After the success of ABR Bunkhouse meets in Mid and North Wales, Stewie decided to organise a meet ‘down south’, Mike Beddows recounts the eventful weekend.
After hosting the last two bunkhouse meets in Wales Stewie organised one further south so us ‘Northern folk’ could sample the lanes in his neck of the woods.
He chose ‘The Mulberry’ bunkhouse in Farnham, Surrey as our base.
A post went up on the ABR forum and within no time bunks started to fill up, and the ABRs ranged from locals to people as far away as ‘up north’ in Ormskirk, Sheffield and other northern locations.
On Friday 21st November I set off for my journey to Farnham, stopping briefly en-route with Timcat to mark some trails for a future Green Lane article.
By the time we were leaving Stratford, it was already dark and the rain hadn’t stopped since leaving mine some 120 miles previous.
It was a horrendous journey down to Farnham along the cold, wet, dark motorways.
I was glad when we eventually arrived, seven hours after setting off.
It was great to see plenty of familiar faces and a lot of new (to us) ‘Southerners’ when we arrived. As per normal on these meets far too much was drunk during the evening and the early hours soon materialised.
Trying to get ready the next morning was a challenge for some, especially Felco and Stu who were adamant they were not riding but a quick reminder that they had endured 200-mile journeys to get there and a mere hangover should not prevent fun on the trails, changed their minds.
Stewie had organised a few members of the Surrey TRF to lead rides and I’d like to thank them on everyone’s behalf.
It is really good to see complete strangers (at the time) offering up their time freely to lead groups round.
Our leader, the Surrey TRF Rights of Way officer, Steve, was a great ride leader and knew the local lanes like the back of his hand.
The other ride leaders from the TRF were Farnham Flyer, Big Yellow Tractor and Stewie. A great day was had in our Big Bike Intermediate group.
Ry suffered a puncture that was quickly sorted but ACP hit a rock that snapped his chain.
After trying a repair that failed a quick tow to a café meant his weekend ended abruptly on the back of an AA truck.
We all met back at the Bunkhouse later and the other groups all had stories about how good their days were.
The beer flowed all evening and the banter was great as per normal.
The most ‘daring’ (insane) award has to go to the ABR (no names!) who arranged to meet a blind date ‘fresh from the internet’.
I’ve got to admit she seemed stunned as she sat down with a group of bikers.
Probably not the date she was promised.
Thanks to Stewie for organising, the TRF for leading the ride outs and to all that attended to make it a fantastic weekend.
Well worth my 550-mile round trip to get there. Keep checking the ABR forum as these kinds of events are becoming more regular and are very popular. All are welcome and all bikes are catered for.
Do you want to get involved in an ABR ride out or meet? Head on over to the ABR forum (www.adventurebikerider.com/forum) where members organise various events around the country. There’s usually something on every month and it’s a great chance to meet like-minded folk and have a good time!