Tag Archives: Sherwood Chapter

Sherwood 11 – The DJ’s Viewpoint

I was slightly surprised that my previous post to this one was back in July when I wrote about Hoggin’ The Beaver. Well, this one is about the same great bunch of people, Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners’ Group. This weekend was their annual rally, Sherwood 11. I have written here about a couple of rallies at Woodland Waters, the last one almost exactly two years ago. I was not involved in last year’s rally at all, but they moved into the heart of Sherwood Forest, and into the shadow of the luxurious Warners Hotel, Thoresby Hall.    

Chuffing Hog at Sherwood 11. We didn’t stay at Thoresby Hotel.

This year’s rally was held on the same site, and I was booked to provide the disco for the three nights of the event, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sue and I were invited to stay for the weekend, but after a great deal of thought and discussion, we decided to travel to and from home each day. This proved to be a good decision as I was able to get a good night’s sleep between each evening’s work. I think that this is a point well worth making, that being a DJ is a job that has to be taken seriously. It’s a shame that there are some DJs who don’t do this. 

I rather fear that some DJs at other Harley Rallies may fall into this category because I am always amazed to be told by lots of Sherwood Chapter members that my disco is very good. This weekend, I’m afraid that I couldn’t agree with them on at least two of the nights. Anyway, that analysis can come later. 

The site is stunning. Woodland Waters was a great setting, but Thoresby Park is a step forward. There’s much more space for a central rally area with the bar, a lot of trade stands, food outlets and a large arena, with a great focal area – a large brazier with a welcome fire. The site is almost surrounded by woodland, with the imposing face of Thoresby Hall close by across the field. There is a lot of room for the rally to grow as there is another large field beyond a line of trees that was almost unused all weekend. 

Even before we had arrived on Thursday afternoon, it was clear that the organisation of the rally had taken a leap forward from my previous experience. A set of very professionally made signs guided us into the venue. I commented to Sue that these were much better than day-glo cardboard signs. This impression was confirmed at the gate where we received a warm welcome and were fitted with our wristbands. The medieval-style black and orange tent at the gate, and its twin a few yards away are a step up from the gazebo of old. 

Sherwood 11 - Black and Orange Tents
Sherwood 11 – Black and Orange Tents

We drove across to the marquee, unloaded and started to set up the gear for the first night’s gig. The band, Crusade, arrived soon after us and we sorted out how we could share the limited space. The gig itself was not one of my best. I have always felt quite strongly that I should make the music I play fit in with the style of the band. Crusade is a rock band, so I played a lot of rock that night. Certainly it was good quality rock and I think most of the people there enjoyed the night. Someone who has never been to a Sherwood Chapter event would probably think, “Bikers – rock, what’s the problem?” For me the problem is that bikers can be as diverse as any other group of people. Certainly there are people whose musical taste goes from A to Z – AC/DC to ZZ Top – all rock. But a lot of Harley owners like other kinds of music, so I came away from Thursday night feeling that I’d let them down a bit.   

The complaints about noise from the hotel didn’t help either. We had set up the disco and the band with our PA systems pointing straight at the hotel, so the complaints were justified. When we were staying at Thoresby, we’d have been unhappy if there had been a bunch of noisy, hairy bikers just outside our bedroom window. I’m sure that the lesson has been learned. But I thought that Friday would redeem this. Friday and Saturday night were indoors, in the Riding Hall, Thoresby Park’s beautiful function venue, so there weren’t going to be problems with the hotel. Friday’s band was The Platforms. We first met these guys three or four years ago when the pub at the end of the Hoggin’ The Beaver ride out booked them to play while we were there. They were an out an out glam rock covers band with outrageous make-up to blend in with the Sweet, Bay City Rollers and Gary Glitter songs that they were playing. Absolutely 100% right for the average age of Harley owners. So they got booked for more Sherwood gigs, at rallies and a Christmas Party.   

I was quite excited at the prospect of being able to play a lot of sixties and seventies music to fit in with their fun, party style on the Friday. I always ask the band for their set list so that I can try to remember to avoid playing the songs that they are going to do. When I was given the Platforms set list on Friday night, my heart sank. Sure enough, the first set was pretty solid seventies glam rock, but they ended their first set with a nondescript heavy rock cover. Worse still, most of the second set leaned towards hard rock, so I couldn’t use my 30 minute interval set to do much more than thrash out more of the same.   

I can understand that a band wants to move on beyond playing the same set for ever, and maybe they had fallen into the trap that bikers = hard rock, but neither I, nor many of the crowd were very satisfied with Friday night. Frankly, the shortage of chairs in the room didn’t encourage people to stay (on either Friday or Saturday night).   

Saturday’s band was Bootleg Blondie. They are the only Blondie tribute band to have played at the home of Punk, CBGB’s club in New York and both the band and “Debbie Harris”, the lead singer were great. They put a lot of effort into their sound check, which paid off with a great sound in the room and underlined their experienced, professional approach. The first set was a fantastic flow of Blondie’s hits from “Denee” through to “Maria” and a show-stopping rendition of “Heart Of Glass” as their first set encore.   

Sherwood 11 - Bootleg Blondie on Stage
Sherwood 11 – Bootleg Blondie on Stage

   

But I felt almost embarrassed that, for most of that first set, the audience just sat there. Even the applause between songs was lacklustre. I didn’t play between the two sets as this is the time when awards are presented and thanks given. I realise that this is an important part of the weekend, but it may have gone on a little bit too long. I must give the organisers some credit for cutting down on the time that it takes to draw the raffle, but even that backfired because the mass exodus from the room as the band started the second set was dreadful. I feel partly responsible for this because I announced that the raffle prizes were on a table just outside the room. Doh! Bad idea.   

The band’s second set saw a little more dance-floor action to some great cover versions of eighties party classics such as “Enola Gay” and “Going Underground” and after they had finished, I played for another three quarters of an hour, which I believe to have been my best set of the whole weekend. Did I really play Dean Martin’s “Amore”?   

Whilst I was thanked profusely, my contribution to the rally was not as good as it should have been and I know that I can do better. I’ve already been told that I’ll be there next year, so I’ll do some planning between now and then.   

I’ll return for a moment to Saturday afternoon. This was one of my professional and personal highlights of the weekend. I provided a PA system on the field for the arena and other activities. This was to promote the Bike Show, to provide commentary for the games that turned into an international “It’s A Knockout” between a great bunch of HOG members from Belgium and a motley bunch of Englishmen (with an American as well.) This was enormous fun and afterwards, the comment was made that my commentary helped the audience to understand what was going on. However, the real high spot of the afternoon was the arrival of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance helicopter which flew in to the empty field that I mentioned earlier.   

Sherwood 11 - The Air Ambulance
Sherwood 11 – The Air Ambulance

   

They came to accept a cheque from the Chapter’s fund-raising activities. Most people there were amazed when a cheque for £9,500 was handed over; a brilliant effort by the Sherwood Chapter and friends.   

For my perception of the rest of the rally, I return to my theme as we arrived. As an (almost) outsider looking in, I saw a superbly organised event with a great atmosphere. There have been something of an upheaval in Sherwood Chapter over the last few months and I believe that some of the issues that were bubbling when I left the chapter two years ago have now been resolved. I really hope that the dust finally settles because I saw a renewed Sherwood Chapter this weekend, one that is moving forward with a united commitee and good leadership. Indeed, Sue and I have been talking about rejoining the chapter when our economic situation improves.   

My thanks to everyone in Sherwood Chapter for making us feel so welcome.   

Ride Safe,
Dave   

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Hoggin’ The Beaver

It’s more than 18 months since I ended my involvement with Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group and posted an explanation here on this blog. At the time, I was quite clear that this was final.

However, life is never quite so cut and dried, so this weekend, we loaded up the disco gear and went to play for the Chapter Director, Pete and Partner Sam’s long-running weekend in the Vale of Belvoir (in which “Belvoir is pronounced “Beaver”). With HOG being either the Harley Owners Group, or a nickname for the bikes themselves, we arrive at Hoggin’ The Beaver.

I have to admit that when I was asked to do the disco for the Saturday night, I was a little apprehensive about how I would be recieved. I really should not have worried.

There have been a number of changes in the time that I’ve been away from the politics of the organisation. In particular, the people who were behind my departure have themselves moved on, leaving behind a far better atmosphere.

It felt really good to be greeted so warmly by so many people that we used to ride with and meet at the monthly chapter meetings. I really did feel that I was among friends.

Yes, there were some people who, I am sure, consciously blanked us and others who did nothing untoward, but just saw us as “the disco”, but I was very touched by the number of warm handshakes from the blokes and hugs from the women who took the trouble to come over and say “hi”.

So we arrived at the Dirty Duck at Woolsthorpe and started setting up the equipment. Just as we were finishing, the band arrived and we struck up a good working relationship straight away – something that doesn’t always happen between a band and a disco. If I get to work with the Nathan Wall Band again in the future, I will be very happy.

We shared the space on the stage between us and even reached an agreement that the band would use my sound system for their vocals to save them setting up their own speakers in front of mine.

Having done a number of gigs for the chapter that always involve bands, I really must stress how great these guys were. They set up smoothly and efficiently, their soundcheck was quick and to the point and I was able to start the disco bang on time. We had to come up a little jiggery-pokery with cables and plugs to make the change-over from disco to band work, but this was OK

I was delighted that a couple of people were straight on the dance floor, even before the band’s first set. Thanks, Jane and friend.

The band were also happy to give me a set list that was mostly indie rock, but inculded a few sixities classics. This is always an enormous help as I know what not to play and can try to lead in to the band’s sets with tracks that complement, rather than clash with their music.

As soon as they started playing, I realised that they were a cut above the average. I really enjoyed their first set and when I got back onto the stage, they left me a fairly full dance floor to sustain.

After about half an hour of me, it was presentation time and I was gobsmacked when Pete called Sue an I forward to present us with an engraved tankard in recognition of our support for the event. That really put the icing on the cake for me in making feel that I was still part of something that I had walked away from.

There were a number of other presentations, including to the winners of the bike show. Then it was time for one of the highlights of Hoggin’ The Beaver, Yi-Aye Man’s charity auction. Jeff had a new glamorous assistant this year who was an imporvement on her predecessor, although keeping the auction shorter than previous years also helped to make it effective.

The auction must have raised well over 100 pounds and was followed by the raffle with loads of prizes (alough none wo by Sue who had splashed out on a fistful of tickets.

After a quick tune or two from me, it was time for the band’s second set which was as good as their firstand as the evening went on and the alcoholic beverages started to hit the spot, the dance floor was quickly packed.

After they had played for over an hour, and been called to do a couple of extra, unplanned encore songs, I was given free reign. Musical highlights for me were Led Zep;s “Rock and Roll” and Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. The sound in that small function room was really good and I loved the whole vibe.

I didn’t even let one very drunk idiot spoil things; he objected loudly when I started to play a Smiths track, so I dumped it and hit another track instead. Although I am still wondering what Morrissey had done to upset him.

By 1am, it was becoming clear that the weekend had taken its toll as people started wandering off to bed and by about quarter past one, I wound it down with a pile of bodies on the front of stage (Pete, Sam, Beasty and one or two others) and I finished with a most unlikely biker anthem – Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”.

It was great to be asked to do Hoggin’ The Beaver and now I know that I can look forward to my next outsing for this bunch of reprobates when we spend three nights working at the Sherwood Chapter’s Rally at Thoresby Park in September.

It also looks like we’ll be back at the Hoggin’ The Beaver next year. I can’t wait.

Ride Safe
Dave

Discontent in Sherwood Chapter

Although we are no longer members of Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, we keep an ear to the ground about what’s going on there.

It is not entirely unrelated to what we are hearing that I have decided to remove the password protection from this post about my reasons for resigning from the committee and for not renewing my membership of the chapter. As I now have no connection with them – and almost six months water is under the bridge, I no longer feel bound by my agreement to remove this post from view.

If you’re a chapter member, would you like to comment on what is going on there at the moment?

Ride Safe
Dave

Why I Resigned From Sherwood Chapter Committee – The Sequel

Update: 3rd June 2009

I have removed the password protection from the original post.


 

On the 9th December, I wrote a post for this blog that set out my side of the reasons why I had resigned from the committee of the Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners Group.

It took almost two weeks for confirmation to come through to me that it was seen by, and had made an impression on, the people concerned. Indeed, the blog stats over the past few days have been amazing as the word has spread.  This confirmation came when I was contacted by phone by the chapter director, and as a direct result I removed this post from public view by password protecting it.

On 8th February 2009 I had an email from the chapter director asking me to clarify his request to me and to edit this post. I believe that I can best do this by posting an extract from his email to me.

Ref: Blog, Why I Resigned from Sherwood Chapter—

You have actually worded my request very wrong indeed.
I actually requested that you remove your Blog, I also said that I cannot make you remove it.
 
I did not say or ask that you protected it via a password, so would you be so kind to change the wording as of the directors request. 
 
However, I will not delete this, or any other post from this blog. This is a personal blog and I have had a page online since April 2008 that includes this sentence. 
This is a personal weblog that contains personal opinions about various people, organisations, situations and things. The views and opinions expressed are all my own.
 
I stand by every word that I wrote about my reasons for resigning from Sherwood Chapter.  I password protected this post so that it is no longer readily visible to anyone who looks at it because I was satisfied that the message had reached the people that I wanted to reach. It seems that, two months on, it is still getting to those people.  However, I am not even slightly ashamed of what I wrote and I am quite willing to continue give the password to anyone who asks me for it, as I have already done.
 
As I am no longer an officer or a member of Sherwood Chapter, and as they cancelled their booking for me to provide the disco for their recent post-Christmas party (and I doubt that they will ever book me again in the future), I have no incentive, other than the respect I have for the present director of the chapter and for the vast majority of its members to comply with any of these requests.
 
However, my grievance has never been with the chapter itself, but with a few individuals who now know how I feel.

Ride Safe
Dave

Why I Resigned From Sherwood Chapter Committee

I served as membership officer of Sherwood Chapter for almost a year. I enjoyed this volunteer role a great deal and I believe that I made an effective contribution to the chapter during this time. However, in late September, soon after the Sherwood Chapter Rally, I resigned from the committee. This post is my attempt to address the reasons behind this resignation. I am sure that Sue, my wife and the former chapter secretary, could add more to this, but as this is my story, let’s keep it that way for now.

It has been quite difficult to identify when things started to lead up to my departure, but in the almost three months since I took the decision to resign, I have had plenty of time to think about it and I have realised that this was probably inevitable from even before I took on the job. I had swapped a number of emails with a former senior member of the committee about the way that the chapter was being run, mainly in support of Sue, my wife’s, efforts to get the chapter committee behaving more like a democratically accountable voluntary organisation.

At that time, there were no agendas being prepared for meetings, committee members were aloof and out of touch with ordinary members and financial reports were presented from scribbled notes on scraps of paper. Even before I joined the committee, I realised that all was not well with the organisation. Maybe my mistake was to say so.

I certainly played some part in this senior committee member’s decision to stand down and I believe that this, in turn, influenced another senior member of the committee to resign at the same time. This left a couple of vacancies on the committee. One of which, the secretary’s role was being filled by Sue, another was that of membership officer, which I only agreed to take on to support Sue and Pete (Clifford), our new chapter director.

During my time on the committee, it became very clear that there was a faction within the organisation that strongly supported the former senior committee member. It was also clear that for him, resignation did not mean leaving the newly elected officers to get on with it. Indeed, at every turn, he and “his”  faction within the committee were effectively a shadow cabinet, discussing committee and chapter business among themselves.  I am convinced that the shadow cabinet had a fairly long-standing plan to find an opportunity to take revenge on me for my email exchange. 

Their opportunity came with a discussion on the rally that had been organised at a time when I could not get to a very poorly attended meeting early one evening at the Hog’s Head pub. However, Sue did go along in time to hear an attack on both of us for charging the chapter to provide the disco for the two nights of the rally. This attack was led by Pete and Carole Wright, both good friends of the former senior committee member.  The gist of their argument was that we were paid for working at the rally while everyone else was volunteering. 

If our only involvement at the rally was being paid to do the disco, even I might have had some sympathy with this view. However, Sue and I put in many voluntary hours at the rally, along with some other members of the committee. We both spent a long time on Friday and Saturday on the gate, along with Assistant Director Kev Taylor and others. After we had done our fair share of volunteering, we went to work.

Perhaps Pete and Carole simply failed to see that we earn a substantial part of our livelihood in the entertainment industry.

The Wrights, in particular, were conspicuous by their absence throughout the time we spent on the gate. I have tried to discover just what they spent their time doing other than drinking and talking to friends, and have unearthed the fact that they were involved in decorating the function room for the Friday night and selling a few raffle tickets.

Even this minimal volunteering didn’t extend to them putting any effort into decorating the space outside where the Saturday evening band played and where there was a fantastic atmosphere despite the lack of decoration. Nor did they turn up to take the decorations down from the function room on the Sunday morning.  The site owner spent quite a lot of time asking for this to be done before it was, eventually, done by a small team of people.

I have also tried to find out just how many other members of the committee are expected to do what they do for a living for nothing – and have found no-one else that had ever been put into the position that the Wrights were trying to put me in.

It may also be that some people are unable to recognise that there is a very significant difference between providing entertainment and being entertained. I am fortunate that I have job that I am good at and that I enjoy. However, it is still a  job and has to be approached as one.  If I were to drink even half as much as many of the people at the rally, the disco would have been a disaster and the Wrights would have been 100% justified in saying so. However, I approached this job in the same professional way that I approach every job I do.

Whatever the ultimate motivation for The Wright’s attack on Sue and I, it did the trick. I emailed Pete Clifford that same evening and resigned. I later found out that the former secretary was going to stand against both Sue and I to try re-take the two roles that she had walked away from a year earlier. For a while I toyed with running a campaign to stop her and also to get rid of Pete Wright as treasurer of the chapter, but frankly, I had stopped caring enough to be bothered.

If this was a chapter in a book about governance of voluntary organisations, it would end with a paragraph or two about collective responsibility and the importance of keeping a committee united. For me it ended with an unpleasant experience and a determination not to volunteer for Sherwood Chapter again in the future.

It only took two people to get rid of a couple of good volunteers.

Ride Safe
Dave

It’s Been A While, Hasn’t It?

I’m sorry that I’ve been rather lax about posting here. It’s not for want of ideas, but a terrible shortage of time.

In fact, in the last few weeks, my life has undergone its biggest upheaval in very many years. I have got a new job. More details are on my work blog, with the specific detail on a post here.

I will be back here soon with Part 2 of the BBC’s Bombay railway programme, the story of my departure from the committee of the Sherwood Chapter and some more tales of life with the couple of born-again hippies that Sue and I are fast becoming.

Meanwhile, please bear with me, job applications are very time and energy consuming. Maybe that’s another story for a post on here sometime.

Ride Safe
Dave

Sherwood 9 – Part 3

This is Part 3 of my story of last weekend’s rally held by Sherwood Chapter of the Harley Owners’ Group. Predictably enough, the tale starts with Part 1, and continues via Part 2 to where we left off on Saturday afternoon.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that the weather across the weekend was very kind to us and that Saturday was warm and dry. During the afternoon and evening, the clouds cleared to leave a beautiful evening. After Friday night’s experience of high temperatures in the function room, a few of us discussed the possibility of bringing the disco and band outside. We looked at a few possibilities, including moving a marquee, but none of the initial ideas were really suitable as it would have meant setting up equipment on very uneven surfaces. However, once we had looked at the patio area just outside the function room, it didn’t take long to see that there was plenty of room for both the band and the disco.

At this point, the band had yet to arrive, but all the disco gear was still set up inside the function room. I made a few noises about needing some “humpers” to help us move it and eventually Chapter Director Pete Clifford and Magazine Editor and Webmaster Dai Gunter turned up and helped to move the picnic tables that were in the music space and to carry the equipment that Sue and I had already de-rigged outside where I then spent the next hour re-rigging it. During this time the band turned up and set up their own equipment.

The band booked for Saturday night were “The Crew“. Although I had never seen them, they came very highly recommended by a friend of mine who had worked with them on another outdoor gig a couple of weeks previously.  From the moment that they arrived, it was clear that they are bunch of consummate professionals who simply got on with setting up their own equipment in a well-organised, calm and efficient way. Well before 8pm, I was able to start the disco after checking that they did not need or want to do a full band soundcheck.

In itself, this was unusual. Most bands will spend ages tinkering with their sound (the longest soundcheck I can remember was over two hours), but the crew obviously know their equipment inside out and after a short time tuning the saxophone, they left me to and the crowd to our own devices for the first hour.

There was a “human moment” during the band’s set-up period when one of them said to me that he was a bit worried that the person who had booked them might have made a mistake because they aren’t a rock band, but a sixties one. I was able to reassure them that they were exactly right for the crowd and this turned out to be exactly the case. As soon as they started their set, after a brilliant intro featuring some classic Radio Luxembourg jingles from the 208 days, the dance floor was packed all evening.

Sherwood 9 - The Outside Dance Floor On Saturday Night

Sherwood 9 - The Outside Dance Floor On Saturday Night

The atmosphere during the whole evening was buzzing. The previous night had been OK, but it just could not compare to Saturday night at Sherwood 9. Part of the improvementwas due to the move outside, but in no small part, was also due to the band who completely lived up to my first impressions. At one point while they were on stage, I was chatting to someone who asked me if the disco was running on automatic. It was an understandable mistake because their sound was uncannily like that on the original versions of those sixties classics.

Sherwood 9 - The Crew Playing Live On Stage

Sherwood 9 - The Crew Playing Live On Stage

One of the features of Saturday night at the recent Sherwood Chapter rallies that I have attended has been that the committee members dress up in “Robin Hood” fancy dress. This year, the Medieval theme was publicised with the rally information and it seemed that quite a lot of other people also made a real effort to dress up as well.

However, the way that this was organised on the night itself left me feeling just a little upset. Sue had spent an amazing amount of time and effort making costumes for both of us, but because of the equipment move and re-rig, we had no time to go and get changed before the night started. Sue and I spoke about this and agreed that we would dash back to our cabin while the band were playing their first set and that we would then be ready for the fancy dress parade.  I had even found some authentic medieval music to play during the fancy dress parade.

Imagine how I felt when, ten minutes before the band were due to come on, while I was totally tied up with the disco, to be told “we’ll do the fancy dress parade now.”  Sue tried to get them to delay the parade, but no chance.  I was close to walking away at that moment, but gritted my teeth and played the medieval music while our own costumes languished in the cabin.

Sherwood 9 - Some Of The Fancy Dress Costumes

Sherwood 9 - Some Of The Fancy Dress Costumes

Once the band started, Sue and I were able to slip away and change, although it did hurt that we were excluded from joining in with the parade. Later that evening, we asked Snake’s Pix, who were the official rally photographers, to take this picture of us together.

Sherwood 9 - Our Fancy Dress, Handmade By Sue

Sherwood 9 - Our Fancy Dress, Handmade By Sue

In between the band’s two sets, there was the raffle and presentation of the bike show prizes before the now traditional and most spectacular, Sherwood rally fireworks.

After the band finishes, the final disco set can be a bit of an anti-climax, but the atmosphere didn’t let up at all. At one point I was playing classic dance tracks from the “Euphoria” CDs to an enthusiastic crowd who carried on dancing even after I faded Abba’s “Super Trouper” up underneath the dance beats. It was a crazy kind of night that would be hard to replicate.  It must have been after 1am that word came through that we had had a complaint about the noise from Ancaster village, so I turned part of my sound system off and reduced the bass level. Even this did nothing to dampen the atmosphere which lasted right up until I ended the evening at just after 2am.

On Saturday night at Sherwood 9, all the various elements came together to make it one of the best nights I have had in quite a long time.  However, we got back to the cabin, still in fancy dress with no pockets and therefore no keys for the cabin. I felt terrible that Sue had to wake one of the people sharing the cabin with us to let us in. Profuse apologies were offered and I want to repeat them here. Sorry Margaret!

Sunday morning dawned with the rumble of the early departures heading for home. I woke up and after a quick cup of tea, headed across to the pile of disco equipment that we had piled just inside the function room door at the end of the previous night. I packed the remaining bits away and loaded the car before heading back to the cabin for breakfast. By this time Sue (and the other residents of the cabin were all up and busy clearing up.)

Once we had packed our clothes and other bits and pieces, we went across to the central rally area where most of the trade stands were still doing some fairly brisk last-minute business. While I wandered around looking at shiny chrome bits, Sue chatted to the man on the Auto-Proud stall. She asked him about the melted boot sole that was persistently refusing to be removed from the pipes on our Heritage Softail. He immediately came up with the solution and a few minutes later demonstrated his Restoration Polish which, in about 15 seconds removed some of the stubborn rubber that I had already spent more than an hour failing to shift. We immediately parted with the cash to equip ourselves with a pack containing this wonder fluid as well as Polymer Polish and Screen and Visor cleaner.

I have yet to use these products on a thorough bike clean, but when I do (at the weekend, I hope), I’ll try to report back on them, but my initial impression is very favourable.

We had booked in for Sunday lunch at the Woodland Waters restaurant and enjoyed a carvery in the company of a couple who had shared our cabin all weekend, “Wingco” Dave and Sally, before getting kitted up and heading for home. Just at that moment, the rain that had held off all weekend finally arrived, but it didn’t matter – that’s why we have waterproofs.

Final thoughts – a good, enjoyable weekend overall. I probably take on too much work, which mucked up our involvement in the ride-out as well as in the fancy dress parade, but I think Sue will agree that I’m not likely to change that part of me.

Next year the chapter is already talking about doing something special, but I’m not allowed to tell you about it yet.

Ride Safe
Dave