New Forest HOG
Easter Egg Run
James Martin


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A promising sky and the fact that ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ celebrity chef James Martin  was due to make the various charity Easter run presentations ensured close on 200 bikes rolled into Dockgate 20 for a free breakfast before the off.  Surprisingly only one owner made an effort to ‘dress’ their bike for the occasion and it belonged to a very nice couple I met in December on the MAG Xmas toy run riding (would you believe) …a Honda Gold Wing  .. so I’m afraid it was Gold Wing owners 1 ~ New Forest HOG nil…. Damned poor show chaps we must try harder .. where were all the bunny ears and Bugs Bunny teeth ?

Many girly bikers were visibly flushed at Hunky James’ very presence and more than one lady was overheard to remark ‘if only I were 20 years younger’ or that James “can  cook  for me any time and we'll  leave the dishes till later” whilst fanning their blushing cheeks. The majority of male riders were however either faintly bemused at their partners reaction although a few appeared equally besotted . Intense debate ensued therefore about the gender of the owner of the stunning pink Harley in the parking lot and whether James had at least one male admirer making a bold ‘gay pride’ fashion statement with his choice of paint job.

From the word go Jimbo’s PR machine kicked in with a vengeance as the photo opportunities came thick and fast with his little video cameraman running himself quite ragged trying to keep up with the lithe pancake flipper.

At Salisbury Cap’n Bob coyly asked Jimmy to autograph his personal copy of ‘Easy British Food’  and proceeded to step away anonymously whilst he did so hoping no one would notice … but of course the camera never lies and we don’t think any less of you for being a  ‘fan’ Bob

Along with a cash presentation of £160 to Dave Cates (Director of fundraising at Salisbury Hospital) a supply of Easter eggs were off loaded into the arms of three  nurses from the pick up truck accompanying the ride ... disappointingly not a single ‘Oliver’ in sight to ask ‘can I have some more please’ which was a shame ... or a tea van which miffed one or two who forgot to pack a Thermos

Still the sun was out and after a quick wee we we’re off back up the A36 en route for Southampton General where the entrance lobby did at least enable James to press the flesh and hug a few kiddies… oh and get his picture taken by the Echo cameraman laying in a bed of chocolate which the girlies were still gagging to lick off him

A further £100 cash was donated to the hospital but away from all the hullabaloo outside the real big hearted biker business was going on inside and I was privileged to witness a small but select delegation of New Forest HOGsters distribute eggs around the children’s ward . This for me was what it was really all about and it was a tremendous shame more of those involved weren’t able to play a part. Hopefully some of the pix will give you a nice warm feeling inside that you played a small but valued part in a worthwhile and highly enjoyable ride

It was a cracking first HOG ride ever for a guy called Scott who had only picked up his bike the week before and top marks to the marshals (new and old) who did a fine job. The entire ride went without a hitch other than the holiday traffic stacked 3 lanes deep when we hit the M3 which was beyond their control

My sources reveal that Jimmy has agreed to a repeat performance next year and has promised to bring 4 or 5 more well known ‘greasy spoon’ proprietors with him. In the meantime if you’re feeling culinarily challenged you can catch up on all the hot potatoes at James official website … and if you’re asking mine’s a large one (vindaloo that is with lashings of green lime pickle)


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