What We Did 2023.
Wednesday 15th November 2023 Club Night.
We held our ever popular, ever frustrating - indoor team Treasure Hunt at the National Motorcycle Museum. With six questions in each hall, all you need to win are 30 correct answers. There was no need for technical or engineering knowledge to take part as all the answers were clearly (hidden) for all to see within the 5 Halls.
There were Crazy questions each with Crazy clues to ‘help’ you find the answers among hundreds of British Motorbikes, Pictures and Display Cards on show.
After trawling through 5 Display Halls winners were.
1st. Grumpy Old Git Socks
Steve, Mary, Pete, Ian,
2nd. Back Scratchers
Nigel, Vivienne, Keith, Deb, Neil, Jane
3rd. MARSvellous prizes!
Stevie, Zak, Joan, Ian, D'Arcy
Saturday 14th October Klondyke Mill.
Our second visit of the year to the Steam Up with Geoff as Pack Leader. And another new start point, Bikers World near Coleshill. A damp start soon turned into a glorious day.
The Klondyke Society is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all manner of vintage items.
The site allows members the space to store Tractors, Steam Rollers, Live-in Vans and Static steam driven Engines of yesteryear.
Twice a year they have a Steam Fair where a number of full size and miniature steam powered vehicles are on display and inoperation including a steam driven circular saw. There are also classic and vintage cars, Tractors, heavy commercial vehicles and static steam powered working engines.
An onsite Kitchen provides hot and cold refreshments during the day.Come and see this myriad collection of Steam Powered GIANTS and Dwarfs.
The 28 mile route on well surfaced road took about 45 minutes.
As always photos below:-
Wednesday 18th October Club Night is Film Night.
Traffic Mayhem as Club Night coincided with the Caravan Show, an ABBA Tribute concert and torrential rain.
The motorway was chocker taking an hour to get from the slip road to the Museum Door!
Members arrived in drips an drabs, and a little later than planned we got the film show underway, a series of shorts focusing on amusing motorcycle adverts from the past, a documentary on the demise of BSA, and another detailing ”10 Reasons Not to Own a Classic Motorcycle” and early finish beckoned in case we all got caught in the ABBA exodus traffic jam.
Sunday 8th October Jim Fellows Run.
For 0ur annual Jim Fellows Run. We met, as usual at the Lay-by on the B4101 Balsall Common to Knowle road, just past the Saracens Head Pub.
In the past Jim and his wife Gill, always generously supplied riders with Coffee and Biscuits from their cottage in the village of Barston prior to the start of this run and in remembrance of Jim we now ride to his granddaughters farm at Umberslade for free Coffee and Biscuits in the same generous tradition set by her Grandad all those years ago!
A torturous but picturesque route of about 32 miles with a Ride time of 1hour 20minutes. BUT the for return journey home, only 10 miles to our start point just 20 minutes away.
Unusually we had a breakdown on this run, only minor, closing up of points causing one bike to drop by the wayside, but soon back on the road. Rumour has it that the unfortunate rider also ran out of fuel 3 miles from home.
Sunday 24th September Tour from Birmingham
On what can only be described as a “soft” weather day 14 riders turned up for today’s run, one, who forgot his waterproofs decided to pass, and the rest of set off Sheepy Magna, Fenny Drayton, Market Bosworth. Highlight of the trip was the two foot deep ford under a railway under pass, we all made it through safely, although Steve’s Triumph stalled half way through, but successfully restarted. It was persistently wet and as its harvest time the roads had a light coating of mud. Needless to say the bikes were less than pristine upon arrival.
Final destination was the Triumph factory at Hinckley. We all though Bob had arranged for us to use a special VIP gate as we sailed past the entrance, but no, he was fixated on the road ahead. A swift U turn and we were back in for a tour of the Museum Exhibition and Café for Coffee and Cakes (or Soup). Also there were the Ultima owners club, see photos.
Thursday 21st October Breakfast Run
Today, for the first time we had a combined VMCC APMC run. Starting from Walsh Lane Meriden we had one of our traditional “Mystery 11s” run, but this time with a defined finish point in Appleby Magna, where we met up with the APMC guys and had a second run round the lanes to the west, passing through Seckington Walton on Trent and a host of other picturesque villages.
Club Night Wednesday 20th Sept Paragliding
Tonight was supposed to be a wheel building demo by Central Wheels, which has had to be rescheduled for October.
Step forward Big John who gave us an excellent multi-faceted presentation on Paragliding, sound vision and anecdotes as well as a chance to see just how big a paraglider wing is and a look at his back mounted PowerPack which he uses for Paramotoring for self-launching flights.
John went into detail on how to get started training and the best ways to gain experience.
Thursday 5th October Breakfast Run.
Slightly longer run today to an upmarket Biker Venue KOTI (kotiautotalli.com) in Chipping Campden.
New starting point - the Car Park of the closed down Fish and Chips Restaurant on your riding the A3400 near Hockley Heath and a longer than Run of 21 miles with a riding time of around 55 minutes with only 7 Drop Off Stations.
Eleven intrepid adventurers set off for the unknown destination - well it was unknown to 10 of them. This turned out to be Koti Autotalli in Chipping Campden which combines a workshop, bikes sales and a cafe. The weather was mostly dry but with the occasional lapse in slight dampness - and the hot coffee was very welcome once we had reached the end of this longer-than-usual Elevenses run.
Weds 9th August Fish and Chips.
We ran our annual Mystery Fish and Chip run Ending up in Alcester
Weds 16th August Kart Night
Tony brought two of his vintage karts for those of us with slim hips to try on a circuit set out in the conference centre cark park.
For those of us ‘wider in the beam’ there was Andrews Senior Rotax.
All went well, although the course size kept speeds relatively slow there was still a chance to feel the G force and wind in your face and keep the speed merchants satisfied.
Sunday 20th August The Long Run
Todays long run started from the McD at Bassetts Pole Island. A 55 mile route was completed in a little over two hours and took in the sights of Blithfield Reservoir, Abbotts Bromley, Tutbury Castle and Swarkstone Bridge, before arriving at the Donnington Aeropark, where for a mere £5 we were able to see some wonderful vintage aircraft.
For a coffee and cakes (or Full English) refreshment we adjourned to the MotorBike Superstore in the Old Wheatcroft Donnington Museum Building, where there was a huge stock of bikes for sale.
Thursday 24th August Breakfast Run.
Eleven intrepid riders met at Shustoke Reservoir for todays Elevenses Run Event. The Sun God Ra beamed down on us, and we set off with supplies of Kendal Mint cake and flasks of hot sweet tea.
Bob was resplendent in his Dunlop Trials Welly’s and full Barbour off-road kit together with his portable hydraulic winch for any really serious mud. As requested, we had all changed our tyres for competition knobblies as this was to be one of Bob’s ‘special’ routes through the lesser known pathways and tracks of South East Birmingham. No one had thought to bring a compass, but the sun was out so that would do!
After little more than an hour of this fun, and a few feet up sections past some large vehicles that should never have been on our pathways, we emerged back on to a sealed tarmac road surface. And soon afterwards we saw the sign for ‘Shustoke’ and rode past our starting point to the Bulls Head cafe about a mile further on.
Breakfast Run Thursday 7th Sept.
Here are the photos from todays’ run.
Nick led the pack today in the sweltering heat, a very scenic run of 30 miles. Geoff was the tail end Charlie and we all stuck together with no problems.
To quote one of the riders:-
“I’m not 100% sure where we ended up but it was a transport cafe near Cheswick Green I think.
There were barriers that we had to go through. But the food and coffee was good.
All in all another, brilliant run out"
DOT Museum Sunday 17th September.
Numbers had to be limited as this a private collection, however, a small but highly select group of 6 set off from Jon Weavers old Meriden Motorcycle factory site on a 90 minute ride to the Dot museum.
Dot Motorcycles was originally founded by Harry Reed in 1903 and had produced their first motorcycle by 1906 using a Peugeot engine with their first (and only) TT win coming soon after in 1908. They started using the strap-line ‘Devoid of Trouble’ in the 30’s and somehow survived the Great Depression and WW2 and have recently had a relaunch with the help of Guy Martin.
Wednesday 19th July Club Night Gymkhana.
Geoff Ansell generously supplied two Bantams for anyone who wanted to attempt this minefield of obstacles and Bobs 1953 AJS was there if anyone wanted to ride up and down the field.
There was a Slalom to start with – then a Drop a Tennis Ball into a Bucket, take 3 goes at the Hoola Hoop throwing test, negotiate the Rumble Strips, the See Saw and the Balance Beam before moving the Water Torture Glass from one small elevated platform to another without spilling a drop, Score a Goal, Limbo under the Low Bar then through the Slalom to the finish where you can get a refreshing Rub Down with an oily rag!
Our 4th Gymkhana event at Club Night yesterday was a roaring success.
Martin Wardle a clear winner with 20 points, Richard Price, 18 points and Trevor Jackson in third Podium Place with 17 points.
Thanks to all who supported the event with 13 Riders taking part - our biggest entry of Riders since we introduced the event in 2019.
David Skett was officially warned for Dangerous Riding when threatening to demolish the heavy wooden fence bordering the car park and almost squashing Trevor Jackson up against the said fence (but very entertaining to watch)!
Big Jon Hunt retired hurt after a nasty fall riding his own Big Triumph.
Breakfast Run Thursday 27th JULY.
Here are some photos from todays breakfast run, which went to Chataways Tea Rooms at Tardebigge.
Aidrian took the lead bike and Bob was our tail end Charlie for a change.
We had a super Ride out this morning on Ade Thompson's 20 mile marathon through dark lanes inhabited by horses and their very attractive jockeys, swamped roads from last night's rain and riding past and around closed road signs - great fun.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the route and our Drop Off system worked perfectly.
I think our Tail End Charlie was the best we have ever had and our leader was unquestionably superior in every way to the idiot that usually heads up our brave adventurers.
Thanks again to the 14 brave souls who turned up on time and a special thanks to Ade for planning and leading the pack.
A great run out with the usual closed roads and threatening rain clouds but all worked out brilliant.
Club Night Weds 21st June.
To mark the 75th Annual Anniversary (+1 Day) of the founding of the VMCC Midlands Section we held a gala dinner in the Bracebridge Suite of the National Motorcycle Museum.
We were pleased to welcome Steve Allan (Titch Allan’s son) as our Guest of Honour who also made a short presentation on the life of the clubs founder.
Breakfast Run 29th June.
The meeting point was at the "Harvester" pub/restaurant at Shirley, with approximately 13 bike and riders taking part.
Adrian & Phil were some of the last ones to arrive which was a bit worrying as they had organised this run and only they knew where the destination was.
We all set off and followed Adrian as the lead bike, we had Geoff Ansell as tail-end-charlie, the "drop off system" worked well as usual, the country lanes and tracks were brilliant especially as we had heavy storms the day before, and some parts however were covered with loose gravel but there were no mis-haps thankfully.
All was going perfect, and then we came to Airian & Phils worst nightmare, yes the council decided to close the country road for re-surfacing !!!! ah ! all the group waited patiently while Adrian & Phil quickly put their back-up plan into action !!!! and within minutes we were off on the final leg of our 27 mile run out.
The destination point "Yew Tree Farm and Antique centre" at Wooton Wawen was venue we had visited before but it was always a pleasure to re-visit as the cafe always welcomes us and caters for us all, they also served Geoffs favourite sausage sandwiches ( ask Geoff for details).
It was agreed by all that this has been yet again another brilliant run out and opportunity to meet everyone socially.
Adrian, Phil and myself were having such a good time that we decided to further extend this run as the weather conditions were perfect, we chatted bout steam trains, canal boats and things in general, when Adrian suggested a brilliant view point that he knew where we could see Trains & Canal boats from a single point he knew, so off we went to our next destination not too far away near "Little Alne" where we walked across the canal Aqua duct and watched the occasional train pass by, but sadly no steam trains today.
Our day ended with a conversation with 3 members of the "Northampton Fire & Rescue Service" who apparently lost their way but managed to have their lunch at this brilliant view point !!!!
Thanks again to everyone for a great run out, and a big thanks to Aidrian & Phil.