Its been a long time since I did the Irish National rally. 2006 was the last time. A chance conversation in January had me seeking an entry form.
The event has moved since I was last there from Kenmare to Killarney, both in Kerry.
The trip there was eventful mainly because we nearly missed the ferry in Pembroke Dock, the ramp being lifted before we had opened the van doors. Lots of beer in Rosslare then a van trip across to Killarney the next day was fairly uneventful.
On the Monday we took a ride out, with my bike only making it the 200 yards to the petrol station before I had to wield the spanners and Dens timing slipping on the AJS only a mile or so further on.
The rally consists of four days of riding with routes of around 140 miles a day over some very rough tracks and mountain roads. Despite the road surfaces being much improved since I was last there, they can still rearrange your spine on a rigid bike.
Some nice machinery was entered:-
Brough Superior (there was five or six on the rally)
A brace of 30s Ariel Red Hunters
Vincent (there was a few of them too)
Dave Millers Trump veteran (stupidly fast bike, and pre WW1)
Dennis and his 1913 Rex:-
The Blue Loo at Glengariffe:-
The weather was sunny all week, which is unusual for Ireland. This is the view from the hotel restaurant:-
So five days of riding bikes, drinking loads of Guinness and eating three solid meals a day - its not an easy rally. But it is excellent fun. Met loads of folks I hadn't seen in ages and made some new friends including Tore from Norway, who is the new freewheeling champion having got past An Sibin and onto the bridge down form the Healy. Amazing. And Izzy, the daughter of German friends doing the rally for the first time aged 16. And very well she did too.
On the way back we stopped in Passage East for a pint and saw this:-
Looking forward to the next trip.