U.K. Drifter rally - 2006
16th - 18th June - 2006
Now cast your mind back twelve months - a scenic pub not far from Matlock - a warm sunny weekend - a gathering of very strange looking motorcycles, not to mention some very strange looking individuals. Still struggling ? Then click HERE for a reminder. Once again, those intrepid "Doggies" gather for another rally. . . . The U.K. Drifter Owners Group, to give them their formal title - this time the destination was Somerset, and apart from a bit of a slow moment around Bristol, the journey down there went well.
I still can't get comfortable on this bike. The footrests ( ok - footboards ) are too far forwards for my liking, and unless I am leaning back on something, such as camping gear, then I can only stand about an hour or so in the saddle, there again, I've been saying I'll do something about it for the last four or five years now, so it can't really be all that bad.
Anyway - having arrived at the delightful little village of Horton and found the campsite, it didn't take me all that long to set the tent up and make a start on cooking something to eat. It was good to see the 'field kitchen' was in full swing - many thanks to the folks who put all that effort into making sure we were all well fed and watered, it was well appreciated. Having fed, the next stop was the local pub - "The Five Dials", which just happened to be selling 'Doombar' - a rather nice Cornish ale, so, just to be polite you understand, I had to consume a few pints. Rumour has it that some kind of Ukulele made an appearance - I can't possibly comment on this...........................and so to bed.
Saturday morning, and the sun drove me out of the tent at some ungodly hour - and that was still a good couple of hours later than some folks. The assembled Drifters were rounded up for a photo-shoot before heading for a local cider farm.
A gathering of Drifters
The cider farm was a most interesting place. Not only was there copious amounts of fermented apple juice, but there was a cider museum and numerous other things of interest. A good hour or so was spent poking around.
Bike amongst the barrels
Having safely deposited our cider back at the site, we set off on a run through the Somerset / Devon countryside. With a few of the "Black Aces" and other folks acting as marshals the run passed through the villages with minimum fuss. The only "idiot" we met was whilst crossing a fairly fast main road - this fellow was not going to stop for anything or anyone, luckily no one was 'in the wrong place' and with a few choice words the impatient car driver was bid a fond farewell. A well earned rest followed at Horner Woods - then it was onwards towards Porlock, and the infamous Porlock Hill. I left the main run at the top of Porlock Hill and carried on to Barnstaple - a place I hadn't seen in over twenty years. I managed to get back to the site at least five minutes before the main run came home to roost. Once again, our splendid caterers fired up the barbeque and we were all well fed - at a price which was more than reasonable.
Something strange in my mirror Pull up a chair - or two
Following the feeding, and much talking bollocks - err - I mean talking about Drifters, we headed for the Five Dials once again. The pub was a tad packed seeing as there was some kind of entertainment going on - I'm still convinced that it was Garry Glitter, or if not him, it was certainly his wig, making a guest appearance. The more sensible 'Doggies' made a bee-line for the skittle alley. I headed back to the site before the pub closed, and spent a few hours doing unspeakable things to a Ukulele. Seeing as we were in Somerset, I just had to bash out a few Wurzel songs, amongst other things - aided and abetted by a guitar wielding maniac ( Paul, I think it was ) who also managed to find room to carry a musical instrument on a bike
All too soon Sunday morning was upon us, and folks were packing up before it got too warm for comfort. The Horton village hall was selling full breakfasts for £ 3-50, all profits going towards a new village hall. I did my bit for the preservation of traditional village life by helping them swell their coffers - and a damn good breakfast it was too. With a full stomach, I wandered back to the site and said my goodbyes to those still there - - it's always a slightly sad moment, leaving after such a good weekend, but the thought that we will all probably do something similar in the near future makes it less of a depressing farewell. In a tad over two hours, I had covered the 141 miles back home, and the bike was sat happily in the garage until the next time.
There we have it.
Many thanks to the folks who did the things that make such a weekend a success - the setting up of the gazebo - the fridges - the kettle, tea, coffee, milk - the shopping and the cooking - the planning and organising of the rides out - the collecting of camping fees - purchasing tee shirts - tidying the site afterwards - and the numerous other things that go towards making a good weekend a great weekend.