I have done the Dragon since 2009 but every year the thrill begins weeks before the event - have I been lucky enough to get in before the tickets have gone? The relief comes when the ticket arrives, followed in January by the directions to the Control Centre. This year the Control was based in Conwy and the advice was that the venue was not far away at a site which had been used before. I felt sure that this must be a repeat of last year's venue - the camping and caravan site just on the edge of town. Very handy, I thought.
The first indications that my guess was wrong came when just outside of Betwys-y-Coed and heading north-east towards Conwy, I encountered first one then dozens of tent-laden bikes heading in the opposite direction. Now, Cardiff to Conwy is a short haul by many standards but with daylight fading fast and the threat of frosty conditions, I was not looking forward to retracing my steps for goodness knows how many miles. It turned out that the original site for the event had been changed at the last minute due to the state of the field after a recent gymkhana. We were told that the replacement site was just the other side of Betwys, only 15 miles away.
Arriving at the site about 4.45, finding a pitch was not difficult though getting to some of the choicest ones on a ZX6 was beyond my off-roading skills, so I opted for a spot in amongst some felled trees near a water bowser - I felt confident that there would not be many looking to make tea through the night so there was little chance of disturbances from that direction. The main tent however was in earshot and at 5pm the party was just getting going and who knew when it would end.
Getting the tent up in the dry was a real luxury but although there was no wind, the temperature could not have been much above freezing. It was a relief to get into the marquee for a hot Bovril and bread roll. For those wanting something cooked there was a very reasonably priced food stand nearby.
I stayed in the marquee 'til about 11, chatting to random strangers. The booze seemed evenly priced at £3 for a pint or glass of wine. There were two bands, one more to my liking than the other. And people had a great time as they always seem to. Two young ladies were so taken by the atmosphere that they took their tops off! A first in my experience of the Dragon and although it may be un-PC to say it, I hope this becomes a regular feature at future Dragons.
- Roy Chandler
I attended the 2015 Dragon Rally having attended the Capper Rally on the day before up in Scotland, so a nice cold ride down to the Dragon!
- Neil Branham
There are photos on Neil's Facebook page.