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Aug Sep


Almost a year of planning by the Lions committee with a commitment in the Spring for this date from our branch members saw ten bikes and one trike on display as an attraction at the Lions Charity Summer Fete in Hoveton.
A sunny and bright morning found the majority of us meeting at Tesco, Blue Boar, in Norwich ready for the short trip to Hoveton playing field, passing through Wroxham on the way, arriving on site at 9:00am. Here we found Freda, Mark, and Michelle with their vehicles, bikes, and gazebo on our pitch ready to set up our display. As last year, we lined up in two widely-spaced rows which allowed the paying public a good, clear look at the various machines and the space to take good photos, many members taking the time before the fete commenced to get in a last minute polish of their pride and joy.

Once the fete was opened, we had a steady stream of people and children coming over to look at our line-up, with all of our group kindly taking the time to talk about their own machines and motorcycling, especially "back in the day" A few people expressed some interest in the HOC with one couple seeking us out with a view to join as members.
We also had the time to talk amongst ourselves, wander around the various stalls and attractions on site consuming a few donuts, coffee, and ice-creams on the way, Freda also kindly produced lovely tasting quiche slices which would have been rude to turn away!!
Quite a few Lions committee members complimented us on our bikes and trike, expressing their gratitude for the added bonus we gave to their charity event, stating that next year's date was the 2nd August and we were welcome to attend again.

I have a personal thank you to all our members who turned up with many interesting and differing marques and models of machines to keep the display interesting and different and who not only gladly gave up their time but also took the trouble to talk to everyone who asked about bikes and trikes throughout the day. 
Some members had travelled quite a distance to support the branch and I'm very grateful not only to you, but to everyone who supported this charity event - thank you. 
ACE CAFE RIDEOUT - Sunday 1st September, by Phil Barker.

 Five bikes from the branch with nine members met at Walkers Cafe, Barton Mills for a 9:30am departure to the famous Ace Cafe, London. 
Whilst waiting for the group to arrive, I got talking to the owner of a Hyabusa who was also heading for the Ace Cafe and suggested our group should stop off at the Silver Ball Cafe near Royston for breakfast. A great example of how friendly bikers are, so once we had all arrived, Sarah and myself, Andy and Denise, Tony and Penny, Roger and Freda, plus Mark rode off to the Silver Ball Cafe for the recommended breakfast, and it was packed. The car park was laden with every type, model, and make of motorcycle your heart could desire and a good time was spent looking and talking, the food in the cafe was a good price.
Off the the Ace Cafe and London traffic, the route was congested with the usual slow vehicles, poor driving, mountainous amounts of traffic lights and CCTV cameras everywhere waiting for you to trip up.
As we approached Wembley, the Ace Cafe to our right, loomed large and majestic, it looked as iconic as it did in all the photographs and films that I had seen before today. Riding into the car park, we saw a display of Japanese bikes, all from back in the day. A Honda 750 Super Sport made Andy's tongue fall out (but I can't remember what it was) and even a mint 50cc Yamaha from the 70's, a bike from my own childhood that I couldn't afford and my parents wouldn't buy me. On top of this were all the bikes that had brought their proud owners to the Ace Cafe, BMW's, Yamahas, old bikes, new bikes, and ever a beautiful, Goldwing 1800. 
Entering the cafe, for me the magic died, everything was overpriced, the decor was scruffy (I wasn't expecting the Ritz), cheesy chips instead of bacon sandwiches, even the merchandise seemed expensive.  On the road, adjacent to the car park, kids were popping wheelies, doing donuts, and generally being a pest, I'm not a purist but this was wrong in my mind for what many people regard as a shrine to motorcycling.
 Travel log over, it was a great ride down with firm friends and on the whole it as good "craic", people spoke to strangers, talked bikes and had a good time, I did.


Five bikes left Norfolk Sunday morning heading north to Llandudno and a few days of riding through and over the Welsh mountains. Eight hours later and after stops we arrived at the Premier Lodge, at Afron Conwy, for a few beers, bite to eat and eager for the ride tomorrow.


Monday, and with Mark leading we headed out for Portmeirion riding amazing roads and scenery, dropping down twisting 8% gradients with the rain falling, steep hills either side, a lake at the bottom of the road we rode through the villages Madbpike and Deepowning just as the clouds parted sending sunlight onto the slate and granite houses making them look chocolate box perfect. After a few hours stopping where the "Prisoner" was filmed all those years ago, tea and cake and a walk around the stunning gardens in the rain we were off to Aberystwythwith, more great roads for riding motorcycles. Aberystwythwith proved to be equally as wet with extra wind thrown in, so a quick coffee and off to the Anglesey Arms, Menai Bridge, for steak and ale pies, and a sticky toffee pudding before heading back to the hotel, a great days riding over.

Day two and with Andy leading it was mountains, hills and valleys on twisting, single track roads with the odd sheep thrown in just to make it a bit more challenging for the bikes and riders i.e. BMW 1200 GS, Honda Goldwing 1800, Suzuki V-Strom 650XT, Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT but again, the roads, scenery, and the whole area really the place to be. The group of us had earlier this year ridden through the Black Forest and for me, this was just as good, Mark and Andy had found the best rides possible. After a number of hours riding, this time in the dry, we were off the Conwy to find an Indian restaurant which we did but unfortunately it didn't have a licence so a curry without a lager, which was wierd. Wednesday and time for home but not before riding to the Ponderosa cafe for breakfast, at Horse Shoe Pass on the top of the moors and again superb roads. If you get the chance to visit Wales to ride your bike, grab the chance because you won't be disappointed.