Club Runs were scheduled for Sundays throughout the year. They usually started from Lee Circle in the centre of Leicester.
The place was usually deserted early on Sunday mornings as members arrived at the drive through Post Office. This provided somewhere dry to wait for everyone to arrive.
Few members arrived at the scheduled time. Half an hour late was common, an hour late not unknown. A note was left stuck to the Post Office window saying where we were going and an idea of the route.
Riding in a group on the highway worked remarkably well considering there were no real rules. Courtesy and experience produced a few guidelines for a pleasant day's ride.
|Arrive for the run with a full tank of fuel and top up whenever anyone stopped for petrol. If this was not followed the run would do little except ride from one service station to the next. It was up to each rider to tell the run leader how many miles could be covered on a full tank.|
|Don't change order in the run. No overtaking or dropping back. This removed most of the temptation to race. It also made it much easier for the run leader to see that everyone was still behind him.|
|Slowest bikes at the front, most reliable at the back. The great truth of runs is that the bikes at the back need to travel 20mph faster than the leaders because of overtaking delays. The run leader had the job of navigating and relied on the back marker letting him know if someone broke down. Many runs were a lottery to find which bike would break down first.|
Leicester is well placed for travelling across Britain. Although the motorways began to extend from the early sixties and were used for long journeys, the consensus was that the older roads were much better for motorcycling.
Click on the map to go to pages about runs to the area.
Late 70's Runs
The effect of reliable motorcycles on club runs was remarkable. In the late 70's we had an influx of new members due to the dynamics of the training scheme. These young new members were more interested in riding their bikes than fixing them.
Dave Cockerton was Club Runs Captain in 1977 and ran a very good programme of Sunday rides that took members over sixteen thousand miles.
For the 1978 season the club produced a printed list of destinations with directions and included a named rendezvous for riders who wanted to take a different route or ride alone. No-one had told the new members they were expected to be half an hour late and with no petrol if they bothered to turn up at all. So many turned out on runs we needed to take steps to ensure we were accepted at the pubs where we stopped for lunch. We carried a Runs Book for everyone on the run to be listed as part of the annual mileage contest. The landlord where we stopped was invited to sign it as our host.
The number of bikes on these runs could be quite high so each person needed to keep to the rule of not losing the rider behind them.
The 1978 season ended with a club run to the Cologne Motorcycle Show. Two tail riders were lucky to find the hotel as they had to take evasive action from a lorry shedding its load just as the rest of the run took an exit slip road from the autobahn.
Everything is too slow to load.