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What does James do in his time off?

2nd September 2021

Ride motorbikes off-road…obviously.

It’s not often that the SME team find time to share a weekend with our trail riding buddies. We managed to offset August bank holiday this year and get out for some much needed dust and disorderly. A merry band of misfitting motorcycles congregated outside Fair Oak in Hampshire on the Sunday of the late August bank holiday.

Bikes from a variety of eras as well as on and off road machines made up the group. From a Gold Star BSA through to a Suzuki bandit custom scrambler, our group was certainly a head-turning one. Ian Fitzgerald had taken the reigns for the day’s ride and Emily and I were free to sit back and enjoy, which felt so unusual but quite lovely since we spend most of our time being the responsible leaders of the pack. Travelling through differing countryside and having the freedom to mingle within the group and simply absorb my surroundings made for a really refreshing opportunity.

Water crossings, gravel, leftover mud and puddles kept things interesting and punctuated our day, but for the mainstay of the riding, a warm August day provided easy dusty tracks to play with.

The route made it’s way across Hampshire towards Petersfield, stopping in at the iconic Loomie’s Motorcycle Cafe. A huge congregation was there, as expected, and the car park was absolutely littered with all manner of bikes on show. After a quick refuel for both riders and motorcycles we continued across Butser Hill before turning tail and retracing our steps in the direction of Droxford.

Our day would finish with a final pull in at the beautiful Hampshire Bowman. A period, and very charming pub known for great hospitality and phenomenal local cask ales. A fun weekend of riding with great friends is why we do what we do here at SME. Our Trail School package introduces this fantastic style of riding to new people week in and week out, and after years of doing green lanes and byways it is still the passionate pastime that my sister Emily and I both love.