How typical (and utterly predictable) was the weather for the FYP weekend. Warm and sunny for two whole weeks prior to the FYP, then the weekend itself was forecast for sunshine and heavy showers. And guess what ? The forecast just wasn't wrong.
Our intrepid adventure started on the Thursday evening for Lorna, Pingy, Ian, Steve & Justine, who despite not setting off together, met (quite by accident) at pretty much the same place en-route as last year, and thus arrived together (just like last year). Unfortunately, it had rained all the way so we had to pitch our tents in the rain. Well, Ian decided not to, after being offered a space on the floor of Pingy's new trailer tent. Steve & Justine discoved the fundamental flaw with their new tent, ending up with a wet inner tent, which had to be erected before the waterproof outer tent could cover it and keep it dry. Mmmm, that tent is going to have a short life, especially as another design flaw results in a wet porch floor when it rains. Still, we all piled into Pingy's trailer tent for some food and the mandatory beers.
The following morning we continued our annual and now legendary tradition - a walk into Helmsley, a biker breakfast, quick look round Helmsley whilst the pubs open, then straight into the Royal Oak for a lunchtime drinking session. We noted a new curry house had opened in Helmsley and had quickly jumped on the FYP bandwagon by welcoming rally goers (and their money) with open arms.
Following several foaming pints of ale / cider and the now obligatory big fat cigars, we walked / staggered back to the rally site for a quick power nap prior to evening marshal shifts for some, or more partying for others. By this time Kane and Sean had rocked up, found where we were camped and pitched next to us. Barnsley Paul and Barnsley Stuart had also done likewise.
The Friday evening shift in the Blues tent was a breeze, helped by the fact it wasn't that busy on account of the bands not being that good (well, some liked them, but not to my taste). The Big Top had the Scartoons playing and it was rammed and buzzing apparently.
Saturday followed the same Helmsley pub visit for Lorna, Pingy, Ian, Sharon & Terry, whilst Steve & Justine were completing the second of their double shifts marshalling the bike show. Despite the weather (sunshine and showers - but stair rod showers for 20 minutes at a time), the bike show was the busiest ever. We ran out of the initial batch of 50 entry forms after the first 30 minutes, and they just kept coming. In the end, we had 75 bikes in the show, which must be topping the most we have ever had.
I didn't envy the judges but as it was BSH magazine doing the judging and not Wakefield MAG, we weren't bothered how difficult it was. The scores on the doors were:
Meanwhile that afternoon, Kane had tried several sessions on the wheelie machine, coming away being rather chuffed with his final effort.
Following a rather pleasant Roast dinner in the FYP Cafe, we watched a rather good first band in the Big Top, who played lots of well known soul tracks (think soundtrack to the Commitments film). Meanwhile, in the Blues Tent, they had to have a last minute substitution as the booked band couldn't attend. The substitution was a single singer with a guitar, who was disliked by some yet loved by others (if sales of CD's and T Shirts were anything to go by). The main band went down well and the American lead singer had a bit of patter - "I've been paid so i'm not doing a f**king encore" ... he did though ;-)
Following a full breakfast in the FYP Cafe, we took down our tents in the same weather which had typified most of Saturday (20 minutes of sun followed by 20 minutes of rain ... repeat until quite pi$$ed off). We made our seperate ways home but all made it back safe and sound, but all with wet clothes and tents to dry out. It has to be said though, the weather wasn't half as bad as last year, and given the ground had been dry and solid prior to the weekend, it wasn't very muddy, and presented no problems riding off site, not walking round it for that matter.
All in all, another brilliant FYP. A huge thanks to our interpid Blues Tent Marshals - Steve , Justine, the two Pete's, Kane, Ian, Lorna, Pingy, Sharon & Terry. Every year we try to hit that magical 10K rally goers target. Unfortunately, although the official figures aren't in yet, it looks unlikely we'll have hit that target in 2013. A shame, as the facilities, attractions and site are top notch, and an absolute bargain for thirty quid. If you have never been to the FYP you must, if the weather puts you off, don't let it, the FYP should be on every bikers bucket list, every year !!!
See you at the FYP in 2014 !!!