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26th July 2005

Dome tents are fantastic, it's official.

The John Bull Rally 2005 - Part 2

Real Classic Clubman Kent Shaun celebrated owning a troublefree BSA A10 by belting over to Belgium and back for a wild time with the BSAOC...

The bar was just behind the front door to the sports hall, a few local brews were downed, and we said hello to our fellow rally goers. Here I found a chap from New Zealand and a chap who lives in France but was from Wisconsin USA. The John Bull is for British bikes, even though it's organised by the BSA Owners club Belgium, and all British bikes are welcome. But even so I found a BMW and a Ducati outside, although they were Old Timers. We then made our way to the local restaurant for a real good blow out, all for a few quid. Why can't England have these good restaurants? (Plenty of 'em in the West Country, Shaun. But you Continent-hoppers just rush past them to get to the ferries! TP)

Outdoor breakfasts are fantastic, it's official.

Saturday morning saw us up and in the hall for breakfast, after a lovely hot shower. Egg and bacon, coffee and bread with jam or chocolate spread. Eat as much as you like. Today is run day, we're going to a windmill near Sint-Juliaan. The Belgium BSAOC had people at every junction stopping traffic, and pointing the way. So there was no chance of getting lost, although a B25 owner was unlucky enough to break down soon after we left. Not a problem as the Belgians had a car with a trailer for such an event.

Windmills are fantastic, it's official.

Riding through the Belgium countryside was brilliant, the warm sun shone down and made for a great ride. I think the cows in the field were a bit nervous of the bikes, you could smell their fear! Phew! 40 bikes on the run, and all arrived safe and sound thanks to the BSAOC Belgium's great organisation.

Back at the sports centre, we got ready for the night's festivities. A three course meal was waiting for us, all served by waiters. Children were also catered for, I saw a play pen at the head of one of the tables; it contained a child happily playing with the load of toys inside. After the meal the band started to warm up (I've always fancied being a 'One Two' man), the band were a heavy rock/blues type band. As soon as they started up people got to dance, I even saw Steve Wilson jitter-bugging! Janette said she's never seen so many men dancing, it was true there was hardly any women on the floor, must be that famous beer doing its job.

[insert BSA model of choice] are fantastic, it's official.

At half time the awards were presented, unfortunately all done in Flemish. But I made out that one chap from the BSAOC Warrington branch John Hewitt got an award for being the oldest rider, I consider John to be a good mate. But I never knew he was 76! He rides that A10 of his like a yob, more power to his elbow say I. Then I heard MY name? Turns out as a John Bull virgin I was eligible for a gift, I protested as I wasn't the only person there for the first time. I was told in no uncertain terms that, as I'd arrived there on a BSA I was more than eligible for the tee shirt and cloth badge. Perhaps those Hinckley Triumph riders will dig out their Old Timers next time...

The band returned for more mayhem and played on until about 02.00, when it was time for bed.

Sunday was going home day, a sad day indeed after such a fantastic weekend. Even Janette commented on how good the weekend was, and how we should return next year! The ride back to Dunkerque was again uneventful; the weather over this weekend was absolutely brilliant. Hot sunshine in fact I wish we'd left half the clobber I had back home, all I wore was tee shirts -- it was that hot.

Seems that this weekend is always held on a British bank holiday (Whitsun) so you could have the Friday off work then do the rally, and STILL have Monday to get over it. Next years rally is on 28th-30th April at a place called Grote-Brogel. Have a mooch on www.bsaoc.be for more details. The organisation was second to none, and I can't speak highly enough of the BSAOC Belgium lot, who I'd like to say THANK YOU to.

Random BSA A10 Stuff on eBay.co.uk

Luggage is fantastic, it's official.

*******

There's more about the 2005 John Bull Rally in the magazine: Steve Wilson's report and ride through the Flanders Fields is in RC16.

******

(Sorry about the photos but who wants to take pictures when you're having such a good time? Shaun)


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