Report will follow as soon as I’ve got the pictures off the camera and done the editing. In the meantime here is a video with some of the bikes, riders and yowlings. I’ll add another video once I’ve got the files from the other camera including a quite spectacular “off”. Enjoy the sounds!
In the meantime enjoy! I’m the one bump starting, and the leading bike of the 3 at the end on the B1257.
SOC 36th Northern Rally 3rd July 2010
Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, Yorkshire
Anyone familiar with the Scott marque will have heard of Sutton Bank no matter where they live, as it was the site of the 100 ascents in one day publicity stunt. A fearsome 1 in 4 climb, broken with a very sharp hairpin therefore preventing anyone getting a good run at the bank. A fine place to meet for the rally and a convenient ale house at the summit!
I’d set off with my 1929 TT Rep (V for Victor) from north of Darlington. 7 year old son as the pillion and my wife Justine following behind in my 4×4 complete with tools, fuel and rear carrier in the back to act as “sweeper” for the day for me or any other unlucky soul along the route. The main reason was to take the video camera though and take a couple of route short cuts and get the bikes heading past.
Our route was via the back roads into Darlington where we wanted to call into the bike shop to see if they had any 125’s as Justine passed her CBT last week. On the run into Darlington I could hear the mag chain touching things it shouldn’t. Perhaps that blast over 70mph was not so bright with hindsight, but it was certainly fun to let the old girl stretch her legs! We got to the motorcycle dealers and while Justine looked at the various plastic clad crotch rockets I set to adjusting the mag chain with a steadily increasing audience of the bemused and curious. A tight spot tells me I should have really changed the chain a while ago, but too late now. A good coating of chain lube, covers back on and good to go again. I pushed it a few yards up the hill outside the shop and pushed it off, to even more confused looks from super-clean leather clad sportbikers who must have wondered why I just didn’t press the plastic button like them!
Victor struck into life and I did a U turn, picked up my son, gave the shop car park and entrance a good dose of R40 smoke and off we set towards Sutton Bank.
The run through Northallerton, Thirsk and up to the bank is a pleasant 50-60mph run all the way, but coming out of Thirsk towards the bank the traffic was quite heavy so I had to overtake a few cars to find a nice gap ahead with which to attack the bank. A close ratio box and a 1 in 4 hill do not mix well with doddering traffic that crawls up a 10mph. You will all be aware that a Scott will handle the climb easily IF you get the revs to the point of maximum torque and then keep it there, going at a steady speed of about 25-30mph with my gearing. We got up to the top okay but in the last few hundred yards I caught up a jeep and the slowing down in road speed just pushed Victor to boiling, sending a jet out of the radiator cap as I’d overfilled it before setting off. We arrived at the Hambleton Inn okay, bar a wet glove used to redirect the hot water away from my face.
We arrived about 11:30am and around 4 other bikes were there but over the next hour a few more trickled in giving a total sign-on of 9 Scotts plus a couple of other makes along for the ride. Sadly one made it to the pub but a heavily leaking water system meant Martin Hodkin, after riding the furthest (112 miles) to the event, took an early bath in the recovery van.
The lineup at the Hambleton Inn before the run
Martin’s TT Rep going no further today
Another shot of the lineup before starting, with the WY two speeder in the foreground.
The route for the run was altered slightly this year adding in a new section with a good climb into Laskill. The route took us through Ryedale, Bilsdale and Raisdale via the hamlets of Scawton, Rievaulx and the abbey, Hawnby, Laskill, Fangdale Beck, Chop Gate, and onto Lord Stone’s Café at the top of Carlton Bank. The new route had a few riders either missing out the Hawnby section, or not sure where it was so I picked up two riders who followed me as I knew the route. The three of us (me, Peter “Crasher” Ratcliffe, and Dave Hutch) were caught on video by my wife all giving it some beans along the B1257 from Laskill, see the video link.
We rode as a group and caught up Dave Frank on his very tidy 2 speeder just before Lord Stone’s, the 4 of us riding in together. If you have never been to Lord Stone’s it is a dingy place cut into the rock at Carlton Bank, nothing special about the café or the food really, but if you walk 100 yards to the hang glider launch site the views are among the best of anywhere. On a good day you can see from the sea to the pennines, across the dales and also the NY moors.
At Lord Stone’s it was time for a photo call for the remaining bikes, 7 in all.
Another bump start for me at the Café and we were on the way back to Hambleton, but this time via Swainby and the Sheepwash. Along the route one rider had to stop and change a plug and we got stuck behind a 4×4 going 20mph over the Sheepwash road. This is a painful speed, especially up hill with the CR box, but the roads are too narrow to overtake even on a bike. We all got stuck in a huge gridlock traffic jam in Osmotherly, with some riders resorting to the footpath. The High Street had been closed off for some event, leaving the normal traffic to try and head both directions down the back road which at best is a single track, but now had cars parked all down one side and two way traffic! Chaos, the sort not usually found on a Saturday on the moors.
Eventually I got past and waited at the next junction a few miles along the road for Peter R to catch up. I stopped my engine to stop it overheating and waited as Peter and my wife caught up. Another push off and as I got mine going Peter stalled his and it took a good few kicks, and a huge plume of smoke to get it going again. We headed off with me leading, Peter in the middle, and Justine following in the smoke! During this time Bill Peake (organiser of the rally and chief camera/video) overtook us on his dirt bike to video at the ford. This route took us to a very interesting ford crossing. This crossing was unusual in that you actually ride along the river for 30 or 40 yards before climbing a steep bank out. A few years ago the ford was lined with a concrete base so the floor is flat rather than the normal rocks.
I entered the ford, revs up and slipping the clutch to keep a nice steady pace, then full beans up the mile or so climb to the top of the hill. At the top I checked over my shoulder to see nothing, I was expected Peter followed by my wife. My son then said to me “I didn’t want to disturb you while you were riding, but at the ford I saw a white light, then a red light, then a boot, then a splash!”.
I turned my bike around and headed back down the hill to see what had happened. I stopped 30 yards up from the ford (push start distance) and left Victor propped up against a wall, and it made a fine photo I think.
Sure enough we found Peter, Bill and Justine just out of the ford. Bill had been videoing all the Scotts heading through the ford, and Peter was following me with Justine at the back. I made it through but Peter’s bike was oiling up a little so he gave it some revs ready for the climb. At this point on the slippy green covered concrete base in the ford he span the rear wheel, did a 180 and ended up under the bike in the ford. Justine got a front row seat in the truck, and Bill captured it all on video including a very impressive splash. There was no damage to the bike and Peter was unharmed but the bike was not wanting to start. Peter then realised that all the smoke had been because he’d left the oil control lever on full rich. A plug clean/change and a few kicks had it running again but it took a while to clear out!
After a bit of revving Peter set off up the bank, leaving us choking in his fumes.
Thankfully the rest of the run was uneventful and everyone who left Hambleton returned under their own steam. A fine shot it made too, unfortunately I did not get all the bikes in a line here, but this is not bad.
It was then time for the voting (each rider gets a voting form, no panel voting here) and the awards to be handed out. For some reason “Mad” Bill Peake decided it was time for him and Justine to practice the Monster Mash, we put it down to his age and madness that has set in since he sold his Scott.
The awards were allocated as follows:
Furthest Ridden: Martin Hodkin (1929 TT Rep)
Best Brum/Silk: Peter “Crasher” Ratcliffe”*
Best 2 Speeder: Dave Frank (1925 2 Speeder)
Combined age of bike & rider: Dave Frank (a lot…)
Best Shipley: Richard Blackburn
*Note Peter also broke the trophy when he received it….
Here we all are with our various pots, Martin of course had gone back to base after the water problems earlier in the day.
L to R: Me, Leon, Peter Ratcliffe, Dave Frank
I was honoured to be judged by my peers and be awarded the Camelot Trophy, an award donated to the club by Jeff Clew, and returned each year. I hope I can do it justice by keeping my Scott’s in fine fettle and getting them to as many events as work will permit.
The full entry was as follows, well done to all who took part:
P Ratcliffe 1957 Scott
R Mason 1939 Clubman
M Hodkin 1929 TT Rep
R&L Blackburn 1929 TT Rep
E Siddall 1930 Flyer
R Tushingham 1947 Scott
T Sharp 1938 Flyer
D Hutch 1927 Flyer
D Frank 1925 2 Speeder
Overall the run was fantastic. Good weather, good route, good food at the pub, camaraderie, discussion on many points including technical Yowl articles, riding, scenery and all safely home. See you next year!
Great report on the Northern Rally, it’s been many years since I last did that particular rally. I’ve still have the commemorative badge and proudly worn. It was a long ride up there on my Brum – well over two hundred miles each way.
I don’t understand why you have steam and hot water coming out of your radiator filler cap – is your overflow pipe blocked?
unfortunately there are no badges any more so that makes yours an even more treasured piece of history. With a 200 mile ride you deserved it!
I think the overflow must be blocked, or that it was at least overcome by the amount of steam being generated down below. The airline will be in service to clear it out tomorrow morning before i head to Mallory to give Victor another blast about.
I realise its taken a while to get round to this but I’ve finally got round ot posting Bill peake’s video of the event onto Youtube. It is long at around 14 minutes but includes much more footage than my video including nice moments of most of the riders talking and riding. Also at aournf 9 1/2 minutes there is the infamous ford shots. Bill, as a known conspirator, clearly knew what he had planned for the hapless and unwitting riders hence he rode ahead to capture the misfortunes on video. The Scott trial organisers would have been proud as 2 of the 10 or so riders took a dunking.
Enjoy the vid!
Nice footage Richard! And thanks for putting it online. Some very jummy sounds!
Such a shame you never see more than one or two Scotts at the same time in Holland!
Wanted to go to a Webbfork rally and to the largest veteran bike meeting in Holland this weekend. In fact I was fully dressed and ready to go but on a short test run up and down the street (the engine had been to parts again…) I found that both rear cylinder holding down bolts had stripped the thread out of the holes in the block… The whole block started lifting against compression… Not good!
So no Scotting for me this weekend… So this video came just at the right time to give me some dose of Scotting I needed!