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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Terry and Mary Ann’s rideout with a difference!

As motorcyclists we have always thought of ourselves and been treated as different from the norm. So when Terry and Mary Ann saw a sign near Brize Norton that pointed the way to a Crocodile Zoo they thought “wow that’s different” and would make a good ride out destination.

So last Sunday saw a few members set off for Pear Tree services to meet up with them for what promised to be a new experience for us all. The day was fine and bright if somewhat on the chilly side, the first thing of note was a good look around Andy’s new 1200 VFR which we all admired and agreed he seems to have bagged a bargain there.

We then set off for what proved to be a wonderful 70ish mile ride Terry had found a route to satisfy and reinforce what makes our passion so great. Several small and pretty villages along the way where riding at the 30 mph limit with the visor up with time to savour the houses, churches and general village attractiveness proved relaxing and good for the soul.

Some nadgery country roads kept our speed down and guessing as to what lay around the corner. But Terry being a true biker we also had several miles of fast sweeping roads where on at least two occasions I saw three figures on the speedo.

We were also treated to some circuit riding what with 2 laps of Chipping Norton so thanks Terry for a great ride. 

We then stopped off at the Burford Little Chef for a comfort break where Andy and Sally took there leave of us before we progressed on to the Zoo.

This turned out to be as good as hoped for with lots of different species of Crocodiles to look at from very small to very large and we were very grateful that we could not get close enough to stroke them, although looking through the glass panels at some very large eyes and teeth gave us the feeling that we could have been diner had the glass not been there. The story of how this the only Crocodile Zoo in the UK came about was fascinating. The owner of the Zoo started his passion for these wonderful and ancient creatures when still at school around the age of 8 and his dreams of running a zoo dedicated to the study and knowledge of these dangerous yet magnificent creatures has become a reality.

I feel that we as bikers can relate to his passion as our passion for biking while not understood by the non-biking majority gives us pleasures that know no bounds. So a day with a difference for Terry, Mary Ann, Erica, Nigel, Tracey, Andy, Sally and myself so trust me it does not get much better than that so thank you Terry and Mary Ann your hard work was well worth the effort.


Sent from my iPhone

Fun at the annual Poker Run

Twenty-nine bikes turned up at the H Cafe on a chilly but sunny morning, to join in the fun on our annual Charity Poker Run.

Members from Oxford, Bedford, Northants,Reading and Wilts branches were in attendance plus a posse from the BWDE group who must’ve been up at the crack of dawn to join us! 😊

After registration, in which 42 people contributed towards the Motor Neurone Disease charity, we set off to our first destination Triumph M40, led by myself with Peter Jordon as tail ender. Unfortunately we lost Phil Naylor with a puncture, which was really bad luck as he missed a great day!

Pete Johnston received a kind donation of a gift voucher from the Triumph dealer towards our prizes, which was a kind gesture!

After dealing the first of 5 cards and a look at some bikes, we set off for the 2nd destination, On Yer Bike, a Kawasaki dealer near Aylesbury.

I made a boo boo on the way which led to some confusion….why spoil the habit of a lifetime 😜……but we all arrived safely. Pete Johnston again worked his magic and received a couple of T Shirts from the dealer towards our prizes.

After dealing the 2nd card, we rode to our lunch stop, The White Hart, Nettlebed. I somehow lost everyone bar four riders, don’t ask, and ended up getting to the pub after everyone else, who took the direct route. This led to some banter amongst us but we all arrived safely for what was a very nice meal in the function room laid on by the proprietors……just as well we pre ordered at the start else it would’ve been manic!

It started to rain soon after we arrived but cleared up before we left…good timing. The 3rd card was dealt here prior to making our way to the fourth stop, Abingdon Honda, who donated our main prize!

The ride to Abingdon, on some nice roads, went smoothly…hooray…. and we arrived just as the rain started to fall, another stroke of luck. It was a extended stay here as interest in the bikes and the popularity of the coffee machine was to take it’s toll so it was decided to deal the last two cards at the last leg of the day, The Swan Hotel, Eynsham where refreshments where laid on and the results were declared.

Claire Robins from Wilts Branch was recipient of the 1st prize followed by Gus Smart from BWDE winning 2nd prize. Further prizes awarded to Roger Elvin, Beds Branch and our own Elaine Heckford….well done guys!

Myself and Erica, would like to thank everyone for their contributions and efforts, you ALL made it a great day out!
£225 was raised for the charity….which was a good result!

A special thank you to Erica as she works tirelessly behind the scenes and without her help I’d have struggled.

Here’s to next year!

(for photographic proof see ‘pictures’ or click on this link   https://goo.gl/photos/LQNHopcmMXe8ffC28)

Ride to Hayling Island


Ride to Hayling Island 

We had a good ride out today, 10 bikes tuned up on time, and we were all fuelled up and ready to go by 09.30, minus Sandra as she was still at home trying to start her bike, Keith gave us a ride brief and off we went in rather cool conditions with Pete on the tail.

We encountered a bridge closure before got to Wantage and had to take a diversion, Sandra joined us at Tot Hill services, and Greg’s brand new triumph broke town before we got to Loomies, a push down the hill by myself and Chris and Greg and he was on his way again, Loomies was standing room only, so a quick comfort break and on to Hayling island, were we all went for a swim, NOT!!  After lunch and some banter with the café owner, we returned to Petersfield and onto Nelson’s Diner via Alton and Basingstoke, Nelsons Diner was also busy, 8 of us stayed for refreshments and the remainder made a run for home in ever increasing temperatures, I saw the sun and 9 degrees on my thermometer at one point, a good varied route, some good riding and a good day was had by all, thanks to Keith & Sandra!


Ride out’s 2016

During this year we have planned a ride out on the third Sunday of each month, with a different leader and tail ender.  The leader chooses a destination and plans the route (with help from Ted if required) and the ride is promoted on the web (‘Events’), our Facebook page and then a reminder text is sent out to those registered onto the ride out group twenty-four hours before the ride leaves.

This ensures that we have a least one ride per month but does not exclude anyone planning an ad hoc ride at another time and submitting to Ted (RideOuts@oxfordhoc.co.uk) – it can then be promoted in a similar way and even last minute ideas can be sent out via the text group.
If you want your mobile number to be added to the text group – email Erica (Secretary@oxfordhoc.co.uk).
We have already had two excellent, well supported rides this year, led by Andy and Paul and look forward to at least ten more!

The HOC Oxford AGM with election of Committee


of the


Tuesday 3rd Nov 2015

                                                                                      (28 members present  inc Committee Members)

Mark Clargo, Chairman –  another year as Chairman for one of the best branches in the HOC.  As a
branch we have represented the club in many worthwhile ways.  Ted’s Poker Run is attended by
many other branch members’, we always have some sort of participation at other
branches rallies as well as holding our own at the Gate Hangs High, Hook
Norton, which was a success this year. Phil Naylor and Pete Johnson won awards
at the HOC Classic Show at Brixworth – congratulation boys.  And there have been many other HOC events
throughout the year.  We nearly came top of the branch attendance at the National Rally this year. We only needed about four more members, so let’s try to get that trophy next year at Poole.

Some of us volunteered to help erect and man the HOC marquee at the Brackley Festival of Motorcycling which
turned out to be a very busy day. And all the hard work was much appreciated by the management and our visitors to the stand.

Dave Andrews won the Saddle Sore Shield this year – well done Dave, and Gerald came second in the pillion
competition. Steve Davenport (SSS Organiser) and the HOC committee are working on a new format for next year which, hopefully, will encourage more members to enter the competition. Someone needs to give Dave a run for his money. I’ll be one next year!!

Mary-Anne Gilmer – Treasurer, reported that finances were positive with a healthy balance but showed a slight drop from last year and, although the Branch was not a profit making organisation, this reduction would be monitored during the coming year and steps taken to ensure it did not continue into 2017.  The cost of the camping and the entertainment at the rally being the cause of the reduction.  Dave was thanked for his hard work in doing a raffle at the meetings which was a source of income for the Branch.

Alan DeVerteuil – Webmaster, reported that it had been a good year with the site receiving many visits and no successful or serious attacks from hackers. The steps taken during the year had worked.

Ride outs – Clive and Ann could not be at the meeting but a brief overview of the ride out’s and events were included.  There hadbeen an and excellent Hot Cross Bun Run in April, a delightful but soggy Fish and Chip run, rides to the Isle of Wight to see Roger and Jill, Bank Holiday ride outs and ad hoc events organised as the year progressed.  Thanks were expressed to Clive and Ann for taking the task on amidst their own busy schedule.

Withthe exception of Ride-out Co-ordinator the existing Committee re-stood forelection (Mark Clargo – Chairman : Erica Gassor – Secretary : Mary-Anne Gilmer – Treasurer : Alan DeVerteuil – Webmaster)  Ted German had been nominated for Ride-out Co-ordinator with assistance to lead monthly ride outs. With these amendments, the Committee was proposed for election by Chris Tristrum and seconded by Terry Gilmer. A schedule of anticipated monthly ride out dates for the whole of 2016 were issued with an appeal for leaders and tail enders.  Several volunteers came forward and the list was to be finalised.

Any other business – (a) it was decided not to have a Branch charity as such for the coming year (b) a trip to Swanage and the Isle of Wight to see Roger and Jill during 2016 was to be planned


Erica Gassor

Fun and antics with Aunt Sally!



After a cloudy day weather wise, the evening drew in very
quickly but it didn’t stop the happy Oxford Hoc’ers and two loyal members from the
Wiltshire Branch trotting into the garden at The Vine for the annual Aunt Sally

Everyone agreed that the newly painted white ‘dolly’ was a
great aid in the dimming light and, after a few (slightly dangerous!)
practices, Mark organised four teams of four and battle commenced. 

Much barracking and mickey taking then ensued, as sandwiches
and chips were munched (torches had to be used to identify the fillings and
favours!)  but a close match was played 
with Oxford’s 4 Paul’s and Stumpy’s

tying for first place and having a sudden death play off to decide the winner.

 With the Stumpy’s victorious the trophy, medals and prizes
were awarded, congratulations given, pictures taken and everyone wended their
way home acknowledging how difficult this traditional Oxford game really is!





Fun and frolicks at the Oxford Rally!

Hi all,

As a group we organise a local rally weekend every year.
This year we were at the Gate Hangs High at Hook Norton. We had a camping field
for all  of us that are hardy folk and up
for a laugh but we also had lovely bed and breakfast rooms for those that
“don’t do camping”.

We arrived on the Friday afternoon. The weather was good and
we all pitched in together to get the tents up. Some of us had a few more
luxuries than others, you might have seen the pictures with the big air bed.
That was mine and very cosy it was. It was lovely to catch up with people from
other Honda clubs from around the county. Tea and coffee was flowing in the
hospitality tent but some were on the beers as the bar was open. Later that day
we all went for dinner in the pub which served up excellent food and afterwards
we had great fun having a go at Ted’s quiz. 
We had a winner and a looser and loads of banter to go with it. A good
time was had by all and then it was off to our beds.

On the Saturday it’s traditional for us all to go on a ride
out. Pete organised the route this year. We went on a tour of the Cotswolds
exploring some great roads and we stopped for lunch at this really quaint
little railway station where you just step back in time. While having lunch a
couple of steam trains and an old diesel came through the station. And I don’t
know what it is but the fellas went mad with the cameras every time one came
in. Someone told me it was the engineering that they drooled over but I think
they just reverted back into little boys. Later after more riding around and
splashing through the Ford we arrive back to camp for tea and cake, especially
made for the event by our own Erica. And they didn’t last long.

On Saturday evening we usually arrange entertainment and
this year we had a singer – guitarist who was really good. It actually became a
family affair with his daughter turning up and giving us a few songs too. Again
we had excellent food at the pub and a good night was had by all. I think we
even had some dancing going on too. I don’t think anyone got to bed very early
that night.

Sunday morning. Nearly time to go home
but we still had one event to go, The Best Bike Competition. I saw them all
giving their bikes some TLC, buffing up the shiny bits, making sure they looked
good. The event was organised by Dave and he rallied in 4 other judges to help
him. Ooh it was so close. Lots of debating between the judges. Lots of
revisiting bikes. I thought there might have been a war but no we had a winner
by ONE point. So all sorted until next year.

As it happened this year our rally finished on the same day
as the Honda Sunday roast day so even more bikers turned up to enjoy the food
at the pub.

Why not join us next year. We guarantee you a warm welcome
and a great time and lots of laughs.

Mary-Anne Gilmer

meeting up

Off to the Isle of Wight!

A quick ride down from Peartree, with a stop en route at Tothill to pick up the Newbury contingent, saw 9 of the HOC Oxford family arrive at the Southampton Ferry Terminal for the 11 am sailing to the Isle of Wight.  Off to see Roger and Jill and chat about old times at the Foxcombe Lodge Hotel, our meeting venue for several years up until it was sold for re development.  The weather was lovely and sunny as Pete, Jen, Terry, Mary-Ann, Greg, Carol, Gerald, Erica and Huw rode their bikes onto the ferry for the one hour journey.  Arriving after a sunny trip, off we rode around the island to the beautiful Freshwater cove, with golden sands and white cliffs. 

After completely filling the ‘m/cycle parking’ area in the car park, due to the cheekily nicknamed ‘two wheeled car’ alias the rather fine silver Gold Wing, everyone trotted off to the cafe for lunch, unfortunately it was closed so, after asking around, it was an amble along the sea shore and up steps to a hotel which also housed a cafe where refreshments were enjoyed before returning to the bikes to continue the ride around the island’s coast.  The route was however interrupted by a road closure due to a landslide and, after most of the bikes ventured down the unused road for a while before turning round to find the Diversion, we all re gathered and continued to Sandown, with one or two stragglers getting there a bit late!    
The Trueville Hotel was very welcoming and right on the sea front with a ‘secure (?)’ car park at the top of the slope.  Everyone settled in before Roger arrived to offer a lift to those who couldn’t quite manage the hill climb to their lovely house and garden for a sumptuous buffet and alcoholic and non alcoholic Pimms, both of which were most enjoyable.  A pleasant evening was spent eating and reminiscing about Foxcombe Lodge days. Toddling back down the hill to the hotel was much easier and a good nights sleep was enjoyed being lulled by the gentle sound of the lapping waves and a fresh sea breeze.
Sunday arrived, a little grey weather wise, but a very hearty breakfast of fruit, yogurt, cereal, full English or……. soon got everyone feeling ‘ready for the off’.  Bikes were loaded and we waved goodbye to Sandown.  With one or two taking a detour to the ferry, everyone arrived in time for the 11.30 am sailing.  Not quite the weather for sitting on the top open deck but but the time we arrived in Southampton the rain had stopped.  Onto the the bikes, through Southampton for a petrol stop and onto the A34 for a quick ride back to Tothill where everyone stopped for a break and lunch before continuing the journey to their respective destinations.
All agreed, it was an excellent weekend and a very enjoyable visit to see Roger and Jill, having promised that we would make the return trip next year to do some more reminiscing!

Erica Gassor