As mad as a Meat Axe, some might say however, you’ve got to admire the determination of our new Blogger Col from Scarborough. As per his original feature ‘A year on a PX125’ , Col tells us of his exploits taking the scenic route to the last National Rally at Weston Super Mare over the Mayday weekend and provided a great video of the rally itself.
HOW TIMES CHANGE.
My first visit to Weston Super Mare on a scooter rally was in the mid-eighties. It was a nightmare journey with poor weather and loads of mechanical troubles. Our happy band of misfit riders stopped overnight in a farmer’s barn somewhere near Evesham. Arriving at Weston Friday morning we were greeted with a campsite that was at best a grassed over landfill site (literally)! I don’t remember there being any official night time dos , but the rowdy atmosphere around the tents and dealers stalls kept us entertained all weekend. Naturally we all had good time, but like nearly all the rallies back then, weekends were rough, ready and done on a very tight budget.
I’ve visited WSM many times since, but this year’s rally was a belter.
Crossroads, Sauna and Stella
My trip down started at lunchtime on the Thursday before the rally. I’d booked a Ramada Jarvis hotel near Birmingham as a halfway stop-off point (a cheap last minute internet deal). It was the swimming pool, Sauna, and room service that swung the deal for me to stay there – imagine my amusement to find out it was the place that was used for the filming of “Crossroads Motel” soap opera back in the day. No sign of Benny the odd job man or Miss Diane on reception anymore.
How often do you have a stint in a sauna, then a swim followed by 4 pints of Stella, waitress delivered to your room on the way to a National Rally?
Party on the Pier
The rugby club official campsite at Weston has good facilities, but I’d booked into a hotel on the seafront overlooking the pier (the official venue for the night dos), A two-year-long 39 million pound refit to the pier and then fill it full of scooterists for two nights of partying…?? That wouldn’t have happened once upon a time.
One thing that never changes is the superb welcome you receive from the South West Scooter Clubs at their events. Overall, I had top rally with mint company and plenty of varied scooters to occupy my interest.
THE SCENIC ROUTE TO SOMERSET
My normal route to this rally would be to leave Scarborough and head west to the M1 near Leeds, Then down the M1, onto the M42 follow it round to the M5, Then follow the M5 down just south of Bristol, and there you have it, the A370 straight to WSM. A straight forward but boring journey.
A Road Rider
This year’s “A” road route instructions were given to me by VFM Supremo Steve Foster, He simply said make your way to the A38 and follow it all the way down to the south west. It was different to the motorway option to say the least. The towns and Cities I passed through were as follows.. Howden, Goole, Worksop, Mansfield (start of the A38) Derby, Burton upon Trent, Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester and then three laps of Bristol (lost)… some fine scenery, but lots of traffic moving far slower than a standard PX125 can comfortably cruise at..! The 19 miles from the north to south of Birmingham took over an hour alone.
My speedo clocked up a 310 mile trip as I pulled up on Weston seafront – the motorway route is about 270 miles! As you`d expect the PX didn’t miss a beat, it sat happiest with the speedo reading 53mph. When I got the scooter it did about 80mpg. That however has improved by a good bit on this journey – maybe a combination of the new SIP exhaust and SLUK screen have helped! I’m planning to keep an accurate record of this year’s mileage and fuel usage, so after a couple more rallies I will work out just how economical it is to travel by PX 125. In all, Weston was a fraction over 1000 kilometres or 625miles round trip.
Next stop is Kelso rally over the Whitsun weekend, I can’t wait, No doubt see many of you there..
2 Down 7 to go!
Ride Safe, Col.
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