Find out the latest happenings for Velosolex Club U.K. and other Solex events around the world.
|Posted by Paul G on January 19, 2017 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Many members missed the brief opportunity to use the ‘Donate’ button and make a contribution to help with the website running costs for Velosolex Club U.K. However, as sufficient funds were quickly generated to keep us running until June 2019, there was no need to keep the button once both targets had been met. Also, as my time is given freely because I enjoy the world of the Solex and the community spirit we have built up within Velosolex Club U.K. there is no need to build up any surplus funds. However, several members have expressed a desire to make a donation, even though it is not required at the moment. Maybe this could be a solution?
One of my greatest wishes is to see another Avro Lancaster flying again. We have the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight here and then there is another airworthy Lancaster flying in Canada – and that’s it! Only 7,377 Avro Lancaster’s were made and nearly 50% of those were lost on operational missions. Now, only two Lancaster’s are left flying in the world.
But there is a chance to help get another Lancaster flying again, and in this country! The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre has embarked on a mission to get Lancaster NX611, ‘Just Jane’ airworthy once more. What a magnificent sight that would be. Two U.K. Lancaster’s flying as a memorial to all those brave airmen who never returned home to their families and loved ones.
However, getting a 70 year old aircraft airborne that has not flown for nearly 40 years is expensive. (About £3 million should do it.) This is my personal crusade to help with getting ‘Just Jane’ flying again. If you think Velosolex Club U.K. has helped you with your Solex, or you think it is great value for money, or you agree it is a worthy cause to see another Lancaster flying once again, or you wanted to make a donation, missed the chance but would still like to contribute somehow - here is another way to show your appreciation:
At the bottom of the website home page I have added a link to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre website where you can make a donation which will go towards getting ‘Just Jane’ back in the air again. Please give whatever you can. To use a well known supermarket advertising phrase: ‘Every little helps.’ The sooner the target is met, the sooner we will all be privileged to see another great historic aircraft take to the skies for the benefit of future generations. Thanking you all in anticipation.
‘Just Jane’ currently can only provide taxy rides. Please help to get her flying again.
|Posted by Paul G on January 17, 2017 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
The programme and registration form PDF's for this event have now been released and can be found in the events calendar section, underneath the poster.
This is not a Velosolex Club U.K. organised event and individuals wishing to attend are advised to make their own accommodation and transport arrangements.
At the moment, it looks like there will be at least three Solexes representing our Club.
|Posted by Paul G on January 14, 2017 at 9:55 AM||comments (3)|
Within less than 24 hours of introducing a ‘Donation’ button allowing members the opportunity to contribute towards the upkeep and running of the website for the next 2 ½ years, we have reached our targets! A really magnificfent effort from all concerned. With that in mind, the ‘Donation’ button has now been removed as it is no longer required and the objectives have been met.
A massive ‘Thank You’ to everyone who made a donation. Your contribution will ensure Velosolex Club U.K. remains alive and well until June 2019.
|Posted by Paul G on January 12, 2017 at 7:15 PM||comments (2)|
Background information for Velosolex Club U.K.
When the old club – Velosolex Club South East – folded leaving the U.K. without any sort of a focal point, the original founding member (Dave 411) decided to do something about it. He felt the original name did not reflect the country-wide (now world-wide!) Solex interest and so he set about setting up and financing the website we have here today. As a business man with a thriving outboard motor servicing and repair company, he didn’t always have the time to single-handedly keep things up to date or make changes. As I had a little more spare time, I offered to help out with the upkeep and running of the website. Thus, I became an Administrator whilst Dave 411 retained the Site Ownership.
Over time, everyone’s interests change and Dave 411 took more and more of a back seat role. Renewing the domain name and paying the website hosting fees had always been taken care of automatically – until last year. Dave 411 had forgotten to (or chosen not to) update his payment card information and the card had expired. The domain name renewal reminders went unanswered until Webs.com closed down our website with a failure to collect the payment. After some frantic e-mails, texts and phone calls, I offered to take over the domain name and site ownership from Dave 411. He was happy to let go of the reins and eventually all the registration and billing information was transferred over to me (Paul G). That is where we find ourselves today with me as the Site Owner.
The future of Velosolex Club U.K.
Whilst I am personally quite happy to keep ‘our’ Solex hobby going with the website, its upkeep and the free membership, several members asked if they could help contribute towards the costs. A proper ‘members club’ with annual fees, etc. was suggested but I have rejected that idea on the grounds of the large infrastructure required to achieve this. I.e. the need for a Membership secretary, the membership registration process, sending out reminders at expiry, collecting monies, banking, keeping accounts and so on. (I have been down this route once already in my life when I set up the Mazda MX-5 Owners Club in the U.K. with a friend in London. Been there, done that, not going back there again!).
A very simple idea of adding a ‘Donate’ button to the website was suggested and I think this might be a good all-round solution. If the information and advice provided to members within the website has been useful, or you have enjoyed some of the (occasionally witty) banter on the Forum (or maybe you just think I need to pay for some therapy!), then the ‘Donate’ button is available for you to show whatever appreciation you want. I have deliberately not set any sort of limit or recommendation. If I receive no donations, it won’t change things and I will still carry on, as before. If I receive a small token of your appreciation, then ‘Thank you’ and rest assured it will go towards keeping Velosolex Club U.K. alive and well for many years to come.
|Posted by Paul G on January 6, 2017 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
The following is my reply to a member who suggested the introduction of a 'Donate' button on the website and I took the opportunity to keep members informed as to my progress to date.
A Donate button? Never thought of that idea! Yes, that could be a very good suggestion to put into the new website. I will look into that further.
After today's failure of Webs.com to keep their customers websites open (the Webs Users Forum is full of dozens and dozens of irate customers who have all experienced their websites crashing or not even loading at all), it has confirmed the time is right for us to jump ship and find another home.
I have made some positive progress: The Domain name will be transferred to a new registrar (based in the U.K.) shortly after 10th January 2017. The new registrar will then have our domain name for the next five years. I already have another domain name and website with these people and have been very satisfied with the service they have given to date.
Now the bad news: Because our founder, Dave 411, chose Webs.com to build and host this current website, it has unfortunately some big strings attached. Webs.com offer an easy build website facility and they host it as well - all in the one price. This website is paid up till 8th June 2017. Unfortunately, that means that all the website templates I am currently using belong to Webs.com. It also means they won't let me copy the HTML coding and move it onto another host site. When this period expires in June, I'm afraid we lose all the Forum posts that we have built up since January 2013. No, not an ideal situation but it is one we are going to have to accept and live with until I can build another Velosolex Club U.K. website somewhere else and have it hosted. On the positive side, we have built this internet Club up once, so we can build it up again. It'll just take a bit of time to get back to where we are now.
Now some good news: I can make copies of most of the non-Forum pages (including the HTML) to be able to put things like the Owners handbooks, technical illustrations, 'advert of the week' and articles such as getting a Solex registered and how to determine the age of a Solex, etc., back into circulation pretty quickly. I think it will be much easier for me to tweak a new copied page rather than create it again from scratch. With this in mind, I shall start to make copies of all the current pages - both the text and the HTML - so when I decide who I want to use to build our new website, much of the stuff will be just a copy and paste exercise.
My research at the moment has got me looking at a few companies that offer 'free' web-building templates but they don't automatically make the user host the site with them as well. If that is the case, I'll start to build up a new site somewhere else, in parallel to this one and nearer the time I'll likely get it hosted with the same U.K. company that I have my other website with. When our term with Webs.com runs out, I am hoping it will just be a case of the new host pressing a button and no-one will be the wiser - except you will see a brand new website and you will have to rejoin because I can't tranfer the names across. No big deal. Before that happens, I will be able to do a mass e-mailing to every member who is currently listed warning them of the impending event. Once you log on and are members with the new website, life will carry on as normal and we can begin to build up a useful Forum again, but this time it will have a working search function. Yea, three cheers!
I will keep members informed of my progress throughout the first part of this new year. There will be a little bit of pain for a short period, but look on the bright side: No more Webs.com and their crashing servers and we get a Forum with a search function that works!
|Posted by Paul G on January 3, 2017 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
I have decided it is time to move away from Webs.com, the website hosts for velosolexclubuk.com.
The Domain name was due for renewal on 18th January 2017 which would have meant staying with Webs for another 12 months. Instead, I have started to move the velosolexclubuk.com domain to a U.K. based company, one that does not work only from 9.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m. weekdays and not at all at weekends. The new company offers 24/7 x 365 support so the problems recently encountered in December 2016 will be readily solved - if they ever happen again. The good news is that I know this company already and have had another website / domain with them for over 10 years without any problems.
The next big move will be to get the website re-built with the new host. I can only give fair warning this might not be a simple or an easy task. If our website had not been with Webs.com this would probably have been an easy matter. Not so when you are tied in with Webs.com! As much as I have managed to find out so far, another company would allow me to transfer everything we have currently on the website to a new host. Oh no, not with Webs.com! They are one of the few companies (apparently) that will not allow me to do this. I hope I have got this bit wrong, but the current website should still be up and running until June 2017 when it is due for renewal. I shall not be renewing with Webs.com but I do have a bit of breathing space to get another website built and up and running before then.
Why the changes? Well, many of you will know the problems we had when Webs.com suffered a major outside attack (have forgotten what it is called!) and our website went down / wouldn't load properly / timed out meassages, etc. Webs.com's own Forum user group was full of irate customers who were losing thousands of dollars because Webs.com had failed to provide a suitable firewall against such an outside attack and then it took them ages to fix the damage. The Forum users were not a happy bunch! But it did show me that the company is now too big to care about its customers and is basically inept at curing problems.
One of the biggest complaints we have had from (almost) day 1 is the 'search' function failing to work in the Forum areas. I got fed up with giving really abusive feedback in their surveys whenever they asked 'How did we do with sorting out your problem?' Well, they couldn't sort it out and still haven't sorted it it out! There are so many topics and advice within this area that is just not searchable to anyone becuase the 'search' does not work. It is no good having a library full of useful information if it is almost impossible to access and find topics you want.
No, it is time to move away from Webs.com and rebuild Velosolex Club U.K. with another website host - one that at least has a search button that works in the Forum. It might be a bit painful if we have to start again from scratch but I still hold all the Owners Handbook PDF's, technical illustrations, 'Advert of the week' jpgs and such, so it may just take a bit of time before it is up and running once more. It might mean everyone (that wants to) has to rejoin the new website? Maybe. Haven't crossed that bridge yet but I can't see Webs.com letting me transfer over some 1000+ members details. If I have to do a mass e-mailing to everyone currently listed asking them to rejoin the new website, then so be it. I will be trying to make it as painless as possible for me and you when the time comes, so please bear with me as Velosolex Club U.k. enters a new era in 2017.
|Posted by Paul G on November 9, 2016 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Another Owners Handbook has been added to the Reference Section. This one covers the Solex 4600 V2 model. Although it was written primarily for the American market, some of the pictures will obviously not be applicable to the U.K. However, much of the remaining manual will still be useful to owners of this later model Solex.
|Posted by Paul G on October 16, 2016 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
I was recently contacted by ‘Old Bike Mart’ and informed they would be ‘running an article on the Velosolex run in France.’ The gist of the e-mail was to offer Velosolex Club U.K. an advert to run alongside the article. At ‘just £59.00 + VAT,’ it was not something I was interested in - especially as we are a non-subscription ‘Club’ with no funds to pay for such adverts! However, I did offer to review the article if they would like to send me a copy of ‘O.B.M.’ free of charge.
The October edition of the newspaper duly arrived a couple of days ago (two weeks after I had already read a friends copy of the same ‘O.B.M!’;). I suppose I was disappointed to find the article was not about a Velosolex run in France at all but entirely about racing Solexes in some French village. Oh well, each to their own. You can read the same article by clicking on the link below.
|Posted by Paul G on October 16, 2016 at 3:45 AM||comments (1)|
Unfortunately, as mentioned elsewhere in the Forum, I was unable to attend the annual Vincent run in Stevenage due to rear brake issues on my S 3800 (since cured).
My thanks to member David Ross who kindly sent in a ride report written by Chris Sawyer and a couple of pictures. The report is reproduced with full permission.
THE VINCENT RUN 2016
The annual Vincent run, organised by the NHNC group started off in bright autumnal sunshine from Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage on 9th October. The route was unchanged from previous years and being on the cyclepaths of Stevenage was nominally restricted to ‘mopeds’. The optional small motorbike route which was new for this year and which shadows (little Vincent pun there) the cycle path route on the roads had no takers.
We have a mid morning stop at the site of the old Vincent motorbike works in Old Stevenage and so hence the name of the run. Every year we hope for a Vincent Firefly to join us, but again no takers. Maybe next year, anyone out there?
Again as an enhancement, I decided not to ride, but to provide a breakdown/backup service with my van, this of course ensured that nobody had even the slightest hint of a problem.
An interesting selection of bikes with 9 riders, slightly down on last years astonishing 19, but still a good turn out by normal standards. We had:
Ken Howard on a real Cyclemaster, very much a rarity these days considering their original ubiquity. 25ccs too, not the rorty 32cc version.
Peter Lawson on one of his trusty Puch Maxi’s. Peter ‘fresh’ from the gruelling VMCC 100 mile run last week.
Tom Lucas on his Velo Solex, I don’t know what type, but good to see two of this make the other being:
David Ross on his folding version, pretty special even to my uneducated eyes. Resplendent in orange, David transported it in his matching orange, period Citroen ‘corrugated’ ambulance. Tres chic. A folding moped works so much better with the engine at the same end as the controls.
Alan Hummerstone used his trusty and very speedy Itom.
New-ish NHNC member, Gordon Hallett, an aficionado of all things 2-wheeled and Italian, came on his lovely red Mosquito, which ran well in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Alan Gray piloted his Honda Express, happy in the Pacific weather and ran well on Gresley Way. Work it out.
Both David Osbourne and Gary Clark rode the Suzuki product, David’s being an X1 50 and Gary’s an A50.
We welcomed two visitors from the Stevenage and District Motorcycle Club, Dave and Pat who turned up to see us off. Gordon and I are also members of that club.
Next year’s run is already pencilled in for Sunday 8 October 2017; I hope to be a bit more enthusiastic with the publicity next year and try to wheedle out some more cyclemotors and particularly Vincent Fireflys. Although there are some ‘gradients’ I can testify that it is possible to get right round without LPA on my 32cc Cyclemaster. Don’t forget there is a road route for above 50cc bikes although not intended to be sustitutional for the smaller machines, it offers lots of places to stop and watch the ‘mopeds’ go round.
Again following the routine, we dived off into the countryside to the Crown at Aston End and enjoyed a good lunch before all returning to Fairlands Park to sign off.
|Posted by Paul G on October 14, 2016 at 4:00 AM||comments (1)|
I have recently received an e-mail from Malcolm Corrigan at ‘Classic Moped Spares.’ He would like to draw our attention to his newly revamped and updated website and his commitment to supplying moped parts to a range of machines, especially the Solex.
The picture in the Parts Suppliers section has been changed and now has the new home page shown below. Malcolm states the new website is very much a ‘work in progress’ project with parts being added every day. If you don’t immediately see what you are looking for, try typing the item description in the search box. Failing that, you can always use the ‘contact us’ button at the bottom of the page for your specific Solex requirements.
New Home page for Classic Moped Spares