The 21st NACC Coast-to-Coast Run 2019

The annual NACC Coast-to-Coast run is a real test of man and machine, instituted 21 years ago by the Yorkshire Section and until recently hosted by ex-NACC Chairman David Casper, who unfortunately has health issue which now prevent him from participating. This year Messrs. David Quainton and David Stevenson were in the hot seat, with a total of 27 participants ready to ride from Crimdon Dene, near Hartlepool on the east coast, to Whitehaven on the west coast, via Alston and across the Pennines. It’s a two-day ride with an overnight stop in Alston. Every bike, young and old, that carries its burden the 140 miles over the Pennines and back down to the sea again deserves praise. Remarkably, there were three cyclemotors entered in 2019

David Stevenson recounts: “David and I had discussed a very short welcome and briefing followed by a mass start. Shortly after ten o’clock riders gathered in front of the van with their riding kit on and engines running so that it very quickly BECAME IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE ONESELF HEARD. The people at the back were disappearing in a blue fog as 27 tiny engines warmed up. Then, just as the last bikes were inching their way onto the back of the grid, four riders at the front sped off and disappeared over the hill. There is something about the concept of starting the event ‘together’ that annually eludes participants in the NACC’s C2C. ”

89-year old Fred Richards with his home-built Kroxa/Claud Butler cyclemotor, assisted by his nephew John Minto. Fred has ridden the C2C several times in the past.

“Fred Richards has done the run, or part of the run, a number of times since 2008 when he mated his Russian-built Kroxa engine to a Claude Butler frame. The finished product is a handsome thing with a copper tank, two chains and a clutch but no gearbox, like a smaller autocycle. Fred’s nephew, John Minto, shared the riding and driving and they had their best crossing to date, done and dusted by 2.30pm on the Sunday. This in itself would be sufficient cause for congratulation so I should let it be known that during the event Fred confided to us that he had celebrated his 89th birthday this year.

Hardly less impressive was the crossing by Kevin Mawhinney from Carrick Fergus in Northern Ireland on his Trojan Mini Motor. Attached to a fairly modern bike frame, it performed extremely well climbing, with Kevin’s assistance, without problems and running on the flat in the mid-twenties. “

Kevin came all the way from Northern Ireland to ride his Mini-Motor on the C2C

“Ron Patterson on his Cyclemaster joined us for the Sunday morning ride from Alston to Bassenthwaite. His bike too performed faultlessly because the climb up to Hartside from Alston is one of the testing points for a cyclemotor on the run. The bike has been bored out to a capacity of 38cc to accommodate the piston from a leaf-blower and sounds very healthy which Ron modestly attributed to a rust hole which has appeared in the exhaust. There was no doubt though, watching it go, that its bark matched its bite.”

Ron Patterson’s Cyclemaster.
A typical Coast-to Coast start at Crimdon Dene. (photo David Stevenson 2013)

David Stevenson continues: “There is something about riding a small machine slowly through a big landscape that makes the rider feel they are part of the drama unwinding on either hand. That, the camaraderie of the frequent stops and the challenge of persuading a reluctant, elderly and feeble velocipede over the blue hills and far away have been the enduring appeal of the Coast to Coast. I must have followed the route 15 or so times and when I ride it now I am surrounded by the ghosts of those who have ridden it over the years. Happily most of these ‘ghosts’ are still with us, just simply elsewhere this particular mid-summer. These often nameless wraiths (for I am very bad at remembering names) cluster in gateways and lay-bys, farm entrances and by signs where I am reminded something or other happened: an indistinct group waiting for a lost friend, a lone figure grovelling by a stricken steed, a family group posing with a signpost, a dapper gentleman in tweeds and deer-stalker being passed spanners by a well-dressed female assistant as if he were a surgeon performing an operation. Of course, unfortunately there are those who will not come that way again.”

David Stevenson on his Mini Motor disappears into the mist in 2013 (photo David Stevenson)

The date for next year’s Coast-to-Coast has yet to be fixed, but traditionally it is held over the weekend nearest the the longest day, which in 2020 falls on Sunday 21st June. The 2020 C2C should therefore take place over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June. To be confirmed in the Events Calendar early in the new year.

Typical Cumbrian landscape on the Coast-to-Coast 2019. Hope to see you there next year?

Autocycle tyres 21 x 2.25 back in stock!

Tony Etheridge, loyal tyre supplier to NACC members for many years, has told us that “At long last, limited quantity of new 21″ x 2.25 autocycle tyres are back in stock, suitable for New Hudson, Excelsior Autobyk, Bown etc.” Please contact Tony at the above telephone no. or write to Tony at his postal address.

Rijwiel Hulpmotor Club Stramproy weekend, Holland

The British contingent making the long journey to Stramproy numbered six this year and were rewarded by fantastic weather, two great rides (45km on Saturday, 60km on Sunday) through the back-lanes and cycle-tracks of Belgium and Holland. A full report will be published in December’s Buzzing, but until then here are a few photos to give you a flavour of this marvellous annual event.

The grand departure of around 90 riders from Naud Anderkerk’s farmhouse.
The kind of rural scenery we rode through both days.
The moto-jumble offered many complete cyclemotor kits for sale, Berini M13, Mosquito, Mini-Motor, Victoria….
A pair of Wing Wheels, not to be confused with the BSA Winged Wheel.
Two more unusual cyclemotors, a Rex and a……..?
Several tandems took part, this is Victoria-powered, another had a central JLO engine.

If you’d like to see some handlebar footage – courtesy of Nick Devonport – of part of our ride, go to: Stramproy 2019 007.MP4

Wirral Wobblers Welsh Mountain Challenge

Twenty-seven riders turned out on Sunday 18th August for the Wobbler’s annual “let’s see if you can fall off in the ford” Welsh Mountain Challenge, a tough run of 40 miles up and down some of the most challenging lanes and tracks crossing high moorland terrain in North Wales. The weather was kind, we used the second-man drop-off system to hopefully prevent strays and nobody broke down.

CAPTAIN MANNERING SHOWS US THE ROUTE

We stopped at the Ponderosa café with our motley collection of rough old mopeds so we could taunt all the Harley and shiny Japanese super-bike riders assembled there.

SOME OF THE TRACKS OUR ROUTE TOOK US ON – STUNNING SCENERY!

We came down from the high moorlands, a long, long descent which needs good brakes, to our lunch stop at the Telford Inn, alongside the fabulous Froncysyllt aquaduct at Llangollen.

THE TEAM BELOW THE AQUADUCT

From the lunch stop it was back up into the hills again, via Ted’s infamous ford, navigated by most riders with a few slips and slides.

PAT KEELING MAKES IT THROUGH SAFELY
A FINAL GROUP PHOTO – IN THE FOREGROUND IS JOHN HOOK WITH HIS LATEST CREATION.

A great day out was had by all! Hopefully see you all there again in 2020.

NACC Leicestershire Section display at VMCC Founders Day, Stanford Hall, Sunday 21st July

A great display of 14 bikes was organised by the Leicestershire Section at the annual VMCC Founders Day, ranging from 1950s autocycles and cyclemotors to 1960s mopeds, all machines catered for by our club. Several new members were also signed up to the NACC, so an all-round great day! Many thanks to all those who helped with the stand and those who brought bikes to show.

NACC Leicestershire Enthusiasts bike display at Stanford Hall with members in attendance.

The 2019 NACC National Rally – a superb weekend

The annual NACC National Rally took place over the weekend of July 5th-7th at Wolverhampton Rugby Club, this being the tenth year that Liz & Bob and their team of helpers from the South Staffordshire Section have hosted the National at the rugby clubhouse. It was a superb weekend; on Saturday a total of 39 riders were out on two runs, the long one for mopeds at 49 miles and a shorter run for cyclemotors of 24 miles. The weather then played a joker as the heavens opened and everybody got a soaking.

…and the rain poured down! A great Saturday ride out nevertheless. (photo John Aston)

After an excellent dinner at the clubhouse on Saturday evening, Sunday thankfully dawned bright and sunny, with temperatures in the 20s. A shorter run of 18 miles for all types of bike to Halfpenny Green airfield was accomplished by most riders, though a few breakdowns had to be rescued. We got back to the rugby club in time for a bite of lunch before sadly departing our separate ways. The club has already been booked for next year, the weekend of Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th July 2020. Be there!

Riders assemble on a sunny Sunday morning, ready for the off.

All in all, another superb weekend’s riding, tinkering with bikes and chatting about bikes amongst friends, another great NACC National Rally – grateful thanks to S. Staffs for putting it all together. Read a full report in August’s issue of Buzzing.

A brief stop at Ludstone Hall to admire the house, built in 1606.

Roasting at Rando Cyclos

The 2019 edition of Rando Cyclos, held at Sars Poteries in north-eastern France just by the Belgian border, was the 28th year this fabulous rally has been held. Despite an unpromising few days (cold, damp) before the rally weekend it turned out to be a real scorcher on the day, with temperatures around 30 degrees. The British contingent, nearly all of whom are NACC members, turned out in force, with the official count being 25 in total. The run itself, following a substantial lunch at the Salle Communale, was 50kms long and meandered north to the outskirts of Maubeuge, bypassing Jeumont and then heading down the long Thure river valley to the old customs post at Hestrud, then turning east along more familiar routes back to Sars Poteries again.

The NACC team were well rewarded by the organisers: Josie Stanley won a prize for her bright yellow New Hudson autocycle, Nick Devonport for his Tuk-tuk, Mike Hele for his superb Dresco/Sachs tandem, Martin Preston for his dans son jus Phillips Powered Bicycle and John Burgess for his Francis Barnett Powercycle.

A full report will be in August’s Buzzing, but in the mean time a few photos here give a flavour of the long weekend.

Gathering in front of the band-stand in the centre of Sars-Poteries
Out on the route, waiting for the Solexes to catch up….!
Le Coin Anglais at the municipal campsite in nearby Felleries
The usual story; two guys fixing a bike and five others giving them the benefit of their superior knowledge…..
View of the assembled bikes earlier in the day, there were many more by lunchtime.

Wirral Wobblers win at the Manchester Bike Show

The Wirral Wobblers had a successful weekend at the Manchester Bike Show recently, winning three awards for their bikes on the stand.

“Best Unrestored Classic” was won by Martin Archer for his scruffy, warts-and-all but sweet running (It goes on many Wobblers and Buzz’ards runs) Excelsior Autobyk G2.

“Best Moped” was won by John Burgess for his superbly-restored Leopard Bobby 5 (seen above), of which only four are known to survive.

“Best Moped Runner-up” went to Dave Watson for his rare and superb HEC Powercycle, which has a Levis engine.

Dave Watson’s rare and unusual HEC Powercycle.
Martin Archer is very pleased with his Excelsior Autobyk, it goes well on the road too!

Vale of Glamorgan Section leader Barry Cooksley seriously injured in crash.

Barry Cooksley was unfortunately badly injured on April 14th when he crashed on his bike while out with 10 fellow section members on one of their runs near Ogmore by Sea. Barry came off his bike (no other vehicle was involved) and landed hard on the road, cracking the rear of his helmet and injuring the back of his head. He was unconscious and had to be airlifted to hospital.  He is making a  slow recovery and is improving every day but it might be a while before he is back in the saddle.  Thanks to Ray Butcher and Ivor Slade of the Vale of Glamorgan group for the information; I’m sure all NACC members wish Barry a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in action soon.

Barry (in front), together with Chairman Ray and fellow Vale of Glamorgan members, deciding where we went wrong on a run in Wales in 2011!