Wight Riders M.C.C.
May 2nd 3rd 4th. 1997.
This is one of those rallies that
is always well attended by our club. With a
grand total of 28 people setting off it looked like being another good bash. We
decided to set off in small groups at different times. In other words some folks don't
like getting up early, some folks like to travel at a snail's pace and some folks like to
thrash. I decided, somewhat foolishly, to set off at about 5 a.m. with another three like
minded idiots. The air temperature along the M42 varied so much in such a short
distance that very often my screen and mirrors would "steam up" almost instantly. By
half past seven the air temperature had risen to a comfortable level. Looked like it was
going to be a nice day. The trip to the ferry passed as all good trips should. No
mishaps, no road rage, and we didn't get lost once.
The roads on the Isle of Wight were laid in Roman times and have not been
repaired since. The surface is not so much bumps as a series of dips, one after the
other. This has very interesting effects on both bikes & bikers. Who needs to do 160
m.p.h. on the Motorway when you can get a better thrill at 65 m.ph. on the Island?
Having set up camp we wobbled of to the Wight Mouse Inn. This is a
remarkable pub. It has won a load of Egon Ronay awards. It stocks over 350
different whiskies and has a decent range of "real ale". The food is excellent. There is
live music every night of the week. They even lay a minibus service to and from the
rally site. The only down side to all this is the price. Yes, I'm afraid it is bloody
expensive. Seeing as I am on holiday, so to speak, I don't mind paying. I'm just glad
its not my local. Still, the beer prices in the marquee back at the site were very
reasonable. Friday afternoon and it is just too warm to do anything. This was going
to be a good week, if the weather held out. Friday night and the field is filling up well.
This is a big rally with over 650 booking in. Good job they have a giant marquee.
Having just converted the mobile dog kennel to gas I did not bother with the
food on site. Going on what other people told me this was a wise move. It seems the
caterers had not counted on so many people turning up so a long wait was the order of
The man on the radio said "make the best of this weather. Wind, rain & the
occasional snow shower are on the way". He was certainly right about the wind. must
have been that curry I ate.
Saturday. A little cooler but not too bad. Folks just ventured all over the
Island doing what folks do. By producing your rally ticket you could get discount at
quite a few of the Island's attractions. I meandered around at a relaxed pace. So
relaxed I almost got mistaken for a local. By Saturday night a thick fog had closed in.
We spent a night split between the Wight Mouse and the marquee. Much drinking
followed by much falling over. When we left the marquee the fog had turned to that
horrible drizzle that can get through anything.
Sunday morning. A good many people are packing up to leave due to being
washed out in the night. The wind had strengthened and the rain turned ugly. That
delightful drizzle managed to find its way into my distributor and the Trike refused to
start. Nothing that a quick squirt of WD 40 and a drying of the H-T leads didn't fix.
The band on Sunday night were the Mechanix. Now I know a lot of you down South
in Lumpsie country are sick of hearing them at rallies but for us poor deprived ( or
should that be depraved) souls from the Black Country they make a welcome change.
We enjoyed them. So there!
Monday saw a great sea of tents disappear all but six. Five of them from our
club and another one belonging to two lads from Germany, who were staying on for a
day then heading for Cornwall. We had a word with the nice man from the pub who
laid a coach on for us at a reasonable £ 1-50 a head return, leaving at 8 O` clock and
bringing us back at 11-30. A good night was spent in the Wight Mouse where they
had a duo playing Mississippi type blues, a little Cajun and even George Formby. It
was strange to return to a deserted field, when, compared to the night before, it was
alive with drunken bikers. All credit to the Wight Riders, there was not a matchsick to
be found. When they tidy up they make the Wombles look like amateurs.
Tuesday passed similar to Monday but the Germans and some more of our club
had left. The minibus still came and picked us up. This is what I call service. Thanks
The homeward trip on Wednesday was somewhat spoiled by a blizzard in the
Cotswolds. Typical England. Sunny on the Isle of Wight, Snow at Stow on the
Still, I'm heading slowly towards the Better Smeg than Dead rally. Watch this
space to see if I make it.