All posts by Richard White

The Fox and Hounds at Old Somerby

A very good turn out for the run to The Fox & Hounds at Old Somerby. Eight regulars plus a new rider ———– on an immaculate Triumph Speed Triple with trick (noisy but nice) exhaust. The meeting place was the Hammer and Pincers as the committee had decreed all events now start there (unless stated otherwise) as far as we know no one turned up at The Green/Wide Bargate by mistake!

The run was plotted by Dave Tuley and had a fair mix of roads, A, B and unclassified some with a little sprinkling of gravel here and there and a ford. None of this phased anyone and the pace was fairy brisk, especially the final section from Corby Glen to the pub.

The route took the group via Donington, Horbling, Pointon, Kirby Underwood, Edenham, Toft, Witham on the Hill, Little Bytham, Swinstead, Corby Glen, and Bitchfield arriving at Old Somerby just before the light began to fade.

Most people opted for the simplest return route up to the A52, the Old Somerby road joins it at the roundabout above Grantham near the HGV Testing Station.

The weather kept fine if a little chilly after the sun went down, but a good time was had by all.

May 2017

From the editor

Three days to the National Rally seven to Boston Bike Night, the club is involved in both these events and your help is needed.

The National Rally, the club provides a check point for this event, which is manned through out the day and over night. If you are able to help by offering an hour or three to stamp cards as competitors arrive please contact Paul on 01205 722001.

Boston Bike Night, less than a week to go, as we are as always in need of help stewarding this event, to offer your help please contact Alan on 07853022089. We have about fifty members and less than a dozen are offering to help at this point in time, so come on give us a hand.

Whilst I am sat here writing this news letter my mind goes back to my teen years when most motorcyclists were riding British bikes and the Japanese machines were just starting to make inroads into the market, frequently heard comments were along the lines of “I wouldn’t have one of them things, they’re not made properly.” the tires left something to be desired and the handling was often compromised by poor frames and suspension components. Of course the japanese companies started with small machines which the British companies were all but ignoring, until eventually as we all know the British motorcycle declined as the Japanese ascended.

Why this comes to mind is because I have just bought a Chinese 400 and as in the sixties the Japanese copied the British designs, the engine of bike I have is a copy of a Honda the frame is 1980s retro, the Chinese are copying the Japanese. Similar comments are heard about the Chinese machines, but then you may notice that a lot of small scooters and bikes are of Chinese origin. These little scooters seem to be hammered mercilessly, as for life span I cannot comment, anyone know of an old Chinese scooter or bike? Are the chinese coming like the Japanese did? Well on to my experience so far, the bike I have is reasonably finished, after about 150 miles I have yet to mark the tires, they seem to be built to last the life of the bike, so I shall soon have to change them, the brake pads have the same design philosophy, friction material selected for durability not grip, they have already been changed. The chain tension was adjusted straight away as the guy who didn’t do the PDI seems to think that bike chains and bow strings should have similar tensions, and that tires only need 20psi, he does his dealership (Robspeed of Grimsby) no favours, after this I’m not sure I’d buy a kids scooter from them. Shame. All that aside it’s a reminder of earlier days and bikes, when a ton up was very fast very few of us were taken out by cars (there weren’t many about) and bikes didn’t come with a hernia. Yes I’m getting old I guess

Paul Dimaline

I recently went to Paul’s funeral, Paul was a well regarded and liked club member, who died whilst out on his bike, it was said at his funeral that he died doing something he loved, undoubtedly true. Our condolences go to his widow and his family. As I get older I seem to attend more funerals, it does not get any better, it seems to have more impact on me as time goes by, and the loss of a friend or acquaintance is a salutary reminder of ones own mortality. So guys and girls be careful when you are out there.

From Dave T

Richards piece about the seventies brought some memories flooding back. The Jota @£2,000 in 1977 does sound expensive, a new Ducati 750 Sport in 1975 was £1,128. From memory inflation was running about 20% per year in those days which seems incredible now, but still makes the Jota expensive.

However I can vouch for how fast they were. Trying to keep up with one on a return trip from Cadwell Park in the summer of ’77 I failed miserably. Disappointment turn to relief however when I got to Billinghay to see the Jota parked at the side of the road with the rider talking to a policeman.

DaveT

The Wishingwell at Dyke

This was Daves run but he was unable to do it, so I offered, but due to a failed satnav and poor memory Kev took on the job with the route placed in his satnav. Six of us set out at a reasonable pace, I think the IAM call it making progress, interestingly the sun is now high enough in the sky during our runs to be bearable when heading west, we can see. The route became shortened when a satnav hiccup occurred and Kev was then on his own so to speak. The route encompassed a bit of everything, a typical run out. We still ended up at the correct destination albeit by a different route, thanks Kev. A pleasant hour was passed, a pint also very enjoyable and then back home by a more direct route.

The Ebrington Arms run

Four hardy souls showed up for the run to the Ebrington Arms led by myself, Kev, Phil and Richard. The route took in a goodly selection of road surfaces, Smooth, poor, green in the middle and even a ford (note to self, slower next time), some straight and some twisty. As there was only four in total we travelled at a slightly raised pace, on reaching the dear park Phil and Kev developed a problem with their bikes, the throttles seemed to get stuck, open. They streaked ahead whilst Richard and I continued at a more sedate pace meeting up with them at the other end of the park, we then continued to the Ebrington Arms for a drink and chip butty, thanks Phil.

Sunday Ride Out To Goole Bike Show

Last Sunday was the first weekend ride out of the year, brilliant sunny day, very warm, and only 5 bikes turned out, Paul & Sandra, Mick & Shirley, newbie Mike, and myself!  Where was everyone else? This was my first club ride out on the Tiger800, so I was a bit apprehensive knowing my every move would be noted,  we set off at a steady pace to Woodhall Spa, Metheringham, Harmston, Newton-on-Trent, across the toll bridge then up the A161 to Goole. A good steady ride in bright sunshine, the group kept together well, only blip being Paul thought I should have chased after a bunch of sports bikes who overtook us!

At Goole, the place was packed, just managed to find parking spaces inside, and then met Marco, Dave G and Mick Andrews who had gone independently. A great show of bikes, some nice classics as shown in the pics.

On the return trip, we decided to go down the A161 to the M180, go across to the end at Barnetby and stop in the cafe, which had been transformed by the new owners since my last visit. I asked Paul if he would like to lead the rest of the way (I’d forgotten where the turn off was past the airport!) so we set off at a somewhat brisker pace, eventually arriving at Horncastle together, where we split with Paul, Sandra, and Mick and Shirley going through the deer park, whilst Mick and I carried on to Coningsby.  My fuel warning light came on just as we were paying the end of the airfield, so keeping an eye on that I missed Mick shooting off, arrived home at about 5.30 having refuelled!

All in all a great day out with great people and wonderful weather!

David

The Mall

The run to the mall was led by yours truly on my chariot, this was a run in two parts, part one myself and four others if I recall went at a sedate pace as determined by my chariot and a couple of 125 machines. Part two led by Paul with four or five at a rather swifter pace over a greater distance arriving at the Mall in Woodhall Spa at around eight twenty.

Bobs Run

 

We had a request from our stand on the Boston Community Day for a seriously ill guy in Deeping St Nicholas to have a ride in a sidecar, so Richard and I went across on Tuesday to fulfil his wish. It gave us great pleasure as it obviously made his day, he thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t stop smiling the whole time!’

Regularity Run

The annual run around the block against the clock organised this year by Kev was completed by X riders and one passenger. We were given a route, very simple one at that, for folk like me who can remember the last ten minutes but not much further, and a target average speed of XX. The winner of this contest was the person closest to the target. Sandra carried away the honours this year, beating last years winner, her son into second place.

April 2017

From the Editor

It has been suggested that the newsletter name should be changed, from The Bellmouth, which it was said a lot of people will not know or indeed recognise what one is. An alternative name floated was the Airbox, as we will all have an opinion please let me know your thoughts, maybe an alternative name or even keep the old one.

I have spent some time going through some old magazines, papers and even using that little used resource, my memory, so there follows some thoughts on a time 40 years ago. At the time I was a young serviceman stationed in Germany. My bike of the time was a Yamaha YAS1 a 125 2 stroke screamer, supposed to be able to get to 75mph though to be honest I never saw that, more like 65mph. I also had at that time a Motobecane moped, the less said the better.

1977, 40 years ago, ABBA spent 9 weeks at the top of the music charts, David Soul 7 weeks, Wings and Elvis 5 each, can you remember the records, were you even around or am I relating historical data?

The writing was on the wall for two strokes, emissions were starting to come to the fore, strangely in the USA, especially given their current views. In racing though, the winners were pretty much all on two strokes, 500cc Suzuki, 350 Yamaha, 250 a Morbidelli and 2 Harley Davidsons topped the tree, 125 Morbidelli and 50 Bultaco and Kreidler.

In 1977 a bike magazine compared a mid range 2 stroke Suzuki 380 and 4 stroke Honda 400/4, on reading the review, it appeared that there was little to choose between the two, the Suzuki was a more relaxed ride, the Honda was described as needing to be “driven hard and responds brilliantly but the rider is screwing it on all the time” as opposed to the Suzuki “The Suzuki has a natural high-speed gait, breathing like a ram-jet almost as if it had no moving parts.”. This is not how I remember two strokes from my youth, they always seemed to be screaming at high revs to get anywhere.

The Laverda Jota was reputed to be the fastest production road bike of the year, with a top speed of around 140mph, it even matched the Kawasaki 1000 for acceleration, but it was pricey, £2000, peanuts hey, but not in 1977. One road tester was happy not to own one as he feared for his licence, had he seen the current/new sentencing guidelines for speeding.

Advertising has changed as well as the prices, Highwayman would sell you a set of racing leathers or leather jacket and flared jeans ( yes flared) starting at around £50. that amount might get you a waterproof over suit now, a cheap one though. How the world has moved on.

National Rally

The club has for a number of years manned a check point at the Langrick Railway Cafe and is doing so again this year, this event starts on Saturday and finishes on Sunday morning, we always need people to help man the check point, If you can spare a few hours please contact Paul Taylor on 01205 722001.

Boston Bike Night

This years date is Thursday 6th July put it in your calender.

A plea for help, if you or someone you know is able to offer any help on the night, please contact any committee member, your help is needed to keep this event running smoothly.

Renewals Barbecue

As seems to be the tradition for this important event, the rains came down, yours truly who had decided to get the bike out for this occasion got somewhat damp. I along with a few others who were there early, sat looking out the windows of the Hammer and Pincers whilst cradling a drink, wondering if we were going to be rained off like last year. A break in the rain occurred and with little hesitation we were out there lighting the barbecue, or should I more accurately say Paul and Glen were. The rain held off for a couple of hours, more than long enough for us to sample worthwhile change.

31 members rejoined the club on the evening, well done folk the rest of you come on, get sorted.

Community Day

Boston from time to time has a display of clubs and organisations in the market place, the BMR attended the last one, on Friday 7th April. We erected the club stand and had some bikes and a display of pictures on the stand. During the day we had a good number of people come and talk to us. Al, Clive DaveS, Charles, Sandra and my self were in attendance Paul Arrived later to help strip the stand down at the end of the day. All in I think we may have raised the clubs profile a bit.

February 2017

From the Editor

Well, an interesting month it has been, the BMR AGM, minutes at the end of this newsletter, a talk with Grayson Perry after a ride around the town following a camera car, report to follow, a quiz night, a report to follow.

Why do you ride a bike? Have you ever given it any thought, has it just been one of those givens in your life ,like breathing? I have spent many hours through out my life trying to get a handle on what it is about motorcycles that has kept me interested, needing to ride one. What is it about me that differentiates me from the majority of the travelling public that makes me want to get on a bike rather than in a car.

Recently I came across the following description of why one person rides a motorcycle, and in large part he or she sums up a lot of my thoughts. So with out further ado from an anonymous source.

A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes’ and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time, entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

On a motorcycle I know I’m alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sun that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than Pana-Vision and IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard. Sometimes I even hear music. It’s like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind’s roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock ‘n roll, dark orchestras, women’s voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed. At 30 miles per hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree- smells and flower- smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it. A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane.

Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It’s a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It’s light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it’s a conduit of grace, it’s a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy. It’s flying three feet off the ground.

It seems so contrary to say that something that requires as much concentration as riding a bike can allow the mind time to forget the stresses and daily grind that can leave us feeling low and appreciate the world around us in such detail, whilst still having time to negotiate pot holes, mud, car drivers texting or dealing with kids in the back of the car, all of which seem so common on the roads that we use.

When I get off of my bike I am always a more relaxed and happy person than when I got on it.

Why do you ride a motorcycle??

Grayson Perry and brexit pottery

If like me you are an arts and crafts Luddite then you probably didn’t or haven’t a clue who Grayson Perry is. He is, for your information an artist, potter, transvestite and all around odd guy, he also happens to ride motorcycles. We were invited to meet up with him, to have a ride out to the Red Lion at Reevesby for drinks and sandwiches. All the while being filmed.


We met up with Grayson at the Burton Inn on the Wainfleet road. There were two surprises for me, first, having googled him before the day, he was less than I expected, average and unkempt, a typical bloke who was attired in waterproofs, boots, unshaven and in need of a hairbrush, come on guy we were going to be on TV., second was the bike, bless him, was that the best they could find, a Zontes 125cc., as it turned out, it was more than up for the job, following a van with a woman in the rear with a camera is not something that happens at speed, especially with the back door open and harnessed in. Setting up cameras and getting organised are not things that happen with any speed in the film industry it seems. Hanging around was a large part of the day. So after a period of chatter, off camera, we all lined up 2 by 2 behind the camera van, then set of for a lap of the town, taking in of course West street. Back to the Burton and then repeat it again this time without the van, the camera team had gone ahead and set up in the market place to get a ride by shot. Interestingly, whilst at the Burton we were tracked down by the Police, apparently a member of the public was concerned by the woman with the camera hanging out the back of the van or was it the bikes following, the police man was placated when it was explained that she was not actually hanging out the back of the van but rather strapped in with a safety harness, (bit of a shame they are not as quick when we have shop lifters in our shop). So two trips around the town and then to Reevesby, I think we may have made it to 40mph along the seven mile straight, that Zontes was well up to the job and the weather, well it was too, it precipitated and the woman in the back of the van must have spent 7 miles eating road spray.

At the Red Lion over a pint, coffee and sandwich the cameras continued to roll, our opinions on brexit were the subject matter, especially those of the leave voters. We spent an hour or so under the watchful eye of the cameras whilst the director kept the discussion on topic, prodding and chivvying the unkempt guy, who it became apparent was fleet of mind and able to stop and start mid sentence, chopping and changing direction in the discussion at the demand of the director. It seemed that the director was looking to get beyond the gut reactions of the leave voters and to the emotive aspects of the decision to vote to leave. I am not sure whether we were able to fulfil that remit, as it is even now difficult for me to quantify and put into words.

The project that we were part of was to create a film/video looking at two parts of the UK where the Brexit vote was at odds, Boston, massively in favour of leave and Hackney equally in favour of staying. Grayson is also making two vases, one to represent the leavers and the other to represent the remainers. I hope that it will as a complete project, be neutral and not judgemental.

Quiz night

Organised by PaulT the quiz format was picture questions, lots of them. DaveT and I, as a team managed a creditable 4th or was it 5th out of 6 for our efforts, Clive and Mick took the honours with an unbelievable score. I have to say that there were many calls of “that is a bit harsh” whilst the marking was carried out, to say that no quarter was given would be a slight under statement. It was, when all was said and done, a great evening. Thank you PaulT.