London Bikers West Country Run
5 July 2002
- Phil the Spill
Five bikes from the London Bikers set out from the Ace Cafe at the beginning of July 2002 for the club's first West Country camping break, (Tim, Stu, Colin, Andy and me). It would have helped if the Navigator had used a map for this bit as well as working out day-trips for us, I suppose. But, to be fair, we only got lost twice on the way to Somerset and there were a lot of signs in one town, none of which mentioned any settlements near to where we were going. It was rather a dull day, with occasional showers all the way down, but we still got to the campsite, opposite a pub in the village of Molton, in good time, even though I had to take the fairing off the bike in order to get to the fuel tap to switch to reserve when we were nearly there, (a problem I subsequently solved by just filling up whenever the others did, even though I was not needing it as often as them).
Our tents were soon set up and we installed ourselves in the pub for a well-earned rest, including our one member who eschewed the camping notion and paid for a B&B half-a-mile down the road. This member was on a Suzuki GSX-R, and I noted that we could get this from the year letters on four of our number plates - mine being the older one.
After a relaxed start on Saturday, the breakfast in the pub was good value, (for those that required it), we headed through some lovely twisty country roads, upon which I usually managed to find a lovely twisty cow-splat, to Cheddar Gorge. We managed to miss the town centre on the first attempt, as the leader was unable to see the brown tourist signs directing people in that direction. We eventually settled in a parking area just outside the town, and walked into the town. Quite honestly, though, this affords a much better view of the scenery, as you can stop and stare at it, rather than keeping your eyes on the road. Avoiding the more touristy attractions, we spent a few hours there, before heading back through some more twisty roads back to the campsite.
Sunday we spent visiting a few coastal locations, whose names I have mostly forgotten, after a bit of a damp start. One of them had some very interesting rock formations, along with a fair amount of beach-front. At one, we arrived just after the swimming stage of a triathlon had been through, so there was a fair bit more water on the road than would be expected from the weather.
Sunday was going-home day and, although I had the biggest tent, it didn't take as long as the others to pack up - maybe rally experience counts for something, after all.
The home trip itself was pretty unremarkable and, for some reason, sixty-odd miles shorter than the trip down. Maybe because we knew where we were going, (the town that gave us problems on the way down was only slightly better posted going back), or we just weren't doing the scenic route.
Phil Drackley - Phil the Spill