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since 04.04.2000

Over the Edge Rally

Words by Wendy, pictures from Nigel and John

May Day weekend and the venue is the Isle of Wight! John and I had heard of these rallies, of course, but never been so we were really looking forward to the trip. Also a perfect outing for his latest purchase - the 1989 1500GL Goldwing that he had only had for a few weeks. We were travelling down on Friday morning, to arrive at Stan's by lunchtime and meet up with the rest of the Moonshiners. The weather stayed fine, the roads were reasonably quiet, so apart from the fact that we had trouble finding somewhere open to get breakfast, we enjoyed the journey. The ferry is expensive (for the short time it takes), but we had been told to show our rally tickets at the ferry office to get a 50% reduction (which helps!).

Apart from Ventnor, the lanes and roads of the island can take a Wing without any problem, and there are some beautiful views. The weather was kind to us for the first part of the weekend so with good music in the marquee, a pub within walking distance, and quality catering on site at a good price, we were enjoying ourselves.

On Saturday some of us rode up to the Hovercraft port at Ryde, and went across to Portsmouth.

We spent a few hours strolling along the front in the sunshine and watching the ferries coming in and out of the port. No time to visit the docks on this occasion, unfortunately (they did not fit into Gordon's 3/4 mile).

On Sunday night the weather changed. We were camped close to the cliff-top - some, closer than others! A strong wind came in off the sea during the early hours of Monday, after everyone had crawled back to their tents. Quite a few bikers spent Monday morning checking the damage.In our group, Kevin had tent poles snapped and Ken came off worst of all - not only did his poles snap, but the fabric of his tent was ripped and his sleeping bag soaked. He abandoned the ruins and left before any of us were about. Not as drastic as Farmyard, but still a pity that a good weekend was spoilt for some. The picture on the left shows the ruins of Ken's tent, and some of his friends tidying up!

Opinion is divided on Stan's as a rally venue. Some feel that the entertainment in the marquee more than makes up for any other niggles; the pole dancers and scant costumes being as popular as the excellent groups. Purists, however, point to the increasing number of cars that appear in the camping field. Many of them belong to islanders, who crash out in them overnight (not that much night is left, once the music ends). The jury is out, at present, on whether Stan's will be the venue of choice again next year, or back to 'Gallybaggers' 4 miles further on.