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Trip Summary

Name: Cheesy Rider
Destination: Faro Rally, Portugal
Distance: 2,550 kms (1,593 miles)
Vehicle: Chopped Honda C90

Trip Diary

Pass the angle grinder
When all is lost, turn to Jesus
Let’s not meet in a dark alley
In the shadow of death
Seize the day, not the engine

Seize the day, not the engine

We parked up to eat lunch in a shaded café. A group of young lads on rusty bicycles marveled at our bikes. Their wide-eyed expressions highlighted the obvious appeal of our outlandish custom cruisers. Either that or they were gloating in the knowledge that they could out accelerate us in any gear.

Suddenly the air was filled with trumpets and drums. A huge parade came down the high street with locals old and young in traditional dress. Other locals came scurrying out of doorways and alleys to watch the parade. We clapped and cheered, somewhat inappropriately as it turned out to be a funeral procession.

It was an extra long lunch as we only had eighty kilometres to go to reach the Faro Rally. We smugly texted Stan the Man to declare we would be making our glorious entrance to the rally by late afternoon. Naturally this jinxed the proceedings.

We were on a long stretch of open road with visibility for miles ahead. This encouraged us to wind the bikes up to terminal velocity. It did indeed prove terminal for Jim. Suddenly his bike decelerated at a rate previously unseen for a Honda C90 causing a three bike pile up. Luckily there was nothing more than a bit of gravel rash and some molten flesh on a hot exhaust pipe. Clearly such a rapid stop could not have been the result of the brakes which on a C90 have only marginally better impact than putting your feet down.

A long trail of black rubber

A long trail of black rubber on the road indicated an engine seizure. A fact confirmed by the fact that the oil drain plug (and therefore the oil) was missing.

After bodging the bike with spare parts and topping up the engine with extra virgin olive oil we were on our way a couple of hours later. By early evening we reached the crest of a hill and there in the distance was the sea, and the Moto Faro Rally site. A faint rumble of bass and drumming emanated up the valley. We got a bit excited.

As we got closer to Faro the number of bikers steadily increased until it seemed that for every car there were a hundred bikes. There was a massive queue of bikes waiting to get on site. It was hot, dusty and noisy and all we could think about was pitching tent and grabbing a cold beer.

One text message later our wishes were granted. Stan the Man escorted us straight to the front of the queue, took us to a reserved camping spot and gave us cold beer and back stage passes. We had indeed, ARRIVED.

< Part 3 In the shadow of death