South Downs Ride | RETRO RALLERY
Who: Solent Cougars SC
What: South Downs Ride Out
When: 22nd- 24th April
Why: L.C.G.B. Best Supporting Members Championship
‘Uppers on the South Downs’ – to some it is an early eighties Mod/power pop compilation LP. To others it is a face-splitting grin factor ride out. You had to be there to dig it, but you would have dug it dude!
Minging weather on the Friday ride up saw the drowned rat road crew glad that they’d sorted out a hotel room and the brave campers grateful that the downpours had abated. Come Saturday morning, with no sign of the forecast overnight frost, the hung-over hordes and others picked up the route plan. The start of the ride out was staggered so as to avoid 200 two-wheeled shopping trolley traffic mayhem.
Spew out they did though in a proper chaos unleashed style and a lot of confused fun was had by all. Thankfully, the weather gods were on board, no ‘liquid sunshine’ for us today, nice! Being (a tad) hung over I opted for the tour guide option. New Forest S.C. member and long time Lambrettista PeeJay, who had done the route a couple of days previously – a local whose organisational talents are beyond trustworthy – led the way at a comfortable 45-50 mph. Not having to think, just being an extension of the handlebars and completely enjoying the rolling countryside, while watching out for the 10-inch wheel munching potholes and rain washed gravel traps, being a luxury that was relished.
The half way signing in ‘Riverside’ caff point, by a 13th century bridge, coped admirably with the influx of moped riders with both the soup and cake options getting positive reviews. Beyond there, things went a bit random. The tour guide party lost a member due to junction overshoot. More telling however while waiting was witnessing packs of scoots disappearing up all of the three available staggered junctions. Summat wrong somewhere… (Disclaimer – as a non map reader I have no right to comment, though someone I know did mention there was an issue between ‘right’ & ‘left’ instructions at one junction).
Only one of the two the back-up vans was called into service (a seizure) otherwise it was ok for everyone else on the 123 mile route (reading from a new tyre and a Series 2 speedo), who made it back for the on-site do! Shame the bar pumps broke and the night finished an hour earlier than planned. A top ‘putting faces to names, names to faces, nice to meet you’ kinda thing.
All in all a great weekend, around £ 1000 was raised for the L.C.G.B.’s chosen charity the British Heart Foundation. Beautiful bursting spring countryside, open roads, two-stroke in the air and a bunch of likeminded nutters to share it with… ‘ave it!