Lunch at Pin Mill – The other half perspective By Pam Rodie
(Sunday 18th of May 2014)
It was my first ride out with the IAM Fen Rider’s group. Unexpected as we had booked a few days away to visit Hampton Court
and were due in London that day. (Ride out had been postponed from a previous weekend due to bad weather.)“Maybe we can fit
in both” said Ian “and get to London later in the day?”“It would be good to see some ladies.” They had said. “Can we encourage
some lady riders and pillions?” So a sunny morning meant that 4 of us joined the boys on a run to Pin Mill near Woodbridge in
Suffolk, 3 pillions and one rider. Ian and I were to join others at Thetford and I was pleased that Liz, Debbie and Tina were among
the group. Not that I mind being the only female in a group of men but the conversation does then tend to be very bike orientated.
We set off in two groups of 4 bikes and enjoyed a warm, interesting ride along mainly country roads. Ian can fill you in with the
route I tend to just enjoy the ride! We arrived at Pin Mill at about 11.40am, a place neither Ian nor I had visited before. A very
picturesque waterside spot with lots of different types of sailing craft moored. A lovely pub The Butt and Oyster provided us with
a very pleasant meal as we sat outside in the sunshine. By now it was very hot and many layers were shed, including winter inners in
trousers and jackets. Last ride out must have been in very different temperatures. It was so hot in fact that the next day I discovered
I had burnt my back even though I thought I was wearing a fairly good covering up T shirt. After a couple of hours of eating and
talking Soji rounded us up and we left the car park, much to the relief of car drivers who were desperately trying to find spaces.
Ian and I then left the main group and headed off to London and settled into our Premier Inn for two nights. Hampton
Court on the Monday was a great day out, courtesy of Tesco Clubcard Deals. I am fascinated by the Tudors but parts of it now
show how William and Mary and the Georges lived too. We even managed to get a refund of one night from Premier Inn as the air
con in our room was very inefficient. True to their pledge to give you a comfortable night’s sleep they suggested a refund before we
asked. We made our way slowly back on Tuesday going via Windsor and St Albans. Another great weather day for a bike ride.
Any other ladies out there thinking of coming on a Fen Rider’s day out?
Good to meet and chat with a lovely group of people.
Ian and Pam Rodie
John and Liz ( soon to be Mrs) Jenkins
Dave Parrish and Debbie
Euan and Tina Lucie-Smith
Key points about the return:
• back over the Orwell Bridge on the A14
• A12 to Woodbridge
• B1079 and then the B1077 to Eye, Diss and Old Buckenham
• B1111 and A1075 to Watton
• rejoining the B1077 to Swaffham then home!
• Dave/Debbie left us at Ipswich to make their own way back - Dave needing to recover from his 'relaxing' week in Spain from
which he returned on the Saturday night (i.e. the night before our day out)
• A Roe Deer was so taken with our bikes that it leaped out of a hedge for a closer look - close, but no Venison for tea!
A morning ride out in Lincolnshire Wolds by Ian Rodie
What a day, 7.30am the alarm goes off and would you believe it the sun is out. For me it is a short 20 minute hop from near Swaffham to
McDonald’s Car Park next to A17/A47 Pullover roundabout, Kings Lynn where I meet up with 8 others who can be said to be regular
attendees of the Fen Riders group plus one new face at the Shell filling station. After checking out the trusty steeds old and new, and a very
brief briefing it is off to Horncastle (Lincolnshire Wolds).
We set off in two groups of three and one of four riders so there was little chance of getting lost, this made it easier to focus on our riding
rather than directional skills. Mind you I think most had a sat nav, I set mine purely to record the route. Once the monotony of the A17
faded and we took the back road through Kirton , Coningsby joining the A153 we were into twisty roads country. Despite some seriously
long and dead straight roman roads and sharp bends which if not careful could have led you into temptation.
For me it was a chance to use the edge of the tyres for a change now road conditions have improved. Morning coffee was had at a very
pleasant garden Centre cafe just outside Horncastle (and a bacon sarny or two for some) as I needed the energy to watch the England
rugby game later on! It was a chance to meet and chat with friends and make new ones as well. It will be nice in future if perhaps a few
ladies could come along, riders or pillion are more than welcome to help us broaden our discussion and share that something that only a
great motorcycle ride can satisfy. (Read into that what you will)
Anyway after a very pleasant chin wag we left and made our way to Willingham Woods which is something of a mecca and magnet for
bikers and those wishing to explore their next bike purchase ( all without having to view them at a dealer ) and also decide if a noise or
emission system is really needed on modern bikes. By this time the sun was well and truly out and temperatures were into the early 20s
remarkable, but not surprising seeing as how our weather fluctuates from the extremes nowadays.
We took the road back to Horncastle and Boston stopping for fuel and I got home at 2.30pm ( a round trip of about 180 miles) just in
time to change and warm up for the rugby international. It might only be on TV but I have been known to dive across the lounge carpet
for a touch down!
Anyway, thanks to all who came along it was a great run and we look forward to the next ride-out with perhaps some newer faces as well.
Riders: John Jenkins , Mike Benstead, Mark Hendry, Ian Cain, Euan & Tina Lucie Smith, Dave Cusdin, Ian Rodie, Robert Curl and
Sunday 2nd March 2014 - By John Jenkins
The weather forecast look promising encouraging Soji to make an impromptu ‘shout out’ for a Sunday run – destination Finchingfield, route
to be decided.
Five riders rallied to the cause, encouraged by Soji’s kind offer to provide blankets for those of us who suffer from the cold! Meeting at the
usual venue under grey skies with the prospect of rain hanging in the air we couldn’t help but wonder whether the forecast had been a bit
optimistic. However, the only one way to improve your riding skills in the wet is to actually ride in the wet.
Ably led by Euan any concerns about the weather were short lived as conditions quickly improved, the grey sky receding in our rear view
mirrors as we journeyed towards Mundford along the A134 before taking the A1065 to Mildenhall. The A11 took us to Great Abington
for breakfast at “The World Famous Comfort Café”. Not too sure what makes it world famous, perhaps enough service personnel from
the local American Airbases have exported the message? Any ways, the food and drinks were hot and welcome.
After admiring various other visiting motorcycles that passed through during our stop, including a Norton Rotary, we headed off through
Saffron Walden and onto Finchingfield. As usual the decision where to eat was difficult, only being resolved by the ease with which we
could park the bikes. Despite it being the first weekend in March there was a ‘revolving door’ into our chosen café – as one group of
bikers left another walked in!
Suitably refreshed we headed north towards Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds where the group started to separate as riders broke away
to take the most direct route to their respective homes.
An excellent day and a big ‘thank you’ to Soji for making the call and to Euan for leading us so effectively – we didn’t get lost once!