I need to get out and clean my bike before it rots away. I should have known better, but the weather getting above freezing was enough of an incentive for me to get out on the bike. I was suffering from so many withdrawal symptoms that even the wife was begging that I go out for a ride, who cares if it is raining? Well, you might get your motorcycling fix, but your bike will also get blasted with all the crap that you get on the roads at this time of the year. Mud deposited by tractors, salt deposited to combat ice and the rain water all combine to make a glorious corrosive mix that will get into just about everywhere on your pride and joy. So if you find yourself in the same position as me, remember, the hosepipe is your friend!
When I was young I discovered a great thing to do at the weekends, no, not gardening or running around after a ball, I mean going to bike rallies. It really is something you should try; they come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, something to suit everyone.
Everyone in the world of motorcycling has heard of the Sturgis Rally, that has to be on the must do list of every biker, but how many have ever heard of the Simmer Dim Rally? It is a classic that has been running for 36 years and it is somewhat special as it is held on the Shetland Isles in the very North of Scotland. Its name is something to do with the twilight that you get at midsummer up there, because it is so far north that the sun barely sets. If you decide to go you had better hope you are lucky, there are only 400 tickets available for it, but if you are one of the lucky ones you will be sure of having a great time, with great food, great people and great beer….and a few silly games thrown in.
You might think that 36 years is a long time for a rally to be running but compared to the Elephant Rally in The Bavarian Forests close to the Czech border it is a baby. This rally has been going on for 61 years and is , as I type this, just finished. Yep, it is a rally, in the mountains of Bavaria, in the middle of winter. What stupid fools would ever think that it is a good idea to do this? Well generally between five thousand and ten thousand every year! It is an experience, and recently the organizers have done something I totally approve of. They have made it obligatory to arrive on a bike, and bring all your camping equipment on your bike. Gone are the trailers and huge tents with blast heaters of years gone by, it is now back to basics adventure riding and nothing can beat that….apart from a nice sunny street, with ladies in Bikinis and cold, cold beer.
What a good idea!