Sunday, April 25, 2021

Isolated Mini Moto Camp

Last October's mini rally at a 'secret location' in deepest Wiltshire ticked the boxes for seeing mates, riding bikes and sleeping under the stars so as restrictions in the UK have eased it seemed like a fine idea to repeat the exercise. To start with we had the max number six signed up for the camp but in the end work commitments whittled us down to the same three as in October.

Last time I rode the Buell (now departed to a new home) so I decided to ride up the Norton Dominator but a last minute suggestion for some green laning from Matt rendered the Norton a poor choice. Obvious would have been the Himalayan but somehow it wouldn't be in quite the spirit of the exercise so the trusty Bantam was settled upon.

The last time I had ridden the Bantam a long distance from home was something like fifteen years ago and I had vowed never to do such a foolish thing again. However, time heals all wounds, the Bantam has been rebuilt and slightly 'hopped up' and it somehow seemed like loading the Bantam up with camping gear might actually be a good idea. Besides that I've recently been reading John Storey's mini autobiog in the British Two Stroke Club magazine and it's pretty inspirational. John has travelled all over Europe on 'Project 9', a D1 125cc Bantam. I can honestly say that I think he's one of the greatest motorcycle explorers ever. There's not much about John online though he did appear in a short article in Sump magazine a few years back - Someone should publish his biography...

As it was, what could have turned out to be a huge mistake ended up quite enjoyable: a beautiful sunny day and quiet roads meant that covering the 70 odd miles to Minety at 30mph was a breeze.

The story continues in picture captions...

Seeing old friends and the achievement of turning
up on an old bike makes arrival so much the sweeter.

A field to camp in and a barn for shade and shelter,
what more could you want.

Plotting the afternoon of green-laning with the
aid of an Ordnance Survey map.

Dan with his trusty, high mileage Bullet.

We rode the un-metalled sections of the ancient
Fosse Way.

Matt turning on the style on his BSA A10 combo.

And a video fly by.

All was smooth going until we arrived
at this ford.

There was no way round for the combo so after
much goading from Dan and I along with a pledge
that we would push him out if it came to it, Matt
attempted the crossing.

Having got his feet wet helping Matt through the
ford Dan decided to ride it anyway.

There was no way the Bantam would make the ford
without flooding the magneto so we chose the
option of the footbridge.

Drying the combo out.

And the boots...

Back at camp that evening.

Though the days were warm the nights were cold.
Here's early morning.

Matt samples the raw power of the Bantam.

I took a new route home via Pewsey Down and
past Woodhenge. A cracker of a route, I even
took a diversion after Salisbury to extend the ride


  1. I love the audio as matt fails his ford crossing ng attempt "oh" "ah" 😂

    1. That's the sound of me and Dan realising we were going to have to make good our promise to push Matt out and get wet feet.

  2. Pewsey downs you could have called in at my place for a brew...........

    1. Thanks Ken, maybe next time I'll take you up on the offer! Beautiful part of the country to live in.