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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Location: North London
Sunday, 23rd August 2015. We hope you've all noted this date in your diaries! Yup, it's that time again when Audrey and I are running a social ride to Bourton on the Water in the beautiful Cotswolds. We've organised the weather, it'll be dry and sunny.

Slight change to the format this year. Due to the generally poor support from the Girls, we're splitting into two groups. Audrey will lead the first group, open to both Full and Associate Members with Stephen Green sweeping. I'll lead the second group, open to both Full and Associate members provided the Associates are well advanced in their training, with Geoff Preston (yellow peril) sweeping. Leaders and Sweepers will be on radios, providing my radio will communicate with Geoff's new EAMG radio.

We will be meeting at, and will return to, Birchanger Services, junction 8, M11-A120; meeting at 9 am. Audrey's group will be departing at 9:30 am. Our route will take us to the Cotswolds via Woburn Deer Park, and Buckingham Garden Centre where we'll stop for coffee. The route will be the same for both groups and will include the wonderful B4026-B4437 Charlbury Loop. You can do this loop both ways if you wish.

Lunch in Bourton on the Water will be your choice; you can take some sandwiches to eat on the green but there are plenty of cafes, restaurants including a particularly good fish and chip restaurant in the centre of the village. Due to the weather that we've arranged, it's sure to be busy. That's the price for visiting such a delightful and picturesque village. Parking for bikes though is free.

We'll prepare printed routes and Garmin .gpx files for those with navigation devices. As mentioned above, Associates are welcome but please be realistic. The route from Birchanger to Bourton on the Water is 114 miles, the return route (excluding returning on the Charlbury loop) is 105 miles. Please consider the distance from your home to Birchanger and back.

You can find my (John's) email address in the printed version of TUG (Further Training Section at the rear) so email me if you'd like a printed or Garmin route.

Well, that's about it but I'm sure to have forgotten something so post any questions on this forum and I'll endeavour to answer them for you.

Audrey and I hope you can make it and we look forward to seeing you on the 23rd.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Would have loved to have come but got one of those family dos you just can't get out of :(


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Location: Sydenham; when riding normally unknown
Now that the forum is online again I can post this. We set out from the Birchanger Services on a fine morning with 11 bikes; a smaller group than usual but the dire weather forecast probably put people off. At the Buckingham Garden Centre Spider and Ian turned up minutes after we arrived. Something about having gone to the wrong start point was their excuse. The promised rain manifested itself between there and Bourton, but it was just rain; nothing like the torrents suffered by those further south-east, so by going on the run we probably avoided the worst of the weather! Bourton was surprisingly busy for a wet day, and we enjoyed our fish and chips. The run back was sunny. John is keen that I mention that we did the Charlbury Loop twice. There were certainly some enjoyable stretches on the run. We arrived back at Birchanger around 17:30 after about 230 miles. It was a great day and many thanks to John and to Audrey for tailing with a bike with an HD headlamp which made it easy to spot (her enthusiastic waving helped as well). Pictures have been posted.

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Chris J.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:11 pm 
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Location: Sydenham; when riding normally unknown
A codicil to the run. I got back after 8pm and had to put the bike away without washing it, partly because of the hour and partly because there was washing on the line and hosepipes and washing seem to get along together only too well. However it is now bucketing down, so I have wheeled the bike out again, sluiced off the worst of the filth from yesterday, and am now letting Nature do the work for me. Result!

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Chris J.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:32 pm 
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Location: sunny bas vagas
thank you john for leading an interesting ride. 2 times round the loop made my day. soaking wet trousers made me want to blame you, but as I could not find a bad thing to say about your riding I never moaned. take note sam. now wet gear sorted I do believe. I look forward to me next trip. probably with that parker boy. oh hold yer horses. cheers to the bird at the back for being the rear gunner. well done head light hissy missy :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Location: North London
Thanks to one and all for joining us on what turned out to be a great day. Our commiserations to our two sweepers, Stephen and Geoff but numbers didn't justify two groups; think of it this way, you both had great day riding for yourselves. Excellent luck to find the motorcycle parking in Bourton on the Water could accommodate our twelve bikes; right opposite the fish and chip restaurant. Perfect.

What happened to that 'terrible' weather that was forecast? I know some of those further south suffered but we got a mere shower! So, although the outward leg of the Charlbury loop was wet, it had dried by the time we returned. We don't even achieve two laps on the FMT rides!

Good to have Ian and Spider join us albeit a little late; you should read the arrangements guys. We did say Birchanger Services, not Harlow MacDonald's! Nevertheless, we're delighted you decided to join us.

In all honesty, Audrey and I weren't sure about the weather so on Saturday we checked out a route to Dunwich where the weather was forecast warm and dry. However, that changed so we stuck to original plans but did end up riding 540 miles over the weekend. Never mind, it was all in a good cause.

Never happier than when riding the bikes, well almost!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Location: Canvey Island, Essex.
Big thanks to John and Audrey for a great ride. Indeed Spider and I missed the first leg (Spiders fault) but thereafter the day went very well and the little rain we did see (about an hour's worth) was just a minor distraction. Amazing just how many of us get wet (under our selected protection), even Audrey had a wet neck. I got home at 8 having been out for a little over 12 hours but to be fair, I didn't want the ride to end. Given the dreadful forecast we ended up with 11 dry hours and 1 wet. Good to ride with Sam on his BMW, love the look of that bike. Thanks again guys, it really was very enjoyable. Same time next year? :mrgreen:

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