Vespa Club of Scotland
Cannonball Run # 2 , Dunbar
9th September 2006
This Cannonball run marks a bit of a watershed for me. As
12 months ago, it was the first event I attended since my
re-birth into scootering. I know 'born-agains' get a bad
name these days, but there's nothing I can do about that.
My last scoot was sold as I had a DR10 stamped on my licence,
and many long reasons later, which make no difference to
where I am now, never found my way back into the scene.
When I started the computer shop 5 years ago though, I visited
Eclipse and almost bought a PX200 to do deliveries, but
that was my heart ruling my head, and I knew delivering
full PC systems on a scooter just wouldn't do. But the seed
was sown and every 2nd thought since that day was to get
back on a scooter.
Then one day, Gary & Tracey visited us and Gary mentioned
getting a scooter, I instantly thought, yip , me to , and
that was that.
So shortly after me and Gary both getting wheels, I came
across the 1st Cannonball Run advertised somewhere. That's
where we first met the likes of Snail, Skolar, Nik, Minxxy
& Geoff and others. A great bunch of people.
We've made many new friends since then, and what a great
bunch of people they all are. Thanks for making us welcome
guys and gals.
11am, get a text from Skolar who has agreed to help me
collect the PA equipment and set it up at the hotel. "Where
are you, I'm drunk.". It turns out that... even though
Skolar now lives in Dunbar, and works at the Hotel where
the event is being held...that our lad has his rally head
on, you know that one, the one that Oliver Reid would
be put to shame with. He's been downing HUGE vodkas since
I get along from the shop in the car and go looking for
him, I'm told he's been sent out the back to drink some
strong coffee. When I find him I must have gave him a
worried look as before I even spoke he explains... "I'm
on a rally Niffy!".
We get down to where the band's PA & backline are
kept, local band Setting Sons are kindly letting us use
their equipment, and we start loading up in the Meriva.
2 loads should do it, I hoped so , as Skolar was telling
me the whole time I was doing it all wrong.
nip nip nip :)
So back at The Hotel, after we've unloaded everything,
we get some tables sorted out, I start setting up all
the speakers while the whole time Skolars still nippin'
ma heid about wanting to crank the decks up now. We eventually
get enough gear plugged in that he can have a shot. And
blasts out some scooter tunes. Then it stops. The right
isn't going to eject, Skolar demands the whole thing,
still under warranty gets stripped to it's bare nuts and
bolts. Luckily Iain Johnstone is close by banging and
thumping with some tools and lends some screwdrivers (and
hammers 'n stuff) and the chuckle brothers then set about
a 45 minute routine where the pretend to hate each other,
slag each other off (the bit about Iain's dad BEING in
a one man band and how he helped set up his sound system
was genius), but hats off to them both, they get it fixed.
I get a text from my shop to say the patches & trophy
have arrived... talk about cutting it fine.
I nip into town to collect them, dumping the lads with
Skolar to give folk at the hotel peace for a while, but
the lads in the computer shop are not overly joyed about
having to babysit for rally headed Skolar, who insisted
on popping up in front of customers to demand "come
and geemy a f**** hand to burn these CD's!"
I use the opportunity to nip home for some quiet lunch,
and say hello to my 6 year old, but alas she's oot, so's
Ali. Not seen them since Thursday night.
Evening time comes around quick enough after a few trips
between home, shops and hotel, getting the function room
ready with posters, and all the parafinalia (how do you
spell that?), and Minxxy & Geoff arrive at the hotel
- because they took the wrong turn at the 1st roundabout
I escort them down to the campsite, Geoff trying to keep
up with my PX (ha ! you can't say owt here MaDGE),
and they set up camp, the only ones here at that time.
I arrange to go back for them at 7pm ish, which I do,
then we set about chilling, boozing and starting the weekend
for real !
When we get back to the Hotel, Greenie & Snail &
co are already there, Ian Fletcher, the t'other Dunbar
lad has turned up as well and we start a real Friday rally
night - getting tore into the double gins (well me 'n
Ali were). As the night wears on, others arrive, Jordan
& Sarah, "Film Star" Gary, Cat (well she's
been there most of the day), and a pile of others, including
Skolar , now in a kilt, is still the drunkest, but gets
on fine, even high kicking some N.Soul moves, so much
so we get to see his baws quite a lot. Not a pretty site.
At about 10pm ish, Nik arrives in the van, and he duley
joins in the merriment, displacing Skolar from the decks
for the rest of the night.
The banter is good, with high jinks and bragging about
who's going to win the race in the morning.
We get to about 3:30am, and we start to wilt, well I do,
so I grab Nik , who's staying with us, and head home.
We spend about half an hour looking at my T5 project,
then off to bed at about 4:30. Not together mind, Nik
has his own room !
daytime: No option of a lie in today, as Nik
and others need to be fuelled up and ready by 10am ish
at the Hotel... and jee whizz did I need a lie in this
day. I take Nik to the Hotel on the back of the scoot,
as Ali needs the car, it's a wobbly ride , but short thank
I realise that I must still be drunk, as I'm not hurting
inside that much...that would come later. The excitement
of all the scoots turning up kept me alive. At around
11am, Greenie starts to organise the Race Forms &
Disclaimers, so I call everyone in from the bar window,
then there's this BIG huddle of folk all asking questions
and handing over fivers to take part... I bearly manage
to help Greenie and just sit on a chair looking lost.
Just as well I'm not racing this year, feck knows where
I'd have ended up about !
At somewhere around 11:30 we get ready for the off...
I stand in the road to stop any cars coming and within
a few minutes give them
a John Cleese style "Away You Go!" and the racers
bomb off along the road towards the A1, Del Boy wheelying
Then that's it... panic over, so far the event is a success,
plenty of racers, do' organised and everybody happy.
I nip back to my shop to collect some odds and ends, then
call ona friend who has some disco lights that we can
borrow for teh Saturday night do'. That sorted I'm off
to collect them and finish setting up the function room
By this time Mr hangover has called by and I'm ILL ! So
best thing for me is a pint of lager shandy & the
big comfy recliner chair in the lobby, and crash out watching
the footy on the telly. Later on I manage a lovely burger
from the bar - my only food all weekend apart from bacon
rools in't morning.
We get news that Snail has broken down, but apart from
that it's an uneventful, peaceful day. I'm SOOOOOO desparately
needing to get drunk to fix my body, but seeing as I was
playing bass in the band that night , there's no way I
could. I'm bad enough sober.
At 4:30pm, the first sounds of a scoot can be heard...
who is it... the GTS250 ? Iain's 180 auto ? Jeannie from
the Blues beating all the lads ?
None of those , my lodger for the weekend and the night's
DJ Nik wins ! In a great time too.
20 minutes later another scoot is heard approaching...
Wee Bob Chalmers.
Bob has no idea where he's came, but before finding out,
tells us he stopped for a can of lager with Gallus ! Now
he finds out he's second, and might have won if he hadn't
stopped for this picnic !
We all start to have a few pints - me on shandies though,
as the other racers appear over the course of the next
evening: The band were scheduled to soundcheck
at 5:45, but Gary was just back in from the race, so I
popped back home to collect Gary's trainers so he wouldn't
have to drum in his docs. Gary , myself and a mate - Keith
McCraw were the band for the night, as local band Setting
Sons had to pull out after the guitarist had to go in
for an operation. We'd not played together in over a year,
and had only had 3 practises together before this gig.
Ach , it's only punk songs - if we make a mess it would
sound authentic !
After soundcheck , and Tara from the Beer Pigs gets a
once over of the CD decks with Nik, everyone can relax
for an hour before it all kicks off again.
No time for food though...just a change of T-Shirt, typical
rally mode :)
for the do, and it was filling up quick - with an event
as new as this , you have no idea how it's going to be
received, but we needn't have worried as the function
room filled up fairly quickly, with the free buses bringing
in people from the campsite and others arriving on their
own transport. All the usual clubs were in attendance
and the night was off to a good strong start.
At 9:45 the band went on and did a 45 minute set of Jam/Clash
etc covers, good fun I suppose and fairly well received.
I think next year though we should just stick to DJ's.
I was glad when the band's set was over , as within seconds
of playing the last song , I was at the bar ordering 2
double gins...catch up time.
During the whole night we played videos on the big screen,
playing one of those 80's Rally DVD's , and a
home made one with photos from the previous 6 or 7 rallies
we've been at. Those went down well. Next year I'm gonna
try to make a DVD up of the Saturday's race and show it
that same night, showing all the racers etc.
All in all, the rest of the night was a good wheez, with
Nik finishing off at about 3am again, and at about 3:30am,
myself, Ali, Nik & Chunk start the walk home to our
Another half hour poking about my T5 project again, then
coffee and bed.
morning: We had a de-brief meeting , and it was
decided to hold the event on the same weekend next year,
and at Dunbar again. Suits me. The whole weekend was a
complete success in every way, anyone that was still there
on Sunday told us that they would do it again next year,
a great break from the normal park up and get pissed rally
(although we still all love those). Things can only get
better from here.
All in all - great weekend, well done Greenie, you've
created a cracker !
So that's it, the first full year in the life of Scotscoot.com
, and it's been a cracker... the 1st Cannonball , small
but unique and bonding, Bridlington - a classic as always
, Morecambe - the ride in from Cramlington, arrival at
The Ranch and the buzz...superb , Kelso - what a scream,
the laughs at the picnic table, the Saturday night do,
learning to stay awake past 11pm with cat trying to introduce
me to as many people as possible, Camping @ The Castle
- a few hairy moments , but all-in-all a good wheez too,
the Jam tribute boys wearing wigs, getting cheated out
of the tug-o-war, being very drunk , Minxxy's coupon when
we popped in to say hello at the Ghosts do , the utter
madness and non-stop hilarity with Bert & Iain outside
the Bootleggers @ Cleethorpes , Millport for it's simplicity
and change of scenery, Beer Pigs do, a very wet Friday
- but marked up as a defo for next year - what a great
crowd these guys are , and this weekend... nice :)
*** Don't forget to check out the review and photos
- there's a nattty wee video there too. ***
Ok , see you for the Brid review.....