This year, for the Roman RAT annual weekend ride, the group decided to forgo the joys of Saundersfoot, and instead join up with the Abergele RAT pack to attend the Ace Café 50 year Reunion celebration down in London.
Six Triumph riding Roman RATs gathered at Bill Smiths Honda at 9:15am on Saturday morning and rode the short distance down the A41 to Broxton to join up with two other Roman RAT Triumph riders for whom meeting at Broxton was more convenient. Around 10am the eight Roman RATs were joined by an eclectic set of five bikes (three Triumphs, a Kawasaki and a Harley Davidson) from the Abergele RAT pack, of which three came with their better halves as pillions, led by their group organiser Bill Deacon.
After a short briefing by Bill and an explanation of the ‘second rider’ drop off group riding system, the thirteen bikes left Broxton led by Bill, and headed down the A41 passing Whitchurch and Newport before turning onto the A5. A brief stop for refreshments at a truckstop just over the M6 followed by a splash of fuel (for the Street Triples to get all the way to London) the group continued along the A5 southbound passing the home of Triumph at Hinckley.
Somewhere before Dunstable on the A5, four riders became detached from the end of the group, due to one of the riders missing a turn and going AWOL. Then, in the middle of Dunstable a ’14 plate’ Street Triple popped a main fuse (fortunately the rider was carrying a spare). The main group waited for the simple repair to be carried out and for the detached riders to catch up. By the time the broken bike was running again, the AWOL rider had retraced his steps and caught up too!! So, following the unscheduled stop, thirteen bikes continued on to join the M1 into London and onto the North Circular arriving at the Travelodge Wembley, adjacent to the Ace Café, around 4pm.
After dining at a nearby Indian restaurant (the Ace Café was so busy), the group enjoyed an evening at the Ace Café of live music, beer, looking at bikes and chatting to people from all over Europe not just from the UK, all of whom had travelled specially for the 50 year Reunion. In the Ace Café car park were all sorts of café racers and custom bikes; some old, some new, all loved.
After breakfast on Sunday morning, the group went back to the Ace Café to see hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes set off on the ‘organised’ Burn Up ride to Brighton promenade and led by an old Triumph sporting the number plate ‘NO 1 ACE’. Not sure how that plate was legal??!!
Having checked out of the hotel, the group decided to head for home taking the A40/M40 out of London stopping at Oxford Services M40 J8A for a short break and for fuel. The route then followed the A44 through Chipping Norton and Evesham to Worcester, the A449 to Kidderminster leading to the A442 to Bridgnorth, then the A458 to Shrewsbury.
The Abergele RAT pack said their farewells at Shrewsbury taking two Roman RAT riders with them as they made their way home towards Abergele. The remaining Roman RAT riders took the A49 to Whitchurch before making their respective ways home too.
All who rode had a fabulous weekend. Many thanks to Bill (and Pat) for leading the ride and to the Abergele RAT pack for helping make the weekend such a memorable one.
Till next time…ride safe.