The National Association for Bikers with a Disability.
"You've been Nabbed - 10"
11th - 13th May. 2001
does really ride a Harley, or if not a Harley then some other
kind of bike. Yep - the "man upstairs" certainly
looked after us weather wise. The whole weekend was
glorious sunshine with just enough breeze to make life enjoyable,
and, just for good measure, there's a terrific thunderstorm
happening as I write this, which sort of rounds the weekend off
in a very pleasant manner.
The NABD 10th was originally going to be held up at York Dragway but the good old foot and mouth outbreak put paid to that particular plan. Once again, someone, somewhere smiled on the NABD and they managed to get Santa Pod as the new venue. This meant a good few miles less travelling for me, but some of the 'Northern contingent' had a fair few extra miles to cover.
My first task Friday morning was to fit a new fan belt to the trike - the original one had developed a split and wouldn't last much longer. How I managed to miss spotting it a couple of weeks ago is a mystery - so much for my servicing. I blame it on old age.
"My eyes ain't what they used to be." Well, actually, they've always been eyes, but you know what I mean - - on with the plot --->
I met up with Vern, a fellow MAG / UKRM member at Corley services where I filled up with petrol and set off along the boring M6 --> A 14 route to Santa Pod. The signposts for the 'Pod could have been better, but despite all that we managed to arrive by late afternoon. The first person I spotted was Andy "Wolf" Mott, the "NABD club liaison and internet officer" to give him his correct title. "So" I thought, "That's what you look like in real life." Strange things, these computers. You can "know" someone for years without ever actually meeting them, and when you do meet them you don't know whether to shake their hand or click their mouse ( Oooer Missus ).
Food always seems to spring to mind once the night's accommodation has been sorted out. Spoiled for choice. 24 hour food. 24 hour * cheap * food may I add. Seeing as I had a rather large piece of steak I opted for the compulsory chips to go with it. Having fed, I headed for the beer tent - just to observe, you understand. It seems Vern had already found the beer, so not wishing to appear ignorant I joined him in 'observing' the contents of a few cans. By this time, a few more folks had joined us at the beer observation table. Now this beer had a strange effect. It made the table grow taller, or at least it appeared to until someone pointed out that the chair legs were sinking into the soft ground. We sat drinking for a while, then headed out to listen to the band - "Blood Sweat and Beers".
A handful of us sat at the one side of the stage just enjoying the mild weather, the good music and the atmosphere that you only seem to get at bike rallies.
Vern, Myself and Dick ( I think that's his name - no doubt he'll tell me if it ain't ) sat eyeing up the young ladies who were dancing - a right trio of perverts if you ask me, whilst Wolf was using up film as though it was going out of fashion. Every time I looked, he'd got a camera in his hand - maybe there's good money to be had from blackmail photos ?
Piccies - that reminds me. A few of Friday night's piccies are below.
Vern spotted at the beer observing table.
Dick observing the way the beer makes the table grow.
Gravity gets the better of Vern and Dick, whilst Wolf's camera seems to have turned into a can of Newkey Brown.
Once again the call of the food was too much to resist. Chicken jalfrazi for four quid - got be worth it. Having been fed and watered, I wobbled off to bed - well it was getting late.
Saturday and once more the sun god did his thing. fortunately there was also a refreshing breeze otherwise it would have been bloody hot.
There was certainly enough to keep you entertained all day with drag racing, trike and bike show, stunt riders, the "Firestorm" jet car and enough stalls to cause serious wallet damage.
Having never been to a drag strip before I was pleasantly surprised, it kept me entertained / amused most of the day. The "Firestorm" jet powered car was just as the advert said "awesome". The first time they fired it up, a fuel line gave way and turned it into the most expensive blow lamp I have ever seen. As for the noise it made - well, let's just say it was louder than a loud thing on a loud day. If the jet car was the fastest thing down the strip, then the slowest was the valiant chappie who took his penny farthing bicycle down and clocked a time in minutes, rather than seconds.
By late afternoon another of my old mates, "Claws" arrived - riding a rather jolly, but familiar looking BMW trike. He found out, the hard way, that sunburn can be painful.
We spent the rest of the day just looking at the vast array of different bikes / trikes that folks had turned up on. Some of the conversions that enable the riders to continue using them, despite their disabilities were amazing - like with most things, the simple ideas worked the best.
As before, the pictures say it better than the words.
A little too much choke I think.
The steam powered sportsbike was doomed to failure.
Windy Miller, discovered with horror, that he was on a drag strip.
Even trikes can manage respectable times.
Trikes as far as the eye can see - almost.
A slight touch of sunburn there I fear.
Something horrible appeared in my "kennel".
Sunday morning, and time once again to
pack up and head for home, but not without getting fed first - so
it was a case of serious face stuffing. I managed to do my
"good Samaritan" act by supplying a couple of pints of
oil to a thirsty VW trike. . . you'd be surprised what sort of
junk I tend to carry around with me. The trip back was a
leisurely, laid back sort of journey with lots of stops -
including a "panic cramp attack" somewhere along the M1
- seems Vern's leg was getting bored and wanted to wiggle about a
This was the first NABD rally I'd been to, but it won't be the last. Everything about the weekend was "right" - the food, the beer, the weather, the people, the entertainment, the atmosphere - in short "Everything". A pity a few more of 'our lot' didn't make it, but I suppose the Isle of Wight the previous week had left 'em a little short. Having met some of the people, and having seen some of the conversions, NABD do a marvellous job of keeping bikers on the road. As the only registered charity dedicated to helping bikers they deserve all the help they can get.