I met with a few other riders from the Suzuki OC (Ian Gardner and Paul Bratton), UKGSers and BMW Club at the new services on the M20 and after a coffee and then rush to get the waterproofs on, we had a damp run up to HG in Maidstone as arranged. As there were so few of us and the directness of the route we didn't use the drop-off system! More of that later!
There were a few riders at HG when we arrived including new Kent Centre member, Graham Reynolds. It was about 1120 when the Oakdene ride-in arrived led by Tony Young the BMF Region 6 Chairman.
This took the bikes to 26. Not a bad turn out considering the weather was wet and miserable. I had hoped for greater numbers having advertised it in Motorcycle Sport & Leisure as well as on the Internet groups I contribute to. As for the SOC? No one that is unknown to the Kent Centre!
The word was passed round by Tony that we would be using the "Drop Off System" and I led off into the rain and hail. This is where things went tits up. I kept checking my mirrors and there was always a line of lights behind me. I kept to the speed limits and most of it to clear Maidstone is 30mph. After a scenic ride along some country lanes I had to stop when I could only see three bikes behind me! I stopped and waited and tried to contact Ian on his Interphone and Paul B on his Cardo, no luck. I carried on leading the few and as we approached the kennels there was Paul B and part of the group facing the other way. Luckily I had told them it was Sutton Valance.
I wasn't allowed to give out the kennels address as once it gets in the public domain the animal dumpers leave unwanted animals by the gate or tied to it. Paul was busy Cardo chatting to someone as we passed them to find the rest of the group by the kennels entrance. Phew.
Jackie, the volunteer's leader at the kennels, was waiting and we parked up where shown and she introduced the photographer from the Kent Messenger. He arranged us round the pile of doggie food for some pics before he had to shoot off and we were then introduced to some of the dogs they have at the moment looking for homes. There are a large number of Staffies in their care at the moment and these are difficult to re-home despite the pair they had to meet us both being lickers rather than biters.
Anyway, despite the poor weather we managed to collect a large pile of food and about £60 in cash.
If you couldn't make it and want to donate to the group, then please check the link on www.geocities.com/kentpetrun
We have already got a destination for our next run and this will be in the Autumn to the kennels for retired greyhounds near Canterbury. Keep you eyes on the Kent Pet Run website for details.