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German International Rally 2016


‘Indian Riders UK’ at the Indian Rally in Cologne Germany
Thursday – Easy crossing to the rally.
Setting off at 6am, the journey was easy, around the M25 to the M20. With very little delay, the journey was going smooth. On landing in Calais, we continued a clear 6hr drive, this took us to the location, Just past Cologne in Germany.
And wow! What a beautiful area. Rather than camp, we chose to get an apartment which was near-by, just minutes from the rally. On arrival at this designed apartment, loaded with creative ideas. It was so nice, we feel it’s worth mentioning!.. and we thank them for being there. Waking up to deer in the green lush fields, bordering very precisely manicured corn fields, cut through by a perfectly tree lined road. It was all so precise and perfect...German precision with nature!
Friday – First arrival to sign in.
Friday morning we arrived at the rally after watching the deer in the field and having breakfast. Arriving at the gate, you could see the road winding down with polished bikes lining, backed by colourful tents and the hum of conversation and laughter. This star studded road, lined with proud Indians of all types and periods was a stunning sight and in the mix were some Brit Bikes, Harleys and a few rice burners (Asian bikes).
With Sybil’s constant stop to say ‘hi’ every few steps and admiring the bikes, it took a long time to get down that hill. Being a novice, I knew no-one there, but was soon made welcome by everyone we met. As well as the immaculate bikes, which are quite obviously a love and a passion, it was a nice and fun crowd. We ‘eventually’ reached the bottom of the road, after stopping at most of the spares stands, meeting and greeting.
These stalls led us to a large arch entrance into a square, where people where gathering and talking. Mostly groups around with bikes as the centrepiece, all discussing in great detail, every part on the bike. The unwelcome rain then passed through, but did not dampen spirits. Gift bags were given out with everything Indian, from the red entrance strap, an Indian pin or badge, a bottle top closer, a garbage sack and special Indian labelled beer.
The square was centred by a bar and a parachute covered drinking and eating area. Behind that the main stage. Lining the area on the right was the entrance office and the merchandise shop. Above that the banqueting hall, where we were to eat later. On the left a burger and a desert stall.
After much socialising, once again going up the hill to especially meet the Indian Riders Club UK members, some of whom made the show as part of a tour and some ending their Euro tour. That evening food was a hot stew, which was very nice, then entertainment by a great mobile musician whose name unfortunately we do not have. Much drinking, chatting and milling around was the night ahead and even later for some, drinking till the early hours around bonfires.

Photo Gallery

Saturday -  Ride / Games / Live Band.
Saturday was ‘Ride day’, starting with breakfast with all the usual’s, but I did hear sausage mentioned a lot, along with ‘no beans’. The horror!
The riders started around 11 am for a 70 kilometre ride. The riders had to ride in Groups of around 10. I believe there were roughly around 200 bikes in all. The course took you through the hills, valleys and forests of the local area, displaying the Swiss style farmhouses with smiling friendly faces, but one grumpy old man, who looked like he did not approve. He was on his own. 
It was a surprise to me, the amount of faces of joy, at seeing these incredible machines pouring through their streets with their distinct engine sounds. It was a feeling of freedom and celebration with people coming out of their buildings, to see the moving vision of man and machine…and ladies of course.
I was a pillion passenger of MartinBratby on his Indian 1937 Chief, who I give my thanks for a very comfortable and safe ride. Sybil was in an immaculate sidecar of someone called George, again an immaculate 1937 Chief.
The views were of ‘breath taking beauty’ as mentioned, like a German /Swiss dairy advert of rolling greenery and cows. Large dark forests with the sunlight tripping and stumbling between the gaps in the trees. From hilltop, to valley, to forest to hilltop, through a village to hilltop and again. It is a long blur of beauty and beefy bikes with their vintage muscle sounds. It was a good ride, we stopped for a drink, and Sybil and George continued to the Castle, where many of the riders gathered, before heading back to the rally.
On arriving back, everyone settled in, putting their bikes back on display. Many going down for a drink at the main square. The ‘silly games’ were to commence. These games showed riding skills whilst performing control skills. Such as riding past dart boards and throwing darts for a bulls-eye and the “How Slow Can You Go” game, always a favourite.  There were prizes for the Slow Race and for the highest score in the Darts game. The awards ceremony followed with awards also to Furthest Ridden Indian, Bad Luck Award and a Special Achievement Prize.
Dinner followed. Great food was served in the Hall with various pork dishes, gammon, vegetables, sauerkraut and mash potato. It was very good, the cooks get a big thumbs up!  You could tell it was a well attended rally, finding table space was a premium with many making make-shift use of laps and the stage area.
Having replenished ourselves, it was time to settle in for the evening.  Much more drinking, milling around chatting and meeting up with friends you only ever see once a year.  The bonfires were lit and the band started up.  We did our best to drink Germany dry
All in all a Great Rally in a beautiful location, well done guys.

Peter Gadd (riding Shotgun)Peter Gadd



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