Fourteen riders arrived for the small or old bike ride including new member Dave for his first club ride. A good mix of machines British, Italian, Japanese and Chinese ranging from 1930s to present day. Couple of bikes didn't want to play but eventually everyone got started and we had a pleasant thirty five minute ride to Goodfellas cafe at Chipping Ongar. The manager was pleased to see us and rearranged the furniture so we could all sit together. Not used to getting welcomed and a good service. After drink and cake Rex had other things to do and disappeared. Steve Hedges arrived on his Honda 1000cc Gold Wing qualifying as the biggest small bike.
Time for the main event, we set off on a 60 minute ride through the leafy lanes of South Essex with just one short part on a busy A128 and crossing the A13 via the overhead roundabout which included traffic lights. Regrouping we all set off for East Tilbury without losing anyone. Arriving at The Ship public house The lady in charge of the food came out to to the car park to greet us and let us know that she had reserved seating for us to sit together. Excellent service twice in one day life is good. There was a choice of two menus, full meals or pub grub. Another miracle everyone got what they ordered. New standards have been set for future rides. Having had two sunny rides through the dusty lanes God decided to clean the bikes and arranged a shower while we were eating ready for the sunny journey home. Cannot speak for anyone else but I had an enjoyable day. George
It's third time lucky for me as I have missed the previous two S/O rides. It was a lovely morning, John Beckinsale and myself arrived early to watch the others arrive. Small and old bikes started to turn up, the two strokes of Stuart and Julian arrived in a feint wiff of two stroke oil. Paul Weston and Sunbeam, the oldest bike today, arrived having already been repaired on route. Paul and Sunbeam were fresh from their last ' just eat ' delivery of the morning. Fifteen others arrived, five of them including myself were Daves. George of course was there as it was he who was to lead us. My 1954 Velocette started first kick - at home but now we were ready for the off it was having none of it. I had to resort to a bump start. Paul's Beam came out in sympathy and it was a little time before it was encouraged into life. All the Daves and ten others were now under way. Wonderful traffic free roads and I must add largely free of pot holes, took us through to Onger where a very welcoming cafe owner was unusually pleased to see us. He even photographed the bikes and filmed us leaving. Bump start the Velocette! Now I had it in mind the bad bit was to come, busy 'A' roads. Well there was a little but we were soon on unclassified lanes deep in the trees where a thought we might see bears and wolves.
We arrived at The Ship, East Tibury and I imagined we'd be deep in dock land but no it was a little village of sorts. The landlady was even more pleased to see us than the café owner, what's going on? Good food I must say but why do orders of ham egg'n chips always cause confusion. While we dined a lively shower wet the bikes. By the time we were ready to leave it was all dry outside. The landlady and some of the customers stood in the door way to wave us off. They seemed even more enthusiastic than when we arrived. I was about to bump start the Velocette when it started. The gathered crowd applauded my efforts and we were off, homeward bound.
Many thanks to George and his little Ducati and to back marker John and the many Daves who made the journey.