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Soggy Simmer Dim for bikers

Bikes gather at Nesting for the famous Simmer Dim rally. Photo Chris Cope/ShetnewsAn image from the Simmer Dim Rally in 2015. Photo Chris Cope/Shetland News

THIS YEAR’s Simmer Dim Rally got underway on Thursday in somewhat soggy conditions.

Around 400 bikers are expected to visit the rally’s new Nesting site over the coming days.

The event, which takes in visitors from the rest of the UK and beyond, is centred around a tent-strewn area near the South Nesting hall.

Hundreds of bikes are on show near the central marquee, which will host live music from local acts in the evenings, whilst the hall is open too.

Simmer Dim Rally chairman Stephen Murchison said that excitement is always high on the site, regardless of the weather.

“It’s been good so far,” he said. “A lot of people came on the Wednesday night. Although the weather’s been poor, the morale is good and everyone has been enjoying themselves.

“The weather’s meant to pick up, but it doesn’t really matter. When you’re in the marquee and everyone gets going, you forget about the weather.”

Murchison expects there to be around 250 bikes at the rally, with some coming from as far away as Italy.

He added that both the Lerwick and Nesting jarl squads will be making an appearance, with the Vikings “usually getting involved” in the rally’s famous “silly” party games.

Ian Chapman meanwhile is attending the event for the 26th time. His first visit to the rally was in the late 1980s when he travelled up from Grimsby.

Whilst he only rode from Aberdeen this time around, the biker said that his peers and the locale encouraged him to return.

“I just like coming up to see the people,” he said, surveying the hundreds of motorbikes in front of him.

“There’s some lovely roads on the isles as well. It’s all very enjoyable.

“My first one was back in 1989. Quite a long time ago now…”

The rally is due to conclude on Sunday with a trophy giving ceremony – the furthest travelled biker and the “craziest” attendee are among those set to be honoured – before many head back south to Aberdeen on the boat.

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