An Caladh Rally

The Haven - 2017

Ted and I were lucky enough to get invites for the Loch Lomond club's spring rally, held at Tighnabruaich in March.

We set off on our old BMs before 11 for the ride north. It was raining by the time we left, a slow ride to the M6 and slower along the A76 towards the Clyde ferry. We stopped at Maccy D's near Kilmarnock and wrung our gloves out. We dripped all over their nice clean floors. Setting off to the ferry it was still raining heavily, no escaping the dampness of my 'waterproof' kit.

We managed to put the tent up on the lawn of the Hotel's next door neighbours and changed into dry clothes. Rather than cook our own food we ate in the hotel, we deserved a bit of comfort after our ride! Back to the tent well after midnight - it had been a fine night with all the 'usual suspects'. And, yes, it was still raining.

Up at 11 and after breakfast and a shower I took my wet stuff into the hotel. The rooms were festooned with wet gear. On chairs, radiators, in front of the fires and indeed anywhere anything could be draped. I was trying to place my wet things when a gentleman came up to me and said I'll take it and get it dry for you, don't you worry. Ever the optimist I gladly gave all my stuff to a complete stranger who I knew I wouldn't even recognise again! Ted looked at me disbelievingly when I returned. It will be ok was all I could say - with a grin.

Putting light raincoats on we took a walk round the bay, ending up in a cafe for some hot soup. It was still raining so on getting back to the site we went back to bed. It's what we do.

We were woken by my helpful gentleman with my dry gear. Folded neatly into a plastic bag. People are really good, he must have been a local, marvelling at all these motorcyclists coming here in such foul weather. And yes, it was still raining.

Another late night in the pub after cooking our food. When the awards were given out the Mayflower got the Club award but I got 'Oldest Bike and Rider' which was a bit of a surprise, my bike isn't that old!!

We slept well, with the rain easing a little. The tent was packed wet and we headed towards Glasgow, no point messing about with ferries, let's just get home. By the time we got to Glasgow it was almost dry but as we headed south it started up again and it carried on raining until we got home. Five hundred miles in the rain is a good test of any waterproof clothing and I'm sorry to say mine failed dismally! Hey ho, maybe one day I'll get it right.

- Heather MacGregor