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  Southern Section diary

The great thing about ride-outs is that no matter the meeting point or the destination, no matter if you’ve been to either before, the route is always unique. Sunday, 27 June was just a case in point.
We met at Alton Station Café with both old friends and new enjoying a bit of a social before hitting the road. John Albone led the ride to Sammy Miller’s Museum at New Milton in the heart of The New Forest. Although having taken similar routes in the past, personally, we have never ventured through the centre of Winchester with its views of the spectacular cathedral glinting in the early summer sunshine, its intriguing array of architectural styles, and its amazing selection of eateries offering such a diverse range of South East Asian cuisine.
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Moving beyond Winchester, although we passed through many sections of road that were familiar, by skirting the coast road near Hythe, we circumvented the bottleneck of Lyndhurst.
Riding through the beautiful New Forest landscape, we passed through the villages of Beaulieu and Lymington, arriving at Sammy’s through the centre of New Milton.
Our tight-knit group enjoyed the benefits of dedicated motorcycle parking at the Museum, securing things before wandering around into the busy Museum forecourt with a chance to view the bike display by the Honda Owners’ Club. Although warm, there was a growing hint that the forecast rain was closing in and, sure enough, after about 45 minutes of coffee and chat, the rains cam – in big blobs!

Mike and Lesley at West Meon cross roads
We quickly gathered our gear and headed for the ‘shelter’ of the bikes. It’s strange how, when rain starts, how much better you feel when you’re actually mounted up and ready to ride!
John’s original route had proposed a tour along the Sought coast, on to Poole, but with the threat of the weather and/or heavy traffic in the Poole area, the group split, with John heading West, Phil heading home, and the rest of us on a mystery tour of The New Forest in the rain and mist. Even with the inclement weather the return ride was most enjoyable and our thanks go to John and everyone else who joined us.
Dedicated parking at Sammy Miller's Museum
Recalcitrant cow in the New Forest