Thames Valley members Nij Jones and Sue Knight. Nij won Best in Show (AGAIN !) for the second year running, with his pimped out Road Glide. Sue won Best of the Rest with her well kept and very tidy Harley Trike. The weather was very kind over the weekend with a little rain just before the Parade Ride and then some fine rain on the Journey home Trophy picture here for those who departed on Monday. The accommodation at Seaview was, again, VERY good. Most of the caravans were almost new and well equipped. Onsite catering was pretty good too, a good solid breakfast was being offered for around a fiver and Papa John’s Pizza offered a ‘deliver to the caravan’ service. There were pubs and fish n chip shops just a short walk from the holiday park for those who wanted a bit of a change. Overall, the Rally was a great success and a noticeable improvement on last year. I can't wait for next year…

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Nick


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Meet the Members

Spotlight on... Mike Connolly Are you married/in a relationship? I’m married to Gill. Some of you may have met her at club night – she’s the lady who makes jewellery. How long have you been together? Gill and I have been married for 27 years but we’ve known each other from school days and both grew up in Maidenhead. Do you have any children? Ok – steady yourself – we’ve got 5 kids! I don’t know how Gill coped when they were all growing up because there’s only 7 years between youngest and oldest. Crikey - the more I think of it the more I’m amazed. Any pets? Nope – 2 reasons: 1: Try taking care of pets when you’ve got 5 mouths to feed, and 2: We’re useless with pets. We tried tropical fish and stick insects which both ended in complete disaster. How long have you been riding motorbikes? Got on 2 wheels at 16 - but that was a Lambretta scooter so enough said about that! Got my first bike at 17 – so been riding for 41 years now.

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What was your first bike? First bike was a Honda 250 CB - very nice and got me to and from Liverpool and Maidenhead more times than I can remember, in all weathers. When did you get your first Harley? 2001 – remember that day well What do you ride now? Believe it or not I’m riding the same bike I got 12 years ago (and 50,000 miles later) It’s an FXDL Lowrider. Maybe I should get a new bike – I wonder what that will be?? How long have you been a Thames Valley member? This is my second year but I already feel like I’ve been a member for ages – you are all such lovely friendly people I’ve made lots of good friends already. Any hobbies apart from motorbikes? I’m a keen canoeist. That works quite well because the best canoe weather is when it’s raining and the best biking weather is when it’s sunny. Any special Harley experiences? Not yet – I think every time you get your bike out it’s a bit special and something happens – but you all know that – it’s what Harleys are all about. I’ve had some really good rides, met some great people and had loads of fun – long may it continue. Nice getting to know you, Mike, thanks for the chat!

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October

November

Hoggin’ the Bridge Sunday 20th, 8:00 to 4:30

Chapter Christmas Party Calcot Hotel , Reading Friday, 22nd 7:00 - 11:30.

Covent Gardens/TGI Fridays Saturday 256h 5:00 til 10:30pm

cont.

Broom Farm Toy Run Sunday 24th, 11:00 - 6:00 Meet Legoland at 11:00

Ace Café Harley Night with Warr’s H-D Thursday 31st , 6:00pm

Ace Café Harley Night Thursday 28th, 6:00

November

December

Committee Night Tuesday 5th, 8:00pm

Committee Night Tuesday 3rd, 8:00pm

Saturday Social Lunch Saturday 9th, 12:30 Dumbbell Harvester, Taplow SL6 0LJ

LoH Christmas Meal World Turned Upside Down Friday, 13th

Lee White’s 40th Birthday Bash BirdsHills Golf Centre, 7:30

Club Night Thursday 19th, 7:30

Club Night Thursday 21st, 7:30

Ace Café Harley Night NO HARLEY NIGHT THIS MONTH

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Dates, events, ride-outs and activities Details correct at time of going to print. Check the website for updates and amendments www.thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Events for your Diary

Club Nights

2014 23rd Cider Rally 2nd - 5th May Big Brum Bash 23rd - 26th May Ireland Bike Fest 30th May - 1st June European Rally Biograd Croatia 2nd - 16th June Wake the Lakes 3rd - 6th July Fenlanders Rally 24th - 27th July Hog n Bog Provience wide 1st - 3rd August Thunder in the Glens 22nd - 25th August Deva Legion Circus Maximus 12th - 14th September

October

17th

November 21st December 19th January

16th

February

20th

Mag contribution Deadlines October

10th

November 14th Check website for

December

12th

Changes / further

January

9th

February

13th

details on all events

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Our journey started one cold, wet day in November, with the success of our U.S.A. trip 2012 still fresh in our minds. We discussed the possibilities of doing it again in 2013 but this time in California. There would only be 6 of us and no support vehicle but it’s surprising how much bag and baggage you can do without when you have to. Nick, our ‘leader’, said we would probably buy some t-shirts out there so 3 sets of undies would be plenty, but I must admit there were days when I wasn't the only one setting off in the morning with damp underwear! But, as the temperature quickly rose to over 100°, we were soon damp with sweat, anyway. The ‘Six Amigos’, or better known as Sue & Dave Brown, Deb & Nick West and Pat & Ron Jackson, arrived in San Diego on a muggy 19th August, picked up the bikes and set off on our 2,700 mile epic journey. Going though the Anza- Borrego desert with the temperature now topping 115° was a killer. Then a photo opportunity in Joshua National Park, and bed in 29 Palms (thank God they had a pool!). Next day along route 66 to Roy's Cafe and another photo for Facebook. Some of the houses round there were no more than shacks in the middle of nowhere; you would see nothing for miles and then come across a row of mailboxes and think, “Where are they living?”. Then through Barstow to Ridgecrest and by now the scenery was fantastic. Next on our agenda was Death Valley but I was quite relieved to hear that the main road to Death Valley had been washed away by flash-floods. Next stop was Mammoth Lakes passing through Bishop (where we watched a cat and a dog swimming in a river. And yes, I did say a cat!). Mammoth Lakes was stunning and our best chance of seeing a bear, but I'm afraid to say Sue and Dave were the only lucky ones to witness a bear going down to the lake. We were envious, you bet! We thought we heard one during the night but it was just Nick, snoring!

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This was more or less how our holiday went, with beautiful scenery and blue skies - apart from the horrendous fire in Yosemite N/P which meant riding through a lot of smoke and even ash raining down. We were told that over 200sq miles had been affected and you wonder how the park can survive, but it does. We passed recently burnt large areas and there was already regrowth. Ron was off twitching in Oakhurst when he spotted humming birds on the hotel feeders , woodpeckers by the dozen, and a doe with two fawns walked past our veranda. Our 1st dealership was Jamestown and many a t-.shirt was purchased. Bridgeport was our next stop and by now we all stank of smoke, but after a shower and change of clothes we were ready to eat. Before we could, another photo opportunity arose. A big red fire truck pulled into our motel car park, a hunky fireman was grabbed, to pose for a photo with the girls, while a female fire-fighter obliged the boys! Believe it or not, in the morning there was frost on our bikes but it had warmed up by the time we got to Carson City dealership. They had an open day, so with free coffee, cakes and a live band, we stayed a bit longer than planned. That gave Ron a good excuse to scan their lake and cross off 2 new birds on his list. Lake Tahoe was our next port of call; some very expensive properties surrounded this beautiful, huge lake with sandy beaches. Then on to Reno where we watched youngsters cruising the strip in their souped-up cars. But the sight we will never forget was a man on his pushbike, covered in lights, his stereo blaring out and grinning from ear to ear. Leaving Reno, we headed off to Mt. Shaster stopping off at McArthur Falls and a chance to cool off before pulling into ‘Strawberry Valley Inn’ to be greeted by a power cut! No showers, no drinks, no open restaurants, so we picnicked in the dark (very romantic). In Oregon at Crescent City, we started our return journey. Dave had planned a really busy ride on one of his days, starting at ‘Trees of Mystery’ which was very interesting and unusual and included a ‘Sky Pod’ ride up through the trees. Coffee break at Redwood dealership, lunch in Ferndale and we finished the day with a ride through the ‘Avenue of giants’ to Garberville. Another photo shoot for Facebook was the largest Redwood which we all rode through.

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Over Golden Gate Bridge (looked like it was red primer; not at all golden). A two-day stay meant we could do Alcatraz (very atmospheric) and also a 2 hour bus tour, which meant we could hop off at a Harley shop, take a short walk to pier 39 to watch the seals and eat at the Hard Rock Café. On the road again to Davenport then Monterey Bay and another H/D shop. We watched sea otters feeding and had lunch in Carmel at Clint Eastwood's restaurant ‘Hog's Breath’. We had to have a Dirty Harry burger! Following the coast to San Simeon, we watched pods of whales and, on the beach, elephant seals and pelicans. We were surprised to see a herd of wild zebras in a field. Breakfast in Morro Bay, dealership in Santa Maria, an ice-cream and paddle in Santa Monica and on to Oxnard. Stopped at beautiful Malibu Beach on our way to Santa Barbara pier, which is the end of route 66, and a good excuse for more photos then lunch in Bubba Gump Shrimp Comp. A quick frolic in the sea and on to Los Angeles, to a posh hotel with very noisy pool parties of which we were 30 years too old! So, a quick shower and out onto the Strip, which was very lively and busy - I liked it, it had a buzz. A two day stay so we managed to do all the touristy things which included photos at the ‘Hollywood’ sign. A day on Venice beach to top up our tans and play in the waves like little kids and then back to San Diego to return the bikes. And so the journey ends, but the memories will last forever.

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Pat


Thames Valley Christmas Party 2013

Calcot Hotel Reading 98 Bath Rd, Reading, West Berkshire RG31 7QN

Friday 22nd November 7:30 drinks Dinner at 8:00 Three course Christmas Dinner followed by Coffee and mints

Followed by disco, to dance the night away Dress to impress! £23 per person. Places are limited so sign up at October Club Night, £10 deposit will secure a place Accommodation available: To book call 0118 941 6423 or email: reservations@calcothotel.net Double room £55, Single room £45, includes breakfast Quote Adams at the time of booking for this special rate

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ROME, 110 The Thames Valley Way By CJ

Paul, Trev, Clive & CJ, four guys with their Harleys, riding from England to Rome for Harley Davidson’s Celebration Rally in Ostia to mark 110 years of making Harley Davidsons.

We very easily made our minds up that we would commit to riding to Rome from England and the plans started to take shape with the aid of a Facebook page for sharing information whilst all of us were busy working, and not forgetting the essential few Pub visits to firm things up so to speak (or to keep the women happy). No, seriously, this was so we could all agree the routes, the ‘Must See & Dos’, hotels and monies owed. The leaving day quickly arrived and just like we planned we met at Cobham Services for a coffee and then a ride to the Channel Tunnel to catch the Train which is by far the easiest and quickest way to France on a bike and a no brainer because the price was included in our ticket for our stay at Camp Fabulous. The 1st leg of the Journey started with a nice hot sunny day via the A26 to Reims. ‘What a start’, we thought, ‘it can’t get better than this what with the scenery and weather’. We planned regular stops and our 1st stop was at a pleasant Service Station some 118 miles into the 1st leg of our journey. At the end of this fabulous day’s riding we had covered approximately 283 from our start in England to the arrival of our 1st Hotel (we were happily surprised because it looked very familiar has did all the surrounding areas all because of Google Maps and the little Yellow man, lol). That evening we had some very good French cuisine consisting of Salads and Salmon and a few beers. 20


The next day we woke up to yet another sunny day and our route planned was to take us too Vichy which was very scenic although by early afternoon we had to stop to put wets on because of some rain. The 1st stop on this journey was a nice café opposite a river and after to speaking with the owner of the café found out they were from Croydon of all places! We had a small beer, photos and chatted with her and her Husband and not forgetting the Butcher next door , before setting off for the next leg of our journey. We arrived at our 2nd Hotel and weren’t disappointed (this was turning out to be poetry in motion lol) Once we parked and freshened up we went for something to eat, well we are men… But whilst Clive & Trev went to McDonalds for some good old French cuisine? Paul and I went to a Buffalo Grill which was extremely nice indeed. Must say though I’m not sure McDonalds was our idea of French cuisine, lol. On Sunday we woke up to a dry day, yippee, but it soon turned out to become our wettest day of the entire trip. On this route we stopped @ Sauxillanges le fleurs for a coffee and whilst there the rain had stopped but we decided wisely to keep our wets on (yeah, we hear you all say, that’s a first!) As we headed for Millau it poured down so heavy that we had to stop at a services along with numerous other bikers. When the rain slowed down enough we set off again because by now all we wanted to do was to get to our Log Cabin. On arrival we, being men, knew that we had to get our essentials dried so hung everything out to dry over heaters and on the outside of the veranda. That evening we caught a cab and went into town. We, of course, found a Pub which served a great Chicken Tagliatelli. This is where our French classes came in handy because we done really well making ourselves understood by the locals, even when we were faced with a local drunk .Clive and I managed to calm him down with our many interpersonal skills whilst Doughnut and Trev looked on with admiration @ a distance lol. Cont. on page 23 21


Whose Bike? Our ‘Jammy’ photographer, Linda, has been taking candid shots of our bikes when we weren’t looking! Do you recognise your bike, or that of another club member? If you correctly identify the bike and owner, you will win a bottle of wine, to be presented at club night. If there’s more than one correct answer, names will be put in a hat and one drawn out - at club night. Good luck!

If you can identify this bike, send your answer to Linda, c/o: editor@thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

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Fine Pig October Fines 2013

As you know, all the money collected in fines goes to our chosen charity. Because you have all been such good sports over the year, and very generous too, I have declared October a Fine Free month! But be warned, I will be out to get you next month! I’m a fine pig, very fine!!

Your fine Mistress,

Pat Continued from page 21

Monday morning started with an overcast day so we all put ours wets on ready for the journey over the Millau Bridge which was a fantastic sight to see. The riding route planned took us to Cannes where Doughnut informed us that he had spent many years working there… well that’s what he told us Lol. (He certainly knew his way around the place). We had time for a small (yes, it was small) beer in a bar he knew and often went to whilst working there. Once we left Cannes and stopped at the services we came across lots of women with Guns (The Army) We were probably the quietest we had been all trip lol. We are all guilty for ragging our bikes through tunnels to make lots of noise but on this leg of our journey we actually got fed up with tunnels and viaducts heading towards Italy. I actually lost count there were so many. We eventually arrived at our Best Western Hotel by which time we had covered 385 miles (a long but enjoyable ride). 23

Continued on page 24


Continued from page 23

We had a fantastic evening meal and in the morning we were greeted by a Sunny day. This part of the journey would take us along the A10 to Florence and eventually on to Camp Fabulous, our base for the HOG Rally. Again we had a great day’s riding although we decided to use yet another péage (Toll Road) to get to our destination quicker as we were all feeling a bit tired after covering 355 miles up to that point. On our arrival @ Camp Fabulous and after we had checked in we were all wanting to eat so we did exactly that along with a few beers When in Rome do as they do or something like that, lol. The highlight of this evening was the great laugh we had with the waitresses @ Camp Fabulous. They were diamonds going along with our banter and adding their own bits which kept us on our toes. On Wednesday morning we were greeted by beautiful sunshine which was to become the theme of our stay whilst in Ostia. We decided that morning was a good time to go and visit the Harley Technical site which we were advised was on the coastal road but some distance from the Rally site. We very quickly found out by attempting to use the local transport that Italy doesn’t do public transport well, at all! lol We found ourselves waiting for an eternity before we decided to walk. This was part of our plan, of course, so as to maintain a level of fitness (NOT)!. After visiting both the technical site which had the entire Harley range of bikes for people to test ride and mechanical support which is where Doughnut made enquiries about his rear Pulley wheel on his Glide. It had been making a strange sound which, upon checking, Doughnut found that numerous teeth had been worn down, we think by picking up a stone on the belt. It was a worry to say the least. We walked along the coastal road and eventually got to the Rally site which at this time was readying itself for the next day of opening. We had a good leisurely walk around the site which was useful for the coming days so we knew where everything was. To be continued...

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Ride to the Wall 6

On Saturday, 5th October, at 7:30am 14 members of Thames Valley UK Chapter assembled at SportsAble for the annual ride to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to support Ride to the Wall. The ride headed to the M40 at High Wycombe picking up another member just before the motorway junction. The last club member joined the pack at junction 8 on the A40 just before the Hedington turning, making the pack a total of 16 bikes. Our ride took us through Burford, Stow on the Wold and onto MortonIn-Marsh where a well deserved break at a local Tea Room was needed. After taking on food and liquids we were off again towards Warwick, Kenilworth and Tamworth, finishing the journey at The Arboretum just before 12:00, with 139 miles for the Miles for Fun Cards. To start the afternoon of events one of the few remaining Spitfires still flying flew over the crowds several times. What a fantastic sight! The Army Wives choir followed next, singing many well known tunes to entertain the massive crowd assembled at the foot of the wall.

The final display was from the Red Arrows Parachute Display Team. The team of 6 jumpers left the aircraft and started their decent down to the waiting crowds. The first 2 from the team came in to land very close to a marked area to the right of the memorial. The following 3 linked up in the air to form an arch with their parachutes. When they broke formation and headed towards the landing area large flags unfolded beneath them and the smoke trail followed them to the ground. The sixth member of the team was the cameraman filming the jumps and relaying it back to the command centre. 26


Martin Dickenson, who is the founder of Ride to the Wall and heads the team of around 300 volunteers who stage this event every year, came to the podium. He thanked the enormous crowd for making the pilgrimage to the Arboretum - it was estimated that around 20,000 people had visited the site on the day of Ride to the Wall and that 6,500 bikes had registered so far and that figure was rising by the hour. A cheque for £70,000 was presented to the National Memorial Arboretum just last month from last year’s Ride to the Wall which makes a total donated £218,000 - a fantastic amount of money donated towards the upkeep of the memorial. It was also announced that Martin had been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services this year for his work with the charity. Well done Martin, a very well deserved award. On our way home from the Arboretum a few of us finished our day out with dinner at a local pub in Burford. Another great day out supporting ‘Ride to the Wall’.

Don .

Our regular feature on Safety First will be returning next month. In the meantime, keep safe! 27


Don Wibberley Chapter Director Email: director@ director @thamesvallyhog.org.uk thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Pat Adams Assistant Director Email: assistantdirector@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Colin Wilkins Treasurer Email: treasurer@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Sue Moyler Secretary Email: secretary@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Fred Cotsford Fred CotsfordOfficer Membership Membership Officer Email: membership@ Email: membership@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Nij Jones Nij Jones Head Road Captain Head Road Captain Email: headroadcaptain@ Email: headroadcaptain@ Thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Nick West Nick West Safety Officer & Safety Officer & historian Historian Email: Historian @thamesvalleyhog.org.uk Email: historian@

Barry Adams Barry Adams Activities Officer Activities Officer Email: activities@ Email: activities@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Lee White Lee White Webmaster Webmaster Email: webmaster@ Email: webmaster@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Sue Knight Sue Knight Editor Editor Email: editor@ Email: editor@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Bernie Meason Bernie Meason Photographer Photographer Email: photographer@ Email: photographer@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Sue Brown Sue Brown Ladies of Harley Ladies Harley Email: of ladiesofharley@ Email: ladiesofharley@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

facebook.com/groups/ facebook.com/groups/ thamesvalleyhog thamesvalleyhog youtube.com/user/ tvwebmaster1 Linda LindaFriend Friend Photographer Photographer Email: Email: photographer@ photographer@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Shirley Churchill Shirley Churchill Merchandise Merchandise Email: merchandise@ Email: merchandise@ thamesvalleyhog.org.uk

Club Venue: Club Venue: SportsAble,Braywick BraywickSports SportsGround, Ground, SportsAble, Maidenhead,SL6 SL61BN 1BN Maidenhead,


Oct 2013