Happy campers,dogs and dolls

Wonderful summery weather and hot sun gives me the “feel good” factor. Its common sense to kit out in ex army kit, when I put my swiss army trousers on to compliment the Swiss army jacket I can tool up with 24 tinnies!! Though waddling towards the band tent for the evenings entertainment can be a bit of a hard slog!

This is Bobbie and Lisa, they arrived on their Kawasaki Voyager cruiser, the left side bike pannier was specially converted for Bobbie.

Bobbie was more effective that a bike lock and shouted at anyone who came close!

These guys are the HARDLY RIDABLES M.C. This was on one of the European Demo weekends held in Holland.

The purpose of these “M.A.G Demo Weekends” was to demonstrate over anti bike legislation throughout Europe. They were very important in the 80’s and 90’s. I  took part in mass rides through many a capitol. Every year we decended on the country whose MEP’s were being particlar twats. There were thousands of us from many european countries. No troube ever took place, though we always attracted a  heavy police presence to begin with…well, one look at us is enough to scare the “bejesus” out of anyone!…In Paris for example the organisers told us to meet to under that big tower to make a point. The Paris police followed us in great numbers in their big blue riot vans AND used bloody helecopters, they looked to be togged up ready for war! It soon went “tits up” in a spectacular fashion as the french organisers got us lost in THEIR capitol! We split into dozens of smaller groups all whizzing around Paris looking for the effing Tower! I remember tagging behind a french rider along with three fat scouses on Harleys we figured the guy in front knew where he was going, soon about thirty brits tagged on behind and we followed the bloke through the city. Eventually he stopped at a huge office block and took out a parcel from his top box. He turned to look at us all as we pulled up behind him…..and then it dawned on us that he was a Paris despatch rider and not riding to the demo at all!

After much laughing he pointed us in the general directon of the tower. Unfortunatly we were on the wrong side of the Seine and heading AWAY from it, every turn over the river was a NO ENTRY sign. “Oh Bollix to this!” Somebody finally said and just pulled into the oncoming traffic and stopped. The French drivers were extrememly obliging and sat waving some got out of their cars and cheered as hundreds of european bikers filtered across, more groups arrived out of sidestreets and from the opposite direction. The French I’m told, just love a good demo…its in their blood!

The demo developed at the tower quickly and soon turned into an impromtu bike show, the boys in blue relaxed took their armour off and put their gas shotguns and long batons back in the boot and walked amongst us admiring the bikes. Phew thank fook for that more than a few of thought! Parisians mooched amongst us as did the tourists. One biker was heard to say “Ja I know ze vay back to ze campsite” He was grabbed and promoted to  tour leader, bless him he got us back just fine. Me and the three “big-lads” were the best of pals for the rest of the weekend!

At another demo in Maarstricht we had a police escort into the city, they warned us not to stop in the city but could ride past the parliment buildings at a snails pace, we sounded horns and generally made as much noise as we could, as a negotiated compromise with the police we were escorted onto an auto-route flyover and allowed to stop for thirty minutes to make our demo there, all the lanes were blocked for a short while. The Dutch police then escorted out of the city. An amnesty was given to us on the demo day in that we could ride for the day without helmets. All the polce forces at all the events eventually relax and seemed to enjoy the spectacle.

I went on the Dutch Demo weekend with a  girlfriend…..this was not her..she was a fun loving Belgian lass who’s daddy was a banker. She followed me all morning eventually getting me into a load of trouble!  I have to admit she was worth it and never saw my girlfriend again after we got back to England.

This bike belongs to a very proud Brit biker, the word was he was the son of Oliver Reid the famous 60’s actor, he did sound and look very much like him and was a little excentric especially in the beer tent that evening. The theme of his bike shouts “I’m an ENGLISHMAN” don’t you think? Down one side it showed a British bulldog biting the ass of a pink French poodle!

This wolf was so big he could have sat on the front seat as far as I was concerned!!

Two young at heart bikers arrive ready to party for the weekend. old and young mix well at these affairs with not a thought about age, its all about the bikes, which is nice isnt it?

My Julie in the bedroom getting dolled up for the evenings festivities. The length some of the girls go to get ready, its a bloody ritual I swear and puts us men to shame!

Another mature Harley rider comes through the gates ready to party.

The first day gets everyone in a  great mood to party, even more so if the weather is behaving and the old current bun shines loud and proud.

This was the world famous GLOWIN LAMB RALLY, it has long since gone but used to be in an old quarry somewhere in Cumbria. Julie enjoys an open fire. This took Malcom and me AGES to light, it had been raining and the wood was wet, but once it was lit we kept in going until dawn.

Malcom and his favorite party trick, he could stck one to his forehead and pour it out into his glass. We used to enter the beer tent like this, I followed behind and when the curious ones asked “How the…..” I used to whisper in their ear…”its amazing what you can do with carpet grips!”

A trike arrives at THE FARMYARD RALLY at Helmsley, the site was moved to the front of DUNCSOMBE after the flash flood the year before. It used to be held in the quiant valley with the stream that meandered through it behind the house. Its a small mercy that the flood happened after the weekend, when most of the bikers had packed up and gone home. The M.A.G volunteers who were helping to clear up, take down tents and pack equipment had all their kit, tents even some  of the bikes were washed away and were extremely lucky not to have drowned. It makes me shiver even now at the thought of what might have happened if it had been the Saturday night.

I met Dave from Northampton and Malc from Oldham and the girls on the road in Espania, we were making our way to FARO in Portugal, we decided to team up for the holiday. We stayed firm friends for many years after that first trip, in fact is was after that very trip that I started to write!

 People react differently to “the man with the camera” Its that Friday feeling again.

For the camera, men always want to drop their trousers and do a “moon” Whereas the ladies frequently want to get their tops off. This is  just an observation and not a complaint!

The atmosphere is always infectious on the infamous Friday..first day of the rally, some guys just want to have so much fun!

Every rally provides a “ride-out” on the Saturday afternoon. Folk come from far and wide and many take advantage of being taken around the local countryside. This is the Saturday afternoon “ride-out” from”STORMIN THE CASTLE” its on the road in Teesdale.

 Julie poses by the “MUTHA” of all trikes darn sarf. It was so huge that it had a reversing camera. I would have loved to have seen it negotiate a roundabout. It has featured on a “Men and Motors” programme.

Wonderful memories with this photo. Our epic three weeks tour around Spain. 3000 miles on 8 campsite. we went to the very southern tip to Jerez. Andeluca is my favorite part if I had to choose…in fact the whole interior of Spain is wonderful. This photo was taken about 09,00hrs. The sun is up and the dust is collecting, the trick was to not put your jacket on until  the very last thing because it was THAT hot.

Dogs of all shape and size attend the rally’s and arrive in all kind of carrier!

I find the smell of bacon so invigorating at the start of the day, the trouble is, so does everyone else nearby and want to be your bessi mate!!

At some of the larger rally’s there are big attractions like this ball buster of a contraption. I was stood with Malc one day and shaking heads saying “You won’t catch me on that bloody thing”…..Fifteen minutes later after much egging on by each other we decided to have a go! The first shot into the sky was fantastic but then the following ten minutes was awful as it spun seemingly out of control and bounced this way and that. We were curled up in the cage gritting teeth and praying for an early death. Julie says when we finally got off we both wore a deathly pale complexion. No siree, You wont get me on one of those contraptions!

 This little man is the biker of tommorow, he even has his very own set of waterproofs. I have seen quite a few familes at the rally’s. Not babies but youngsters. This young man I think is the youngest Ive seen so far…Those are mums hands just behind him by the way.

Jack Russels are the most popular type of dog to bring to rally’s, probably because they are easier to pack??

Those guys from the HARDLY RIDABLE MC again, this time gracing the MAGNA CARTA rally darn sarf.

 The early evening revellers in the music square at THE FARMYARD RALLY.

 This guy proved an instant hit with motorists on the A1 coming back from THE MAGNA CARTA RALLY I have never been “beeped” at so much in one day. He now sits on top of the wardrobe in our spare bedroom.

Saturday night in the music arena kicks of with this German band at THE FARMYARD RALLY.

Ok so you can wear what you want at a biker rally so long as it’s camo gear!

Collapsable camping chairs make things a bit more civil for the ladies…..did you know that the bag that hold the chair also holds nine tinnies?

However not everyone chooses to wear camo kit, this Hull couple chose the more appropiate PVC attire! Watching them climb in and out of their tent was hilarious. I met them a couple of times at several Yorkshire rally’s.

More maniacs from East Yorkshire having a brilliant time in the music tent.

Another mutt on marshall duties…hence the yellow hi-viz jacket…mind yer ankles!!

The most popular bike in the world is the HONDA CUB. Dad had one and use to take me on trip to visit my Uncles and Aunties on Sundays, I remember sitting on the back with my hands in his coat pockets. I used to fiddle with whatever was in his pockets, I remember he sometimes had a packet of Park Drive fags and used to break them in half sometimes. Dad never said anything. Now of course I dare not bring the subject up… He is 90 and Im 54!!!

 The best kind of rally bike as far as I’m concerned was my YAMAHA DRAGSTAR 650cc. With some imagination one could carry everything and strap stuff everywhere! On the bigger WILDSTAR we used to carry two chairs and a table, then put the camping stuff on top of that!

An early evening shot at the top of the hill at the ROCK AND BLUES CUSTOM SHOW in Derbyshire. There is a Honda Goldwing in the picture but you cant see it because its been painted in camo colours.

The girls refer to themselves sarcastically as human billboards! Here they are promoting “FILTH” at the R&B’s four day event…..thats what it says on their shirts! I’d love to have seen them walk around when it was muddier the year previously!

 Well, whats good for the goose is good for the gander or so the saying goes. Its all about equality these days too. I bet you can’t guess what I’m promotoing can you?



3 Responses to Happy campers,dogs and dolls

  1. Martin says:

    Great ones Dave…..enjoyed the read….as always!! When I write the saga of Maison St Georges I know where to come for a “ghost writer”!! Keep those stories coming mate and hope to see you here in the South of France in 2012!!! Take care!!


  2. Keith Dobson says:

    Good article i would like to see that humungus trike.


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