Members’ rides have traditionally been dominated by large capacity bikes of 1000cc and above. Fair enough if you want to cover large distances in comfort: I’m lucky enough to be able to own and more importantly store more than one bike and have always enjoyed smaller machines, particularly in the urban area I live and the type of rural roads I like to ride.
The first LAM small – under 650cc – ride took place on Sunday 14th August and must be unique in the history of LAM rides in having neither a BMW, Ducati nor a Triumph present.
I led on my 1977 Morini Strada, pushing out a mighty 35BHP at 8000rpm and ensuring that we didn’t break the limit on any NSL roads, Peter Knight brought a touch of ‘Bike Shed’ glamour with his beautiful CCM Spitfire Scrambler, which attracted admiring glances wherever we went; Rich Jenkins represented the SuperSport brigade with his CBR600, clearly the fastest in the pack; Ian Hiscock came on his Enfield, Himalaya according to him a more enjoyable ride than his other bikes; Peter Gibbons, who tail ended had clocked up 95k on his 90’s CB500 – still going strong and Francis Mahon and Brian Eastwood rode other Japanese middleweights, a Vstrom and Diversion respectively.
It was already in the low 30's when we headed out from Westerham but we managed to get to Eridge Deer park café via a generally shady route and enjoyed our coffee break after around fifty minutes riding – there’s no point in killing yourself when it gets that hot. We then skirted Tunbridge Wells on the return leg and up through Leigh (pronounced LAY) and Sevenoaks. We couldn’t go through the ford at Eynesford due to the numbers of adults and kids in the water and ended the ride in the Pied Bull at Farningham for soft drinks and sandwiches.
Everyone enjoyed the two hours or so riding and we showed that you can enjoy a brisk progressive ride, within the limits of your machine without having to go all out for size and power.
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