A few events over the past few weeks. Starting with a brilliant Horizons Unlimited get-together in Hampshire.
Small and perfectly formed, about eighteen of us there.
Wide open spaces. Some sun at last.
We were at a Hampshire golf club, but well away from the fairways and greens.
Steve arranged a green-lane ride out for the Saturday morning. Not a high demand for that, just Steve and me.
At the tea stop, a few road bikes stopped by as well.
A moment for a breather, a photo, and to check out the next bit.
Taking on water.
On the Saturday evening we took over the 19th Hole where the catering team laid on a magnificent curry.
Followed by two presentations by HU travellers.
The first was by Tim Cullis, the world's expert on travelling in Morocco on 2 wheels.
There's hardly anywhere in the country he's not been and he gave us a good look at it all.
He was followed by Belle and Nadine, who had recently returned from riding Honda C90s all the way to Mongolia and China.
A trip they started just a couple of months after riding similar bikes to The Gambia in W. Africa earlier this year.
First slide of their show.
I had a camera problem at this point - it developed a leak.
Letters were falling out of the pictures. Probably you can see.
Anyway, the sun shone even more strongly the next morning, for our journey home.
This balloon passed gently by but wasn't giving any lifts.
I found the missing letters from Belle and Nadine's opening slide!
Moving on, a couple of postings back I gave a prediction about the weather and getting my Aprilia MOT'ed.
Well, about a month ago, there was a dry day. A good while after Wimbledon, as predicted. So I set off for the MOT shop.
The tank was near empty after the bike's three-year lay-up, so I stopped to fill up.
Returning from the cash desk I spied my brand new petrol pouring straight back out of the tank and onto the hot exhaust pipe. Where half of it turned into a huge cloud of vapour and the rest formed a lake on the forecourt.
That was a bit surprising. Thoughts of an MOT suddenly disappeared, and a call to the breakdown people was the only thing I could think of.
A brilliant mechanic arrived and together we determined that inside the Aprilia petrol tank are two flexible tubes, one providing the air vent to the tank, the other the overflow from the filler cap area.
And the air vent pipe had broken inside the tank, allowing the fuel to drain straight out. Probably a side-effect of it lying idle for three years.
Luckily, the breakdown man was able to set up a temporary fix so I could continue to the test centre where, after all the drama, it passed.
So we're back on the road at last.
With a permanent repair done, I set off on the Aprilia to the estuary of the River Blackwater in Essex for a Pre-65 motocross meeting. Where my friend Geoff was racing.
Just beyond my bike, Geoff starts up his BSA scrambler for the next race.
And gets into the action. (No. 444)
And away round the course.
Lunch break. Geoff snaps the evidence that I can still reach handlebars and footrests at the same time.
The track gets pretty crowded in the afternoon races.
The following weekend the weather continued to hold for another HU camping weekend, in the Mendip Hills this time.
Early-ish Friday afternoon and the signing on area is filling nicely.
The Saturday ride-out was a bit crowded compared to Hampshire two weeks earlier - 14 of us.
Filling up before the off.
There was lots of hilly scenery in the Mendips
The steeper hills gave us a chance of a break as we re-grouped.
Here, an amazing 1950s Harley Davidson, no rear suspension, no mudguards and with road tyres, reaches the summit.
The lane was narrow as well. Lots of bikes came up with bits of hedge wrapped around handlebars.
The last lane was the steepest of the lot.
And all lumpy limestone - wet and slippery.
And narrow too. As soon as someone got into difficulties, the following riders found their way blocked until he was helped on his way. Except, that is, a couple of real experts who seemed to be able to ride right up the embankments, wall-of-death style, defying gravity, to skirt round the stuck rider.
It took a while for riders to gather at the top. Steve here arriving after helping those stuck further down.
Nearly all safely gathered in.
Sunday morning was rainy, misty and damp. A dull scene of packing up for home.
I'm using a new camera now, my last one suddenly stopped working a few months ago.
And having found those letters missing from the photo of the Hampshire weekend presentation, I thought I'd have a close look at that old broken camera.
Its the one I used all the way through Africa.
Well, once again I found some strange things.
Back in the postings about my time in Namibia are these two photos:
I wrote in those postings, maybe there's a letter or two missing.
And there they were, when I looked inside that old camera!
Who'd have thought it!
Posted by Ken Thomas at September 07, 2012 09:11 PM GMT
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