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!

Resume of the HOC Oxford AGM Minutes – 1st November 2016


Chairman’s report:-

I’ll try to
keep this report short – as those who attended the National AGM will know,
these things can get very strung out and boring!!  Firstly, can I congratulate us branch members
who went to the National Rally this years, as we won the Highest Branch
Attendance Award. I’m sure you would all agree that this year’s rally rates as
one of the best so far, as everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. Next year it
will be held in North Wales, so I hope a lot of you will make the trek up to

Our Rally at The Gate Hangs High was also well attended this year and a good time was had by
all. The large marquee (once we worked out how to erect it) helped in keeping
up a community spirit. For next year I have managed to acquire a 5 litre water
heater/dispenser, so we won’t need to keep so many kettles on the boil.

 We’ve had plenty of events to keep us entertained. Ted’s Poke Run was again well
received, even though we lost someone before the first leg – and I had to abort
after lunch as my engine threatened to fall out of the frame.

 There was the Test Rides and Open Day at Blades Abingdon. I must say the burger chef was
excellent!  We’ve also had diverse events
as well in karting, tea & scones and island hopping to the Isle of Wight.

 Some members have helped out at HOC shows at Peterborough and Brackley, either manning them
or showing of their bikes. This was much appreciated by Head Office.

 Nearly all the monthly ride outs have shown many members turning out. We’ve started to see
some new faces attending these, and I hope they’ve enjoyed it, plus starting a
new trend.

 Finally, Iwould 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


Treasurer’s report:-

As you can see from the Financial Report, we have had a good year (see below).  The Oxford Rally this year didn’t cost the
club and we actually made a small profit of £38!

 Our expenditure has been very low and thanks to Dave, our Raffle King, our income
has been boosted by £256.70.  Dave
deserves our thanks for his hard work over the year and so do all the members
for supporting the raffle

 We have not supported a charity this year as we decided to give our own club funds
a boost, which we have, perhaps this is something we can consider next
year.  With fantastic support from our
members we have not been able to ask for funds from the National HOC – let’s
keep it up!  Looking forward to next

 Balance at AGM 2015   £458.58
Bank + Petty Cash £29.28 = £487.86

Income 2015/2016:

 Clubnight raffle/sandwiches £256.70

Oxford Rally                       £486.00

Less Expenditure 2015/2016:

 Rally Entertainer £200/Camping charge £248


Abingdon Honda Test Ride Day  £23.10

Balance at AGM 2016             £626.58
Bank + Petty Cash £132.88 = £759.46


Secretary’s report:-

The Secretary thanked the members for their brilliant ongoing support with all the
events and activities during the year and asked that any specific requests be
given to her so these could be included in plans.  A draft schedule of meetings and activities
planned for 2017 was issued to the meeting.
This was not ‘cast in stone’ and would be added to as the year goes on.  These events would be added to the web site
with full info as available.  Erica
thanked everyone for their input and looked forward to another year of fun and

Webmaster’s report:-

Alan reported that the site was secure and there had been no serious
attempts at hacking into it. A vote of thanks was given to Alan for all his
hard work and support during the year, ensuring that the site was running
efficiently and effectively.  Statistics and comments showed that the web site was one of the Branches most effective
marketing tools.  Due to a planned move to France Alan was retiring from the position of Webmaster and Elaine Heckford
had been proposed to take on this position.

Ride out co-ordinator’s report:-

Ted thanked everyone for leading the rides during the year and it was agreed that
the process of a different person leading a ride each month had worked well,
with good turn outs to each event.  A variety of destinations had been visited with some excellent weather enjoyed.  The Poker run had been a great success, as had the Four Counties Ride.   Ted was
remaining as Ride out Co-Ordinator and would be looking to allocate rides on a
similar basis in 2017.  Another Poker Run was planned for the Spring also, with improving health, Ted hoped to lead
mid-week rider outs to some of the Wednesday night Bike meets.  Rides were advised via email, Face Book and
text so that no one would miss out.

 Election of officers:-

With the exception of Webmaster, the existing Committee re stood for election.  Elaine Heckford was the only nomination for Webmaster.     With these amendments, theCommittee was proposed for election by Jim Gettings and seconded by Andy Hale. Passed

 Any other business:-

(a)Elaine thanked the members for their support of the Dilligaf racing team.

 The meeting closed at 9.20pm


Erica Gassor

Swanage weekend and trip to Isle of Wight

With various meeting points between Bicester and Newbury, nine of us met up to ride down to Swanage on Friday afternoon.  The traffic was horrendous with lots of filtering making it a long journey to the Swanage Bay Holiday Centre and to meet up with Deb and Roger who live in Swanage now.  However, the journey was soon forgotten when we all met up for drinks and eats at the Holiday Centre and watched Wales win (!) before toddling off to bed to get a good nights sleep  before our trip to the Isle of Wight to see Roger and Jill who used to run our previous venue, Foxcombe Lodge.  Infact, for those in the caravans it was more of a mountaineering course as it was a continuous climb to the caravans perched on top of the hill!

Saturday dawned bright and dry and off we set to Southampton Docks – again traffic was quite heavy but we all arrived safely to find that the ferry had been delayed due to the round the island yacht race……ice creams soon softened the blow and time passed quickly as we waited.  Arriving later than planned, it was a quick dash across the Island to Roger and Jill’s at Sandown where we were greeted with wonderful sunshine and great hospitality.  The sumptuous food was irresistible as we had a lovely few hours relaxing in their beautiful garden chatting about old times at Foxcombe Lodge.   A brisk walk down to the beach and a paddle for those who insisted on testing the water (i.e. Tracy and Erica – cameras banned) and it was time to bid our farewells all too soon.  Back over on the ferry and a brisk ride back to Swanage, after being caught in a very heavy rainstorm as we left the terminal.  Spirits were lifted with fish and chips on the prom and a lot of laughter before climbing the hill once again.
Sunday morning saw a walk to the beautiful seafront, coffee and icecreams being the order of the day before everyone invaded Roger and Deb’s house for another sumptuous buffet lunch sitting in their lovely garden! Once again too much was eaten and everyone then waddled back to the bikes for the return journey to Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
An excellent weekend – brilliant hospitality from our hosts Roger and Deb and Jill and Roger and lots of laughs with great company throughout.

Burgers galore!

The Oxford Branch had a Great weekend at the June Blade Abingdon Honda Event – new members signed up for the HOC – loads of burgers and cake served. Good to see lots of the Oxford members plus folk from Wilts and Northampton Branches.  Thanks to Mark for his excellent BBQ chef skills, Tracy for cakes and Abingdon for having us there !
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