Our annual bike meeting took place during September. We had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, some of whom had ridden over 5,000 kms. The week leading up to the event, the event itself, and the week after didn’t quite go to plan, but that didn’t stop us having a great time.
You can see some of the photo’s of the event here.
Arrangements for our September 2010 meeting started out well with a few presentations organised, but a couple of weeks before the event, arrangements started to turn south.
Sara & Steve are regulars to our meetings and having left for Morocco from our 2009 meeting on their new F800’s, we were looking forward to their presentation about their trip. But Sara fell over a few weeks ago and the resulting injury on her wrist put her in plaster for a few weeks. Sara was understandably gutted, not only that she wouldn’t be able to come to the meeting, but moreover that she was in plaster as a result of a Sunday morning ‘messing around’ session with Steve and not because she’d fallen off her bike!! You’ll never live that one down Steve .
Its frustrating how I can manage to drop my bike loads and not do myself to many injuries but one little incident at home lands me in Plaster and not able to ride!!! We are both a little depressed as we should have been landing in Santander today and just starting on our 2 weeks in Spain, instead we are sat at home and preparing for a week in Cornwall next week, where Steve is going to have to drive me everywhere – I think the guilt trip I have been laying on him is not going to last much longer. Hope you guys are ok, and we are sorry to miss this year.
A couple of weeks before the meeting we picked up some dirty fuel and both bikes started surging. We drained the fuel tanks, cleaned out the pipes and filters, but they still weren’t happy. We couldn’t get the carbs out to clean them so we decided to get the bikes serviced and asked our regular mechanic to clean them out while he was at it. Mechanics in Spain don’t like doing anything apart from oil changes and the carbs not surprisingly didn’t get cleaned. But for Boris, having him serviced turned out to be an even bigger mistake.
After their services, Andy spent Sunday giving Boris & Doris their bi-annual clean. When we arrived at work on Monday morning and found we’d ridden through some thick black grease, we were gutted to find both bikes (and us) were spattered in it. I thought Boris had a bit of an oil leak on the crank case, but we passed it off as being part of the grease we’d picked up. Andy cleaned them both up again but it wasn’t until Wednesday night that Andy noticed Boris was dripping clean oil. He found one of the bolts on the crank case had been overtightened and had stripped the thread on the crank case cover. Going back to the mechanic the next day was a waste of time – oh, I forgot to tell you about it, but it was already done. Hmmm, you’re the only person to have serviced the bike for the past 2 years!! So the mechanic put some PTFE tape and blue Loktite on the bolt, told Andy if he was buying one new bolt he may as well get 2 and sent him on his way. Why did he tell Andy to get 2 bolts? Because he’d knackered 2 of the bolts!! Actually, scrub that, he’d overtightened 3 bolts stripping the thread in the crank case, and a forth had snapped in half. Not surprisingly the quick fix didn’t work and Boris started p*****g out oil. Has anyone every tried to talk to a Spanish mechanic about Helicoils? Well I’ll save you the job – forget it!!
The previous week we’d met up with David Pusey from Benajerafe and had gone to a bike rally in Torrox with him and some of his mates. We were introduced to Martin, an experienced Harley mechanic, so called him on Thursday morning to see if he could help. Sure, he had some inserts and could sort it out for us. We can’t thank Martin enough for his help in sorting the mess out, but Boris was in no fit state to ride so wasn’t at this years meeting.
By Thursday evening, we knew that Geoff Shingleton wasn’t going to make it either. Geoff is a medic who’s current job includes training soldiers in Baghdad. He did a fantastic presentation a few years ago on ‘What to do if your mate falls off his bike’. The presentation was filmed by Grant Johnson and is on his 3rd DVD of the NEW Achievable Dream: The Motorcycle Adventure Travel Guide DVD series! Geoff was coming to do the presentation again, but on Wednesday he sent a message saying that he was in Paris and was having trouble with his bike following 3 days heavy rain. The next message came when he was stuck in Toulouse. You can follow the rest of that story on the Horizons Unlimited Forum.
I’m in Toulouse and have finally figured out why the bike has been cutting out. After guzzling sooooo much oil, the greedy bastard, it’s now blowing black smoke and dumping petrol smelling oil from the oil drain pipe (the one that runs into the air filter box!!) Methinks it’s the piston rings are shot or the valves and the rate it’s necking oil, (faster than I do Stella!!) I’ve dumped a litre in it today!! So I’ll check out a Yamaha place here in town, there’s two and might get them to strip the head and take a looksee. It’ll not make Malaga the way it’s going. BUT…… never fear, in a few days I’ll be dumping a profiterole in Elle’s mush! Tell everyone from me to have a great weekend and I’m sorry the bikes a mess! I’m gutted I’ll miss it but will be there to say hi from your rooftop soon.
We met up with some of the early arrivals at the campsite on Thursday evening. Jonathan had ridden down from Norfolk and one of the first things he told us was that he suffered from dementia and that he was a bit forgetful at times. He told us a little about himself and when I casually asked him if his carer knew where he was (and she didn’t) I was a little worried there would be an alert out in the UK for a missing person!! He did eventually call her to tell him he was in Spain. Jon was a little eccentric but he had us in fits of laughter, especially when Andy got in the pool and Jon told him he had the body of a god – Buddha . We’re off to another bike rally this weekend in Velez Malaga and part of the inscription will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association in Spain.
Frank arrived on his Tiger on Saturday morning, fuelled up and ready to join us on our off road ride out. As the fumes of petrol rose above the aroma of coffee, Frank noticed a few drops of something dripping from his bike. Within 5 minutes, the Tiger was spewing out petrol at an alarming rate when Frank remembers there was a recall 2 years before on his bike for a replacement fuel tap. The connection between the fuel lines and the fuel pump had fractured and his bike was bleeding 24 litres of petrol all over the car park!! I had an empty petrol can and using the tube off my Camelbak, Andy managed to siphon out 10 litres of fuel which we gave away to some of the local bikers. The bike was left to drain in the car park, chained up and left for the grua to pick up.
We are at “home” in a very wet Holland and thinking a lot on Spain. I ordered my spares for my Triumph here in Holland and my dealer will send it for me to Spain so the repair shop can prepare my bike.
We went out for a 96km ride both on and off road and the only hiccup was when Doris refused to start after a coffee break. She had a new battery fitted less than a month ago, so the reason for that happening is still a mystery.
But aside from all the problems we encountered, as ever we had a great meeting, met up with old friends and picked up a few new ones along the way. All that remains for us to say is that we have great fun organising the bike meetings and although they may be small, we have a great time.
Chris from Belgium said:
Back home since yesterday,after a great Europe trip (5790km in total). The rally this year was another GREAT organisation from Andy and Alison (thanks for the food and the Coca Cola). My mate Jef had also a wonderful time, he said. Hope to see you next year to go together to Faro (as you know I’ll be in Australia next year in September) but don’t worry,we see each other again someday somewhere.
Now I know, that if people ask me why do you go so far for such a small meeting I can always say: because I know that I am going to meet wonderful people over there, and than it makes no difference how far I have to travel. If I go 150 km to my dealer for service and a coffee,I easily can go 2.500 km for a good week-end. Thanks again.
Steve from El Borge said:
I really enjoyed the day and would love to do some more. Please let me know when you are going out again. Once again, thanks for the day out, I had a great time
- David Pusey runs the The Royal British Legion Riders Branch here in Spain and they organise lots of local ride outs and events. Although many of the members are Harley riders, they’ve invested in some F650’s and we’re hoping to take them out on some of our local routes in the not too distant future.
- Frank is from Holland and is moving to Spain in March next year to set up a new business offering on and off road bike tours. He’s in the process of setting up his website and business called Triple A Events.
- Martin saved the day repairing Boris and is now our regular mechanic. He specialises in Harley’s and having seen his work we thoroughly recommend him. He can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.