Little Brittany 2016 – fuel-finding fun in France | RALLERY
Who: Geof Panic
What: RGC Little Brittany 5 Scooter Rally
Where: Camping ” à l’abri de l’océan” route de la Madeleine, Brittany, France.
When: 20 May – 22 May 2016
Why: Why not!
Someone had angered the scooter gods prior to the 5th Little Brittany rally, who it was remains a mystery but my, were they pissed off. The Shenanigans started with the news our boat had broken its propeller and had been cancelled. Cue a mad day of texting mates, swapping boats, people dropping out then back in again before the news Brittany Ferries had put on an extra earlier boat got most people sorted.
My Lammy clutch was still having issues so my newly purchased Peugeot Satelis work hack was pressed into last minute service which guaranteed me a weekend of merciless piss-taking. Oh well, what else could possibly go wrong (ladder balancing French ferry cabaret anyone?).
The RGC had once again acquired the à l’abri de l’océan site, a mix of cabins and camping with space for a few hundred European scooterists to base themselves for the weekend, with a few local hotels also being pressed into service. The usual minor mechanical fettling coupled with the extra ten minutes every stop for the locals to take pics of Helen Seans mental car-bodied Vespa thing saw us a little off schedule on the way down. It was also a little worrying seeing some rather large queues at some of the petrol stations… oh dear.
Picking up our goodie bag from the ever-smiling RGC Geof we got our digs sorted and welcomed the steady throng of scooters through the gate. The small site bar was doing a roaring trade and the beer specially brewed for the event was going down nicely, so all that was left was to kick back and talk scooter shit into the evening. Unfortunately, my man-flu induced 6pm power nap meant I didn’t get to the do until 4am and found everyone had gone to bed – no staying power these modern scooterists.
Saturday dawned with our chalet turned into a full Lambretta-fixing workshop and more worrying news, the fuel tanker drivers’ strike had started to take its toll. The RGC cancelled the planned rideout as local petrol stations were either out of fuel entirely or rationing it to long queues of very annoyed French people. This led to quite a few unplanned ride outs as groups of Brits set out to find a station selling, or to ‘acquire’ some fuel by other means. The sight of one English Vulcan disappearing out the gate with a length of hosepipe and four empty two litre coke bottles was purely coincidental I’m assured.
In the end a very good natured half hour queue at the petrol station freed us up for some lunch and a couple of jars at the Medieval pub in Quimperle before getting back for the custom show, more fixing and waiting for the Hog roast piggies to give up their piggy goodness. Scooters on show included some tasty Brit Lambrettas, a brace of DTCs, a very nice tricked up Scomadi and some nice weird retro stuff to add a bit of variety. Dodging the showers frivolity carried on into the evening with camel and frog riding, men dressed as wasps, prune cake, a snowball fight and space hopper annoyance. I could try to explain but you kind of had to be there.
An early start Sunday saw groups of scooterists playing petrol station treasure hunt all the way back to Plymouth (four out of the five we found were blocked off). There were some seriously nervous looking tuned Lammy riders who had suddenly stopped taking the piss out of my ‘plastic pug’ and its 200-mile fuel tank range in case they needed a syphon.
In the end some close calls saw us all back on the ferry. Time to chill, take stock and get a few hours much needed kip before the ride home. We were all happy in the knowledge that nothing else could possibly go wrong, in fact the only thing that could spoil our trip home was possibly two hours of a f***ing ferry jazz band… Bugger.
Another cracking rally in beautiful surroundings ably stewarded by the lovely folks of the RGC. Proof positive that the scooter gods will have to try harder to stop European scooterists having a good time.
Until next time.