December 2000 Event
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   By Keith Bird and Caryll Chriss

Well what can you say, I went to the National Rally and it was just great...
Days of riding bikes drinking beer and talking twaddle the ideal weekend you might think, But No! It was more than that, Firstly due to the fact I rode down from Lincs on a  Y***ha, Ray and Caryll Chriss lent me their Prince which is my absolute favourite bike so I was really chuffed before we even set out.

Due to some very shrewd organising by Alan we had great weather after a dodgy start on Friday  so we got to set up in the dry and wander around and meet the folks you only see once a year. And then into the boozer for a night of alcohol and music, LOUD music and have you ever seen so many scrap merchants in one place at one time even Kalvin must have felt right at home and we nearly got him a seat on their coach.

Reprinted from the Indian Club UK Newsletter

Check out the new Indian Club GB Website!

Saturday dawned a fair day so breakfast and more socialising and peering at rust and then off on the run. Only to find we had a hill climb and assault course to train the people who only ride their bikes at rallies to learn handling on,  thought fully supplied free of charge by the local highways dept, (I think we all must have discovered new things about Indian handling verses tarmac resurfacing). A medieval fair at the pub (no points for spotting the plastic cleavage and if you didn't then you didn't buy the beer). Sam and I got there first and the locals thought old Indians were great until the rest of you turned up, then back (funny thing is I was first back as well maybe the Prince isn't that steady after all or could it be I got lost again!) for silly games and even Punch and Judy... Yes really, but just to prove our rallies are different someone paid that lovely shy Anna to get married to a real ugly bugger but some women will do anything for a laugh or so I'm told, and that was only the first day. Then a great night in the pub, why do they always play the best music just before they throw you out. 

Sunday. Did you know its really quiet if you wake up when everyone else is off having breakfast ... Only the distant sound of Tony lighting a cigar, Good job really cause the head was thumping a bit, but after a round of coffee any greasy fry-up it was off to Brooklands. What a gag the run out was this time I didn’t get lost, passed a few times but not lost, 2 laps of roundabouts helped to confuse everyone else but I knew where I was going ... just follow the apparition in PINK ... Yep you saw her and so did every male driver on the route it was better than tailgating an ambulance for getting through traffic what fun and I even got to wave at the nice police man with the speed gun (did you all do that?). He had to be joking; uphill, while trying to navigate, on a Prince. If he'd have booked me I'd have framed it.




At this point I want to know, come on own up, who invited the Harley owners club and said they could sneak in on our entry passes ? My god there was more chrome on one of those than they used in Terminator 2, the guy must get a Christmas card every year from Solvol Autosol. Click on pictures for full size!
What a nice museum though, I used to know Chas Mortimer and read his autobiography about racing at Brooklands so it was great to go and see just what the magic of the place was about. Now I know, driving a 7.5 ton truck (same sort of wheelbase as the Napier Railton) round a sheer face of concrete for the hell of it must have been nearly as eye-opening as being in UFO's sidecar. If it was you videoing it please phone me as I would dearly love a copy of your video (01406-363076). Then just as I thought we were going to get slung out for the Anglo-German assault on the north face it was time to leave and head back to the site sadly along the way UFO's gearbox seized and had to be trailered, but as it turned out there was a good side to this.

So it was goodbye to this years rally and all the folks you only see once a year and to the new friends I made this time round. A great rally, good weather, a new president, all in all a terrific time. The End..... naaaah! only for some of you. The rest of us adjourned to Ray's abode nr Brighton to survey the damage to Ufo's bike and Ray just to show I'm not the total divot I make out let me drive the van with his bikes in, ably assisted by Rollie from Belgium whom makes a study out of creative map reading so even the drive back was interesting, she taught me Flemish (not) I taught her how to take wrong turnings with confidence.

At Box Hill we learned that a Renault van is in fact faster than a Ninja over a measured quarter mile as the owner wheelied passed us at 45 mph and then immediately got pulled over by the law, maybe our old mate from Brooklands.

The outcome of ripping down Ufo's gearbox was that it was fitted with a **** needle roller conversion and it was these that had seized and welded themselves to the shaft. This appears to be because there is not really enough oil to submerge the bearings completely, so due to the fact that the needle housing is almost closed ended and the needles spin ten times faster than the shaft  they just overheat dramatically lose their hardening and bond to the shaft.

Thanks to Eddie (he's the one that looks like Billy Connelly) acquiring a new shaft and Rays mate Dan (He's a better engineer than me) turning up standard bushes the Chief was rebuilt but not before we had extended the rally out to Tuesday Morning at which point we all headed home and Ray and Caryll sighed in relief.

So I'd like to thank Allen for organising it,and everyone who turned up for making it such fun and especially Ray and Caryll for the loan of Pimple, and apologise to John Chat for the snoring; drink more beer next time and you won't here a thing. The prize question is which was better, the not quite Indian 4 or the not at all Indian Kawasaki Drifter send your answers straight to Dave Gill.

Next year I hope your all coming to Lincolnshire, there is no hills so you can up the gearing by 1 tooth but don't forget your guy ropes as it can be a bit draughty, for those who want to know already it will probably be at The Anglia Motel at Fleet between Spalding and Kings Lynn.

See You There




Eddie and Anna would like to thank everyone for making their wedding day very special and for the memories that will be with them forever.

More Indian Wedding here!

THE ELEVENTH NATIONAL INDIAN RALLY. June 2000 9th,10th and 11th

(For some of us it lasted a little longer)

Friday 9th. It started to rain at about 7.30 A M , just the usual weather for an Indian rally I thought as I put my waterproof dog walking coat in the van. We had already loaded up, tents, gazebo, kitchen etc. squeezed round the Super X, my Scout and the Prince (Pimple) which was going to spend the weekend in Keith Bird's tender care. He's always telling me how much he loves the bike, I thought a weekend riding it might end the affair.

Claude and Roly arrived from Belgium followed by a surprise for us Uwe Illgner (UFO) from Germany on his much traveled Chief outfit, wet but still smiling as he always seems to be.

After lunch we left for Ockham, about one hour's travel from our place, a convoy with Ray on his 101 leading as he knew the way, then UFO, Claude and Roly, Keith and me. I told everyone it would stop raining at four o'clock and it did ! Soon got our campsite sorted and worked out how to use our new locking cable things to keep the bikes secure then headed for the pub. Very hot and very noisy in there so I drank lots of cider to keep cool.

Allan Ford turned up during the evening to see the two Wall of Death bikes he'd lent to the rally for the weekend. They were snugly locked in Rat's awning for the night. Allan said `lets get one going' Rat was soon out of bed. Had a few beers with Eddie to mark his last night as a single man and decided to call it a night. Back at the tent I discovered the torch wouldn't work so groped my way to bed, which kept tipping up when I tried to get into it. My feet were frozen so I found some socks - nice long wooly ones they were Ray's.

Saturday 10th. Bit of a headache this morning, wondered if we'd have thunder later. The sun shone arid Eddie arrived from somewhere looking splendid and ready to get married. A good breakfast at the pub andwe were ready to go to the wedding. Another convoy, this time led by Eddie on Alan Gould's Chief outfit, couldn't keep up as usual. 




Found a nice little old lady in Leatherhead who didn't seem at all disconcerted by the bikes and told us the way to the Registry Office. Lovely wedding, Anna looked gorgeous, photos with lots of bubbles then a steady ride back to the pub for champagne and delectable food.

2.30pm the Rideout time. Alan led the way on his outfit at a steady 50 mph, I kept up OK and so did Keith on Pimple. We turned off the main road onto single track roads - what fun - they've just been gritted. I tried to stay on the bit that had been cleared by car wheels but some of the corners were inches deep. No one fell off, though Linda had to lean on the bank for a while. Tony Leenes stopped all the cars at road junctions, nobody argued with him on his venerable Chief.

Also by Caryll "Sitting Duck" Chriss on the VI:

Indian Rally Belgium 1999

Ray stopped on one corner, the X was over oiling a bit and I couldn't see him or the bike or the road for smoke. Pub stop at the Abinger Hatch where I found Keith and Sam already there, they’d taken a short cut, little cheats. Had a strange mix of cider, scones, cream and jam courtesy of Steve (baby face) Stephens. The ride back to camp was only 10 miles, which would have been a doddle had we not all got stuck on a hill. My brakes won’t hold backwards, the clutch was getting hot, couldn’t stop, couldn’t go. Swore lot. Back at camp we stewed up all the leftovers for dinner, strange texture but it tasted fine, we must have been hungry. Later on during the evening we were treated to an impromptu Punch and Judy show, a lot of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it. In the pub Henni and Bill gave a twist demonstration, too noisy to talk so we just drank and smiled at each other.

Sunday 11th. Up at 6:30, headache, must be due to the noise last night. Made a cup of tea and disturbed Sam, who was sleeping in the gazebo. I'm pleased to record that he takes his hat and boots off when he goes to bed. At about 10:30 we all left for Brooklands. I enjoyed looking around the museum, haven’t been there for few years and is always interesting, though a little snobby (the right crowd and no crowding). Ufo did a bit of racing on the banking and upset the marshal. Pleasant ride back to camp, especially going twice round the roundabout over the motorway, the car drivers faces were a picture of astonishment, they must have thought there were a hundred of us. Ufo's gearbox expired on the way back- a hex from the marshal? Eddie went off to the rescue with his trailer.

We arrived home in dribs and drabs, Ray and me on our Scouts. Keith and Roly in the van, Claude and Ufo in the camper. With Eddie's trailer and the outfit behind.

Everything at home OK, Mimi and Fernon (who’d stayed in the house) had had a nice time walking the footpaths and looking after the cats and wildlife. All to the Dragon at Coolham for a good nosh, then home for drinks and much merriment.

Monday 12th. Still seem to have a headache. 11am Ufo made an early start on his gearbox, the problem was the needle roller bearing had crunched up and the layshaft was solid. Fortunately Eddie the angle grinder kid tuned up and cut it in half. We were lucky that Keith was still here as he’s an engineer, also Danny (another engineer) innocently driving around in his Westfield was unlucky enough to call in for coffee and got lumbered as well. So with all the expert help by dinner time Ufo was mobile again and everybody was happy. Dinner for ten, drinks for twelve, look forward to the last headache tomorrow morning, what a wonderful weekend.

Can we have another rally next month Alan?

Sitting Duck





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