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Mon 11th December 2017

It was the Christmas Social this week. It’s always a great event and this year was no different. The even was the Club’s headquarters at the Hen & Chickens and it was very well attended with over fifty members.

We don't tend to have a group ride to this event but the snow this week meant even the most hardy were sensible enough to avoid two wheels.

“Lock, Stock and Basil” provided superb live entertainment, although earplugs would probably have been useful when Gordon started to join them with his dulcet tones!

There was a banquet of comestibles put on by Tally, the Land Lady with huge amounts of food and such variety that there was something for everyone. This year the Club footed the bill and coughed up for free drinks too.

As always, there was a raffle to help raise some funds for the Club and for charity. Now you go to some events and the raffles are a bit poor but, due to some very generous donations, our raffle was very well worth entering and there were lots of smiles for the winners.

Thanks to those involved in organising what was a most excellent evening.

Next week’s meeting is the last of 2017 and will be at the Pig & Whistle, Aston.

Mon 4th December 2017

For a December evening, it was quite mild this week and, if the roads had been salted, it hadn’t been for long so most of them were fairly dry for the group ride from Coreys Mill Sainsburys.

Most riders probably thought the roads would be greasy and the ride wouldn’t be fun so there were only five of us. But they were wrong and we were right to give it a go as it turned out to be a great ride.

It wasn’t cold and, with dry roads, the only things to be wary of were inconsiderate car driver’s (but that’s normal!) and suicidal deer (although, fortunately we didn’t come across any of them).

Always keen to mix it up a bit, we took some country roads to Hitchin, via Titmore Green, and then took the Pirton road. From there, we headed over to the A6, up to the A507 and over to Baldock, via Norton.

In Baldock, we headed up the high street to our destination which was the White Lion.

Even though there were only five of us on the ride, the pub was heaving with nearly forty members.

There was a really good atmosphere in the pub but, due to the unexpectedly high turnout, the chips disappeared far too quickly. There was enough other nibbles but a couple of members popped over to the chippy!

With so many people, it was hard to keep track of all the different conversations but, as is often the case, the variety of subjects was wide ranging.

Numbers started thinning out about 22:00 with the last of us leaving just before 23:00. Another great night.

Next week we will be back at the Hen & Chickens for the Christmas social so join us on your bike or in your car, as a rider/driver or passenger, alone or with your partner for all the festivities. It’s always a cracking night but remember to bring extra cash for the raffle – this year it has some extra special prizes!

And, don’t forget your tickets for the dinner dance…

Mon 27th November 2017

The roads had been salted this week but it had also been raining so the weather wasn’t ideal but it didn’t stop six bikers turning up at 19:30 for the group ride to the pub.

It’s always hard to come up with new routes each week when we are just staying locally and this week was no different. As a result, we took a route we’ve done a few times recently, taking us via Walkern, Cottered and on to Baldock, where our destination was the Club’s head quarters, the Hen & Chickens.

Fortunately, although most of the gritted roads were damp and slightly greasy, once we exited Stevenage, the roads were almost dry which made the ride fun, even in the cold.

The pub was heaving with members this week. Possibly because it was the annual photographic competition or possibly because several members live in Baldock. Either way, it was great to see so many turn up on a winter night.

The down side is that, exceptionally, the great spread of food put on by the land lady, Tally, didn’t quite go round so some didn’t get a chance to eat.

On the plus side, there was lots of interest in the photographic competition, with mixture of photographs entered, from motorcycles, motorcycle related subjects, landscapes and even some random but high quality photos of buildings.

Judged by Cider Bob, the third place was a great shot of Michael Dunlop riding the Classic TT but Gordon Hallet. Unfortunately, it was very slightly out of focus… but he was probably travelling at about 100mph at the time! Second place was Pete Blackburn’s photo of his own Triumph set against a background of the Isle of Man. Another nice photo but slightly lacking in definition.

The winner of the completion was Nick Eliason who had a technically excellent photo of a shack... just a shame there was no motorcycle in it!

It's that time of year that we start reminding you the annual Club Dinner Dance is coming up. It's always a great night and includes a lovely dinner, followed by the annual awards and then live music by Lock, Stock & Basil.

It's different to our usual meetings so please support the Club and buy your ticket from the Club Secretary Mick Taylor. The cost has been held down at £35 again this year.

One last thing; as the web master, I'm very interested to know if anyone ever actually reads this drivel. If so, feel free to click here and press send or actually give me some useful feed back. Thanks

Mon 20th November 2017

This week was the annual quiz night which was held at the Pig and Whistle, Aston.

It was pouring with rain and only James turned up to join Pete Starr, who’d stepped in to lead for Cider Bob, for the “group ride”. But the weather didn’t put them off and they went for a half hour ride to the pub.

Unfortunately, it’s never easy to know how many will turn up on any one week and, although the Chairman had put together an extensive 100 question quiz, the evening was not well attended (although that could be because the Chairman had put together an extensive 100 question quiz!!).

With only about 20 members at the pub, it didn’t take too long to rattle through the questions and it was then on to the fine food put out by the land lord.

A quiet but enjoyable evening.

Mon 13th November 2017

Slightly milder this week but still too cold for a lot of motorcyclists. But. None-the-less, ten of us met up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys for the group ride to the Vicars Inn in Arelsey.

We don’t often do the B656 northbound so we headed south to Knebworth and then over to Old Knebworth before cracking on to Codicote to join the Hitchin Road.

After getting into the 40mph limit, we turned right and took the twisties past the Redcoats Hotel and then on to Great Wymondley.

We then took the ever popular Willian road to Hitchin and then headed over to Arlesey.

There were a few bikes in the pub car park but in the pub, the bar was chocker with Club members.

As always, Hazel had put on a terrific spread of food with something for all tastes and delicate little flags telling us what each dish was. And, as always, there was more than we could eat.

It’s always a favourite pub and for the riders with chilly fingers, there’s never any moaning from behind the bar when mugs of tea are asked for. Thanks Hazel.

Next week we will be at the Pig & Whistle, Aston. There will be a group ride, led by Pete Starr, but it will be relatively short as we’ll need to be at the pub by 20:15 as it’s the annual quiz night.

If you don’t fancy joining us for the ride, meet us there and you can join a team to challenge the grey matter.

Mon 6th November 2017

Another chilly night this week and roads had been salted so the roads were a bit damp.

None-the-less, six intrepid bikers turned up for the group ride from Coreys Mill Sainsburys.

After a short discussion, its was decided everyone was up for a reasonable length ride but, with the Goat in Codicote being the destination, Geoff was keen to take in the joys of the B656 to get there.

So, rather than going south to Hertford, we headed over to Gravelly and then took a left to Great Wymondley. The route then took us to Willian and Hitchin before taking the “big dipper” to Wilbury and then back to hitchin, via Ickleford.

That took us to the north end of the B656 and were we headed south to Codicote.

It was a really nice ride and turned out not to be as cold as it felt when standing around in the Sainsburys car park.

As is usually the case, the Goat was full of members who’d gone straight there, both in cars and on bikes.

The pub provided a pile of burgers in buns, pizzas and chips, which went down very well.

Next week’s meeting will be at the Vicars Inn in Arlesey. The Landlady there always puts on a mightily impressive spread so don’t have any dinner before coming to the pub.

Mon 30th October 2017

The clocks went back this weekend which seemed to be like a switch for the cold weather as this Monday saw the first chilly night of the winter.

But the cold didn’t put many off the group ride from Coreys Mill Sainsburys. Unfortunately, what did reduce the number of riders was lots of members going straight to the pub in cars because this week was the annual Club auction.

The auction night is always very entertaining. Members bring things they no longer use (or, in some cases, brand new things) which, as the name suggest, are auctioned off to the highest bidders.

It hard for those without top boxes/panniers/tank bags etc to carry stuff so we only had six on the group ride. It didn’t help that we'd advertised a short ride as we had to be at the pub for 20:30 when the Chairman was due to start yelling out what’s for sale.

So, with that in mind, it was a short but fun ride over to the A507, via Walkern and Cottered and then straight down into Baldock to the Hen & Chickens.

On our arrival, it was good to see the pub jam packed with members and the auction got under way soon after.

Bidding was somewhat less than enthusiastic but Gary got things rolling with a huge bag of earplugs for £1.50 – what a bargain!

Lots consisted of all sorts… some really cracking stuff like a bottle of £100 brandy and a new £100 Dainese back protector through a range of books, magazines, bike bits, right down to some old tat.

Fortunately, while the astute got some really good deals, a drunk local in the corner of the pub kept bidding on all sorts of stuff he didn’t want, which kept the interest.

Not the best result but with over £160 raised for the Club and the Air Ambulance, along with the entertainment of the evening, it can only be considered a success. Thanks to all those who contributed.

Once the auction was done, Tally, the Landlady, brought out huge amounts of great food. She must have been slaving away in the kitchen for hours because it just kept coming.

Being a cold night, some riders began to leave from about 21:30 but many stayed ‘til closing time.

But, as it turned out, it had warmed up very slightly throughout the evening so when one hardy rider left, he went off for a 20 mile ride rather than hooning straight home.

Next week is at the Goat in Codicote.

And for those interested, we’ve been contacted by the Birchanger services organisers of the Ring of Red (Ride of Respect) asking for volunteers to Marshal so, if your are interested, send us a message and we’ll pass on the details.

Mon 23rd October 2017

This week saw our first visit to the Crown in Stotfold. An absolutely superb destination and we were really well looked after by Keith, the Land Lord, who put on all sorts of homemade food including a huge gala pie and pickles.

Unfortunately, we only had twenty turn up for the meeting which is a real shame as not all the food was eaten. Next year we will plan this pub for one of the summer months.

The ride to the pub was fairly well attended with eight joining this week’s leader, Pete Star.
Pete created a great route which took in the A507 from Buntingford, through Baldock and over to Willian and then Hitchin before thrashing up the “big dipper” to Wilbury and straight on to Stotfold.

Although not huge numbers, a thoroughly enjoyable first visit to the Crown.

Mon 16th October 2017

A Hurricane hitting Ireland meant blustery conditions in Hertfordshire – but it didn’t put off the eleven riders who met up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys for this week’s ride to the pub.

Our destination was the Pig & Whistle, Aston, but apart from the stiff breeze, it was a mild and dry evening and almost ideal motorcycling weather. So we had a twenty four mile ride that took us to Willian, via the Wymondleys, then “straight over” the A505 (via the longabout) onto Radburn Way… a little known, short but very nice piece of road for motorcycling. That took us over the A1 and into Baldock.

With most people on 600cc+ bikes, we try to get in some faster roads each week, as well as some twisties, so, as we so often do, we then headed up the A507 to Cottered. For those that don’t know, Motorcycle News (MCN) once rated this as one of the top 10 roads in England. Having ridden a lot of English roads, we are not sure that’s quite right but it’s certainly great fun and conveniently local to our Club. In fact, our Club headquarters, the Hen & Chickens, is conveniently located about 50 yards from the start of this great stretch of track road.

When we plan routes, we try not to go over the same piece of road twice in one ride but we were all enjoying the ride so, rather than turning right at Cottered to make our way down to Walkern, we carried on up to Buntigford, recip’d at the A10 came hooned back to Cottered where, this time, we turned left towards Walkern.

The roads are twisty but fast once past Walkern and, in no time, we turned right to take us into Aston where we found another twelve bikes filling up the pub car park.

Inside the Pig & Whistle, all the “old boys” who’d arrived in cars were huddled around a few tables and the “not quite so old boys” who’d arrived on all sorts, from a 2017 Honda Forza 300cc scooter to an old pile of bits known as an Aprillia Falco. Fortunately, when the group ride arrived, the average age of the Club members present dropped from about seventy to about forty. But if you are youngsters looking for a club, don’t let that put you off – we are always pleased to see the younger generation getting into bikes.

This pub is always a popular destination and the staff were as welcoming as ever. The food started coming out about 21:00 and, for a short time, it looked like we might go a bit hungry. But the Landlord, who serves up excellent food, just kept bringing more and more out. So, by the end of the night, we were all stuffed.

Some of us (including the author of this pointless and probably hardley ever read blog) had to leave early for one reason or another but many stayed up until closing time.

The ride home was also mild but rain started to fall by about 22:00 so some would have got a bit damp. But, as we all know, riding in the rain can be entertaining and, with enough practice, can be almost as much fun as riding in the dry.

We mentioned the annual Club auction on last week’s blog but we’d like to plug it again… 30th October at the Hen & Chickens from about 20:00. Please come along and support it. If you can, please bring along anything you no longer want but someone else could make use of. A bit of the proceeds goes to the pub but most goes to the Air Ambulance.

Have a look at the Calendar for next week’s destination.

Mon 9th October 2017

Once again this week, the weather was nice. Mild temperature and dry roads resulted in a fun ride. The usual ride leaders, Cider Bob and Pete Blackburn could be there for the ride out so Ian Harris kindly stepped in.

The destination was the Plume of Feathers, Ickleford, and his route took a group of eight out of Stevenage via the A602 to Hertford, then heading over to Digswell via the B1000 and then up to Hitchin on the B656, finishing at the pub.

There were quite a lot of the Club already at the pub but there was plenty of top notch food to go round.

For those who try to keep the Club active, there was a short committee meeting. There was little of note so it finished in good time so the committee members also got some food (which is a nice change as it’s often demolished before the meeting is over).

There was some chat about the Ride to The Wall – an excellent day’s ride to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.

On a similar note of remembering fallen heros, don’t forget the Ride of Respect / Ring of Red on Sunday 12th November.

Next week’s meeting is at the Pig & Whistle, Aston, SG2 7DY.

On 30th October, the annual Club auction will be at the Hen & Chickens - please come along and support it. There's usually some really good stuff that goes very cheap - and a large proportion of the proceeds goes to charity. If you can, please bring along anything you no longer want but someone else could make use of.

Mon 2nd October 2017

The first week of October and the weather could not have been nicer. Which was reflected by the excellent turnout of 13 bikes.

Not only was it a good turnout but even the usual late stragglers turned up on time so we were away from the Corey’s Mill Sainsbury’s car park by 19:35.

It’s much harder for the lead rider to keep everyone together in the dark, even with Geoff in his Mr Day-Glo suit at the back, so to start with we trundled up the A602 dual carriageway to Hitchin, which meant everyone stayed together after the traffic lights on the Junction 8 roundabout.

What also helped keep everyone together was new lad James’ being near the back with bright blue running lights on his GSX.
Because of the dark, it was decided to stay off the dark, twisty roads and stick more to the sweeping bends of the A roads and fast B roads. So, once into Hitchin, we took the B655 to Barton-Le-Clay, where we turned north on the A6 to the A507 at Clophill. We then blatted to Shefford, where we took the B658 towards Upper Caldecote.

At the G&M Growers roundabout, we turned right, crossed the A1 and took the relatively new road around the back of Biggleswade. This was probably a bit frustrating for Simon and Alison who rode all the way the Stevenage for the ride out, only to come straight past their house in Biggleswade.

We then took a roundabout route to the pub, The Chequers, at Wrestlingworth, via Potton.
Another ten bikes were at the pub and inside was crowded. And with another new member joining, this year’s membership has topped 100.

Riders started to leave from about 21:30, but many of us stayed until almost closing time. Whatever time members left, they had a lovely ride home in lovely weather and bright moonlight.

Don’t forget, this coming Saturday will be the Ride To The Wall. Unfortunately Roy normally arranges the ride but he can’t go this year so we don’t have a formally arranged group Club ride. Please contact us or put a note on our Facebook page if you’d like to lead a ride for this very worthwhile annual event.

Next week’s meeting is at the Plume Of Feathers, Ickleford.

Mon 25th September 2017

This week the ride was led by Pete Starr as neither Cider Bob nor Pete Blackburn could make it.

Seven riders met up with Pete at Coreys Mill Sainsburys and were led out to Baldock, via Graveley. From there it was over the A507 to Buntingford and then on to Hare Street.

Turning left, it was up the extremely popular B1368 to Flint Cross. While whisking their way up towards Barkway, the riders were treated to a display of tawny owls swooping across the road, some possibly a bit closer than was comfortable!

From Flint Cross, it was over to Melbourn and then down the A10 to Bassingbourn. Passing through Lidlington, it was on to Steeple Morden and finally ending at the Edward VII at Guilden Morden.

Although there had been rain during the day, the roads had dried out for the ride, which helped make the ride even more enjoyable.

As always, there were lots of members at the pub but there was plenty of food served up by Kirk, the Landlord so everyone got their fill.

It was another good night and the ride home was also dry.

Next week we will be at the Chequers, Wrestlingworth.

Mon 19th September 2017

The evenings are drawing in and this coming Friday will be the autumnal equinox so only three months to the shortest day of the year. This means although we met at about 19:20 in daylight, it was dust by the time we left Sainsburys car park at Coreys Mill for the rideout.

But even though it was getting dark and it was a little chilly, it was great to have nine bikes out for the group ride, including a new member on his GSX650F – welcome James.

It’s always difficult trying to come up with new routes as we tend to visit the same areas throughout the year and this week was no different. So we headed off over to Walkern and up to the A507 at Cottered.

Light rain began to fall which made visibility a tad poor so, with initial thoughts of continuing straight on at the Cumberlow Green junction, the ride leader thought everyone would prefer the more major route so we stayed on the A507 to Baldock.

But, we always avoid dual carriageways where possible, so instead of heading up the A505, we took the Bygrave road to Ashwell, then on the Steeple Morden, where we turned right to Litlington and finally on to Abington Piggott where our destination was the Pig & Abbot.

We got a little damp but just as we arrived, the heavens opened and it hammered down.

We had postponed this visit to the Pig and Abbot due to some refurbishment work so, unusually, we were at this pub in the dark. This was the first time any of us could remember being at there and not standing outside in sunshine. But, with darkness and pouring rain, we shoehorned ourselves in to this very popular pub along with the locals, people who’d come for a nice meal and a load of pedal cyclists (why ride something that doesn’t have an engine?).

As always, the Landlord served huge amounts of lovely food for the Club, which was demolished quite successfully… particularly as the Maurices were sitting right next to the main table of food!

Unfortunately, Cider Bob had to leave early, after demolishing his fair share of food, but, as a result, was caught in the watery deluge. But a good set of waterproofs kept the rain out. Unfortunately for some of the others, their leathers were not so watertight.

Some of the roads home were flooded so it’s likely the Club members that arrived in cars had a chuckle at the challenge faced by the riders. But that’s all part of what makes motorcycling so fun.

It was an entertaining night and we hope to continue seeing lots of riders out for the group runs as we head through autumn into winter.

Next Monday we will be at the Edward VII, Guilden Morden.

Mon 11th September 2017

While the Caribbean and Florida suffered devastating hurricanes this week, in Hertfordshire, we suffered bright sunshine one moment and very heavy rain the next. So, once again. expecting no one but the ride leader to brave the weather, we were very pleasantly surprised with six turning up for the ride out from Corey's Mill Sainsburys.

Apparently, there was a crash on the A602 between Stevenage and Hitchin so we waited in very light drizzle for any stragglers and finally got under way at 19:40.

Our initial intention was to head over to Hitchin on the dual carriageway, then go down the B656 to Codicote but after waiting for a full sequence of the traffic lights with no movement of vehicles at all, there was a change of plan and we headed to the B656 through Stevenage, via Titmore Green.

By now, although the roads were wet, there was no rain and it was a really nice ride , continuing onto the B1000 to Hertford and then to the A602. Although there were roadworks, we opted to wait for the temporary traffic lights rather than risk Anchor Lane as it was thought it was likely to be flooded.

We got baulked again in Ware as the B1004 was closed for road works but, after a short detour, we arrived at the Angel. Unfortunately, as we chatted about the ride, poor old Geoff explained that he had dropped back a bit because his wing mirror had fallen off on the Wadesmill Road. So, if anyone has an R1150RT wing offside mirror they don't want, I'm sure he'd be pleased to take it off your hands!

It was apparent the poor weather even put off many of the car driving members so the group was unusually small, with only about twenty of us at the pub. But the banter was flowing, as always, and we were looked after very well by the staff.

A few of us left early to go looking for Geoff's mirror, but unfortunately we were unsuccessful in the dark.

Next week is another change from the original calendar. The refurbishment of the Pig & Abbot is complete so we will be there, where we always receive a good welcome and get mountains of great food.

Mon 4th September 2017

There was no meeting last week due to the Bank Holiday so we thought there would be lots of riders keen to get out on the rideout this week.

As the ride leader turned up at 19:15, it looked unlikely as there were no bikes in the Sainsburys car park. The thought was the the very dark clouds and high pressure, giving the distinct impression of an incoming storm, had put people off but, moments later, the stalwart tail end rider, Geoff, arrived on his BMW R1150RT.

It soon became evident that the weather hadn't put many off as more riders kept arriving and we ended up with twelve in the group.

Two routes had been planned - to account for good and bad weather. But, brave soles all, we opted for the longer, more twisty run, no matter what the weather. This took us out of Hertfordshire via the Wymondleys, Willian and Hitchin before cracking on into Bedfordshire, through Lower Stondon and Shefford before heading up to Upper Caldecote and then the Sandy roundabout. A few hundred yards on the A1 got us to New Road where we turned left and then, by Sandy railway station, a right and left towards Everton.

This last part of the ride, through some lovely country lanes, was a tad slower as it was dark by then, but the road took us straight to our destination - the Thornton Arms.

As we always end up writing at this point... the pub was full of "the old boys" who'd arrived in cars... and it was nice to see another eight bikes parked up, with three more arriving later on.

The bar staff at the Thornton Arms were as friendly as ever and had laid on a great spread of food consisting of a vast amount of very nice chips, accompanied by a mountain of tasty sandwiches, which was put out just as the group rideout arrived - perfect timing!

Chat throughout the evening included all the sort of stuff you would expect of a bunch of bikers - bikes and biking, mechanical stuff and general chit chat, as well as tales of the Manx GP, from which lots of Club members had just returned.

There was also a bit of chat about Shed Fest at Bennington but it seems that particular endeavour has bitten the dust so we, as a Club, won't be attending this year if anything does eventually come of it.

The pub was pretty full until about 21:30 when a few individuals began to drift away but at 22:00, there were still plenty of members chatting away.

A few then left as individuals or small groups and those heading back to Stevenage with a blat down the A1 ended up getting caught in light drizzel but it way, none-the-less a very pleasant was to spend an evening.

We should have been at the Pig & Abbot next week but the pub will be shut for refurbishment so we are currently planning an alternative. Please keep an eye on the calendar and/or our Facebook page, or just turn up at the Coreys Mill Sainsburys car park at 19:30 next Monday and you will be led to the new destination.

Mon 21st August 2017

It was overcast this week with the threat of rain so we weren't expecting many riders to turn out for the rideout from Coreys Mill. But we were pleasantly surprised by the large turnout at the Sainsbury's car park.

But our regular meeting point coincided with the 5 Counties motorcycle club this week so it was nice to catch up with some of the former S&DMCC members that we haven't seen for a while. The 5 Counties group left before us as our group swelled in numbers before we headed off at about 19:40.

We started with a bit of a dull blat up the A1 to junction 9 so we could quickly get onto the A507 from Baldock to Buntingford - always a favourite. We then headed south on the A10 and left onto the A120 to Bishops Stortford.

We then got onto the B1004 but, although a lovely biking road in the daylight, by this time it was starting to get a bit dark so, although fun, it was a bit slower than it would have been in better light.

That took us to Ware and the Rifle Volunteer where we were met by Club members who had made their way directly to the pub. The car park was full of bikes and most of the members were in the car park, enjoying the warm summer evening.

As always, there was lots of chatter about all sorts of things, but mainly motorcycle related. There were more speedway trips planned, there was talk of various ad hoc weekend rideouts and Ben's plans for his bike replacement were mulled over as we munched our way through huge amounts of fried food served up by the pub staff.

If you'd like to come along to join us for the pre meet rideout or you want to join us at the Monday night meet for general chat and a sociable evening with like minded people, just come along and introduce yourself.

Have a look at the Gallery for photos of our Monday evenings, including this week.

It's a bank holiday this coming Monday so no planned Club meeting but several members will be riding down to Hoddesdon to the Rye House speedway. If you want to join us, meet at the layby outside The Chequers, Bragbury End, at 18:30.

Mon 14th August 2017

The weather was perfect this week. It was a warm and dry evening made even better by low cloud cover (so no sun in the eyes). This brought out 11 riders for the ride out from the Coreys Mill Sainsburys to the Playing Fields Club in Upper Caldecote.

As last week's planned route was cut short due to the poor weather, we opted to try again this week but ending in Upper Caldecote instead of Shefford. Although the speed was adapted for the slowest rider, it was still a nice route and some entertaining roads with great bends.

Unfortunately we forgot to take some photographs before the start of the ride and with it taking about an hour, it was a bit too dark by the time we parked up.

But, on arrival, there were about another 8 bikes already in the car park and the usual crowd who'd arrived in their cars.

the rideout arrived just in time as "food's ready" was called just as we walked in. As is always the case, the Playing Fields Club served up excellent food in the form of chilli on jacket spuds with enough for two for some of the hungry members... and three for the ride leader!

Tonight was also the second round of the cheese skittles competition. It was well attended and cheeses were flying everywhere. Results of the competition, held over two legs at the Playing Fields Club:
Martyn Patmore
Mark Browning
Bob Voss
Cider Bob
Pete Blackburn.
Amongst other things, there was a bit of a chat about ride outs - Steve Vaughan is contemplating a run to Hunstanton this coming weekend so if you are interested, please reply to the Facebook message.

Next week is a change to the original calendar. Due to a change of landlord at the planned pub, we will now be at the Rifle Volunteer, Ware.

Mon 7th August 2017

Saturday night was our Club subsidised excursion to Rye House for an evening of very entertaining speedway. Unfortunately the local boys, Ryehouse Rockets, were trashed by Swindon. But it was a well attended event and after a quick rain shower as everyone left home, by the time we met up at the Chequers, the sun was shining and the roads were pretty much dry. It stayed that way for the whole evening and we got home in the dry at about 22:00. Everyone agreed it was a very successful night.

The weather for this week's Monday night meeting was not so good. It was too wet for any photo but we still had a surprisingly good turnout of 7 riders who braved the weather and enjoyed an initially wet route over the Barton-Le -Clay via Apsley End and then up the A6 to the A507. Fortunately the rain stopped and even the roads were dry for the next few miles. Due to the weather the original route, planned to take us to towards Woburn and Haynes before cutting back to Shefford via Old Warden, was cut short but with the dry roads, we picked up the original plan from the A600, past Shuttleworth and through Stamford before arriving at the Brewery Tap in Shefford.

Only Garry was there with his bike at the pub but inside, as usually the case, the pub was crammed with members who preferred the comfort of 4 wheels and a roof as their chosen transport.

It was a good job lots of us were because the massive spread of food was even too big for all of us. We made our best efforts at demolishing the impressive variety of sandwiches, pizza, flan, chips, garlic mushrooms, pork pies, breaded chicken, etc etc... the list could go on and on. There was even salad... although, unsurprisingly, that was less popular! And if that wasn't enough, there were cakes for afters. Thanks to the Landlord for the great food and warm welcome we received from him and his bar staff.

A few of the riders left fairly early to avoid the imminent heavy rain but many stayed later into the evening with the members of the "light car section". A very sociable night.

Next week we will be at the Playing Fields Club, Upper Caldecote. As always, meet us at Corys Mill Sainsburys at 19:30 if you'd like to join the ride or meet us at the venue.

We are always keen to hear your views on how the Club is run or how we do our rideouts so if you have any comments, please get in touch. Likewise, if you want to lead the Monday night ride or plan a rideout on a different dayy, let us know.

Mon 31st July 2017

If you have a look at the Gallery on the Club's website you'll see we had another great turnout for the ride from Coreys Mill Sainsburys this week.

Pete Blackburn led the ride which wound it's way around the countryside of Herts, Beds and Cambs for about an hour before arriving at The Hoops in Bassingbourn.

As is often the case, the car park of the pub was already half full of bikes and with the fine weather, many riders were enjoying the evening outside.

As with most of the pubs we visit, the staff at the Hoops are always pleased to see us and looked after us with a great spread of food.

Don't forget, this coming Saturday, 5th August, is the Rye House Speedway night at Hoddesdon. There’s no need to book - just turn up at the lay-by outside The Chequers, Bragbury End on your bike at 17:45 to leave at 18:00. First race 19:00 & last is 21:00. Entry is £18 but any member going on a bike will be reimbursed by the Club.

Mon 24th Jul 2017

Some members travel a fair distance to join us for our Monday evening ride outs. A couple of them left their homes in lovely weather this week but in Stevenage, the heavens had opened and the roads were wet but it didn't put off lots of us as we had a very enthusiastic twelve riders on the run.

It was great to see so many out on such a miserable nigh and a warm welcome to new members Dave and Sharron on their pair of Honda NC750s.

The ride started with a blat up the motorway to Junction 10, where we took the road to Newnham and on to Ashwell and Steeple Morden. We turned towards Litlington and carried on through Bassingbourn, to Meldreth. After a few hundred yards on the A505, we turned onto the B1368 for the trek down to finish at Hare Street. Unfortunately, the road was shut in Barkway so we missed out on the last few beautiful twisties and had to settle for the A10 to Buntingford, via Reid.

On the plus side, by the time we got into Cambridgeshire, the weather and roads had dried out a lot and it stayed that way all the way to The Beehive.

As always, loads of other, members were already at the pub and were tucking in to the excellent BBQ food put on by the staff.
The pub was rammed so lots of us enjoyed the mild evening outside while smelling the continuing aromas emanating from the Barbie as more and more food was served up.

It was another entertaining and sociable night and another really successful summer BBQ.

Unfortunately the planned speedway night this coming Saturday has been cancelled by the track so we have rescheduled for Saturday 5th August. There’s no need to book - just turn up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys on your bike at 17:45 to leave at 18:00. First race 19:00 & last is 21:00. Entry is £18 but any member going on a bike will be reimbursed.

Next week we will be at the Hoops, Bassingbourn but, as always, meet us at Coreys Mill Sainsburys at 19:30 is you want to join the group ride.

Mon 17th July 2017

The weather this week was excellent once again and lots of members took advantage of the warm and dry evening and late daylight.

As always, those wanting to join the group ride met at Coreys Mill Sansburys at 19:30. Unfortunately, the petrol station is currently shut for refurbishment so we were a bit late getting away after some had to divert for fuel.

We didn't count but there were about 16 in the group, consisting mainly of sports bikes but with a few other nice pieces of machinery. After injury, Cider Bob was back on a bike but opted for his little 250 trail bike. Not being particularly quick, particularly on knobblies, he suggested following up at the rear but a lack of volunteers to lead the ride resulted in him taking the front. This turned out not to be a problem as it was quick enough through the twisties, as the chicken strips that might have been there rapidly wore away and, nailing its throttle wide open, could just about muster an indicated 75 on the dual carriageways.

It's always a challenge coming up with new routes but tonight's was partly a reverse of that often ridden. Starting with the familiar buzz through Great Wymondley to Willian, spinning round the longabout, we picked up 2 more members from the Shell garage, and then on to Willian Road to Baldock. It was then onto the A507 where the sports bikes were probably held up a touch by the screaming little trailie at the front.

But at the A10, Buntingford, as always, we waited until the full group was back together. As a responsible Club, we don't pressurise anyone to ride hard. We suggest the slower riders sit behind the leader and the faster you want to go, the further towards the back of the group you need to be.

With the group back as one, it was a fairly dull zip down the A10 to the A120 where we headed toward Bishops Stortford. On a night with faster riders, we'd probably go all the way to Stortford and then cut down to return to Much Hadham on the B1004 but tonight we took the slightly shorter route, turning right at the Little Hadham lights and following the road all the way to the Angel at Ware.

At the pub, there were even more bikes in the car park and, as always, a contingent of the older boys, who no longer ride, in their cars.

It was a great atmosphere at the pub and a thoroughly good evening.

This was improved by the lovely spread of sandwiches and chips kindly laid on by the pub land lord and friendly staff. If you are ever passing through Ware, it's a pub well worth stopping at.

Next week will be the summer BBQ at the Beehive, Hare Street.

Mon 10th July 2017

Yesterday the club hosted our annual George Brown Memorial Vintage Run which included a lunch stop at the Vicars Inn, Arlesey. Tonight, we were back at the same pub for our club meeting and, as always, we we hosted by the friendly staff who provided a lovely spread of food.

Unfortunately, Cider Bob is going to be off hos bikes for a month or so due to an injury so the responsibility of ride leader for the pre-meet run will probably be shared between Pete Blackburn, Pete Starr and Ian Harris. But if anyone else would like to have a good, you will be more than welcome.

Last night, Ian took up the mantle and took a surprisingly small group of six riders over to the A10, onto the B1368 and then back down the A10 to the A507 with the subsequent blat through Baldock to Arlesey. Yet another new member came along, as well as others who have recently joined so it was good to see the rides are popular.

However, many members opted to plan there own smaller rides and there were over 20 bikes at the pub before the end of the evening.

As always, there was a friendly atmosphere and much of the talk was about the George Brown run.

Due to the late daylight, many left early to enjoy a dusk ride home.

Please note, we have had to swap the next two weeks meeting around due to circumstances beyond our control. Next week will now be at the Angel, Ware and the following week will be the summer BBQ at the Beehive, Hare Street.

Mon 3rd July 2017

The weekend just gone was this year's ACU National Rally. Although numbers are dwindling, it was a great event. Many thanks to Jason and Lisa Holmes and Cider Bob for manning the checkpoint at the start and through the night. Also, thanks to Dave Price for all his work helping Jason and Lisa setup at silly o'clock on Saturday morning and dismantling on Sunday morning. Further thanks goes to Steve and Gary for covering the afternoon shift. Finally, thanks to Martin and the Bikestop team for supplying copious amounts of coffee throughout the day and night.

For those of you that haven't done it, it's a great event that's been going for decades. Have a look at their website for details and give it a go next year. If you don't fancy the ride, feel free to man the checkpoint for a while.

Unfortunately, the "webmaster" hasn't been to the Club for a couple of weeks due to a non-motorcycling related injury so there isn't much to say unless some of the members give an update.

However, it appears the last two weeks has seen excellent turnouts for both the runs and the pub meetings.

Pete Blackburn has led the last couple of Monday nights rides with 17 bikes last night winding their way through the Hertfordshire countryside to the Rifle Volunteer, Ware. I'm told Pete has made an excellent job and is, hence forth, considered the Monday night run leader (unless it's raining or slightly chilly!).

Don't forget, this Sunday is the Club's Vintage run so come along and support - it's always a great day out for anyone with an interest in any motorcycles.

Next Monday's meeting will be at the Vicars Inn, Arlesey.

Mon 19th June 2017

Last week, many members were on the Isle of Man for the TT races or away on other bike trips so there was no-one to write a review. But, by all accounts, it was a surprisingly well attended ride out, with Pete Blackburn leading 14 riders on a route taking about an hour and a half, ending at the Edward VII at Guilden Morden.

This week, the ride out was equally well attended. Meeting, as always, at 19:30, Corey's Mill Sainsburys, the ride was dividing in two as the committee members had to be at the pub by 20:00 for a meeting. They were joined by some others and simply took a route up to Cottered and then down to the Hen and Chickens at Baldock. The majority followed Ian Harris on a longer ride which was enjoyed by all.

At the pub, bikes were slotted in everywhere with "overflow" around the surrounding streets. The variety of machines was impressive... as well as the the usual types of bike we tend to see, this week other exotica included a spanking new KTM, a very very nice "shed built" Harris GSXR and a couple of 1920s bikes brought along by Gordon Hallet and Chris Sawyer, who had done the Banbury Vintage Run yesterday.

Gordon has written the following summary of their exploits:

The Banbury Run is open to bikes manufactured before 1931 and is the world's largest gathering of such machines. The oldest was 1898, with many others over 100 years old. I rode my 1928 New Hudson 350cc which I have had for 22 years and I've completed the run about 17 times. It is approx 65 miles of mixed roads & includes the infamous Sunrising Hill, which has a gradient of of about 1 in 5 (20%) in places & I needed 1st gear to get to the top. Both Chris & myself were trouble-free, in what was far from ideal heat for these old gals. The oil system on our bikes is "total loss", I used about 3lts, which is now spread about those 65mls. It would make a good ride out in2018.

If you'd like to know more about Chris' Cotton, have a look at this link.

There is no point in boring you with the dreary detail of the committee meeting but some points of note are:
Reminder for the Royston & DMCC Meldreth bike show this coming Wednesday.
If you'd like to help marshal & earn a free meal, be at the ground at 15:00 of join Pete at Bikestop at 18:00.
Reminder of the George Brown Memorial Run on 9th July.
See Mick Taylor for an entry form or come along to look if you don't have a vintage bike to ride.
Ryehouse Speedway night on 29th July. If, as a member, you go on your bike, meeting at Coreys Mill Sainsburys at 18:00, the club will reimburse your ticket
A member has proposed enamel Club badges for the bikes. If you are interested, please let us know.
Although there were so many people, the pub was empty as everyone was outside enjoying temperatures of about 25°C. But there was a constant trickle of members in and out of the pub as Tally, the Land Lady, laid on a superb spread with quality food that just kept coming.

The superb weather and 21:45 daylight meant some riders left early to enjoy the ride home more than they might in the dark.

A cracking evening so if you're not a member and it sounds like your thing, come along and join us for an evening and see how you get on.

Mon 5th June 2017

Last week, Monday 29th May, was a bank holiday so there was no club meeting.

This week was a return to the Goat in Codicote.

The weather was poor but Pete Blackburn was at Coreys Mill Sainsburys at 19:30 just in case anyone turned up. But a combination of the rain in Hertfordshire and many members being on the Isle Of Man for the TT races meant it was a quiet night and Pete ended up riding the B656 to Codicote alone.

Although quiet, there were a few Club members at the pub and it was a sociable evening.

As always, the Landlord, Graham, laid on a great spread food.

Next week will be at the Edward VII in Guilden Morden.

The Royston & District Motorcycle Club's show (known as the Meldreth bike show) is coming up on 21st June and they'd be grateful for volunteers to assist with marshalling. If you're interested in helping out, please contact Pete Blackburn or Cider Bob.

Mon 22nd May 2017

It had been a hot May day and the evening continued with good weather, being very warm and dry.

Cider Bob arrived at Corey's Mill Sainsburys ready to lead the ride a bit early and was met by the 5 Counties Club. While lots of engine revving with straight threw pipes sounds good, particularly when you are 17 years old, it was very successful at annoying the shoppers. Fortunately they went on their loud way, with excessively hard acceleration followed immediately by harsh braking, before any of the more considerate riders of the S&DMCC arrived at the meeting point.

Joining the Triumph Explorer, was an eclectic mix of machinery which seems to be becoming the norm for the Club. Other Triumphs were out in force, the sports bike contingent was there, classic Honda (although you wouldn't think it was classic by the way it's ridden by Geoff), armchair tourer and a new one to the group - a slightly modified Yamaha XSR750 ridden by Ben. We were also joined by a friendly chap, Rob, from Cambridge who was passing and tagged along for part of the ride on his very shiny Harley.

We left the car park and headed up the A602 dual carriageway simply to keep the rather large group together if anyone was held at the lights getting out of Stevenage. But, all together, we entered Hitchin and turned south on the B656 Codicote road. We don't know any bikers who don't like this little stretch of tarmac - it's just not long enough. From Codicote, Cider stupidly took the group to Wheathampstead, which turned out to be a mistake due to pedal cyclists, car and a bit of gravel on the approach to a bend. But everyone survived and we were soon onto more major roads, taking the Marford Road to Lemsford and then the B197 to the sweeping bends of Digswell Hill. A short stint along the A1000 to the B1000 at Digswell and it soon became clear it was another poor choice as the Council had thrown gravel along the full length to Hertford, leaving the cars the roll it in and the bikes to get grit blasted. If anyone else left a road in that condition, they be prosecuted but the councils seem to get away with it just because they put up warning signs - outrageous!

From Hertford, we zipped down to Anchor Lane, over to Wadesmill and finally into Ware, arriving at the Rifle Volunteer for the evenings meet.

Unfortunately, the pub car park was crowded with vehicles that had too many wheels but there were also loads of Club members bikes already squeezed into every nook and cranny. We squeezed in where we could but several had to park up on the surrounding roads.

Being a warm evening, most members were outside and there was a great atmosphere. There was lots of chat about the Air Ambulance charity ride which lots of members attended in amongst about 900 others.

We were very well looked after by the Landlord and his staff with loads of nice sandwiches and platters of chips - no-one went hungry!

But, while it was an excellent meeting, the warm weather and near daylight still at 22:00 meant many members fancied leaving a little early to enjoy the ride home. Several left alone but 6 of us had a nice ride back to Stevenage led by Simon and Allie on the XJR.

Mon 15th May 2017

It looked like there was going to be rain this week but it didn't put several riders off so there was a nice mix of bikes at Sainsburys Coreys Mill for the rideout to the Club meet.

Rain or shine, warm or cold, Cider Bob doesn't get put off by the weather and was there to lead the group. The route he planned this week involved a mix of roads and took the group via the A507 to Buntingford, over to Hare Street and then up the B1368 to Flint Cross. Then over to Melbourn and Meldreth before taking Kneesworth Road to Bassingbourn.

The route finished at this week's meeting place; the Hoops in Bassingbourn.

Several bikes were in the car park and a lot of "the old boys" were there in cars.

The weather, although overcast, stayed dry so most of us milled about in the car park and beer garden, chatting about the wide variety of bikes on shown, which included Ian's new BMW1000R, Alex's immaculate GSXR, a number of new and old Triumphs, a Harley Davidson Electra Glide, an Africa Twin and even an MZ 301 brought along by Paul Thompson. Some of the stalwarts were also there, including the Honda Blackbirds of Pete and Jim, Geoff's R1150RT and Cider Bob had opted for his DL650.

The food included hot sausages, lovely sausage rolls and spring rolls along with oodles of chips and more. An unusual but surprisingly nice addition to the array of food was some salted popcorn. Thanks to the staff and Landlord of the Hoops.

The evening ended without rain and it was a nice ride home in the mild spring darkness.

Don't forget to look at the Gallery or our Facebook page for photos of the evening.

Mon 8th May 2017

This week, Pete Starr led the rideout as Cider Bob couldn't make it. Although short (the road, not Pete... although he is!) one of his favourite roads is Anchor Lane at Wadesmill - so he planned a route to include it on the way to the meeting, which was at the Angel in Ware.

Only seven others joined Pete for the ride but it included another new member - welcome Martin. And welcome back to Peter Berry who came along and renewed his membership.

As is usually the case, the pub was fairly chocker with members who had gone straight there either on bikes or in cars. And it was nice to meet a rider from Hertford who'd heard about us and came along to see what we're all about.

Nigel, the landlord at the Angel, laid on a excellent selection of sandwiches, chicken bits and chips with plenty for everyone.
all in all another good night.

Mon 24th April 2017

After missing a week due to the bank holiday, the poor weather during the afternoon didn't stop a good number of bikes turning up for the evening ride this week to the Playing Fields Club at Upper Caldecote.

The roads dried up and, apart from being a bit chilly, it was an excellent ride out which left Coreys Mill Sainsburys just after 19:30 hours. Cider Bob turned up on his 250 trail bike and was followed by a great selection of bikes including Simon and his other half on his Yamaha XJR1300, a few sports and sports tourers, Mark on his Ducati, John on his Electra Glide (yes, a Harley out with a risk of rain - very impressive!) and Geof, as always, taking up the rear position on his trusty BMW R1150RT.

For a 250, Cider Bob didn't hang about and the route took us along mainly wide, open country roads - ideal for all styles of bikes and avoiding dull A roads.

Passing by Redcoast, to Hitchin, then on to Pirton. Unfortunately, although the planned routes normally avoid riding directly into the sun, there was no avoiding it this week and the low and very bright sun slowed up the pace between Pirton and Shillington. But, as we turned left at Apsley End, we moved away from the direct sunlight as we passed through the picturesque Bedfordshire countryside. Using the A507 and A600 to bypass Shefford, it was then through Ireland and old Warden before reaching Upper Caldecote. Everyone seemed to enjoy the ride and no-one was left behind.

As always, some bikes were already in the car park as well as a load of members who'd gone in cars. The bar was full, which meant a great night of chat but also ideal for the first round of the cheese skittles competition, which was taken by Mark. A highlight of the evening for many was watching Pete Blackburn "accidentally" throw one of his heavy plastic "cheeses" straight at Gary's nadgers (hopefully the impact didn't incapacitate both Gary?)

During the evening, the thanks we had received for our charitable donation to Great Ormand Street was highlighted. This was the message we received from Nancy's mum who has been fund raising for this great cause:

Nancy would like to thank all the members of Stevenage & District Motorcycle Club for the kind donation and helping Nancy raise money for Great Ormond Street. Nancy's had her operation and finished one week of physio, just another week to go.
Thanks again, Nancy xxxx

The Playing Fields Club always look after us and this week was no different with a really tasty chilly & cheese on jacket spuds, with more than enough to go round. Thanks gents.

Don't forget, this coming Sunday is the Walkern Fair. If you'd like to show your bike off, or spend some time chatting on the stand, or both, come along any time during the afternoon. we'll be setting up from about 13:30. The event starts at 14:00 and we'll be packing away about 16:00. The more bikes the better.

Mon 10th April 2017

The weather was perfect again this week for an evening ride. Cider Bob couldn't be there so Pete Starr took the leader mantel and led a good size group from Corey's Mill, which included a welcome back to Simon with his other half on his immaculate XJR1300.

Pete chose an excellent route to the A507 via Walkern, then over the the Mordens and Wrestlingworth before arriving at at The Bell, Sandy after passing through Potton.

At the pub were a mass of members and the evening saw a charity easter egg auction which raised £131. Thanks to all that supplied and bought the eggs.

As always, we were well looked after by the staff at The Bell.

Mon 3rd April 2017

The lovely spring weather encouraged lots of riders to get out on their bikes for this week's Club night. The meeting time at Corey's Mill Sainsburys was brought forward 15 minutes to 19:30 to take advantage of the lighter evenings which meant we inter-mingled with the 5 Counties Club who were also meeting there. The quantity of bikes from both Clubs was great to see and even better was the number that remained after the few from the other club had left.

Being a committee meeting this week, Cider Bob had planned a half hour ride to get to the Hen & Chickens by 20:00 hours but Ian Harris suggested a longer ride and led all the non-committee members over to Ware, up the A10 and down the A507 while the others cut the route short by making their way to the A507 via Walkern, and then into Baldock.

It was a cracking night for a ride and everyone enjoyed their respective routes.

A huge number of bikes had been ridden straight to the pub, rather than joining either of the ride outs, and the bar was jam packed with members.

There was lots of friendly chat in the bar while we on the Committee had to endure the dullness that accompanies the drudgery of running almost any social club but, as we finished in the back room, we came out to the main bar to find yet another fantastic spread of food by Tally, the Land Lady.

I know we write it every week (but that's because it's true) but, once again, a well attended and very entertaining and enjoyable evening.

Mon 27th March 2017

A great turnout at Corey's Mill for the rideout this week with yet more potential new members. There was lots of chat going on in the car park but we finally got going about 19:50. With the ubiquitous 650 V-Strom leading the way, a pair of very shiny CBR600RRs followed. Behind them, Suzuki weren't to be outdone on the sports bike front and naked Triumphs were out in force. Along with a BMW, the trail of riders was rounded off with John on his stunning Harley Davidson.

The route took us through Stevenage (not very exciting) and out onto the A602 towards Ware. The ride was a nice pace and we stayed together until we reached Anchor Lane to Wadesmill. This is a short but stunning piece of motorcycling road which saw the pack get spread out a little. But, as always, at the next junction, the leader, Cider Bob, waited for the group to reform. But it was clear John was no slouch on the American beast as we weren't waiting for long.

From Wadesmill, it was over to Bengeo and through Hertford to another nice biking road, the B1000 to Digswell. The A1000 took us to junction 6 of the A1(M) where we joined the B656 to Codicote and the Goat.

As is usually the case once the weather starts to improve, the car park already had a number of bikes parked up, including Roy's new toy - a Triumph Trophy. Inside, the place was full of both past and current riders and we received a cheery welcome from the Landlord, Graham, and his staff.

As always at the Goat, there was plenty of food for everyone with enormous piles of hot dogs, chips and pizzas. No greens but what "hardened" bikers need veg on their night out!!

It was a cheery atmosphere with lots of banter but the numbers started thinning out about 22:00 with the last members leaving before closing time.

Next week's meeting will be at the Hen & Chickens in Baldock (meeting for committee members). It's our HQ and a great destination as we are very well looked after by the Landlady, Tally.

The meeting for the rideout is being brought forward and will be 19:30 hours at Coreys Mill Sainsburys. Hope to see you there.

Mon 20th March 2017

The weather took a bit of a dive this week with the temperature dropping and heavy rain throughout the day. Although it dried up later on, the down-turn took its toll on the number of bikers keen for a ride and it ended up with Cider Bob leading Geof and yet another new member, Carlos, on his very nice and very new Honda CBR600RR.

Never-the-less, the ride was fun with dry loads and not many other vehicles. It was a straight forward ride, taking us out of Stevenage, through Walkern, and up to A507, all the way to the Vicars Inn, Arlesey.

As usually the case, the pub was full of members who didn't want to brave the weather but still wanted the social side so, while there were no bikes other than from the run, those who shared a lift were able to benefit from the excellent beers on tap.

The staff at the Vicars Inn always seem pleased to see us and were as friendly as ever. The food laid on was no less than a banquet with a superb selection of nibbles and so much that we couldn't polish it off between us.

So, with lost so members having their fill and beer & food and those driving and riding being coked out, the numbers started thinning out about ten o'clock and we were all gone by the time Hazel wanted to lock doors.

Next week we will be at the Goat in Codicote. Hope to see you for the run first or at the pub.

Mon 13th March 2017

What a difference a week makes - the weather this week couldn't have been much nicer for our rideout from Corey's Mill to The Plume Of Feathers, Ickleford.

Yet another potential new member joined five of us for the ride which took us past Redcoats to the B656. That road is always a favourite so we went all the way to Codicote where we turned right to Whitwell and continued on, over the A505, through Lilley and on to the excellent B655 Barton to Hitchin road. Into Hitchin and then a bit dull as it's all 30s to the pub in Ickleford. Click here to see the route mapped out.

There were already several bikes at the pub as the rideout group arrived and, as always, no shortage of the "old boys" who gave up riding years ago but still like the social side.

Inside, there were too many of us for one bar so we were spread all over and filled the pub; just leaving enough room for the darts players to lob their arrows.

The lady behind the bar was friendly and helpful but, while we are not pub critics, it would be fair to the Landlady looked streessed and provided us with what felt like minimal rations (certainly less than we are used to) for the evening. While several of us went away hungry, by all accounts, the chips and various sandwiches, including some with hot sausages as filling, that were provided, were extremely nice.

With more bikers in the pub signing up for this year's membership to the Club, and some great conversations going on, all in all, another good night (although some of had to tuck into a sandwich having got home).

Mon 6th March 2017

The chilly wintery weather continued this week but it stayed dry and there was an excellent turnout of hardy motorcyclists at Corey's Mill for the run..

The winter stalwarts, Cider Bob & Jeff were joined on the run by Jason on his RT (with heated bum), with intrepid Lisa (who was about three times bigger than normal with all the winter gear on) on the back. And yet another new member, Alex, on his GSXR who had a 20 mile trek just to join us - welcome Alex.

With a new rider and Lisa joining us, we opted for a run of about half an hour at a sensible pace but the dry roads meant reasonable lean angles and it was a fun ride along one of the more popular short routes - past Redcoats, Great Wymondley, Willian and Stotfold before joining the A507 into Baldock.

We arrived at the White Lion in Baldock where two bikes were already parked up - one being Gordon's 1950s beast which drew a crowd when started up. If you want to know what this unusual monster was, with it's riveted frame and 750 open valve engine, you'll have to come along and ask him!

Yet another member braved the weather and joined us on his CBF1000 slightly later in the evening.

The pub staff looked after us as always with beer, soft drinks and tea flowing readily (depending on your preference) and a huge amount of food came out at nine o'clock... lovely if you like pasties, chips, onion rings, flans, and battered fish etc but not ideal for the healthy living members of the club (eh Lisa?) who might have preferred a cress sandwich!

It was a really good turnout of members who didn't brave the weather on bikes but arrived in a variety of "light cars". With so many crammed in the pub, most of the food disappeared quickly but there was more than enough for everyone.

It was a very sociable evening with lots of chat and a great atmosphere.

yet another successful S&DMCC outing.

Mon 27th February 2017

Having had a couple of days of spring weather, it turned wintery again for the rideout to the Club this week. But as usual, Cider Bob was at Coerys Mill Sainsburys for anyone keen to ride... and was was met not only by Geoff, who had got his BMW R1150RT back together but also yet another new member, Alan, on his spanking new Honda NC750 - Welcome Alan.

The original plan was a straight forward and dull blat up the motorway to Baldock because it's was a committee meeting night, starting at 20:00, but with 3 of us eager for a cold and damp ride, and considering Alan's bike was only about 8 hours old, we chose a twisty route through the countryside through Chesfield and Weston before making our way to the A507 for the final couple of miles into Baldock, where the club was meeting at the Hen & Chickens.

It was a fun but cold ride and resulted in Alans previously pristine NC needed a proper clean!

The committee didn't wait for Cider to arrive with the "proper riders" and the meeting was under way on arrival. Fortunately, he didn't miss much before the useful stuff was talked about. There were various conversations about the forth coming year's events and how/what we would do. The meeting ended about 20:45, at which time a superb spread of food was put out by Tally, the Landlady - she really does look after us!

The club night was well attended but there was enough food for all. Members disappeared one at a time throughout the evening and as the last left, they found the heavens had opened and those riding had heavy rain to add to the cold for the ride home... while "the old boys" jumped in there cars and turned the heaters on!!!

See you next week.

Mon 20th February 2017 (AGM)

A new member was waiting at Corey's Mill Sainsburys this week to join the rideout. Welcome Aiden.

Unfortunately, this week was the Club's AGM so the "rideout" was simply a half mile bimble to the Cromwell Hotel.

Tea and coffee were provided by the hotel but a big thank you to Gary Jones who provided the biscuits (which turned out to be dinner for some!).

AGMs are usually a dull evening what ever organisation you are part of so our turnout of 37 members wasn't bad.

The meeting started at 8.05 pm with the minutes from last year's AGM read out, followed by the Chairman's report for this year. He summarised all the events we've done throughout the year and talked about proposed events for 2017/2018.

Next was the treasurer's report. Pete Starr continued to do a sterling job and we finished the year with about the same amount of money as we started with.

This was followed by the election of committee members. Nominations were for Bob Voss, Cider Bob, Jim Carmichael, Gary Jones and Pete Blackburn with some additional proposals turned down by people who know better!

Unfortunately, Bob Voss was not elected so the only change to this years committee is Roy Brown being replaced by Gary Jones.

The term of the Committee Officers (Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer) is 3 years so there was no election for them this year.

Dave Price has kindly agreed to continue as sandwich monitor - this is a thankless task so please just cough up your £2 without complaining if you want to eat.

Any other business followed with a proposed trip to Rye House speedway on 20th May - details to follow.

Club President, Pat Barrett, proposed a spring disco and buffet at the Bucks Head on 21st April, in aid of the Air Ambulance. There will be no charge for Club members but, for the charity, there will be a small entry fee for guests. Details to be arranged.

The Walkern show on 30th April will be supported again this year, as will the Meldreth show on 21st June. Volunteers have been requested to help marshal at Meldreth.

Bikestop will, once again, be hosting a National Rally checkpoint. Volunteers are requested to help man the stand again in an attempt to promote the Club. Some of the members who normally support this event may be riding this year so please put your names forward for a stint on the stand.

As every year, Pat Barrett proposed that club fees should be £10.00 and OAPs free. This was declined, as always as OAPs outweigh the "younger" members by about 10 to1 !

The meeting closed at 8.45pm with members retiring to the bar.

Mon 6th February 2017

This week, we visited the Pig & Whistle at Aston.

The evening started for most with a drive to the pub, but the ever hardy rideout leader was waiting at Sainsburys Coreys Mill at 19:45 hours in the cold pouring rain on the off chance another rider might be mad enough brave the elements. Alas not so he had a slightly convoluted route via Walkern and a couple of back roads to enjoy the flooded roads and the challenge of staying rubber side down.

It was a relatively quiet affair at the pub as the dark wintry night put off all but the keenest members. On the plus side, there was more than enough excellent food provided by the land lord with some left over to dish out to other pub goers.

There was lots of talk of last Saturday night's annual dinner and dance. There is a short report on the dinner and dance website page.

The night ended relatively early due to the weather but an entertaining night non-the-less.

Mon 30th January 2017

It's been a while since we've updated, due to the Christmas and New Year break and then the "webmaster" was away for a couple of weeks but we're now back in the swing of it and last night saw an excellent turnout at the White Lion in Baldock.

Unfortunately Cider Bob was all alone for the ride from Sainsbury's at Corey's Mill but it was a dry night, all be it cold, and the roads were grippy so it was a fun ride to the pub. It became evident that Pete Starr was also on his bike but unfortunately arrived at Sainsburys a minute or two late so rode straight to the pub.

As always, the Landlord of the White Lion put on a superb spread - not only was there mountains of food but there was a good variety and it tasted top notch.

There was plenty of chat and a good night was had by all.

Don't forget, if you want to join us, you can meet us at Sainsburys, 19:45 each Monday, or go straight to the pub - see the Calendar for next weeks destination.