Ural National Rally Day
a Moorlanders' Report
now inappropriately named, National Ural Rally Day was started by a
States-based enthusiast of the Russian motorcycle & sidecar combo.
His aim was to create an event where "Urals come out to
play". Participants set off from their home location at sunrise,
and spend the day clocking up miles and collecting points for a range
of challenges. These range from 'Wrenching Bonuses' for changing
a tyre to 'Pucker Points' for running low on fuel, as well as 'Photo
Bonus' points for historic buildings, vehicles and exoctic animals
Run through a blog site, the word of the rally has now fanned out from America, and it's become an annual event on the calendar of Ural Motorcycle owners around the world. To finish the Ural
National Rally, you need to collect a minimum of 350 points or ride a
minimum of 200 km (125 miles). Well - with points given for breakfast,
lunch, pie (make that a pasty) and 'regional speciality' (that'll be
cream tea then!) ... that seems quite achieveable!
MCC were alerted to the event this year when Graham (our Egg Run
lead bike) announced that he was taking part this year ... and needed a
monkey. Road Captain John shot his hand up, and the pair agreed
to meet before 'sun up' on Saturday 7th September - the 2013 Ural Rally
a point-collecting pre-ride check at the 06:40 sunrise, Graham
& John head off on a loosely planned route, devised to make it an
enjoyable day and a valid entry. By 09:53, they had made
photocalls at Delabole Wind Farm, Trebarwith Strand, and the National
Trust Old Post Office at Tintagel, and were tucking into breakfast at
Louis' Cafe, Kit Hill near Callington.
From there they headed on
a southerly loop via Looe and up to Trago Mills, Liskeard for probably
the only covered bridge (75 points) in Cornwall!
'magistrates court' was located in Bodmin, then on to Wadebridge for a
'bridge over 50 years old' (yup, think that one counts!), and lunch at
The Granary on Molesworth Street.
Points were also available for
interaction with the local law enforcers (a 'Legal Adventure'), and for
a 'Service Ride' - giving a ride to anyone in uniform ... both of these
Heading down the A39 from Wadebrige, their set
off for a 'Gate Guard' at RAF St Mawgan, and historic vehicles at the
new aviation musuem.
Air Force were exceptional in their support, opening the doors to their
hanger and ushering Graham and John inside to have photos of the Ural
taken amongst the many planes stored there. They were as much
interested in the Ural as Graham and John were in the planes!
Rounding off their visit nicely, they collected another 75 points
for a cream tea at 15:50, courtesy of Classic Air Force. Much
Ural outfit was flying by this point, with Graham head down and
motoring along. He was running with the reserve tank switched on
and, yup you've guessed it, found out exactly how many miles he can do
to a tank! The engine gave a couple of splutters, then cruised to
a standstill. The trusty onboard jerry can was put to use, and
they refuelled at the roadside.
The Cornish Birds of Prey centre was the next stop at 16:25 for a photocall with a very exoctic Golden Eagle, then up to Wadebridge petrol station, and collect point-making pasties.
Bonus points were too good to miss out on - so a roadside wheel change,
oil change and brake adjustment were adeptly dealt with - just as well,
as the next destination was Bodmin Moor for a water crossing.
good news was that they had gathered more points for miles travelled
during rain showers that day .... the downside was that the water was
running high at the ford near Advent, Camelford. Taking a
standing stance, and deep breath, Graham put the Ural into first gear
and ploughed through the stream, creating a bow wave that lapped at the
rim of the sidecar!
The pair were so chuffed at having got
through unscathed, that they went round again, and were up for a third
when the engine (whose tail pipes had been underwater twice) coughed
out that that was enough thank you!
Riding over the Moor,
Graham and John drew into the car park of the King's Head, Five Lanes,
Altarnun to finish just before sunset at 19:45 to a welcoming gathering
of Moorlanders on our Club night.
Graham and John clocked up a total of 230 km (143 miles) and over 1500 points. Well done lads!
is still finding pond weed wrapped around unexpected parts of the
engine, and is waiting to hear his place in this great event.
He'd like to thank John for his exceptional monkey skills and
antics on the day.