Our March ride out took place on St Patricks Day and led for the first time by our erstwhile hard working secretary Erica, our very own bundle of energy. She provided a ride out that was really Steaming, she had organised a bright sunny if somewhat chilly day as we were all moaning about our cold hands at the start, wimps that we are.
After Erica had coerced our ultra reliable Terry to be tail ender off we set.
We headed out to Wantage, and then up over the Downs which always provide wide sweeping bends to enjoy, I’m sure there is nothing better in motorcycling than approaching one of these bend, throwing down a couple of gears on the approach and opening the throttle hard at the apex “heaven”.
On to Hungerford for a drink stop at the Garden Centre and this being an Erica led ride of course she supplied us with cake, fruit and lemon drizzle with some slices as big as a family sized cake, but of course we duly scoffed them down.
After this break a pleasing ride through quaint villages with time to enjoy country roads and views. This led us to our destination for the day, if you noticed at the start I said “she gave us a steaming ride” well we were at the Great Western Railway museum in Swindon. Several of our large turn out (20+ bikes) went in and enjoyed spending time in this “well worth a visit” museum.
All in all what all ride outs should contain fun roads, interesting stops and refreshments and most of all great friends to enjoy it all with. Thanks Erica.
There are lots of on-line guides and blog entries dedicated to beating corrosion on your bike over winter and an assortment of chemicals to help do the job. But whatever methods and chemicals you personally prefer, the most important thing that makes the biggest difference is still regular washing. Do as much as you can to remove dust and dirt from your bike, even if it’s just a quick hose-down with cold water after a ride, anything is better than leaving it. This is your starting point, the bare minimum that needs to be done. After that, anything else you do will be a bonus.
Corrosion blockers, of which there are many, offer a great deal of help. However they are not all the same and their various performances range from ineffectual to outstanding, depending for the most part on how they are used. Although many of them are oil-based, it’s not the oil that does the work. The additives in them are the dedicated corrosion-blockers, not the oil itself. Consequently, old engine oil is not a useful corrosion blocker, nor is WD40, 3in1, chain lube or anything else like that.
In almost ten years of exclusively valeting motorcycles, specialising in corrosion prevention, I have only found three dedicated corrosion blockers that deliver what they promise;
XCP Rust Blocker;
the newest and arguably the most effective. Thick and sticky, great for large areas and flatish surfaces where it can form a broad, even, protective layer. Best applied very lightly with a compressor and spray gun.
the one that everyone’s heard of. Thinner than Rust Blocker, ideal for fiddly, convoluted and deeply recessed areas where it’s runnier nature allows it to spread over difficult-to-access surfaces and creep into tiny gaps. Best applied lightly with a compressor or spray gun again, but can be used from the aerosol can with the straw to get into difficult-to-access areas such as deeply recessed bolt holes.
A word of warning! These two go like jam if you put too much on and will hold every bit of dirt and grit that gets into them against your bike, look nasty and be extremely difficult to remove. Little and often is the way to go, re-apply lightly after thoroughly washing and drying your bike, wiping each fresh application down with a microfibre to remove any excess. If it looks greasy, you have too much on. You’ll gain no extra protection from using too much, you’ll just make a mess and waste money. Also, never ever get these on your tyres or brakes!
The one that nobody believes in. Being water-based, the behavior of this is very different to the other two. So easy to apply from its trigger-spray bottle, spray it all over your bike, then walk off and leave it. This differs from the other two mostly in that it needs to be re-used every single time the bike has got wet. It’s water soluble, so comes off with water, including rain. However, use it correctly and it does an amazing job at keeping your bike clean as all the dirt that sticks to it washes away as it comes off.
My professional advice for maximum protection is to use a combination of the above as a belt-and-braces approach. Have a corrosion-prevention valet done by a pro, then use FS365 yourself over the top.
Chief Operating Officer
Aegis Moto Ltd.
07729 002 449
My self, Mark, Glen and John departed from Peartree at 10:30, we decided not to use drop off and we had a flowing ride passing through the centre of Reading only being slowed by two sets of red lights. South of the M4 we passed through Fleet, Farnham and the twisting roads of surrey arriving at the Devils Punch Bowl café at exactly 12:15.
Forty-five minutes later,our bodies refuelled we headed off along the A3 and through the Hindhead tunnels, intending to return via Alton and Basingstoke, the inclusion of some very nice roads around Seale confused the sat nav and it rerouted us via Wokingham and Henley on Thames.
Mark getting low on fuel we decided it was prudent too stop, James Bond was at the same filling station, well someone who must have fancied himself as James Bond, he was driving an Aston Martin DB9 reg XX XX JB and 007 inscribed were the plate manufacture’s name should be
We were blessed with warm sun and dry roads all day, myself and Glen covering circa 180 miles and returning home in daylight an hour before the sunset and the return of the cold!
Twenty five members of the Oxford Branch headed towards Aderbury to meet up at Pete and Jen’s for Bacon Butties and Sausage Sandwiches which were enjoyed on the patio in the September sunshine. Everyone then headed off for a great ride around some twisty roads in the Cotswolds, ending up at the Turweston Airfield to watch the planes come whilst enjoying a yummy lunch from the cafe.
On a very warm Friday afternoon everyone started to arrive at The Gate Hangs High at Hook Norton, casting off their biking gear with great haste before they melted, and starting to erect their tents. The Oxford team had been there early setting up a marquee and getting the coffee, tea, biscuits and cake ready. Twenty-one tents and camper vans were soon in place and the Oxford Rally ‘village’ was set up and ready to start enjoying the weekend, whilst others settled into the B&B facilities at the back of the pub.
At the third attempt seven of the Oxford HOC members turned up at Oxford Gliding Club on a beautiful hot sunny evening to find all the gliders out and ready for us.
Vince was head of the queue and as he desired to do a loop, went up in the two seater DG505 – a fibreglass slippery glider with extended winglets – and not only did a loop but a half turn loop (a far worse feeling)!
Gavin and his two children also came along and all went up and enjoyed their flights.
Colin then went up in a K13 (wooden glider) with instructor Andy and did rather well on the controls with Andy complimenting him on his co-ordinated turns (better than some club members!).
Colin’s wife Sue was persuaded to have a go and she went in the DG505 but just took in the view although thoroughly enjoyed her experience.
I then went in the K13 and told Andy I hadn’t flown for two years so he said I could do the launch, flying and landing – which, like riding a bike, I did OK and arrived back at the launch point without issues!
Vince up again in the DG505 and I did a hanger flight in the DG but did not do the launch or landing – which was a fast ground bumpy run to enable the glider to finish up near the hangar.
A great evening was enjoyed by all.
After Sunday’s ride out I got to thinking about what makes a good club ride out and came up with these.
So all in all Mark and Tracy had given us all a fantastic and enjoyable club ride it really is what HOC Oxford is all about many thanks to both of you.