Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Sunday, 6 April 2008

Sunday 6 April 2008

Severn Valley Railway Vintage Day
Yesterday, we met up with Derek at the cafe at Quat. Myles wasn't able to come as his bike was still not fixed. I had asked my insurance company if he could be added to my policy temporarily so that he could borrow one of my bikes but, because I have one "modern" bike on the policy - the W650 - they were unable to help. Derek, Jon, Rhys & I enjoyed a delicious breakfast and then set off for Kidderminster Station for our first stop on the Severn Valley Railway Vintage Transport Day. Derek was on his recently acquired BSA A7, I was on the Tribsa and Jon and Rhys were on Jon's 1993 Enfield. It was an enjoyable ride but I noticed that my clutch had less "feel" than I had previously enjoyed and that the bike didn't feel as smooth as possible. I assumed that the clutch problem was attributable to an incident earlier in the week when the Tribsa had fallen off the workshop stand while BH was replacing its front wheel, after fitting a new tyre. When we got to Kidderminster, I struggled to ride up the steep kerb because of this lack of feel in the clutch but Jon gave the bike a push and then helped me adjust the clutch once I had parked up. The jerky ride was initially attributed to the new front tyre perhaps not being evenly seated but we later thought it might just be due to having a fairly modern round tyre on the front and an old fashioned square-shaped tyre on the back. The Tribsa is booked in for an MOT on Thursday so Jon will be changing the rear tyre before then which we hope will resolve the problem. After looking round at all the vintage cars, bikes and vans we set off for the next railway station on our journey, Bewdley. More interesting bikes and cars and some familiar faces from the Wyre Forest BSAOC. After chatting a while and having a look around we set off again to Arley where we enjoyed a hot drink and a piece of cake, a look around the vintage cars and a chat with some passengers from one of the trains doing the trip from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. By now, it had started to rain and we sheltered in the doorway of the small shop at the station. As the rain cleared, we set off for Highley where there is a new museum called the Engine House. We didn't go in but made a mental note to come back another time. We were impressed by how much SVR have achieved since being devastated by last years floods. There were more cars to admire and a very nice Morris pickup. The Velocette Owners were visiting and there were several of their bikes parked up, together with a nice BSA and a BMW. At the station, we were able to treat ourselves to much needed hot pasties. We then headed for Bridgnorth station for a drink and a chat. Derek was meeting up with his family who had been travelling on the train and I got to play with my cheapo camcorder, filming one of the steam trains(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efOyOuD2I9I). It was getting very cold and, once another heavy shower had cleared, we headed for home. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride from Bridgnorth to Telford but was still glad get to a warm house and enjoy a hot drink! The Tribsa was misfiring a bit so Jon suggested that I leave it at home tomorrow and take the Morini instead. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to start the Morini as easily so we dragged it out of the conservatory and I tried to start it. First kick and it roared into life. Decision made - Morini, you shall go to the Big Breakfast!!

CBG Big Breakfast, Prees Heath
I woke up at about 3.00 in the morning and peeked out of the window to see a 2-3 inch thick blanket of snow, and the snow was still falling. I crawled back to bed, hoping it would have melted by the time we needed to get up. Jons alarm went off at 6.30 and he looked out of the window - no change! Yesterday, he had noticed the clutch cable on the Enfield was looking dangerously frayed so had decided to take the W650. We had changed the seat so there was comfortable pillion space for Rhys. On seeing the snow, he decided he wouldn't be happy taking Rhys on the slippery roads and on my bike, which is the most expensive bike in our stable. Had it just been him on the Enfield he might have thought differently but wasn't happy to risk Rhys or my bike. We both went back to sleep.....a bit later Jon got up and made drinks and I stayed in bed with my cup of tea, feeling rather disappointed. Jon came upstairs again about half an hour later, asking how quickly I could be ready as the snow was starting to melt. So I leapt into action and by 10.00am we were ready to set off.

After a quick fuel stop, we were soon on our way &, due to our choice of bikes for the day, travelling somewhat quicker than usual. It was very cold especially since, for some reason, I was wearing one less layer than I had yesterday, when it wasn't quite so cold :-( The route from home to Prees Heath is a very enjoyable ride and I was smiling happily to myself and feeling very pleased I had decided to bring the Morini & that it is probably the best of my bikes. It feels very well balanced, the handling is very confidence inspiring even for a wuss like me, the engine is brilliant and the riding position is very relaxed and comfortable even if the cut-down seat is a little hard. Someone on the Classic Bike forum describes his favourite bike as being "the one I am riding" and I was reflecting on how true this is. When I am on the Tribsa, it is definitely my favourite but I can say the same for the Morini and whenever I get back on the W650 I am always impressed by how well it does everything. I hope I never have to pick out which one(s) to sell!! As we got close to Prees Heath, we were following a small motorhome at a fairly slow speed and I was distracted by a motorcycle and sidecar combination belting along the bendy lane in front of it. Jon on the W650 was between me and the campervan. By the time I noticed the campervan had stopped and was indicating to turn right, it was too late to brake and Jon was already swerving around the left hand side of the van. I shouted something unrepeatable as I swung the Morini around the back corner of the van, not feeling sure I would get away with the manoeuvre, but the Morini took it all in its stride and I was grinning broadly by the time I'd got past the camper van. As we reached the end of the road, where we had to turn left at a T-junction, we pulled up behind the bike and sidecar. The rider waved us past, we pulled out on to the main road and soon arrived at the Big Breakfast. We pulled into the car-park and as we parked up, I said to Jon "I didn't notice the campervan was going to turn right". He said "Neither did I". I said "To be honest, I was watching the sidecar....". "So was I.." he smiled.

Once we had parked the bikes, we headed to an outside stall for hot drinks and bacon sandwiches so we could warm up before looking at all the bikes. We spotted Myles, who had got the B40 back together and running, only to break the kick start - so he was now reliant on bump-starting. A few other friends from the BSAOC were there so there was time for a chat and a joke, then I took Rhys around the car park so that he could take some photos with his single-use camera. We then shared use of my digital camera to take some more pictures. Later, Jon called us over to the Shuttleworth Snap replica, which now has a Ukelele holder! The owner was now playing the Ukelele so I took the opportunity to catch a couple of short films on my recently acquired cheapo digi-camcorder. These are now on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSxsa5Pdhs4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY846ip9cNQ). We tried to wait around long enough to film the Shuttleworth Snap in action but it was getting too cold so we gave up and got ready to leave. Myles bump started the B40 without too much trouble and we followed him back to Telford.

Photos from both events http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsanorthstaffs




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