It’s 10.30 on the Saturday of our Oxford HOC rally at The Gate Hangs High and time to start the ride out. After the pre brief for all the riders,  Mark swings his leg over his Honda and settles down onto his furry sheep (by the way this was the name of Mark’s team that won Dave’s excellent quiz the night before). For those of you that are confused I suggest that you take a look at his seat cover next time you get a chance!  Tracy climbed aboard with Mark and with Pete and Jenny riding as our Tail Ender’s we knew we were in good hands at both front and rear. 
This proved to be the case with no one getting lost and the route marking spot on. Mark had worked out a ride of about 100 miles around the edge of the Cotswolds with three stops included. The roads had enough bends to satisfy the likes of no’s 46,  93 and 35 from Moto GP with a good mix of A, B and white roads. It wouldn’t have been our Chairman’s ride if he hadn’t included a good section of road with grass growing in the middle and he didn’t disappoint!  Some wonderful views, pretty villages and wooded areas with dappled sunlight all delighted the senses.
The first stop for a drinks and toilet rest was at the Toddington Steam Railway Station where a cafe, some shops and platform area along with other train attractions ensured a pleasant break. Lunchtime stop was a quiet, but good quality country pub, where they had laid out a large table in the garden for us to eat and enjoy what was a warm sunny day. 
Our final stop was for ice creams in Bibury, – a very touristy Cotswold village which was doing rather well from oversea visitors. Pete’s ice cream van supplied our last treat of the day and I think if anyone could wrest away his concession for this spot you would be able to buy as many new bikes as your heart desired!
All in all a great ride, great stops and great friends to enjoy it all with. I don’t think it gets any better than this, thanks Mark.