U.K. Drifter Rally - 2005
17th - 19th June. 2005
The sun is out. It looks like a rather nice weekend. So what better way to spend it than joining with a load of like minded souls. The souls in question are the "UK - Doggies", or the UK Drifter Owners Group, to give 'em their formal title. The who ? Here - go and follow this link --> UK-DOG <-- and all will be revealed.
Without further ado, my own Drifter, which has been unceremoniously christened the B.R.U.B. was loaded up and pointed in the direction of Matlock, which was lucky really, because that's where the rally was to be held. Well, a few miles North of Matlock, in the village of Two Dales to be exact.
The B.R.U.B in all it splendour.
In typical fashion, I arrived just as all the other Drifters were setting off on a run to Bakewell. I quickly dumped my camping gear and joined the convoy heading for Bakewell. To say it was a tad warm would be an understatement. Certainly the hottest day of the year so far - so with the sun happily shining on the righteous, we all followed Butch along the A6 to Bakewell. Accompanying us on the run was an original Indian motorcycle. A rather splendid 750cc side valve "Sport Scout" I believe - with some very smart paintwork on the rear fender.
Left hand side Right hand side
Once at Bakewell we split roughly into two groups - one group heading off in search of tarts - - - err, I'll rephrase that. One group heading off into town in order to purchase some Bakewell puddings, whilst the other group wandered around a motorcycle museum / collection. There were indeed some very nice interesting bikes and bike orientated memorabilia on display there.
Inline, four cylinder side valve
Having looked at what the museum had to offer, the groups then 'swapped', and I joined in the buying and tasting of Bakewell's finest puddings. . . not to mention the few puddings that found their way home with me for consumption later on.
The massed Drifter collection now left Bakewell and headed for Matlock, and some dinner. Thanks to a couple of Butch's mates, who acted as outriders and held up the traffic, we managed to keep the convoy in one piece. I must admit, from a personal point of view, I don't really like Matlock - too packed, too many 'posers' for want of a better word, and too many of the kind of idiot who gain police attention. Still, it made a change to wander around there for an hour or so. I don't think Matlock quite knew what to make of the various Drifters that had infested the town for an hour or two. . . . . all good fun though.
Rather jolly paint job
If nowt else I managed to grab some dinner. The weather, if anything was getting even hotter now, so I made a move back to the rally site and put up my tent before the afternoon's run - which was due to start at around half past three. This time, "Indian John" led the group, and before long we were heading up the one in five hill to the rear of the village and out through the grounds of Chatsworth house. This time we didn't have the advantage of 'outriders', but one or two Drifters across the road tends to discourage other traffic from cutting us up. From Chatsworth we followed the Goyt Valley up to the Cat and Fiddle pub. Now seeing as the Cat and Fiddle is a well known biker's pub, I must confess to never having been there, despite the number of times I've been in and around the Derbyshire hills. A refreshing pint of bitter shandy later, and the world seemed a much better place. I was rather taken by one notice on the wall at the Cat and Fiddle.
How very apt.
In true Drifter fashion, we all gathered for a group photograph - we managed to gain one extra Drifter who had turned up at the Cat and Fiddle for a quiet Saturday afternoon pint - - only to be confronted by at least eighteen other Drifters and one Indian ( at least that's the figure I counted, but I could be wrong ).
A few fenders Drifter 800 and Indian 750 At the Cat and Fiddle
All nineteen of 'em - and one Indian.
Before setting off back to the site, Indian John led a few of the more intrepid souls on an eight mile ride along some of the twistier bits of the "Cat and Fiddle run". For an old side valve, with no rear suspension, that Indian Scout gets a fair old move on.
Back at the site and there was a barbeque going full swing - I had bought along my own food, so I happily fired up the old Primus stove and filled me face. For our entertainment, there was a folk music type duo playing in the pub later on. Now seeing as I happened to have about my person a Ukulele Banjo - I promptly joined in with a few numbers . . . . and so ended what was a most enjoyable day.
Sunday morning saw me packing up early - like about seven o' clock in the morning early. It was going to be another hot one, no doubt about it. The ride home took me past the Hollybush Inn, the site of many rallies back in the 1980s - along with the Newhaven Hotel, which I also passed. OK, so those venues have long since gone, but it's nice to know that there are people and places to replace them. People like Butch, from the UK-DOG, who did a lot of the donkey work involved in making the weekend a success. Being involved in our own rally, I know what's involved, and just how much of a pain it can be. People like Paul and Lesley, who keep the UK-DOG website up and running - without which this weekend probably wouldn't have taken place - and places like the Plough Inn - who made us more than welcome. . . . . and of course, all the "Doggies" who took the time and trouble to go out and enjoy themselves.