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Lost in the Cotswolds
It didn't rain ! It was a bit chilly on the first couple of days but then the sun came out and we all got a glimpse of the glorious Cotswolds at their very best.
Our first ride out was to Great Barrington, where we enjoyed a rather expensive cup of coffee at the Fox. The pub is on the banks of the Windrush. Chris Webber's Bantam was giving a nightmare ride so we shot back to the hotel whilst the rest of the party moved on to Stow on the Wold for lunch. Chris and I got the Famous James Comet out of the van. I rode the Comet and he rode my 197cc James Trials bike for the rest of the day. We headed directly for Stow and rejoined the group. The afternoon run descended into Winchcombe and then up via Belas Knap and back to the hotel - a days ride of just over 80 miles.
The second day took us to Burford for coffee and on to Woodstock for lunch. Burford was teeming with traffic but Woodstock was unexpectedly quiet. Because both our coffee and lunch stops were quite lengthy, we cut the course in the afternoon to get us back to the hotel in good time. We rode to Witney and then, after Burford, we took smaller lanes to Farmington, Northleach and Compton Abdale. Chris Webber took advantage of the offer to ride Hugh Mackenzie's Triumph Tiger 90, which gives a rather smoother ride than the trials James. The Tiger is seen below with Hugh's Trident at Compton Abdale.
The final day saw blazing sunshine at last and we enjoyed a ride, via Cowley and Bisley, to Tetbury for coffee. We lost Dave Gunnell along the way when the clutch mechanism on his Royal Enfield gave up the ghost. Duncan Moss gave Dave a ride back to the hotel and we rescued the bike at the end of the day.
Whilst in Tetbury we took a tour of the remarkable parish church, which has a light and lofty interior. The vaulting is unusual in that it is supported by unusually slender columns. The 30 foot columns are, in fact, Norwegian Oak and can be of no more than about 10 inches diameter. The entire nave is filled with oak box pews.
From Tetbury we crossed the rather flat region by the Cotswold Water Park to Bampton and Aston, where we took a light lunch at the Aston Pottery. Good sandwiches and a good pot of tea.
The afternoon run took us back towards the hillier country via Quenington, Barnsley and a glorious road from Chedworth to Compton Abdale, where we stopped for a photo opportunity. Dave Blanchard's throttle cable broke near Ready Token but he had a spare. He had to remove the carb to get the thing through but soon rejoined us as we sat in the sun at Compton.
Our venue for the weekend was the Frogmill Hotel at Andoversford. There were a few niggling problems but we were well looked after by the staff and were very impressed by the quality of the meals. They serve a good breakfast and we were offered a choice of three starters, three main courses and three desserts each evening. Good variety and excellent quality. The hotel has teamed up with renowned chef Marco Pierre White and his influence is gradually being exercised on the menu.
On the day of departure most participants made their way home after breakfast but Chris and I went for a short ride to Cirencester for a coffee before returning to load the van and make our departure. The James Trials bike was playing up, which was rather irritating. I think it is just a small problem with the points but it will need a little investigation before we make for Luxembourg next week.
Dave and Pam Bradley - BSA B40 /
101 card game update - Modesty forbids me from mentioning who scored another handsome victory over Hugh at cards. We now look forward to rejoining battle at the Blue Ball Inn on the Lost on Exmoor tour. Come and join us !