Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church
Monday 13th June 7:30
Special General Meeting - new RoSPA constitution
Dr. Paul Ewah from Specsavers
Night driving / glasses.
Monday 11th July 7:30
Lee Watson from Honda
Another look at Braking Distances
Shows - we need helpers for these events - please contact Mary
Strawberry Drive at Wanborough
Calne Bike Meet - the biggest bike meet in the UK
Hullavington Emergency Services Show
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker? Please contact Monica!
Welcome to the following who joined the Group recently
Nigel Boby (Bike)
Peter Curtis-Smith (Car)
Katherine Timberlake (Car)
|Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.
For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site at www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk.
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!
Please forward all contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
We're now on
No meeting report this month. There was no speaker due to a shortage of suitable offers. A small number attended and we had a short general discussion. Next month should be much livelier!
Saturday 7 May
Yay!!! At last the day of departure arrived. Up early, it was a bright sunny morning and we all arrived at Membury service station ready for an “official” start for our Run to the Alps adventure!
Errrrrr……then the Harley arrived waking up everything in a mile radius!
We were eight bikes. Leaving in groups of four we headed to Maidstone services via Bracknell, M3 and the M25, to meet up with the 4 ladies travelling in the car.
Mike, Mary, Barbara, Mark, Peter, Marilyn, Bob, Sian, Winston, Sue, Peter, Stephen and Julian.
The Run to the Alps team!
Then onto the Chunnel for our 12:20 crossing. We made it with plenty of time to spare to find a delay of approx. 30 minutes or so, but never mind.
Waiting to board our Chunnel train
The plan was to ride to Reims for our first night stop not using the autoroutes where possible. This worked well for most of the way, but after three hours or so in France, we decided that the last hour should be on a fast road. It was hot; it was thirsty work; it was a long way; approx. 370 miles in one day in France only! Total of around 580 miles!
Bikes parked outside the Reims Ibis hotel
Dinner in Reims was wonderful! Stopping at the first restaurant we came to, we sat outside enjoying the delights of a warm spring evening.
We were stopped on the way back to the hotel by as a local chap asking what does “whatever” mean. After explaining to him, we went on our merry way, literally, as were rather high on his “tobacco” !
Pre dining chatting - still sober!
Sunday 8 May
Up and out by 10am ish! The alleyway outside the hotel proved to be deceiving as it was nice and cool here. Leaving the safety of the alleyway, the sun beat down on us again as we headed for our second night’s stop in Lons Le Saunier.
Eight bikes riding along some fantastic roads with fields filled with rapeseed and masses of yellow flowers. Brilliant! Unless you suffer with hay-fever in which case your eyes would be closed so this profusion of colour was sorely missed.
Riding in chevron style, we quickly made progress – after all, we are supposed to be advanced riders aren’t we. The four ladies in the car had gone on via a different route and left us lads, and Sian bravely riding pillion, on our own.
We did go “wrong” a couple of times, but in doing so we saw some very pretty villages, one notably with a 50 arch viaduct.
Arriving in Lons Le Saunier after another hard slog, we had a couple of beers followed by a cuppa tea!
If the French make tea like this, we're leaving!
Monday 9 May
This is the day we plan to arrive in Chatel for our three night stay. We decided on two routes so promptly split into two groups. One group went through some twisty, bendy, windy roads via Geneva where I am reliably told they enjoyed lunch overlooking the lake. Whilst the others went for a simpler approach even though we also found some great twisting and bendy roads to get our knees down on!
Today, the weather had changed a little. It was cooler and overcast slightly. This made for better riding weather.
Whizzing along following the car, the team I was in, ended up in Natune where we stopped for a coffee. On the way though we sped through forests of pine; not only did we also have windy and bendy roads we had to avoid an aggressive truck too!
We took the main fast road, and auto-route around Geneva which was spectacular in itself. Set high up on a modern day viaduct we made really good progress and made best use of the 130kmh speed limit all the way to Thonon.
The road from Thonon followed the mountain roads to Chatel via Adondance. Unfortunately, the direct road was blocked by a landslide which meant we had to turn back and take a smaller mountain pass – oh well, never mind as this turned out to be a beautiful ride through some small villages, bringing us out into the middle of Abondance, only a few miles from Chatel.
Chappelle’d’Abondance (where I stayed back in 1992) we pootled along to Chatel.
Filling up at the Intermarche we took the lower road into town, and up a very zig-zaggy road – this was our first real encounter of mountain roads and a small taster of what was to come later in the week!
Heading through Chatel on the route de Vonnes, towards the Swiss town of Morgins, our home for the next three days could be seen on the left hand side overlooking a lake and fountain!
Snow Focus!! La Soneille!!
Our accommodation in Chatel
View from the balcony
Not bad eh!
The chalet is owned by a couple, Sue and "A.T." Stevenson and their two sons; plus Sidney the dog. Turns out Sue is a wonderful cook and our first night we had duck.
And the other surprise was that the bar was free!
(more to follow next month)
Re-tests and membership subscriptions
Don't forget that all members are welcome to have further training drives/rides with a Tutor before taking their three-yearly re-test. Please contact Monica if you would like to arrange this. Please can you also let Monica know when you take your re-test so that the Group's records can be kept up to date.
On a similar note, a reminder about membership subscriptions. Depending on your status, you will be liable for different fees:
Associate member (not taken an advanced test) - you pay a subscription to the Wiltshire Group only. When ready for test, you pay a test fee to RoADAR HQ, usually via our Group Treasurer.
Full member (passed an advanced test) - you pay a subscription to the RoADAR national organisation (currently £28 per annum).
Your first year's membership is included in your test fee. At the end of that year you will receive a reminder asking you to set up a Direct Debit for future years, to ensure that your retests will occur every three years.
If you elect to remain a member of Wiltshire Group, you also pay a subscription (currently £17 per annum) to us. This covers our monthly meetings, hire of premises, tutor training, this newsletter, etc.
Peter Genet now has a regular fortnightly slot on the station talking about road safety, advanced riding and driving. Join him every other Tuesday at 10:00 with repeats on Wednesday at 18:00.
Skillshare runs on the first Saturday of each month at the Divine Cafe in Cherhill. This year we are extending it to car drivers as well as bike riders. Drivers or riders can turn up and get a free assessment of their skills, with the opportunity to sign up for full membership if they want to take it further. If members get an opportunity to publicise this please ask Mark Sealey (skillshare(at)wiltshireroadar.co.uk) for more information.