This is not the old Snowman rally and, rather than being in Lincolnshire, this one is in South Wales, not far from Monmouth.
I had known about the 'New' Snowman Rally for a few years but, due to other events clashing, was unable to attend. No problem this year though; away we go lunch time Friday and I'm heading across the M62 then a short run down the M6 and onto the M56 for one exit then I'm on the A49. It's a little bit busier than it used to be, but not enough to spoil the experience of another one of my favorite roads.
It's amazing how you get an audience at a rally if you get the tool kit out.
The weather is perfect and my R100RS is running well. I am in no rush so I take it reasonably steady and don't chase the sports bike that zaps past me in the 30 limit through Craven Arms. I must be getting sensible at last!
After a pleasant 200 miles or so, I can't decide whether to fill up with petrol in Monmouth, but as I am not on reserve yet I decide to push straight on to the Rally.
Having found the pub and rally site I park up and book in then go up onto the site on foot to check things out. It's up a sort of dirt track and then there is a narrow field where you can camp along the edges.
When I return to the bike to move it onto the field it will not start. The battery is completely dead. It's fortunate I didn't stop in Monmouth, because a fully laden boxer twin is no fun to bump start!
Oh well it sorted out where to go on Saturday. I got a lift over to Bristol on the back of Roy Watkinson's bike to the BMW dealer there and got myself a new 'genuine BMW' battery.
It's amazing how you get an audience at a rally if you get the tool kit out. However they all left me to it when the rain started! It was also fortunate that John Newitt, apart from offering help and advice ... didn't think to capture the moment on film!
Anyway back to the Rally Report. It is nice to be back in this area in better weather. It's not far from where the Kipper Rally is held, but it's always freezing when that's on.
Frosty the Rally organizer has free tea and coffee on the go in the control tent and also a selection of sweets and biscuits. The Rally seems to attract a good cross section of people from all over the place and it's good to see a large turn out from Cornwall.
The pub has a special price 'rally' menu and if, you book a ticket the night before, will serve you an excellent cooked breakfast.
A variety of local and not so local real ale is on offer, which probably explains why I stayed up so late (early Saturday morning!)
There are games in the pub on Saturday for the brave ones amongst us and then later on a band in the back room.
The weather had deteriorated on Saturday afternoon, and it seemed to throw it down all night. Sunday morning packing up was done in what seemed like a monsoon and the return home was done entirely on the motorway. They do come in handy at times!
- Ted Trett
Continue with Ted's Snowman 09 report.