Well it was the Northern Bash of the RBLR (Royal British Legion Riders Branch) weekend last weekend . Which is held in Millom over on the West coast of the Lake District each year. This would be the third time Ben & I had attended and as ever the ride up from Rochdale went without a hitch.
Mr.T looked splendid with his new panniers fitted, plus the last few parts from Touratech which arrived on the Friday of our departure. So after collecting an antique book case from the other side of Huddersfield I cracked on with fitting them.
The Touratech Top Box Rack went on a breeze, sadly the Top Box is still on back order. So before we set off I strapped my yellow waterproof sack with the dos bags and sleeping mats in to the back to give Ben that added safety.
Next the Hand Guards went on, just removing the original Yamaha Hand Guards was a bit of a pain as they are bolted at the handlebar end, attached to the mirror mount and underneath the the clutch/brake pinion bolt respectively on both side. The reason for changing them is simple, when Mr. T fell over the whole brake and mirror assembly moved round on the handle bar. I my humble opinion if that was to happen at speed the consequences could be dire!
As usual, only after fiting the new guard did I open the Wind Deflectors to discover I needed to drill the guards to fit the deflectors (note to self "read the instructions FIRST!). Once drilled and deflrctors bolted in place I then refitted the right then left side guards. I'm really chuffed with the ease of fitting, the quality of the instructions and the finished look. I went with the red deflectors as it picks out the Super Tenere decal on the front fairing.
Lastly I fitted the Touratech Fog Lights which look just "Fantastic". Sadly I ran out of time so wiring in would have to wait till Monday! Again a very siple procedure of removing three fastenings, two rubber mounted nuts and replacing them with the supplied fasteners. That’s after fitting the light to the bracket and fitting the rubber seal on the back. More about this when I run through wiring them up later on.
Time to pack because as at 2.30pm I had not even started.
Offside pannier - Camping cooker, Jetboil,2 x small frying pans, one 1 pint pan, brew kit, diggers, chopping board, cooking knife, bacon, eggs, sausages, bratties, selection of tinned foods, pork scratchings, chocolate bars, towel at the bottom, all into the offside pannier with a pair of my trainers & my Berghause Fleece on top.
Near side Pannier, Multi-tool Kit, Bag of tricks, puncture repair kit, first aid kit, Touratech bag with selection of clothes for Ben & I all topped off with Ben's trainers and fleecy.
Three man tent strapped to near side pannier lid with two short bungees, I've now found my proper straps so last time I'll use bungees. That's us set to go.
Ben finished school at 3.30pm and after a good dinner, drink and taking what felt like forever to get into our kit we were ready for the off.
5.30pm and off we set filled up in ASDA. So with Ben fastened on to me with our Love Handel belts and carabineers, all for added security because the off side pannier had nothing on top. Straight into the Friday evening rush hour traffic which was at a standstill on the M62. Once we had filtered as far as we could down the access ramp onto the M62 it was into a steady 30mph ride all the way to junction 16 and off up the M65 which thinned out nicely till we arrived at the M6 junction just past Blackpool. Once on the M6 it was all plain sailing to junction 36 then off across to Millom hooking a right just before Ulverston. The country lanes were great and with Mr. T handling a dream with all the weight low down in the panniers, Ben nattering away in my helmet and the rain staying well clear we arrived at the Millom Rugby Club in no time at all. Well as long as no time can be having just ridden 126 miles.
Nick guided us in like a professional Airfield Operator straight up to the booking in tent. Issued with wristband, plastic bag of notes, introduction, blag rubbish bag we had a quick look round and camped 15 foot away in a nice space at the side of a couple of Honda Goldwings.
Friday night went in a flash, tent up, Chilli Con Carnie for Ben, a nice hot pie for me warmed in the frying pan with brown sauce, delicious.
A well practiced manoeuvre setting up camp!
After tea we headed to the bar where I sat with Steve for a while chatting, before we knew it was pitch black and time for Ben to get some shut eye. Once settled I popped back to the bar to listen to the band. A couple of pints later and three visits to the tent which was only 20 foot away and it was time to join Ben in zed’s land.
Saturday was a strange sort of day, up at 8.30 I cooked us both our favourite “Full English” after which Ben went walk about. Finding a couple of lads his own age they played football, I watched the start of the England rugby match but having no interest what so ever went back to the tent and had a sleep.
The Only way to start the day!
I woke up to the sound of folks talking about Mr. T so I got out to see what the fuss was about. One guy was very interested and even had his picture taken sat on him to text to his other half. Another just went round totting up the cost of all the "Goodies". Strange really as he was one of the Honda Gldwins which retail at a staggering £23,5000. Other just asked about the panniers, lights, Touratech, Metal Mule, why I had changed so many things. All the stuff I tend to get at Squires, which is nice in it own sort of way.
Looking very "At Home" there Mr. T
Ben went with his new found friends to the park and nearby beach; I had a play in the sand dunes on Mr. T until some guy walking his dog kindly informed me I should not be there. So that ended that bit and only bit of fun to be had. I must say though he handled a treat even up to burying the back wheel in a sand filled groove with both panniers resting on to. Great Fun, such a shame hit had to end.
There were a few folk there broken down into,
RBLR, A49'ers & Leyland Eagles
By 3.00pm it was pouring it down and Ben came back soaked through to the bone. A change of clothes and off he went again but by 4.30 we were both bored out of our minds so I suggested heading home. “Yes please Dad” came the very enthusiastic reply from Ben.
By 6.00pm we were packed and on Mr. T after saying farewell to a non to interested bunch of folk sat in the reception tent who had watched our every move as we packed. Just went to show how bored everyone else was. Home at 8.00pm to a lovely warm bath, cold beer, a movie and all of Sunday to play with at home..... Gardening as it turned out but that’s another day.
Moto of this trip, it strickes me that neith Ben nor myself I are “Rally Goers” and so we won’t be bothering again in the very near future. Still there is always another day, another road & of course Scotland next week end........................... Can't wait!
But first there's a matter of wiring up some Sexy Fog Lamps.