100% Biker 199

100% Biker 199
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Back when we were young and around here was all fields, this is the time of year when we would be packing away tents and battening down the hatches for the winter.

It wasn’t that we were soft (well, not all of us), or that we didn’t ride during the winter (although I might not have done quite so much of that had I known years later how much everything would begin to creak and hurt). It was that the rally year rather ground to a halt around this point. There will always be the hardy souls who consider camping in the snow to be a worthwhile and fortifying experience – hence the continued popularity of the Dragon Rally and the Elefantreffen, but most of us went into hibernation.

But, over time, all that has changed. From a rally season that really only kicked into gear at the beginning of May and wound down by the beginning of October, things have grown and transformed to form a calendar where you can do something on every weekend of the year and have a choice of events. Take a look at our Events listing on page 92, for example. From the last weekend of September through to New Year’s Eve, we list 102 events, and that’s not everything that’s going on by a long chalk. That’s just three months at the dog end of the year where the weather and nights are closing in and yet there is still loads to do.

I can remember in years gone by when a magazine events’ listing would have dropped to a couple of pages by this time (and possibly even have disappeared entirely from a December issue). Now that period of the year is populated by shows, bike nights and other events. There may be a few less rallies than in the summer months, but there’s still more than enough to keep the hardened aficionado happy with, say, Caldarium MCC’s Hex-Rated Rally, Derbyshire 623 MCC’s Pheasant Plucker (the 36th edition – that’s a lot of plucked birds!), Chorley Wildhartz MCC’s Frosty Paws Rally (aptly named as it’s in late November), to name just a few.

Of course, we’re also approaching the season of toy runs, Christmas parties, indoor shows and the like. And, if a weekend isn’t enough, many bike nights continue on through the winter months. Now, the thing is, I’m really not sure just why there are so many more events now than in days of yore. It’s not simply a case of misremembering what went on – or didn’t go on – in past years. I’ve been typing events listings for longer than I care to remember and I can assure you, things are considerably busier now than they ever were. Maybe it’s because people want more variety; perhaps – and I hope it is – because more people are coming into the custom and biking scene, or perhaps it’s just that you really all don’t like your homes and want to spend as much time away from them as possible. Whatever is it, embrace the choice, even as the weather grows colder and damper, and support a local event.