Firkin O'Bitter RallyBuckingham Barrel Bikers MCC 3 February 1995
Luckily, for this rally I had the luxury of a day off on Friday, so I was in no hurry and could slow down and enjoy the scenery, (there was some after the motorway). This week was a Trad (pub-based) rally, and was held in the village of Clifton Reynes, quite a way out in the sticks.
We were restricted to only one small room in the pub, (mustn't upset 'the regulars' you know), and it was obvious that if all the ticket holders turned up, it would be packed in there later. Luckily there was a conservatory type extension outside, and a small out-building which housed the free tea & coffee facility, which, combined with the mild weather, and the obligatory bonfire, meant that there wasn't too much of a crush too much of the time. Even though the landlord was expecting us, (obviously - we were camping in the pub garden), he still ran out of several beers on Saturday, and people were reduced to cans.
As the weather on Saturday was very nice, I decided to join the run-out, which was only going to another pub, but it was a change of scenery. We hadn't gone far when someone needed petrol, and when we pulled in to a garage, we were confronted with a group of clowns performing balancing and juggling acts on the forecourt. I don't know which group was more surprised! The pub we went to was, if possible, smaller than the one we were staying at, but the food and scenery were pleasant enough.
As the stars were clearly visible that night the temperature dropped considerably. We were fine around the bonfire, but when I got to my tent I found it covered in ice, making the fabric behave more like cardboard as I forced my way in, (I'm glad I packed my extra blanket).
Sunday morning was fine; the tents were wet only because of the frost from the night before. After a full breakfast from the pub everything got packed and loaded onto the bike, which started without any trouble, as it had done all weekend. I even managed to get all the way home without refuelling, which surprised me!
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley