RGC Little Brittany Rally – in search of some sun | RALLERY
After a very long, grey winter & some extremely moist weather riding to Whitby & Teignmouth, when the chance to ride down to the RGC Little Brittany Rally came up it didn’t take much of a decision to start planning for the trip. Having attended this rally back in 2014 I knew it was in a great setting, hosted by great people & has a great relaxed Euro rally atmosphere. Couple all of this with the chance of some sun & it was a no-brainer to attend… oh, how the weather gods must have laughed!
My initial plans to ride down with a friend sadly had to be changed last minute due to a family bereavement. Thankfully you’re never far away from knowing someone to ride with in the scooter family, so I was “adopted” for the weekend by a posse of the UK RGC members and regular Euro travellers. What a fine bunch of people they turned out to be.
Nightboat to Caen
After leaving work late on Thursday it was a mad dash down to get the night crossing from Portsmouth to Caen and to meet my riding companions for the weekend. I arrived at the ferry with just 15 minutes to spare before they closed check in! Also on the ferry were some of the usual suspects from the Big 7 SC. As is the norm with night crossings, they tend to involve, a ‘few’ drinks, much talking & very little sleep, especially as they selfishly rob us of an hour on the crossing out?!
After getting off the ferry over the other side the journey down was overcast initially but became increasingly windy & damp. Considering our group consisted of four Lambrettas and two Vespa P2s there was very little tinkering required until Henry’s clutch finally decided that the headwind was too much for it to cope with and so spat the cork off of two plates.
Do you want Fritzl with that?
Whilst sorting the clutch at the side of the road a lovely old French fella stopped and offered the use of his workshop and garden if we wanted to have some lunch, etc. A very kind offer, but we sadly didn’t have time to accept. He promptly returned with some freshly squeezed apple juice from his orchard! If anyone has any concerns about the reception we get when travelling abroad, then this is a fine example of why not to worry! Although he could have had a Fritzl style basement full of imprisoned English scooterists I guess?
You must be MAD?
Arriving at the rally site we were greeted by RGC Geoff and team, receiving our SLUK sponsored goody bags it was time to find our digs. Up until a week before the rally I was camping, however, the scooter family had worked its magic again and those fine upstanding gentleman from Maidstone and District SC, or more accurately the MAD SC, offered this cuckoo a space in their caravan. No need to carry a tent, etc. woohoo!
Friday afternoon & night were spent doing what we do best, chatting shit & drinking large amounts of alcohol, this time in some very nice RGC plastic glasses, which will be travelling on future adventures I’m sure. The music got everyone on their feet, some wobbling more than dancing, but a good time was had by all.
A thick head greeted Saturday morning, but the alcohol-induced haze soon cleared as the sun had decided to come out. Shorts & flip flops on, summer was declared! A lazy day spent soaking up the rays, whilst wandering around chatting more shit, drinking, mooching around the dealer’s stalls, watching people get new ink and admiring the scooters assembled for the custom show. It was good to see trophies going to scooters that are truly ridden custom machines.
There was a gathering of the RGC club members in the afternoon as they welcomed a new member, Dave from the Lowriders SC. RGC are a collective of French & UK scooterists and know how to put on a cracking rally! This sums up Little Brittany as there is a fairly even split of UK & French scooterists that attend, but most importantly everyone is there for a good time. The ride out was well attended and ventured off to the nearby coast for an ice cream.
The evening kicked off with a sit-down meal for those that prebooked, the tables were all set out like a proper posh restaurant, although they didn’t look like that for long. The trophy presentation followed and I was shocked to be called up for furthest travelled. Unfortunately, this meant that I was unable to get photos of all the trophy winners, I was too busy giving my acceptance speech.
MAD SC’s Keith Blumpkin (aka Kevin Blamphin) won Best Lambretta, Trixie won Best Vespa, Sean won Best Build, Tommy won Best Street and the Lowriders picked up the Best Club trophy.
Saturday night was a little more subdued given early starts for many heading for ferries, etc. the next morning, but more drinking, dancing (including some nifty chair dancing?!) and chatting took place until the early hours.
Time to dig out those chaps
The journey home was a real shock to the system, after seeing the sun on Saturday, normal service was resumed on the Sunday, heavy rain and strong winds, a scooterists delight! Despite battling the conditions on the ride back to Caen we had no issues with the scooters. My Alpinestars riding gear had a good test and didn’t leak, even though I had the usual moist feeling in the crotch region. I stuck my bright bastard yellow oversuit on top, mainly as it was bloody freezing!
I said goodbye to my riding companions as we approached Caen, I headed on to Ouistreham for the overnight ferry, they headed into the warmth of a hotel and a night out in Caen. Waiting in the ferry terminal feeling shattered my spirits were lifted when two bikers walked in soaked to the skin, clearly looking the part (if leather chaps float your boat?!) was more important than staying dry? Give me my bright bastard waterproofs any day…
Thankfully the French customs guys took pity on me & waved me straight through, sparing me the usual helmet off passport out routine in the biblical rain. A few hours kip and back on UK soil for the blast uphill to home. This was a cracking rally with new and old friends, I’m proud to say that my lovely scooter family keeps on growing and long may it continue. Thanks to those that looked after me over the weekend.
Special thanks to the RGC team for putting on another great rally. Rumours circulated that this could be the last RGC Little Brittany, let’s hope not, but if it was then I’m pleased to have been part of it.
Words and photos: Shaun Hodgkin
Rallery by Shaun
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