Throughout the year, members of the ABR forum get together to ride, share tales of their travels and generally have a blast. Coming up in September is the West Wales Rally, here, Big Al recounts the tale of last year’s gathering
Wow, what a fantastic weekend this was! A record number of people turned up to this charity event, which this year was in aid of Blood Bikes Wales, based in Pembrokeshire. I made my way down on the bike this year with Quick Nick leading the way and the Mrs following behind in my new (to me) camper-ish van, known as the Tillybus (named after our little sprocker Tilly).
Onboard were the world-famous cawl (traditional Welsh stew) and raffle prizes for the weekend ahead. Friday morning saw beautiful sunshine all the way down to Haverfordwest, and after taking the A40 we had a bit of play when we got to the B-roads (naughty us).
When we arrived at West Hook Farm, we were all in the latecomer’s field as there was quite a number of other campers on the site, but we were all together and not so spread out in the large field, which made it quite cosy. At around 12 o’clock the first bikes started to arrive with Tefflon Snr, Tefflon Jnr, Norm and Oggie rolling into camp.
The tents were thrown up in readiness for the weekend and I was doing my usual meet and greet around the campsite, explaining where the toilets were and what the plan was for the rideouts on Saturday, and raffle and grub in the evening.
By the time the rest of the lads turned up, the wind decided to show its face and it got a bit breezy, to say the least. Still, in good spirits, a few of the boys were having a laugh trying to put the tents up in the gusts.
Steve 68 decided to pitch his tent right next to his Triumph Explorer, and when the wind caught the tent from behind him it picked him off his feet and he decided to head butt the rear footpeg.
Fair play to the boys as they all rushed around to stop his bike falling over while Steve was in the crouched position, one hand on bike and one hand on his head, uttering some obscenities in a language I’ve not heard before.
In all fairness to him he had a perfect imprint of a rear footpeg on his forehead (I hope it’s better now Steve). After all the commotion was over and first aid was attended to it was to the barn for some light refreshment and the smell of the cawl cooking, with everybody getting hungrier by the minute.
So, it was decided, seeing as we had made enough cawl to feed an army, we might as well tuck into it on the Friday night too, and it all went down very well. Especially with Daryl, who arrived late on the Friday night, having ridden all the way from London on his KTM690 with rain most of the way (well done Daryl).
On Saturday morning, we had Welsh bacon and sausage butties in the barn before the rideouts took place, and we had a small treasure hunt with a few of the boys venturing off on their own exploring the Welsh countryside.
I took a rideout around the west coast of Pembrokeshire, popping into the Welsh Spitfire Museum in Haverfordwest and grabbing an emergency cake and coffee along the way.
Agent Orange and his crew took a rideout around the east coast and both teams met up for lunch in St Dogmaels overlooking the Teifi estuary with spectacular views from the Webley Hotel where Simon and his team looking after us superbly.
After lunch, we made our way back to Haverfordwest when Tefflon Snr was flashing his lights and sounding his horn for us to stop. Just as we were rolling into town he noticed flames coming from the rear caliper of Fried Egg Sandwich’s bike. he had new boots on and didn’t realise that he was slightly touching his rear brake all the way back from St Dogmaels. The quick thinking of Tefflon saved Fried Egg Sandwich’s bike from going up in flames by pouring water from his water bottle over the fire. Well done Steve.
On the way back to camp some of the boys stopped off to gather liquid refreshments from Tesco for Saturday night in the barn, where the rest of the cawl and cheese hit the spot after a nice day of riding around the Welsh coast of Pembrokeshire in glorious sunshine.
The evening started off with Ivor from Blood Bikes Wales giving us a very informative talk on all the good work the Blood Bikes do, from transporting blood and samples to all of the hospitals in and around Wales (thanks again for all you ABR guys ‘n’ gals for making the time and effort in supporting this fantastic weekend). This year’s Sore Arse Award was won by Tefflon Jnr whose total mileage amounted to over 18,000 miles in just under a year. Well done Darren
The theme for the weekend was ‘bring a silly hat’ (for a bit of fun), and you should have seen some of them. I had a tradition fez and Daryl had Dumbo the elephant on his head, if memory serves me right (it was 10 o’clock at this point and we did have a lot of red medicine to keep the cold out).
We had the charity raffle, which raised £754.30 for Blood Bikes Wales to help keep their bikes on the road, followed by a barn quiz just to get in the mood for some chilling out and catching up with old friends who we’ve not seen for a while.
Griff popped out to the field to check if it was raining or not, so that we could light the fire pit and venture outside to warm the cockles of our hearts and put the world to right over a beer or two, or in Griff’s case, a whisky or three.
Now, I remember the hip flask being passed around once or twice and Flintlock or Gubbo spitting it out all over the fire (by now the flames must have been five foot high) and saying “That’s not whisky! This is what you call whisky!” and he produced his own flask of ‘Irish’ whisky and we all agreed and proceeded to empty that too.
Most of us went to bed around four or five AM, and when I got up in the morning (no names mentioned, Gubbo) somebody was still in his chair fast asleep warming his feet on the fire pit at nine AM! On the Sunday morning, we had bacon butties in the barn before everyone said their goodbyes for another year of West Wales Weekend ABR Rally. See you all in September and thanks for supporting us! From the West Wales Crew.
Roll of honour
A big thank you to everyone who pulled together to make this fantastic weekend happen:
– West Hook Farm for having us (again) – Alanah for veg peeling and raffle prize organising – Linda for driving the Tillybus – Tefflon for cleaning up and washing – Quick Nick for stirring the cawl – Steve 68 for making us laugh – Cerys for sleeping in and not cooking the butties! – Megan for cooking the butties – Sharon for tea making – Paul for the chair (The Forge) – Kerrie for selling raffle tickets
– and everyone else who donated to the raffle
Get involved in an ABR Rally
Big Al has organised and run the ABR West Wales Weekend Rally for the past three years, and every year it proves to be an excellent weekend of two-wheeled fun. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful scenery of west Wales while getting to meet friendly, like-minded riders for fun and a few beers. This year’s West Wales Rally will be held on the weekend of 8-10 September, and you can find out all of the information you’ll need by visiting http://bit.ly/2rzISXK.