News feed, 30.12.17

Here’s a few pictures from our fabulous Christmas party at Nissan SLC …

Happy New Year everyone!!

Chapter Meeting, December 2017

Paul Wright: Most miles (bloke) at 14,250 miles

Trish Gillespie: Most miles (lady) at 10,109 miles

Lyn Hunter: Geordie Chapter Outstanding Achievement award

Lyn Hunter: Geordie Chapter Member of the Year award

James Jobson: Director’s Award

Trish Gillespie: Jennings Harley-Davidson Gateshead award

James and Mark Leadbitter receive their Road captain certificates

… and Stu’s won at the raffle!

Thanks everyone for a fantastic turn-out at our last meeting of the year, our AGM, at Nissan SLC.

News feed, 24.11.17

Peter Currie, our Assistant Director, attended his last Committee Meeting last night before standing down from his role at our forthcoming AGM. Peter has kept us all in the loop for years with texts and messages about ride-outs and events.

Peter has had a long and illustrious career on the Geordie Chapter Committee, being the Assistant Director, Activities Officer, Membership Officer and Assistant Head Road Captain at different times: he’s been a real asset to the chapter. Peter will continue his role as Road Captain on the Road Crew, scooting about on his Softail Slim.

We will miss him at our future Committee Meetings!

News feed, 22.10.17

Geordie Chapter: Pretty in Pink

It’s Sunday morning and the chapter Pink Ride today. As Ruth is one of our chapter Ladies of Harley Officers attendance is mandatory for me, but the weather is looking great, and I’m one of the chapter photographers so it’s an ideal opportunity to get some good shots of pink nutters on decorated bikes.

We are to meet at 10am at the Gateshead dealers. All loaded with Camera, and collection buckets we set off, and after stopping for fuel arrive before the gates open. Ten minutes later we are in and sipping coffee while we wait to see how many others are coming along for the ride.

The plan is to ride out to Seaham sea front and stop at the Tommy memorial statue for a group photo before heading into the center of Durham where Ruth has arranged a street collection permit for us all to raise money for CHUF (The Children’s Heart unit Fund at the local Freeman hospital in Newcastle).

They have planned a road crew briefing before leaving at 10:30. Just after ten I check with the ride leader if there is anything in the briefing I need to know, as I will be heading off ahead of the ride to photograph them arriving in Seaham. Leaving ahead of a ride is quite common for me, especially as I know both stopping points well, and the best spot to photograph everyone.

After a detour due to a closed road I am ready and waiting at the Seaham statue at just after 11am when the first bikes pull into the street. A few curious people have stopped to check out my bike and chat, but as the chapter begins to fill the street, and the chosen parking area it soon becomes apparent that the turnout is very good indeed. More and more people stop to take in the sight as pretty much every bike and rider is wearing pink. Anything from armbands, to full tutu, pyjamas, ribbons, tinsel etc. – it’s quite a sight and brings a smile to everyone watching.

53 bikes arrive over the course of the next 5 minutes, and I get shots of pretty much all of them passing the memorial. More shots of the parked bikes and a few strange and pink sights before beginning the hardest part of the day for me. Herding approximately 90 people into some form of order in front of the statue for a group photograph with the chapter flag. These days everyone wants photos and I usually end up with a collection of mobiles to use as well.

15 minutes later we head off again leaving behind many smiles, and lots of phone camera footage with those watching. We also leave behind a small flock of scooters that seem to have latched onto the tail end of our group as they rode in. This time I am riding towards the back of the group as we head into Durham for just over an hour to collect for CHUF. The ladies are at the front – after all it is their day!

Our road crew takes us via a twisty and back road route down to the river below the theatre in Durham where a large coach car park is soon taken over by a group of pink bikes and bikers. More photos as everyone scatters for lunch and collections. I follow Ruth and a few of the others up to the main market square where I see one lady member being interviewed by a local camera crew, while the rest of us try and convert smiles and public curiosity into funds for our elected charity.

Just under 90 minutes later we are waiting for the last stragglers before our road crew lead the group off via more country villages on a circuitous route back to the Gateshead dealership. I stay behind this time to photograph everyone leaving and help assist car drivers while everyone organizes, and eventually leaves. No group ride for me this time as I head alone back to the shop on the motorway to catch them all arriving an hour or so later.

Everyone has had a great time, and on top of this we have raised approx. £350 for an excellent cause. Back home to review, edit and update in the region of 400 photos before whittling them down to just over 60 that I put up that night on the chapter Facebook and web pages.

Chris Neal, Geordie Chapter photographer

Chapter ride, October 2017

We have raised approximately £350 for an excellent cause, the Children’s Heart Unit Fund, at the Freeman Hospital.

News feed, 24.7.17

We had a dazzling collection of superheroes, including Thor, Batman, Robin, Batgirl, The Incredibles, Captain America, Superman, Captain Flash and Deadpool, all sharing a fantastic day of Geordie Chapter fun while we collected money for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. Jennings Harley-Davidson Gateshead provided the stage for our family fun day and we had a superb collection of fancy dress and polished chrome ready for our early ride-out to the hospital.

Unfortunately, the weather prevailed once again and we set off in a slight drizzle, on the A1 towards the city centre. Capes flapped in the wind as we travelled the main arterial route of the city and passers-by could only marvel at the superhero spectacle before them. Our route wasn’t particularly arduous but the rain came down more heavily as we weaved through the city and landed at the hospital. CHUF kindly arranged for some of the children to come out and sit on our bikes and thankfully the weather cheered up so they could enjoy their time with us. We parked the bikes right up on the grass too, so that those who were too ill to come outside could see us through the glass.

Steve and Noeline presented one young lad with a smashing leather jacket, all decked out in Geordie Chapter patches, and he had his picture taken on their bike too. The young lad has been waiting for a heart transplant since January but he is very upbeat and brought a smile to all our faces. Someone asked where he would go if he could ride the bike anywhere – his immediate reply was simply, ‘home’.

We stayed at the hospital for about forty minutes then after some tearful goodbyes, we set off again for the main shopping street in the city, so we could rattle our buckets looking for further donations.

Landing back at the garage some time later our collecting continued with a tombola and raffle. Everyone has been incredibly generous again and, on the day, we collected more than £2,500 for CHUF. A special mention for Gary, our Treasurer, and his wife Alyson for their fantastic efforts in arranging it all for us.

CHUF ride, July 2017

Everyone was incredibly generous and, on the day, we collected more than £2,500 for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital. A special mention for Gary, our Treasurer, and his wife Alyson for their fantastic efforts in arranging it all for us.

Chapter Meeting, July 2017

A warm July evening brought nearly a hundred Geordie Chapter members, including a few new ones, down to Nissan SLC last night for our monthly meeting. We had about thirty bikes in the car park as everyone took advantage of the lovely weather. We even had a full squad from JH-DG too. Great to see everyone there.

Barry was back at the helm again, after his trip to BikeFest in June. He handed straight over to Paul from Deluxe Detailing, who gave us a talk on how best to look after and seal the paintwork on our Harley-Davidsons. Paul gave us quite a few tips on pre-washing, washing, drying and sealing the paint, including some advice on cloths, foam cleaners and sealants. There’s a wide range of products out there, and Paul is willing to help anyone who needs a hand talking through them, including all the fine stuff that Harley-Davidson make too.

Barry then led us through a few highlights from June and early July:

Bike Fest was good fun, if a bit wet. The Gathering was great too, if very wet!

Ray and Paul led the charge up to Eskdalemuir for our June Chapter ride. A stack of people turned up, and it was a superb day.

The Road Crew led a fantastic ride, once again, for our annual ABC ride. Keeping everyone in formation along Newcastle Quayside was a huge challenge but they managed it perfectly. We also raised the thick end of £800.00 for our armed forces.

We had forty or so people up at Clennell Hall, with Peter leading a cheeky little ride on the Saturday to the Lavender Tea Rooms at Etal. Some of the roads were very entertaining and he blind-sided us in Etal by swinging down close to the River Till. Reaching for the life-jackets, anyone … ?

As expected, a load of people rode over to Wake the Lakes with Red Rose Chapter. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they laid on ten rides. Quite an achievement, which they managed admirably. There isn’t a rally next year as lots of people will be in Prague for the 115 H-D Anniversary.

We had the first anniversary of JH-DG on Saturday and there was some sunny weather for everyone. There were a couple of bands, a scran van and some beautiful bikes on show.

Looking forward, we’ve got The Kelpies run on Saturday, followed the week after by the CHUF ride, then … it’s our rally! There are only about thirty tickets left, so everything looks on track for a sell-out. There is no monthly ride in July but we’ve got The Normans looking after us on 6 August then our monthly Chapter ride on 13 August.

Gary gave us a quick update on the CHUF ride, and everything is on track there too. Gary has a great mix of things for us to do on the day, so get your outfits ready and cross everything for some sunshine!

The Christmas Party tickets are now on sale – see Trish for yours now. We have a band called the Test Pilots keeping us entertained, and a scrumptious turkey dinner ready for everyone.

Ray was in France when the last meeting of the NECMC was on, so no news this month. However, he tells us that copies of the picture from the Angel of the North are available. See Ray for details.

Grant said JH-DG raised an amazing £221.00 from the first birthday bash for GNAA. And Hayley presented Greg with the wining raffle prize. Well done to him.

A couple of rapid-fire items to close the meeting:

  • Barry presented Allen with his Road Captain certificate. Well done to Allen!
  • Allen said that the ABC ride went very well from an RC point of view too and mentioned that they will only pass within the pack when it is safe to do so. Please don’t wave them through with hands or feet.
  • The rally volunteers meeting is on 21 July at 7.00 pm at Tynemouth Cricket Club

And that’s it! Tony, Chris, Lesley, Paul, Vicky (a new member!) and Gary shared the raffle prizes. Well done to everyone.

The next meeting is on 3 August, see you all there!

Ride safe everyone, Barry.

News feed, 2.7.17

Music, motorbikes and mayhem sums up our second outing to Clennell Hall! The finest Northumbrian scenery and landscape provided a green and pleasant backdrop, with about forty chapter members making their way there over the weekend. We had a combination of people in the Hall itself, some in the bunk rooms, and a wide selection of tents and motorhomes.

The trip up on Friday was reasonably uneventful, but the promise of some rain somewhere meant the clouds were grey rather than white. A bit better than last year though, when it tipped down on the way up. We got there about four, and the GC faithful already occupied the bar.

Drinks orders and food orders came and went over the next hour or so and, after checking in, we installed ourselves next to the Charlton and Kent party at the long table in the middle. Rocky kept the beer chilled for us all, and after our own food, we settled down to some music from a local band, and general tomfoolery, GC-style.

The band was good, playing a varied selection of tunes, and they kept everything swinging along nicely until the wee hours.

Breakfast came and went in the morning, and we shared a table with Ron and Lyn. We covered all the finer points of GC merchandise during our brief time together!

James, Bill, Mandy and Paul then arrived from Newcastle to join our ride-out, scheduled for an 11.00 am departure. Peter was up front and Paul at the back. Peter delivered the briefing, and revealed our lunch stop – the Lavender Tea Rooms, at Etal.

And we were off! We took a quick left-turn out of Clennell Hall, and then navigated through some great roads, heading for Alnwick. There were nineteen bikes and two trikes on the day. The sun popped in and out from behind the clouds, and the day was getting much warmer as we landed into Alnwick, past the lovely Edlingham Castle. We also played second-man-drop-off which is always good fun!

We arrived at a very familiar petrol station, got some fuel in the Sportys, then had a slow meander back through Alnwick, fighting against some Saturday morning traffic. Alnwick must be very used to having the GC through its street: we had a great pit-stop there last weekend as part of our ABC ride.

Peter’s route then kicked up a gear, as we headed north through Eglingham and Chillingham. At times, it felt like we were on the waltzer at The Hoppings but the plan slotted beautifully together and, after a small about-turn at the castle in Etal, we landed en masse at the Lavender Tea Rooms. What a glorious spot! A few of our gang who weren’t on bikes had also made their way up there, so we all sat for an hour and drank up the sunshine and some lovely tea and coffee from the café. They were so excited about it, they even filmed our departure!

Barry now took the back-marker spot and we whizzed back down the A697 for some more fuel at Powburn. Peter wasn’t finished with us yet, so we went into Glanton, Callaly and some other lovely villages back to Clennell Hall. There was a great collection of narrow roads, potholes, green tufts and gravel to keep us all on our toes, and we were in and out of our seats bouncing through it all.

And that was that! Eighty miles later, we were back at Clennell Hall, debating the day’s ride with a cold beer outside in the sunshine. The place overflowed with more of the GC gang, in additional tents and motorhomes. As a small reward for his superb efforts, Jasper the dog then took a tinkle in Peter’s lid.

NB: this is NOT Jasper!

We fought the temptation to stay out right through, so showered and changed and landed back in the bar at seven.

More tea, more music and more beer, that’s how it went from there. Our Les, followed by Stu, accompanied at times by Mark, then kept our toes a-tapping though another fantastic evening.

What a great time! Great folk, great patter and some great riding! Let’s get it sorted again for 2018.