5th on 20th September 1985 - Barrel Bikers Bucks MCC
It was always amusing when an invite or the GPO rally popped through the door, as the BBBMCC's resident artist incorporated the invite into a massively illustrated comic. When received, the ticket carried on the 'story', as did the handout when we arrived.
The date was a surprise - up to now the GPO had always been held in April, now it was September. It had been moved because of the club's new winter rally in February. It would have been too much to organise two rallies at once - they had enough trouble organising one!
Waft your mouse pointer over the above ticket and the invitations flyer.
It was in a new field this year, but still in the Milton Keynes area and, when we arrived, there was a lot of undergrowth. The type of vegetation was hazardous to cows, so they hadn't been in there, meaning there would not be much chance of any cowpats to find under your tent when you pack up.
Also the extra greenery was an added layer of comfort under the tent. One possibly unforeseen bonus of this was that having fresh vegetation shoved up your jumper made a nice change from dry straw, it hurt less as well.
I recall having seen the girl who removed her clothing to win a trophy do the same quite a few times before - there was a rumour that she was a professional, but there was no proof of this, and there were quite a few girls who made a habit of entering these competitions.
The trophies for the games were mostly carved wooden ones, with the tug-of-war one being made up of repainted toy soldiers in appropriately tug-of-war poses.
The night wore on with the usual mix of disco/beer/band/food/another band/dancing/beer/falling over and everybody seemed quite happy with this.
On Sunday I recall the weather being a bit overcast, but noticed nothing untoward as I set off for home. After a few miles on the M1, however, there was a bit of a bang and a cloud of smoke, (I can't recall what colour), and a sudden disappearance of power as my bike went from a 650cc twin to a 325cc single. The van that eventually arrived to pick me up was wide enough to not require removal of luggage, but it was a bit short, so I had to take the screen off the fairing! Investigations at home revealed that the exhaust valve had fallen apart and hammered its way through the piston. Rather an expensive end to a rally.
I forget how I got rid of it, I might have sold it for scrap or I may have used it as a deposit on a shiny new BMW R80RT, from the shop that sold it to me in the first place. I didn't hold them responsible for the failure, it was sold as second-hand and was well out of warranty as I had been riding it all over the country for over two years. I had managed to take in three Shetland rallies and a trip to Europe in that time.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley