The WIMA rally in Lancaster has come to an end and I have moved on. Tonight I’m staying in Chester. The town is nice, lots of old style buildings and there is a river, park etc. All the good bits, unfortunately there is some horse event in town so Chester also has lots of women in miniskirts with high heels and no ability to walk in them and men with wide striped shirts who laugh loudly. In other words, it is very different from the atmosphere I came from in Lancaster.
International WIMA rally 2011 Great Britain – a summary:
Anneli and I arrived late to the rally on Monday. Actually too late, rally control were chasing us with dinner tickets and rushed us to the restaurant. We had been busy all day, having seen the ruined Abbey, bought souvenirs (the book Dracula – of course) ridden through the Moors and later the Dales, had potato soup in a Biker café and then finally arrived at the site for the rally, happily unaware that we were late.
The next day both Anneli and I had the presidents’ meeting to attend to. While she is the actual president of Estonian WIMA, I was the stand in for Sweden, being the only Swede attending. It was interesting to learn how things are decided and what questions were brought up. Four new countries had applied for membership in WIMA and all were voted in. I look forward to future rallies in India, Korea, Hungary and Curacao. After this, we decided to let the bikes stay in the parking lot and instead investigate what Lancaster could offer. It was nice to give the body a rest and walk around a bit.
The rally provided a ticket to the castle. Apparently, it is still a running court so no pictures were allowed but the guide himself was a bit of an actor and the whole thing quite amusing. We could even try out the old prison cells if we wanted.
In the late afternoon I went for a walk since I wanted to try out one of the suggested routes in the city guide. Unfortunately, it was very hard to follow the instructions so I got a bit lost and got back so late it was difficult to find a pub still serving food. Hmmm, in England the kitchen closes when it opens in Spain.
The day after, (I have now officially lost the track of time) we went for riding in the Lake District and the Cumbria mountains. Fantastic views! Enjoyable ride as well, for most of the time. There were some really tricky bits with rough tarmac and gravel but for most of the time the roads were really nice.
The next day I got the chain tightened. I had been riding about 5000 kilometers after getting the new chain and it was slack. It was amazing to see how many people who got involved in this, helping out with tools and offering expertise. After this was sorted I went riding a bit on my own. The day ended with the presidents’ dinner. Yum yum!
Last day of the WIMA rally was once again a bike free day. My body is tired now after so many kilometres and the rest is welcome. I did some laundry, in a real washing machine, I felt so rich after collecting all my perfectly clean clothes. The last evening, the rally provided a farewell meal and entertainment in the restaurant. The WIMA banner was handed over to Austria who will host the rally next year and we got to see their presentation for “Rocks & Riding”.
Lastly, it is Saturday morning and time to say farewell. It is hard to leave a rally not promising to attend next year. But who knows what time brings so for me it is, “until next time”. It is not possible to travel like this every summer.
After departing from the rally Anneli and I had a planned route riding together until lunch. We had chosen twisty smallish roads and had a great time and finally a meal together in Buxton. Then we split off in opposite directions, she went east and I went west. It is time to travel alone again, and it feels weird not to see her in my rear mirror.