This last year, our 11th, has been a good one, helped no end by an amazing summer. The year’s activities kicked off with an excellent quiz run by John Wilding which was won by Hugh Phillips. Our monthly Wednesday runs continue to be well supported and John Parry-Jones’ run started the year off. John’s took us through a maze of Monmouthshire roads ending with lunch at the Old Railway Station in Tintern. A great mystery tour. In late May we met with the Welsh Centre for our third visit to the old Welsh TT course up on the Eppynt ranges. Here 17 Velos, plus a few other makes, thoroughly enjoyed a good thrash in glorious weather round the course. That we are allowed to do this is down to the hospitality of the Army at Senybridge and we are very grateful to them for allowing this. Later that same week 4 stalwarts rode down to Cheddar joining up with 30 other Velocettes members from local centers for a run up the Gorge. This was followed by lunch at nearby Priddy. The echo from the various Velocette exhausts off the walls of the Gorge really is something.
The Black and Gold run, in memory of Richard Atkins, came next with a stop at Llantony Priory for coffee before we rode up into the Black Mountains cresting the Gospel Pass. From here we enjoyed the stunning views prior to lunch at our favorite Garden Centre and return home via the Golden Valley. Next it was Dave Francis turn which saw 7 of us meet in Crickhowell for a run to The Elan Valley. Unfortunately the reservoirs were enveloped in heavy mist and we could hardly see the rider in front let alone the views, nevertheless a good day out. This was our only damp run of the year.
The 5th annual camping week based at Tal-y-Bont, came at the end of July. This year apart from the Velo Club regulars, we were joined by some of the Swansea VMCC lads. There were two of very enjoyable runs over the Brecon Beacons and to the Wye Valley and Tintern and the sun continued to shine.
Our next run took us to Shobdon Aerodrome. This was organized by Chris Benallick. We all managed to stay together which, in view of the extensive programme of road works implemented by the Hereford & Worcester Council, was quite an achievement. Lunch and much enjoyable chat at the airfield followed by a swiftish run back to the Honey Café ended another excellent day out.
Graham Plenty organized our last club run of the year and again we traversed a maze of Monmouthshire roads skirting out of the way Prescoed Prison onto Llanwern Steel Works before ending up at ‘The Old Railway Station’ in Tintern. It never ceases to surprise that we continue to find runs along new routes and just emphasizes how lucky we are to live in this part of the country. Put that together with good riding company and what more could you wish for.
As well as our regular rides we have our four ‘Show off your bike’ events spaced through the summer months and these continue to be well supported. Moving onto our November Club Night, we were entertained by Geoff Harris from the South Wales VMCC who gave us his latest talk, this time on the racing achievements of the late Malcolm Uphill and what a fabulous rider he was.
As well as riding locally various Centre members have been out and about. Rob Jones flew the Centre flag at the Peak Tour, Scarborough VMCC Week, National Rally and Isle of White VMMC weekend. John and Molly organized the Cotswold Camping event ably supported by Jim Plant’s scenic rides exploring quaint Cotswold Tea Rooms and seeing who could get the most jam and cream onto a standard Cotswold scone. John, Molly, Rob and Bob Elkin also rode in the Bob Foster Event. Richard Williams used his 1936 MAC in various VMCC events and won first place in the Western Region Championship. Rob Jones also came second in his class.
The Christmas Dinner was well attended at The Anchor. Some 42 members, wives and guests sat down to an excellent meal. The raffle was well organised by JPJ and Chris Benallick entertained us with his speech.