South of England Rally

Ladies of H.O.G.

3rd-5th August 2007

2,000 HOG members, over 1,500 Harley-Davidsons and Buells, many old friends, many more new ones. Absolutely fantastic weather, a great spirit of camaraderie, varied activities throughout. You really could do exactly as little or as much as you wanted to.

We went down Friday morning, and since the first people we saw were Danny and Lynn we pitched up in the ever-growing Meridian Village. Eventually numbers swelled to 45+, camping or in the chalets.

The conviviality started as soon as the tents were up and the lilos inflated, so no more driving on Friday! We did wander down to exchange pleasantries with the Ladies Of Harley setting off on their evening ride-out, this year entitled the ‘Royal Ride’. Chelsea & Fulham were elegantly represented by Lynn and Deryn, on their immaculately turned out Wide Glide and Sportster.

Friday night was a pretty traditional bike rally affair, so ended rather late and with the participants somewhat deafer. All too soon it was Saturday morning and breakfast beckoned. People then did their own things throughout the day - Simon and I walked round the estate and chatted with some of the shooting types, who were making very expensive holes in far-away pieces of paper. Most fun were the antique muzzle loading rifles up on the 1200 yard range, whose weapons made a huge bang accompanied by a dense cloud of smoke and flying chunks of wadding. Later on we went off for our own ride-out, getting back in time for the barbecue.

Plenty of C&F and Meridian members came down just for the day on Saturday, the weather was so fantastic after the weeks of rain and the doom and gloom merchants writing off the rally as flooded out before it had even started. In the event the ground was only slightly softer than usual and there wasn’t a problem with side-stands digging in, if anything the whole motorcycle just gracefully sank in about 5 or 10mm.

The barbecue was a great affair, really well cooked and presented, with a huge bucket of ice containing a selection of beverages. Huge thanks to Phil and Sally Bashford who supplied the equipment, arranged the food and then cooked it (Trevor and Tanya also helped with the cooking duties).

Saturday evening was a quiet affair as everybody had to ride home on Sunday, but was no less sociable. Ending things in style were the traditional fireworks, going out with a ‘bang’.

Michael Howers - C&F Road Captain

South of England Rally