Mr Chips is born!
Sunday morning and it’s time to meet at the Piazza but instead of the usual meet at 11am we were meeting and leaving at 9.30 to get to the Peanut Duck Parts Fair and Custom Show at Milton Keynes. At least, that was the plan. After I managed to get there just 3 minutes before the off with nearly a grand in my pocket, I realised that Dodge, who the grand was for, wasn’t there. So, nip for a McCoffee, come back, he’s still not there. A quick phone call reveals he’s filling up and must have thought that 9.30 meet meant leaving at 10am. Being the new boy, he’s got some learning to do, what’s that about “Old dogs and new tricks?”
So, once Dodge arrived and everyone was ready it was time for the off, unlike the last run, there were no initial problems, Greg’s started first time! [Insert Blatant advert here—————> Good old Sandy Scooters for sorting him out]
It had been decided that we’d go via Brogborough Hill and over Junction 13 of the M1 this time as it’s generally more direct and, strangely, there are less twats in cages about, so off we went, up Ampthill Road past the Hospital, out of Bedford and along the A421 towards Junction 13 at a steady 50ish to ensure no one was left behind.
I did tip along a bit in front so I could stop farther on and get some snaps but that was about it, though I noticed at one point as I was putting the camera away, that Dave and Scott were lagging. I soon caught up just after the roundabout over the M1, whizzed past to get some more pics of the pair and pulled into a layby. However, as Scott went by, Dave pulled in. Turns out that the scooter suddenly died on him, and on further tentative investigation it felt less of a seize and more like the rings had either snapped or possibly the piston was holed. Scott came back when he realised there was something up but there was nothing to be done other than Dave to ring his son to come pick him up in the van and we’d hopefully see him at the fair later.
Scott and I left and carried on with me having instructions not to go above 50 and me without a working speedo . I think that Scott was worried that “Slim Shady” would also go pop. And, of course he had no idea where he was going
As it was I only knew it was within half a mile of the junction of H7 and V7 on the MK grid system, worst case would be that we traveled round a block and would find it. The others hadn’t seen the problems that had been going on so were farther on, it appears they figured as soon as they saw a sign for Woughton, it’d be near there. How wrong were they?
As Scott and I were whizzing past a sign for Woughton Park we saw our brethren coming out of the side road, obviously lost After following us for less than half a mile we pulled onto the correct road, after being shouted at by one Paul Redfern (one of the original Pilgrims before time!!) and pulled into the Woughton Centre, parking up right in front of the entrance and closer to the burger van than a tramp to his tinfoil hat!!
FIrst things first, a cuppa. While waiting for the pretty girls to serve us (oooh er matron) we noticed that there was only 2 stalls outside and there was absolutely no queue!! We’d arrived at almost dead on 10.30, normally the peak admission time and it was comparatively dead. OK, we didn’t exactly pay a fiver and waltz straight in, but compared to other times I’ve been it was close. There was plenty of speculation on the day, including there being too many parts fairs, (which I agree with but not that its the reason for the quietness) or the fact it was the Carnaby Street Run on the same day (a possibility). There’s always the possibility of course that the world forgot that they’d missed out on an hours sleep due to the clocks going forward the night before, like one of the late entrants to the custom show. Doh!
Now, while I’ve seen some complaints on some internet forums, that they were in and out in 15 minutes, I have to say, like in life, you get out of something what you are prepared to put into it. Yes you could have gone round there in 15 minutes but if you were prepared to actually look and experience rather than just nip in and out, you could have spent the better part of the day there. Hell we got there at 10.30 and didn’t leave until 3. Granted 45 minutes of that were looking for a stand spring for Scott (soon to be known henceforth as Mr. Chips), 2 minutes having a wazz, another 40 odd minutes looking for a carb rubber for a 30 mm AMAL for Mr. Chips (Scott remember?)
The rest of the day was spent looking through the Custom show which had some great examples of standards, mod, street racers and customs, now whether you think they’re shit or not, you have to admire the work that goes into them, then when you see them riding home that respect doubles!! I ride my custom scooter, so should they!
In the main hall there were a lot of dealers including some of my favourites as well as new ones not seen at Peanut Duck before. Good to see Buzz there www.buzzsolomoto.com and also one of the Feckers, Alan of www.eurolambretta.com who had come over from France for the event! There was also a guy selling two imported Indian GP’s at less than £400 which was a very good price, especially as the cheaper one looked like it may have been a very early one, and hence may have had what appeared to be an actual Italian headset on it!!!
Of course by now the bar was open, well nearly, there was a queue and they were refusing to serve as it was 1 minute until 12! Despite my telling them that it was gone 12 in Irish time and that they’d set it wrong anyway due to the hour moving they wouldn’t budge. Mind you by the time I was done trying to reason with the English, she’d served the bloke in front . And after a round of drinks, another round of the stalls and a buttie it was time to make a move home.
A simple enough task you’d think but alas, it was not to be. Lee was having bother with his Series 2 Skelly and just couldn’t seem to get it started despite trying all the usual tried and trusted methods. Yes there was a spark, yes there was petrol in the tank, yes the tap was full on, yes, we’d bumped the scooter and while it nearly started several times it just wouldn’t fire up. Someone mentioned the points but this was generally dismissed but Scott lit up saying he had a tool for the job.
Pretty much everyone had a go, with little luck, though every time the plug was taken out and cleaned, the next kick seemed to be the better leading many to suspect the 30 mm Amal carb to be the culprit. By now Scott was back with his tools but couldn’t remember its name, it was in fact a set of feeler gauges. A discussion ensued about the fact that it was unlikely to be points, while the plug was again removed, cleaned, replaced and the scooter bumped. Poor Scott seemed to be having trouble remembering what the gauges were called and it was then that we said he should say what you see, say what you see with me being Roy Walker off Catchphrase, hence, Scott was baptised Mr. Chips (Chippo to his friends).
|As our options were running out and by now Pete had peed against the fence 3 times, we relented and Lee checked the points and Mr Chips got his chance to shine by passing the baton of the feeler gauge. Typically, once the points were reset the scooter started first time!! Chippo was indeed a happy chappie.
Everyone back on their scooters and we were off, well after I got mine started, I was cacking myself thinking I was going to have problems but luckily another kick, a relieved smile at the group and we were off and home.