Now this is my favourite story so far – Just because it is so ridiculous and I still can’t quite believe what happened.
I met Kiwi and his wife George at a GBXC round in Monmouth, i think he’d had abit of a nightmare race and was doing really well until he had some sort of mechanical problem, anyways i helped him put his bike back in the van. I’d also worked with Kiwi and Craig Bounds at the BMW off road skills school and they are both bad influences and im easily lead especially where alcohol is involved. Anyways that’s by the by here’s what happened:
We’d decided to take the rally bike to Dunkirk to test in on beach – the track is open all year round and is a fantastic place to ride sand. TBM wanted to do an article and our friend llelwyln was doing a story for MotoX so it seemed a good idea that we all go over to Dunkirk together, spend a day doing a photoshoot and a day setting up the suspension.
Myself and Kiwi had arranged to meet everyone at Folkestone at 6am in the morning so we could all travel over together and get a full day in. The day before i had dropped my boyfriend Chris (Salty) at Gatwick as he was heading out to do the Roof of Africa race I then came back to Hertford to pick up the bike graphics and then headed to Patsys down in Sussex as that’s where the bike was, Kiwi was going to come down there and we were going to head out early the next day.
However, Kiwi had a call from Llewlyn and his friend Simon (Kevin and Perry) saying they were heading to Folkestone and were going to sleep in the car, i had a call from Kiwi saying he was going to head straight to Folkestone so they could all sleep in his van as he had enough room for 3 people and could i get myself to Folkestone, being vanless this wasnt possible so we decided that Kiwi would pick up Llel and Simon and bring them to Patsys. Me and Patsy were still working on the bike at about 1am when they all arrived. Instead of all getting our heads down there for a couple of hours and heading out early, we decided to drive back to Folkestone where we could all sleep in the van untill the early train.
About an hour down the road there was a road block and we had to turn round, the only way round was to come back to Patsys, Kiwis sat nav then sent us on a ridiculous route around the houses so we arrived in Folkestone at 4.30am where we decided to catch the train straight away and meet the others on the other side.
So no sleep we arrived in France and managed to crash into the back of Llel and push him up a kerb which ripped his front bumper off. After about an hours sleep James fron TBM and one of my sponsors Alex arrived and we headed off to what we hoped would be a fantatic days riding on the beach. Got to the track FERME! What? It’s never closed!! We tried to negotiate with the guys there and one nearly relented but then this bolchy woman got involved and it was all over. We managed to find a few nice dunes up the road and James got the pictures he wanted before we were turfed off by security.
We still had the next day to ride and after alot of debate and texting Kiwi had a text off his Dutch mate saying there were 2 tracks, one in Lille and one in Komen. Right we’ll drive to Lille tonight and find the track tommorow. We got to Lille about 9pm, James had got his photos and gone back to the UK, along with Alex who was pretty disappointed the track was closed and in hindsight we should have checked it was open. So 6 became 4 Me and Kiwi and Kevin and Perry (Llel and Si). After driving around Lille for a couple of hours we decided to stop in a Buffallo Grill – Great Food and Wine!!!
We were up early and determined to find the track by 10, Ok we didn’t find it by 10, 12 then, Ok then 2. In the end we found out that the track had been closed down a couple of years ago so we headed to Komen. Eventually we found it, Ferme. What a waste of a day, hundreds of K’s of driving and petrol money. But he we ended up in a Buffalo Grill back at Dunkirk.
We decided that we’d stay another day so Llel would get some photos and we’d get the sus set up right and the next day was fab. Great weather and we got to ride nearly all day, we set the suspension up and the bike was amazingly easy to ride, this was all before the security guard caught us again and told us if we didnt sling our hook this time he’d call the police. So about 3ish we headed over to Calais to get our train. We were told that was actually a track in Calais so yet again we went on a mission to find it. This time Kevin and Perry were leading and we did end up at a track, but it was a BMX track. We spent the last couple of hours before leaving in the Buffalo Grill in Calais, Great Burgers!!!!!
Kiwis back suspension had given up on the van and it was looking pretty low at the back and when we got back to the UK we were pulled over by the cops who escorted us to the weighbridge to tell us the van was overweight. Uh?? It only had 2 bikes in it. Anyways they let us off without a fine but told us that because the back sus had gone we’d have to get it recovered and they then escorted us to the police car park which was full of other overloaded vans on there way to europe.
Several hours later the AA turned up and we were on our way home.
The moral of the story is:
Always check that the track is open
Make sure you know where all the Buffalo Grills are
And here are the photos taken by Llewelyn of my lovely rally bike: