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Dragon Rally

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Dragon Rally Empty Dragon Rally

Post by Monglord on Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:40 am

From last year 08:06, Ant, BabySheep and Melv:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-eRZBXrbqI

What have I let myself in for (again?).
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Post by esox on Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:36 pm

Monglord wrote:What have I let myself in for (again?).

How did it go then, Hoon?
It looks absolutely fucking horrific! lol!
I especially like the tents in trees.



Full write-up`n`pics when you recover, please...
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Post by stinkwheel on Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:58 am

Yay. My Enfield at 1:49.

Weather was exactly as bad as it looks, if not more-so. Storm-force winds, record levels of rainfall. I'd estimate around half the tents on site were down by morning. In fairness, I think Hoons po-up tent faired best, most of the rest were abandoned in the field in ankle-deep mud.

Delayed getting on site for about 45 minutes while they ambulanced the second of two broken legs off the access road on the way up. Several people being given first-aid for hypothermia in the morning.

We faired better than most of the rest of North Wales though. Tony and I really struggled to find a route through on the way back because of flooding which was extensive and severe.
All good fun. Looking forwards to next year.

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Post by theyank on Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:25 pm

I WAS WORRIED ABOUT ALL OF YOU. Mom-mode engaged hard. Being there AND getting home!! Crazy fuckers!
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Dragon Rally Empty Mr.S.Sprooles Dragon Rally experience Pt.1

Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:28 pm

My journey to the Bruce Pollard Memorial rally on Friday was perfect really- toasty warm with several layers, handlebar muffs and leg shields on the CBR 'cos it turns out I was too lazy to rebuild both calipers on the zombie which meant they couldn't be bled up for an MOT.
After a while I could even turn my head a little and get my feet on and off the pegs once the layers had all bedded in!  Laughing
All the CBR needed was the carbs removing, a leaky float bowl sorting and putting back into winter touring trim- oh yeah, insurance had to be obtained which took almost as long as prepping the bike!

So one fuel and lunch stop at 130 miles saw me riding the A5 with beautiful views and clear roads (seriously, I had absolutely no cars behind me for miles and miles which was bliss) after using 4 different m/ways to reach it.
264 miles after leaving home I arrived at the Giler Arms and set up camp with plenty of time to chill before the other herberts (minus Ant- due to a side-swipe incident on his zombie a week earlier it seems, long story) arrived and the 'socialising' began.
We spent all night in the pub by the log fire and did the usual 'til they chucked us out.

After a full English (or should I say full Welsh) in the pub the next morning we packed up and waited a short while for Ant to turn up on his XJ before heading to the check point 20 mins up the road.
On arrival at the rally site we had to wait at the bottom of the lane as Scott explained, with the amount of people riding away still fully loaded and the Chinese whispers of Soddom and Gomorra on the rally field we eventually headed up and onto the site filled with dread of what lay before us.

It was bloody fine!
Ok the ground was soft but nowhere near as bad as everyone was making out- I even got both feet on the pegs going across the field at one point Cool
Being photographed by Nik as I came through the gate was a bonus, he swept past us at the bottom of the lane just before we mounted up for the ride in.
Dragon Rally Img_2010


Last edited by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:49 pm

After setting up the tents and roping down the bikes we went and got our goody bags and soup.

We did attempt to walk around the site and look at bikes but we only got to see maybe a 1/4 of it before the weather finally drove us into the marquee (shame)- prior to this it had actually been quite bright.
I really liked this lorry curtain side home made tent.
Dragon Rally Img_2011

At one point early in the evening I did try and cook my tea but alas my tent was too small to be in and cook without the tent battering my head whilst trying to hold the inner tent away from the cooker- yes the wind and rain had picked up a bit at this point!

I gave up with an intact tent and unburnt skin before patronizing the Cunty Bagel food wagon- yes really! (picture of which to come).

Then it was sitting in the marquee and getting progressively relaxed, passing round hip flasks of interesting spirits is always enjoyable.
At some point later in the evening the local cask ales were reduced to £2 a pint due to not being returnable to the brewery and I have to admit that I remember dancing really well until the band had to stop and then not an awful lot else Wink

I did however manage to get into my sleeping arrangements properly and slept soundly all night.
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Post by june_whitfield on Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:54 pm

well that sounds like fun (not)....

I actually met a bunch of Dutch guys today, who were at the dragon on assorted old mopeds and a CX500, and they looked like they spent the last year in a North Korean prison camp.

also, why did they have a band? isn't the Dragon supposed to be a "traditional rally" with sod all entertainment?
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:13 pm

I awoke just as the others were getting ready to leave, they did ask if they were waiting for me but as soon as I heard from them that the winds were due to start dying down around midday I quickly decided to take my time and wait it out, a decision I think I was both wise and lucky to make.

Again as Scott mentioned I think my choice of tent was very lucky, I deliberated long and hard before deciding on the pop-up and speed of pitching and packing away made that choice (moving camp twice in a weekend is a ballache)- there might not have been a porch (which I would have created with my tarp had the wind have been less severe) and space to cook but it stayed solid without affecting my sleep and without becoming water-logged (thank you Uncle Nate, a blinding swap for a Remus end-can).
It was damp inside the tent granted, the inner floor being moist but no puddles and totally dry sleeping bags due to the bivvy bag I got from Melv a while back- proper lifesaver I reckon- big thanks to Melv and get yourself one if you can, even if you don't camp in silly conditions it ups the rating of your sleep system quite a bit.

I had a leisurely breakfast ( non-cooked) and started packing up.
By the time the bike was loaded I was one of very few left on the field (no surprise there) so I helped Scottish Tim get his XJ off the field to the top of the exit track before he returned the favour.

All morning I had waited out the worst of the rain squalls so I spent a good while in the marquee getting all my (largely dry) riding gear ready in good order while it rained one final time before setting off.
Dragon Rally Img_2012

Cunty Bagel food wagon! and CBR sheltering in its lee
Dragon Rally Img_2013
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:30 pm

Ha! Yes, those Dutch lads were good fun.
They're leaving the Island tomorrow, where did you meet them?
(You're right about them looking like they'd just escaped a prison camp Laughing )

They turned up at the Bruce and to massed cries of beer! from them they each magically had a can of Kronenburg in their hand.

They were actually on a couple of SS50s with 125 motors, a couple of other C90 things and the one with the '70s fairing was a CB450DX Very Happy

All the mod cons at the Dragon these days it seems, plenty of porta bogs and a big TV to watch the rugby on if you wanted to- very few badly knitted wooly jumpers and only a handful of Derriboots to be seen Wink
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Post by june_whitfield on Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:08 pm

>> Ha! Yes, those Dutch lads were good fun.
>> They're leaving the Island tomorrow, where did you meet them?

I met them at Tesco's by the A14/A11 roadworks around Cambridge; just before the hail started...
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:53 pm

So where was I?

Oh yes, I finally set off down the track only to find that the little puddle we had to splash through on the way in was now a small lake which needed fording in a steady manner- wish I could have set up me chair and had brekkie watching everyone navigate through it on their way out.

I never witnessed the oil spill of doom on the A55 everyone mentioned luckily and I didn't get to witness the flooding or landslide on the A5 due to being turned back at the start of it by the power company guys who were busily removing a fallen tree from the road before they could re-connect the power lines.
You know how on a bike when the road is coned off with signs saying 'road closed' you have to ride through the cones 'just to see if you can squeeze a bike through whatever the obstruction is'?
Well the workmen don't seem to like it when you do that Mad
I got shouted at and had to make out I was lost and confused Laughing

So I switched the satnav on for the first time in the whole journey (getting to that part of Wales couldn't be easier from where I live when you've done it once) and as luck would have it it sent me up along the coast past Colwyn Bay so I got some coastal scenery where the sea was proper gnarly looking.

After 90 gruelling miles with relatively few puckering moments I was getting very achy, tired and chilly (hadn't put my final outer layers on) I pulled in for fuel and food on the M6 just West of Birmingham at the Knutsford services.
I was pretty dead on my feet by then and it wasn't long before it'd be dark, with 200 miles still left to do it was a fairly easy decision (with weather reports and encouragement from Nate and Leigh) to find a Travelodge for the night and start afresh on Monday.

As luck would have it after a Sausage Cheese & Bean Melt with hot chocolate from Greggs I fuelled up and found out there was a Travelodge right there on the opposite side of the carriageway!
I was so relieved, I can't tell you how welcome it was to get out of the weather without having to ride any further.
£37 later and I was having what felt like a mini holiday in a warm room overlooking trees, fields and the lorry park.

Relieved Hoon:
Dragon Rally Img_2014


Hang all me damp gear up (room like a Chinese laundry), jump in a hot shower before cooking up my remaining rally grub and having a beer (left behind with the multitude of tents and equipment in the rally field) in front of the telly then bed- no work on Monday and not needing to take Max to school made this possible thank fuck.

Not having this option would have been an absolute nightmare, a truly miserable end to a good weekend it would have been for sure- doesn't bear thinking about really.

Monday morning I was up and ready after breakfast in bed wearing all my warm dry gear.

After having nipped up the exhaust studs (3 out of the four downpipes were coming loose but only randomly blowing at certain revs, very odd- Scott, I was wrong about your exhaust resonating with mine on the way to the site- it was as I initially thought, I did have issues), I was off and soon up to steady 75/ 80 mph cruising with light traffic and not overly gusty wind conditions.
At times with a really strong head wind I did have to knock it down a gear or two to maintain pace but this was due mainly to the flat spot in the rev range which I've never got rid of, usually it's easy enough to ride around.

One quick stop for fuel, a visor clean and a fruit bar and it was just an 80 mile dash down the rest of the M1 and onto the M25 which was very welcome- yes I know, the only time the M25 is a welcoming sight  Smile

So 4hrs after leaving the Travelodge I was unloading the bike and reliving the (long) weekends adventure, safe in the knowledge that I'd made the right choices in what to wear and pack (I only forgot my wind shield for the cooker, very unlike me but what with spending the last few days before the rally trying to get a useable machine ready excusable I think- my map book made a good wind break).

I was glad to be on the solo overall, I was able to pack enough for comfort, able to filter through traffic, able to enjoy twisty narrow roads without it being hard work and able to get up the access path to the rally without ploughing another furrow up it with the exhaust which is way too low on the outfit!
I didn't get to be towed out of a field by a tractor but hey ho Smile

I last did the Dragon 3 yrs ago and didn't feel like I would need to do it every year, I'm still not sure if I need to do it next year yet but I am closer to wanting to do it already this time around- maybe it is addictive like some people seem to mention.
I've got to say that everyone who goes to it is there for the same reason, yes they're nutters but they friendly dedicated ones who help each other out without question.
It's quite a sensible and relaxed affair, there really aren't any twats spoiling it for others but you can have a good laugh.

As has been talked about, maybe we ought to make it the FuP event- I reckon if you've done a FuP previously you could enjoy the Dragon and at least there's no cat herding to be done Cool
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:04 pm

Who's Mr.S.Sprooles I hear you ask?

Well:Dragon Rally Img_2015

In the services where I stopped overnight was a table with second hand books you could take in return for a donation to Help for Heroes, I choose to thumb through a book about Brigitte Bardot while I cooked my tea and in the front cover was a letter from a VHS film rental company.
I returned the book later but did choose another to keep and paid the suggested £2 btw, I'm a good boy me.

MR S SPROOLES! How ridiculous is that name?
And his mate Mr.T.Hogbin ain't much better Laughing Laughing
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Post by Monglord on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:07 pm

Full enough write up Mr.Esox?
I've not done an epic one like that for ages.

I think you need to go next yr, it is the 60th anniversary after all.
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Post by esox on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:51 pm

Excellent reportage there Mr G. Hoon Esq.

`Video Club`? Sounds a bit dodgy...

Sprooles!
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Post by twofiddy on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:10 pm

Great write up, enjoyed that.

Really pleased I didn't go Razz

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Post by magnamaniac on Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:36 pm

twofiddy wrote:Great write up, enjoyed that.

Really pleased I didn't go Razz
I'm with stupid clown

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Post by Monglord on Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:03 pm

Laughing
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Post by Monglord on Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:55 pm

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Post by Monglord on Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Arriving at the Dragon:
Dragon Rally Hoon_d11


"ooh look, a camera!"
Dragon Rally Hoon_d10

Thank you Nik Cool
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Post by voodoo on Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:54 pm

Such a handsome lad silent rabbit

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Post by Monglord on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:45 pm

Thank you Voodoo.

Never seen a picture where my eyes are so blue before, must be the clean Welsh air or summat?
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Post by voodoo on Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:16 pm

About time to have a brewsky together. I might make it to RnS this year.

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Post by Monglord on Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:48 pm

Absolutely, be good to see you there.
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Post by june_whitfield on Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:32 pm

>> About time to have a brewsky together.
>> I might make it to RnS this year

not again!
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Post by voodoo on Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:19 am

Who nose affraid

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