Once again a very successful Hog ‘n’ Bog rally, in fact most say the best ever. Our registration numbers were well up on last year and the atmosphere was buzzin on the first night. We kicked the party off with the Roy Fulton band, who played the classic rock numbers to get us started and then followed by the Pontiacs Blues Band who were new to the rally this year and who gave us a superb performance of the blues with stunning performances from the lead guitarist Ciaran and the keyboard player Matt who simply made it sing.
Saturday got off to a wet start for the rideout. We had chosen a new destination the City of Londonderry/Derry (or as the locals call it Stroke City). An historic walled city with an interesting history throughout hundreds of years until the present day. We took the scenic route to the city via the coast taking in some of the beautiful scenery that the North Coast has to offer. We were invited by the City Council park at the entrance to the new Peace Bridge which is a new symbolic feature which joins both sides of the divided city and walk to the city centre where we all enjoyed the touring the old ramparts and reading about it’s troubled history and the friendly welcome.
On returning from the rideout we had a crackin’ bike show with 40 bikes taking part providing a spectacular sight for the members of the public who we invite every year into the site to view the bikes and help raise money for the NI Children’s Hospice. As we all relaxed in the evening sun we enjoyed another magical performance from the guitar mistro Michael Thomas, an American adopted to our shores who’s playing once again was simply stunning. The evening entertainment was led by Accoustic soul, two highly tallented youngs girls who simply blew us all away with their own take on the old classics as well as some modern pop songs and who certainly have turned out to be one of the best groups we have ever had.
The evening was polished off by Lee Hedley and his band who once again rocked the house with his performance of the blues and rock classics. It’s hard to put into words what happens when Lee starts, the place place just explodes with everyone dancing having a great time on the dancefloor until the wee hours when we finally had to call it a night although we could have gone on through the night.
This year’s Hog ‘N’ Bog was not simply great, it was brilliant. From the the camping facilities, the excellent food and the best ever entertainment we simply could not have asked for anything more, but above all, this rally is about meeting old friends with a passion for Harley Davidson and their Chapter. More this year than ever had decided to join us and we look forward to seeing them again and again over the coming years. The only problem is…how do we beat that one? Now there’s the challenge for next year but I reckon we’re up for it.
Chapter Director Provincewide HOG Chapter NI