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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 !