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Horham Bygones Run - 11th June 2006

Andrew Pattle

I suppose I ought to take some of the blame - I cancelled this year's East Anglian Run.  That makes it over a year since most of the riders in Suffolk Section had to follow a route sheet.  You can guess what happened...

On Saturday the Horham Bygones rally is the usual sort of 'gathering in a field' event.  But the Sunday is different - that's the day of the road runs.  A procession of tractors makes its way through the Suffolk lanes, and so does an NACC run.  This is the second year that Carl has organised an NACC Horham Bygones Run and, with 14 riders signed on, this year's run was more than twice as big as last year's.

NSU Quickly at Horham
Before the start: an NSU Quickly
waits at Horham Viliage Hall

On the map, the route is roughly sausage-shaped, so my plan was to take a short-cut across one end to get ahead of the pack, find a pretty spot, stop and take a load of photos as they all came roaring past.  Well, things started off according to plan - up until the "all came roaring past" bit.  As I waited by Kenton church, camera at the ready, I heard the unmistakable sound of approaching mopeds.  Four machines shot past, with Mark calling out "We've lost the rest!"

At Kenton Church
"We've lost the rest!"

Oh well, pack up the camera, start the James, and set off in pursuit.

There were more machines waiting at the half-way stop: the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum - they may have got lost, but not lost enough to miss out on a cup of tea.  Apart from two: Paul and Lawrence hadn't made it to the museum but they had found their way back to the start.  So, what went wrong?  How can over two-thirds of the field go the wrong way?  I would be treated to a practical demonstration on the return leg.

We left the museum with everyone following Carl - he planned the route, so he'll know the way.  But trailing round the countryside in convoy only works if you stay in convoy.  And the other thing about convoys is that minor variations in the speed of the leading machine become frantic acceleration and braking back at the tail end of the line.  They stuck with it for four or five miles before they cracked!  A group pulled out and accelerated past Carl - I followed.  The next junction was a T-junction - it's difficult to miss those.  The breakaway pack had to decide to turn one way or the other - and they chose correctly.  The next junction was a side turning - they all sailed straight on instead of turning right.

So it was that I ended up being the first rider back at Horham having followed the proper route.  I had just enough time to get the camera out to photograph Carl leading in the rest of the riders who'd stayed on course - four of them.  All the rest turned up later, coming in from the opposite direction.

Never mind.  Everyone had a ride around some quiet and pretty Suffolk lanes on a splendid, fine day - whichever route they took.  Those taking part were: Laurie Coates - Honda PC50, Andrew Pattle - James Superlux, Paul Efreme - Norman Nippy, Alan Bloys - Mobylette, G Daw - Garelli, Dave Evans - Zündapp ZD40, Paul Daniels - Ariel 3, Paul Nelmes - Norman Carrier Motobyk, Bob Vince - Bown autocycle, Dave Jockel - NSU Quickly, David Whatling - Cyclemaster, Carl Harper - Mobylette, Mark Daniels - Bown 50 3K Special and Martin Gates - Raleigh.  Not taking part, but there to wave us off, were John and Pauline Holmes in their Wolseley 4/44 Police car.

It was at the very first East Anglian Run, over 24 years ago, that the late, great, Stan Greenway gave me some good advice - always keep track of the route card, even if you're following other riders.  Over the intervening years, I've come to recognise the wisdom of those words - I commend them to my fellow Suffolk Section members.

First published, August 2006

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