A chuffin' good rally
11th - 13th March. 2011
Well folks - for the first time since Halloween 2009, I ventured out on two wheels. The Drifter has been converted to hand change and I made the thirty mile journey to our rally site. Sadly I was unable to stay for the weekend, so here is Kim's version of events.
Ass on the Line. 2011
Friday : Well, my start to the rally was with a flat tyre on the M5 but that’s life sometimes. Duffer pulled over and I rode Andy’s GSX750 for the first time, fully laden with gear and beer (which was some baptism of fire I can tell you) while he stayed with my Triumph on the motorway. For over an hour at the site I managed to occupy myself with a tankard that kept replenishing itself. I tried to get the tent off the Suzuki but it was a Mensa problem trying to fathom out the tying on that Andy had constructed. I chatted to folk at the control tent, stood by the fire and generally pottered until the RAC truck arrived. As the driver got out he said how much they’d been talking, he looked fairly worn out by the experience of being trapped by Andy in his cab for well over an hour! Boy, that lad can talk!!!
Andy started up my Bonnie and told me ‘it’s going on the field in style’, it may have been walked on, but it was proud and LOUD! Despite the ‘flat’ the mood was upbeat, umm, ‘til Andy spotted I hadn’t put the tent up... “I’ve only just managed to get it off the bike” I protested, “and its dark and I’ve got no light and...”.
Meanwhile the usual rally things were happening, people turning up, boozing in the pub, lots of ‘hellooooo’s. The control tent was a hive of activity; with Pete, Ollie, Trev and Max in chairs chilling and drinking, tea and coffee with ham and ‘chesse’ cobs for a quid (sorry Ollie but the spelling mistake was funny and proof of how good your cider was). Fire and banter kept going until I really had to hit the sack, I guess a little earlier than normal, and do you think I could get warm? It was good to hear much laughter up at the pub then at control into the wee small hours, damn those chattering, pissed tood’s....however, the snot-gobbling Scouser was another thing - yuk!!!
Saturday: Up and tea, before quickly facing the reality of sorting the tyre. Andy got the wheel out , friends of old and Moonshiners of new (I’m only recently a member) were quick to lend a hand. Meanwhile, Toads; Herman the German and Vern had a little bit of a collision...enough to really sting their pockets, with all the plastics on a Ninja and a posh metal pannier to mend!!!
As the droves headed for the 11.20 steam train, we took a leisurely brunch overlooking the site. Sat outside in the sunshine, you’d hardly believe it was a Moonshiners rally in March. Walked the field to look at the bikes and chat, saw ‘Humpty Dumpty Shuff’...until our stint at 1pm in the control. Adam, Rosie, Star and Boy kept Andy and me company while we blundered our way through the details of what we had to; do/charge/write/handover/open/close/top up, lol.
Adam arrived in a jumper he ‘had to’ wear, knitted by his Mum...Golly! Bod turned up on two wheels, with an added grin and proceeded to play the ukulele, Andy did his ‘singing for the terrified’ demo ‘big face...little face...’ (you had to be there)! And sang ‘Bad to the Bone’ getting a compliment from someone in their tent across the way (I’ve never heard language like it from a woman)....ha, ha, joke!
Fred, who you all seem to know, got an inner-tube and demonstrated the ‘breezer’ tool (to quite an audience overall) to whip the tyre off in a swift action...magic. The feeling of relief when it was all checked and sorted, Ooo, fair brought a lump to my throat (or was someone singing again).
All of a sudden it was evening with the fire at full throttle and the Toads back on site, oh dear, drunk again! They seemed to frequent the bar whilst the Moonshiners (and their new t-shirts) were in the lounge and conservatory where Bod was presented with a cake (the sprinkler didn’t go off) and much merriment ensued with musical instruments coming out of every corner, Bod, Andy and Scrote doing their bit, Di singing her little heart out, dancing; Gord cutting a rug and general good banter (we’ll forget about the obnoxious, glass dropping, head-butting the window, snot-gobbling Scouser)!
Leaving the pub, we noticed a sign on the wall ‘Shuff’s Last Drop’. For those who don’t know, last year he tumbled back over the wall, crashing through the hedge and brambles ending upside down, people looked on in amazement, not daring to laugh in case he was really hurt, he sprang up (kind of) and when it was obvious he was okay...well, apart from the blood running down his forehead, someone shouted “f**k me, its Jesus”!!! Needless to say, it hasn’t been forgotten, I saw him at The Grub’s in a massive ‘hat v. bandage’ type effort and now that sign...but I digress.
Lots of people made it to the fire, Pete was in fine form taking the ‘p’ and drinking (Compo wimped off earlier than me...gotta get that in) and Rosco put Duffer to bed...yup, hard to believe, but I have that on good authority.
Sunday: There was me, all toasty warm in the tent thinking ‘who the hell’s that snoring’ when, yes...it started to rain in the night, and rain it did, not snow but lots of rain. Of course, the door wasn’t zipped fully (discovered the following morning) so the rain got on the groundsheet and soaked my crash helmet and one glove, dang!!!! The water literally ran out like a tap but, blow me down, the sun came out a very nearly dried it all out...what a result! It was so nice in fact, a run to the Quatford Cafe was in order and a lush brekky was downed and yes, you’re right Di, the bangers ‘dam’ the beans perfectly. The cafe also ticked the drink box for me; good, filter coffee – proper job! Sizzle, Di, Nash and Bod all made it for a beautiful sunny day there, loads of bikes (lovely BSA) and a really grand way to end the weekend on a high note.
Many thanks for all the help from the Moonshiners, it was a great first rally as a member and long may it continue.
Thanks to Kim for that write up.