BSRA #1: VFM Scarborough National Scooter Rally | RALLERY
A new season of scooter riding, fun, mishaps, laughter and good times officially kicked off in Scarborough last weekend. Ok the season may not have a proper ‘quiet’ time these days but Easter is still the one most of us look forward to. Potentially warmer scooter riding weather and a guaranteed good turnout means the aroma of two-stroke draws us towards the seaside in our thousands.
Rallies may not be everybody’s cup of tea but the more you do, the more people you get to know and a better time will be had. One SLUK reader, scooter builder extraordinaire and very irregular rally-goer decided to make a return visit to the town… 35 years after his last trip there on a scooter. Sean Robinson of the Garagistas gives us his take on the long-awaited return trip on-board his home built machine, Tin Worm.
No Sunday dancing
I decided at the beginning of the year that it was about time I made a return journey north to Scarborough. My last visit on a scooter was Easter 1982, there was a ‘no dancing on a Sunday’ by-law being enforced by bouncers. You could get legless (if you could get in a pub) and stagger around but any dancing was immediately stopped. We weren’t really welcome in any pubs and the cafe on Marine Drive made a fortune, as all the scooters and back up vans would park along the Drive.
I had fond and not so fond memories of my times there. My first visit was in 1981 on a Vespa 90, I got arrested and spent most of Sunday in the police station. Anyway leap forward 35 years to 2017 and the decision was made to visit again. I had a scooter that I’d built up out of a rusty fit-for-scrap frame and various bits and pieces, with my reliable 210 kitted engine in it. A bed and breakfast was booked at Claughton, just the other side of Scarborough. It had become apparent that the days of the ‘NO SCOOTERISTS’ placards in windows were long gone. Everywhere was booked up and finding a room in town wasn’t easy at all.
A rucksack packed and route planned, good waterproofs donned and proper gloves too. I set off about 7am Good Friday morning from Poole in Dorset, only to get five miles before the thing started to splutter and misfire at speed.
After pulling over and spending two and a half hours stripping the carb, checking and rerouting wiring and trying another coil I thought bollocks, go home and get the other scooter. I put it all back together and set off back towards home, bugger me the damn bike ran fine, so I did a quick ‘U’ turn and made a decision to get as far as Salisbury. If it was ok then I’d continue anyway.
The scoot ran fine, my 12-litre fuel tank meant I only needed three fuel stops, one at Swindon, Tamworth (a Burger king on the M1) and final fill up at Wooley Edge services before exiting the M1 onto the A64, skirting Leeds and York. There was a caravan on its side causing tailbacks but that didn’t really hold me up, sailing passed AF Rayspeed and into Scarborough by 5pm just as the rain started. A steady seven hours ride all told with stops.
A quick shower, shave and some pub grub fish ‘n’ chips refreshed me and it was time to hit the town. I felt a bit knackered to be honest, so by 11ish I was back in the taxi, bound for bed. Saturday dawned and the sunshine with it, hearing the occasional 2-stroke racket going by my digs, I breakfasted, wiped the dew off my saddle and headed into town.
This was more like it, scooters everywhere. No little cafe on Marine Drive but the same shit cobbled road. It seemed like the Spa was the place to be, so I headed that way, parked up and joined the lengthy queue. I paid my £4 to get in and wandered around the parts fair but forgot completely about the custom show and instead headed for the ScooterNova stand to say hi. I’d already been accosted by Lobby and got my copy of the new magazine, happily impressed with it too. Had a wander round for a bit, bumped into a couple of friendly faces and then went for a ride back into town where I stopped for lunch and bumped into Nigel Staley and his impressive La Bomba scooter. He was up for the day, so I spent a couple of hours chatting shit with him and had a little ride around.
Come teatime it was back to the digs for another shower and a clean T-shirt, a taxi back into town to meet up with friends in the do for drinks and fun. A good night really and 1am came round so quickly, I said my goodnights and taxied back. A good night’s sleep and a full English breakfast set me up nicely for the trek home.
The scooter started second kick and I was on my way, just a brief nostalgic photo stop at AF, then back on the road, passing several groups of scooters on the way to the M1. Once again three fuel stops at the same garages and I was home indoors by 5pm, a tired sore-arsed bunny.
I have to say I enjoyed Scarborough revisited (I love the journey to and from a rally the bit in the middle is usually a letdown for me) but I actually had a good time and the do was fun, though I didn’t bother with the bands. All told a 650-mile round trip on my own, on a homemade scooter welded together by me. I was so chuffed with how it handled and went. Although I was nearly wiped out on the M1 by a lady leaning over with her camera phone to photograph a strange looking rusty scooter howling along in the 3rd lane. Until the next time…
Sean Robinson on Tinworm
Photos: Iggy, Sticky & Booga
Scarborough BSRA 2017 Facts:
- Scarborough is the first of 9 official BSRA events of 2017. You can find a list of the others here.
- Scarborough has approximately 2 seagulls per head of population and the two groups are neck and neck over who eats more chips per year.
- Scarborough is part of Yorkshire, or God’s County as a Yorshireman would refer to it; which means the British equivalent to Texas. Nowadays God rarely visits, he just sends a bloke called Melton round to collect the rent.
- Scarborough custom show was won by the custom Vespa Lower Class which was first featured on SLUK here. Full show results are in the gallery images.
- Scarborough tends to alternate with Whitby as to which town on the North sea hosts the Easter rally each year. Last year at Whitby we launched SLUK as an online magazine and this year we helped with the launch of ScooterNova paper magazine which you can find here: ScooterNova
- Scarborough was the first police force to use tie wraps as makeshift handcuffs after local police ran out of proper handcuffs whilst restraining marauding scooter boys back in 1980-1981.
- Scarborough Col’s (read his blog here) police dog handler dad was one of the officers who discovered how to restrain these young louts.
Rallery by Iggy
Rallery by Sticky
Rallery by Booga