Shoot the Goose Rally

14 September 2019 - Twisted Pistons MCC

Shoot the Goose is a rally held at the village hall and leisure centre in Kyleakin, Isle of Skye.

This was the fourth time we attended this rally but the first time we camped. Previously we had called in to see friends who were there as it was on our way from the Rally @ the Edge on Barra to a Secret rally that was usually on the same weekend but further north.

Being semi-retired has its advantages so we set off on Thursday and did the boring bit from Bradford to a Travelodge near Dumbarton. We had a pleasant, mostly sunny, ride up. My ST1300 Pan and Heather's R9t deal with the motorway miles with no problem other than trying to keep somewhere near the speed limit.

It was starting to get a bit windy on Friday but we had an excellent ride up around Loch Lomond, over Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe in amazingly good weather for a change. I had to take a few pictures just to prove it.

We arrived at the rally around lunchtime but we were still too late to get a sheltered spot on the mostly exposed site. We picked a nice mossy spot near a gap in the hedge. This, we found later, was a bad idea.

We then had a walk into Kyleakin village for a look around. The views from the war memorial were stunning, across the Kyle of Lochalsh and back to the Skye bridge. The wind was really starting to get bad now and the forecast for the weekend was wet and windy.

That evening there was a band in the hall. We were going to walk down to one of the bars in the village but because of the rain we didn't bother. Friday night in our tent it was dry though it was blowing a hooley outside and I had to get up and re-peg it a couple of times, it was lashing it down, not nice at all.

We have a Force 10 Vango so we weren't too worried. In the morning we found that our choice of camping spot was a big mistake for, as well as being blasted by the gale coming through the gap in the hedge, the soft moss had now become a giant sponge containing most of last night's rain. Our sleeping bags were dry as we were on an airbed but water had percolated through small holes in the groundsheet and flooded our inner tent. Some of our bike gear and most of our clothes were sodden. We went to the hall for breakfast and to decide what to do. The organisers said Its no problem, we have drying rooms and a tumble dryer This was a life saver so we brought all our clothes and bike gear in to dry, it seems as though this is not unusual up there!

Saturday evening in the hall was a 70s theme. All the organising club were dressed up and they had lots of silly games and a loud band. The only problem was later on the only beer I could get was cans of McEwans Export and its been a long time since I drank Highland Roses and I hope its a long time until I have to again! Heather had a drink of another Scottish alcoholic delight - for a time there was a free supply of Buckfast Tonic Wine. I wasn't tempted, I prefer my teeth to stay white!

On Saturday night we slept in the hall. We put the airbed in the corridor and camped there out of the wind and rain. Wimps or what, but we both slept very well.

Sunday morning was bright and clear again, typical! We checked out our empty tent and it was dry inside and out so we slowly packed up and said our goodbyes to the Twisted Piston Club and the Isle of Skye. We were in no rush because we were not going home and had booked a few days in a cabin on the campsite on Applecross. As we couldn't book in until 3pm, I thought we would be kicking our heels for hours in Applecross but I was wrong. The road from Kyle to Lochcarron was closed until Monday which meant a 120 miles diversion. We had to go down to Invermoriston then up Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit where we took to the little roads through Beauly and Muir of Ord then Achnasheen, Loch Carron and eventually Applecross via the Pass of the Cattle. This was actually one of the best rides we have ever had, on roads that were virtually traffic free and just made for motorcycling. We arrived in the sunshine at the campsite at exactly 3pm to pick up our cabin key. Life doesn't get much better. The adventure continued but that is for another day.

- Ted Trett