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Belgium Yarn 2019

Over there in Belgium, Oostende to be exact, they have an Old Timer Rally, usually held around the 3rd weekend of September, but for some reason this year's event was held on the first weekend...? Anyways, I've been doing this Rally for over 20yrs now, and it sort of marks the end to the riding season. Although the reality of that statement isn't quite true, as I ride all year round, so I guess it's just a marker to say that the season is slowing down a tad. The ONLY motorcycle in my fleet not to have attended this event is the Sports Scout.  Always seems to have had something amiss with it, twice before on 'Overseas' events it's let me down, but this time I threatened it. Three strikes and you're out, sort of threat, cos we all know our bikes have souls. And a good talking to seems to have worked, as I dragged it out of the fettling shed, and kicked it into life...
The meeting point at the services on the M20 motorway was reached, the plan being we'd all bunch up and take a ride down to the boat at Dover.  I tells ya, I had some trepidation in my heart, when I had to fire up the engine again, knowing that in the past it would take 23,000 kicks. But NO, first kick and away we went, PERFICK thought I. Dover reached, tickets got, then a small mortgage was taken out to pay for the coffee as we waited for the DFDS ferry to Dunkerque. On board I strapped the bike down, then went for their breakfast, another rip off, but then.... Well we're on holiday so...
Will it start went my mind, and the reply came back with a YES, first kick once again, Happy Daze are here again. Off to Veurne where a bucket of Mussels was consumed, and a beer, one of the BSA's in our party had broken down, which turned out to be a fuse. But the Mighty Sports Scout did me proud, and started up again nice and easy too. We'd booked into the brick built tent, called the Hotel Princess a stones throw from the Oostende sea front, they supplied a garage for the bikes, of which there were about 20. So all safe and sound, we showered and changed then out on the town for more light refreshments. All wonderful stuff and it went on till the wee small hours. 

Next day Saturday we took a ride to Damme, the bike performed perfectly, not once did I stall it, or have my foot fall off the clutch, best of all starting has become a breeze. And no smoking from the exhaust. All my past worries were at an end, thanks to the help of all that had a hand in my question
Belgium 2019 Belgium 2019
Belgium 2019 Belgium 2019
Belgium 2019 Belgium 2019


Sunday is the Rally day, so off to the square to book in €20 gets you a few tickets, these are swapped for a coffee and waffle in the near Hotel, then chips and a kebab type thing, with a drink, then a drink and ice cream, but first the mooching around the 200 odd bikes there. All Old Timer bikes, I think the cut-off date is 1975, a check of their website will tell you more I'm sure...   Around 11.00 we all hit the road, going to do around 80 miles out in the lanes of Belgium, following their very good signs, mounted on lamp posts and things. So dead easy to relax and enjoy the ride, after about 1.5hrs out and about, we have the lunch stop. Here you see bikes you've missed, always good to see hot motorcycles as they gently leak their life blood on the pavements. Then off once again to enjoy the smells of the country, think September is *Muck* spreading month, but it is the countryside so what do you expect..!
Then the ice cream stop, before setting off again to end up at the Bikers Loft, a very good place to stay when touring Europe, they let you park your bike inside where you stay. Here we have the awards ceremony, you know the usual stuff, long distance, shiny bike, oldest rider, youngest rider. I won nothing, neither did anyone in our party. Except one lad who won a raffle prize, you're allotted a number, and that number is your raffle number. When you get to the bar area, they have the winning numbers on the wall, and you collect your prize if you've won. A great day out on a fantastic machine, nothing went wrong, except for the carrier my mate made me, bloody thing snapped on the cobble stones we were riding on..! But the Indian did its job admirably, even stood up with the few Indians that were at the Rally...
Monday morning and our ride home, fired her up and off we went, just how a proper motorcycle should perform, even managed to make it home safe and sound. So that's the final *Test* for this machine, and it's passed with flying colours, I consider this one of MY bikes now, it's caused me heartache  sorrow and financial loss. Just what all the other bikes I own have, PERFICK as we say in these parts. Here's to the next ride....

Shaun Gibbons aka Hellbelly Shaun Gibbons



Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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