We have had another good year as a club. Our Calendar is well established and the weather during the summer months aided this no end. Our April meeting found us sitting down to scratch our heads over Hugh Phillips delayed, though excellent Quiz. This was won by Rob with Mike a close second and Chris third. We look forward to Rob’s challenge early next year.
Our first run of the year came a week later, organized by JPJ on an absolutely glorious spring day. The beauty, literally, of Johns run is that it follows much high ground around the county and, with the foliage still forming, gives us glorious views all around. At the lunch stop Chris commented about riding along so many ridges so it seems Johns run will now be known as ‘The Ridges of Gwent’. At the start of the run we were bemused at the sight of Jerry humping a large rucksack. At lunch all became clear; Jerry had numerous Velocette components within said sack and there was some hilarity as they were produced for discussion.
Every year we hold four ‘Saturday Ride Ins’, the first was in April where 14 Velocette’s were on show. May’s event saw 12 Velo’s present together with several other interesting machines. Tony Fosters Ducati caught the eye, well it would wouldn’t it. As an aside, it’s fair to say that visitors to the Abby always seem to enjoy looking at the machines and engaging in some conversation with their owners. Good PR for the center and club.
Later in May we met up again with the Welsh Centre lads at the Owls Nest near Llandovery.
At the end of the month, 5 Wye Valley members joined other centers for the annual run up the Cheddar George. The combined burble (or should it be rumble) of 30 odd Velocette exhausts echoing off the sides of the Gorge is rather delightful. The opinion of the visitors is not known.
June’s events started with the annual Black & Gold run up over Hay Bluff from Llanthony and beyond. Another glorious day and we even had a wave from the Equestrian fraternity who appreciated 7 noisy bikes stopping for them to ride by. Later in the month Dave Francis guided us up to the Élan Valley Visitors Center followed by a tour around the dams and reservoirs. Unlike last year, the visibility was superb and one can only reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of Britain.
July is possibly our busiest month which starts with the Annual Rally at the Burntwood Rugby club. Four members attended this year though it seems this may be the last rally for a while. The middle of the month was Rob’s Camping Extravaganza at Talybont. The weather again was kind with an excellent run on the Wednesday to the Dean Forest Railway for lunch. Thursday’s run was a very enjoyable meander round mid Wales.
A super photo of Eddy Whittingham made the cover of the Club magazine taken during The Harold Willis Run in July. Eddy’s bike is a credit to him as he has extensively altered it to include, amongst other modifications, his own design of front disc brake and electric start. His brake, in particular, has raised a lot of interest around the wider club.
Mid August and Chris led the usual suspects on a Mystery Run to Shobdon Aerodrome. Mystery because Chris is never quite sure where he is and certainly no one else is either but we always manage to arrive. Molly bless her, did comment at lunch – quite correctly – that the lanes seemed to get narrower and the tractors ever wider! Lunch is taken Al Fresco watching the various aircraft taking off and landing and it’s good to meet up with Jim plus members from other centers to have a natter.
Jerry amused us again during September’s club night with another rucksack full of questions. He ought to know better as our resident David Bailey, AKA the menace with a camera – Rob, recorded for posterity, Jerry’s attempt to play a tune on a Velo’ Timing Cover. A few days later we all met at The Steel Horse for our last Center run of the year organized by Graham. This is a mystery ride around the county. Fourteen of us were challenged to see how many roads we had never been on before. Roger Cooksey won the prize for knowing the majority of the route.
Our last ‘Ride’ in was October with 18 bikes turning up in lovely weather yet again. It did, however, clash with a certain Rugby Competition so some people did not hang around for too long. Club night saw us entertained by Geoff Harris who gave 16 of us another of his excellent talks, this time on the racing career of Alec Bennett.
The final event of the year is the ‘Bob Foster’ run down in Dorset where 4 Wye Valley members joined 70 odd other riders for the annual run. Bob Elkins is to be congratulated again for wining a prize with his beautiful Clubman machine.
The Christmas Luncheon saw 42 members, wives, partners and friends sitting down at the Anchor for another superb meal and get together.
Chris Benallick. 14/12/20.