So in August of this year (2017), while searching for like-minded small bike riders on the interweb, I came across something rather awesome... A Facebook group called Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang.
Obviously the name intrigued me and I went to check it out. Turned out that guys in this group were planning something rather crazy and incredible - a 1000 mile ride between 24th and 28th of August, on bikes that are 125cc and under! I got so excited that I joined the group straight away, however, it turned out that they were almost ready to set off and I didn't have enough time to organize time off work to join them in their epic ride. But I still fallowed their progress on the group page as they made their way from Suffolk to Land's End in Cornwall while raising money and awareness for the charity they had chosen - Children With Cancer UK.
The other day I got in touch with one of the founding fathers of Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang, Benjamin Di-Giulio, and got him to answer some questions for me - here's what he had to say.
Who are the Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang? Well, that's easy! The Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang is just a group of like minded individuals who like riding motorcycles in any format, big small what ever! There's only one rule and that's don't take yourself too seriously.
Why the "Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang"? Purely because I needed to put a title on it and I thought naming it that would attract people who have a fun attitude and aren't scared to take the p**s out of themselves, bikers are far to serious these days! 😂👌🏻
How was the whole thing born? Oh, well... Here's what happened - my neighbor Simon Ross came and knocked on my door one night and asked if I could give him a hand, I walked across the street and in his van he had an old Honda CG125 he'd bought off ebay, soon as I saw it I loved it! And it just got us talking about the old bikes we'd had in the past as kids growing up spoiled with space in a rural village, I said do you know what? We spend all day, everyday going from A-B as fast as we can in the shortest possible distance... Even going to the shop you park as close as you can... What about if I get a little 125 and we ride these together the longest we can think of? All the way to Land's End! He said - yeah, what ever Ben! But I couldn't stop thinking about it and within two weeks bought a horrid 1978 Suzuki two stroke GP125 for £300 which I named "the fen harrier", it was in a right state 😂👌🏻 So first thing I did was push it across the road, knocked on his door, and completely buried his house in a white cloud of smoke! We laughed a lot and that night I went home and created the page on Facebook to see if I could gather some interest and if anyone else would be game for it, the longest way to Land's End on pretty much the slowest form of transport! And that was the birth.
The planing though, that took a while. We realised pretty much straight away we needed to plan this well... So it took us roughly 12 months to put the whole thing together. First thing I did was rang up an old friend of my dads who was a proper old school trucker called William Magnani and asked if he'd put together a route for us, he said you're nuts but I like it, and the name I'd come up with had him in bits! He was on board from that moment on, he was our navigator, he planned the route single handed and ended up being the lead vehicle there and back in his 4x4. The route he took us on was just epic - he did an amazing job! Next up I rang my cousin Jamie Di-Giulio, he's a master mechanic and has his own garage in Mildenhall JDG motor services, my mechanical knowledge is limited to say the least and on the heap I was intending to ride I wasn't gonna get far without him! To my surprise he agreed instantly! No joke he got every single bike there and back a thousand miles and there were many many breakdowns... He rebuilt a starter motor on a little Aprillia moped in a garage forecourt out of I don't know what! 😂 👌🏻 After that the thing started to snowball and it gathered pace from there... Was it easy to plan? No, it was incredibly hard work to put together. What was the real challenge? Finding somewhere that would allow thirty bikers to camp along the way, we got the ball rolling thinking that side would be easy enough then started to panic slightly when we got a flat NO from pretty much everyone we contacted! But we got there in the end. The other big challenge which wasn't so much of a stress for me riding, but certainly it was for William in the lead car and Jamie, the mechanic, following at the very back was keeping 30 mopeds together in a pack and also keeping everyone safe, I can't thank them enough for what they did, they both were in constant contact with each other via cb radios in there vehicles and they did an amazing job!
How did we decide on the route? Like I say the route was planned completely by William, he basically took on board the idea and wound a route all over the country the longest most "a*se-about-face" way he could possibly think of, because that was the brief! 😂 He got the British motor museum at Gaydon involved through a contact he had there and that was where we spent our first and last night camping. It seamed a perfect way to kick off the trip with a night at the home of great British motor heritage! Probably not so in keeping was the fact we were mainly all riding Japanese mopeds! But hey, you can't have it all 😂👍🏻 Why Land's End? Purely because it's THE end! It was as far as we could physically go via a continuous road... plus William don't like whiskey or eat Haggis so John O Groats was out of the question! 😂
How many of us actually went? Well, there were 30 of us that went, that's including William up front in his 4x4 towing a trailer and Jamie at the back in his transit van with a second guy Rob riding in the van with him. Rob's not a mechanic by trade but certainly knows his way round an engine and just generally can turn his hand to anything. The mopeds were riding in twos side by side in between. Were there any breakdowns? Loads, multiple times, every day! Jamie with the help of Rob somehow fixed the whole lot - it was unbelievable how he managed to just keep sorting issues with next to no spares!
I'm not joking, it's got to be one of the most positive fun things I've ever done! I've never experienced an atmosphere like it! Everyone, mostly complete strangers, just clicked! I've not laughed so much in all my life! several things make me laugh remembering them... The only way I could see my old two stroke making it there was with plenty of oil, so I cranked up the oil pump a few notches... The reality of this was random strings of pure white smoke... William told me at a fuel stop, he radioed through to Jamie to ask who had crashed and if anyone was hurt because when he looked in his mirror he couldn't see anyone just an explosion of white smoke! Another good memory I laugh about is, there was a guy called Ollie on the trip riding an old 70's Honda C90 which he had bought just for the trip. He hadn't ridden it at all till the day we left, well it turns out it can just about manage to hold momentum on the flat, any kind of hill and it's absolutely dragging on it's a**e, so he had to be pushed on every hill and all through Dartmoor top to bottom! And when I say pushed I mean by another moped rider with there had on his back riding with one hand, watching the pair of them trying to weave through the ponies like that was 😂😂😂
Lastly I guess it would be everyone naming their bikes! My old Suzuki was "the fen harrier", Ollies c90 was the "red Barron", Simons Honda CG was the "fen pig", Brendon's old Yamaha XT was "the thunder pig", Ashleigh Booths old Honda was "the fen tiger", and we had a really old c90 ridden by a lady who had named it "Mavis". A few of us come from out in the Suffolk/Norfolk fenlands hence the "fen" names 😂👌🏻 Oh and just as a quickie - Jamie fitted a full set of freight train air horns to his transit van! I kid you not it was literally deafening! You've never heard anything like it! 😂😂😂
Will there be new rides like this, you ask? Well, it took a lot out of us all putting the trip together, so 2018 we're having a break to partake in some other motorcycle adventures that take our fancy and that we don't have to organise ourselves. But don't despair as there will be a few mini "Wobbles" (as we call our ride outs) just with overnight stays. For 2019, however, we're going in big again! With the brainchild of our navigator William, this time he calls it "the three parks challenge" and it will be a huge loop through three of the UK's biggest national parks, all in an "arse-about-face" route once more, and, most probably, on knackered old mopeds again! 😂👌🏻
If you feel like joining us for our next "Wobble", follow our group on Facebook to see when it's happening! Keep in mind - anyone can join the next trip, however, there will be a cap on numbers yet to be decided. Once it's sold out that will dictate when the door closes.
I just want to add that all in #LongWaySouth and Jeff getting the Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang tattoo, we raised just shy of £11,000 that went to Children With Cancer UK. We're all very proud of that, it was definitely worth the effort! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped, supported and - most importantly - donated! Thank you ever so much!
So this is the story of the little sausage with the big heart. From myself I'd just like to add that I am massively impressed with everything you guys have done and let me know when you're coming Manchester way - I'd love to go for a "Wobble" with you.
If you want to see yourself what "Wobbly Sausage Biker Gang" are all about - check them out here => www.facebook.com/groups/1000019520114513/