On a very warm Friday afternoon everyone started to arrive at The Gate Hangs High at Hook Norton, casting off their biking gear with great haste before they melted, and starting to erect their tents. The Oxford team had been there early setting up a marquee and getting the coffee, tea, biscuits and cake ready. Twenty-one tents and camper vans were soon in place and the Oxford Rally ‘village’ was set up and ready to start enjoying the weekend, whilst others settled into the B&B facilities at the back of the pub.
Time for a visit to the pub for a cold drink and to sample the delicious food – with HOC ‘specials’ to keep the prices reasonable – and prepare for Ted’s brain teasing quiz. The evening progressed and heads were scratched and answers were sought. The winning team were visitors to the Hook Norton Beer Festival but they did share their box of chocolates which were the first prize! Off to bed not-too-late as there was the ride out to be enjoyed tomorrow!
A bright and sunny Saturday morning greeted the ralliers with breakfast – either self cooked or in the pub – before the bikes assembled at a civilised time of 11am for a beautiful ‘twisty’ ride to Kemble Airfield for lunch and to watch the planes come and go. Then it was off again to enjoy the roads around Stroud as the 28 bikes wended their way back to the camp site – just in time for a freshen up before starting the BBQ or again enjoying a meal in the pub.
Not everyone made the ride out as one bike had a slow slide fall on a bad camber road on the journey in and there were telephone calls and rushing round to locate a new brake lever – which was purchased and fitted, all before the end of the afternoon
Evening arrived and so did Pete, our very talented entertainer, who kept everyone singing and laughing till just gone midnight when the last stragglers toddled to their beds before up and off home on Sunday morning.
However, before leaving on Sunday, everyone had to judge the Best Honda Bike at the rally and the first to get their sheets back to the event sponsor, Dave from MIS Newbury, received a cash prize and …….. then for the award. A very surprised Bob won cleaning goodies and a plaque for his beautifully kept 20 year old plus Honda Africa Twin. Well deserved Bob! The winner was closely followed by two very well kept Blackbirds that had been showing off their beauty all weekend.
Then it was tents packed, farewells said and off home – sunburnt, well fed and watered!