18th - 21st April. 2003
I'd not done the Duk-Dik for quite a
while, so was looking forward to a nice trip through the
Cotswolds. The trike and "dog kennel" was running
along merrily when I thought I felt a front wheel bearing
starting to break up. Now seeing as I was over half way
there, I decided to carry on and "keep an eye" ( or an
ear, as the case may be ) on it. Just past Stow on the
Wold, I noticed the speedo had stopped working. Ah - that's
what it was - the speedo drive breaking up, Kawasaki speedo
drives do have this habit, I'm on the third one now, and thought
I had cured this problem by adding a grease nipple to the
thing. The next little snag came just as I headed out of
Cirencester. A bloody great pothole, just on the exit of a
traffic island. Bang - there goes the left hand rear
mudguard stay. The rest of the journey went quite well, and
fairly soon I had set up camp. A few other Moonshiners were
on their way, so whilst I waited, I took a look at the speedo
Ever have that feeling of relief, when, after spotting something that could have had potentially disastrous results, you realize that "this time" you have got away with it ? The front brake calliper was only held on by one bolt, and that was loose, the other bolt must have fallen out miles back, which probably accounts for one of the strange noises I heard earlier. What I had taken to be the "knock" of a wheel bearing failing was in fact the disc brake calliper moving. I must hold my hand up and admit to it being my fault. I had changed the pads a few days earlier and had not tightened the bolts up fully. As it turned out, my modification to the speedo drive worked - just pure coincidence that the cable had snapped.
I managed to find directions to a local bike shop in order to grab a couple of new bolts, but just to make doubly sure a phone call to another club member, who was coming down the next day, ensured that I would at least be able to make the trip back home safely.
Having sorted that out, a most pleasant afternoon / evening was spent sitting in the glorious sunshine.
Just for the sake of it, I had a sit on Kath's Ducati 916. Hmmm - I think I take two sizes larger in bikes. I would not like to try and ride far on that particular machine. Still, horses for courses, as they say.
I must admit, I liked the comfy chairs that were scattered
around the rally site, though I dread to think what would happen
if you were to fall asleep during the evening.
Now those very nice people at the Met. office had promised us rain, strong wind and temperatures a good ten degrees cooler for the next day, and guess what ? The buggers were right ! Saturday was indeed the opposite of Friday - strong winds, slight rain, and extremely cold. Now myself, being of the sensible school of biking, had brought along some nice warm clothing, sadly, quite a few people hadn't bothered, which resulted in very good sales of M.A.G. long sleeved, warm shirts.
I ventured down the motorway to Swindon, in order to grab the calliper bolts, and the wind made the journey there a struggle, but the ride back was done on virtually no throttle.
Saturday evening went as all evenings should go when at a rally; Good entertainment, good company, good beer and good grub.
Due to the change in the weather, we decided to head back on the Sunday, rather than stopping for the bank holiday Monday. Funnily enough, the Monday ended up as quite a nice day - which I spent at the Red Marley hill climb - and that's a good a way as any to end a bank holiday.
So ended the Duk-Dik. A weekend with both good and bad points. If nothing else, it taught me to double check all fixings after working on the trike.
I have a feeling we may be doing this rally again in the future - nice one MAG, we enjoyed it.