This year the weather brought some rain to the National Road Rally. Here in Leicestershire we had a few sharp downpours with a brisk west wind bringing the rain in sideways. Overnight was cold and many controls had problems with dew soaking paperwork. After a couple of dry years it served as a reminder that we really should make better contingency plans for a wet event. If you can recommend a pen that will continue to write on wet paper, please let us know!
Two controls were staffed by Leicester Phoenix MCC ex-members, friends and families. Syston had a team lead by Mick Ayriss that included Helen and Jenny, Peter Juby and Dave Smith. Kegworth operated a shift system to make sure no-one turned into a pumpkin.
Special Tests for Platinum riders were held at Leicestershire County Hall and therefore there were lots of riders starting out from Syston control. Kegworth had sixteen signed in and stamped ready for a prompt start bang on midday. Setting off coincided with the first downpour but luckily everyone had safely stowed their Control Cards. Two other riders also arrived well within the 20 minute start period and then Lark Watch settled down to a constant stream of riders. No-one seemed to be in any hurry and many stayed to use Moto Services, take on fuel or just stand about and chat. In total Lark Watch saw through 80 riders.
Grahame Billington and Rob Winnett arrived early for their watch. The hand-over was smooth as they are both young enough to remember how the control operates since their duty last year. All very straight forward as we were only connected to three other Controls. Riders heading on to Syston were charged with carrying an abusive message to our friends there.
Forty three riders came through during Crow Watch .
Once again Owl Watch was covered by Peter Wright and Dave Parry who threw caution to the wind (and rain) to come on their motorcycles.
This at least added a couple more bikes to the seventeen that came through between 8.30pm and 11.30pm. After that Kegworth seemed to have fallen off the edge of the world.
Bill Price and Ben Crossley picked up the baton from Owl Watch just after 1am but had to wait until 2.30 before riders again began to arrive. That gave us plenty of time to recall most of the good ol' days and put the modern world to rights. The next few hours saw eighteen riders loitering through in an unhurried manner, waiting for the sun to come up and a bit of warmth return before making their way to a Final Control.
Column 1 is starters (+2 in the first 20 mins). Others are half hour totals. Move your pointer over a column to see who came through at about that time.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in this year's National Road Rally. Kegworth Marshals are an absolute pleasure to work with and bring so much to their duties that it makes running the control a doddle.
Thanks to Stacy Thomson at Moto Services for permission the use their car park again.
Thanks to all the riders who called in and stayed to chat. Photos are on our Riders 2016 page.
See you July 2017!