Heart of England rally & "Brum demo run"
4th, 5th, 6th July. 1997.
The Brum demo and Heart of England has
always been one of those bashes that I try to attend. Being
a life member of M.A.G. and generally enjoying the experience of
riding with over two thousand other bikes are just a couple of
reasons for going.
Over the past few years the rally has been held at Weatheroak, a little village just off junction 3 of the M 42. This year they lost the site at short notice, so a new site was found, out in the countryside not far from Bromsgrove. I had heard rumours that bikes were not going to be allowed next to the tents. Still, I dont always believe what I hear, so off I went on Friday evening and found the site quite easily. Not too far either, only about 35 miles. The M.A.G. marshal on the gate confirmed that the rumours were true. Pitch your tent at the one side of the field and then park in the designated bike park.
Now my caravan has two small standby batteries which last four to five hours, so as a rule I plug into the lorry battery fitted to the Trike. This is not possible when the two are at separate ends of the field. After a discussion about what I considered a completely "pisspotical" way to run things I turned the Trike around and headed home.
I must point out that non of this was the fault of Birmingham M.A.G. The local authority insisted that the bikes were kept separate from the tents, the bikes were to be parked in designated bike parks, cars were to be parked in designated car parks, there were to be fire points, the bloody list goes on. This is just another way that bikers get dumped on.
My personal view, is that the event should have been cancelled, similar to the Magna Carta event. I know that this would have lost money that M.A.G. could well use, but out of all the people that pre-booked and were inconvenienced by this fiasco, how many will avoid M.A.G. rallies in the future thinking that this is the norm?
Just to round the day off I came across an accident involving a young lady motorcyclist who had hit a car. The number of people who were just standing by, doing nothing amazed me. I got a few cars moved so that the motorcyclist lying in the road would not get squashed, and generally sorted the rest of the traffic out. The motorcyclist was conscious, and, apart from a nasty cut to the knee and possibly a fractured leg, seemed all right. The police and ambulance arrived shortly so I scuttled off.
Saturday morning and time to set off for Longbridge and the start of the demo run. The weather was exceptionally good considering we have had rain for the last fortnight. The line of bikes already at the start must have stretched back for over a mile. Even the police bikes had M.A.G. flags fixed to their radio aerials.
At 12-45 the whole plot moved off. The police blocked every junction so the run didnt have to stop. There is something about a large demo run. Even the police seemed to be enjoying the fun, whizzing up the outside to the next junction with lights and sirens going. Several bikes "fell by the wayside" with overheating problems. Theres a lot to be said for a big fan cooled engine. The run ended up at Centenary Square in the middle of Birmingham. I slid away and headed for home along the back streets.
It was a pity the site had to stick to those bloody stupid rules and regulations. To me, that spoiled what is normally a good rally. I only wish Birmingham M.A.G. the best of luck in finding a good site for next year.