Roadsiders -Back to Basics Rally
Earlier this year Oxford Roadrunners and Witney Outsiders hatched a plan for a join rally, combining to two scooter club names, it became Roadsiders rally.
Trying to find an unoccupied weekend date is less likely than winning the jackpot on lotto these days! Availability of host venue is also a deciding factor. Crawley Inn, a few miles from Witney, Oxon has, in the past played host to a few Scooter gatherings, and indeed these days is frequented by bikers. The weekend of 16, 17, 18 of September was available and duly booked. Concept of the rally was to be in the spirit of the early days of the Nationals, albeit on a smaller scale. Hence the Back to Basics tag in the pre-event publicity.
Free admission, with donations to charity, camping, DJs serving up tunes, ridden custom show and a ‘wheel wanging’ competition were on offer, plus a mini parts fair. The Crawley Inn is an old fashioned, basic pub which specialises in cider, the very strong 8.4% Gladiator cider claimed a few casualties over the duration. Friday night was more or less a localish affair, the pub landlady cooked up a chilli which had plenty of takers, with the party continuing on until around 4.30am! Saturday saw an influx of solo riders and clubs from further afield, Reading Offbeats, Red Kites, Solent Cougars, Red White n Blue Rideout crew, Abingdon Bad Company and Destitutes were there in reasonable numbers, joining Roadrunners and Outsiders. Of course solo riders and a few members of clubs such as Armed Forces SC, Maidenhead Phionex , Lambretta Chopper Owners among others, came along to support the event. Given the amount of other events on over the weekend, a reasonably impressive turnout of over 100 scooters at the rally. Although a free admission rally, through donations , rally patch and sticker sales an amazing total of over £850 was raised for Children’s cancer and leukaemia charity. One thing that wasn’t basic about the roadsiders rally was the catering van, which did a roaring trade, as well as egg, bacon & sausage in rolls, there were steak burgers, chips and several veggie options too, for those that way inclined. Rather good quality fast food on hand, though a few ventured into Witney for sit down meals during Saturday daytime. Crawley Inn has several bits of land opposite that make it an ideal venue for low key rally’s. Camping area was pretty much full, with any tripping over guy ropes being laughed off, along with much good natured mickey taking! Maybe this being an old school style get together ensured everyone there was there for a laugh, a party and having fun with like-minded people singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. Every scooter parked up on site when the judges had a walk round was by default entered in the show, (unless the owner specifically asked not to be). Which meant one or two who’d popped into Witney weren’t in the frame. Despite being a small rally the quality of scooters ridden there was very high and in all three categories too. There were three superb Rally 200’s as well as a couple of Sprints, a GS and an ET3 primevera all of which caught the eye. A pristine Rallymaster, along with an Italian bespoke custom S1 Lammy, amongst other impressive looking standard and in various types of customised Lambrettas. Plenty to look at and talk about scooterwise. RPM scooters had a stall along with a few other scooter jumble sellers on site, a few bargains were undoubtedly sourced. Wheel Wanging competition late afternoon, turned out to be more entertaining than anticipated, and a bit shorter in timespan than planned. Let’s just let the pictures tell the story, as the Farmer close to the Crawley Inn is very much of the ‘get orf moi laaaand’ persuasion! As dusk fell the beer, cider and other tipples started flowing and those partying hard kept going through till gone 4am, with scooterist favourites from the DJs providing the soundtrack. All in all as the advance advertising said, Roadsiders rally was back to basics, like-minded people having a laugh and a goodtime, with the added bonus of raising funds for a worthy charity in the process.
Best Lambretta – AF Demonstrator
Best Vespa – Silver Rally 200
Best Oddity – Orange ‘Roadrunner’ cutdown Lammy
Furthest Travelled- Wee Mark ( Glasgow Down and Out SC) from Brighton
Oxford Roadrunners and Witney Outsiders would like to thank:-
The Crawley Inn
Andy Johnson ,Bad Company SC (Portaloos)
Ricky and Sarah Wilshire (Offbeats SC) and their charity bucket shaking team
Aspire (Oxford Homeless) for pre rally campsite preparation
The DJs for the tunes
And everyone who supported the rally
Images: Sarge and Serena Chamberlain (Red Kites SC)