It seemed that all others were BMF members and members of the Invicta Sports Bike club. I led away and they rest stuck to the "drop off" system. Although I have led runs for many years, the SOC (not just me!) have a great tradition in losing groups and individuals. I said I was sticking to the speed limits in towns and villages but would "make progress" on open roads.
I had planned a decent off motorway run from Wrotham to Plucks Gutter but on reflection it seemed a long way round. In the end I bowed to suggestions and opted for the simple; M20 to Leeds, A20 to Charing, A252/A28 to Canterbury and then out to Wingham and then up through Preston.
With my pre-knowledge of leading a large group, I didn't want to lose anyone so when we met a 4WD towing a horse box on the A20 at Harrietsham I followed it at 50mph.. to my annoyance it also turned off towards Chilham at the Charing roundabout... grrrr...
Off the leash we made good progress to Canterbury and around the inner ring road. Apart from the traffic we do have a treasure in Kent with Canterbury.
We arrived at Marsh Farm and I led in to find a Boxer Cup Replika there already. As I turned the front wheel turned quickly on the deep gravel and I lost balance. Embarrassingly, I couldn't hold the weight of 6kgs of goat mix, 4kgs of rabbit mix and Claire and me, and the bike gracefully came to a stop and then slowly leant over coming to rest on the right hand cylinder guard. Luckily there is no visible damage to the engine or the right pannier. Just a red face for me.
We had tea and the party (all BMF by now) had a variety of snacks. The BMF were going to donate £100 to the centre from their funds. The place really is an eccentrics dream with lots of small touches for children as well as the main job of looking after the animals. Rabbits and chickens seemed the most populace with a supporting cast of a pony (rescued after someone broke his front teeth!), two pot belly pigs, a pygmy goat plus the smaller furry animals and even some reptiles. Buster the Dog (not for sale) despite fierce looks and bark is a softy and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Afterwards everyone went their own ways. We were nearly the last to leave an set off back home via a look at some of the local sights. After a spot of shopping for lunch in Aldi we were back in time to see the 2nd Superbike Race from Assen...
If the BMF want to organise this run again next year I think I might just have a go again. Although, I have been thinking about doing one for the local section of the RSPCA in Maidstone. My aunt "fosters" dogs for them since her own dog died and they are always in need of assistance. Given the turnout yesterday I have my doubts that it would be worthwhile.