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Wales 2010 - Surrounded By Indians


7.30 am Saturday morning, the plan – to rendezvous with my mentor PJ at some Indian motorcycle rally – he’s talked a lot about em,  I know very little, I don’t own a bike, in fact I’ve been out of the whole bike scene for so long now that I don’t even own a crash helmet! – If I’m going to do it I’ve got two and half hours to sort my shit out and get there... crash helmet? Dads old climbing helmet – that’ll do ... waterproofs (bound to rain)  Alka selzer (bound to get hangover)... Is this a good idea?..Yeah, there’s been far  to much work and no play - live a little!!

I belted down the coast road preying I’d make it in time for the ride out so I was well relieved to spot an Indian as I got close.  Followed him into the hotel car park where I was greeted with PJ’s beaming smile amongst rows of well loved aged iron and some interesting faces. It was a good scene. Some  introductions to those close by and it was straight into it – a bit of a briefing and a tongue in cheek  award ceremony provided that community spirit –  there were all sorts here but the common interest was clear – here to enjoy riding motorbikes – not just any motorbikes though!!....The Indian appeal was immediately apparent..
At 10.30 am it was already warm, not a cloud in the sky and Pembrokeshire is indeed a beautiful part of the country – the thundering and thumping from each unique sounding engine filled the air – that was a right good buzz, you couldn’t help grinning as everyone booted up and hit the road. I guess there were about forty bikes in all including three outfits – the run was brilliant and the conditions were so good. Along the way we passed a golf club and there were all these golfers limbering up for a day on the course, all I could think was why on earth would you want to do that? You could be doing ‘this’ seriously – there was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be at that time than riding with this crew, it was pretty goddam perfect!

After an hour or so of riding superb roads through  hills and countryside we arrived at our first destination – the luncheon plans had been scuppered by the landlords misunderstanding of our arrival date – so whilst Sybil’s negotiating skills were put swiftly and effectively into action some of us were able  to enjoy the delights of a particularly fine pint of ale served from a jug directly from the  barrel (riding pillion does have some advantages)  what I thought was an already  perfect day just got even better! Sunshine, Indians and ‘ale’.
We moved on towards Travenny on the B roads that were covered by a tree canopy with the sun flickering through the leaves, it really was delightful. I loved the riding strategy – everyone considering everyone else and making sure that all got through the roundabouts and junctions safely and in the right direction haha...we arrived at the second locality – the pub did a fine job in catering for us all at an hour’s notice – good work!
We arrived back at the camp early evening – that was my first sighting of the wigwam and Indian manikin – Far out! They thought of everything this lot!  There was a very good buffet at the hotel in the evening and after the raffle and having sampled a selection of puddings we hit the bar....
I was pretty done in by 11 and thinking about retiring but then PJ introduced me to the Irish – haha oh! Indians by day – Irish by night, again, surrounded and so it, Jameson’s some kind of gin, beer, another toast, two of the lads were celebrating  50th birthdays, another Jameson’s...high spirits, great fun, great people, I swear I drank myself sober by the time we left, somewhere in the small hours.

Breakfast was served! Bacon and egg rolls and coffee, all good and just what was needed. Another ride out was planned – I looked at a moody sky and used my local knowledge to suggest that it was going to piss down and stuffed my waterproofs in PJ’s tank bag....we set off and sure enough – rain stopped play just past Fishguard.  No use fighting it – the decision to turn back was made by most I think and so back we went – most were staying on till Monday but some had to leave today. We hung around the lobby of the hotel for a while, drinking tea and making lunch plans as the Irish crew loaded up, said their farewells and headed off in the rain – ahh..
Myself, PJ Jackie and Dave dodged the rain and went in the near by pub for an incredible three course lunch – it was superb – great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It certainly helped us through the night before recovery process.  The need to digest took us back to camp where we chilled and listened to the rain for a while whilst intermittently shnooozing..

There was a BBQ later then back to the hotel to enjoy wind down drinks...and the company of  the Derri’s – Brian, briefly,  Graham and of course Murry (some fascinating insight there)  Everyone retired at a reasonably sensible hour but PJ and I were wide awake  and went back to the tent, hit the Irish malt  and chatted – probably quite loudly so apologies if we disturbed anyone – PJ’s  encounter with a Badger outside the tent was most amusing and cause for another toast  – eventually we were seeing double and then suddenly it was breakfast rolls and coffee again..
Ah flip – everyone was packing up to leave – what a shame – I didn’t want this to end and wished I’d been able to get here on the Thursday.  I’d been inspired though -  to join this band of merry men and women and become a member of the Indian riders club – I’ve not wanted a bike since an accident took me out of the scene many years ago, until now – this is something I could really see myself getting into – time then to dust off that bike license and revise my finances – I think an Indian is on the horizon!
So I’ll be seeing you all again no doubt! Thanks of course to Roger and Marilyn for hosting the event in such idyllic settings with great facilities on site and to everyone from the club for such an enjoyable event, great company. oh, and to PJ for the introduction – love you man!

Kay Florence       Kay Florence 

Wales 2010

Van loaded with 741, off we go.  Lorraine driving, me riding my 883 Harley.
After six hours ridding and driving we arrive at the camp site in Wales.  Anita and Pete had saved us a spot, yes you’ve guessed it, right next to the kitchen. I wonder why that was…

After unloading we sat down for a chat and a few beers. Hot dogs and soup for tea went down well then a few more beers then bed.

Friday started with breakfast followed by a ride out to Cardigan Bay.  Lorraine borrowed the 883 and I rode the 741. We did a little shopping, had chips then rode back to camp. Bruce and one other plus my self pulled out off the car park and headed back, Mike led the rest of the group and missed the turning just out side the car park, he soon turned round and got on the road that led them back to the camp site. There we cooked spag boll and chillie, went down well. After more beer, time to hit the sack.

Saturday came, had breakfast then lined up for the ride out, stopping off at the manner house for coffee.  There was a young boy in a wheel chair looking at all the bikes, after a little chat to him and his mother I got him a ride in Tony's side car, made his day. After that we left to go to the pup for lunch only to find he hadn't done the food. His loss as a mile up the road another pub was more than happy to feed us. The view was far better, just look at the photo's.

After lunch a quick ride back as time was getting on.  After a wash and brush up, up to the manor pub for tea.  What a spread.  After yet more beer it was time for bed.

Sunday arrived and so did the rain this dried up giving a couple of hours sun, the rain came back as Tony and I were trying to do the tea on the barby.  We managed well I think.  Any complaints see Tony.  Yet more beer was consumed before retiring to bed.

Monday up early, took down the kitchen, packed the van, said our good bye's and left for home.
What a good weekend. Thanks to all those who helped and thanks to those of you who made the effort to attend as without you there would be no rally.

Bill Herbert       Bill Herbert                     

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