Devils Weald RallyI had met up with "Uncle Peter" the organiser of this rally (with Brighton and District MCC), a few times, and had said that I would give it a try. I pre booked, but later found out that my Club (Dean Valley MCC) were all talking about going to Wales for the Cardiff Rally that weekend.
That was OK though, as I hadn't fancied the idea of a Friday night run down to Brighton. A Saturday run across from Wales set up a lot more interesting routes to get there!
I can't remember which way I went, now, but I had a problem getting out of Wales on the Severn Bridge. The traffic was really bad and I was "splitting lanes" on the approach to the bridge. All went well but the lanes were a bit narrower over the bridge itself, and I had to slow right down to squeeze past the cars. A coach driver spotted me as I started to go between him and the crash barrier for the central reservation, and he slowly started to close the gap! I could see him laughing in his mirror as he trapped me against the barrier by my tank panniers. I was flashing my headlight and sounding my horn but that just seemed to encourage him. It got to the stage where I was seriously looking at jumping off the bike, (I had stopped at this stage, but my panniers were hard against the barrier and wiping the dirt off the coach on the other side!) then he saw sense and moved slightly to the left and allowed me to slide out behind him. I decided not to try overtaking him again until it was clear!
I seem to remember that the Rally was at Brighton football Club, and as Dave Cooper has said it was a large event. I think that the bike club were running their own bars, but for some reason Scott (Piglet) Grant from the Tyne Cyclones was serving the beer. This threw me a bit - had I got mixed up and turned North?
When I got home and took my tank panniers off the bike I found that I now had a couple of dents where my stove had been crushed into my tank as a memento of my encounter with the coach.
- Ted Trett