sidecar, sidecars, outfit, rig.
words by Andrew Ross, images by Barry Lang , captions by Stephen Wood.
As the clouds of war gathered in mid-September (2001), the CH&IRS decided it was safest to head for the hills. Unfortunately they got the wrong hills and ended up in the Cotswolds, not the Chilterns, and as someone pointed out, this was pretty near to the Brize Norton RAF transport base - not ideal if the intention was to get far away from potential military targets.
Suzi and Stephen striking camp at our very first event with a hastily cobbled together BMW R100/Watsonian Monza outfit.
The writer has some personal experience of a Russian sidecar (the somewhat lighter Sports version - I am not sure if it is obtainable any more) and can speak for their virtues and vagaries when attached to an old MZ. I have also heard that the modern day Urals can cover many thousands of miles relatively trouble-free in the right hands. They are designed for pottering around on poorly-made roads, so it is no surprise if they fall apart when ridden at full throttle for long periods in our traffic conditions.
The first camp of the CH&AIRS also happened to coincide with the Charlbury Street Fair. We nearly became the first people to visit Charlbury and fail to find the Street Fair, but we eventually did locate it, had a burger and a pint, enjoyed some quite good Pogues-like folk music and admired a rather small number of carnival floats. Barry, who came along so that his very clean GTR outfit would make other participants feel inadequate about their machines, took several rolls of film, and definitely looked the part with his tweed cap on backwards.
Unlikely Pogues music.
This was also the first camp for Comrade Teamleader's new (well, rather old actually) BMW outfit. This bike, we decided, definitely has potential - potential not to break the wiring in the headlamp, potential not to have a fuel leak, not to break the mudguard stay and not to skitter around all over the road. Oh and potentially it could have indicators. Potentially a good outfit. Steve went home clutching the Perseverance in the Face of Adversity Award (or would have done, if there had been one).
Cotswold scene , just down from the pub as it happens.
CH&IRS International, incorporating The Hertfordshire Stags, (www.sidecarclub.org) 2001-2017.