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Old 07-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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"And we were flying along!" ADV Weekend in Wiltshire

Last weekend saw another of the popular ADV gatherings in Wilcot near Pewsey.

When Possu (main organiser) and I (assistant organiser) arrived late Friday afternoon, the camp-site at the Golden Swan was already filled up nicely.

Beefiddler and Desert Rat (Simon1725 on here) discussing the latest orange bling


... while Possu immersed himself immediately in his second-favourite pastime:


Bike-stripping seems to radiate some sort of magnetism - from left: Possu, Bill, RickA, Gaz, Timpo, Berin & Simon1725


The weather was just glorious and until deep into the night we were enjoying the warm temperatures in the pub's garden - from left (sitting): RickA, WM O'Borneo's back, Wreford Miles, Timpo's back, Simon1725, Dr JM - centre stage: MuddyMatt, Rondini, Ashbabble (completely hidden, sorry, I'm sure you made an effort to look 'nice'...), Beer, Rob (Beer's mate), Short'n'Spikey, Robbie C and Loz


Not sure if all of us got enough sleep that night but anyway, everyone was up early and raring to go on Saturday morning.

Mike F - bet you didn't know that KTM sells crocs, too!


Lukasz and Gosia had ridden over from Oxford in the morning


We pride ourselves in being open to all user groups: Timpolino, who wasn't riding with us but had come all the way from the Wirral just for the social (!), and Gaz and his better half Derrin, who were exploring the trails without the help of an engine this time


The remaining trail riders split into four groups - led by Possu, Beefiddler, Mike F and yours truly - and off we went.

I think the East Kennett Ridge Way was everybody's first lane of the day - here's Windy on his 990


Gosia, Lukasz and my trusty tail-end Bill, also known as the Oxford TRF's chairman


We then skirted the West Woods on what we affectionately call the 'Blue Bell Woods Lane', a must-ride every year when said flowers are in bloom.

I always go through Marlborough to show our visitors from further afield the beautiful historical market square, but this year it was shut due to other festivities, and so our next stop was at the gate of Grassy (in summer not so) Deceptive Lane - Gosia and Lukasz


Due to the almost complete absence of slippery mud, we made such good progress through the Poulton Downs, along the Ridgeway and Snap Farm, that I almost forgot to grant my group a break...

Mind you, Windy and newbies Gosia and Lukasz didn't look as if they needed a breather at all...


... and soon we were saddling up again to tackle the deep ruts that lay in the High Clear Plantation ahead


Gosia - trail goddess in the making


Only-second-time-out-on-the-lanes hero Lukasz


Windy (almost) effortlessly steering his big battleship and Bill sweeping up behind him


Through Aldbourne, down the scenic Hilldrop Lane into Ramsbury, on to Froxfield and into Jugg's Wood, one of my favourite places for a P-break... Why is everyone looking down?


On we went to Bagshot, a tiny bit on the A338 to pick up that steep and chalky little gem of a lane into Shalbourne, until we finally reached the Wayfarer's Walk near Rivar Hill.

Beautiful views...


... and the famous trail heavily overgrown, with foot-deep ruts, the rideable line almost impossible to spot under all that vegetation - what more could we ask for?


Well, I'm sure Windy would have asked for a smaller bike but as no one was willing to swap, he kept quiet...


Gosia emerging from the undergrowth


Lukasz wrestling his new TT600R - or was the bike wrestling him?


... and Bill floating along on his CRF


That's what I like about Windy: regardless of any hardship the lanes, the weather or his own bike throw at him, he's always cheerful, sporting a huge smile - and the typical trail-moustache...


We could probably earn quite a bit of money as lawn mowers if we fitted scythe blades to our bikes. Maybe the Ramblers Association would be interested in some sort of a deal...


Well deserved brake for tail-end Bill


... and for once Gosia looked taller than her husband...


The Wayfarer's Walk is a funny lane in terms of Rights of Way status - mostly it's a byway...


... but midway through it changes into a Bridleway


Then it's a criminal offence if you ride it with more than two wheels...


... and between Three Legged Cross and the A34 it becomes a fully-blown byway open to all traffic again - seems all a bit random to me...

Anyway, bang on time, at a quarter to one, we arrived at our planned lunch stop in Hurstbourne Tarrant


Well, yes, it could have been a bit more idyllic - maybe next time we just fill up, buy some provisions and head for a picnic in the woods


Bill enjoying a little rest...


... before fiddling with his front suspension (last month it was the rear shock that collapsed - maybe his bike doesn't like Wiltshire after all... )


Bikes and riders replenished, we were looking forward to the next leg of our journey -


So far we had been flying along - but would we be able (for the first time ever) to complete the whole route as planned on paper?

Don't miss the next episode...
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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looks like good times!

will the weather still be like this in a month?

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Old 07-27-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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looks like good times!

will the weather still be like this in a month?

Of course, Jo, this is England after all...
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:42 AM   #4
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superb weekend - and great tracks - good to catch up with a load of great mates - inc Loz, Timpo, Possu, SERob, Len, Rick and other...had a great laugh both nights and great trails in the day.

big thanks to Possu for organising it

looking forward to the next one already.....

one video:



and a few pics:












Stonehenge



















great pub - superb tits on the barmaid as well






bluebell wood





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Old 07-27-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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highlight of the weekend was watching the owner of this leave the pub with the sidecar in the air through both the left and right hand bends



fookin classic
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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Hi, love looking at your ride outs, the trails in the area look great!
We met at Dazzer's Bunkhouse weekend in the Dales a short while before he and Leigh bounced off on their RTW tour :)
I'm hoping to get my trail bike down to the Cotswolds and hopefully further south late August so I may pinch a few trail ideas from you nearer the date
Currently working on a van idea as the motolug trailer isn't ideal....
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:07 PM   #7
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Nice pix, Nick - thanks for posting. The video could be a tad longer...


Elle, you have a PM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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I'd like to thank everyone for attending, especially those who led the groups (Ela, Mike F & Patrick) and those who tailended the groups.

Unfortunately I suffered camera failure (partial operator error ) and have no pics or video's from the weekend. I can say that I really enjoyed putting the weekend together but can't take credit for the excellent weather.

My group consisted of Robbie C, Barb, Len, Mike (WM O'Borneo) and Muddymatt who acted as tailender now that Clive, the previous holder of that position, has retired from trailriding due to infirmity bought on by old age.

Saturday's route covered about 130 miles, was mainly to the east of the A346 and took us as far north as West Hagbourne, just south of Didcot in a loop that took us west again towards Wantage and down to Lambourn. There were a few falls, including one for me but without any injuries.

Sunday saw us west of the A346, riding around the Ridgeway, Avebury, Heddington Steps and then a ride back around Snap Farm, Ramsbury and back to base via Marlborough. The only real fall of the day was Mike on his XR400 who hit a rock and looked to have flown about 20ft or so. He got away with it, only hurting his thumb in the process although it could have been much worse.

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was Robbie C's admission that he'd recently spent two hours beneath the Bongo although we were under the impression that this was his new pet name for Barb, who was renamed Bongo Barb for the weekend.

I'd like to thank Dave Coupland, landlord of the Golden Swan, his wife Pat and son Calum for looking after us so well, as they seem to do every year. The Golden Swan is in the heart of the Wiltshire trail network and makes an excellent base for a weekend of riding.

Finally thanks to everyone for their donation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. all in, we raised a total of 264.00 which I'll be sending them by cheque very soon. I'll be requesting confirmation of receipt which I'll post up here.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #9
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highlight of the weekend was watching the owner of this leave the pub with the sidecar in the air through both the left and right hand bends



fookin classic
Mmm... I have to say that I preferred his previous girlfriend...
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Mmm... I have to say that I preferred his previous girlfriend...
wish i'd caught his exit on video...next year...
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:45 AM   #11
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Excellent, don't you just love it when all that tall grass is hiding the ruts
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:34 AM   #12
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A great weekend all round. Cheers Steve & Ela.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:51 AM   #13
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Excellent, don't you just love it when all that tall grass is hiding the ruts
Absolutely, Bob, it caught me out on the second day on the aptly named 'Lawn Mower Lane'...

I come to that later, but now on with the -


Saturday Afternoon Report

After Tarrant Hurstbourne we carried on the pick up a little gem in Swampton, a lane that is clearly sign-posted as 'Bridleway' on one end, 'Right of Way' on the other and appears on the OS map as Byway - not one of Hampshire County Council's finest hours...

Anyway, it is a nice trail with grass, woods, protruding branches and a bit of mud - good fun. We then joined the Unclassified County Road through Stubb's Copse in Wadwick and headed for the A34 via Woodcott, Dunley and Litchfield to pick up the Wayfarer's Walk from the lay-by.

And here I'd like to apologise to all readers in general for not taking a photo of the entrance for future reference - but especially to avid aeronaut Lukasz for not stopping at the Geoffrey de Havilland memorial a hundred yards into the lane, which commemorates the flight pioneer's very short first flight in his very first aircraft which had taken him two years to build before he crashed it roughly here between Beacon Hill and Seven Barrows back in 1910...


Well, I thought the group had stopped anyway despite me skipping the landmark, but it turned out that someone had just needed a little after-lunch siesta...

Was it Gosia?


Or Windy?


Couldn't be Lukasz, could it?


And Bill looked innocent, too...


They wouldn't tell - and so we carried on to the gate...


... which leads on to the beautiful meadow section


Here Bill offered to swap CRFs and this was such a revelation to me - it was a completely different bike!


It turned out that the previous owner of my steed had replaced all gaskets with home-carved grommets to lower the compression - presumably to ride trials down in Devon, where the bike was from - which explains a lot: the lack of umph, the eternity it takes to get up to speed, the rough running, the loud engine noise, the oil leaks, the white smoke when closing the throttle, etc, etc. Lucky is who has a personal mechanic at home who makes a top-end engine rebuild sound like a piece of cake...

Due to the lack of slippyness we were flying along the next sections of the Wayfarer's: the Rabbit Warren, across the A343, the Ox Drove, circumnavigating the Bridleway bit again on tarmac, but then I had some new lanes on the menu: a lovely stony descent from Combe Hill into the village of Combe. I think it was one of Windy's favourites of the day...

Just imagine the combination of a huge lardy 990, a long first gear, not much of an engine brake, a steep slope, potato-sized rocks, a family with small kids coming up the other way - and you get an idea what Phil had to put up with... But he made it down to the bottom unscathed!


Wonder if he's still smiling...?


Cheer up, Windy, we are all grateful for a breather!


Through Combe, Church Lane and finally on to the narrow and heavily overgrown Heath Lane...


... until we picked up the Wayfarer's Walk again near Buttermere. We rode a short stretch of our morning route in the opposite direction and then continued west over the Rivar Downs


Unbelievable - the grass was even higher than last month!


Spot the trail riders!


What did I say? Stay in the middle rut - the two outer ones are just too much hard work...


Finally we all made it to the end of the famous trail - everyone seemingly pleased that the ordeal was over...


... but, alas, little did they know that the next byway on the route was 'Snotty Lane'...

Would we actually complete the whole loop that day? Without major incidents? With enough time for an ice cream?

More in the next episode...
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #14
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Great stuff as Always Ela!

.. and yes I was still smiling, though it might just have been the relief of not mowing down a couple of small children - did I mention I hate going downhill?

Thanks to you and Steve for another great weekend - Great to catch up with everyone, see you all again soon I hope!

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Old 08-01-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Well then, 'Snotty Lane' branches off a narrow road in an acute angle, starts with a huge puddle and continues uphill with exceptionally deep and slippery ruts. And until someone cuts a line in the centre I would recommend: stick to the left!

After riding mostly off-camber through mud, stones and rampant vegetation you may (or may not - I remember one year when not everyone conquered the trail and we had to turn back...) emerge on the relatively flat top of Botley Hill


But as you can see, this byway is absolutely suitable for big trailies...


... although it's certainly more enjoyable on a little bike...


Isn't that right, Bill?


Windy couldn't agree more - would anyone be willing to swap bikes for a couple of lanes?


Mmm, not really...


The trail then continues through the woods: narrow, twisty, slippery and quite dark - until it suddenly spits you out on the tarmac between Oxenwood and Tidcombe.


Again, if you are lucky that is...






At that point, nothing could unsettle Windy anymore...


Right then, what's next?


Yeah, you have probably guessed already - after the fast and easy White Lane to Herridge Stud Farm it was, of course, on to the notorious Brick Lane...


Stay in the middle and don't look into the abyss on both sides - easier said than done, especially when it's wet...


Fortunately, on this occasion it wasn't and we were almost flying over the bricks once used to grade the byway...


Bill decided to take the chicken route along the field - but considering that his front suspension had gone earlier, I think he can be forgiven...


Can we go now?


On to East Grafton, and as we had made such good progress, there was enough time for a break at Burbage Services for fuel, coffee, ice cream and some lazing on the lawn...


Sooo, with (technically) only three and a half lanes to go, we should be able to complete the route, shouldn't we? If nothing unforeseen happened...

Don't miss the next episode!
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