ABCs Ride

13th June

I was asked at the Road Captains’ planning meeting last December to put this on again this year, as it had been a popular day out in 2009. May and June have been busy months for both C&F and Meridian chapters, so not only was this likely to be a good day out, it gave people a chance to meet up and swap stories post HOGS Legs and St Tropez. We also had a good smattering of newer members earning their rider patches.

I had previously obtained from Harley-Davidson Europe the total list of prize-winners from 2009; there are at least four C&F members featured, with our own Safety Officer Scottie on 61 points leading the way. I brought up equal last place with a ‘mere’ 26, my excuse being that the winter closed in before I was able to reach the target I had set myself.

For those who are unfamiliar with the ABCs of Touring, it is a benefit of HOG membership and encourages you to get out on your bike and explore, taking pictures of your bike alongside the place-name signs you find on your travels. You must include a copy of the current year’s HOG Tales in the picture for it to count; place-names (which must be ‘official’) can include towns, villages, counties, countries and H-D premises. Full rules are on the HOG web-site, and the competition runs from 1st January to 31st December each year.

Team 3 arriving

We met at 9.15 for breakfast and coffee. A fuller than normal briefing followed, and then people sorted themselves into groups and set off. The meeting point was The Mill at Elstead in Surrey, with a target arrival time of exactly three hours after departure from 611 Kings Road. The intervening three hours was to allow for them to take as many pictures as they could reasonably manage of their group members standing in front of appropriate road signs. Since we had no ride to marshal, our job was then to have an enjoyable back-roads jaunt to the pub to be there in time to meet the ‘contenders’.

Nobody got lost, broke down or fell off, so we all met again as planned, and plied ourselves with suitable refreshments while Jane and Les adjudicated over the photos - everyone arrived within 10 minutes of their target time so there were no time penalties.

The participants had self-selected themselves into five groups, there were prizes for the first three. The winning group was also the largest, but there were lots of new faces here and most had pillions:

Banter under the trees

‘Team 5’ were the winners with 19 points; Gavin Caddick, Ed Durrant, Oliver Achkar, Joanna Lopion, Natasha Kypriotis, Marius Bekker, Mark Korf, Yanni Argyor, Halina Seligoroba, Jonathan Gooch, Jo Ann Doyle, and Mark Sandiforth

In second place were veterans of last year, Team 2 with 18 points; Mike Newstead, Nicky Newstead, Terry Ferguson, Manuela de Castro, Mark Corbidge, Chris Smith and Ruth Smith.

Finally, in third place with 16 points were Team 1, the smallest, with Nigel Gaskin and Christina Oxley.

You can now build on these first photos and assemble a proper entry for the ABCs competition, who knows this year even more C&F members will be winning prizes.

Thanks to everyone who turned out and made it a great day, but particularly to Les Channing and Nick Deal who helped with the organisation, chief photo judge Jane Dean, and John Warr for opening the shop for breakfast and donating the prizes.

Michael Howers - C&F Road Captain