Four years ago this weekend, in a wood somewhere in North Wales.
My first time at the Dragon Rally, with a motley group of friends-from-internet-bike-forums. It was also my first trip away on the Tenere, which I'd only bought a few weeks earlier. We'd made a full weekend of it, staying at Thom's place near Pontypool on the Thursday night, riding up through mid-Wales to stay in Dolgellau on the Friday before heading to the Dragon site on Saturday.
This photo sums up why you'd ride half way across the country to go camping in February. The riding's done, the tents are up, we've had a look around the site at the selection of wierd machinery that people ride to the Dragon - now there's nothing to do but wrap up warm, have a drink, get some hot food cooking, and talk shit about bikes.
In case you were wondering - yes, that is a birthday cake in the foreground, made by Debs (far right, extravagant knitwear) for Chelle (nearest the camera) and carried all the way from Oxford on the back of a bike.
I had a ticket for this year's rally, but in the end I couldn't work myself up to going - a couple of friends had dropped out, so I would have been braving the gales for a night on my own. It just wouldn't have been the same.