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Welcome to our weekly blog. Here you can get an insight into what we get up to each week.

Click on the green links for related material and click here to read historic blogs from previous years.

Monday 17th January 2022

Yesterday a number of Club members braved the weather on two very different rideouts. Ian Harris led a road riding group over to Finchingfield for breakfast while Steve Vaughan organised an off roading day.

Here is Steve's summary of their day negotiating green lanes:
"First time out for Bruno so we started with some easy going routes to build his confidence off road. He seemed to enjoy the it but left us mid-morning at Gilston, near Harlow. Hopefully will be back for more. After the mid-morning break, we headed out to deepest Essex, where they know how to make sloppy mud. A couple of routes were quite tricky with the deep 4x4 ruts full of muddy water, but we all made it through unscathed. The route took us out to Harlow, Sawbridgeworth, Good Easter, Dunmow, Thaxted, past Finchingfield and back to Newport and Buntingford. We started to loose light so we headed back to Stevenage and home by 4.30 pm. we covered 114 miles."

Steve has a few more off road rides planned, including two trips to Wales, as well as some on-road rides. So keep an eye on our blog, Facebook page and Whatsapp group or contact Steve for details to be added to his mailing list.

The weather for the Monday evening ride was just as poor, although five riders met up at Coreys Mill Sainsburys to enjoy(?)/experience the ride. A quick conflab resulted in the A600 being selected as a relatively direct route to the A507 and, ultimately the Cock at Baldock. After a convoy of gritters left the Highways yard, Cider Bob led off but, in his usual way, thought the route was a tad short so headed off south, through Knebworth, to Codicote and up the B656 to Hitchin and the A600. He was OK with his heated gloves but some of the others were a tad chilly after the fifty minute ride.

The pub was heaving with about forty members crammed in all over the place. The Cock is clearly a popular destination and they didn’t disappoint with the food either, providing loads of decent sandwiches, hot sausages and chicken things and a massive tub of chips – just what we wanted.

Unfortunately, the pub had to shut early so we were all out by ten o’clock and making our way home in the cold, wet fog.

Next week we are at the Goat in Codicote.

The Dinner Dance is fast approaching so make sure you’ve got your tickets. See the Secretary, Mick Taylor.

Monday 10th January 2022

Happy New Year.

This Monday was our first meeting of 2022 and, for a dark, chilly and wet winter night, it was a reasonable turnout with four on the group ride and about twenty at the pub.

We met at the Stag in Stotfold, where the bar staff were welcoming and the food was excellent.

It was an enjoyable evening with some members staying until closing time.

Next week we are at the Cock in Baldock.

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

Below is the last couple of months of the 2021 blog, still with hyperlinks, before being archived

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.

Older Blogs

The website platform is a bit rubbish and slows up horrendously once there is a lot of content (particularly with hyperlinks) on any one page... so we've had to create archive pages for the Blogs. It's a shame because it's nicer if its all in one place, and it will upset any shortcut on other websites or members computers, but unfortunately it can't be helped (unless we spend a lot of money on a better platform!

Click here to be taken to the previous years' blogs.