Fourteen of us on ten bikes made the long trek from Wakefield to West Calder, near Edinburgh, for this years Edinburgh MAG Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally, on the 30th May. The journey there took us over eight hours with some lengthy delays caused by bike trouble with Allen's ZZR. Still, we got there in the end and once off the A1 and onto the A68, the scenery through Northumberland and into the Scottish Borders is most impressive. Once there, up with the tents, and into the cow sheds for the cheap beer, quality food and good bands.
The Edinburgh MAG rally really is an absolute gem and I can't quite understand why it doesn't get a much higher attendance. The site is a proper farmyard (no marquee, just cow sheds !!!), excellent food (laid on by the farmer), cheap beer (£1.50 for Newcastle Brown and real ales !!), good bands, proper flushing toilets and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The weather, for the last three years on the trot now, couldn't have been better. No rain whatsoever on the Friday and Saturday, with Saturday being blazing hot and us 'southerners' from Yorkshire getting sunburnt, whilst the Scots on site turned from Blue to White !!!
This year, Saturday afternoon's entertainment, if you didn't fancy the rideout, was Clay pigeon shooting. Most of us had a go at some point, with varying degrees of success. We wont mention that Ian Whittaker, ex Parachute Regiment and veteran of several Shooting Club competitions, couldn't hit a fish in a barrel !!!
Next year, they are planning Paint Balling which should be a laugh.
Wakefield MAG were most successful with the rally awards on the Saturday night. For the second year running, Justine won the Longest Travelled Female award, and a nice little trophy. The branch as a whole won the biggest club attendance award. This was a combination of numbers and distance travelled and although were weren't the biggest club in attendance, we were certainly the furthest travelled (by a factor of 3 !!!). The prize was a full size broad sword. A brilliant prize but it was certainly interesting transporting it back to Wakefield on the bike !!!
Seven of us did some last minute marshalling to help out on the Saturday evening, and in doing so, doubled our branch points allocation. It's always good to help out, as from personal experience, these events certainly don't run themselves.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and we made our way back 'down south' mid morning on the Sunday. The 'all good things ending' certainly included the weather, as it rained heavily and solidly all the way back home. Not that it that detracted from what had been an absolutely fantastic weekend.
Well done to Steve Wykes (Scottish Regional Rep) and his team for putting on this great little rally !! We will be going again next year, so if you fancy a rally a little further afield, this one is definitely recommended.