On the evening of our arrival in Beijing on Friday 8th July the New Zealand Ambassador to China, Tony Browne hosted a reception for us at the NZ Embassy in Beijing. Present were members of the local BMW owners club, together with other invited guests from the local and expatriate community. There was also a band from St Peters College in Auckland who were visiting Beijing to perform at a number of concerts. The band performed a number of big band “standards” to thunderous applause from all those present. The local BMW agent generously fitted all the Silkriders with BMW tee shirts, and the chef and staff at the Embassy provided stunning food and wine.
It was an outstanding night, but it was about to be upstaged!!
At about 11pm we made our way out on to the road to flag down a couple of taxis to head back to our hotel, when the tranquility of the quiet, tree lined street was shattered by the unmuffled exhaust of a motor cycle! This wasn’t just any motorcycle, and it wasn’t being riden by just anyone.
The bike appeared from down the road, being ridden with great style and skill by a bare foot young lady with her white summer coat blowing in the slip stream and a female passenger hanging on in the side car. There was not a crash helmet in sight, nor any protective motor cycle clothing, but what a sight it was. She braked hard with tires smoking, outside the embassy, Dave and Brendan didn’t need much encouragment to add themselves to the outfit, one on the pillion seat and the other in the side car, then it was clutch out and she was off, summer coat flying .
We didn’t expect to see Brendan and David again that night fully expecting the police to take exception to both the noise of the exhaust and the fact there were four people on a motor cycle designed for two people. However about five minutes later the bike and all occupants appeared at the end of the embassy road and once again it blasted down the road, screeching to a halt to let Dave and Brendan off and then disappearing up the road with the open exhaust again shattering the silence of the street, the bike turned the corner and was gone.
“Who was that?” I asked the ambassador
“Never seen her before”
” Well she and the young lady in the sidecar were at the reception” I said.
” Well they weren’t invited!!”
A few days later the mystery motor cycle rider and motor cycle were identified.
Rebecca had gate crashed the party with the BMW riders who had been invited. We never did find out the young ladies name who was in the sidecar, she had gatecrashed too!!
And the Bike, a Chinese made Chang Jiang which is a copy of the Russian Ural, which is a prewar BMW passed to Russia as part of the World War 2 reparations!! It has a side valve, 750cc, horizontally opposed twin engine and shaft drive and is still made in China. Price around NZ$4500.
We susequently found out that Rebecca is a legend in Beijing, she rides her immaculate black Chang Jiang outfit dressed in her white summer coat, always fast and always at night.
It certainly was a grand finale to our evening with the Ambassador, he thought so too!!