The Trip Out, Euston Park, UK
This was a hot weekend in more ways than one.
The Trip Out is set in rolling Midsomer Murders country, wheat fields gleaming between the copses, the absurdly short legged East Anglian deer walking by the roadside stared at me riding by. Grouse and pheasants looked on from the verge, ducks flew in pairs over the rolling parkland and flocks of geese went wherever geese do go in a day’s work. All very fine, but: The Heat!
The weather was absolutely scorching, it was so hot the phone stopped working, there were the fiery sun ups, there were the equally hot Meyer Dancers, the hot rods, the hotted up Indians, Sportsters, Pans, Shovels and Knuckles, a huge bunch of which crowded the show field. Check out the pics to make sure you see all those nice little details that make the UK builder scene so unique. Another bunch of custom builds were corralled in the show tent. At the prize giving, these beauties were all (ok all but one :) started up and roared over to the main marquee where Andy was mceeing the prize giving while the big twins idled, until they roared out the other side.
But the heat didn’t stop there.
There was the riotous sausage snapping contest (the sausage won), the ride-on-a-plank (undoable, I should know) and of course the hot line up of bands, some of which played as if there was no tomorrow. Special recommendation: The Tuppenny Bunters. This one woman / one man garage baroque act is on a mission. Fiona Dulake attacked her drums and her battered Fender Rhodes (no wonder it looks battered) like she wanted to kill them, while bursting into song like a banshee at every possible moment. And David Dulake, well, he’s "screaming his fucking head off", to quote their website, to keep up with the hard drumming Fiona. Talking of bands: to make sleep possible it’s strategically important to set up the tent in the bike camping far away from the band marquee, so even the fiercest noise they managed to get out of their suffering Stratocasters just trickled in like a far away train wreck :)
After the bands were worn out and the last DJ had stopped DJing, the nights were so still and warm, you could almost hear the gasoline evaporating in hundreds of tanks around the tent. The moon and the planets shone down on a venue still cooling from the days heat at 3 in the morning … until the first cock crowed at 5 far off …
Those bikes in the show field
(they wouldn’t give me a sticker for my derelict Shovel...) ) sported cut off, crazy upsweep pipes, endless forks, lovely paint, and heart warming noise like the sweet mechanical noise Harley twins make: if you listen really close, you can make out the rear intake valve opening, then the ignition on the front cylinder, the front exhaust valve getting a kick in the butt by the front exhaust cam, while the rear intake valve closing and the front exhaust valve getting kicked open by its respective pushrod (have we got this right?), producing that odd asymmetric burble those Milwaukee murdersickles have been making since Theodore Roosevelt was president.
So what if you get hungry? The guys in that horse trailer who last year served "The Kiss of Death" french fries, had tragically dropped them from the menu for this year, but were nice enough to cook up something equally tasty (the “death” bit is in the garlic mayonnaise, or was it the blue cheese? :). The beer was plentiful, which for someone arriving completely dehydrated from traveling across 500 boiling miles was life saving :) the guys and girls behind the bar were quick, and the Meyer dancers were as deliriously fantabulous reenacting the Sixties as ever.
The ride was long, so it was essential
to correctly time the gas stops. Not gonna run out of gas in the middle of Calais this year again, no Sir, so we had two stops just to be on the safe side. Which theoretically meant no panic search for a gas station once in merry Old England :) Of course I was in full fuel panic mode on the way back, having arrived on a pretty empty tank at The Trip Out. It being a Sunday in England all the filling stations were closed in town, and I didn’t know how far I had to go to the nearest one on the motorway :)
Didn’t touch a tool the whole trip, the old Shovel running like a charm all those kilometers there and back in spite (or because of?) the grim heat.
Thanks Anna and Andy for making the world a better place :)