West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 66 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2019

Red Kite Rally 2008 - WTRA

Reports by: Ian Vessey.

Update: Vess Comes 7th and A for Allen gets 13th

Good rally this.

Started well with me nearly getting the transit stuck on the top of the Eppynt ranges. I'd volunteered to take all the West Glos. rider's fuel to the fuel stop just past the German village, on a slight detour first thing. I only just got there through the blizzard and unloaded (except for one of Dave's cans which was hiding under the CCM), and then had to continue north and go via Tirabad as there was no way the Transit was going to go back up the hill and back to the A40.

At the Rugby club in Llandovery I met the rest of the team and then discovered Dave's can when I got the CCM out. I did say I'd strap it to the CCM carrier, but we decided that between Glen and Dave they had enough fuel (both on stinky 2strokes).

We signed on, had bacon butties etc. then were started in 3's and sent back up the A40. No-one was laughing at my handlebar muffs after that little ride, it was still very cold, but my fingers were lovely and warm and dry!

The first lap was very slippery and the snow had turned to slush but there was no rush as was just a sighting lap. At the fuel stop check, the marshals let us go straight through as they were worried about the weather. The 5 of us - me, Mike Allen, Glen Thomas, Dave Pinney and Chris Haines - were pretty close together most of the time. By the start of test one on the second lap, Mike's starter wasn't and Glen's front brake wasn't either as he demonstrated by nearly wiping us all out. The first test was a slippery thing with some nice climbs and drops, ending with a climb and a jump over a track, straight into trees with a 180 to the lights which caused a few minor spills. At the second test, I let Mike go first, and then set off after him 20 secs later. This used the famous track across the ranges, which saw both of us doing 70-80 mph (not entirely sure - wasn't too keen to take eyes off the going to look down at the speedo for too long!) Much to my amusement and Mike's disgust, I went barrelling past him in a boggy bit near the end of the test - it was definitely a flat out do-or-die manouver - the momentum of an overweight CCM can carry it through quite substanstial bogs!

Of course this type of event is just a bit of fun! So on the next lap we were happily swapping places as we went along the old tank training road, until I got it all sideways on a bank bypassing one of the giant puddles, and Mike managed to launch his KTM straight into the middle of the next one. At least I didn't get my feet wet!

By this time, the lack of an electric foot was beginning to show, so a piece of rope was produced from the KTM toolbag and tied to the CCM rack. "OK" says mike, so off I gently go, taking up the slack, and pulling the KTM straight over on its side. "OK" says Mike again, and this time both are upright, but the rope slips before the KTM starts. By now, we're up to the next puddle. Mike is sure this one isn't too deep, so we hitch up and move off again. The CCM hits the water and starts to sink. Mike lets the rope go! The CCM is now up to the barrel, but since it's a big old barge it steams on through - there was never any doubt that it was going to make it. The KTM is pushed around and the next pull starts it up.

On around we go. By the third lap, some of the snotty stuff has been cut out which is a bit of a shame. Back at the second test, I push Mike to the front again. This time there was no catching him. Just when I thought I might be closing, I got cross rutted and went down for a close look at the heather - that cost 20 secs.

We all arrived back at the Rugby club safe and sound. The grins on all our faces said it all - it had been a real good blast!

Results were still at the provisional stage when going to press but should be found on WTRA Website soon.