Thursday, 27 October 2016

Every Picture Tells a Story #9 - Heading for a Rally, July 1996

This photograph is of a group of us on MZ two strokes on our way to a motorcycle rally at Bonchester Bridge in the Scottish Borders. The photograph was taken at Meggat Reservoir. My brother, Norman, is wearing the silver suit. 

My bike is the black ETZ251 Saxon at the rear. I had recently acquired the bike and hadn't had time to fit any luggage. So I carried my camping gear in a large sack strapped to the rear seat.

Shortly after this photograph there was a bit of drama. My brother & I stopped here for a good view of the Southern Uplands. After this the road drops down into the town of Hawick. I suggested we have a "no engine" freewheel race down the hill. I paddled off and rode down the hill with my head on the tank to reduce wind resistance. When the road flattened out I put the bike into 2nd gear and dropped the clutch to bump-start it. Norman did the same but unfortunately his engine blew up! Well, the teeth stripped off the primary drive gear.

To get to the rally I used a pair of elastic luggage straps to tow him. This was fairly easy except when negotiating a roundabout in Hawick. There is a tendency to drag the towed bike over on tight corners. Anyway we made it to the campsite. For his efforts Norman was presented with a special award from the rally organisers. I think a photograph of us appeared in the MZ club magazine. 

Ron came on his beautiful 1956 Velocette MSS 500cc. I was amazed than one pannier was given over to tools & spare parts. He explained that this was necessary when riding a 40 year (as it was then) bike.

Malcolm is bald but with a little help from Alistair's impressive beard he re-lives the hirsute days of his youth. A bit sad because Alistair is no longer with us.


  1. An excellent tale! Nice to see a picture of Alistair! Last time I saw him he was at a Vincent rally in an outfit which had one of those car roof boxes on it which housed his belongings and guitar.

  2. Great blast from the past. Got more? Love the "old" pics. I was an avid rider myself in the nineties... good times.

    1. I've got a box of old photos. I think there is enough of interest to keep this series going for a while longer.

  3. Since I can't post a photo here, I've posted the next part of the story on my blog: