Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Redmond Rally

Hello David here!
Like most bike rally's it was full of bikes and bikers talking about bikes. It was very hot (97F) and there were few showers and even fewer toilets. There was a sign saying there were more shower 3 miles away at a local school but I don't think many people took up that offer. On Friday afternoon 6 port-a-loos were dropped off, just across the road from where we were camping (lovely!) which helped a bit. Only we were woken at various points during the night, and most early mornings to the sound of banging loo doors. I spent time washing the bike, changing the oils and adjusting the tappets and talking bikes, while Jill did less bikey things (but not too sure what). ++ I'll tell you what I did: I sat reading my tome A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. Fantastic book, but one I need to get to the end of as it must weigh about 3lbs, and we need to reduce the weight we are carrying. So time well spent I think. Oh and I cat napped. A woman of my age living rough, needs her beauty sleep!++
There was a good selection of vendors at the show, which is always interesting to look around and we both succumbed to filling our already swollen panniers some more. There was lots to keep us entertained: I won a prize at the daily draw, bands played at night, I had my towel 'nicked' while I was having a shower, ++(there is something about David's toiletries, he had his toilet bag and shaver nicked when we were in Portugal a couple of years ago. Hence he gave up shaving. I hope he doesn't give up washing!!)++
There was a good selection of vintage bikes and an English Trials. We volunteered at the Charging station for a 3 hour stint with Hope an 11 year old who took over and told us what to do; and we perfected the art of ear plugs while sleeping during cold nights.
The Closing Ceremony was a testament to all things American. Wonderful pomp and ceremony began with the National Anthem, followed by homage to soldiers in Afghanistan, the American Constitution, the rally workers voluntary and paid, and of course the very generous sponsors. The prizes donated by sponsors were astounding. When we registered, we were each given three tickets to sign and place in 3 different drums. Each day there were prize draws with umpteen gifts to give away..The big day though was the final day of the rally when an all singing and dancing BMW F800 GS was up for grabs. As you would expect, Jill absent mindedly threw away her final day ticket having won nothing the previous 3 days and sat in a state of anxiety as the number was drawn!! Any way the auditorium was pretty full of expectant and excited potential winners. But the oddest spectacle was of people leaving in droves as soon as the town where the person lived who had won the motorbike was announced, even before a name was mentioned. I think there was only the two of us left to offer our congratulations to Cathy from Bend who wasn't actually present anyway to claim her prize. Weird!!

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