Until now there's nothing on the 1972 Dragon rally and it falls to me to remedy this situation. Let's start right away with a selection of photos relating to this year's meeting.

I sincerely hope that this compilation of images will stimulate interest and encourage comments and the sharing of personal experiences of those who took part in Dragon 72.

After all, don't forget the LPMCC website is based on the very concept of the 'Spanish Inn' where you only eat what guests have brought. A friendly concept where everyone participates in their own way by bringing what they wish to the table.

This concept dating from the 18th century has its origin in the inns on the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle where pilgrims from all over the world met and shared their food.

So thanks in advance to those of my fellow rallyists who will in answer the call and bring this page to life by telling the story of the 1972 Dragon rally.

The Dragon rally encompassed the beautiful landscape of North Wales with its lunar-like landscape and breathtaking passes.

Passing so many motorcyclists on the bendy, walled-in roads that lead to Llanberis reassured us that not only were we on the right track, but also that we had the right weekend for the rally!

Everyone on two and three wheels is heading in the same direction.

The old machines of these fellow rallyists stopped here are displaying the Welsh flags with the mythical dragon to celebrate this great motorcycle gathering.

Here's another group of rallyists stopped by the roadside for a brief rest. An opportunity to stretch legs, to smoke a pipe or a cigarette and of course to answer nature's call. The goal is near. Llamberis is not very far away.

While some undoubtedly had a few minor mechanical issues, generally everything went well. In terms of minor mechanical troubles, there isn't much an English motorcyclist worthy of the name cannot repair.

The atmosphere is buzzing. A veritable anthill of people, everyone meeting up and enjoying the atmosphere, walking around and admiring the machines and chatting among themselves. All in a general hubbub of voices and engines.

Look at this beautiful Sunbeam.

I wouldn't want it ...
even if it was given to me.

Have you pitched your tent yet?

No, I didn't bring one. I just have my sleeping bag. I will have to find a place to sleep inside a building. Besides, after a few beers I should have no trouble falling asleep.

One thing's for sure mate. We're still better off here than at work in the factory.

Don't talk about that mate. I have to go back to work Monday morning.

You went to the Elefantentreffen in early January?

Of course. I wouldn't have missed it. Especially with my new combo.

The one riding the combo:

I'm fine with being your taxi driver… but each of you tonight will owe me a beer at the bar.

One of the passengers, answering him teasingly:

I am not a doctor but I wonder if this is good for your health.

Another, with a touch of humour:

I think I forgot my wallet when I left home.

All burst out laughing...

Under its gigantic red wings the Dragon Rally brings everyone together for the weekend; young and old alike, regardless of age, sex, race, religion or social status.

Various models of Soviet motorcycles had been imported up to around 1970 in the UK, but in very small numbers. Most motorcyclists knew nothing of Soviet motorcycles. So when at Dragon 72, someone asks a Ural owner about the reliability of that particular 'Bolshevik' motorcycle, the best demonstration for its owner is apparently to take him for a ride in group travel style.

A motorcyclist rally wouldn't be a real rally without its die-hard camping fanatics; whatever the season and the weather.

Once the tent is pitched and belongings are put inside, the hardest part is done. However, next day it will be necessary to do it all again, dismantling this time, often with the handicap of a hangover. Right now though these rallyists can enjoy more pleasant things like eating or going out for a beer with friends.

You know right away that this participant must be an experienced camper by the way he uses 'the latest tech' to aid his camping.

A magnificent time when the common denominator of motorcycling and friendship still united 'patched' club members, (here from Greater Manchester), irrespective of race or creed.

If the primary purpose of a fire is to warm up around it, even eventually to cook on it, then surely this doesn't prevent it being seen as the most vivid 'painting' in the world. What could be more poetic and captivating than watching a camp fire?

Orange and red give way to yellow and white near the fire's centre, where the heat is greatest. Its glowing embers seem to move in rhythm with the flames, matching every dip and sweep. I tell you my friends, there is nothing more beautiful than a campfire and even better when shared with friends around it. It's perfect for body and soul on a cold Dragon Rally winter day.

- Jean-Francois Helias


Some of the chat from our Facebook Page.