Most of WADMAG went to the Coast Riders Rally in Belgium, then went to Amsterdam (where it really poured down!) for a while before going to the Euro Demo. I had planned to do something similar but ended up traveling there on my own. Thinking that there would be about 20000 bikers at the campsite I was concerned that I would not be able to find WADMAG ( I know what it's like trying to find people at Glastonbury and I thought this would be the same). There was no need to worry, there was a lot less than 20000 people at the camp site - more like 2000 or so! As soon as I arrived I spotted some people from Wycombe MAG who directed me to the rest of WADMAG.
The camp site was located at an old air base about 70 miles from Bonn. There was two or three places to get food from and a bar with an amazingly complicated system for acquiring beer. The system is not so rare on the continent but it was new to me. You had to buy tokens from one counter, exchange the first one for a glass (which you have to keep) and the others for drinks. At the end of the event you trade in your glass for a token which you can then exchange for money. Helpfully, the person serving out the tickets did not speak English so how you were supposed to figure all this out I don't know. (OK - I wasn't in an English speaking country but why make it so complicated and over half the people there were English).
We played 'Spot the German' while walking around the site which had a few interesting stalls in addition to the food and beer stalls. It was a bit disappointing to see such a poor turn out from the locals. We had a chat to a German chap who said it was typical of the Germans not to protest but to sit at home and let someone else do the work! I thought the English were apathetic but either the German people are worse or English bikers are an active lot.
On the Saturday morning someone went around at about 7AM with a trumpet in order to get us up for the run which left at something like 8 to 9 AM. This is not a good idea for a group of bikers who the day before, have traveled hundreds of miles, camped out and had a few drinks before crashing out for the night. The procession had to start so early because they were planning on traveling very slowly for the 70 miles to the meeting. Most of WADMAG us set off much later at a greater speed.
The meeting was in the middle of a waste ground rather than actually in the center of Bonn. This seemed a bad idea - the speeches could only be made to people who already knew about the issues. Not as bad as the idea of having only one food van for about 10000 people! Everyone had gone straight to the meeting without time to stop for food so you can imagine how long the queue was for this.
After all the preaching to the converted was completed, we made our disorganised way back to the camp site. Anyone running low on petrol faced a long queue and the garages actually introduced rationing in some cases! All in all this demo was a bit of a disaster in our opinion. A real shame since so much hard work must have gone into organising the event.
Lets hope the next Euro demo has a camp site a little nearer the actual demonstration, that the demonstration is in a populated area and, most importantly, we get a sleep-in and some food when we get there!
We all had to stop on the motorway when the procession was split up.
Wycombe MAG. What can I say? I think it's something to do with a protest about the
possibility of motorcyclists having to wear day-glo clothing. More likely just
for a laugh.
This picture was taken at the actual demo where the speeches were made.