Friday, March 20, 2009

Gulf Bike Expo

Helmet – Check
Gloves – Check
Boots – Check
Kilt - Check
Petrol – Check
Chrome – Check
Outrageous paint job - Check
Gothicness - Check


Warm-weather biker

That's handy!

As part of this weekend’s Gulf Bike Expo at Dubai Festival City, the Black Eagles Motorcycle Club organized a charity ride. Any biker was welcome to make a financial contribution to the charity, Dubai Autism Center and take part in a 60km procession around Dubai.

I like these events, and therefore seized the first opportunity in a decade to get involved. It’s also chance for some interesting machinery to take to the road. As anticipated, the parking was wall-to-wall Harley-Davidsons. There was a smattering of BMWs and some Japanese machines, but we were very much in the minority compared with the might of Milwaukee.

One of the oldest bikes there. Probably 50 years old.

After paying and obtaining my minuscule wrist band, I, along with four hundred or so other participants, waited for a briefing before setting off from Festival Centre. We took the airport tunnel, then up past Al Mamzar, before following the coast road towards Jumeira. Through Shindagha tunnel, past the flagpole and then left and past Al Safa Park. Then back along Al Khail Road and over Business Bay Bridge before returning to Festival Centre. I have a theory that the route planners chose two tunnels as a direct opportunity to make as much noise as possible. You can’t only hear straight-through Harley pipes; in tunnels you can feel them.

Waiting for the off

The run was astonishingly well-disciplined. Members of the Black Eagles worked with Dubai Police to stop traffic at all junctions in order to let the procession through. Near the back of a procession is where the stop/start nature gets exaggerated, but not so from my point of view. I didn’t stop at all, and speeds about three quarters of the way back ranged from 20kph to perhaps 60kph. We stuck in two lines of bikes in one traffic lane, leaving space for the marshals and traffic controllers to get to the front of the run to deal with the next junctions. Dubai Autism Center had a minibus in the run too, which was a platform for cameras.

Apologies for anyone delayed for a couple of minutes as the four hundred of us rode by. Every participant paid typically Dh100, and I reckon that’s little inconvenience for raising Dh40,000 for charity out of thin air.

With a minimum of fuss, we returned to DFC and, having parked up, it was time to chill out and then, at noon when the doors opened, to get indoors and see what the Bike Expo was all about.

There was a lot of extremely high-quality paintwork in evidence.

Grrr! Aarrgh!

And a fair amout of carbon fibre.

Lightweight dragster

Plus an amusing gag at the expense of an energy drink.

Tee hee!


hemlock said...

you go g.g. =)

Jayne said...

"You can’t only hear straight-through Harley pipes; in tunnels you can feel them."

Loud pipes save lives :-)

Glad you had a nice time hon & a hearty well done to the Black Eagles for raising so much for charity. They're a great bunch of folks.


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