Compass Challenge!

When Dick Thurley and I visited the Motorcycle Mechanics show at Stafford last week, I noticed Frank Westworth and Rowena Hoseason at the Real Classic stand and I went over. “Are we still in time to do the ‘Compass Challenge”, I asked?compass16020803

Ah – “Yes,  but you’ll need to do it before 5th November”, says Rowena – “as that’s the copy date for the last issue of the year?” I’ve been a subscriber to the Real Classic monthly magazine  ever since they started the venture and the duo were now celebrating their 150th issue! If you’ve never seen a copy I can recommend it – It’s the UK’s best Classic Bike mag with loads of really useful information and stories written in a warm and humourous style by people who know…

So what’s the Compass Challenge I hear you ask?

img_1458Every year, RealClassic magazine encourages its readers to drag a classic bike out of the shed and ride it.
Here’s what happens with their 2016 competition the Compass Challenge.:- Grab a motorcycle, find four places with North, South, East and West in their names, and go for a ride. You can ride on your own, with a friend, or drag your whole club or branch along. Then  take a photo or two and post them on the Compass Challenge Facebook page.
A selection of entertaining images appears in the monthly magazine and on their website and at the end of the year, prizes are awarded for the best efforts – these can be on the oldest bike, or by the oldest person, the furthest travelled, the silliest place name, and so on. The winners are chosen by the RealClassic editorial crew, who have been known to make strange decisions…

ufmc-northA particular problem was that the fine chaps of the local Midshires branch of the Royal Enfield Owner’s Club had pipped us to the post by choosing the same four compass point locations that were closest to us when they accomplished the challenge back in February. Well it must be possible to find some different ones – i thought? I had the idea to take along a UFMC Poster and include it in the photo’s – Well we could do with a bit of advertising?”

It was a bit brisk when Dick and I met outside the Folly – We’d decided to take our two Norton Commando’s as  they were our most usable Classics and I’d done a little preparation work by finding the four Compass points creating a route with Google Maps and then downloading it to my Garmin SatNav – Tech savvy or what? Little was I to know that this over reliance on the SatNav was to prove almost fatal…

ufmc-west2As the local REOC had chosen Northend as the northern most point – I thought – ‘let’s go over the county border to Northampton as our first compass point’. The A45 road took us the 20 miles down past Daventry and through the pretty villages of Flore and Weedon before taking us to the main Northampton Town Sign. At this point the SatNav started playing up but thankfully I remembered the route and despite the lack of direction finding, found our first signpost. Dick clutched our UFMC Poster and the picture was a good ‘un.

ufmc-eastWe had planned to ride next to West Haddon also in Northamptonshire  – but two things happened to make us revise our plans. Firstly I remembered that the REOC had also gone there in February and second, Mrs Garmin had had a brain seizure and was taking us back to the Folly! “Ah Well” I said – let’s go to ‘Weston under Weatherly’ instead. Weston is a lovely old village south of Leamingto Spa – it was a bit of a trek (27 Miles) but we made it in good time and just as we were about to take the picture, A tall chap wandered into the shot and clearly wanted to chat. “Is that a Mk 2a?”  he said, – pointing at my bike “Er it’s an earlier 750 – but Dick’s is a 2a?” I replied – “Ah yes – I’ve got one of those…” – Although the chap was pleasant enough we had a timetable to keep to but Dick came up with a great idea.”Would you be prepared to take our photo?” – It was agreed and the result is on the left. We chatted for 5 minutes more then rode the 4 miles over to Easthorpe on the Fosseway. “Can’t think why those REOC chaps didn’t think of this place?” I said to Dick – “No – perhaps they could see some other reason!?

ufmc-southOur East Compass point duly reached we sped back to Southam which unfortunately was also on the REOC’s February itinerary, but as it’s my home town and our lunch was already overdue we decided it would have to do – Excellent place Southam. Very good a flower arranging you know?

The Folly’s landlord, Mark Roden had arranged to have the a good fire roaring away when we reached the Folly and  with all the jumping on and off, Both Dick and I welcomed our pints of “Shagweaver” and the “Chilli Jacket” warmed us even more. We had swapped bikes on the way from Southam and Dick couldn’t believe the huge differences in riding the two machines. It was true his 850 was definitely faster but the 750 was smoother and we toasted Frank and Rowena’s Compass Challenge which had given us both a great opportunity for a lovely ride on our favourite bikes.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
16
Sat
12:00 pm Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Dec 16 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn | Napton on the Hill | United Kingdom
We’re Meeting at 12.00 this Saturday at: The Folly Inn Folly Lane Napton on the HGill Warwickshire CV47 8NZ
Dec
23
Sat
12:00 pm Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Dec 23 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn | Napton on the Hill | United Kingdom
We’re Meeting at 12.00 this Saturday at: The Folly Inn Folly Lane Napton on the HGill Warwickshire CV47 8NZ
Dec
30
Sat
12:00 pm Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn
Dec 30 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Club Meeting @ The Folly Inn | Napton on the Hill | United Kingdom
We’re Meeting at 12.00 this Saturday at: The Folly Inn Folly Lane Napton on the HGill Warwickshire CV47 8NZ