One for the Roade Rally
4th-6th August 2006
Roade Club, Northamptonshire
Plagarised from the NLVSC site at http://groups.msn.com/nvlsc
Despite there being lots of familiar faces that seem to have been around for years, both The Tin Soldiers SC (Milton Keynes) & Northants Vespa and Lambretta Scooter Club were relatively new to the scene at the time… In June the clubs joined forces to see a convoy of 30 scooters riding the 200+ mile round trip together that was the Great London Ride-Out and it was probably over a swift half in Southend that some flippant remark was made suggesting that the two clubs could put on a joint-club rally. Mad crazy fools?!? Two weeks later and the pair of clubs meet up again for a Sunday afternoon ride out and all go and have a look at some possible venues – a plan is afoot, with the Roade & Courtenhall Ex-Serviceman’s Club being the chosen venue!
All systems are go working around the best date available, which unfortunately coincided with an established, bigger rally the other end of the Midlands. This seemed to work in our advantage though, as we knew the venue could only comfortably cater for 400 and as this was a 1st venture we wanted the numbers to stay at a manageable level. All the pre-rally preparation was going well, with 150 advance tickets sold, ample sponsorship to keep the cost down to £5 per punter and the grass was kindly scythed down, fit for camping by Simon, John and Jason.
Volunteers were on site early morning Friday to help set up the site and the entrance gate, sorted out by Steve was soon a hive of activity. The Rogue Unit HQ was soon dug in and this proved to be the hub of all campsite shenanigans throughout the weekend. The Fish ‘n Chip van was doing a roaring trade and for the most part people seemed happy to sup a pint & exchange chit chat in the bar, or browse through the dozen pages which made up a rather nice rally programme.
By 9pm the numbers had started to swell and the party was underway. Mike the DJ was spinning classic Northern and the bar staff seemed to be coping well. Around 100 made it for the Friday night and there was little room on the buzzing dance floor from 11pm till 1am whilst Ex-Strange Town Martyn was on the decks.
On awakening on a sunny Saturday morning, most of us realised we were now far too old to be partying like we had been. The search was on for copious amounts of coffee and a cure for hangovers, the most notable victim was Martin from Scootabitz. Breakfast baps were enjoyed by the sober sector as more arrivals tuned up at the gate being manned by The Tin Soldiers.
“Any Mods About?” was the cry from Dennis as he got ready to lead the ride-out on his modded up Vespa sidecar combo. After a quick photo for the local paper, the ride out left 15 mins late, but after a very scenic route, through the heart of Salcey Forrest, all 65 scooters arrived safely at the destination of Olney without any incident. On arrival in Olney the convoy was greeted by amazement and excitement by the hoards of onlookers who were taken aback by the plume of blue smoke and sight of so many scooters in there sleepy town centre car park. After 30mins or so, the ride out set off on its return journey, with the out-riders once again doing a sterling job to keep the pack together. As Lisa put it “The out-riders made sure the ride-out went like a well oiled machine”.
Back at Roade Club the Scooter Gymkhana was soon in full swing, with our hosts laying on the choice of not one, but three donor scooters to test out the riding skills of those brave enough to have a go. The V90 seemed nippy around the cones, whilst the the cut down PX210 provided more raw power, duped “The Legburner” because of its up and over exhaust it certainly lived up to it’s name, didn’t it Danny Who and MrG? Other, not so confident riders could try the course on the rather gutless PX80 or so we thought, until we were all shocked to see Don from Daventry hanging onto this wheelie monster, as it hurtled on its rear wheel towards an array of shiny stainless and chrome Lambretta parts on the Scooterbitz stall. Fortunately no harm was done and we all laughed about this incident later, but needless to say Don’s request for another go was politely declined by the marshals. Gazza was just pipped after leading the event for quite a while, with Ady Gardiner coming out on top, negotiating the see saw and limbo bars without fault, even picking up bonus points for catching the ball out of the drainpipe on the way past – nice one Ady.
The 5-A-Side footy kicked off around 3pm, with the Rogue Unit getting trounced by Tin Soldiers in the opening game, maybe they blended into the scenery to much with the camouflage? The final was eventually won by NVLSC although to be fair, with 40 members in attendance they were always going to be a strong force and needed penalties to dramatically clinch the trophy.
Next up was the tug-of-war, which was going well until the Rogues tricked some rather big men on the other end of the rope, by taking the strain and letting go on the “Pull” command… Chanting to there opponents “You fell over, you fell over!” much too everybody’s dismay. Next up in the main arena was the old “Beer n Banana Race” favourite, won by The In Crowd. Moving swiftly on the “Barrel Lift”, made up of three P200 barrels fitted together, was pitting everyone’s strength and Si’s Moped Smash went down a storm… with everyone taking turns to wield the sledgehammer into the unfortunate automatic moped that had been acquired as an insurance write off for this sole purpose. Cheers echoed around when the 12” disc cutter fired up to finish the task off, with Rocky Scooters Ian laying the final blows.
All this took place while the Ridden Custom Show was being judged and all the trophies were given out at 6pm. Overall show winner went to the pristine Burgundy/Silver Rally 200 owned by Bruce. All the trophies were very tastily done, being made up of old broken scooter parts welded together very artistically, sprayed and mounted on a plinth by Ian at Mutant Scoots.
There was just time for a wash and brush up, before another night of revelry. Main band were “The Outfit”, who’d travelled up from Hampshire. They played two sets of over half hour each and went down a storm. There set was packed full of classic covers from the 78-82era, Tubestation, Teenage Kicks, Gangsters, My World, Fallen In Love With Someone, Eton Rifles, etc etc you know the kind of thing. By this time the beer was flowing well and once again the DJ’s kept the floor packed till gone 1am with a really good mix of all factions of scootering sounds.
In finality we’d like to thank all the sponsors of the event, in particular the main sponsors of LUV Construction, Raybell & Sons, Waterless Valeting and Universal Scooters. Thanks to everbody that attended all solo riders and The Pilgrims SC, SAS, Corby Steelmen SC, Banbury SC, S.B.W., The Shedsters, The In Crown S.C., Billy No Mates S.C., Rushden Diamonds SC, Strangetown S.C.,Aylesbury SC, North Hearts Collective and The Hanslope Massive.
All in all, we could not have wished for a better turn out, about 320 in all, the weather was good to us and Roade Club are begging us to come back again next year. Just two casualties over the weekend, Jamie stung by a wasp Sunday morning and Simon had the misfortune to find some loose gravel on a roundabout on his way to the rally which resulted in a badly broken arm, get well soon mate and we’ll raise a glass to you in 2007
.. at Two for the Roade.