Oddballs MCC

"Unfrozen Ballsup Rally"


5th April - 7th April.   2024


    Just for a change, I'll be doing this rally with a few of the lads from "The Hive Riders Rally Club", who, funnily enough meet at The Beehive.   Friday morning saw us ready to roll.  Dave and Bob, on a Mini engined automatic trike, Stitch on a CX 500 trike, and myself with DOT and the Dog Kennel.   The plan was to follow the A41 through Wolverhampton, then stay on the A41 until we reached the Raven Café.   I'd given the Dog Kennel a bit of a service - mainly greasing the wheel bearings and checking the tyres over.

    Things went well until we were about five miles out of Wolverhampton - the Mini engined trike decided it wanted a ten minute rest to let the ignition coil cool down.   Ah well, if nothing else it gave folks the chance for a quick cigarette.  There were no more problems, and by around half past twelve we'd arrived at the Raven Café.   As you can guess,  dinner was served.   From there, I took the lead, and before long we were at the rally site.   I have to say, that last mile or so to the site is the most potholed, poorly patched bit of road I've been down in a long time.   Anyway, despite that we reached the field, OK, so it was a bit muddy, but nothing that cause us any concerns.








    Now the last time I did an Oddballs rally, I managed to forget my rally ticket.  Not wanting to break this tradition I'd forgot to pick the ticket up off the table this morning.  Luckily I'd booked the ticket online so I was listed in the booking in book - No.50 if I recall correctly.   Right, now were all set up, the next move was the beer tent.  I opted for the "Twisted Spire", brewed by Hobson's Brewery.  The band this evening was Black Sheep Reloaded, and they certainly made the night go with a bang.   By the time we got out of the beer tent, the wind was picking up again.


     Saturday, and most folks took advantage of the mini bus service into the town of Wem - I decided to make the best of the break in the weather and take DOT off for dinner at The Ponderosa.  I did think about heading for the seaside, but I could see some very menacing black clouds lurking in that direction.  I took a somewhat scenic tour of Wales, before heading back to the rally site at around eight o'clock.  I'd felt what I took to be a front wheel bearing failing on DOT - I hoped this would hold out until I got back home.   

    That Storm Kathleen had managed to wreck a few tents.  The awning on the Dog Kennel suffered one of the tie down points becoming detached.  Fortunately it was only the stitching that had pulled out and nothing was actually ripped.  A bit of attention with my trusty sewing machine later in the week soon put everything back as it should be.

    Once again the evening was spent in the beer tent.  We'd managed to drink all of the Twisted Spire they had on draught, but they still had the same beer in bottles - which, surprisingly tasted better in my opinion.   The band this evening was Tick Tick Boom, and I certainly enjoyed 'em.  

     The rain by now was coming down heavily - it seemed that Storm Kathleen wanted a grand finalé.   On the plus side, it wasn't cold.


    Sunday morning, and time to pack away.  The rain was coming down horizontally, so rather than try and pack away, we headed to the control tent for a cuppa ( and a chocolate biscuit too ).  After around twenty minutes or so the rain stopped and the sun came out.  OK, the wind was still giving it all it could, but at least we packed away dry.

     We stopped in Wem to fill up with petrol, then it was off back down the A41,  I was not happy with the way DOT's front wheel was feeling so I kept the speed down below 50 mph.

    Just after I'd crossed the A5, I noticed the others were not behind me.   I pulled in at the lay-by near Tong church and waited.   A lorry driver who'd pulled in behind me said he'd seen a couple of trikes back in Newport.   Now normally I'd have gone back and found 'em, but with this wheel bearing getting worse by the mile, I couldn't risk putting extra miles on - I just didn't know if the bearing was going to collapse.   I sent a message saying I'd have to carry on.

    By the time I reached home it felt like the front wheel was about to give way at any time. . . . . . I wasn't expecting what I found when I took a look.  It wasn't the wheel bearings, it was the wheel nuts had come loose.  I don't suppose the approach road to the rally site did 'em any favours.    There was a fair bit of damage.   The wheel nuts had worn the chamfer off, the studs were worn half way through, and the holes in the wheel had elongated.  Oh dear, this is going to take a bit of repair work.

    I dropped the wheel in to have the holes welded up.  I had some spare studs in a rear drive shaft, so they were swapped out.  New wheel nuts, and a 60 degree countersink tool were ordered.  Then it was a case of machining the wheel - hopefully with enough accuracy to be concentric. . . time will tell. 






    "What about the others ?" I hear you ask.   It turned out Stitch's trike had lost its gears.   Well not so much its gears as the will to travel forwards.   In one of those moments of good fortune, he happened across a chap who lived just up the road who had built dozens of trikes over the years.   Stitch's trike was pushed up the road and put in the garage.   Big thanks to Brian for doing this.   The following Tuesday I took a drive over to Brian's house in Newport and collected the unwell trike.  It seems something in the rear axle has failed, and for good measure, a weld on the frame has broken.  I recovered it back to Wolverhampton, where it's now awaiting repair.

    Despite the weather and the breakdowns, it was still a good weekend away.   So thanks to the lads and lasses of the Oddballs MCC who made it such a cracking weekend.

Oh, it all looked like this ---------->   VIDEO

One CX trike on its way back home.