Ireland beckoned for my second, and probably my last, trip overseas on the bike this year. A good long run down to County Laois for a weekend away with the Irish section of the MZ Riders Club and friends.
|Waiting on the ferry with a nice French couple touring on their Moto Guzzi California|
It's fairly involved getting there due to ferry schedules and the distances involved. I left home at 7 am on Friday morning, arriving on site at around 5.30 pm. As it was dry and sunny for much of the trip this wasn't too much of a chore, but I have done it in the rain, and let me tell you, over six hours riding with two-hours of enforced inactivity in wet clothing on a ferry in the middle does make you wonder why you bother.
|Jawa 350 two-stroke|
|Big Jim and his military Royal Enfield|
However, back to the main event.
Friday night saw us pile into taxis and head for Durrow and Bob's Bar. This is a fair-sized pub with a number of 'snugs', or semi-private rooms. We blagged one of these early on and spent the evening in a room dedicated to Sergeant Jack Moyney, a local hero and winner of the VC (Victoria Cross). They even had a rifle in a glass case on the wall.
|Boy's Own Hero|
It was all a bit surreal sitting in a wee room the walls of which were covered in memorials to him and to others who had fought for King & Country when Ireland was just another part of the British Empire.
|Getting ready for the ride-out|
|Interesting mix of bikes : BMW, Vincent, Jawa|
Saturday afternoon saw the usual organised ride-out, something I generally avoid as I don't really like riding in large groups, too easy to get separated. So, I just dossed about for the day, relaxing and catching up with those folk who stayed behind.
|Terry topping up my tyre pressure before the return trip|
The evening was spent just eating and drinking in the hostel and, as this was the rally's 30th year, there was even cake.
All too soon, it was over for another year. Will there be another rally there? I certainly hope so, but no one seems to know for sure as the organiser, Big Jim, has decided to resign as local area rep and take a back seat on the organising front.
|John's very tidy BMW R90S|
|On board the ferry home|