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As seen in issue 242 of 100% Biker

1983 was a year of change for the UK motorcycle market as learners were restricted to 125cc motorcycles when previously they were allowed on a 250cc. For me this caused major issues as I had at the time a Honda CB250RS and was always being asked by police to check my licence, thankfully often more interested in my licence than the state of my usually bald tyres. In 1984 I moved up to the raw power of a 400 Honda Superdream which resolved this issue and I have never looked back or stopped riding.

1983 also saw the first Burning Budgie Rally organised by the West London Harley Riders and ever since I have been doing rallies, since the mid 1980’s I have heard that this is a must do friendly rally. Meeting the WLHR at a recent event in Belgium also spurred me on so on their 35th anniversary I made it at last and it also gave me a chance at  to congratulate my friends Laura and Paul, both members of WLHR, on their recent nuptials.

It has to be said the rumours I had been told were true, as there was a very warm welcome on a showery day at Beaconsfield Football Club. Though Max, erstwhile Gate Guardian and hander out of shots, was surprised when I was the only person to refuse a free shot of JD on the gate, sorry guys I was much needing Tea after the joys of 37 miles of filtering on the joys of the M25 with intermittent showers.

Tea (and Cake) found from the very nice Swiss Miss I was soon bumping into so many folks and clubs, I know from rallies all over the south, and many who follow my antics online, what a brilliantly relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The tunes were also very conducive to improving this mood. I also made sure I had purchased raffle tickets for the sportster which was the main raffle prize.

Most of the vehicles in the custom show were bikes from the rally and it’s great to see bikes that are used. The Local Mayor was persuaded to hand out the prizes too with voting by the public. There were a couple of real classics in the show including a 1934 Model J, winner of best Classic and a lovely old Indian, winner of best non Harley. A huge V8 trike won best trike which surprised me by being ridden off by a lady making it look even bigger. Linda’s “Frozen” trike won best paint, and she was already telling me enthusiastically about improvements she has planned for the near future. On tow won best rat as he really had no competition, the best in show went to the skull bedecked Yamaha dragstar, which seems to have even more skulls on it than last time I saw it.

But now the moment everyone was waiting for the draw for the sportster, and once again the mayor was called in to perform the plucking of ticket. Tickets had been sold all around the world and amazingly the winner was present. Stunned was definitely the effect as Susan the facilities manager of the football club and now proud owner of the bike, has never sat on a motorcycle and is training to be a nurse, well done her, he says noting I was once again only a few numbers out.

All this excitement over it seemed most were then settling down to a pleasant afternoon drink, while the girls tried to persuade anyone to play silly games with chocolate biscuits I left before I was hobnobbed. Definitely on my must do again list now.