Southern Section News August 2016

posted 7 Jul 2016, 13:09 by Section Webmaster

We had a brilliant weekend in Abergavenny.  This was very well attended and almost fully booked within days of the original details being forwarded by Erica.  As usual Dave and Myf Williamson did us proud, with a great hotel, good food and, John says, good Ale.  I didn’t go on the run, but I have included a write up from Bob Melvin.  ‘Fear could have easily spread across Abergavenny on Saturday 11th June as it must have looked like some sort of chemical incident as a rider emerged from his hotel room clad in an all-enveloping fluorescent yellow suit.  But no, it was just Bob Melvin in a lightweight rain suit worn in response to the prevailing wet conditions.  The approach to the hotel the previous afternoon, with its views of the sweeping moorland hills in the near distance, had given us a foretaste of the delights to come.  However, by the morning the weather had started to match the drama of the landscape.  Having assembled in the car park of the Plas Derwen Hotel, we left in a convoy of 11 bikes, following the leaders, Dave and Myf.  The initial pace was fairly brisk but well-ordered and our route along a short stretch of dual carriageway soon gave way to the sort of country roads that would be equally at home in our native Surrey Hills.  The road surfaces were somewhat better paved than the over-used Surrey tarmac, offering better grip, even with the prevailing conditions.  Riding with good, competent riders makes this sort of outing so much more fun.  By the time we reached Hay on Wye for our coffee stop, the clouds had lifted to reveal more of the beautiful scenery.  I took the opportunity to disrobe, removing the ‘chemical suit’ to find that with internal condensation, the suit was actually wetter inside as out.  This was a new acquisition and the first thing learned was that it ain’t Gortex and it doesn’t breathe.  Coffee over and suit stowed, we set forth again, skirting the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons, covering a significant distance on minor roads.  There were no hesitations for route reviews and each junction was navigated decisively, making the ride through to Crossgates very consistent and relaxing.  After a brief lunch stop Dave and Myf lead off again on their GS, this time deeper into the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Every road seemed to offer more sweeping bends than the last stretch, ascending and descending through the countryside, together with more varied landscapes, from tree canopied lanes to the open desolation of the hill-top moorlands marked with red military warning flags advising of live firing.  The weather varied with the landscape, ranging from bright sunshine to pouring rain.  We finally arrived back at the hotel after an amazing ride.  Dave and Myf had put a lot of planning to make this a superb days outing covering 130 miles of some of the finest countryside South Wales has to offer.   One lesson learned was that I need an on-board camera to capture some of the views.’

Many thanks to Dave and Myf for organising this weekend and also thanks to Bob for his ride out write up.

We thought we would try something different and advertised the Real Ale Train for 18th June.  Although a few of us bought tickets during the year and really enjoyed the evening, obviously this event did not appeal to the members generally.  Although only Erica, Neil, John and Gerri decided to go we had a lovely time, followed by a B & B chez Erica.  There was a slightly better turnout at Mother Kelly’s on 22nd, where 14 of us enjoyed a get together and a nice fish and chip supper.  As you probably all know, the camping weekend at The Barge was a bit of a problem.  Even though we had asked numerous times and been told we did not need to book, we were told the weekend before that they were fully booked.  Bob took on the job of ringing round for an alternative camp site, and it was decided that we would go the Sixpenny Handley as they had space.  Fewer attended than were expected to go to The Barge, possibly due to the last minute problems, but those who did attend had a great time.  Erica sent me the following report. ‘I had a lovely ride to Sixpenny Handley and arrived to find a motorhome, and event shelter and one tent, but no-one around.  I managed to put my tent up in the dry and, by the time I had finished, Bob Denman and Nev Jones returned bearing gifts from their trip to the brewery.  John Moore arrived and, to assist the process of putting up the tent, a bottle of champagne was opened.  Unfortunately Helen and James arrived slightly too late, which meant more for us!  It appears the change of venue and perhaps the weather forecast put people off attending this weekend, which was a shame, as we had a fair bit of sunshine.  John Moor led a ride on the Saturday, allegedly on a circuitous route intended to finish at the Royal Signals Museum.  In spite of there being only six riders, we managed to lose everyone on the way (so much for the buddy system!).  However, three of us managed to find our way to the museum, which was excellent, whilst Helen, James and John managed to find a café with the best cream tea in the area.  Gail turned up on the Saturday and, after a lovely meal at the campsite restaurant, we had a great evening sheltering from the rain in the GS Register’s event shelter and participating in Nev’s quiz (lots of questions about motorbikes, surprisingly!)’

August sees our regular visit to Poole Quay for fish and chips on 9th.  On the 21st, Erica is leading a run to Bournemouth Air Festival.  This is, of course, followed by The National over the Bank Holiday weekend.  September, and we have our week to the Dordogne 3rd to 10th.  On the 18th we have a run booked in the diary, but at the moment it is a mystery, we don’t know who is leading this or where it is going.  Hopefully by next month I can give you more details.  Alternatively, check out the website on

That’s all for now folks.  Just to say get out there and enjoy summer when it finally arrives.



07528 873056



01895 446896