Superior Motorcyle Experiences recently had the pleasure of welcome the vivacious VC London girls to our luxury accommodation in Sherborne for a countryside escape from the big smoke. We arranged for them to come and spend two or three days with us here riding one of our Himalayan off road experiences, with our ride-leader Emily Page, around the scenic trails and byways of our Dorset back-yard.
The gang arrived at the cottage with much excitement, which only heightened upon entering the SME garage. We must admit, when everything is polished, prepped and presented for a trip it’s an inviting scene. Eight Royal Enfield Himalayans stood neatly along one wall of the HW, with the fleet of elegant Brough Superiors overlooking from the top end, and a Benelli and 650 interceptor completing the line up. It was an appealing display for our esteemed guests, and the desired effect was achieved as they [literally] bounced with excitement…we’re looking at you Lucia.
Amongst the honoured guests were flat-track heroes, club founders, malle mile winners, skating legends and Olympic athletes, each brought a personality, skill-set and humour that was to lead to an intoxicating few days of company.
After a few weeks of promising glorious sunshine, the typically English weather had taken a last-minute u-turn and a very wet affair was forecast for the few days ahead. Not discouraged, we all woke up the next morning taking the practical approach of expecting the worst, and a pile wet weather gear was soon assembled at the door. However after a relaxed morning, and a few last minute preparations in the morning had delayed us by an hour or so, by which time the blue skies had miraculously appeared. Somehow a glorious clear, cloud-free day entertained us from the moment we left, until the moment we arrived back at the cottage – what luck. As the last bike crossed the threshold of the SME garage, the sky overhead broke and the rain began.
The day’s adventure had covered an area to the south of Sherborne, and we enjoyed some of the classic rural sights and scenery promised here in Dorset. We took in the Cerne Abbas giant amongst other memorable points, and the day was punctuated by a stop at New Inn for a lunch as well as the usual pastries and tea at the most scenic point.
Alongside much joy and laughter was some really impressive riding, as our excellent guide Emily lead the group expertly enabling everyone to warm up gradually to the machines. The girls were soon tackling mud-laden tracks, narrow byways, slippy forest trails, and notably; some pretty deep fords….now we’re looking at you Gemma.
Again, we dealt with the promise of rain, but despite the fact that the group wouldn’t let the meteorological conditions dampen their mood, this time it delivered and everyone got soaked.
After a late coffee and baguette at Compton abbas airfiled overlooking Shaftesbury and the hills of Dorset, the group collectively agreed that enough riding had taken place today. It was time to get back, get warm and dry for the evenings entertainment. We’d booked a table at the brilliant Plume of Feathers in Sherborne, and enjoyed the private banquet room overlooking the stunning Sherborne Abbey. It was a great chance to decompress, let some steam-off and socialise together – all part of the adventure. The phenomenal food and wine fuelled conversations on life, love, bikes, passions, languages, hobbies, careers, kids, more bikes and…Alsatians (!?)
Sadly, a couple of the group had to leave us early, but for those who remained the decision was made that (weather-permitting) we’d take the Brough Superiors out to add something different into the last part of the trip. It was a bucket list item for a coupe of our guests and we really wanted to help them tick it off – especially on the memorable, scenic roads that we’re lucky enough to have here in Dorset.
With high spirits and clear skies we set out for our final day of riding, and it soon became apparent that the Brough Superiors stirred a very different set of emotions within the riders. There’s a sense of pride and elation that descend those aboard one of these machines, particularly knowing you’re part of a very small contingent of females ever to have set foot on a Brough Superior would’ve given these ladies an extra edge I hope. We enjoyed the freedom of roaring through the countryside together giggling and whooping with laughter, it was really special. We made our way down to Dorchester on the roads with the best swooping bends we knew. With the weather still holding we came back through the Cerne valley to make a final stop making sure to take in a traditional South West cream tea to round off the trip. We made it there dry and overlooked the lakes as we enjoyed out lunch and reminisced over the exciting, varied, memorable few days together. As the skies began to darken we hastily sinked the last of the tea and geared up to head back to SME HQ.
Despite enduring ten minutes of rain-riding before arriving back into Sherborne, we had a new collection of memories in our back pocket. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, exhausted and slightly damp, but invigorated.
What a phenomenal time, the energy, enthusiasm and talent of the ladies was infectious and we can only hope to see more of them in the future!
Photography by Howard Brown