Wight Riders M.C.C.

Gurt Gallybagger.

May bank holiday - 2000

Once again, it's time for the "Gurt Gallybagger", so various groups of assorted Moonshiners made their way South.  Some folks set off at five in the morning, others waited for a more sensible hour.  I had a leisurely breakfast and hit the road at about half past nine.  Considering the weather over the last few weeks, I was quite surprised to find the sun shining, but had a suspicion that it wouldn't last.  Too right !  I was only a few miles from the ferry terminal at Lymington when the rain started.  "Not too bad"  I thought  "over a hundred miles in good weather, soon be on the island and set up."
For some reason, more folks than ever had decided to use the Lymington / Yarmouth ferry crossing so a 'queue' of bikes soon built up.  Now waiting outside, in the rain, for a ferry is not the best way to spend your afternoon.  It took nearly two hours before I managed to finally get on a ferry.  The ferry company, Wightlink, even bought another ferry into service to try and shift the backlog, but just as things seemed to be moving two of the three ferries decided to break down.  This left folks with the option of either heading for Portsmouth or waiting for the one remaining ferry to ship them over.  Some people decided to find bed and breakfast somewhere local and try again on Saturday.
    I rolled up at the rally site by late afternoon, only to find that the rain of the last few weeks had made the field into a quagmire.  Luckily the trike can  handle mud without too much bother, but some of the bikes were well and truly stuck.  No bikes were being allowed onto the grassed ( mudded ) areas, so finding somewhere to park up was becoming tricky, to say the least.  I dropped the legs on the 'dog kennel' and carried on setting up camp.


Listening to the weather forecast on the local radio station gave me some hope for the next few days.
    The nearest pub to the site, the "Wight Mouse", usually puts a bus service on so that folks can have a drink without the hassle of riding.  Like most things, the price of this bus has crept up steadily over the years, so it came a pleasant surprise to see the sign saying    1-25 return, the same price as last year.  Upon boarding the bus, the driver pointed out that the sign was a 'mistake' and the cost was 2-20.  I decided that rather than pay what seemed like a rip off price, I would drive up to the pub and not drink so much. It seems I wasn't the only one with the same idea.  For the sake of 95 pence, the pub lost a lot of trade.

      Saturday morning and the weather forecast was right.  The sun was shining down on a bunch of rather muddy bikers, but who cares ?  Time to take a ride out and enjoy the decent weather.  For some poor souls, the bright sunlight just didn't agree with their hangovers . . . such is life.


As you can imagine, the beer tent had more than it's fair share of mud.  For the sake of decency, I won't describe what went on in there.     The following day also saw decent weather, so we headed off once more to wreak havoc on the Isle of Wight.  What was the strange ritual that involved dead animals, fire, large fungi and a bunch of weird Moonshiners ?  Yep - it was barbecue time, so we parked up at fort Victoria and used the permanent barbecues that are set into the grass.


    Of course, no rally is complete without the 'embarrassing' bits

- so without further ado -

here we go.

Who decided that a muddy bike was just not good enough and even found a hose pipe ?

Who decided to have a 'hair transplant'

{ Thanks Pete - you were a wonderful 'donor' }

    So another "Gallybagger" ends.   The Wight Riders did a magnificent job of trying to shift the mud and water.  They were 'shit shifting' almost constantly and several wheelbarrows containing generators and small water pumps were running in an attempt to clear the surface water from the field.  Despite the state of the field and the fiasco with the ferries, the rally went down as well as ever.  The moonshiners have been doing this rally for the last eleven years and have enjoyed every one.....so thanks to the Wight Riders and all the other 'unseen heroes' who make this such an 'unmissable' rally.

There's nothing left now but to jump on the ferry back home - well - back home via Dorset but that, as they say, is another story............

Back to 2000.