New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours

Combining Motorbike Touring with Training


October 2014

Saturday mystery tour

Trying a different route this morning, and one suggested by Richard G. We headed south along the A419 all the way to Marlborough (ok, A4 too). I didn’t know where Richard was taking us so I thought I would enjoy the ride and have a mystery tour.

Up through Savernake Forest, (I did mislay some £11.5million somewhere around here, but don’t tell anyone will you!), en route to Salisbury. Having so often done this route in a car on the way to the coast – many, many happy memories of travelling for day trips to Weymouth, Bournemouth and Swanage too – it was finally nice to do it on a bike.

Anyway, misty eyed (partly ‘cos I woke up late and some nostalgia of course) we headed to Ludgershall. From there we headed to Hungerford (my second trip there in so many days by the way). Richard decided not to go straight there and took us of on a mystery tour around some windy, bendy, steep country lanes. Great!

Arriving in Marlborough, we headed to Calne. He was keen to try out the Divine Cafe, so I lead from here.

After having a refreshing cup of tea and coffee, we headed back towards Swindon via Avebury, Wroughton, and then my parents too. We were welcomed with a cup of tea and a chat. Annoyingly, my Dad and step-mum mentioned that Richard’s bike was much, much cleaner than mine. That’s because I use mine on a far more regular basis, and it is 26 years old compared to Richard’s 3 year old bike – mine is supposed to be a bit tired – isn’t it?

So, nose slightly out of joint, I’d even bought the tea at the Divine (not that I want to make a fuss about that of course so wont mention it again, not with my nose as it was), we headed back to Cricklade and home.

At home, I immediately gave KES a good clean and polish too. I even cleaned my cars just in case Dad popped over and complained about them also.

The ride was somewhere around the 100 miles mark, I can’t really say above or below. We were out for a good 2.5 hours riding though and it did feel good. There were some brilliant straights, corners and alsorts to test our riding skills.

Around 9.15pm I get a text from Richard just to say he’s spent the past hour cleaning and polishing his bike. Smugly, I replied, I’ve done mine already! :DD

Divine ride in the wet!

Ride out on Saturday was rather wet to say the least. Still, myself and newbie Gentleman Biker, Keith, headed out for the planned route to Aldbourne, Hungerford, Marlborough and home via Avebury.

Meeting Keith for the first time at Cricklade Town Hall, I was impressed with his 2-year old BMW 700GS!

Setting off, I lead the way down the A419 to Common Head roundabout, taking the second left up and over Liddington Hill, heading towards the sleepy village of Aldbourne. The downs were whip-lashed with the wind and rain, but so long as you take it sensibly, there should be no problems.

From Aldbourne, we headed through following the road to Chilton Foliat and then to Hungerford. Picking up the A4 here, we turned right. This is a long wide section of road; I decided to sit behind a lorry as it was clearing the way for us and showing me where the main puddles were. Thinking back, I should have gone past and found my own route through – oh well, next time!

Ok, once the lorry turned off, we headed through Marblorough on towards Calne to the Divine Cafe.

Stopping for a cuppa tea – thanks Keith, my shout next time – we almost dried out. Luckily the owner of the Divine is used to us bikers as this is a popular stopping point and indeed the North Wiltshire RoSPA group meet here for assessment days.

Leaving the Divine, we headed back towards Avebury. Some brave people out in the wind and rain walking round these stones! This is a great road when its dry! We turned left at Broad Hinton and went down through Broad Town to Wootton Bassett. Keith was leading the way and it seemed he was rather enjoying himself, so instead of going back the direct route, he took us a longer run back. Turning right on B4040 at the Leigh crossroads, we headed back into Cricklade, stopping at the Town Hall to shake hands and to say that we must get out together again.

Thanks Keith for a good morning ride and for being good company!

I only hope I can get the rest of the other Gentleman Bikers out next time too! I know they are busy of course taking sons to football training and so on, so it can be tricky to get us all out at once.

Sunday afternoon ride up the Fosse Way

Always wanted to do this ride so last Sunday, Jason and I thought we would have a quick blast up to Moreton in the Marsh for a coffee stop.

It was a nice, bright and sunny afternoon. Stopping for petrol at the Little Chef just outside Cirencester, we were met by at least 20 bikers travelling back to Guernsey. This would actually set the scene for the rest of the afternoon as we noticed loads of bikes out and about enjoying the last delights of summer.

The Fosse way, as mentioned before, is a long road with many long straights and some bends. But, I know now why people die along it – it is rather a boring road and I assume people want to go fast to get a buzz back.

Anyway, we burbled through to Moreton in the Marsh, a quaint Cotwsold market town, where the high street is the main thoroughfare. We stopped at a coffee shop for our usual chat, where Jason said he knew the area well and would find a more interesting route back.

We met even more bikers and a chap with his new Audi R8 who was carrying a paper which is all he could probably carry in terms of luggage!

This turned out to be interesting indeed – I have no real idea of where we were other than we generally headed south along some small lanes and narrow gravelly roads.

The whole ride took us a couple of hours which meant yet again I was late back for my Sunday lunch!

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