2011: Concorde Rally, Chippenham

Friday – JC, Les and young passenger Cameron met on the A303 at 2.00 pm for the comparatively short journey to Chippenham. Sam and I started slightly later at 4.30 pm for the 95 mile ride to the Rally site.

The weather was fine and we made good time arriving at the site by 7.00 pm.  We pitched the tent, signed in and were pleased to greet the rest of the crew in the bar by 7.30pm. We chatted for a while enjoying a few pleasant pints of Wadsworth 6X. The evening was mellowing and many people were heading for a well earned rest.  I on the other hand felt the great urge to investigate the contents of Les’s panniers. I walked through the tents and bikes in the darkness and retrieved a container of Ash Hill dry cider and returned to the bar. We shared the cider and as time progressed, the bar emptied. In the early hours JC and I were among the few remaining and the cider had somehow all disappeared, so we headed for bed.

 

Saturday – Over a cooked breakfast we discussed our plans for the day and caught up on the England Rugby highlights, what a result! Ted had arrived from Dorset and joined us for breakfast.  We headed back to the tent admiring the range of bikes on the site. After some discussion we decided to walk into Chippenham to have a look round. But where was Ted, had we upset him as he had not unpacked and was nowhere to be seen. I left a message on his mobile and a large group of us headed for the dizzy hights!

After a very brief look at the shops (which was almost too much for me to bear, as I hate shopping) most of us headed for the pub with the exception of Sam who decided to stay with the shops and to try and find a high quality Hairdresser.

The mystery of Ted’s disappearance was discussed, we finally agreed that as he had only had a short ride to the site he had probably gone on the run. Our suspicions were confirmed when we received a call from Ted. We met Sam on the bridge before the appointed time and headed back to the site in the glorious sunshine.

We met up with Ted and had a light meal in the bar before looking round the site to enter our nominations for the best bike categories. On my travels I spoke to a chap with a Yellow Thunderbird Sport. He had a very familiar accent so I asked where he was from, he proudly informed me that he was one of the founder members of Yorkshire Rose. Much to his surprise, I was equally proud to report that he joined after me!! I hadn’t seen Gary (Animal as we knew him then) for almost 27 years and we didn’t recognise each other. So after a good inspection of his bike (which was absolutely immaculate as was the Daytona 500 he had 27 years ago) we walked around the site together to catch up.

After ablutions the S&D crew met back at the bikes and prepared for the evenings activity. Sam looked gorgeous and was finding it difficult to stand on the soft grass wearing 4” Stiletto heels. Our President, Roy Schilling found a temporary solution by crushing two beer cans and placing them at her feet. As a reward, I searched Les’s panniers again and found the remaining container of cider. The Somerset and Dorset boys (and Sam) shared the cider and offered Roy a taste. Fortunately, he was not too keen, so there was more for us! To complement the cider I retrieved a large piece of proper traditional farmhouse cheddar from my pannier. I carefully sliced it with Les’s penknife and shared it equally.

After a short while we headed for the bar which was to be the place to watch the band, to hear the results of the various competitions and not to forget the raffle!

My cold started as we set off for the Rally and was getting worse, the beer and cider on offer were no comparison to the farmhouse cider we had just consumed. So I struggled to drink anything alcoholic, not a bad thing really!

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the best custom bike. Les won!!

After a spill, a couple of years ago he designed and built the Trike from the remains of his 900 Sprint. He managed to get it on the road in June just a week before we headed to Germany for the Summertreffen and successfully rode the Trike there and back, which is a testament to Les’s skills and abilities. Well done mate!!

We were disappointed that the band didn’t play any Rock Music, the dance floor was empty and that the main house lights were on most of the night, which spoiled the atmosphere. Having said that, the Rally was well planned and thanks are offered to the Bristol Branch for organising. It isn’t easy to find a replacement band at short notice – which is something for us to think about when planning our Rally next year!

 Sunday – We ate breakfast, packed and headed for home!

 

Dave T