Hoggin the Bridge 7
Sunday October 22nd
as ever click on images to enlarge
Firstly lets get the confusion over with, this is an event called “Hoggin the Bridge” and it goes over the old Severn Bridge and it’s the 7th time it has happened, so the title is correct. Though it does make me wonder why they didn’t do a 6A so next year could be a Hoggin the bridge 77, ok we shall blame a stinking cold on that strange thought.
It is organised by the Bridgewater chapter of HOG, but all kinds of bikes attend, and indeed there were all sorts of 2, 3 and 4 wheeled bike type vehicles there, It is very well marshalled also.
Anyway back to the beginning, and an early start for me, so a quick lemsip for breakfast, to try and hold back a cold (to no avail) and having attached my prepaid sticker to the headlamp, I headed off west.
After a pleasant run down the M4 (well that is until I reached Berkshire), for those of you not in the know myself and the Royal County of Berkshire have a love a love Hate relationship, It just seems if something is to happen to me, Berkshire is where it will happen. Anyway as usual I digress, and it was here the rain started, and from light drizzle by the Severn Bridge services we had heavy spasmodic showers, lovely.
The now classified old Severn Crossing was opened in 1966 and replaced a previous ferry crossing, it is almost a mile long, and with the towers standing at 445feet it is an impressive structure.
There were vehicles everywhere and with the car park raised it was quiet a spectacle watching the bikes ride in, favourite bike in the car park, a pretty little Panther chop that chuffed along nicely, strange how you don’t see one for years, and then two in one year.
At 11am we all headed off to cross the bridge, a slow but steady progress was made, and the rain even eased off as we passed through the tollbooths and towards Wales.
This serpentine convoy took a circuitous route through to Chepstow, despite the down heavy rain, spectators lined the road at every vantage point, waving flags and cheering along.
By Chepstow and the car park (small lake) most of us were wet through; the police did a good job of marshalling us through the small streets.
In the town centre with what seemed a small river running through the centre, oh sorry that’s the road, were stall selling biker nick nacks and the like. A group was playing the blues (appropriate I thought) and sodden bikers took up every conceivable sheltering place, memories of 199o Kent show and some of the Rockers Reunion runs came flooding back.
I would love to tell you more about Chepstow, for it looks a nice place, and the Norman castle and walls looks like a great place to visit, but by now I was squelching uncomfortably along.
So back to the bike, and the long drag back along the M4, crossing the bridge, it was no longer possible to see the other side, and the welcome to England sign was swimming in its own lake.
Visibility almost Zero most of the way back it was inevitable that the M4/M25 junction would be blocked, so I had to Circumnavigate via Windsor (Berkshire again you see).
It was a long wet day,just under 300 miles only about 60 dry as well (well less wet) and I was glad to get indoors, and start to warm up. Lets hope another time the weather holds, as I would love to find out more about this part of our country.
Later that night, the cold started with a vengeance, pass the tissues someone.