For another year we called on the boys, loaded two of the trucks with tools and assembled the - once a year - Earnest Recovery Team for the Auckland leg of the annual Distinguished Gentlemans Ride.
After spending a week of late nights doing exactly what we promised 'never again' to do, attempting to build a bike the week before. We woke bright and early (and damn sleep deprived) on DGR Sunday to be greeted with what Auckland does best. Rain.
Ah well, the DT200 we'd lost sleep over was in one piece and running and the riders brave enough to head out in this weather were going to need the Recovery Team more than ever.
Oh, now would probably be a good time to explain the idea behind the Recovery Team. If you happen to be new to Earnest, the goal behind the DGR ride tends to bring out a fair number of bikes from the woodwork and results in some seriously cool classics in attendance that haven't been kicked over for a year or so. It's from this that the idea for the team to run recovery on the day was hatched.
We bring along our team, trucks filled with tools, spares, compressors, anything you'd need for a road side fix up & if that doesn't work, we'll even load the unlucky participant and his bike up to escort them to the afterparty for a well deserved beer. This is our second year running recovery for the Auckland ride and we couldn't help but bring a few bikes along for some of the team to join in with pack too.
Now, when we say rain, we don't mean the usual light showering or the quick and heavy start/stop type. More the relentless, Auckland's best attempt at a typhoon kind. Downpours which filled the riders boots in a matter of minutes, but even that couldn't keep the dedicated legends that turned up that morning from donning their best attire and straddling an old steed for the cause.
The heavy rain played havoc with more than a few classic bike ignitions and we were flat out from the get go with flat tyres, a few loose bits and even a shock reassembly at the start line. That's what we were there for and after a last minute bar tighten for one unlucky Kawasaki, we managed to sprint through the pack, get on the bikes and start the ride with the rest of the pack.
Not two minutes into the ride, the brief break of showers quickly turned into a torrential downpour and successfully drowned the inner Auckland streets. The trucks leaked, more classic ignitions played up and the Earnest Recovery Team scooped up handful of bikes along the way.
But hell, sun and blue bird skys are boring right?
Wet through to the skin from the get go, we couldn't help but enjoy the puddle dodging journey through the city shadowing the main pack with the trucks. Cheers to all the guys that kept us busy along the way and shouted beers at the end.
It was about as grim as you get here in Auckland, but even that couldn't dampen the spirit of the ride. If you've never taken part in DGR, good news, you've got a year to get your bike going for the next one.
Cheers to everyone who rode this year, it's one hell of an event for one hell of a cause and it just goes to show that, with Auckland's best attempt at a Typhoon not stopping a thing.
It only gets dryer from here on in and after a week our overalls are finally starting to dry out and the talk here in the workshop is already; more bike builds, extra recovery plans for the next one.