I’m once again grateful to Sean and Rick for sending me their photos from Red Kite 5 held over the weekend of 17th to 19nd September 2021. Other photos were taken by yours truly.
If you click on a photo on a picture “mosaic” you should then be able to scroll through larger copies.
Pictures can be saved to your computer for printing by right clicking the photo and choosing save or whatever your browser uses. The same method works for photos in a “mosaic” but you need to do so when scrolling through the larger images or you’ll just get the little thumbnail size. Higher resolution versions of the photos may be available on request.
Well, it was the third weekend in September. Day by day Derek the Welsh weather man had improved his forecast for the weekend until the promise was for it to be dry. Stars were aligned and the fates were smiling. The hiatus of 2020 was behind us and, at last, Red Kite 5 – 2021 edition was upon us.
The weather didn’t disappoint and we stayed pretty much dry unless, like me, you spent too much time chatting and didn’t pack up to leave until almost Sunday lunch time. The turn-out was the biggest to date. Everyone seemed so pleased to be able to meet up after the recent restrictions and a friendly and animated atmosphere took hold as old friends were welcomed back and new connections made.
As usual, a few of us arrived on the Thursday as a sort of advance party. Mainly so that we would be up bright and early to set up on the Friday morning.
Friday 17th September
Of course, it was all calm and quiet to begin with.
Gradually Guzzisti and their friends aimed their loaded motorcycles in the direction of the Welsh border lands and descended upon Baskerville Hall and it’s surroundings ready for a weekend of fun and friendship and the site began to fill.
Our increased numbers meant a relocation away from our previous camping field to a larger one with perhaps a little less character but this actually suited us better. As rally goers arrived there was the usual milling about as, having set up camp, the site was explored to see who was already on site and what other machinery was on view.
Good use was made of the free coffee and tea on offer beside the booking desk and formed a natural meeting point as had been the plan.
First night up at the hotel in our club room was just a hubbub of conversation while food and drink was consumed. Everyone was so busy catching up that the planned quiz became a casualty. It had quickly become clear that interrupting the chatter would be wrong. A quick check around the various groups confirmed this was the right thing to do. We didn’t even put on the background music we’d brought. We just didn’t need it.
Saturday 18th September
Saturday is our main rally day. Three ride-outs were organised so as to appeal to as many as possible. You could opt for a full day in the saddle or could join one of the shorter runs and all three were well supported. Others chose their own itinerary and a good few stayed on site. Those who did so had the opportunity to attend an entertaining and absorbing presentation in the club room by Kate Birbeck on the battle of iSandlwana and Rorke’s Drift which famously took place in 1879. I know it all sounds a bit niche but the topic has more than a little relevance as Brecon, just down the road, was the home of the regiment most associated with the battles. Kate, a well known club member, is an expert on the events of the Anglo Zulu war and is an accomplished speaker.
Jon set off with the longest all-day ride for the hardy.
Then Mike and Ian left with a slightly shorter run.
Finally Paul left with the Pussycat ride!
Meanwhile back at camp….
My experience has been that motorcyclists often have other common interests such as consuming unhealthy all-day breakfasts or driving miles to eat cake. It was for this reason that we decided the afternoon would not be complete without free cake. Janice (Mrs V7John) had spent the previous few days making the various cakes in the quantities needed for the 150-plus attendees. To my amazement some could not be enticed away from their tents with cries of, “Free cake! Yes really!” Luckily there were many others who were more than ready to make the most of what was on offer.
Our charity this year was the 1st Hay on Wye Scout Group and a representative joined us during the afternoon.
Evening entertainment was once again provided by The Hideaway Trio from Pembrokeshire who went down so well back in 2019. Once again they excelled themselves playing their blend of blues, rock, soul and funk. Some were even seen to get up and dance. Of course, I stayed where I was.
The band’s set was split to allow the presentation of the awards. As well as the usual long distance awards the Hotel staff were asked to choose a bike for the Baskerville Bike Award, new for this year. This was one by this nice California Custom 1400.
A Spirit of the Red Kite award went to a new rider who passed his test just a fortnight before the rally having bought a V85TT in anticipation.
As is usual a raffle was held with tickets having been sold throughout the weekend for an opportunity to win one of the high quality prizes. £310.10 was raised for the 1st Hay on Wye Scout Group.
Sunday 18th September
We watched as the camp field slowly cleared during the morning. It was great to be approached by so many wanting to say what a good time they’d had. All in all I think it went really well. A few of us sat around discussing how things had gone until the rain finally came and we made a run for it.
A few bikes!
Thanks to all those who got involved and made the weekend so great. I think we’ll do it all again next year. Red Kite 6 will be 23rd to 25th September 2022.