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Buzzing to Bickleigh

Chris & Linda Bowden

1st October 2000

The Devon Section's 2nd official run of the year set off from Roy & Theresa's in overcast conditions.  Riders to Bickleigh were low this year due to a clash of dates with other major events (the date is being reviewed for next year) but we were very pleased to see Sue & Steve Waite, who came all the way from Bristol to support us once again.

So we set off with Steve on his Mocyc, Tom on his Raleigh Wisp, Roy on his Power Pak and me on my Norman Autocycle, closely pursued by John Glanvill in his Transit and Reg Webb with his trailer as backup.  An enjoyable ride was had by all until, after a spurt with my Norman, I stopped about a mile from Bickleigh to regroup and it promptly cut out and refused to restart!  The rest of the pack sailed merrily by and left me with the back up boys.

The problem turned out to be a weak spark due to the coil breaking down when hot.  This left me with three choices: trailer, transit or try it!  Foolishly, I chose the third option and arrived at Bickleigh having pedalled the last mile with my own spark failing!  Phew...

A warm welcome was extended to the club by the owners of The Devon Railway Centre, Matthew, Adrian & Rae.  The run was part of the Centre's Heritage Day and we joined a fine display of classic cars and stationary engines, in addition to the interesting items already displayed at the centre.  Club members provided a brilliant NACC static display of around 12 autocycles and cyclemotors and approximately 15 veteran cycles, which drew a lot of interest.

After lunch we took a leisurely bike ride to Bickleigh Castle on a variety of bicycles ranging from 1911 to the early sixties.  The wives of the group who joined us now agree that the older 'sit up and beg' type bikes are in fact easier to ride than the modern multigeared mountain bikes!

John Glanvill is threatening to sue the owner of the bike with the oiled saddle, which has left him with a permanent stain on the seat of his new jeans (hope it wasn't one of mine).

As the lovely day drew to a close the rain, which had been threatening all day, arrived.  All the bikes started, including the Norman which by now had cooled down and, apart from being a bit soggy, the ride home was enjoyable but uneventful.

The day finished back at Roy & Theresa's for a buffet and banter.  Thanks to all the ladies for the spread.  Special thanks to all riding and non-riding members who put on the static display and John & Reg for their support as backup.

My personal thanks go to Mike & Sandra Rendall who donated the coil from their Atco lawnmower (this is the same as used in the JDL engine) which, together with the rebuilt condenser (costing twelve pounds from Independent Ignition Supplies of Bideford), has cured my recurring problem of coil failure when hot.

This turned out to be another successful day for the Devon Section.

First published, December 2000

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