Barcelona - European H.O.G. Rally

26th-29th June 2003

Every ride has its moments - those juicy nuggets that embed themselves in the memory and remain forever to shine brightly when the T-shirts have faded and the patches have worn away.

The 100th anniversary of Harley, the 20th anniversary of H.O.G. and, just as importantly, the presence of the Rolling Stones, drew a large number of Chelsea & Fulham members to Barcelona.

Everyone who made it got a Rider’s Patch (after 1,000 miles they deserved one), an invite to the C&F Beach Party and a Rider Beach Party rocker patch.

Here are a few memorable nuggets from the riders...

What does it mean?

Dietmar Kohls and I were riding with Peter ‘Scottie’ Scott about one hundred and fifty miles short of Toulouse. After four hours at 90 miles an hour with only two stops for petrol, Scottie puts his left hand on top of his helmet and continues to ride on.

Dietmar is confused. Is this an early warning for a drop off or what? Dietmar pulls up next to me. “What does it mean - what Scottie is doing?” “I don’t know - go ask him.”

Dietmar pulls alongside Scottie and puts his left hand on his head.

“Scottie what does it mean?”

“What?”

“What does it mean, Scottie?”

“It means my @*?!*:-( helmet is loose!”

Steve ‘Smiley’ Beauchamp

C&F Superstars

What a turn out! I arrived at the Fira Palace Hotel to see the group off to Monserrat at 1pm and then went directly to the Baja Club to help prepare for the party.

Lots who attended the rideout and Beach Party said it was the highlight of their weekend which is testament to the C&F way of doing things, and let’s not forget we raised over 1,000 for our chosen charity, Muscular Dystrophy.

The rideouts, the crew, and the best venues, plus lots of good times - how cool is that!

Portugal next year, Monte Gordo June 3rd-6th, best start that research now!

John Warr

The Pyrenées

Going up a mountain pass. Hailstones as big as a Spanish bulls’ bollox. Muddy rivers running down the road, causing landslides near the top of the pass.

When I got to the top, I discovered the hailstones were settling on the road. Slip sliding along with a guy called Barry, who had only picked up his bike a couple of weeks earlier - one thousand foot drop on one side and a cliff and rocks on the other. Hard riding - the kind you’re glad to survive.

Jaz

It’s not the kit, mate

Barbara & I flew down to Barcelona and arrived at the posh hotel in biker clothes but without a bike. A local in a smart suit and briefcase pushed past us in reception and tried to get a room. The suit was sent packing as we were handed our keys. Tickled my fancy.

Tony Dowden

Supercool

Colin Houliston and Conor McAnally movin’ and groovin’ in slick synchronicity south of Carcasson heading for the hills at about 70mph.

Bright sunshine, black tarmac, not too many cars - but two dead ahead. Hey we can take ’em before the curve and the solid white line. Think about getting into position when... Woah! What the hell is that? Two blue blurs flashing by. Two French motorcycle cops in their shirt sleeves sat on their pans like they’re doing 30mph - except they’re doing about 130! Coolest dudes on the planet, they have time to give us a nice friendly wave before taking us and the cars and still making it in before the white line. Colin slows down. I pull alongside. “I’m sorry”, says he “I can’t compete with that!” We looked at each other and knew we had a long way to go.

Conor McAnally

Senorita!

Imagine the scene; a warm balmy evening, beer in hand, with the Stones on stage in the Stade Olympico, and next to me sits the young barmaid who we gave one of John Warr’s tickets to.

At the end of the concert I asked her if she wanted a lift home on the back of my bike, she had planned on taking a cab. I promised to take care of her and ride slowly, and she needed no more convincing once she clapped eyes on my flaming deep red Rod which had been lovingly restored by John and Martin’s team back home.

She swung her legs over my Rod at the same time easing on my helmet, as she did so I fired the ignition and set off down the hill towards Hotel Arts.

It felt good to be riding home with the voluptual warmth of a woman pressing into my back and the wind in my hair atop 1,130ccs of Revolution.

As my mind raced and with the hotel in sight, out stepped divine intervention in the form of Guardia Urbana. Apparently it is illegal to ride around Spain without wearing a helmet, but what is more disturbing is the fact that the ubiquitous Spanish copper doesn’t understand that a Brit has a duty to rescue damsels in distress. As I turned to evidence this, I glimpsed my helmet atop the rear seat... where art thou Juliet? It was clear that she had already been satisfied and had decided to melt away into the night.

All I have to remember her by is a 45 euro admonishment. Never mind, the evening was made all right in the end by persuading our dearly beloved yet most macho of road captains to consume a green drink which contained a mixture of fruit and veg in it, what was it called again Scottie?

I’ll have another if you will!

Charlie Pearch

Lateral thinking...

It was pretty easy to be lost the first night in Barcelona - the concert was over, it was dark and which way was that hotel anyway? After circling downtown a few times, the solution became obvious. I parked the bike outside a busy hotel and hailed a taxi! Giving him the name of the hotel, he nods and goes to open the door...

No! I’m going to follow you.

Problem sorted!

Jaz

C&F Rideout and Beach Party

28 C&F members made it for the Saturday ride to Monserrat Monastery. After a quick briefing they set off, led by Road Captain Scottie, whose usual hand signals were not at their eloquent best, as he’d broken his thumb the previous night!

It was a hot ride up some very twisty roads to a scene straight out of Lord of the Rings, impossible architecture perched high on misshapen mountains.

A wander round the monastery, then back on the road for the invitation only C&F Party for some well deserved refreshment - dehydration is a terrible thing.

John and Nick had flown to Barcelona in March and had found the perfect venue for the Chelsea & Fulham Beach Party. The Baja Beach Club, right on the sea front, laid on fantastic food and drink and some rather surprising entertainment! After consuming vast quantities of food and drink it was raffle time.

The cause was MDA and the prize, an Anniversary knife which John Warr had won on Andy Reynold’s sponsored ride. The winner was Steve Hughes - the man who bought the most tickets - poetic justice.

Much later ‘weary’ C&F members returned to their hotels to recover in time for the H.O.G. Parade of Flags Sunday morning and the Rolling Stones in the evening.

The Parade and the Stones were awesome.

Colin Houliston

For a selection of photographs of Chelsea & Fulham’s journey to the European H.O.G. Rally, Barcelona, Spain visit the Gallery page and click on the Spain ’03 tab.

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