The last couple of days have been rather relaxed. Friday was spent mostly catching up with old friends and sleeping. We had to fit a new switch to our auxiliary lights as the old one had got water inside and was unreliable. Luckily Clearwater were able to send the part to the hotel.
Jet lag and a desire to ‘bank’ some sleep (although it’s not proven to be any benefit) meant we could sleep without any excuses. Early night? It’s 19:30 is that too late?
Saturday is the day when all the paperwork and tech inspections take place. Old timer Gerhard (I think it’s his 9th IBR) said at dinner that it’s not worth queuing up when the doors open, better to have a relaxed breakfast first, so that’s what we did.
Robert was at the table looking very glum. He’d lost his only copy of the required medevac insurance. He wasn’t going to be able to get a replacement until Monday morning which was too late to start. We suggested he could buy insurance like ours on-line and get a copy emailed to him. His face lit up! We saw him later, he’d got it all sorted and was good to go.
There were, as predicted, huge queues at the video, camera and pack slots, so we wandered out into the car park to see what it was like there. Only a few people waiting for the bike tech inspection. When it was our turn we answered all the questions and showed all the paperwork. “Is that a standard exhaust?” – No. Oh dear. And “That tank isn’t standard is it?” Better call Warchild over to examine. “Did you write to me about the tank?” No….Raised eyebrows (his usual look!) – OK, start her up. Brrrmmmm. Now rev it VRRRM VRRRM. Warchild did a ‘cut’ gesture. Then just nodded. It was OK.
One of our fellow rally riders had an auxiliary tank that was leaking all over his exhaust. If he couldn’t get it fixed his rally was over before it started. Some of the local competitors helped him sort it out. There is a real spirit of camaraderie.
Next was the odo check. This is where a standard local route is ridden to check how accurate the odometers are. We were given instructions. One of them was ‘Plymouth Metro Link parking is kitty corner from your location’. Kitty Corner?? Apparently that means ‘at the opposite corner’. Nevertheless, we managed to miss it and had to do the check again. We weren’t alone, the daily report said about 25 other people had to repeat it.
Having completed the outdoor items we wandered in and were pleased to see no queues and breezed through the video (answering all the ‘you do understand motorcycling is dangerous’ type questions on video), camera check – ensuring that the camera will produce photos with the correct details, and collection of our rally t-shirts. The theme seems to be related to the natural world so we’re looking forward to that.
We had a good meal with Tom Loftus, Mark Crane, Robert Bolger and Jerry White. Jerry is not participating this year and is interviewing IBR riders then putting the results on YouTube which is an interesting idea.
Another early night and lots of sleep followed by a leisurely breakfast. We bumped into Jerry again and he asked me to be interviewed. Kevin doesn’t like being in front of a camera but was coerced into ‘appearing’ in sound only. We’ve embedded a copy of the video Jerry did with me below (thanks for allowing us to do so Jerry) and you can see more of Jerry’s videos on his YouTube channel.
We’re as ready as we’re going to be and this is the last update here until our rally is finished.