A chuffin' good rally
14th, 15th & 16th March. 2003
Here we are again, rally time, and for some reason this year went crazy - we normally get around fifty or so folks pre-book but this year 120 tickets went in next to no time. Now considering the size of the pub, and allowing for the "turn up on the day" types, we thought that even 120 may have been too many, luckily, the pub managed to cope - just about.
Friday saw us heading for the site and generally setting things up. The weather was excellent, nice and sunny, even if it did go a tad cold at night. Once again free tea and coffee was the order of the weekend, courtesy of "Firkin" Dave . . so thanks Dave, you did us proud again.
One of the "down" points of the weekend was a certain road junction back in Bridgnorth. It seems the road planners decided to alter the road layout where the B 4555 forks left off the B 4363. The result of this "planning" meant the kerb had been extended and the actual turn is now a good 30 feet further along, just for good measure they also fitted a rain gulley which followed the line of the original kerb, and happened to be the same colour. All this gives the impression that the road sweeps to the left, which, sadly it doesn't. At least three bikes came to grief at this junction, with one chap ending up in hospital. At least back at the site things were going to plan - which must be a first for the 'Shiners.
The pub started filling up early, with most folks ordering food before getting down to the serious job of drinking. We did pop down the pub the previous weekend and warn the gaffer that quite a few more bodies than we had planned for were turning up. Looks like he believed us, and stocked up with extra beer, although they did run short of breakfasts on Saturday morning.
As well as the "regulars" at our rally, it was good to see some of the "new" faces. The Bikersweb "chaos crew" had a turnout of a dozen or more, the Grubs managed about 8 or 9, and there were a lot more individual bikers this year too.
Saturday morning, and most people headed
off to Bridgnorth on the steam train. I took a scenic tour
of various bike shops with Wayne & his son, from the Grubs
R.C. trying to find a replacement gear lever for a V-Max, without
success may I add. Yep - that left turn in Bridgnorth had
claimed another victim, luckily the only thing broken was the
bike, rather than the rider. Speaking of broken things, one
chap had the front end break off his trike. Seems this
wasn't the first time either - I'd find myself a better welder if
I were him. . . .which apparently is what he did. The trike
was last seen being trailered to a garage where someone who
"knows what they are doing" will be sorting the
headstock out for him.
Saturday evening and the pub was certainly packed, but you could still move about if you were careful. I don't know what time everyone stopped drinking, but I wimped out around midnight.
Sunday morning, and the sun blazed away
merrily, which is a good job considering the frost that still lay
in the shaded areas. We started packing things away, in a
leisurely fashion, which is the only way we know how. A
quick sweep of the field produced very little rubbish - nice to
know bikers are a tidy lot. The guy with the
"broken" trike, John, I think it is, needed to get his
trailer back home to Stratford - so we bunged it on the back of
the nearest pickup truck and made sure he got home. Cheers
Gordon, I knew that wagon would come in useful for something.
By three o'clock everything had been sorted - all the gear packed and loaded - the bill settled with the gaffer - the apologizing for the behaviour of the odd one or two ( every rally gets 'em ) so the only thing left was to order dinner . . . as I said, we only do things in a leisurely manner.
Ah well - that's another one over for 12 months. No rain, brilliant sunshine, good beer, good food, good company, minimal hassle & attitude . . . . what more can I say ?
To all the lads and lasses that came to our rally, can I just say thanks, if it wasn't for the people that turn up, it wouldn't be a rally.