April Ride out – A Chiltern Conundrum!

After Sunday’s ride out I got to thinking about what makes a good club ride out and came up with these.

Firstly good friendly company, a fun start to the day, a ride with plenty of twists and turns on roads new to us or at least not well traveled, destinations and stops that add to the whole experience, great views along the way and a challenge or difficult section that will stay in the memory and keep as a talking point years after the event.
Well on Sunday Mark & Tracy treated us to just such a ride so thanks to them for a fantastic day out, how they managed to organise such stunning weather as well I don’t know but so glad they did.
We started of with bacon butties at the Clargo homestead along with some banter and laughs. They then led us out into the country and those twisty roads along with a zillion cyclists out enjoying the sunshine. Our main stop was in Henley along side the river for ice creams and a drink sat there watching families play sweethearts doing what sweethearts do on a sunny Sunday and all the ducks, swans and boats on the river Thames was a real joy. Our return journey saw us finish up at the H cafe for more refreshments and more good conversation. 
Well I know that you are now asking what Mark found for our “Do you remember when-“ moment as if the previous wasn’t enough well Mark had found this road. It was about a mile of up hill single track road with about a foot of very wet mud from the rain the night before stuck right in between the two section of road and these being the width of a car tyre and badly cut up so that it was like riding on cobbles. This road was kept to a car width by dirt banks on either side with woods on both sides making the road quite difficult to see in the dappled sunlight. Mark refused to tell us how much he had paid the group of cyclist half way up on our side which meant that we had to cross over the mud and test our nerves and handling when our back wheels squirmed and slid over onto the other lane.  But cresting over the top of this climb onto safer ground certainly made us all feel good our three passages especially.

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.



Colin Webb

March ride out – Springtime fun and sun

Fourteen bikes met at Pete and Jen’s to enjoy bacon butties and sausage baps before embarking on a great ride in the sunshine through winding roads and beautiful Cotswold villages to arrive a the very large and busy Stratford Garden Centre ready to choose from a delicious selection of cakes or scrummy lunches before making the journey home again in lovely sunshine!  
The Oxford Branch have regular monthly ride outs throughout the year, led by different members of the Branch, to a variety of different destinations ensuring a fun time is had by all,  enjoying our bikes.



of the


Tuesday 7th Nov 2017

(26 members present)


1. Apologies for absence:-

Jim and Sue Gettings/Keith and Sandra Pooley/

2. Matters arising from the Minutes:-

Last year’s minutes were proposed by Chris Smith, seconded by Pete Johnston and passed unanimously.

3. Chairman’s report:-

Welcome to you all to this year’s AGM. I could probably reiterate last years’ report verbatim as this past year has been as good as last!

Again, the National Rally was well attended, and again we won the Highest Branch Attendance Award.  Although it was not recognised at this year’s National AGM!?!

Unfortunately our rally at The Gate Hangs High was not so well attended this year due to bad weather. But those who did come enjoyed themselves and had a good weekend.

We’ve had plenty of events to keep us entertained to match last year, or even exceed, with well attended runs and holidays etc.

Some members have helped out at HOC shows at Peterborough and Brackley, either manning them or showing off their bikes.

Nearly all the monthly ride outs have shown many members turning out with different members volunteering to lead them. We’ve started to see some new faces attending these, and I hope they’ve enjoyed it.

I would like to encourage you, our members, to attend and participate in other branch rallies and runs. You will always be made welcome. Also, you could enter the Saddle Sore Shield competition – which I won this year!

Finally, I would like to thank all those on the committee for their dedication and hard work and all of our members for making this branch what it is – one of the best in the club – if not THE best!

4. Treasurer’s report:-

Our balance for the year is lower by £103.70.  Leaving the Club with £655.76, which is still a healthy balance. In the last 10 years our lowest balance was £372 and our highest has been £765.00.

Unfortunately we made a loss of £41.00 at our Oxford Rally which was pretty good as our attendance was lower than the previous year.  This might have been due to changing the dates this year but hopefully we will rally back next year.  Also we have donated £70 to Ted’s Cancer Charity this year which we all agreed was to a good cause.  Whereas we didn’t give anything to charity in the previous year.  We also had a bit of a splurge last Christmas spending £195.00 supplying the wine at the Xmas dinner.

But we wouldn’t be able to do this without our Raffle King Dave.  His raffles added around £225.00 to our club funds.  So he deserves a big round of applause from us all.

So all in all not a bad year.  But if anyone has any ideas regarding club funds, either with purchases for the club or any fund raising ideas please feel free to talk to us

5. Secretary’s report:-

The Secretary thanked the club members for their excellent support during the year – and said the club wouldn’t be successful without them.  Everyone’s help at the Peterborough and Brackly shows were very much appreciated – both had been an excellent success.

Lots of speakers had been organised and fun events – and another year was approaching fast.   Input would be sought at the meeting after next to ensure that speakers, meetings and events were arranged which the members would find of interest. 

The rally for 2018 had once again been booked once again at The Gate Hangs High – 20th-22nd of July and thanks were given for the support given in the organisation of this.

6. Webmaster’s report:-

Elaine Moody had been monitoring the web site during the year and it still proved to be the Branch’s best promotional tool, receiving some 96 clicks in a month with the events and photo pages being the most popular.

7. Ride out co-ordinator’s report:-

Ted was unable to attend the meeting but most sincerely thanked all those who had volunteered to lead and ‘tail end’ the ride outs during the year.  The rides outs had been excellent and generally very well supported.   The Poker Run had been excellent fun, the proceeds being donated to the Moto Neuron Disease charity. 

Ted wanted to run a similar system for the ride outs in 2018, just changing it to the third Sunday in the month.

Occasional Saturday runs and evening ride outs were suggested from the floor.

8. Election of officers:-

The existing Committee were prepared to re stand and their election was proposed by Keith Holloway and seconded by Dave Turner – passed unanimously. (i.e. Chair – Mark Clargo, Secretary – Erica Gassor, Treasurer – Mary-Anne Gilmer, Ride Out Co-Ordinator – Ted German, Raffle Organiser – Dave Andrews)

9. Any other business:-

There was no other busines

The meeting closed at 9pm

Oxford HOC learn a lot at Biker Down

An excellent day of learning and laughter was enjoyed by the Oxford Branch at he Biker Down course at Kidlington Fire Station.
In two separate sessions, twenty members were given so much information to absorb – all vital for bikers to be aware of, should they unfortunately come across an accident – either between cars or involving motorbikes.
Specialist motorbikers knowledge on removal of helmets and how to ensure you are ‘seen’ by other drivers  was included in an excellent 3 hours of instruction and demonstration, including lots of hilarious practice!
An excellent course and thoroughly recommended for all bikers
Erica Gassor
(email: erica.gassor@googlemail.com)
Tel:  07799 49 2235

A super National Rally !

Arriving at different times in different groups, twenty-one members of the Oxford HOC joined the main HOC National Rally at the Hafan y Mor Holiday Park on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.  The theme was Rock N Roll to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death.
The apartments were excellently placed, with HOC folk in one area, and they were nice and roomy.  The staff and facilities were great and the HOC organising party worked very hard to create a great fun atmosphere and organise ride outs round some of the beautiful roads in the Snowdonia National Park and down to Port Merion on the Sunday. 
The weather was varied but it did not spoil the fun and enjoyment of the 200 plus HOC members who joined in the disco dancing and fun music quiz with great gusto! Oxford not missing out had enthusiastic input to the quiz from several members of the group who gave it their up most, coming second on a very close air guitar play off.
A really good weekend was enjoyed by all – well done to the organisers!

OXFORD RALLY……..Singing in the Rain!


The early arrivals on Friday managed to get their tents up before the showers started but had to use lots of tent pegs to ensure their night time accommodation did not finish up at the bottom of the field due to the wind!   This was no problem for the experienced campers!  Even the marquis went up (albeit shorter than last year due to some poles being mislaid!)  Set up with a constant supply of hot water for endless tea, coffee and home-made cake or biscuits – all was ready.
Early evening the pub was invaded for a delicious ‘Rally special lassagne’ or choice from the main menu and a brain taxing quiz led by Dave Andrews, much hilarity ensured as each team competitively kept their score!  Two teams drew and a teasing tie breaker question was posed (which bike racer appeared in an opera!!! yes, it was true – Barry Sheene when he was 15) – Ted’s team won and prizes were distributed.
Saturday morning saw lovely sunshine!  Everyone assembled for the ride out with Ted leading and Pete taking care of the tail end duties.  Eighteen bikes left and wended their way round the delightful Charbury TT circuit, stopping for lunch at the pretty Rose Revised pub by the river……..by which time the rain had arrived as folk hot footed it back to the site to dry out and have more tea and coffee!
After fun and games lighting the BBQ in the rain for those who wanted a true camping experience (the rest dashed to the pub to again sample Windy’s wonderful cooking), everyone crowded into the pub to listen to Pete, the guitarist, who had returned to entertain us with an excellent evening of varied music (is there anything he cannot play or make up the words to?)  Fun, laughter and singing ended just before mid night as everyone toddled off to their various beds for a sound (??) nights sleep……some stayed in the B&B rooms at the pub, feeling slightly guilty in the warm, dry rooms!
Sunday morning brought wet tents to dry and pack and the Best Honda in the Show competition.  Everyone was given a voting form and trotted round to view the various machines.  By 3 points Keith’s 17 year old Pan with over 50,000 miles on the clock won with the Trophy donated and awarded by Dave from MIS at Newbury.
Farewells were said and the journeys home commenced.
Despite the showery weather, fun was had and roll on next year’s event!  Special thanks to Steve Gilks, Pete Jordon and Ted German for all their hard work, Mark Clargo for the BBQ (with help from a magic starter pack from Barbara and Alan) and Dave Andrews for the quiz – couldn’t do it without you!

Erica Gassor

Poker Run Editorial courtesy of Elaine


Sunday 8th May and despite a slightly shaky start with a hint of drizzle, the sun soon decided to shine down upon this worthy cause, the annual Oxford Honda Owners Club Poker Run. Each year, Grandpa Ted German organises this well attended event to raise money for a local charity; this year, Motor Neuron Disease Research.


30 bikes, 40 people including the brave pilly passengers, congregated at Reg’s cafe in Banbury for the start of a 120-mile charity fun bike ride; with Ted as run leader, it was sure to an interesting day with a few diversions and possibly taking in a few allotments! 


Riders from the Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Northampton and Reading Branches………. and the BWDE club also joined the Oxford HOC adventures for a day of bike fun and to raise funds for a this very worthy cause.


After being dealt their first card by Grampy and his carer for the day, Mark, the bike convoy set off to Corinthian Arch for the second card and first pitstop, with Big Jim and Sue bringing up the rear and making sure no one got lost (except Pete who managed to miss the stationary bike parked on a roundabout and went straight on!).


After a brief stop and the second card dealt, the ‘fleet’ headed to stop number 2 at Biker’s World Daventry along a range of long and winding, short and twisty, and grass-verged narrow roads, where they were met by the ever energetic Erica and her delightful assistant, Gerald. Here the band of merry riders refuelled their souls looking at bikes and their refilled bellies with liquid beverages, before heading to Stratford Upon Avon for lunch stop and card 3. The club’s very own lame tame racing rider, Mr Moody, and Dilligaf pit crew dynamite Des had a few brief moments where they thought they were on a race track, sailing past the run leader as they glided into the beautiful picturesque Warwickshire riverside town, birth place of William Shakespeare, on schedule!  


Despite the biker pack heading off in different directions for lunch, the munch bunch seemed to assemble in the sunshine by the baguette barge and ice cream boat! With the next card again dealt, the band of bikers headed to Stow on the Wold, for the final card, with only one Ted U-turn which of course was ‘planned’.


With Ted determined to keep to schedule (there is first for everything) he took the procession of bikes and riders of all different shapes and sizes (bikes of course) along the famous Oxfordshire Charlbury TT road on the final leg of the journey for tea and cake at The Jolly Boatman, where the poker hand winners were announced


Paul Dique was crowned king of the cards, winning a Samsung tablet kindly donated by Ted’s employers, Mutual Clothing & Supply Co.Ltd. 

Winners also included Big Jim, Colin, Bob, Big Hammer Stevie Gilkes and soon to married Claire who won prizes kindly donated by Dilligaf Racing sponsors Venhill Engineering, Continental Tyres, Branson’s Honda of Yeovil and Oxford Products.


A great day was had by all, with great roads, and great company with over £260 raised to boot for the MND Research charity.


Ted almost kept to the planned route and everyone contributed keeping the day on schedule! 


Mr Moody, the cake hamster, also proved  that he could survive on two cup-cakes!


Many thanks Grandpa for organising the event.







A sunny spring ride was enjoyed by all!


Waiting patiently at Snelsmore Common for everyone to arrive from the first part of the ride for tea and cake at Marlborough, the sun shone as I stood in the warm Spring air waiting to take pictures of everyone’s arrival and casting admiring glances over to  my own fine steed (a VFR800 VTEC) as she glistened in the sun’s rays.
With a roar of engines everyone arrived, dismounted bikes, stretched legs and, after much chatter and laughter about the ride so far and the ‘green lane’ excursions, we were all off again, with Mark our leader at the helm.  Down through sun dappled roads with the blue bell woods on either side we rode, round delightfully twisty bends taking advantage of the dry road surfaces to have lots of fun! Round we went and then up and over the rolling downs where we could see for miles over the sun drenched meadows of bright yellow, brown and green.  Into the quaint town of Wantage and a sharp right at the double roundabout before heading towards Steventon and the A34 to blat down to the Abingdon turn off and our final destination of the Abingdon Honda open day.
What a delightful way to spend an afternoon in perfect biking weather when we were able to enjoy our various steeds and their abilities.  Thanks to our leader Mark for an excellent day.

HOC January ride out !

First ride out of 2017 and I was volunteered to lead, 10:00 am seems a late start but it’s a bit like catching a plane, you have to get there, you have to get there early, and there seems to be so many things you need to do before you leave. So it was an early start for me out with the dog long before dawn, the weatherman was right for once and it was pouring, but neither my dog nor the fisherman I spoke to seemed to mind.


 Back home and change cloths, oil the chain and off I go to meet Paul at the petrol station, passing two Lycra clad runners on the way, Paul arrives and we exchange banter, I suggest the rain is easing and give the time honoured  sign of an open palm turned towards the sky, to which I’m informed I am still sat under the canopy, we chuckle and depart.  

 Arriving early at The Jolly Boatman, we park were the bikes can be seen from the road and  point them in the direction we intend to go, then take shelter under the porch and indulge in conversation, 10:00 am passes with nothing other than a text from Ted, the pub cleaner comes out and offers us a coffee and we have a three way conversation for another twenty minutes; it is now decision time, forward or back.

 Forward it is, through the conurbation of Kidlington and out into the countryside, hump back bridges sweeping bends slippery railway crossing and we arrive at Yarnton nurseries,  hot tea, warm bacon butties and more conversation was the order of the day; just time to purchasing exotic beers from the extensive selection on offer, load the beer on to the bike’s and onward again, we walk round the corner to the antiques shop.  Sometime later after looking at lots of recognisable item that we had once thrown away – it was slightly sickening to see the prices they were now fetching.

 Time to go home?   But the rain has slowed and I can see the sky was lighter, I suggest we could go for a ride, Paul’s look said otherwise, so back to Banbury it is and the heavens open again, on us and the small children that were playing rugby in a muddy field.

Yes it was wet, but we had a good time.


Andy Sammons









Christmas ‘Jolly Jumper and Silly Sweater’ Get Together!

On a dark, dreary and very wet night, the evening was lit up with fun and games during the Oxford HOC Festive Meal and Get Together at the new venue, The Jolly Boatman at Thrupp, just outside Kidlington.
The evening commenced with a sumptuous three course meal with choices of delicious soup, smoked salmon and other starters and then onto the main course of nut roast, steak or a wonderful traditional Christmas meal, followed by the most amazingly indulgent puddings! And what generous helpings!   Then, topped off with coffees,  the fun and games began. 
Firstly – a Secret Santa with lots of intriguing prizes which ranged from TT racing videos to candles to chocolates and gimmicky gizmos!  Then the range of silly sweaters and jolly jumpers where judged – what an array!  However, the winning ‘flashing’ Christmas tree display worn by Andy got the most votes and Andy walked away with the bottle of wine. Then onto the chuckles with all the jokes – some bike related, some not, mostly clean and some a little risque! Again votes were taken (some votes being given to a person who wasn’t even there!) and the winner was announced – it was Jim who had (in full character) relayed an entertaining tale of what made the same sound as a Honda (say no more!)  Again wine was presented!
Even the weather had cheered up as everyone wended their way home, vowing that they would not need any further food for ages!  (Hmmmm wonder who still managed breakfast Sunday morning!)
The evening definitely got us in the mood for our Festive Quiz and then our New Year’s day indulgences!