The 2015 National Road Rally was held in perfect motorcycling weather. A warm but breezy day and not too cold overnight.
This year Kegworth Control received much needed reinforcement from the East Midlands Bikers. They turned out in force for Lark Watch .
Hazel Cook, Phyl Maw, Kevin & Avril Wagstaffe and (the Queen of Cakes) Karen & her husband Paul Derham with support from Lynne & Ian Cooke. They brought high spirits and enthusiasm in abundance so they were perfect for the task. They were also waving off four of their members, Chris Adkin, Micky Maw, Pete Cook and Tim Ross who were heading out for the Daytime Rally.
Thirteen riders were champing at the bit for a noon start, including Embers Mick and Helen Ayriss. Two more starters arrived well within the time slot. After they set off there was a 20 minute pause before the first rider from an adjacent control arrived. It is officially 25 miles from Syston but Google gives a 20 mile route that is dual carriageways and motorway so it is easily possible within the speed limits.
East Midlands Bikers also thoughtfully provided home baked cakes to keep riders happy and marshals well fed.
Unfortunately the day was spoiled when news came in, just before East Midlands Bikers stood down, that rider team member Tim had been knocked from his Goldwing. Latest news from Hazel is that, although Tim is badly bruised and in considerable pain in hospital, they have ruled out any broken bones which is a miracle from the description of the accident by the others. His bike also appears only to have minor damage (thanks to the Goldwing's crash bars) but of course that will have to be properly assessed in case of unseen frame damage.
Lark Watch saw through 53 riders including starters.
Rob Winnett and Grahame Billington again made up Crow Watch . They are becoming old hands at marshalling so they were quickly left to handle the riders coming through from 4pm to 9pm.
Luckily they arrived in time to sample some of the last cakes provided by the East Midlands Bikers.
Crow Watch saw 54 riders through, peaking from 7 to 7:30pm.
When the next Watch arrived Grahame had an opportunity to try out Peter's Bonneville for size. "Suits you Sir."
Peter Wright and Dave Parry volunteered to cover Owl Watch this year and trusted the weather to stay dry as they arrived on their motorcycles.
A steady stream of 56 riders made sure Owl Watch didn't have time to start tinkering with their bikes, although they might have managed an oil change just before midnight. At midnight the southbound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 23a and 23 was closed for essential maintenance so Peter and Dave suggested riders heading for Syston should take the A6 from Kegworth to the A46 Northern Perimeter Road at Leicester.
During Bat Watch riders arriving from Burton on Trent reported some mist over the hills but otherwise the weather stayed good.
Daylight returned at 4.30am as if someone had turned on the lights. Riders were now making their way to Final Controls on light and traffic free roads The last rider through Kegworth had one minute to spare but that left plenty of time for an unhurried ride finishing at Stibbington.
Just 30 riders disturbed the slumber of Bat Watch .
Column 1 is starters, others are half hour totals. Move your pointer over a column to see who came through at about that time.
This year there were 540 enties and these are the bikes they were riding.
Hover your pointer over segments for more info. Compare with ten years ago.
There are photos of the riders coming through Kegworth in our Photo Gallery.
Thank you to all marshals for playing an essential part in the National Road Rally and making my job easy and a pleasure.
Thanks to Stacy Thomson and Steven Widjaew at Moto Services for permission the use their car park.
Thanks to all the riders for their unfailing cheerfulness even in the dead of night. Photos are on our Riders 2015 page.
See you all next year!