sofer 2006
Up SOFER Friday SOFER Saturday


South of England HOG Rally

(As there are a lot of pictures I have separated them into 2 separate galleries, click link above or below)

Friday Pictures  

Saturday Pictures

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Having missed last years show, and everyone telling me what a good do I had missed, this year I made every effort to get to this event, and it was to be my first 2 day show in over a year, and my first ever HOG rally.

On a good to be alive sunny summer Friday I loaded Milly and took the arduous 18 mile journey to the South of England HOG Rally (Sofer).

Although so close to home, it’s an area of Surrey I’m only just learning, so thanks for the signs guys, on reaching the gates, I was greeted by the smiling sunburnt faces of Surrey HOG. Both bikes and wrist tagged, a good security measure which was strictly adheard to I headed to the field.  

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Finding an official snoring area, it was tent up, coffee thanks to tent next door, greeting to friends, and off to investigate my home for the weekend.

Bisley is the home of the National Rifle Association. It is a large sprawling area and has a large selection of lodges and huts, where some people were staying, and it seemed camping fields everywhere. One of my initial thoughts was that for the disabled this site would be difficult, with so many slopes and lethal dips, however the main arena area was more level, and had easy access.

With the site so spread out it seemed each corner you turned you could find more tents and interesting bikes, it does appear that the later model Harleys are the main mode of transport, however there were a few classics and well used war horses. As it is billed as a family rally, this possibly accounts for the huge amount of cars and campers, I have never seen so many at a bike rally, but all had segregated parking areas to keep things tidy.

Finding the bar, and an outside stage I soon had a decent pint of pride in my hand, at on £2 as well result. In fact the bar and reception has to be noted for its “decoration” being a shooting club there were guns everywhere, a theme carried on several of the bikes. There were even cannons outside one lodge.  

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A large area held the trade village with lots of stalls with shiny stuff ( the Magpie fraternity in Surrey HOG soon found these) and clothing, Nick gale was there , along with Remembrance, his new bike for this year, I first saw this at the NCC show at the Ace Café it really is stunning and had won the best bike at the European HOG rally (sadly no prize this weekend), a nice guy as well, Nick was also attempting a Biker Build Off type Challenge by Modifying a V Rod, Russell soon latched onto this and blagged some of the bits for his own bike. I also found Katie the Air brush artist who I haven’t seen in ages, I really must get a Jacket done with the full broadsword on, anyway I digress.  

Thames Valley even had a beach party, and free beer, going on, where sandcastles seemed to be in the ordered of the day.  

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As I was strolling around I soon found a few friends from Years ago, who have now moved to Devon, It was great to see you Anne and Clive, and I look forward to seeing you soon. Hopefully in 2 weeks at the Paignton bike night.

One of the nicest things with one make rallies is you soon end up chatting to complete strangers and start to make friends.

Back at the gate I stood and watched and eventually assisted, as bike after bike came in, I have no idea of attendance numbers but easily over a thousand people I reckon ( apparently over 2000), with chapters from Scotland, France, Belgium and all over.  

Andy England was in charge of managing the bands, and what a job he did, with a great variety of groups, I particularly enjoyed the “Fat River band “ on the Sunday.

That  night I crashed out quite early, and must have snored hard, but I awoke early Saturday to a glorious morning. Having an appointment midday I nipped home for the morning, ( Including a shower, I don't mind portaloos etc, but toilets on site could have been better, a general grumble I heard) but came back in time to hear the good news Surrey HOG had won the Chapter Challenge for shooting,

With bands playing, Ice creams and a bike show I whiled away a pleasant afternoon, bumping into my friend Caroline from Oxford as well, It certainly was a nice way to spend a few hours.  

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Once more round the camping field, and then chilled out until the Barbecue (great spuds Ernst) watched the Nene Valley Chapter Parade and then back up to see the bands, kick back and make friends, I then bumped into Lester and Co from Shaws Harley Davidson, who tried to tempt me towards the 2007 models (once a salesman always a salesman eh).  

 The Chapter Challenge cups were handed out, and Nene Valley won overall, we came third. Surrey HOG also did well in the poker run.

Back on site, we kicked back with coffee, until I broke a chair oops, and then as Zebedee might say "Time for bed."  

Sunday another early arising and so back home in time to wish my brother a happy 40th Birthday

A great weekend, though I am incredibly tired, so where next, well the Geordie Chapter “Heart and Soul” sounds good, I may have the bug.

Well done to all the organisers and Volunteers