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Saturday morning dawned overcast and the overnight rain had left the tent wet and the camping field pretty soggy. After a hearty breakfast, and Sue and I shared a mug of tea with Eric, also known to Sherwood Chapter members as Bananaman, it was time to get ready for the ride-out.
There was some debate about weariing waterproofs as the dark, rain-laden clouds were scudding overhead. I decided to compromise and wear waterproof trousers, but to put my waterproof jacket in the saddlebag. As it turned out, waterproofs weren’t really needed as we only saw a few drops of rain all day, and nothing to worry a bunch of tough biker types.
The initial route was the one that has been established over the last three years of Hoggin the Beaver. We ride up to Belvoir Castle and assemble on a terrace behind the castle where we park the bikes and present the cheque for the funds raised during the previous year. This year we presented £3000 to the Air Ambulance and it was announced that the next 12 months fundraising wil go to cancer Research.
The ride up to the castle through the parkland was interesting this year as we were sharing part of our route with a triathalon. At the briefing before the ride, Pete warned us to give way to any runners that we encountered and there were plenty of them all the way through the park. I felt quite happy to be using 1440cc of Harley-Davidson power up the hills rather than the muscle power that the runners were having to employ.
After the cheque presentation, it was time to set out on the ride proper. Our route took us through Leicestershire towards Market Harborough and into the village of Tur Langton. We have now been here three times to the very welcoming hostelry, the Crown. Each time we have been there for a rideout, the staff have been great. They have put on a band, a barbecue and generally made us very welcome. Although the range and quality of food on the barbecue wasn’t quite up the high standard of last year, my burger was perfectly OK.
The first time we went to this unsuspecting little village, a couple of people raised quite a lot of money by riding their bikes naked along the main street. A couple of tasteful pictures of this can be seen on the Hoggin The Beaver website. This naked riding has become something of a tradition and this year the assembled throng were stunned when someone came round with a jug saying that Sam wouls strip off and ride down the high street if we filled the jug with pound coins. It didn’t take long for the jug to filled with coins and notes of all denominations.
There was a lull while preparations were completed, although I suspect that this was well planned before the day. Eventually, no less than three bikes appeared, led by a naked Pete, followed by an equally naked Sam with another young lady on her pillion and a husband and wife couple. they were followed by the van from the Robin Hood Harley-Davidson dealership which had served as changing room and support vehicle.
There were lots of people taking pictures, so I am sure that these will appear sometime soon and maybe I’ll update this post when that happens.
In Part 3 I’ll cover Saturday evening’s entertainment and anything else I can think of about the weekend.