It’s always dangerous, when writing for the March Slipstream edition, to look forward to the start of the new riding season. The daffodils may be out but last year we had the ‘Beast From The East’ in March and we all sat in St Crispin’s that month watching the snow come down. Still one brave rider made it in on a mini bike!

So I won’t go on about the weather warming up and for many riders that will mean wheeling out their trusty steed after a winter in the garage or under a tarp. Of course there’s no need to mention the POWDDERSS checks that they will all be carrying out before blasting off on that first run down the lanes, as being Advanced Riders they will be conscious their own skills will have gone off a little – just like the pressure in those tyres. So take it easy, warm up yourself, and stay safe, there’s a whole season of riding to come.

What I will write about though is a dusty corner of the TVAM online filing system which can be found on This is where the cafe database can be found with a list of cafes and lunch stops which are biker friendly. There’s even a map so you can use them to plan a route, or just pop over with a mate to check them out.

There’s a few missing, such as Saddleback Farm Shop Cafe just south of Wantage on the B4494 which has become popular with members over the past few years. A great farm shop serving bacon sarnies and a selection of lunches with great views over the Wantage Downs but often missed by bikers blasting down that wonderful road. Also new ones have opened, for example the Rosebourne Garden Centre Cafe at Aldermaston, which has a great selection of drinks and cakes with easy parking.

Probably my favourite though is The Pantry at Yattendon. Frequently passed by those using the lovely B4009 road out from Newbury towards Reading via Hermitage. Yattendon is that slow bit as you ride through the narrow village but why not stop and have a break? Parking is a bit tight outside the village shop but the homemade cakes are to die for and you can sit outside in a little garden enjoying the sun whilst they prepare your drinks. The database needs your input. If you know of a great little place that welcomes bikers, that isn’t in the database yet, let others know about it by emailing Keith Miller at giving details and he will enter it into the database for you.

So on the promise the weather is going to be great this season – get out and try some new stopping places with a few mates.

Keep the shiny side up.

Andy Slater