Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding

C-CAM was again present at the National Association of Blood Bikes Prescott Bike Festival. The Festival was blessed with warm sunny weather and had a good attendance. The C-CAM stand was well supported by members of the committee and other club members and had a good range of bikes which attracted much interest (these ranged from a Honda Monkey bike to a BMW 1600). Also on the stand was a new Fireblade (thanks to ThunderRoad) which caught the eye of many visitors. As usual for this event, many of our visitors were not local (from as far afield as Cornwall, North Wales and Humberside), those who were not local were still provided with IAM Roadsmart information and many taster ride leaflets were passed out. For those who were more local, many appreciated the idea of the 14 May skills day, and so hopefully we will see them at that event.

All set up and visitors starting onto site.
C-CAM set up in the early sunshine – the Blade proved to be a great attraction.
Well, you cannot say that C-CAM is not varied and inclusive!

Thought about a tour of Spain? In July, Gary & Irene caught the Plymouth to Santander Ferry for their 2 week holiday. This was their 6th trip to Spain and Portugal on the bike.

Spain and Portugal are great biking locations. If you want you can trek down through France, but we prefer to start our holiday on the ferry crossing direct to Northern Spain (Plymouth/Portsmouth to Santander). What awaits you is quiet well maintained roads, viaducts, bridges, tunnels, mountain passes, coastal routes, sunshine, value for money, good hotels and guest houses, interesting historic towns and villages, and if you want it...Benidorm, Alicante etc etc! Watch out this winter for a club night dedicated to touring in Europe. Some pics from our time away (click on each to see a bigger version):

       


     


       


Last Sunday Gary (Chairman), Sandy Read (a major ingredient to the result), Andy Downs, Andy Chilton, Roland, Graham, and last but not least Yvonne all carried out some sterling recruitment work on behalf of CCAM, by not only flying the flag and reminding the biking fraternity that we exist, but also by managing to convince 8 of the paying public to sign up for interest in the Advanced Rider program (one actually paid on the day).

Great exposure, great result. If any club member wishes to take part in the next recruitment drive, and would like to give it a go by way of giving something back to the club, then please feel free to advise any committee member of your future interest. Go on, you know you can!

Meanwhile, Andy Chilton may have another headache when it comes to placement of a likely 8 associates! Oh well, keep taking the tablets Andy, you do a cracking job.

     


A big thanks to the 'Magnificent Seven' who turned up on the morning to the make the day a success. All in all a great laugh, lovely scenery along the Long Mynde and Clee Hill, with some twisties thrown in for good measure. Oh and some steep climbs eh Ian!!!

150 miles or so of fun and merriment. Until the next time!




Following on from a trip to Normandy last year, a couple of C-CAM members took a short trip to France and Belgium (and Luxembourg) to see what historical sites remained from the First World War and to visit part of the Maginot line. The following is a short description of the trip - see also more photos in the gallery.

The first stop was the Menin Gate (in Ypres, not Menun just to confuse us) for the last post ceremony. We continued via Vimy and were surprised to find almost no information in that town (and no reference to Vimy Ridge or the use of tanks) and so continued southwards. We ended up a small town called Coucy le Chateau which was a small walled town at the top of a hill - and a great place to visit. What was a real shame was to realise that the place was almost intact at the start of the war, and then destroyed during it for no good reason (see before and after photos in the gallery).

We then made our way to Verdun via an older fort (and the sort of roads GKB would love), this was partly underground and very well preserved (more pictures in the gallery). Close to Verdun we found some trenches which were being recreated/restored - this really brought home the futility of the First World War. By standing in the trenches you could see just how limited the view out was - and also how close the lines were to each other. Also the maps showed just how little the lines moved over the years.

We stopped for two nights in Verdun from where we visited a local fort and then a Maginot line fort at Hackenburg - this included a tour of the underground fort (and about 1.5km of it's more than 10 km or railway). This also included operation of one of its 'pop-up' turrets.

Our next stop was some more trenches, clearly a popular spot for motorcyclists, albeit hot for a lot of walking in bike gear.

This was a classic example of mining - this is where tunnels were dug under the trenches and then filled with explosives - the effect on the ground can be clearly seen (amazing what 60 tons of explosive will do). This started life as a small village on the top of a smooth hill!

We then changed time zones and visited Bastogne, a famous location from the Battle of the Bulge (when asked to surrender by the Germans, the American commander simply replied 'NUTS').

A short stop here at the 101st Airborne museum before heading on to a hotel near Spa (the racetrack - not really a war site).

What was very evident was the difference in driving standards between France and Belgium; unlike many years ago, the French mainly stick to speed limits and are quite courteous and careful, the Belgians drive like the French did 20 years ago! I believe that this is mainly due to much more enforcement in France now. The following day we visited La Gleize and Stavelot, both important in the Battle of the Bulge (the museum at La Gleize is small but worth a visit, the motor museum at Stavelot less so).

And I thought of the K1300 as a german tank - dwarfed by a King Tiger.

We stopped at Spa circuit and watched short bit of car racing, however it was raining quite heavily and so we headed via Namur to Bruges, our final stop (not really planned, as we did not really have a plan for the trip).

Luckily parking at the hotel in the middle of Bruges was convenient! The road surface a bit less so (especially when wet).

Finally, I thought that this was impressive for a municipal motorcycle park. Then back to Calais, the train and home (just before the French fuel shortages and floods - a week later in Namur you needed a canoe!).


For those of you that attended our last club night, this product will come of no surprise and need no explaining. But for everyone else...

Bike Seal is a product that slows down and reduces the dramatic effects that can occur when any motorist gets a puncture, normally at the wrong place and the wrong time - damned frustrating. It's a product that has been, over many years and with a proven track record, used in all types of tyres - yes cars and trucks as well as motorcycles. It really can make a difference to your overall safety.

So impressive was this product, and its proven history and performance, that our very own Rich Sanders (member/Observer) bit the bullet hard and invested his own money (and time) by way of bulk purchasing the product and dispensing equipment in order to bring the product to the door step of all CCAM members, and of course friends. As a mechanic with his own business/workshop here in Cheltenham, Rich is ideally qualified to provide a 'RIDE IN RIDE OUT' service. This makes for a fuss free and relaxed way for anyone interested in protecting their tyres with this system.

Ride in, ride out, job done for only £40.00 (motorcycles only) - a special for CCAM members/friends (the DIY kit costs £50.00 alone). Ask Rich about other special prices for trucks or cars.

There you have it, an absolute BARGAIN, so support your club/Rich and his investment and give him a call. He can be contacted on 07836 629827.


8 of us kicked off from Longford with the morning dry, bright and looking good. Coursing a slightly 'off piste' route through the forest (well what did you expect), we eventually descended down to river level at Redbrook with everyone still intact and following...good eh!

Chasing the river on both sides, before too long Tintern railway station/tea shop and a hot cuppa/bacon butties bathed in sunshine on the lawn was soon the order of the day, even a bowl of root vegetable soup of the day was soupherb...eh...Sarah!

Moving on in good spirits, we all accepted the kind invitation of a 'good cup of tea' at Sarah's, where Tick Tock was enjoyed alongside an insight into the craft of a cobbler, before the final stretch home. All in all, a good ride out of some 100 miles in total, with great company and some fab scenery...until we do it again.

     


GKB leading you all astray...of course!


A great sadness and a sense of missed opportunity. Well at least it is for the rest of the membership that can only read about it! For 22 of us in attendance at last Sunday's (20th March) ride out into Wales, the official first ride into spring was undoubtedly, a great success in all aspects.

Departing from our meet point at Longford, some 35 minutes later we arrived at Kerne Bridge, the lovely home of Brian/Sally Charlton for not only a welcome hot cuppa, but also the usual warm welcome that both of them have become infamous for...they did not disappoint! Although Brian might have after he counted the bikes piling into his drive!!!

With hydration levels satisfied and Sally up front and Bri sweeping clean, we all set off through the Forest for what turned out to be a super ride out in the dry, taking in such popular routes as Usk and Skenfrith to name but a few, but not before a bap or two of the spoilt pig at the Steel Horse café.

A round trip of circa 130 miles and a return home for me about 3.30pm meant the end of yet another mini adventure...at least for this weekend, and I can honestly say...I'M GLAD I DIDN'T MISS IT!!!!!

Finally a BIG THANK YOU to both Bri/Sally for a fab route, and of course the most welcome respite, not forgetting the ultimate contribution of you the members that really make these ride outs what they have become...FANTASTIC.

Graham



Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding