Sluggy and I decided it was time we introduced ourselves to the other members of the diesel bike fraternity, so with a full tank of proper fuel and loaded up with camping gear we headed off for the wilds of south England to join in the second ever UK diesel bike rally.
Without and specific motorcycle luggage, we made do with my old set of cycling panniers and a tote bag for the tent, sleeping mat and cooking stuff. My 3 season sleeping bag filled one of the panniers on its own - but mitigated the risk of a cold night.
As you can see from the piccie, the weather was not that promising when I set off in full armoured winter gear (and yes those are still my red gardening gloves that I favor when riding the bike).
Needless to say the day soon warmed up and by the time we reached the Woolwich ferry, it was time to discard the overtrousers.
Now as the M25 is out of the question on a bike that makes 50 mph on a good day, 55 downhill and 40 on anything like up a hill navigation and route-choice are very important.
Enter the Tom Tom One sat nav, as this comes with an earphone socket and is half the price of the proper bike version it has proven most suitable for use on the bike, you can even choose a routeplan with a maximum speed, in my case I chose 40mph and motorways will be avoided. I needed to add the Woolwich ferry as a waypoint to ensure correct routing. I wired a trailing power socket to the bikes electrical system as the batteries within the Tom Tom are only good for 2 hours.
So we set off, well equipped and loaded up, and after passing through one of the largest urban environments, in the longest direction and after countless traffic lights we emerged from the London sprawl and out into the open countryside. ever true the sat nav took me directly to the Bat & Ball pub where the event was being held.
A fine welcome from the organisers and it was time to pitch camp, I chose a spot close to a similar bike just so Sluggy would have some company.
If you look very carefully at the German bike you might just see that the tank is a bit bigger than a normal Enfield, these hold 18 litres of fuel and the owner says this is good for 600km of motorway running.
the rest of Friday was spent introducing myself around and taking a look at the bikes, most of the German attendees had gone to Brighton for the day to take a look at the Pavillion.
Friday evening was barbecue time and was achieved despite the less than impressive results from a 'Budgens' disposable barbie, Sainsburys work much better apparently. Still the food was great and well cooked and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Friday Evening was spent in the pub, and a jolly old time we had of it too, still all good things must come to an end and so to bed. (sure wish I'd taken the torch with me to the pub rather than leave it in the tent)
So what was there to see, lets start with the German contingent of 8 or so including Jochen Sommer who performs the conversions of Enfield Bikes in Germany with full TUV approval. All were mounted on his bikes, but all were individual in many ways.
Just check out the colour of the bike in the foreground, with the black powder coated hubs and rims setting the style scene.
Peters primary always attracts plenty of attention, amazing what you can do with a belt primary and dry clutch, a laser cutter and plenty of nuts and bolts.
Jonny's Daihatsu powered Dneiper is always worth a close look, lots of engineering details worthy of a close look including a frame stretch of a about a foot.
Even an en-route puncture could not keep this bike away, all power to his girlfriend though who arrived and set up camp in preparation for his arrival.