Isle of Wight 2011-through a visor
The alarm goes off at 5am....and just for a split second its 1983 again (my first IOW at 17) just as excited now as I was then.
Pulling the riding gear on (fag, tramadol, mug of tea) and it’s down the shed to get the GTS out and, out of the corner of my eye I’m sure I can see my baby with a small tear running down her leg shields. Sorry babe, but you can’t come with me today. Daddy is too old and knackered to ride you that far and you know you don't travel well in those metal boxes.
Anyway another tab...pain killers kicking in its off round to Paddy's to meet Evo, Davis and Jane my riding buddies .
6am and ‘oh to be in England now that summer’s here’ is getting a bit thin now- it’s coming down sideways. Off to Kidderminster to meet Slap and Garth from Tigers, and Dave from Wolves. Now 6 scoots is just enough for a 180 mile thrash. Then, just as we're pulling our helmets on, another 4 turn up-it’s Captain Slow (sorry Paz ) George, big Dave and Shan from North Wales. Another fag, and we’re off. The weather is shite still and we're going to have to get a move on to be on the midday crossing. I'm not going to mention the rain again because it didn't stop until we crossed into Hampshire !! Next stop Evesham, but a couple of miles before there, I was following Shan on her ET4 when she took an island a tad too quick-next thing, I'm struggling not to flatten her after she bit the tarmac. Fair play, she was up and back on the scoot in minutes. Caught the others up at Evesham for fuel and change of gloves and it’s on to Oxford, and then Southampton. We pull up to the ticket office and my GTS doesn't want to start. I knew I was low on fuel but not out surely...anyway a couple of mouths full of petrol later it still wouldn't start. I could feel the walk of shame coming on here, pushing a GTS300 on the ferry was very amusing for the hundreds of Lammy riders waiting to board( at least it was the lower deck lol). I get the bugger on the boat and it bloody starts!
Off to Seaview to the house that we've rented ( didn't even have a tent in 83 ! ) for the weekend and meet the SWAG's..
Taxi into Ryde, and it seems quieter than normal, but hay ho, less queueing at the bar. The daylight turns to moonlight and we're at our best (socialising that is), meeting all the old foe's from down the years then bumping into the rest of the Shrews crew in Yelfs. This year we gave the ice rink a miss and opted to stop in Stanley's bar (it had been a long day !). Bad move .60 shots later and the best part of an orchard drank it was time for bobo's. I'm not going to say a word about Paddy being sick all down Union Street.
Saturday morning and the sun’s blazing. The head’s banging though, but a hearty breakfast cooked by the lovely Lady's soon had us up and at um. On the scooters down to the campsite to spend some pennies and there was lots to spend them on too. Very busy on site. Drop the scoots off back at the house and get a taxi into town again about 2.30pm. I’m not going to lie to you, but can’t remember much about the day, but Sara did leave me in the Crown waving a mop around at 2am (so she told me anyway).
Sunday. Rough as ****,but it’s ride out day so early into town to watch it (don't do it anymore, clutches are too dear these days lol). Anyway, it goes from sunny to torrential rain in a flash and the ride out is abandoned, loads walking round like drowned rats- it’s a good job we were on licensed premises !! The weather soon turns sunny again and we're back outside The Crown spreading the good name of Shrewsbury to anyone who'd listen.
Monday we're up early because the girls are on the 9.30 sailing, we're on the 10.30 and we're going to chance our arm to get on with the girls....bit of haggling at Cowes and we're on. Fuelled up by 11am and heading off to Oxford for lunch with the girls. About ten miles before our stop me and Paddy were just passing a truck at about 70 when something popped and then that was him sat sitting on the side of the A34 waiting for a very nice man to come along-lovely grub though Pad. All back home safe and sound by 5.30pm
I’ve never grown old of doing these rallies with some of the best mates that anyone could wish for from all over the country. If you've not done one yet, make it your goal coz there’s no better feeling than riding your scooter (breaking down included) to a national!