Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winter Rallies 2012 2013 season

Summer has drawn to a close and a young man's thoughts turn to winter rallies. The perverse thrill of loading the bike up at the wrong end of the year and heading off to the low, cold, frosty sunset.

The joy of a winter rally is in the camaraderie generated by the wanton wrongheadedness of aiming your moto into the ice and snow for a night under frosty canvas. The winter rally is the leftfield underground of the motorcycle rally scene. As such folks organising winter rallies often take joy in their obscurity, locations are not publicised until shortly beforehand, numbers are strictly limited and published information is hard to come by.

To help the way of the hardy winter ralliest here is a short list of gatherings this coming cold season. A couple I have first hand knowledge of, the majority I don't, but all sound promising. In not all cases do I have dates or links, for some rallies such information is pending at time of writing, for others it will never be widely announced. As above, part of the joy is in the preparation. Do not take the below as gospel, check dates and locations with organisers and do not fully trust me!

Altes Elefantentreffen. 15 Feb to 17 Feb 2013, Nurburgring Germany. Confusingly the'Old Elefant rally' is in fact the upstart new Elefant Rally and held at the Nurburgring.

Elefantentreffen / Elefant Rally. Late January, dates at time of writing tbc. Loh/Thurmansbang-Solla near Passau, Germany. The original Elefant Rally.

Dragon Rally. 9 & 10 February 2013, Wales. The British Elefant and a grand tradition.  

Force Ten Rally. 4 to 6 January, Cheshire, UK. Mayflower MCC.

Rallymans Rally: Early January, near Halifax, Yorkshire. Dean Valley MCC,no further details at time of writing.

Hot Rod Rally. Can’t find any info for 2013 yet, usually late February in Holland. Organised by the Dutch BSA Owners Club and well worth attending. Have a look at the BSAOC UK events list for details.

Krystall Rally. February 2013, date tbc at time of writing. Spidsbergseter Gudbrandsdal Hotel, Norway. Just because it is in a hotel don't think that this is an easy option. Temperatures this time of year can drop to minus 20 degrees.

Primus Rally. 22 to 24 February, Velmunden near Bjøneroa
 Bjoneroa,  Norway. This is the hardcore of all winter rallies and not to be attended lightly...

Pinguinos Rally. 10 to 13 January 2013, Valladolid, Spain. The largest of European winter rallies, an easier option than the northerly rallies but still liable to be cold!  

Finally, if you are planning to attend any of the above this is a good guide to winter motorcycle riding: http://www.mc-addict.com/aguidetowinterriding.htm.

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