BSRA #5 VFM Llandudno National Rally | RALLERY
We’re already well over halfway through the 2019 National Rally season, where does time go? The fifth event on the Britist Scooter Riders Association calendar saw us heading to North Wales. Llandudno is a lovely town for a rally, it’s compact enough that you can find everybody, has enough pubs to not be overcrowded and the place itself is very scenic. The only downside to it is that it always seems to rain heavily, either on the way there or on the way back.
This time we got a good soaking on the way there during a three-hour ride that actually took seven hours. With the odd minor hiccup and breakdown along the way adding some memories to what could have been ‘just another’ blend-into-one journey. Without these issues (thankfully not my own on this occasion) we’d struggle to differentiate this ride from another in a year or two.
Oh, how we’ll laugh in the future when we remember Tez discovering the GP he’d recently got on the road was mildly bent and scary to ride in the wet. Or the electrical issues that saw a show winning custom scooter getting put in our club back up van. Only for it to fall over and leak fuel all over one side of the paintwork causing it to blister and need a very expensive respray.
I’m sure Linsey will laugh at the time her glasses were so steamed up in the wet that she had to take them off whilst riding at 60mph on the A55, stuff them into her coat pocket and snap the arm off. A £300 bill.
It’s events like these that set a Scooterist apart from ‘normal’ holidaymakers. I’m sure if our parents set off for a weekend at the seaside they wouldn’t get the same kind of pleasure out of a roadside engine strip, a death-defying seizure, snapped shock absorber, minor accident, or suffering hours on an old shopping bike with soaking wet bollocks and a seat that is less comfortable than burst haemorrhoids. Probably because most of our parents have never lived. To an outsider, our fun-seeking weekends away must look quite sadistic.
Thankfully we weren’t camping this weekend (although VFM had laid on a campsite to cater for the few hardy scooter riders who had no B&B. It also provided a home for the owners of various £70k motorhomes who can’t afford to put them on a ‘proper’ campsite.
We were greeted by the warm welcoming arms of a buxom landlady at our nicer than expected digs. A safe place to chain the scooters up away from the road, a hot shower and a cool beer with added banter from your mates is all it takes to make you feel human again after a long day sat on a plank of wood. Llandudno was bustling, the sunshine had followed us into town and the main pubs were filling up nicely, beers flowing and punters spilling out on to the pavements as we made the familiar pub crawl down towards the do.
Former Inspiral Carpet, Tom Hingley and his Karpets entertained around 700 people on the Friday night indie main room. Although it surprised me to find the venue had been moved downstairs this year (it must have been a right job carrying it downstairs). It’s a better room though with a good atmosphere so it was a welcome move and everybody seemed to be having fun. Like most rallies these days there’s always more than one room to help cater to differing tastes and the soulies had taken up residence in their usual spot to perform their acrobatics. Many of them having cast away their walking aids and been cured off age-enforced ills by sweet soul music.
An early morning downpour made way to bright sunshine and hundreds of scooters lined the promenade outside the Venue. They were there to either take part in the custom show, or just to show off whilst their owners had a nosey around or went inside to the parts fair. The standard and sheer amount of scooters on display outside was superb, with scooters for all tastes, be it restored, rustoration, chopped, cutdown, original, full-blown custom or even modern retro scooters, like the Jimmy replica Royal Alloy above. It’ll be the next dealer special I’m sure…
According to our two resident scooter geeks (Scott and Col) it was the first time the two Mad Max themed Vespas, Prelude and Road Warrior had been seen out together for decades as well. Why do these two nerds even retain this kind of info? Aside from to help people like myself out when I need to know what was on the patch of Exmouth ’89 or something else obscure. I can’t remember the poptastic fact about the Mad Max scooters and it was only a week ago.
The show results are on the right, written in the scrawl of a small child (thanks Jason Ude for those). Sentinal took best of show, with Casual Look taking best Lambretta and Sentinal Best Vespa.
The chicken posse
After knocking off from work (well taking a few photos) it was time to hit the town., trying to steer clear of a mad posse of women wearing an eclectic mix of fancy dress styles, from chickens, to flowers and even the odd plant pot or Colonel Sanders thrown in for good measure. That would be our WAGs, out to celebrate the 50th Birthdays of Rachel and Tracey. Much mayhem ensued and by the time they got to the do later that night the flowers had truly wilted in the heat and the chickens looked like they’d been on a rotisserie.
What happens at scar club…
The Manchester Ska Foundation turned out to be a lively Two-Tone inspired band rather than an opportunity to show off a few war wounds amongst fellow trauma survivors. I was looking forward to showing them the boomerang scar on the bridge of my nose (remember kids, these things come back to haunt you), or maybe my smashed kneecap (dry stone walls are hard) but ended up skanking along to some great covers instead. Ah well, maybe next time.
I’m not usually one for ska covers bands but these folks were good. The room was bouncing and a general feeling of goodness emanated around the place.
This left the DJs an easy task to keep the room going once the band had finished. It’s worth noting that the elusive, lesser spotted Evo was one of those DJs. Last seen about a year ago he vanished into mature (if that word can be used in the same sentence?) studentism and general laziness. Anyway, he was back for one weekend only to celebrate his 50th Birthday. He’d apparently been sleeping rough whilst trying to make his bursary stretch to the occasional shave. Luckily he can always flog the personalised number plate the VFM lads had bought him as a Birthday present and the nutrition found in his tangled facial hair could feed a small village for a month.
He may be back for the Isle of Wight if we’re lucky.
The night ended on a high as all good rallies should. All that was left to do was score an early morning kebab from some Turkish dealer on the way to bed then ride home again in the morning. Thankfully the ride home was much quicker, drier and less time consuming than on the way there and I was soon able to assume the recovery position on the sofa for a few hours before the Chinese opened.
Words and pics: Iggy
Additional photos: Col and Booga
We have three ralleries of photos below, see if you or your scooter are in them.
Rallery by Booga
Rallery by Iggy
Rallery by Col