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Mystery Ride-out - 20 February 2011


Version 1:
First main ride-out of the year and what a great one! Weather could have been warmer but at least the rain stayed away. 11 bikes with a total of 14 people so a good turn-up. Worzel gave us the map ref for our start point only there seemed to be 2 start points! Worzel (Pan) with Mike & Bernadette (Pan) were at one place, the rest were elsewhere. After a quick 'phone call, we were all re-united and ready for the off. Taz & Belinda (Blackbird) took the lead for the first part of the ride-out and off we went through to Arborfield Garrison, along Nine Mile Ride, through Crowthorne to The Lookout for our first brew. Apparently, even though he knows the area (cos he lives here), Taz still took a wrong turn! There was, however, a bit of a heart-stopping moment when someone, mentioning no names (ALAN) misplaced his keys. Apparently its not the first time he has done this but luckily for him one of his 'buddies' found them but had forgotten to hand them to him until were we about to leave. Refreshed it was off to M3 via Bagshot, to Winchester, this time with Geoff (Pan) taking the lead. A blast down the motorway certainly clears any cobwebs. At J9 Winchester, we headed along the A31 towards the Mid Hants Railway and the Watercress Line at Ropley. What a marvellous station, set back in time. Its well worth a visit and many of us have said we will be going back - there is lots to do there throughout the summer so take a look ( After a good look around and watching a glorious steam train arrive, it was time to head back. Geoff again led the way, along A31, onto the A339 and then onto the New Odiham Road. up through Hook and back to Shinfield to the 6 Bells for a bite to eat. A fantastic rideout and enjoyed by all. All being: Mia on her Shadow, Roger on his Blackbird, Colin on his Blade, Alan, along with Bryan & Colleen on CBF1000's, Gavin on his CBF600, Bob on his Diversion (traitor!).
Version 2: (only cos after I had written the above, I found out that Worzel had done a write-up too)
As this was the Mystery Ride Out, Worzel had decided for fun to give the starting point as a Map Reference instead to the members. Following a week of pretty wet weather, Sunday arrived with a fairly bright morning. Worzel arrived at the meeting point (what was the branches normal meeting point anyway) at 10.00am ready for the 10.30am MUFO.  About quarter past ten, still no one else, but then luckily Mr O'Driscoll arrived on his ST1300, but still no one else.  Worzel was then staring to panic and then he got a call from "The Guv" wanting to know where he was as they were at the meeting point and he wasn't! Mike confirmed to Worzel that the map reference given was definitely the BP Station as normal. The others thought it would be funny to all arrive together.
 So, after the members little joke, there was a total of 11 bikes and 14 people ready to set off on the Mystery Ride Out.  Bob was given the job of Tail End Charlie, as he had the cheek to turn up on his Yamahaha. Three sets of clues had been sent out to all members for the three sections of the ride out day, and Taz said he had worked out the first section, and would lead as the first stopping point was right near his house.  So off they all set, for what should have been a very simple route down past the REME Museum at Arborfield than along the totally straight Nine Mile Ride road to the Lookout Discovery Centre at Bracknell.  Taz decided that it would be best to turn the straight Nine Mile Ride road into the 16 Mile detour as he went off course then luckily found his way back on course. Well out of the window went the current record of the Rabble not getting lost on ride outs.
 After Taz decided that it was best to park in the Swimming Pool car park by going round it in the opposite direction to all of the road markings, causing looks of sheer horror to the car drivers coming the correct way, the troops crossed over the road via the pedestrian crossing to go to the Discovery Centre to get their 1st cuppa.  Worzel decided that it would be good fun to walk into a concrete bollard (well what a stupid place to put it, right in the middle of a path)  Mia passed comment on how us menacing bikers had just pressed the button and was "waiting" for the Green Man.......
 At the cafe, the banter between all carried on as it normally does, then Colin decided that the legs of Mia's leather trousers were dirty, so would wash them down by throwing his coffee all over them.
 So it was time for the 2nd stage, and this time Geoff was given the leaders bib - Taz had been sacked by majority vote - and it was off to the M3 for a ride to Winchester, then onto the A31 to Ropely Station on the Mid Hants Railway.  After a nice run down the M3 and the A31, they entered Ropely, with Geoff merrily sailing straight past the turning to the Station, with Worzel having to chase past everyone else to stop him.  There's the 2nd boob in one day!  All turned round in the next layby, and Worzel lead them to the Station car park.
 Here, everyone had a good look around the station building and the locomotive yard that was open to wander around.  Bob got really excited as he found Thomas, having his picture taken against it.  Most commented that there was a very good likeness between the faces, but then Mia pointed out that it was all due to them both being dirty.... Alan snuck into the Signal Box, pretending to the Signal Man that he was really interested, but we all knew that he was just looking for cake or anything to do with food that he could eat.... Bryan commented on how he remembered the old Black & White small TV in the cabinet form when he was a kid, but everyone else had only seen them in Museums.... Roger took a couple of photos, walking backwards to get everything in, when he was shown the Zoom & Wide button - well, they're not the same now like the old Box Brownies are they?
 After the steam loco had arrived and departed, everyone all mounted up for the 3rd and final part of the ride out, again led by Geoff back home via Alton and Odiham to Three Mile Cross and the Six Bells Hungry Horse, where everyone all got settled and had a good meal, again having good banter with each other.  A good finish to what had been, as always with the Reading Rabble, a really great day out





We're here - but where's Worzel?

First stop - The Lookout

Harry & the Helmets
















Station Masters sitting room


Ropley Station


Station Masters office









There he is !

Steam train a'coming

Harry with the Station Master

Final stop - food!

Nuff said !!




































Please contact Bryan Moody if you would like more information about the Branch
either e-mail or ring 07813 849782


Meets at the The Swan , Basingstoke Road, Three Mile Cross, Reading RG7 1AT
on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 7.30pm
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