Tame the Dragon

Visit one of the UK’S best and big­gest ral­lies

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - By Justin Hayzelden

North Wales on the sec­ond Satur­day in Fe­bru­ary may not be many peo­ple’s idea of the per­fect plan for a night un­der can­vas, but for the thou­sands of in­trepid rid­ers who at­tend the Dragon Rally ev­ery year it’s a true pil­grim­age.

Since the first meet in 1962 the chal­lenge has al­ways been to make it there and get the badge. This was no mean feat in the harsh win­ters of the 60s and 70s, es­pe­cially when you con­sider the re­li­a­bil­ity of bikes and ef­fec­tive­ness of the kit avail­able at the time. Com­mu­nity spirit has al­ways been a strong fea­ture of the Dragon and back in the day peo­ple would even set up soup kitchens en route to en­sure that those ven­tur­ing from the south of Eng­land would make it.

Th­ese days it’s still an achieve­ment and sounds like ut­ter mad­ness un­til you’ve been - then you can’t stop com­ing back. Tick­ets go on sale in late Septem­ber and are sold out right away, even though no one will know where the site will be un­til they turn up at one of the check­points for fi­nal in­struc­tions on the day. The lo­ca­tion of th­ese check­points is also kept un­der wraps, with par­tic­i­pants only be­ing in­formed in the run up to the event by snail mail.

It seems fit­ting that one of the UK’S long­est run­ning ral­lies is or­gan­ised by one of its old­est clubs and Conwy MCC is just that. With around 150 mem­bers they’re ac­tive through­out the year and hold twice weekly meet­ings at their club­house be­hind Conwy Cas­tle. Vis­i­tors are al­ways wel­come, es­pe­cially those in­ter­ested in the Dragon who will find a ver­i­ta­ble cor­nu­copia of mem­o­ra­bilia within. The club also or­gan­ises an an­nual sum­mer camp as well as ride outs to var­i­ous shows and ral­lies around the coun­try. Meet­ings with other clubs, be they lo­cal or from over­seas, are a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence too, cel­e­brated as an event and marked by a unique me­mento. Mem­bers also get ac­cess to the club’s own tyre chang­ing rig, a truly worth­while bit of kit that can save you a few quid too!

As post apoc­a­lyp­tic knees-ups go this one is hard to beat

This guy’s got his ac­com­mo­da­tion nicely sorted…

The rally’s lo­ca­tion is kept se­cret right up to the very last minute

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