Between 21st and 24th June the Branch had a fine weekend in South Wales based at the Premier Inn, Merthyr Tydfil. Nine of us went and we enjoyed generally good weather as we rode through the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons, Llandovery, Garth, Carmarthen, Llanelli and the Gower. The roads and views were stunning and it is likely we shall visit the area again..
On Sunday 30th June a very rare and possibly propitious event took place! All the bikes that turned up for the Ride were Hondas! How spooky is that! Not sure when that last occured. We had a lovely ride and a nice get together, some lovely country roads. Lunch at Cafe33 at Stradishall and afternoon tea at Thaxted. Warm and sunny. Minor panic afterwards as we thought we had forgot to pay for cake at Parrishes, but we had, Phew! Exciting or what...
On 7th July Robin led a very pleasant ride with six bikes involved. After meeting at McDonalds we spent the day on fine, quiet, sunny country roads. Two breaks were taken at pleasant farm shop cafes. We went from the edge of Harlow towards Chelmsford, Braintree, Sudbury, Stowmarket, Bressingham, Bury St Edmunds, Finchingfield and Dunmow. About 180 great bendy road miles..
On 14th July six of us had a fine day riding into Fenland. I love some of the roads, the 1101 being one of them. We went as far as Spalding and had lunch at Peacocks in Ely, very nice, with an afternoon stop at Barton Mills.
On 21st July seven bikes had a lovely ride led by Dave Plumb. He kindly stepped in after our planned leader was struck with a puncture. We met at the Bikers Tea Hut High Beach and went Ongar, Dunmow, Rayne, Halstead and then cut across to St Osyth's for lunch. Lunch was at the Sailor Boy and was cheap and cheerful, though we were in a massive coastal caravan park rather than in a picturesque village! We then cut over the top of Colchester towards Sudbury. The afternoons roads back were brilliant with a nice stop at a new place for most of us, Baythorne Hall cafe off A1017. Home run back through Dunmow via Finchingfield.
Arranged at short notice, on 4th August, a good team of seven bikes and nine people went to Lowestoft for lunch at the very nice Lighthouse Cafe. The weather was great, as were the roads and the company. Well over 200 miles were done. Thanks to Richard for organising..
On 11th August six of us had a lovely run through to Beachy Head near Eastbourne. The weather and scenery was stunning on a fairly sunny day. Lunch was taken near Bexhill at the pleasant Custom cafe and afternoon tea and scones at Pooh Corner tea rooms on the lovely B2026 at Hartfield. We found some good roads and avoided too much traffic. A fine day indeed.
On August 18th we had our traditional annual BBQ deftly organised by Steve, our regular chef. Before that Gary led us on a nice ride, though there was a bit of rain, that took us up to Tapps tea room at Baldock. We went through the Baldock bends both ways, wet and then dry! A pleasant day with about 16 of our members involved.
On 25th August Richard led five bikes and six people down to Box Hill for coffee at Ryka's cafe and then on to West Wittering for lunch. This is a pleasant coastal resort near Chichester and they partook in a pleasant lunch there as well as a stroll on the beach. There were some problems with traffic but a great day was had with lovely weather and good company.
On 1st September the Branch met at the Kings Oak, High Beach and took a very nice route up near to Luton for a good lunch at the Lilley Arms. We found mostly country roads the whole way, believe it or not! Afterwards we took the A505 through Hitchen before finding country roads to a tea break at Arrington on the A1198. The highlight of a nice ride home from there was the B1039 running East from Barley. A very pleasant day indeed.
Sunday 8th September was the annual run to Harwich in aid of the Essex and Herts air ambulance. North London joined in with thousands of others. After looking around the show lunch was taken at Halfpenny pier with an afternoon break at Braintree.
On 22nd September three of the Branches finest Amigos rode to the Iron Horse Ranch House at Deeping. A stack of pancakes was consumed and a jolly time had despite the damp weather. A day for the hardcore.
October 5-7th the Branch had a lovely trip to Cornwall organised and led by Richard. A very nice Ride down featured stops at Loomies and West Bay with a scone tea on Dartmoor. On the Sunday we visited Tintagel, Padstow and other coastal resorts and enjoyed great coastal scenery. We stayed at the very pleasant Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. Very atmospheric it was there. The Ride home on the Monday was rather damp, otherwise a great weekend.
On 20th October the weather was finally dry, if a little fresh, so six of the Branch took a ride on a sample of the best of the local roads. Corners was the order of the day and our route took us through Much Hadham, Elsenham, Thaxted, Finchingfield, Dunmow and Hatfield Heath. Lunch was at the fine Corner Cafe at Sible Hedingham with an afternoon break at Hatfield Heath. Great company was an added bonus.
On 27th it was a dry but rather brisk autumn day. Dave T boldly led a contingent of eight bikes and nine people into the wilds called the 'Cotswolds'. The route was great (though I rarely knew where we were) and we had a nice morning break alongside a river, may have been the 'Thames' before a fine Sunday lunch at the Inn for all Seasons. This was on the A40 just east of Burford. It was a long day, rather cold but extremely pleasant.
On 3rd November we decided on a Pilgrimage! Well it was St Neots, even though we did not visit any churches! We did have lunch at the highly recommended Ambience cafe on the Riverside though. I was the victim of some worthwhile abuse as I was first in the queue and got the last bit of steak pie. A fair exchange me thinks, lovely! And the Ride? Very nice, if a bit damp, great company and roads. Nine bikes and a prospective new member came along for the first bit. Afternoon stop taken at Mayfield farm shop Shearing where we were the reluctant recipients of some nice cakes left over after an event. Tough it isn't!