Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy Shit ……… what a ride!”
With the crack of an engine and the blue sting of oily smoke the IOW was in reach. The cars shuffle off slowly joining their frustrating que that will lead them on to their weekend holiday destinations. For us it was towards Rhyd and toward the biggest Scootering weekend on the planet.
The noise from two hundred scooters was a prelude to the weekend and the bustling ferry crews tried forlornly to stop us from revving up. Amongst the Island dialect you could hear the faint sound of German ‘twang”, a distant reminder of The IOW’s war time history.
The IOW’s occupation is part of our hidden history, many of the islanders where brave members of The Rhyd Résistance yet most of Cowes collaborated with the Germans. To this day German is still spoken in some of the smaller villages on the south side of the island especially in those villages closest to the Deutsche Marine U boat base.
Soon it was our turn to disembark, the overnight crossing from Southend to the IOW was expensive to say the least but the extra £20 to upgrade to a cabin was well worth it and I was feeling refreshed and raring to go after a night in the Moonlight lounge on C deck.
This year I had left our travel arrangements to Derek as we had decided against camping due to my back giving me a bit of jip and we rode the last remaining 600 meters to our BnB literally around them corner from the ferry and just 13 miles from the nearest Scootering event this meant a £6 bus trip followed by a £35 taxi ride back to our digs, we spent £123 on taxis and busses over the weekend, well done Derek!
Three days n nights of full on reveling became a bit of a blur with the only real memory left being that of my bank manager texting me every three hours and begging me to stop. It was an expensive to do even with my Primark man bag filled with beer bought from Somerfield’s, expensive but worth it.
The sun made a more than welcome appearance and the sea front was transformed into a crazy world of middle aged men riding beautiful scooters and the carnival atmosphere reigned supreme from start to finish. I did think the numbers where down a little this year but it was nice to see the dreadful gated section not being used on the Esplanade, last year it caused a lot of ill feeling so it was great to see things back to normal.
Sitting here now on Tuesday morning after riding 244 miles on a Sneterton racing seat and not quite being able to move my back properly, I sit and reflect whether it was worth it? Mmmm difficult one this, but I will have to say yes and yes I will be back. It was excellent to see so many club members on the island even though we hadn’t planned any official meetings is was kinda nice to meander at leisure with no pressure and to be honest every one gets swallowed up in the spectacle of the weekend.
Great weather and I took the opportunity on the Sunday to ride around the island sight seeing, never done this before and it is a must! The island has a rich history, including a brief status as an independent kingdom in the 15th century. Badger-baiting is still legal on the island and I visited Atherfield on the south side to watch a couple of fights.
Conscious of the time I made for Rookley to visit Dave Plenty’s grandparents who are now in their nineties but still very much with it. I was greeted with a hand shake that nearly broke my wrist and it was seconds before a cold German beer was thrust into my hand. Dieter Plenty arrived on the island in 1940 along with the Kampfgruppe and married Margaret three weeks later. The German hospitality was warm and friendly and I was invited to join them for the Beerfest at Sandown, sadly time was not on my side so I reluctantly said no "Der Vogel fliegt am schnellsten"
Mega scooter rally, mega weather and mega mates!