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since 04.04.2000

Middlesbrough & District MAG Rally, Stokesly, Cleveland

Report and pictures supplied by Rob Ayres

Following a very drunken Glos MAG rally (which, by the way, will see a large contingent from the NE next year), I was persuaded to head north for the MAD MAG Rally, near Stokesly. Following a few days of detox, I do not regret it at all.

The plan was to skive off at lunchtime, and make a start before the Friday bedlam on the roads. What I didn't plan for was to get stuck in an accident at the bottom of Cleehill. After a while the police allowed me through - the advantages of motorcycling (many envious car drivers looking on!) The net result of the delay was having to filter for what seemed like 75% of the journey! Still, once I hit the A1 things started to move, and I made up time (whilst observing the speed limits, of course, officer). I soon turned off onto the A19, with the bad weather that had been following me having totally dried up.

I got to Control, and met up with my hosts for the weekend. One thing I failed to mention, that added to the attraction of this rally, was the offer of a proper army camp bed, in an army field office type tent! Bloody luxury! So travelling light was even better.

Now in its 20th year, the MAD MAG rally is famed for its bonfire, friendly atmosphere, and great line-up of musical entertainment. All this, on a field like a billiard table, presses most of the rally goer's buttons.

Friday night's bands kicked in at about 7 o'clock, and they were all of a very high standard. (Don't ask me what they were called: I never remember details like that!). What was a real bonus was meeting up with some of the Teesriders MCC who had been at previous northern rallies. It is true what they say about folks from the north east, the atmosphere was a true party.

The fire (about 20' high) was lit at about 10:30pm and it warmed up the whole field! This was to continue burning until the small hours.

Saturday was a pretty relaxed, normal sort of morning. There was a rideout escorted by Middlesborough Police out-riders, who gave us a briefing at Thornaby trading estate gathering point.

There's a bit of a police/motorcyclist bonding thing going on in the N.E, so they are really trying quite hard.

The out-riders stopped all the traffic, and allowed us through all the red lights, and even though the pace was pretty pedestrian the general public waved, and it was a good bit of PR for MAG.

I was one of the judges in the bike show, and had no problems with some quite nice little scoots, especially a 600 fazer that had a very simple, but well applied, red candy and white colour scheme. I also won the furthest travelled award that day - a very novel trophy, made out of one of Tony's scrap Varedero chains and engine sprocket (Nice one John!)

Saturday night's music was by far the best (Jump the Gun, amazing), another bonfire, more unhealthy food, very cheap beer...............Bed!!!!

Sunday's ride home was ok for the first 100 miles, and then 150 miles of heavy rain. Still, the old Screwfix all-in-one suit kept it all out. Who needs Goretex!