13th 14th 15th June. 1997.
The invite for this rally
mentioned a fishing pool belonging to the Giler Arms Hotel, the
pub where the rally was being held. Thinking this would be
a good excuse to pack the fishing tackle along with the tankard I
looked forward to an enjoyable weekend. The steroids seemed
to have shifted the dreaded itch, and the dog kennel was packed
up and ready to go by Friday dinner time.
Oh. The best laid plans of Trikes and Men!
The sun was shining. The roads seemed devoid of idiots and the Trike was running well. Just past Shrewsbury, on the A5 I spotted a familiar Combo and trailer up in front. I accelerated and caught up with Gordon, the infamous "Mountain Man". We pulled in for a cuppa and a chat with Iona, who used to run and own the "Butty Box ", of rally fame. Whilst sitting outside sipping my cuppa a car pulls up and Gerry, the old gaffer of the Horse and Jockey, our rally site pub, stopped to have a word. Having finished our drinks I pressed the start button only to be met with a dull click.
"No problem" I thought, "its only the start solenoid, Ill bridge it with a pound coin"
Wrong. The starter motor itself decided not to play. We quickly detached the mobile tool shed and bump started the Trike. The starter motor can be fixed when I get to the rally site.
The Giler Arms is a wonderful scenic site with a panoramic view of Snowdonia and a good sized fishing pool in front.
The good old Welsh weather didnt disappoint us and down came the rain, but not before Id removed and tested the faulty starter motor. One of the lads from the Principle R.C. had phoned up someone he knew and an exchange starter motor was waiting for me at Chester. Only £ 40-00 too. They cost about £ 65-00 where I live.
My dreaded allergy had returned with a vengeance. Both of my hands had swollen up to such an extent that I could not wear my gloves. Good job I dont wear gloves in the pub.
Friday night in the pub went down well with a numbers quiz, laid on by the Principles. Three Dutch folks had turned up, saw all the tents and bikes, and decided to stay overnight before continuing up to the Lake District. Myself, Pete, Gordon and Sam sat scratching our collective heads over the quiz. I scratched more than my head due to this damned allergy. And so to bed.
Roy had kindly offered to run me into Chester to pick up the starter motor so we set off about 11-00 o-clock. Its been a long while since Ive been on the back of a bike but Roy gave me no cause for alarm. Thanks pal. I owe you. We found Hoole Lane, Chester, and I was soon the proud owner of a new starter motor. We also popped into "Everything but Bikes" a shop that sells all things biker orientated but not bikes. One new pair of gloves later, we left. The traffic in Chester was horrendous. Even Birmingham, in the rush hour is not so congested. I was glad that Roy was able to squeeze the Wing through the lines of cars, but it still took the best part of an hour to get clear. Having fitted and tested the starter motor it was too late for any fishing.
Saturday night went according to form. The raffle, the awards and the general silliness that makes a good rally great. It came to pass, as Frankie Howard was heard to say, that the winners of the quiz were Myself, Gordon, Sam and Pete. We were all better off by £ 5-00. More beer!
Sunday morning and the weather was typical Wales. Not actually raining but threatening to at any minute. Still, its not too cold though. The Trike started with ease, courtesy of the new starter motor. We rolled along the A5, taking in the excellent scenery. I like the A5 in this part of the world, not too straight and plenty to look at. Yes, you can still enjoy bends even with a Trike!
All in all, what with the weather, my allergy and that accursed starter motor, this should have been a crap weekend, but it wasnt. I really enjoyed myself, so thanks to all the Principle R.C. members for a cracking weekend.
Anyroad, Im back home now and its all history. Roll on the next un.