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Monday 20th Decemeber 2021

For the last Club meet of the year, about twelve members met up for a "noggin & natter (drink & chat) at the Hen & Chickens.

It was quite a quiet evening but Lainey bought two new prospective members with her - Karlin and Anton. There were a few mince pies around and some birthday cake and a pleasant evening was had by all.

Monday 14th December 2021

Although there was a bit of drizzle in Stevenage, five riders met up at Sainsburys for the group ride, and they were rewarded with great weather. It was a really mild evening and by the time we got to Graveley, the drizzle had stopped and the roads were dry. Cider Bob led Martin, Bernie, Paul Purple VFR and Steve for about an hour, ending up at this week’s destination; the Crown in Stotfold.

As always, the staff at the Crown were great – very welcoming and put on another excellent spread of food.

The bar was full, with almost thirty members. It was nice welcome Lainey, who’s been a member for a while but hasn’t had the chance to come along before. She brought along her friend, fellow biker and new member Shelly.

It was another really enjoyable evening with lots of chat. It’s good to see the spectre of Covid hasn’t put people off coming along. Lots of us test regularly so we can see members are doing well at keeping themselves sufficiently distanced.

Next week is our last before Christmas. We normally call this a “Noggin & Natter”. None of us below the age of sixty seem to know what this means but, in practice, it means there won’t be any food for our meeting at the Hen & Chickens.

We then have a bit of a break over Christmas, due to the Bank Holidays, with the fist meeting in 2022 being on the 10th January. It was supposed to be at the Vicars Inn but sadly that’s closed so we will now be at the Stag, in Stotfold.

But don’t forget we also have the Dinner Dance fast approaching. For details, click here. Get your tickets from Mick.
All the committee of the Stevenage & District Motorcycle Club wish all our members a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Monday 6th December 2021

This week was our Christmas Social.

Starting about 19:30, the Hen & Chickens was already heaving by the time the group ride of six arrived at about 20:00.
Tally, the Landlady, had put on mountains of great food and the Club subsidised the evening with two free drinks for all members and free food.

There was also a raffle with some excellent prizes.

It was a really good evening, like all of our Socials, with lots of chatter and members staying until closing time.
But we do have two more meetings before Christmas – next week we are at the Crown in Stotfold so you can meet us there or join the group ride from Sainsburys.

Before that, this coming Sunday, 12th December, is the Addenbrookes Toy Run. Several Club members will be going along. Meeting from 8.30 for 10.00 start at the La Pergola restaurant on the A603 at Wimple, the ride will be to Trumpington Park via Cambridge city centre & Addenbrookes and will be escorted by the Police. For more details, have a look at their Facebook page by clicking here.

Monday 29th November 2021

Steve, who used to be the Chairman of the Trail Riders Federation, arranged a group ride off road in Norfolk yesterday. Along with three others, who all took their trail bikes over by van, they spent several hours riding very muddy trails from Walkers Café at Five Ways. There were lots of photos posted on the Whatsapp group which showed it was a great day out.

The weather for the Sunday ride was chilly but dry and sunny. Monday was, however, much colder, with a temperature of about minus three in the morning. Fortunately it warmed up to about one degree for the evening ride. Never-the-less, the temperature seemed to put off most riders and only Steve and Cider Bob turned up at Sainsburys for the group ride. Although salted, the roads were actually quite dry so the ride was enjoyable.

At the pub, members started arriving from about 19:00 with the small group ride arriving about 19:30. It wasn’t long before about twenty five of us were crammed into Goat in Codicote.

There was a nice atmosphere in the pub with lots of chatter going on.

Hot dogs and chips were served up about 20:30 which, although there was loads, was demolished in no time.

Again, with many having an early start, members started to leave from about 21:00 but, as always, some stayed until closing time.

Next week is our Christmas Social. At the Hen and Chickens in Baldock, there will be free food and two free drinks for members. We’ll also have a raffle with decent quality prizes. Please come along to this highly social event and bring your partners.

Monday 22nd November 2021

Cider Bob woke up yesterday morning, having not consumed as much alcohol as he thought he might the night before, so used our Whatsapp group to offer a short notice group ride. Although only Kelvin replied, in fact six others also turned up for an hour or so ride to Dunstable Downs. After a hot beverage, it was a fifty minute ride back to Stevenage where everyone went their separate ways. It was a beautiful day for a ride although just a tad chilly.

For Monday evening’s group ride, it was colder, with one of the bikes indicating a temperature of about 3°. Although cold, the ride was nice and most of the roads were dry; although the gritters were out so by the time we reached the A507, heading to the Hen & Chickens in Baldock, the salt was absorbing moisture and the roads started to get just a little bit greasy.
Even though it was cold, there were six on the group ride, but a lot more went directly to the pub.

This week was the 2021 photographic competition. There were lots of entrants with all sorts of subject matter but the winner was a purple VFR posed in front of a beautiful landscape. It wasn’t particularly anonymous as we believe there is only one “special” purple VFR, belonging to the aptly named Paul Purple VFR.

There was some disagreement over the winning entrant. While Paul’s photo was excellent, some thought the photo of Dougie Lampkin doing a wheelie should have taken top spot. But after much deliberation (well, about 20 seconds!), Kelvin’s photo of Dougie was relegated to second place. Third place was a photo of a shadow in a field by Gordon.

Soon enough the serious business of photograph judging (OK, it wasn’t that serious!) was over and the food was dished up. As always, Tally and the staff at the Hen & Chickens made sure we were well looked after and there was plenty of really nice food to go round.

Unfortunately, all too soon, the evening started to come to an end as those with an early morning start began to wander away, leaving only the stalwarts supping their beer/coke until almost closing time.

Next week we are at the Goat in Codicote. It’s a great village pub that is always very welcoming so please come along to support both the Club and the local pub if you can.

The week after will be the Christmas Social and don’t forget to get your tickets for the 2022 Dinner Dance from Mick Taylor.

Monday 15th November 2021

Steve was out again yesterday with another group ride with about ten members of the Club. After a tour of a few ex RAF bases, they ended up at North Weald airfield for lunch. The weather was a little drizzly and the roads a little greasy but, never-the-less, everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for arranging another great group ride Steve.

Monday, on the other hand, was a lovely dry evening but quite chilly. Only six riders joined Cider Bob, who led a ride over to Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin before ending at the Plume of Feathers in Ickleford.

Unfortunately, they were met by only few members at the pub – perhaps because of the weather or perhaps because eleven overpaid Englishmen were kicking a bag of air around a patch of grass… whatever the reason, there was only about sixteen members out being sociable.

While the lack of numbers meant the Club would have loss a little money on the food that had to be paid for, for those that did turn up, it was a fantastic dinner, consisting of a copious amounts of gorgeous chilly on chips with garlic bread. There was loads for everyone with many having seconds and some (Cider Bob) have four portions!

Even though there weren’t many there, it was still a very sociable night and everyone enjoyed it.
Our thanks to the landlord and staff of the ​​​​​ for many us so welcome.

Next week is our photographic competition, at the Hen & Chickens, Baldock. If you’ve got any photos you’ve taken this year, bring them along and let someone who knows nothing about photography judge them for you – there’s a posh trophy to be had!

Hopefully you’ll know Saturday 5th February 2022 is our Dinner Dance – obviously it’s a great night but you can find out more by clicking here. The more people come, the better it is and the more money the Club makes (or doesn’t lose!) so please get your tickets from Mick Taylor.

Monday 8th November 2021

Steve’s ride yesterday was another success. Eight riders joined him for a ride around the Chilterns in glorious November weather and some lovely photos were posted on our Whatsapp group. We’ve copied some of these to the our website Gallery page in the “Sunday Rides” album.

The good weather looked like it was going to continue for Monday evening and twelve riders came along for the group rides. We split into three groups of four with Steve, Paul Purple VFR and Cider Bob leading. The rides started in great weather but, unfortunately, light drizzle started about half way round which made it quite hard to see as it wouldn’t clear readily from visors.

But everyone arrived safety at the Stag in Stotfold where there were about thirty or so other members who’d either gone on their bikes or arrived in cars. There was a really social atmosphere and a great buzz. Food was served up about half past eight and even though the queue was long and everyone had fairly full plates, there was plenty to go round and enough for seconds for some.

Another great night.

Don’t forget to get your your 5th February 2022 Dinner Dance tickets from the Club Secretary, Mick Taylor.

Steve will be leading another ride this coming Sunday (Remembrence Sunday). Here is Steve's summary:
Breakfast rIdeout to North Weald,leaving Coreys Mill Sainsburys at 9.00am 14 November. Passing past Ex RAF Sawbridgeworth, Matcham Wood and RAF Hunsdon. Expect to arrive just after 11.00 at North Weald. Will either have breakfast in Wings cafe or the Squadron cafe. Leisurely ride back to be back in Stevenage around 1.00 -1.30. Just 1 tea stop on this ride at North Weald.

Monday 1st November 2021

No one was about to lead a Sunday ride this week although both Paul Purple VFR and Cider Bob were able to be at Sainsburys as leaders for the Monday evening group rides.

We planned to have at least two leaders so anyone who prefers the slower paced ride Ian has typically led could come along while those who prefer a slightly swifter pace were also catered for.

Unfortunately, it seems the former “Bikestop Group” riders aren’t keen on riding in the dark or cold, or perhaps either (it's not everyone's cup of tea!), and none came along for a ride.

However, with two leaders for the eight riders that did come along, they tried a new approach… splitting the group in half with Paul leading the first four, Cider leading the second four but with the intention of staying as one group if that could happen without any hassles. This meant Paul only had to keep an eye on four bikes behind him and Cider did the same for the other four. If they'd have got caught up in traffic, it would have been easy to split in half but, as it turned out, they stayed pretty much together for the great route Paul had planned. It turned out to be a nice night for a ride and everyone enjoyed it at a very comfortable pace.

The Cock in Baldock was the destination, where the group riders found others had made their own way on bikes but numerous members had opted to take advantage of just the social side, turning up in cars. It’s great that members are still coming along now winter is upon us… without the support through the winter months, the Club may not be as successful as it is in the Summer months.

The staff at the Cock were very welcoming and we were treated to a variety of sandwiches, chips and chicken.

Another very successful night with lots of social chat.

Next week we will be back at the Stag in Stotfold. We haven’t been there for a while but Treasurer Pete Starr has been working as hard as ever to keep a wide variety of pubs on the calendar that are happy to welcome us and provide good food. He’s had a lot of success recently and in a couple of weeks, we’ll be back at the Plume of Feathers in Ickleford.

If you can’t wait until next Monday for your next sociable ride, Steve Vaughan will be leading a group this coming Sunday. Here’s the details:
Sunday morning run 7th November - leaving Stevenage Sainsburys Coreys Mill at 9.00am for a 70 mile loop out through Woburn, Wing and Leighton Buzzard, returning past Whipsnade Zoo. Expected time is around 2h 20m plus any stops. Expect to stop at Woburn for a quick tea and a few scenic stops on the way around the route. Should be back before 1.00pm.

Don't forget to add Saturday 5th February 2022 to your diary for our Annual Dinner & Dance at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage. We should have had our 60th anniversary Dinner & Dance this year but Covid restrictions put pay to that. So please come along in 2022 for what is always a very enjoyable evening and one where we encourage you to bring along your partner and friends. Tickets are now on sale from the Club Secretary Mick Taylor at £35.00 each. Have a look at the Dinner Dance page of the website for full details.

Monday 25th October 2021

A relatively short Sunday ride was planned and led by Cider Bob yesterday. At only a hundred miles or so, it was shorter and less educational than Steve’s typical rides, but all twelve riders seemed to enjoy it. It was a nice comfortable pace, with a decent tea stop at Graffan Water and back at Stevenage by 13:00.

It was great weather for the Sunday ride and it followed up for the Monday evening group ride from Sainsburys which was perfect riding conditions; except for the dark.

Nine riders gathered and after a short chat about if the group should be split or who’d lead everyone, Steve once again volunteered to take up the leader role and Cider Bob followed up as tail End Charlie (TEC).

It was a nice route; to the A507, B1368 and B1039 to Royston, then to Litlington but a return to the A505 aftter a road closure in Ashwell. Due to the time getting on, it was straight down the dual carriageway to Baldock where the group picked up the A507 to Stotfold where the destination was the Crown for the quiz night.

Unfortunately, due to the closure, the group ride arrived a little late for the planned 20:00 start. Fortunately, they were able to still join in, along with about thirty others who’s come out to test their general knowledge against the Chairman’s questions. Some of the locals also joined in.

The food was as good as ever at the Crown and it was a smashing evening.

The top three quizzers were:
1st Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey 77
2nd The James Gang plus one 75
3rd Piston Broke 71

Next week we will be at the Cock in Baldock.

The rides will be at 19:00, Sainsburys and if we have enough leaders (and riders) we will split the group in two with a “moderate” group and a “sedate” group.

Monday 18th October 2021

Steve Vaughan arranged and led another Sunday ride this week. He was joined by six other members of the Club on the ride to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, and it turned out to be a great day out which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Keep an eye out for more Sunday rides coming up soon.

Monday was a really mild evening for October so, after the rain stopped, six members rode out together at the winter start time of 19:00 at Sainsburys. Led again by Steve, with the destination being the Rifle Volunteer in Ware, it was a really nice, sensibly paced ride in lovely weather, although the roads were a bit damp in places.

The group ride arrived at the pub to find a few others already there but a few more turned up a little later. Unfortunately, it was an unusually low turnout with only about twenty of us but it was a very pleasant evening with lots of chat and, as always at that pub, loads of food to go round.

Having got there early, a few started to leave not long after 21:00 but most were there until around about 22:00.

Next week we have the annual quiz, this year at the Crown in Stotfold. The Club Chairman, Tony Brown will once again be the question master. He’s sent us this text to give you an idea of what’s in store:
“…starting hopefully at 20.00 hrs. The questions are all general knowledge and you will have all the answers in front of you pick any one of three. There will be bottles of wine for the winners and of course there will be plenty of gala pie and sandwiches, so come along for a entertaining evening, hope to see you there”.

Don’t forget to put 5th February in your diary for the Dinner & Dance. See Mick for tickets and, if possible, cash would be preferred by the Treasurer please.

Mon 11th October 2021

This week we had the annual Club auction. This is a very entertaining evening where members bid on all sorts of thing – some rubbish, some really good – often just to wind up others bidding on the same thing. But whatever the item and whatever the reason, it raises money for the Club which all goes towards providing the free food and drink at the various socials we have throughout the year.

Lots under the hammer this year included motorcycle boots and jackets, an air brush kit and a signed picture of “The Doctor”; Valentino Rossi.

As usual, the Club Chairman had control of the gavel and did a great job of selling anything that wasn’t bolted down.

Most members made their own there this week, mainly because of the difficulty in carrying items being donated for auction, however, we still ran two group rides with Steve leading the Bikestop group and Paul Purple VFR leading the Sainsburys group.

The next Monday evening Club night with one of our annual specials is the Quiz night on the 25th October, back at the Crown in Stotfold.

But next week we will be at the Rifle Volunteer in Ware.

Due to it now being dark by 18:30, next Monday we will be reverting to one start time and location - being 19:00 at Sainsburys. This is a compromise that hopefully suits most members. The pace drops significantly in the dark so if you normally join the Bikestop ride, please do come along to Sainsburys instead where the pace will, as always, match the slowest riders and, if there are enough riders we will try to run two separate group rides.

However, to offset the dark rides on Monday evenings, we are looking at some Sunday rides throughout the autumn and winter. They will be advertised as and when but we hope to have both full days out (mainly arranged by Steve Vaughan) and also some morning rides of two or three hours with a tea stop (mainly organised by Cider Bob).

The first of these is this coming Sunday with a day out ride out to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, meeting at Sainsburys at 08:00. Check out our Whatsapp group or Facebook page for more details and keep an eye on our social media for other planned Sunday rides in the coming weeks and months.

Another date for your diary is Saturday 5th February 2022, which is our Annual Dinner & Dance at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage. We should have had our 60th anniversary Dinner & Dance this year but Covid restrictions put pay to that. So please come along in 2022 for what is always a very enjoyable evening and one where we encourage you to bring along your partner and friends. Tickets are now on sale from the Club Secretary Mick Taylor at £35.00 each. Have a look at the Dinner Dance page of the website for full details.

Finally, a request to help ease the Treasurer’s workload and stress levels – Pete Starr does a truly awesome job of keeping the Clubs books in order (as well as making sure we have good pubs to visit each Monday) but collecting the Monday £2 food contribution from everyone wanting to snack is proving to be a challenge. So, can you please make a positive effort to have your £2 in cash (he carries change!) and either actively seek him out to pay or hand it over readily when he wanders around with his jar. Being Treasurer is a thankless job so please try to make it as easy for him as possible. Thank you.

Mon 4th October 2021

Heavy rain about 17:00 this Monday, and possibly the ever earlier diminishing light, seemed to put many of our regular riders off, although we still ran three group rides, totalling twelve riders.

With Ian Harris away for several weeks, Steve Vaughan once again lead the Bikestop ride while Paul Purple VFR led the first Sainsburys group. Cider Bob also turned up at 18:30 and joined Paul’s ride until about half way round, when he left and returned to Sainsburys to meet the 19:30 group. Unfortunately, the only other rider turning up was Pete Blackburn, so the two of them enjoyed a reasonably paced ride in the dark, but dry evening.

It was a good turnout at the destination of the Angel in Ware, where hot food was served in the way of mountains of chips and chicken nuggets – excellent.

Due to the weather, everyone was inside but the layout of the pub meant several small groups formed – wandering between them is a great way to socialise!

The evening ended all too soon but at least it stayed dry for the ride home.

Next Monday will be the annual Club auction. This is usually a very entertaining night that raises funds that go toards paying for the socials so we very much encourage you to come along and spend some money. Over the years, all sorts of things have gone under the hammer – a genuine HRC Williams Rothman GP shirt, brand new riding kit, a dash cam, old and new tools and a life-size cut out of the Sisters of Murphy to name but a few. But we need members to bring along anything you can donate – it doesn’t have to be motorcycle related, although it always tends to sell better if it is.

It will kick off about 20:00 so we won’t be running at 19:30 ride – just the 18:30 Bikestop and 18:30 Sainsburys rides.

So strap something to your bike or come in the car bearing donations. Even if you can’t donate something, please come along to the Hen and Chickens in Baldock and support this event.

Mon 27th September 2021

Even though panic buying of fuel resulted in lots of people not being able to get any, there was still a good turn out this week at the Hoops in Bassingbourn, with over thirty motorcycles.

Steve and Paul both led group rides from Sainsburys while Ian led his usual from Bikestop.

We were very well looked after by the Landlord, Russ, and the staff at the Hoops as always, and several members commented how great it is there.

Next week we are back at the Angel in Ware. It’s not that long since we were last there but even now, we are still being a bit limited by Covid, as to where we can go.
Ian will be away for a few weeks but Steve has kindly volunteered to take over the 18:30 Bikestop sedate ride next week. We will, of course, have the less sedate, but still legal, 18:30 and 19:30 Sainsburys rides as well.

Mon 20th September 2021

Yesterday, Steve Vaughan led a great ride to the Wessex Downs. Have a look at our Features page for his summary and the Gallery for some photos of their day out.

The Edward VII at Guilden Morden hosted us this week for our Monday evening meet. As is usual, three separate group rides took varying routes and paces to the pub and lots of members had made their own way, in smaller groups, individually or by car.

The pub was packed and, while we didn’t count, we think we possibly had the most motorcycles we’ve ever had. That appeared to be much to the disgust of the occupants of the village hall who were less than friendly and told us to get out of the car park.

Fortunately, the landlord, staff and locals at the pub were much more welcoming and it was a great night with some nice food – although the large numbers meant it disappeared rather quickly.

Next week we return to the Hoops at Bassingbourn.

We plan to have three group rides as usual but, with the pointless panic buying of fuel, initiated by outrageous sensationalistic media journalism, we may not have enough leaders with full tanks of fuel. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Whatsapp group for updates.

We would like to remind all members that this is a motorcycle based social club. So don’t be embarrassed to come in a car, perhaps if its raining - just come and be social!

We’d also like to encourage everyone to support the pubs by buying at least one drink (not necessarily alcoholic)... not only will it help the pubs, who welcome us and generally put on excellent food, but it will assist in keep them open for our future visits. But also, wandering inside & mingling may help everyone in the Club get to know each other better.

Monday 13th September 2021

With Taxi Dave’s funeral this week, members of the Club along with other motorcyclists formed a convoy tribute in the funeral cortege. Click here for a link to a video. It was a lovely ceremony and a great send off for a top bloke.

Monday was another very successful Club night. Three groups of between eight and twelve riders left Stevenage and headed to Everton where, at the Thornton Arms, many others had arrived by bike or car.

It was great to see a couple of faces who haven’t been able to come along for a while but have rejoined, along with a couple of new members.

As is usually the case, there was a great atmosphere created by the eclectic mix of members and everyone had a very enjoyable night. Made all the better by the superb quality and outstanding quantity of food put on by the pub staff. But, sad news - after having this pub on our calendar for literally decades, the current landlord is selling up. Let’s hope the new owners are just as keen to have us.

Next week we are back into Cambridgeshire at the Edward VII, Guilden Morden.

Monday 6th September 2021

Having been formed in 1961, 2021 is the Club’s 60th anniversary year.

After the Covid Pandemic stopping our 60th anniversary dinner dance and all our Socials over the past eighteen months or so, this week we celebrated with our 60th Anniversary Social, held at the Crown in Stotfold.

We still had rides from Sainsburys and Bikestop at 18:30 and a 19:30 ride from Sainsburys, but they were kept relatively short with all the groups arriving by 20:00.

By that time, the pub was heaving with members and the socialising was in full swing.

A count up of the bikes totalled fifty nine but with a single late arrival, we somewhat strangely ended up with sixty motorcycles at our 60th party.

The great staff at the Crown worked like troopers and served up huge amounts of lovely food shortly after eight. But with the number of members and their partners or families far exceeded what had been expected, anyone slow to the food tables may have been a little unlucky with variety but there was plenty of gala and game pie for everyone to have several slices.

The following day, the Club’s Whatsapp group was ablaze with compliments on the rides and the organisation of the event, which included a raffle with some great prizes. It was clearly a huge success all round. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen and to the members for coming along and supporting.

Next week we will be at the Thornton Arms in Everton.

On a sad note, the funeral of Taxi Dave (Dave Price) will be this Wednesday, 8th September. If you can, please join the motorcycle Escort, meeting 12:30 Stephensons Mews, SG2 8UW. Pete Blackburn will arrange the bikes at that time. The escort will leave approx 12:50; destination Harwood Park Crematorium, SG2 8XT.

Monday 23rd August 2021

This week we returned to the Pig & Abbot in Abington Pigotts. It’s always been a popular destination and this week was no different.

With Pete Blackburn, Ian Harris and Cider Bob absent this week, Paul Purple VFR, Richard Green and Steve Vaughan led the three groups.

Thirteen riders joined Paul on the 18:30 ride from Sainsburys with a similarly large number joining Steve at Bikestop. Richard’s 19:30 Sainsburys ride was a little smaller, with six. Many rides also created there own groups, resulting in excess of forty bikes at the venue.

Paul has described his group ride are eloquently as ever: “We headed over to Hare Street via the usual Walkern/Cottered route. Progress was initially slow due to "kitty litter" on the Stevenage/Walkern road and cars in front (no point in overtaking when there are twelve bikes behind), but once we got the other side of Buntingford we were able to open it up a bit. From Hare Street we headed up to Barley and then out towards Wendens Ambo on the B1039 but we turned off through Littlebury Green and thence on to Littlebury before turning west(ish) and taking some smaller lanes up to Chrishall Grange. This bit was a bit challenging as the sun was in our eyes and one of the roads was full of some particularly impressive pot-holes. From Chrishall Grange we then continued north up to the A505 where we turned left then right up to Fowlmere. From there we headed north east up to Newton then crossed the A10 at Harston and thence up to the A603 via Haslingfield and Harlton. We crossed the A603 and rode up to The B1046 via Kingston and then headed west on this road to Longstowe and on towards the Gransdens before turning off towards Gamlingay and then cutting south down another small-ish lane to pick up a better road through Hatley St George, East Hatley and on to the B1042. From here it was a simple matter of turning left, then right down to the Wendy/Shingay road and turning off at Shingay to arrive in Abingdon Pigotts from the North East just after 8:30pm. Approximately 63 miles and 2 hours in total. Well done to the whole group for staying together and special Kudos to Fruit (Mark Hummerstone), for staying with us on his Harley and to Big Geoff, for bringing up the rear and watching out for anything that might fall off of Mark's Harley!”

We don’t know what the other two groups got up to.

Food at the pub was as good as always and it was a thoroughly good evening.

Thanks again to the Treasurer Pete Starr and Secretary Mick Taylor who do a lot of preparation, spending time making sure the pubs we visit are good destinations – friendly and welcoming with a good atmosphere and good food.

Next week is a Bank Holiday so there is no Club meeting. But don’t let that stop you getting out and meeting up… bank holiday weekend Sundays and Mondays are usually great for riding! If you’d like inspiration for a route, have a look at the “Routes” album on our Gallery page.

So our next meeting with be our 2021 SOCIAL at the CROWN in Stotfold on 6th September. In recent years we’ve had Socials in the spring, summer and autumn but we’ve been limited by Covid this is the big one for this year. Many members will bring along partners so feel free to bring yours.

Monday 16th August 2021

Sad news this week with the death of Dave Price (Taxi Dave). A well loved character who’s been a big part of the Club for many years. Our condolences go to Dave’s family. Rest in peace Dave.

It came the same week we had our Covid-19 Member Memorial Ride for the five of our members who sadly died during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Jim Carmichael
Chris Tait
Arnold Hoiles
Maurice Hallett
Dave White.
To celebrate their lives, we met up at the Chequers at Bragbury End and, after a quick briefing, headed off on a tour of properties that were connected with those members.

We left as one large group but, with leaders spread throughout, any issues with junctions and traffic lights should have been negated with smaller groups being created on the way.

Initially, heading down Hertford Road, past Maurice’s house, we then moved on to Grace Way, past Jim’s house. It was then down to the old town to pass Arnold’s house in Franklin’s Road.

Moving on to the A505 via the B197, we then continued over to Royston where we tipped our helmets and sounded horns for Chris. Then it was into Cambridgeshire and the lovely village of Great Shelford for a ride past Dave’s house.

We ended up in three groups, finishing in Bassingbourn, after passing through Sepreth and Meldreth, at the Hoops where we raised a glass to our dear departed members.

It was a good turnout for the holiday season, with thirty three riders, plus pillions.

Our thanks to the leaders that made every effort to keep the groups on track.

Monday evening’s ride was split roughly evenly between the three meet-ups; 18:30 at Bikestop and Coreys Mill Sainsburys and 19:30 at Sainsburys.

Cider Bob led eight out into the depths of Cambridgeshire while Ian Harris led his more sedate group. Richard Green kindly agreed to lead the 19:30 group which ended up being split in half as Paul Purple VFR, who wasn’t sure if he’s make it in time, did indeed arrive with a planned route.

Our destination was the Playing Fields Club at Upper Calecote where, as always, we received a warm welcome – not to mention a warm jacket spud and chilli or baked beans.

There was also the cheese skittles competition won by Rob Smith.

Next week we are back at the Pig & Abbot in Abington Pigotts.

Just to warn you up front, there may be a lack of leaders but hopefully we’ll have it covered… keep an eye on our Facebook page, Whatsapp group or text message.

Monday 9th August 2021

We’ll start this week with a reminder that this coming Sunday, 15th August, will be our Memorial Ride to remember the Club members we’ve lost since the outbreak of the pandemic.

We will be leaving from the Chequers at Bragbury End at 11:00. Click here for full details, including the route.

We had a great evening for the Monday rides and meeting. Ian took his usual group, this week with ten riders, from Bikestop while Paul Purple VFR once again took the 18:30 group from Sainsburys.

With twelve riders turning up for the 19:30 meet at Sainsburys, Richard Green very kindly agreed to take half while Cider took the other half.

We did chuckle this week when one rider asked if the leaders were paid to lead!! Sadly not but I'm sure any or all of them would appreciate being bought a thank you coke once in a blue moon!

Our destination was the Beehive at Hare Street, where the staff were really friendly and welcoming. Everyone had arrived by 20:30 and shortly afterwards, vast amounts of great food was served up. The volume and array of sandwiches was superb but the on the side extras were even better, including hot sausages and roast potatoes… with turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, it was like a snack version of a roast dinner!

Most people stayed outside, enjoying the mild evening, while a few stayed in the bar, chatting. It was a really sociable atmosphere and a great evening.

Unfortunately, it seems that not only does the rain put off some of our members off but also the dark gets them jittery so come 21:00, some were already making tracks. Others of us stayed until about 22:30 and were able to enjoy a relaxed ride home in the great riding weather.

Next week, we will be at the Playing Fields Club in Upper Caldecote.

Don’t forget the Memorial Ride this coming Sunday!

Monday 2nd August 2021

Steve can’t lead for a few weeks so Paul Purple VFR kindly volunteered to lead the 18:30 group from Sainsburys this week. Again, Cider Bob was also there at 18:30, just in case there were huge numbers but Paul was happy to take all nine riders and they set off towards Cambridgeshire bang on time.

Cider went for a little blat, during which he found the B656 closed for another fatal motorcycle collision, but was back at Sainsburys for 19:30, where he was joined by a further nine riders, including Pete Blackburn, who was taking his usual leader role.

With ten there, they decided to split the group in half with Cider leading the other half.

Both Pete and Cider headed off in vaguely similar directions, with the ends of both rides being down the B1004 from Bishop Stortford. While Pete’s ride stayed in Hertfordshire, Cider’s group strayed into Essex. As seems to be the case most of the time, the riders in both groups seemed to enjoy their respective jaunts.

Ian Harris led his group from Bikestop. Ian has sent us this about his ride:
“With the threat of some rain showers, it didn’t dissuade the 12 riders gathered for the 18:30 ride from BikeStop. Setting out on time we headed east towards Great Ashby in Stevenage then taking the lanes to Warren Green, Halls Green and on to Cromer negotiating some standing gravel that was clearly a remnant of the recent heavy storms. Once through Cromer we made our way to the A507 at Cottered and on to Buntingford before taking the lanes out to Aspenden, Westmill (passing the Tea Room), and the lanes on to Nasty (with some lanes being nastier than others). Next on to Great Munden towards Dane End but taking a left to head to Standon Green End passing the Westmill Golf Club before joining Ermine Street just south of Colliers End and heading towards Wadesmill via High Cross and up to Thundridge where we took the Cold Christmas Lane towards Nobland, a fitting name as we came across what I thought was a stranded biker on a mint Yamaha 50 FS1-E, when asked if he was ok, he said he’d just stopped for a pee and wasn’t expecting much traffic, let alone a dozen bikers in the middle of nowhere! Next en-route was Baker’s End and Babbs Green before passing through Wareside and taking the B1004 down to Ware and dropping down to The Angel pub on schedule at 19:45 for a refreshing beverage. More challenging lanes today with lots of standing gravel at times but all arrived safely and enjoyed the route and the great spread of food put on by the pub’s staff.”

Our destination was the Angel in Ware, where the staff had done us proud with huge amounts of sandwiches, chicken nuggets and chips. The Angel is always a good venue and the quality and quantity of food just makes it even better. Thanks to the Secretary, Mick Taylor and the Treasurer, Pete Star who make sure we have a good destination with good food each week.

It was also good to welcome three new members to the Club.

Next week, we return to the Beehive in Hare Street. As always, you can join any of the group rides or meet us there.

Monday 26th July 2021

This week saw the return of our annual George Brown Memorial Vintage & Classic Run. After over three thousand views of our Facebook post about it, we hoped for a good turnout but, once again, the Met Office proved themselves to be pretty much useless and their forecast of very heavy rain and thunderstorms put a lot of riders off. It was a great shame as the only wet was a little light drizzle at the start of the day and a couple of slightly damp roads – otherwise, it was near perfect weather.
Never-the-less, we had over twenty entrants and a number of Club members came along to support the event.

You can click here, or on our Features Page, to read a more detailed report on the day by our Chairman, son of the man we dedicate this event to.

Our thanks go to all those who entered and came along to support but also special thanks to Ray Thompson and Trevor for manning the “just in case” recovery van.

We were back to the Crown at Stotfold for our Monday evening meeting this week.

As is now the standard for the better parts of the year, we had groups leaving Corys Mill Sainsburys at 18:30 and 19:30 and a slower group, for the slower bikes or more sedate riders, at 18:30 from Bikestop.

Only Ian has told us about the ride:
"Another perfect evening for riding greeted us as 12 riders and a pillion gathered at BikeStop for a planned 90-minute ride in the countryside prior to arriving at our destination of The Crown pub in Stotfold. Setting off west, we headed to the Codicote road via Fishers Green and Todds Green before taking the right towards Hitchin at St. Ibbs and taking the left towards Charlton and on to the A505. After a short burst on the A505, we took the first right on to Carter’s Lane taking us up to cross the Pirton/Hexton road and on to Pirton then Aspley End and Shillington towards Meppershall. Next up was Clifton then Langford before taking the bridge over the A1 and heading towards Edworth then on to Hinxworth and Ashwell then down the Kingsland Way to Wallington then taking the Wallington Road down into Baldock Town. At Baldock services, we joined the A507 towards Stotfold, arriving at The Crown at 8pm, where a few members had already arrived enjoying the social gathering and a few beverages, not to mention the Gala Pie!".

There were over fifty members at the pub and the Landlord, Keith, laid out great food on individual tables to stay as Covid safe as possible. It was a great night.

Although our favourite motorcycle shop is Raceways, at the back of Stevenage old town, we have had a good relationship with Bikestop for many years too. It is of note that this year is their 40th anniversary and, as such, they have a number of events that may well be worth a visit, starting this weekend. Click here for details.

Our next event (other than Monday nights) is our Covid Memorial Ride to remember those the Club lost during the pandemic. Please come along and support this ride which is on 15th August 2021. Click here for details.

Next Monday, there is a change to the original calendar. We are now at the Angel in Ware. We were previously at the Beehive in Hare Street but that has now moved to Monday 9th August.

Monday 19th July 2021

The 19th July 2021 was a big day with virtually all legal covid restriction ending. Combined with very warm and sunny weather, there were no better reasons to be out on the bikes and meeting up at a pub for the first time in sixteen months.

Ian Harris led a large group of ten on a sedate ride from Bikestop while Steve and Paul were at Sainsburys for the 18:30 groups. Steve got off with five while Paul had another seven. Cider Bob was also there, just in case large numbers turned up but, with a 19:30 meet also available, he left the early groups to it and, after a quick blat around by himself for forty minutes, he was back at Sainsburys where he met Tony Brown, who had volunteered to take a later groups.

It’s a good job Cider did hang around as there were another fourteen riders for the later start time. Cider Bob led off a group of eight for a sixty or so mile ride while the Chairman led off a slightly smaller group on a shorter route to the pub.

Our leaders (or, indeed, anyone who wants to) are encouraged to summarise their group’s ride and here is what we have for this week:

Ian Harris
"For our long-awaited return to a pub destination, we were blessed with perfect riding conditions and that was reflected by the turn-out for the 18:30 ride from BikeStop. With a group of 10 riders we had a planned 50-mile tour of the Hertfordshire countryside, aiming to arrive at The Hoops in Bassingbourne around 20:00.
Setting out towards Bennington via Walkern we next headed to Burn’s Green then on to Whempstead, Dane End and Old Hall Green before joining the A10 for a brief burst before heading to Puckeridge. Next through Braughing, Hay Street up to Hare Street then heading to Great Hormead before passing through Brent Pelham and Clavering then on to Wicken Bonhunt and Newport. Starting the return leg, we headed towards Audley End via Wendens Ambo and some glorious roads on the B1039 heading to Royston but taking the route to Great Chishill and Heydon before joining the A505 for a brief spell. Next taking the turn towards Melbourne then on to the perfectly straight ‘New Road’ heading in to the village then on to Kneesworth before arriving at The Hoops around 20:10 for our first ‘official’ pub gathering of club members who’d turned out in force, with around 50 riders arriving in groups and departing at various intervals. All in all, an excellent ride and social occasion at one of our favourite watering holes. Here’s to many more!"

Steve Vaughan & Paul Purple VFR
They've been too busy riding to tell us what they got up to!

Tony Brown
Chairman’s group left Sainsbury just after 19.30 hrs headed towards Baldock, on to Newnham, Ashwell, Steeple and Guilden Morden. On to Wrestlingwort, Potton and Gamlingay where chairman missed turning ended going all the way down the B1040, turning right at the junction of the A 428, on to the Caxton Gibbet Roundabout and down the A1198 to The Hoops at Bassingbourn, a trip of 50 miles, bit longer than I had anticipated but nevertheless a pleasant ride out

Cider Bob
“Having arrived at Sainsburys for a possible 18:30 start, I was glad I wasn’t needed to lead because even more riders turned up at 19:30 and we only had Norbert guaranteed available to lead at that time. So after a swift spin around the local area and to Codicote and back, I arrived back at Sainsburys and was pleasantly surprised to see another excellent turnout. Some riders fancied a short ride so went off with Norbert but I had planned about sixty or so miles, taking in some really decent A and B roads, with a couple of country lanes thrown in just to mix it up a bit. Although I try to vary the routes, a lot of the roads are well used by some of us on Monday nights and this week was no different. Using back roads to get to Baldock, we took the ever popular A507 to buntingford and just continued straight ish to Clavering. Then a twisty but reasonable size lane to join theB1039 back to Barley. We then popped up to the A505 via the B1368 but turned to head through Meldreth before taking the Kneesworth Road and heading pretty much straight to the pub. I don’t mind riding sedately sometimes but all the riders in my group this week were happy getting up to the speed limits reasonably quickly so it was a good paced ride and we got to our destination well before 21:00”.

The destination for our return to pub meetings was the Hoops at Bassingbourn. Several riders had gone straight there and a quick count-up, accounting for a few that left early, revealed there were fifty three motorcycles in total – a great turnout.

Next week, we will be at the Crown in Stotfold.

DON’T FORGET – our annual George Brown Memorial Classic Run is this coming Sunday, 25th July. Starting to gather at the Cromwell Hotel car park from 10:00 with the run leaving at 11:00, there’s plenty of opportunity to admire and chat about the array of machines that will be there and lots of opportunity for good old fashioned socialising… so please make an effort to come along and support the Club, whether as an entrant or a ride along spectator.

Monday 12th July 2021

Committee Meeting Summary:

Your committee met up last Thursday for discussions on what’s coming up. Here is a summary of most of the agenda:
Pub meeting start again on 19th July (next Monday) with the first at the Hoops in Bassingbourn. We won’t be arranging food for the foreseeable future.
All is set for the George Brown Memorial Classic Run on Sunday 25th July. It’s £12 to enter on anything pre-2006 motorcycle, which includes lunch and trophies, but if you don’t have an older bike, just come along for the social side, ride the route with the Classics, and lunch will be available at the pub if you choose to purchase it. It’s always a great day out. Click here for more details.
We have a one off memorial ride this year, on 15th August, for members we lost during Covid restrictions. Tony Brown has almost sorted the route and we will post it as soon as available. Click here for more details.
The 6th September will be our 60th Anniversary Social. We missed our 60th Anniversary dinner dance and all the other socials over the last sixteen months so let make this one special!
A few slight changes to the Calendar so keep an eye on it – click here.
As the Club has still has some expenditure but very little income, until food comes back on a Monday night, we plan to introduce a prize draw to raise funds a little. Buy a ticket for £2 and if drawn, you can pick one of the thirteen doors a door from the “open the box” box. Prize first week will be £50. If it’s not won, it will increase by 50% of the week’s takings each week until it is won.
Royston & DMCC / Meldreth Motorcycle Show has been moved to 21st July. Gordon will be up there (probably with his camper) and we encourage members to attend but we, as a Club, won’t have a stand.
Monday Night Rides:

Yet again, rain was forecast this week, which put a lot of people off. But, yet again, it stayed dry and the riding conditions were near perfect for those that came out for the Monday evening group rides this week.

Ian led a small group from Bikestop and Steve led a small group from Sainsburys, both starting off at 18:30.

This is Ian's summary: "Again, with heavy rain forecasted the number of riders was down across the groups but we had 3 join me at BikeStop for our usual 18:30 start. With the threat of storms coming in from the east, we set off west towards Hitchin via Fishers Green, Todds Green and the Codicote Road before heading to Hitchin and taking the route to Barton-le-Clay. We then headed towards Harlington via Sharpenhoe but instead of heading towards Westoning we turned off the A5120 towards Ridgemont where we had our first damp roads (must have just missed a downpour) then we stopped briefly at the entrance to Woburn Safari Park to review the return route that was shortened to get us back to Stevenage around 20:30. Next setting off towards Toddington via Husbourne Crawley then through Woburn to pick up the B5120 at Toddington before taking the route passing Harlington station then back on the Harlington Road back to Sharpenhoe where we made a brief stop at the Sharpenhoe Clappers to discuss where the group wanted to break off for home. Next back to Barton-le-Clay on the B655 to Hitchin where the group went their separate ways and I got back into Stevenage at 20:30. So we had a 2 hour ride on some great roads out to Woburn without one drop of rain, so much for weather forecasts eh?"

Steve summarised his group ride with: "4 riders decided to brave the weather forecast and go out into the elements, route was to be Buntingford stopping at Violets lane, then onto Bishops Stortford Newport Saffron walden with a stop at Audley end to look over the house and gardens from the road. Original plan was to stop at a pub for a pint on the way home but this was scuppered by the lack of open pubs so decided to head for McDonald roaring meg. Very little rain on this ride - isolated showers only. 76 miles finished at Mc Donalds for 20:45".

Pete Blackburn normally leads the 19:30 Sainsburys group but he’d been pinged by “track n trace” so had to isolate. Cider Bob was all set to lead but relatively new member Andy Hale had been trying out his new mobile phone motorcycle sat nav “Calimoto” and was keen to give it a go leading the group. With only a couple of minor route errors, it was a really nice ride which took in G
reat Wymondley (twice!!), Hitchin, Henlow, Stanford, Ireland, Cardington, Cople, Sandy, Everton and Gamlingay before heading back in the general direction of Hertfordshire, via the Mordens, Sandon, Cumberlow Green and Weston before ending at Gravelly for a social chat.

Next week we are back at a pub – the Hoops at Bassingbourn. Even if it’s raining, we strongly encourage you to get out and enjoy the social evening, either joining one of the group rides (18:30 or 19:30 as usual) or going straight to the pub.

Monday 5th July 2021

If you jumped to here (from another of our social media platforms) for links and details of what's coming up, you can find it all if you scroll down to the bottom of this week's blog.

As for this week's blog... yet more rain this week – anyone would think this is England! So the turn out was relatively low again by recent standards, although we still had Ian taking a group from Bikestop and Steve taking a group from Sainsburys at 18:30 with a few riders also joining Pete for the later start ride at 19:30.

These two start times are proving to be popular and will be kept for the foreseeable future.

We were pleasantly surprised by Pete this week who has given us a rare insight into his group ride:
"So 4 riders joined me for the ride from Sainsbury’s Corey’s Mill at 1930. We left Sainsbury’s and headed down towards Hitchin and then towards Barton Le clay. We then headed towards Woburn and went through the park. From there a quick blast down the A5 then turning left towards Toddington. We then headed back through to Harlington to the junction of the A6. We then turn left headed down the A6 Until we met the junction of the A507. From there we headed down the A507 and stopped at Baldock services for a coffee and to try and dry out a bit. I think the route was just under 60 miles".

Steve doesn't tend to write much about where he goes and what he does but we do know that he led six riders over to Dunstable Downs and beyond. It was a nice ride on some lovely country lanes and a few B roads with a sedate pace that everyone enjoyed. Stopping at Ivinghoe Beacon for a short break, the rain started so the ride was shortened a bit but still ended almo
st two and a half hours after we started.

Ian’s given us one of his typically excellent writeups for his group:
"For the 3rd Monday in a row, rain was forecasted in the evening but despite that, another 4 riders joined me at BikeStop for our 18:30 start time plus ‘Bikeless’ John who came to see us off as he’d sold his Enfield and has something bigger coming in time for next week’s ride. The route of 52 miles was planned for flexibility and to get us back into Stevenage before the heaviest of the rain turned up. Setting off towards Walkern then going through Bennington and on to Burn’s Green and Whempstead before picking up the A602 with a trip down the popular Anchor Lane to Wadesmill before joining the ‘old’ A10 taking us through High Cross, Colliers End before a quick sprint up the A10 to Puckeridge. Next taking the B1368 through Braughing, Hare Street and Barkway then on to Barley before taking the lovely B1039 and dropping down into Royston Town Centre. Next heading towards the A505, we took a left onto more great lanes to Therfield, Kelshall, Sandon and stopping in Rushden just as the light rain started which suited two of our riders wanting to head back to Letchworth on the A507. The rest of the group took the lane back to Cromer then through Walkern before arriving in Stevenage around 20:15. With dry roads and no rain for 95% of the ride, it’s a pity we couldn’t get more out on the night but it was fun all round with no bike cleaning required this week".

The news is looking ever more promising for the end of restrictions on 19th July so, if you’ve not been out, get your bike (or car) polished up and checked over for our first pub meeting since March 2020, which will be at the Hoops in Bassingbourn.

You can join any of the group rides, which will aim to be there between 20:30 and 21:00, or you can make your own way there, where you will find members starting to gather from about 20:00 ish.

And if you have bothered to read this far, we will take the opportunity to remind you of our TWO memorial runs in the near future:
25th July – Annual George Brown Memorial Vintage & Classic Run
15th August – Special one-off S&DMCC Memorial Run (to remember those the Club have lost since the start of the pandemic).
Please click on the two links above (in green) to find out more or contact us here.

And finally, Bikestop have asked us to lead their Monthly Rideout on 3rd October. We already have some volunteers but we'd like as many potential leaders as possible so we can keep the group numbers low. If you'd like to volunteer, please let us know by contacting us in any of the usual ways - website, email, Facebook, Whatsapp, phone or just good old face to face chat!

Monday 28th June 2021

Rain struck again this week so numbers for our group rides were down but still a few intrepid riders turned up.

We had three groups, led by Steve, Ian and Pete. Here’s what they said:

With reduced numbers again due the forecasted rain and potential thunderstorms, we had a group of 4 with 3 different riders from last week so we set off from BikeStop at 18:30. Route was planned to miss out some of the really messy lanes and due to the conditions, I kept the route flexible but reduced it to around 90mins ride time but in the unlikely event the sun came out we could expand on that. Setting off on time through Stevenage to pick up the A602, we headed towards Watton at Stone before taking the Watton Road towards Datchworth then on to Bull’s Green, Burnham Green and Harmer Green before dropping down into Digswell. Next, we headed towards Old Welwyn with a ‘bimble’ through the High Street before turning towards Ayot Saint Peter for some smaller lanes plus a few fords (1” & 2” deep!), needless to say we all got through safely, with no drownings. Eventually getting back on the Codicote Road we enjoyed the brisk run into Hitchin to take a trip through the town to join the A505 towards Letchworth via the Wilbury Hills roller coaster. Once in Letchworth we took a direct route towards Norton and then a turn towards Baldock before heading back to Letchworth, crossing the A1 and taking the turn to Willian then on to Great Wymondley and up to Redcoats Green and finally on to the Sainsburys lay-by via Todds Green for a chat before going our separate ways. No heavy rain today but persistent drizzle and dull conditions later on but always good to get out on the bike as it’s good for the soul.

With the weather being as bad as it was it was just myself Phil Mayo and Alan Evans. We set off from Sainsbury’s Corey’s Mill and headed down towards Hitch-in and then onto the Barton Le Clay road.We then headed right down towards the A507 and back towards Shefford heading back towards Baldock. We then stopped for a quick drink and a chat at the cock in Baldock.

Thank you Leaders for regularly planning and leading the rides, particulary in the rain! Without the dedication of the Leaders, the group rides wouldn't happen.

Hopefully the weather will be better for next Monday’s rides.

We will have groups leaving Sainsburys at 18:30 and 19:30 and a group leaving Bikestop at 18:30.

Just in case you missed the other notifications, don’t forget to put our George Brown Memorial Run on 25th July in your diary.

Monday 21st June 2021

We only planned three groups this week due to a severe weather warning. Subsequently, the 19:30 group was cancelled so we just had Ian's at 18:30 from Bikestop and Steve's at the same time from Sainsburys.

Ian told us this about his group's ride:
In complete contrast to last week there had been persistent rain all day and still forecasted into the evening. However, a few riders were not put off and met me at BikeStop for our usual 18:30 departure and so our group of 3 set off on time. I’d adjusted the route down to 90 minutes and tried to avoid some of the more challenging lanes (at least that was the plan).
Setting off towards Graveley, we aimed to join the popular A507 at Baldock and took that right through to Buntingford where we took a left towards Hare Street on to Braughing and Dassels before a quick trip through Puckeridge High Street. Crossing the A10 we then took the ‘old’ A10 down to Colliers End and High Cross before turning on to the ‘famous’ Anchor Lane at Wadesmill then continuing on the Wadesmill road before taking the Sacombe Road to add a few ‘twisties’ on our way to Watton at Stone. From Watton we took the Watton Road towards Datchworth and in my attempt to shorten the route I led us down some more challenging single-track lanes (that were a bit messy) down into Knebworth where we had a brief stop at Jackson’s Garage to look at some old British bikes in the window and at this point it was convenient for one of the group to head home towards Welwyn. So down to 2, taking a right after Knebworth High Street we headed on towards Stevenage where we started to encounter some terrible driving by a few car drivers, one even pulling out on me at the Cemetery Lane roundabout, whilst I was on it (probably didn’t see the brilliant white headlight or the hi-vis), lucky I didn’t think he’d stop, so I did then on to the A602, we parted company to head home. A damp ride in light rain but enjoyable nevertheless and good fun. As for cleaning, everyone needs a plastic Honda!

With the George Brown Memorial Classic Run approaching, and the hope restrictions will be lifted in time, please have a look at the dedicated page by clicking here or click on the links below for the regulations and entry form:
Entry Form
Next Monday is also looking like rain so we will once again only plan rides for 18:30 (Sainsburys & Bikestop) and 19:30 (Sainsburys).


Monday 14th June 2021

Several members of the Club have been away on various tours over the past week. Have a look at the features page for a report on the tour led by Steve Vaughan to the Lake District.

This week, for Monday night, we arranged multiple start times again to try to cater for everyone.

As usual, Ian Harris led his sedate group from Bikestop while Steve Vaughan took the 18:30 group from Sainsburys and Pete Blackburn took the 19:30 group.

The chairman Tony Brown was planned to take the 19:00 group but he bailed out a few minutes before so Cider Bob led everyone who was there around that time.

Seven made up Steve’s group, who headed over to Bedfordshire while Cider led six and Pete led another six.

Ian's ride turned out to be eventful and this is what he’s said:

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, another 6 riders joined me at BikeStop for a 18:30 departure and with slightly overcast skies we set off west, again with an eclectic selection of machines. Our route was similar to one of our favourite routes from lockdown last year but increased to around 60 miles and just under 2 hours. Setting off towards Fishers Green, we made our way to the Codicote Road via Todds Green, turning right at St. Ibbs towards Hitchin and picked up the road to Barton-le-Clay then through Sharpenhoe. Just as we were due to turn right towards Westoning, we were faced with the recent aftermath of a serious Road Traffic Collision - a head on crash involving two cars leaving multiple casualties but thankfully no fatalities. I immediately stopped the group to see if we could be of any help as we must have arrived within minutes of the incident. At this point no-one had called the emergency services so I did that as others in our group went to some of the injured. With only one vehicle visible on the road and its driver in shock I went to find the other vehicle involved and that had gone off the road and ended up in a stream, my first concern being that everyone had got out ok. Once all drivers and passengers were accounted for, we waited for the emergency services to arrive and once we’d talked to the police officer first on the scene, we were able to get on our way towards Westoning when I decided to modify the route to compensate for our stoppage time and headed to Flitwick and on to Maulden via Ampthill. From there we had some lovely B-roads, taking us to Shefford, Stanford and Clifton, towards Langford so we could pick up the Edworth road. With a warning of road closure towards Ashwell, we continued but were lucky to get through safely on a narrow footpath, all credit to Mark on his massive Honda cruiser getting though with barely millimetres to spare. Some of the group peeled off as they were nearing home but we continued on to Newnham through Baldock and down to Graveley before stopping at the Coreys Mill lay-by at 20:30 for a quick chat about our eventful evening before making our way home.

Pete summarised his ride with:

So team 19:30 set off from Sainsbury’s out towards Hitchin then out towards Barton Le Clay then left out to Lilley through to Codicote. We then carried in to Digswell out on to Hertford. From there we took the road out to Bengeo and then the favourite anchor lane. From there we carried on to the A10 short blast then right and through to Braughing. By this time we were getting a bit parched so we stopped at the Beehive for refreshments. The landlady was about to close but remained open just for us. From there we went our separate ways home after a pleasant evening riding.

And Steve said:

Monday 14 June club evening run meeting up at Coreys Mill as usual, leaving at 6.30 pm. Rough route was over to Woburn , then Amptill, Appley Corner, Blunham and Tempsford before ending at Baldock services.
We caught up with Ians group at Sharpenhoe and followed them up the hill to Harlington where they turned right we went straight on and turned for Woburn at Toddington.
We usually have a stop at Woburn but security were out in force, just in case someone wanted to enjoy the view. We stopped at the east gate out of view trying to read the no parking signs nobody could make them out. After a short break we headed of to amptill then blunham taking the road across the railway lines, got caught again with one north and one south train - my timing for the railway crossing perfect again. Got going again stopping up the road at tempsford airfield; Jeff had fortunately seen the suicidal horn which jumped ship off the Harley going over the level crossing and stopped and retrieved it . So the sad part of the story is the suffering continues for the horn as it has now been suitably punished by being bolted back onto the Harley . The Tempsford lay by stop, was folowed by a loud grumbling which was heard from the far end of the lay by so a quick ish route was planned to get to Baldock Services to get Jeff fed and watered. Route was around 70 miles and 6.30 until 9.00pm.

If you are not a member but are reading our weekly blog, thinking you’d like to get involved, contact us via the website or email by clicking on this link.

Unfortunately, Boris has kyboshed our plans for returning to pubs from next week, so the meeting at the Thornton Arms is cancelled and our first planned pub is now the Hoops at Bassingbourn on 19th July.

Fortunately, at the moment, the extension of restrictions won't effect our George Brown Memorial Run on 25th July 2021, so keep it in your diary!

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Whatsapp group for rides organised by various members on Sundays and others days each week.

Monday 7th June 2021

At last, the sun and warmth hung around for the Monday evening group rides this week and, as a result, we had a good turnout.

As has become customary, Ian Harris led a sedate group from Bikestop, catering for the riders on smaller machines and those that just don’t fancy getting up to 60 mph.

Everyone else met at Coreys Mill Sainsburys, with planned start times of 18:30, 19:00 and 19:30, to cater for everyone.
Paul Purple VFR was there for an 18:30 start and was joined by about eighteen riders. Fortunately, Cider Bob, who’d planned to lead a group at 19:00, turned up at 18:20, just to be sociable, but was then able to take some of the 18:30 group, after a short wait. The Club Chairman, Tony Brown, also arrived a bit early but was happy to wait until the planned 19:00 start time to take some of those riders and whoever else turned up. Finally, Pete Blackburn arrived for a 19:30 start and was joined by even more.

Here are what our ride leaders had to say:

Ian Harris
With a warm balmy evening ahead, our group met at BikeStop and consisted of 8 riders with a new prospective member and an eclectic array of motorcycles. Setting off at 18:30 with a planned route of around 56 miles and approximately 2-hour ride time we headed east away from the evening sun towards Cottered via Walkern to join the A507 to Buntingford before heading towards Hare Street. Taking the turn to Great Hormead we continued to Brent Pelham, taking a left, despite a road closure warning towards Puttocks End and some great lanes on to Daw’s End, Anstey and Nuthampstead. After crossing Barkway High Street we headed towards Buckland, crossing the A10 and headed towards Sandon, Roe Green and on to Wallington to join the A505 for a short blast before turning off towards Ashwell then on to Newnham and dropping down to Radwell. Passing Baldock Services, we took the A507 west then took the Norton Road towards Letchworth and with a direct route through we headed down Wilbury Hills before heading to Willian and on to Great Wymondley, Little Wymondley, stopping the group at the A602 Corey’s Mill lay-by around 20:30 so they could make their routes home. With some surprisingly good lanes discovered today, everyone was upbeat about the route despite me having to adjust it slightly to maintain our return time, mostly down to slightly reduced pace with the fairly large group and the mix of bikes, including a massive Honda cruiser, a classic Honda 500/4, a few Enfields, a brace of Ducati’s and a Harley Nightster.

Cider Bob
I took my group of seven over to Apsley End, via Pirton, momentarily up the A6 and then onto the really fun Gravenhurst road. After a short trek east on the A507, from Shefford we took the lovely roads around Old Warden to Cardington and then to Southill via Cople. After crossing the A1 at Langford, more great motorcycling roads took us to Gamlingay and then East Hatley before heading on to Baldock Services via Newnham. I try as much as possible to stick to fast flowing B roads, giving the chance for some decent speed and twisties, which worked well this week. It was a swift ride with the majority of it spent at or near the speeds limits, with very few hold ups and everyone seemed to have a big grin at the end, suggesting they all enjoyed it. You can see my route, and others, in the "Routes library" album on the Gallery page. Special thanks go to Mark Hollidge who had successfully tried making flapjacks himself for the first time and was happy to share them with the group!

Tony Brown
Chairman’s group set off from Sainsbury’s at 7.00pm heading out to Walkern, Cumberlow Green to the A505 cross road at Slip End, straight on into Ashwell. Onwards and up to Guilden Morden and to Wrestlingworth. Turning left in Wrestlingworth on to the B1042 to Potton then on to Sandy. Over the A1 and onto the B658 to Upper Caldecote, Stanford and Shelford. On to the Hitchin road to Henlow and into Ickleford. From Ickleford into Letchworth and Norton then on to the B656 to Baldock services arriving there at 8.20pm

Paul Purple VFR and Pete Blackburn have so far found better things to do with their time than a writeup that probably hardly anyone will read. But we live in hope; both that this will submit some text for us and also that there are people out there reading this!

In total, we think there were about forty members out riding this week.

Before anyone set off, there were a few chats about where to end the rides, now the pubs are open, but with no common favourites, some went to the Crown at Stotfold and some to the Hoops at Bassingbourn but most ended at Baldock Services. Hopefully, in two weeks time we will all be ending our rides at the Thornton Arms in Everton for the first proper Club meeting since 16th March 2020. Lets hope the restrictions are lifted on schedule!

Monday 24th May 2021

Again, this week lots of members wanted to ride but wet weather put them off.

But this has helped us come up with a general plan for the future. So:
If the weather is looking good, we will try to have ride leaders starting off at 18:30, 19:00 and 19:30 from Sainsburys as well as, whenever possible, Ian’s sedate group at 18:30 from Bikestop.
If the weather is looking poor, we will have just one start time of 19:00 at Sainsburys.
Back to this Monday and it was good to see the weather didn’t put off ten members from riding.

Ian has helped with the blog with this summary of his ride out:
“Given the forecasted weather conditions, I was pleasantly surprised that 3 riders turned up for the 18:30 group at BikeStop and all were new to the group. With a longer ride planned of around 60 miles and with darkening skies in the west, we initially set off east towards Walkern then through Bennington on to Whempstead and Dane End. Some of the early lanes towards Colliers End were a bit tight and messy but the big cruiser taking up the tail was not phased by them. Taking the ‘old’ A10, we then headed to Puckeridge for a brief cruise through the High Street before taking the turn towards Braughing, Dassels and Barkway, staying on route to Barley and Flint Cross to join the A505 and it was about now we started to hit some light rain heading towards Royston. From there we dropped down into Bassingbourn, passing ‘The Hoops’ pub that we had the option to stop at but carried on regardless and headed to Littlington where we were faced with a road closure preventing us going through both ‘Mordens’ so we dropped onto the A505 for a quick burst before turning off towards Wallington, through Redhill, Rushden and Cumberlow Green down into Cromer and Walkern, where we stopped to go our separate ways. A slightly shortened route but no complaints about the cold and wet conditions as everyone turned up in the right gear, just smiles all round and thoughts turning to some bike cleaning”.

Cider Bob and Richard Green were at Sainsburys at 18:30 to lead however many turned up. Although, after an enjoyable social chat in the drizzle, at 19:00 it was clear they were only being joined by new members Mark Tooze and Andy Hale and, of course, stalwart Big Geoff. It was a toss up between Cider & Richard leading but as Richard had planned a route vaguely avoiding the rain, he kindly took the reins. It turned out to be a lovely ride over to Buntingford and up the B1368, then across to Wenden Ambo and ending the first half at Cambridge Ducati on the A10, where Cider cracked open the flask for coffees all round. The second half was on roads just as nice, although time had moved on and half the group had to leave early, and it turned out to be an almost entirely dry ride (almost!).

This week also saw the first Club committee meeting with anything worth chatting about for many many months. Here is a summary of the outcomes:
Meldreth Motorcycle Show - we’ve decided not to formally support it with a Club stand. But Gordon Hallet is thanked for all he’s done at the show over the years & is encouraged to setup and advertise the Club if he’s still happy to. We also encourage any members to volunteer to marshal (contact Pete Blackburn if you’d like to).
Due to the pandemic, we have removed all the “socials” from the Calendar but have introduced one 60th Anniversary social. These are big Monday night events where we put on extra special food & encourage other family members to come along. The date is to be confirmed but is likely to be 6th September.
The George Brown Memorial Run is planned to go ahead on 25th July. If you have a classic or vintage bike, please enter but feel free to come along if you only ride more modern machines.
Having lost a number of members over the past 12 months, we will be having a S&DMCC Memorial Ride on Sunday 15th August 2021 to celebrate the lives of those members. We have created a website page just for this event so please have a look.

There were a few other issues discussed, including accounts, the NRR, the Calendar and some minuted thanks etc but that’s probably more detail than you’ll want.
So, please add the dates to your diary and attend all our special events whenever you can.

This coming Monday is a Bank Holiday so no Club planned rides or meetings but keep an eye on the Club Whatsapp group as several members are planning on being out and about.

Monday 17th May 2021

Lots of members initially showed interest in this week’s Monday evening rides but poor weather forecasts put many of them off. Although reports were of heavy rain and hail, none of it materialised and the twelve members that turned up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys enjoyed mild and dry weather and almost entirely dry roads.

Covid restrictions eased this week so we were allowed to all meet at the one location.

Cider Bob was there at 18:00, ready to take anyone at anytime between then and 18:30. He ended up with Bernie, Big Geoff and Mark Hollidge, who’s partner very kindly provided gorgeous chocolate brownies (while Cider provided coffee) which were devoured at the half way stop in Woburn deer park. After stopping, for a moment they thought they were going to be moved on as the Park Security turned up but, in fact, he just wanted to chat about motorcycles!

Steve Vaughan posted on the Whatsapp group that he would be leaving at 18:15, which he did, with David and Frank. He led them on a two and a half hour ride down to Cuffley, through the woods and forests, where they stopped for a short break before heading back to Stevenage and an end stop at the Chequers in Bragbury End.

The remainder joined Paul Purple VFR, who left at 18:30 and headed over to Dunstable Downs for their mid ride break, before terminating at Baldock Services, where they arrived at the same time as Cider Bob’s group.

Pete Blackburn had kindly offered to lead a group from 19:30 but there were no takers.

After this experiment of just turning up and splitting into small groups there and then, we’ve decided that for the time being, our main start time will be 18:30 but with individual leaders offering different times as suits them. Keep an eye on the Whatsapp group each week for details.

If you'd like to lead a ride now and again, or just as a one off, please let us know.

Don’t forget, you are welcome to have your say so please let us know your opinions on how we run all aspects of the Club.

Monday 10th May 2021

The main author of this blog was away in Scotland this week, enjoying the delights of the North Coast 500, and more, so he’s limited on what he can enlighten you about the Monday group rides.

Fortunately, our usual ride leaders made themselves available to take control. Ian Harris, Steve Vaughan and Pete Blackburn all led full groups of six from their usual start points. But Paul Purple VFR took a well earned break and formed part of the pack this week as Richard Green kindly offered to lead once again.

Ian was the only one of those leaders who submitted something for the blog this week and here is what he said:
“Another full group of 6 gathered at BikeStop for an 18:30 start on a route planned for around 90 minutes. A variety of bikes this week with just the 1 Royal Enfield as one of our regular riders had a very sick machine.Setting off into the evening sun, we made our way towards the Codicote Road via Fishers Green and Todds Green and headed into Hitchin and the road to Barton le Clay. At Hexton we hung a left towards Lilley and then on to Whitwell and Welwyn to pick up the A1000 via Digswell, staying on the B1000 to Hertford before taking the lane to Bramfield and Bull’s Green. Next, we headed towards Watton at Stone before taking the A602 towards Stevenage, stopping at The Chequers pub lay-by for a quick gossip (no coffees, cakes or other gimmicks, just riding) before we all headed home. Now the evenings are opening out, our group’s future rides will be planned for 2 hours from 18:30”.

But the Club Chairman was also out and about with the group he organises each week. After last week’s little jape in the blog, he submitted this:
“The chairman’s secret ride out departed Stevenage at around 7.45pm and after a short ride ended up at the Crown public house at Stotfold, where they were greeted by the landlord “Happy” Keith. As well as fine ales that were consumed they were fed with hot sausage rolls with brown sauce and pickled gherkins. After a couple of ales the secret ride departed for unknown destinations. Anyone wishing to join the “Secret Rides” will be charged a nominal financial contribution plus be subject to an initiation ceremony”.

As of next Monday, unless the Government “road map” changes, England moves into the next phase of Covid restriction easing so up to thirty will be allowed to meet outside. This is great news (particularly for Cider Bob) as it means we can do away with everyone letting us know they want to be included in the group rides each Monday.

So, from this week, please just turn up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys where we can just create small groups there & then with whoever is there.

The general start will be 18:30 as this seem to suit most riders but we have asked the ride leaders to post on our main Whatsapp group if they will be there & what time they will set off. This means you should be able to turn up at your preferred time or for your preferred leader.

Hopefully this new system will work but we will soon find out! But please remember, social distancing still applies and if the numbers swell to over thirty, we will have to split up and spread out around the car park.

If you are a Club member and not on our Whatsapp group, just let the Club Secretary or Cider Bob know and we will add you.

Monday 26th April 2021

Historically, when we used to run just one or two groups on a Monday, they were usually led by Ian, Steve, Pete or Cider with Pete Starr stepping in occasionally. Last year, with groups of six being popular, we regularly took advantage of all of them but with Paul Purple VFR being added to the list of fairly regular leaders and Richard Green & Tony Brown stepping in on occasions.

But already this year’s rides have been so popular, we are regularly relying on both Paul and Richard to lead. This means none of the leaders are getting a break to enjoy just following in the group. So if you’d like to help out by giving leading a go, please let us know.

We think there are actually two other groups of Club members meeting up on a Monday evening for rides, including the Chairman, but they don’t tell the rest of us what they are up to so we can’t entertain you with any stories of their exploits.

It was another lovely evening for our small group rides this week. It’s a good job we don’t do the one big ride anymore; there were enough riders for six groups (eight if you include the “secret groups”) this week so, while we hoped to give Richard or Paul Purple VFR a break, we couldn’t… we continue to be very grateful for their help, and the other regulars, as without their dedication our Mondays wouldn’t be the same.

We had our usual starts of Sainsburys 1 (18:15 with Steve), Sainsburys 2 (18:30 with Richard), Bikestop (18:30 with Ian), Raceways (18:30 with Paul purple VFR) and Screwfix (18:45 with Pete Blackburn). But we added Costa at Roebuck as a new start location, led this week by Cider Bob. We think the Chairman’s ‘secret’ group meets at Chequers at 19:00 if you ever fancy starting there!

The only leader submitting something for the blog this week was Ian. Here's what he had to say: "Our group of 5 riders all gathered at BikeStop well ahead of the 18:30 start time so we were able to set off 10 minutes earlier. Tonight’s group included 3 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500s so we were set to have a nice ‘classic’ ride in the countryside. Our route was a repeat of one of our favourite routes from lockdown last year of around 40 miles and 90 minutes initially heading west into the evening sun but with some really nice B roads in store. Setting off towards Fishers Green, we made our way to the Codicote Road via Todds Green, turning right at St. Ibbs towards Hitchin and picked up the road to Barton-le-Clay then through Sharpenhoe before turning towards Westoning and on to Greenfield. Next on to Pulloxhill and passing the ‘Cross Keys’ pub where the Royal Enfield Owners Club meet regularly before taking Sand Lane down to the A6 for a short burst before heading to Shillington on some glorious, traffic free ‘national’ limit lanes enabling us to open the taps on the 30 or so horsepower Enfield’s. From Shillington we headed through Lower Stondon and on to Henlow, passing the RAF base before taking the turn to bypass Langford and head towards Edworth and Hinxworth then on to Baldock where we previously agreed we could split up and make our separate ways home. Judging by the feedback received, this remains a popular route for this group".

The “cake club” continued this week. Apparently Andrea produced some gorgeous cake for her group and Mark has volunteered his partner to pick up the mantle for next time (so we suspect there will be a lot of requests to be in his group!). Mrs Cider didn’t have time to bake so furnished Cider’s group with some Tunnocks as a back-up – but at least they also got coffee!!

As always, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the rides and most ended up at Baldock Services, where the groups mixed but never with more than six in any one area.

Next Monday is a Bank Holiday so there are no planned rides. There's not been much interest in Sunday Club rides but several rides are organised by members outside of the Club so if you want someone to ride with on Sunday, feel free to post on our Whatsapp group and you will probably get an invite.


Monday 19th April 2021

Sad news this week with the death of Dave White; Sheelaugh Neal's partner, both in life and in motorcycle racing. He was a Club member for several years and will be missed.

This Monday, glorious weather returned for the week’s group rides.

Ian's had a busy week. Not only did re re-start his IAM observing, he led a Sunday ride and then took his usual start point at Bikestop for the Monday evening ride. He’s very good at supplying us with a description of his ride and this is what he's given us for this week:
"A planned group of five were to meet at BikeStop but one of our riders let us know in good time that he couldn’t make it due to a pet emergency for our 18:00 start. So just four of us set off for a planned route of around 40 miles and approximately 80 minutes ride time. With another sunny evening ahead, we set off through Stevenage towards Walkern turning on to the Walkern Road taking us to Watton at Stone before joining the A602 for a short time then taking the turn towards Sacombe and Dane End continuing on the Munden Road to Great Munden. Next taking the Mentley Lane we joined the A10 and turned towards Puckeridge then through Braughing, Hay Street and Dassels before taking the Worsted Lane to Great Hormead taking a left at Brent Pelham. Next some nice lanes next taking us to Snow End (no snow to be seen) via Puttock’s End and Daws End then a short burst on the B1368 before taking the left towards Wyddial and down into Buntingford High Street and on to the popular A507. Taking the left off the A507 at Cottered, the whole group headed towards Stevenage via Walkern before splitting up to head home and feedback suggests that the route was thoroughly enjoyed by all on a glorious spring evening at a nice ‘Royal Enfield’ friendly pace".

Steve led his group from Sainsburys. Unfortunately Steve prefers riding than writing so we don’t tend to have much info on what his group got up to.

Cider Bob led a second group from Sainsburys, leaving slightly earlier to avoid social crowding. Richard Green has kindly written up this week's rideout but, while it's a fine description, he conveniently missed out the utter astonishment of the rest of the group when he turned up not only on time, but early! Here is his submission:
"Coffee and cake at the village hall
The ride (which could so easily have been titled the murder mystery of who killed Cider Bob) departed from Sainsbury’s at 6pm despite Steve’s best efforts to distract the group while waiting for his group to arrive. We headed out through Walkern and then onto the road up to Bennington where we encountered our first muppet of the evening attempting to overtake a pair of cyclists on a blind bend, all I can say is I’m glad I wasn’t the one leading and I think Cider needed a change of underwear after that! Into Bennington we rode to wave to some tractors and collect our 6th member of the group. The ride then headed out to join the A602 on the freshly made road which felt like the red carpet had been laid out just for us! Down the A602 and off to Anchor Lane where we had an unimpaired free flowing run all the way through which continued as we headed out towards Much Hadham and onto Clavering. We then had our mid ride break stop at the Arkesden Village Hall where Cider broke out the socially distanced coffee (and cake made by Mrs Cider). The cake was apparently an experiment, luckily there was no drugs testing afterwards as I’m pretty sure we were all slightly high from how good the cake was! Bruno made friends with a friendly local outside the village hall who was putting the bins out. Following the mid ride break, we set off with high spirits to join the B1039 back towards Royston where we once again had a great free flowing ride up and out towards Hare Street to allow us to pick up the A507 back towards Baldock. I think Cider was in fear of arriving at Baldock a little early so he added an extra little bit onto the route to take us out towards Ashwell and Newnham where we found one of the bumpiest roads I’ve ever seen recently (a complete contrast to the red carpet that was laid out just for us earlier in the ride). Following the buzzing ride, the coffee and cake club was formed (Cider has become responsible when we all need bigger clothes!)".

Paul Purple VFR led a group from Raceways and this is his report is also expected any time soon.

Pete Blackburn was back this week and took the lead of his group from Screwfix. Like Steve, he’s not much of a writer so all we know is that his group enjoyed the ride.

So, all in all, not much to write about the rides. What we do know is that everyone of the twenty eight riders, without exception, enjoyed their respective rides.

If you’d like to lead a group ride, please let us know… it’s always nice for our regular leaders to get a break from the front.

Also, remember we created this website for the members so if you ever want to add some content, just let us have it and we’ll see where it can go. You are also welcome to constructively criticise and make suggestions to improve it. So feel free to get in touch and, if nothing else, give us some feedback!

Monday 12th April 2021

For those that don’t know, this is the Clubs 60th Anniversary. As such, this week, Mick Taylor (Club Secretary) commissioned a special 60th anniversary polo shirt.

If you’d like one for the very reasonable sum of £15, please contact Mick via Whatsapp, text or email him by clicking here.

It will look something like this:

After last weeks cracking turn out of riders and with the sun shining for most of the week, plans looked good for another huge turnout this week.

But the weather became a bit all over the place and while one moment you could almost be in shorts and t-shirt, ten minutes later it could be snowing.

By Sunday evening, five full groups of six riders were planned and all was looking good. Then, on Monday morning, someone mentioned gritters and suddenly it dawned on those who don’t like the cold and/or don’t like getting their bikes dirty, that riding may not be such a great idea.

So during Monday afternoon, there was much frantic changing of the groups and, eventually, about twenty of us met up around the town for our various mini group rides.

Start times varied between 18:00 and 19:00 but everyone began their rides in glorious sunshine, with the temperature a very mild 8°C or so. Unfortunately, by the time we all finished, the temperature had plummeted to nearer 1°C.

Steve Vaughan was the first to leave. He took his group on a circuitous route from Sainsburys over towards Saffron Waldon.

Cider Bob led a second group from Sainsburys slightly later. Welcome to new member Simon who after a bit of umming and arring, decided to brave the pain he was suffering after a day’s paving and came along to suffer the cold with the rest of us. Cider took his group via Wareside and the Hadhams to Clavering and bypassed Saffron Waldon before having to recip after finding the Wendens Ambo road was closed.

Ian Harris has kindly written up his evening:
“With a full group of six meeting at BikeStop, the planned route was around 80mins and a nice loop of B-roads getting us all back before dark. With a chilly but bright evening forecast, we set off from the High Street on time at 18:30 and headed north to pick up the Codicote Road via Fishers Green and Todds Green.
With just a short run on the Codicote Road we turned onto the Whitwell Road, through St. Pauls Walden on to Whitwell and Kimpton and eventually into Codicote via a small stream that everyone negotiated safely. At this point, my SatNav intervened with a route change suggesting a road closure but it just looped us back round to Kimpton and by the time I’d worked out what was happening, our tail 3 missed one of our turns so I went back to find them but they hadn’t stopped once they realised we weren’t in front, so after a quick phone call to Chris G. he said they just carried on the Codicote Road to Hitchin so the group remained split as the front group was to continue the planned route. (I think a little more pre-ride briefing required). Thanks to Mr TomTom we found the same stream on our loop back to Kimpton before heading to Welwyn and Digswell.
Now back on track we headed to Hertford via Poplars Green then on to Bengeo before picking up the A602 and taking the turn to Dane End via Sacombe then on to Whempstead and Bennington where one of our riders was close to home and dropped out. Down to two now we headed back to Stevenage via Walkern to arrive before dark”.

Paul Purple VFR led his group from Raceways Motorcycles and, by pure coincidence, also routed via Saffron Walden. He too tried the Wendens Ambo road but had the good sense to see if it was actually closed or just signed as such. That turned out to be a good move as they were then able to enjoy the superb B1309. Paul is very good at his writeups and he will probably have an epic masterpiece for us later in the week. Once it arrives, we will add it here.

Many thanks to Richard Green who very kindly stepped in quite late to take over Pete Blackburn’s Screwfix group. Sportsbikeshop opened for business again this week so Pete was back at work and was told to expect a late finish.

At the end, there was lots of chat about how cold it had been. No one was bothered by the salt and those with heated grips or heated clothing basked in glory (and warm hands) as they were able to smugly take the p*** out of those who haven’t spent their hard earned money on such luxuries (or are, perhaps, just hard as nails!!??)

There was also an unofficial meeting for some of the committee to go over the Club finances. Probably just a good excuse to get together for a beer (as we haven’t spent anything in lockdown!) but seemed like a good idea. Thanks Peter Starr (Treasurer) for keeping on top of it.

Monday 29th March 2021

At long last, this week we have been allowed to get out and socialise, all-be-it in groups of only six.

And what a great evening it was in every respect.

Thirty two Club members and one potential new member were out in six groups.

The “official” start time was stated as 19:00 but with each group being assigned its own Whatsapp group, they arranged alternatives between themselves.

First away was “Sainsburys 1” led by Cider Bob. Initially with only five members, Alan Evans put in a late request to join, making up the full six. Pete Berry then had to pull out but his place was swiftly taken by Alan Perry. Unfortunately, Alan didn’t get away from work on time so the group left Stevenage with only five. But they had arranged to leave at 18:00 which meant they had over an hour and a half in daylight (although the low sun was a bit frustrating for part of the ride). Bruno was out on his daughter’s 400 Ducati, Darren followed on his spanking new (that morning) BMW F850 and big Geoff followed up in his usual position as “Tail End Charlie” (TEC). The ride took them onto the B656 towards Codicote, over to Whitwell, then Lilley, Streatley, Sundon, Toddington and Milton Bray before heading east onto the A507. The A507 can be a bit dull at legal speeds so we soon jumped off it, onto the A6 and the twisted Gravenhurst road. From there, it was over to Shillington and Pirton before heading back to the A507 via the A600, and then finishing off at Baldock Services just as it was beginning to get dark.

“Sainsburys 2”, led by Richard Green, met up at 18:30. Jon Brown, Mark Hollidge, Mike Topham and Tone Nathan were assigned to the group early on with Carlos Santos being a late entry. Carlos may have regretting coming along as he ended up losing his GoPro off the back of his bike! Other than that, they had a great ride and, by coincidence, also ended up at Baldock Services, but just after “Sainsburys 1” had left.

Also leaving at 18:30, Ian Harris led his group from Bikestop. Ian has given us a summary of his group’s ride:
"Following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions the club could recommence Monday evening rides albeit restricted to groups of 6 people. With a full group planned, we met at BikeStop in Stevenage High Street for a 18:30 start with Chris on his Corgi and Gordon with his Motom 48 keeping their distance but turning up to support us. The planned route was around 46 miles and we were to meet one of our group in Bennington so 5 of us headed there via Walkern. Our route from Bennington took us towards Whempstead via Burns Green and with an expected road closure due to A602 Road Works we dropped down to the A602 via Mill Lane then on to the popular Anchor Lane to Wadesmill. From Wadesmill we headed up the ‘old’ A10 travelling through High Cross and Colliers End before a swift burst up the A10 before turning towards Puckeridge and on to Braughing, Hay Street and Dassels. With an unexpected road closure in Hare Street preventing our direct route to Buntingford, we continued towards Barkway but then took the really nice lane towards Buckland before joining the A10 heading back to Buntingford and the A507. A planned stop in Cottered enabled the group to choose their route home just as the light was fading and those returning to Stevenage arrived before 20:00".

Paul Purple VFR led the group leaving from Raceways Motorcycles, who also left at 18:30. Joining Paul were Martin Patterson, Bernie Cartledge, Liam Noone and Kelvin & Jamie Armstrong. Paul has sent us this epic account of their evening:
"The plan was to do a 60-mile loop leaving Raceways at 6:30pm and ending up at Baldock Services. If we initially headed north-west (ish) towards Bedford the sun should be (mostly) off to our left. Then heading north east and then east the sun would be behind us before heading south and finally west, by which time the sun should have set. Good plan so I put an appropriate route in the old Sat-Nav and rode to Raceways arriving at 6:20pm. Liam was already there, and Bernie arrived right behind me. Martin turned up shortly after with Kelvin and Jamie arriving about 25 past.

I personally hadn’t ridden since December, so I was not “in the groove”. The first sign of things to come was when I noticed that the SatNav was playing up and would not show the route. It also wouldn’t connect to the internet so I couldn’t re-download it. Spent a few minutes buggering around and decided to go anyway and “wing it”. This was when I noticed that I’d (yet again) used the kill switch rather than the ignition key which on my bike will drain the battery to the point of no cranking in about 4 minutes! I’d been there 10 – damn it!

One push start later and we were off. Initially we headed up through Gravely and then over the A1 towards Letchworth before turning left to Willian and on towards Hitchin. The latter road runs south-west so we had our first taste of sun in the eyes, but this wasn’t too bad due to the trees. We then turned north to skirt Letchworth and as we crossed the A505, I thought I saw one or maybe two bikes at the back pull in before the roundabout, so I also pulled in and three or four bikes pulled in behind me. In my mirrors I saw a bike cross the roundabout and head towards us, so I pulled away again, only to have the bike shoot past us all – not one of our group so I pulled in again and got off the bike. I could now see that we were indeed missing Bernie and Liam who was tail man. I considered riding back but then two bikes appeared at the roundabout. Good I thought but the first one turned left towards Hitchin whilst the second stopped and then headed up towards us. Maybe Bernie had a problem and needed to head off, so I went to check with Liam. Nope – he’d stopped to do up his helmet which he had forgotten to do at Raceways (easily done Bernie) and then had not seen us and just went the wrong way. Liam reckoned he’d hooted, and that Bernie had heard and seen that he hadn’t followed so we waited another 40 seconds and sure enough Bernie returned so we finally headed off again.

We rode up to the A507 and then turned left towards Henlow. Going round the Arlesey bypass the sun was right in our eyes but after turning right on the Henlow roundabout and then left through Clifton the sun was back on our left-hand side. This is where I knew things would start to get tricky as I was not 100% sure of the route. I managed to navigate successfully to Ireland (yes seriously – and no ferries involved) and then took a guess, heading towards Old-Warden before seeing the sign to Cardington that I was looking for. I knew this section better and it’s a good road, so I was able to crank it up a bit before slowing down through Cardington and then on to Cople where we turned left and followed a tractor out onto the A603 towards Willington where the tractor thankfully turned right, and we turned left towards Great Barford. Another good road so another blast before slowing down before the Great Barford bridge where there is a four-way traffic light. Things worked out with the light turning green just as we approached, and we all got through turning right towards Blunham. I couldn’t quite remember the next bit, so I had to change the Sat-Nav from track-up to map mode and then try to zoom out, whilst wearing motorcycle gloves, keeping one eye on everyone behind and also riding my own bike – tricky! The map confirmed that I just needed to keep going so we came up to the A1 and crossed the bridge turning left and then right towards Everton.

Now I started thinking about the next bit which I was really unsure of. I was going to have to juggle the map quite a bit here. At this point my Satnav decided it was time to switch to “night-time mode” and as it was still fairly light, I now couldn’t see the damn map at all! No matter I knew we were about to cross the East Coast mainline so maybe the level crossing barriers will be down and I’d have a chance to sort it. No chance - we all sailed through and headed up the road towards Everton, another good road. I stretched it out again and then stopped at the junction by the Thornton Arms to let people catch up and quickly turned up the brightness on the Satnav – I had a map again.

Now I knew we needed to head to Potton and then north on the B1040 to Gamlingay. The problem was that I did not know which road out of Gamlingay I needed to take. Again, juggling the Satnav, I could see that I needed the road heading north east rather than the one heading east so as we approached Gamlingay I fiddled with the zoom until we tuned right on what I hoped was the right road. After a mile or so I zoomed out and could see it was indeed the right road – Phew!

This was another good road which we followed for a couple of miles before turning right on the B1046 which we took to the A1198. From here I knew most of the way back which was south down the very straight and open (but unfortunately restricted) A1198 before turning right and finally heading through Wendy, Shingay, Guilden Morden, Steeple Morden, Ashwell and finally Newnham before emerging on the A507 just short of the services.

By the time we pulled in I was just relieved it was all over. The Bike had also been playing up a bit and aside from all the Satnav juggling, I’d also been waiting for it to conk out but thankfully it hadn’t. I stopped the bike and went to take my helmet off – I’d ridden the whole trip with my chinstrap undone – see Bernie I told you it’s easily done!!!

Thanks to everyone who came out and special thanks to Liam for bringing up the rear. Hopefully I’ll be more “in the groove” next time."

They also finished at Baldock Services (this really wasn’t planned), turning up just before the “Sainsbury’s 1” left and “Sainsburys 2” arrived.

“Screwfix Pete” met Ray Tunnah, Neil Phypers, Mike Bennett and Phil Mayo at Screwfix, also at 18:30. Running as a common theme of chat through all the group Whatsapps, everyone in his group clearly enjoyed the ride. We don’t know where they went but they also ended up at Baldock Services.

Finally, Pete Star and the Chairman joined up for a ride together, leaving from Bragbury End and finishing at Baldock Services (honestly, it really was just coincidence).

Although the groups parked well away from each other. It with the excitement of seeing mates we haven't seen for so long, it take long before some socially distanced mingled occurred, bring one groups numbers to eight. But, to keep within the rules, a reminder was shouted out and the groups continued to mix separating into sixes.

Thank to all those who led the rides… the Club really would not be as successful as it is without the leaders taking the time to plan and lead great group rides.

It's a bank holiday next Monday so there are no planned rides. But many members will meet up anyway so keep an eye on the Whatsapp group.

We are, however, planning group rides this coming Sunday so please let Cider Bob know (by Whatsapp) if you'd like to be included.

Monday 22nd March 2021

Still nothing of note to mention this week except it's now the countdown to the start of out Monday evening group rides.

Next Monday, we will be meeting up again at various start locations around the town for groups of six to get out riding together.

If you've forgotten, or weren't around when we did this last year, we will try to match similar riding styles within each group but even if some in your group are a little swift or slow for you, you can still ride at your own pace as the leaders will use most of their ut to keep you together.

Have a look at both the Covid Rides page of the website and the Group Ride Guidelines page for more details.

The clocks go forward this coming Sunday so we will have a little bit extra light but the rides tend to be an hour or two so will end in the dark.

But if you'd like to come and join the fun, please contact Cider Bob (preferably by Whatsapp) and he will assign you a group.

Please don't just turn up as we make every effort to be a responsible Club and don't want to have groups bigger than the current restriction of six. Obviously we also need you to stick to the Covid guidelines - stay well away from each other (on and off the bikes!!), don't touch each others bikes and please don't come come along if you have Covid symptoms.

We are very much looking forward to it.

Stay safe.

Monday 15th March 2021

No change this week and nothing to report.

It's now only two weeks until we can be out on our first group rides of 2021.

So if you'd like to join a group of six for an hour or two from Monday 29th March, please let Cider Bob know by 14:00 ish the day before and he will assign you a start location. As always, one to one Whatsapp is the preferrred method.

If you've not seen the blog for a while, please scroll down to see a few other updates over the past few weeks.

Ride safe.

Monday 8th March 2021

The kids are going back to school this week and we are a step closer to all getting out and about. But in case you've missed it, you are now allowed to socialise outside with one person from outside your household. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean you can get out and ride for fun.

But, to fit in with the "lockdown roadmap", assuming it goes as planned, the Royston / Meldreth Motorcycle show has been rescheduled to the 23rd June 2021. This will almost certainly be the first big motorcycling event post Covid restrictions so lets help make it a superb success by going along. Click here for details. S&DMCC members often assist with marshalling and a Club stand so if you'd like to help, contact Pete Blackburn or email us by clicking here.

For your info, our next Club committee meeting will be on 26th May so let us know if you'd like anything raised.

It's been a while so if you are getting back on your motorcycle, ease yourself in gently.

Stay safe.

Monday 1st March 2021

No changes this week but we are a week closer to getting back to group rides. Please have a look at last week's blog (below) for details...

Monday 22nd February 2021

Spring arrived early this week with glorious sunshine and mild temperatures. Superb riding weather. It's a shame we can't be out riding in it... except for the odd trip to work or the shops. It's very frustrating, although clearly there are still plenty of road users ignoring the rules.

But, with the excellent results being seen from the vaccines, there is great news this week - if the infection rates continue to decline, the rule of six will be reinstated from 29th March 2021.

This means our Monday evening and Sunday morning rides can restart.

So, we will go back to forward planning the group rides of up to six. Please have a look at our Covid Rides page for details.

Our first Monday evening ride will hopefully be on 29th March with the first Sunday morning ride being on 4th April.

From 17th May 2021, thirty people will be able to meet outside so we will end the need to forward plan (much to Cider's delight). From then, we can all just turn up at Corey Mill Sainsburys.

Most of the Club members who come on the group rides have said they prefer the smaller groups. So, as long as we continue to have enough ride leader volunteers, we will sort out smaller groups with whoever turns up.

Step 3 still limits indoor meetings to 6 so the Monday night Club meetings won't be able to restart until Step 4, on 21st June 2021. So, put that date in your diary for the first full meeting of the S&DMCC since 16th March 2020.

Unfortunately, this also means we have to cancel the Clubs 60th anniversary Dinner Dance again. But put 5th February 2022 in your diary for the next one.

Obviously all this is dependant on everyone still doing there bit. So lets not get complacent - keep to the rules and lets hope we can all get back to meeting up when Boris has scheduled.

The full easing of restrictions details can be found here at the government website but the following links provide a good summary of the steps:
Stay safe, protect the NHS, save lives (it's not over yet!).

Monday 15th February 2021

Still no relaxation of the lockdown this week but its seems there may start to be some easing from mid March. We wait with baited breath if any changes will allow us to start getting out and about again.

On an entertaining note, it seems the Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer have auditioned for a virtual band "The Committee". Click on these three links to see their "talent":

Chairman - Tony Brown
Secretary - Mick Taylor
Treasurer - Pete Starr

In other news, a date for your diary could be what we used to call the "BMF" or the "Peterborough" Show. It's now the MCN Festival of Motorcycling and, although normally happens in May, has been provisionally scheduled for the 4th & 5th September.

Keep an eye on the Calendar page of the website (it's a bit bare at the moment) and we will post 2021 motorcycling events as and when we become aware of them (please tell us of any you already know about).

Lets hope we can start to meet up on the bikes in March.

Stay safe.

Monday 8th February 2021

With lockdown and snow, there's nothing at all to blog about this week.

So the only thing to mention is a reminder of our request to pay your annual subs please.

You can pay your £5 by bank transfer to Stevenage And District Motorcycle Club, Sort code 20-41-12 and Account number 23585204. Alternatively, you can post a cheque to the Club Secretary, Mick Taylor. For his address please contact him on
01438 354130, by text, Whatsapp or via the Club email at StevenageAnd DMCC@gmail.com. Thank you.

Monday 1st February 2021

Still not much to blog this week as we are still in full lockdown. But cases are falling and vaccinations are well under way so it's possible a significant easing of restrictions may be on the horizon. Let hope as the nicer riding weather arrives in March, we are all allowed out again to socialise.

Even though we haven't been able to meet, the Club's Committee have continued to discuss Club issues. February means it's AGM time but that obviously can't happen in the usual way. We discussed the possibility of a virtual meeting (using Zoom, Google Meet or MS Teams etc) but with many of the members not being fully internet connected or computer savvy, it has been decided to simply postpone it until some sort of physical meeting can take place. If numbers continue to be restricted, we may be able to have a combined physical & virtual meeting. Either way, it will be planned as soon as we are allowed.

We normally collect the annual £5 subs at the AGM. Unfortunately, even though we aren't having the meeting, as the Club has on-going costs, the committee has decided to request the subs are paid this month anyway.

You can pay your £5 by bank transfer to Stevenage And District Motorcycle Club, Sort code 20-41-12 and Account number 23585204. Alternatively, you can post a cheque to the Club Secretary, Mick Taylor. For his address please contact him on
01438 354130, by text, Whatsapp or via the Club email at StevenageAnd DMCC@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Monday 25th January 2021

With snow this week, there wouldn't have been much of a chance for even the hardened riders to get out and about if we weren't still in a full Covid lockdown.

If you have the right tyres (and arguably the right bike), riding in fresh snow can be really entertaining. Unfortunately, that doesn't normally last long and the time between the fresh show and a clear road, when its just compacted ice, is virtually impossible to ride on (unless you have studded tyres [which aren't legal] or a skidoo!).

If you've never tried it (and you've got a few hundred quid to spare), we'd recommend having a go on an off road riding course. They are superb fun but the techniques you'll learn may well help your road riding, particularly in the snow or when things get a bit squiffy.

Lockdown is obviously still stopping all outdoors physical fun and socialising so still nothing of note to write this week.

Keep an eye on on the blog for more drivvel next week; if we can think of anything to say!

Monday 18th January 2021

Still in lockdown, still no change and still nothing to report.

But just in case you missed it last time, you can click here for our motorcycle related "Lockdown Quiz" if you want something to do for half an hour.

Monday 11th January 2011

With lockdown for at least a month, there's still no riding for anyone, unless it's to work or for essentials.

But the weather went cold this week with temperatures reaching below zero so far from ideal riding weather and most members wouldn't have been out anyway.

We have now uploaded the 2021 Monday night Calendar so at least you know where we will be each week once we are allowed to meet up again.

Other dates for your diary (if they can go ahead):
22nd May S&DMCC 60th Anniversary Dinner & Dance
25th July S&DMCC George Brown Memorial Run

ll before turning towards Thundridge and Ware and taking the Ware Road to Hertford picking up the North Road through Waterford and Stapleford towards Bragbury End where we finished at The Chequers pub for a socially distanced chat. All arrived safely with no issues on the ride only to be chased by a stray dog in my street trying to bite my left foot as I arrived home, clearly he didn’t like the sound of the Honda”.

Steve doesn’t give us a weekly summary… as we know, he prefers riding than writing, but he has come up with an excellent suggestion and we like your thoughts:

As winter sets in, we think less of you will want to ride in dark, wet and cold on a Monday evening so, to keep the Club “momentum" going through these horrible times we, as a Club, are going to trial putting on Sunday morning rides in a very similar format to the Monday Covid rides we are currently running.

This is slightly more challenging as less of our ride leaders can regularly commit on a Sunday. But Steve has very kindly volunteered to lead regularly and the others will lead as often as they can. It may be that more of you would be prepared to volunteer to lead the occasional ride?

The Sunday plan will be to ride for an hour or so (maybe up to two hours if desired), have tea and/or breakfast, and then ride back.

Due to the Covid restrictions, it will mean having to let Cider Bob know if you want to ride (probably by 14:00ish on each Saturday). It will be based on groups of six and on a “first come first served” basis, depending on how many leaders we can muster each week. Please include your preferred start time.

The start times will be flexible and arranged by each group but will typically be between 08:00 and 10:00, ending about 12:00 to 13:00 ish.

We will start this coming Sunday but we will message you all on Whatsapp and text to remind you.