VCS Cannonball #4
Rossborough Hotel , Sept 13th 2008
Last year's Cannonball at Dunbar started off with a helluva shift in the pub until 6 or 7am on the Friday night... but thankfully I wiznae taking part in the race as I had set the route. Just as well , as with about an hours sleep I wiz nae guid tae anybody !
This year though , I was totally off the hook from organising anything at all... so I wiz gonna race. And dae it on the Lammie.... as naebody had ever finished it on a 'Bretta before. This meant part one of the plan was a half decent early-ish night. No' many of us out in the pub on Friday anyway.... so I called it a night at about 11pm.
Up bright and early for brekkie with Madge (fellow racer) and Minxxy (fellow racers wumin) , who were both stayin' at my gaff for the weekend.
I'd been huckling Ross fi Peterheid tae get doon to Dunbar and he promised to appear with Darren, the rest of the ELSC mob would be along in the ar'noon for a pish up as well. So at around 10:30am, I was at The Rossborough Hotel in Dunbar - the last time the Scottish Cannonball will be held there - to check in , get my route and question forms and get on my way. My plan had been to carry 4 pre-mixed 5ltr petrol cans with me ... dumping them as I used them up... but MaDGE coinvinced me one would be enough. Hmmmmm. So I left first after seeing the first check point was at Duns. I only glanced quickly at the other stops , noticed Rothbury , near where the Beer Pigs hold there rally , so I kinda knew the way there as well.
The weather was very dreech (foggy, misty generally wet) and I got stuck behind a lorry practically all the way to Duns. By this time MaDGE had caught up with me , so we decided to just blast round together. Him on his T5 , me on the TS1. After we found the checkpoint we found Skolar at the petrol station, where he proceeded to boast that he didn't bother going to the check point , he just asked the guy at the filling station the answer - kinda cheating , but it proved his downfall anyway.
Skolar then skuttled off up the wrong road as I fought to get my Lammie into first gear as one of the cables was too loose. Me and MaDGE then went on the RIGHT road - off to Coldstream and into Rothbury.
Basically the rest of the route was landslides, floods, crappy B roads that cattle would refuse to go on, more floods and NO PETROL STATIONS ! I told MaDGE the cans would have been handy !
My brakes had also decided to have the day off , and at one point a sharp right hander meant I went scootin' into the woods using my docs as brakes, until I could slow down enough to turn around. Half way around the route - and about 3 hours in... we met up with Glen Smith - last year's winner on his Auto 90mph Rocket. Seeing as we were all on different classes of machine , we could all go round together for a while.
Still we saw no more signs of Skolar, but I got a txt to say he was back and finished... we were still about 3 hours away... hmmmmm something smells funny there...So onwards we plodded from Rothbury to Otterburn..... over moors and through forests to Falstone.... along a lake to Kielder where we stopped for breath and to shake the scoots and look for petrol in our tanks.
At least with Glen with us, in a worst case scenario , he could give us a litre or two each and get us to Hawick to fill up... as it turns out we managed to limp to Hawick anyway , but only with my TS1 going up and down through the gears as we sat at between 30 and 50 , depending on the incline or cattle grid to get over. Nae wonder I burn out clutches so often.
We filled up the scoots at Hawick then , and I topped up my 5ltr can too... time taken so far was about 5 hours. When I paid for my fuel the boy had the nerve to say... "You've come a long way".. I replied "You don't know the fuckin half of it mate!".
So we then get on our way to the last check point at Selkirk... my scoot struggling to get into first gear (loose cables) and brakes giving up so I tried to keep going and outta 1st gear. We thank Glen for his chaparoning duties and send him on his way back to win 1st place overall.... but little did me and Sir Geoffrey know that he'd 'technically' got the first question wrong !
So we A68 it... turn off at Pathhead... into Haddington then HOORAY the A1 and back into Dunbar.
6 hours and 45 minutes after I left the hotel I was back. Dooned a pint of lager cuddle fi my wee Annie (and wee Ali for that matter) then I grab Madge and we shoot down the High St to find the Ant Hill Mob for a welcome home pint with them... the mob being East Lothian SC , The Coyotes and Ross & Darren fi Peterhead.
A quick hello and hows yer father then we scoot back to my gaff to get changed , arriving there just as Wee Bob , Anne & Liam pull up in the car. Them being mair lodgers at our house an all.
So we unwind a tad... get a quick wash... clean ELSC t-shirt ... don't leave home without one... and we ambulate doon to the hotel.
From that point in you can guess what all went down.... booze booze booze :)
Highlights of the very busy evening affair are Madge gifting 1st Overall to Glen for his sportsmanship (Magic Touch there Madge) , me gettin' a trophy ! 1st ever Lammie to finish the Cannonball and Skolar getting a patch and bottle o buckie !
The drink and hayfever tablets kicked in quick and I found myself rather tipsy rather quick... ah well :)
Tell you what, I'm glad they've got big cubicles at the hotel :)
Met up with loads o' folk... as well as all our crew, had we cuddles fi Norry & Crawf & Hammy... loadsa the Blues crew, Sparky etc.
It was good to see some friends from the west make the effort to come through... including Carol, Chunky & Lorna fi the Ghosts.
My sister and her man came along too... funny as fk watching as Darren chatted to him about prawn fishin' and Brian no' having a clue what he was on aboot !
Jeez... to quickly sum up... I somehow managed to last until 6am in the bar with (from badly deteriating memory) Scotty, Mark (Blues), Darren & Ross, the hairy barman, Wee Bob & Anne, maddie Chris fi Wally and others nae doubt. I think Stu, Shep, Nige etc packed ina wee bit earlier... I can vaguley mind Dean going home earlier I think...cannae mind.
Anyways Ross begged to get taken to his bed (not in a gay way) so me, him Darren and Bob's Anne start the looooooong walk to ma hoose.
On the way we stole a push bike (then Anne vanished on it) found a secret garden and Darren head dived into some road bollards after climing on the bales o' hay.
Hame , shot o' the trampoline then bed for 7am.
Shep and Nige popped by on the way hame to say hello (on Sunday mornin') but I was cowped big style until about 11:30.
A big well done and thanx should go to Greenie & Minxxy. Greenie set this whole event up, and with Minxxy's help on the day, ran the whole show.
Apart from 5 minutes on the door , I did heeee-haw this year. That's the way uhu uhu I like it (KC & the Sunshine band).
Next year's Cannonball will be away from Dunbar , and will have a different format. A shorter race and better ways for anyone to win so we've been told.
So that's the summary... and I'm no drinkin again....