BMW Sidecar Register Lakes Rally

The ride up to the lakes was pretty much uneventful, well it should be considering I started out at 3:30 in the morning. The only issue was my first planned stop for petrol was to be just off the M6 along the A5 but the road was shut for overnight road works, so I simply had to call in the dreaded motorway services. I run the Banana, ever since they introduced 10% ethanol on standard petrol, on 97/99 octane which has under 5% ethanol and in many cases a lot lower than that, but at this motorway services I was in for a shock as it was £2.01 a litre, it’s the first time I have paid over £2 litre. My second fuel stop was along the A590 where I paid £1.79 for the same fuel from the same company, bit of a rip off when you have to pay 22p (which is a penny shy of £1 a gallon) more on the motorway.

I arrived and pitched my tent in time for breakfast, the site is being run by wardens for the owner, I promptly got informed I needed to book in before I pitched (whoops) and if the shop was closed ring the bell. Me thinks they wouldn’t appreciate it that much, as I have been known to turn up at 6am and in the past the owner has said “simply pitch up, you have been before and come and see me later in the morning”. Well, the wardens did keep us entertained on the Friday as they seemed to have these computer print outs and were trying to micro managed site arrivals.  It reminded of the Morecombe and Wise sketch  campers were camping but not necessarily being directed onto the right pitch!

It was still a building site when we last visited.

As usual, we frequented The Strands pub which has it’s very own micro-brewery .The beer is extremely good, although some of those they brew especially for their annual beer festival (how can I put it) have an acquired taste.

Keith, the BMW sidecar register secretary, once again did a sterling job, Marquee with free tea and coffee, biscuits and loads of local info. This year he, with some helpers, did a BBQ for the Saturday evening, excellent locally supplied meat.

Pembletons Are Go! (

It is a shame that more BMW club members don’t support this event, solos are welcome to come along.

Luckily, Sunday morning the forecasted rain stayed away for the packing up which is always a bonus. The ride home was a little more eventful. First thing was the M5 was shut from the M6 to J2 so I went up the A5 filled up and plotted a route via Wolverhampton and Dudley (they should spell it Dud-lie). As you can imagine, lots of traffic and traffic lights. With the temperature gauge rising, I am thinking “the fans are running, aren’t they?”, trouble is couldn’t hear with all the traffic, but with the temp gauge just about to hit the red line I managed to find somewhere to stop.

The fans were not running, so off with the seat and investigate, blown fuse, so under the sidecar seat for a new one. Once all sorted the engine had cooled down, so much so that when I started the engine the temp gauge was low enough to not call for the fans. Anyhow, set off again and now on the dual carriage way “Birmingham New Rd” moving along around 35 / 40, but every time I stop at lights the temp would go up, not to the red, but not that far off. So did my best to simply gauge lights and traffic so I kept moving as if I did the temp gauge was steady around 3/4 , so I could live with that, (normal is about 1/2 way).

At least I made it to the M5 without any more stops and once on the M5 simply sitting at 65 meant no fans needed as the air flow lowered the temp gauge to its normal level and kept it there until I got home.

The Flying Banana in the cool

Once unloaded, off with the seat and the new fuse had blown, so off with the fairing and it turns out one of the fan motors had seized, but I had a spare and after mucho moaning about what you have to take off to fit it, I got it fitted and all is back to normal on the Flying Banana. I think I will change the oil and oil filter and will drain the coolant and refill with fresh. So she is fully ready with clean internals for Forest Glade.

Here is a thought, I covered 650 miles over the weekend, I get around 9 miles to the litre. Working on an average of 1.89 a litre it cost me £136 in petrol. It makes me laugh when you see others in the pub, who probably have spent silly money on fuel and not realising it, moaning that a pint has gone up by 10p! and most of them will only be having a couple of pints with their meal and yes, they even moan about that they have gone up by a pound or 2.

The Church warden is, our very own organiser of the Rally, Keith.