Molesworth worker participating in cross-island tour on motorcycle
March 5, 2008
Jacki Kennedy had one prior run at motorcycling when she got a temporary license on Hawaii and quickly learned how tough the sport can be.
“I was smart enough to give it up before I killed myself,” she said.
Then she came to England, took the official British motorcycle safety course and now she’s crisscrossing this island nation in a two-wheeled fury.
Kennedy, who has worked as a Defense Department civilian at RAF Molesworth for the past three years, is set to participate in the Round Britain Rally for the second year.
The rally, affectionately known as the RBR, is an annual rite of passage for motorcyclists across England, an epic trip that takes participants from John o’Groats in the northern tip of mainland Scotland to Land’s End in the Newquay corner of England. Classic cars and three-wheeled autos also participate.
“You get to go and see things and parts of the country that you wouldn’t normally go see. And it’s a neat way to combine motorcycling with meeting new people and seeing the countryside,” she said. “I know more about the U.K. countryside than I ever thought possible.”
The event began in the late 1970s when motorcyclists came together to highlight the importance of touring the country and visiting some of its less-visited sites, according to its Web site, www.roundbritainrally.co.uk.
The goal is to visit at least two sites in each United Kingdom county. Among the landmarks are a totem pole in Nettlesworth, England, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Monument in Crail, Scotland, and Penmon Priory Dovecot near Llangoed, Wales.
Hardcore enthusiasts visit all of the sites, but participants limited by time and money can see as few as they wish. Last year, roughly 225 people participated in the event. Many of the participants used the event as a fundraiser for charity, much like foot races.
Kennedy, for her part, rides a Honda CB 500, but during the event she rides with a partner on a Honda Deville 650. She said riding a motorcycle is a life-enriching experience.
“Driving a car is like watching a movie. Riding a bike is like being in the movie,” she said. “It’s just one of those things you can’t describe until you are doing it.”
For more information on Kennedy’s motorcycle exploits, visit her blog at www.xanga.com/JandP_RBR07.