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Midland Mayhem
Rain forecast for the journey, boy am I glad I have to go up by car. Dizzy ears not best for biking. Arrive at Cherwell to find a wet and bedraggled group of bikers, Sue having held her gloves under the driers and then leaving helmet out in the rain the wrong way up! As we left Chris sees a wallet on the table which turned out to be a Badger’s bulging pocket book! (we only took a few bucks – honest) Most bikers filled up except a pocket Rocket, we set off once again. Lyndy and I pretending to be bikers trailing in the rear. And down came the rain again.

Miserable journey up the M40 rain pouring down and with Boots trailer trying to go its own way limiting him to just below 60, getting past the stream of trucks not the easiest. Something seriously wrong with that trailer. Rain thankfully ends when we get to M42. We peeled off the go up the toll road as the convoy heads up the old road limited by roadworks. We wait in local layby for the boys in black catch up and we all arrive at the club and unload. A lovely dry patch in the weather gives us the chance to set up tents and settle down for the afternoon. As the rain returns we sit undercover watching the poor latecomers struggle to set up in rain and wind.  

Finally we drifted down to the hall to see what food was on offer, sadly power failures had limited our choice to Barbie food which was actually alright. The band had some surprises and mixed reviews. (mine and everyone else’s) The guitarists and drummer were technically fabulous, however the singer and leader probably not up to their level. 18 year old kid at the back was amazing. Early songs not danceable but they did improve by the end of their very long gig.  ( it’s an age thing Peter ……..  yours !  LOL!   JS)

Morning not so bad and Boots had a go at modifying the bike back to where it was for the trailer. Ed hoping that the fumes left in his bike would reach the nearest filling station. We decided that Chris had to visit his mum and dad so unannounced eight bikes roared up to their house. ‘Ten teas’ came the cry from Boots the enforcer. But really we were just there to surprise and soon tootled off to Ironbridge with Baz as our knowledgeable guide.

Brunnel took the accolade of having built it (uh Abraham Darby !!!) and Baz flush with success, managed to convince Boots that the statue was Nelson (not the unknown soldier) before he went to sea, although the tale of HMS Victory sailing up the Seven and getting stuck under the bridge was a bit much for even him to swallow. Talking of which some of us went to eat pasties and others (the more upmarket group) went for tea and dainty cakes. Pants couldn’t decide which milk shake option he wanted so went for both. A split in the group as some drove up to Newcastle under Lyme to a ‘super’ bike shop, other went to the nearest Costa (that’ll be me and Lyndy then) and Baz home to a really ‘interesting’ reps meeting.

Peter decided that he had brought enough for 10 people and shared out a stir fry to those who couldn’t face the soggy pie from the pub. A local trophy wife came to see what was going on with her forced smile and Essex hair, much to the bemusement of everyone. Keith was trying to convince Mags to join our group and move down south! Looking at Terry Lewis’s picture there was some interesting events going on in the hall which thankfully we missed. A taxi driver got a bit of a surprise when twenty bikers tried to see if they could break the record! (how many burly bikers can you get in an estate) Certain people who I won’t mention (but you know who you are) decided that a few more tots would be a good way to finish the rally and why not. A certain lady on the way back from the loo trip over a guide rope and fell straight on her nose and ended up digging grass out of her nostrils!

Morning came to bright sunshine so decamping was a nice dry affair. The CRV was quickly packed up (the trailer has more space) and we were off leaving bikers in our dust. Another great Rally over and only a couple of days to go before the next party (Chinnor).

Peter Barnett.