4/5 July 2009
Hold the front page -- Breaking news!!
Phoenix training scheme trainee follows ex instructor for over 700 miles to gain award!
Brad (Paul Bradshaw), son of Phoenix training scheme chief instructor Wally Bradshaw, rode his Hinckley Triumph Thunderbird Sport in this year's National Rally to gain a special gold award by visiting the maximum number of controls and covering 540 miles.
Brad rode in company with Dave Smith, from whom he had purchased the Triumph. Dave rode his Ducati GT1000 to also gain an award. Their ride was dry with no problems from either machine (how unlike rallies of old!).
The only real drama occurred as the pair were approaching the Sawston control in Cambridgeshire on the A505. Dave takes up the story:- As we were approaching a roundabout we saw a chap on an old scooter slowing down on the nearside as though he was checking his route. Suddenly he stopped and fell to his right, completely blocking our half of the road!! We both swerved round him and of course went back to help. Luckily he was unhurt apart from some bruising, and his Maicoletta scooter also appeared undamaged. It turned out that he was also entered in the National, and we came across the old chap later in the night at Harlow control, where he admitted that he didn't know what had happened to cause his tumble! He wasn't confident of success in the rally as he thought he was taking too long finding controls.
The only other moment was having our photo taken at Kegworth control by some hack reporter from the Megaphone!!
Seriously, both Brad and I would like to thank all club and individual motorcyclists for manning the controls and thus making the event possible. Particularly the ex Phoenix members, and we were sorry not to have more time to talk with friends at Kegworth.
Regarding mileages, no we didn't get lost but by the time our record cards said 360 miles we had actually covered some 485 miles!! ACU mileages suck!! eg Braintree to Harlow = 25 miles, we took 44 miles, check it on a map. Still great to do again (last was in 1977) and hopefully I'll be back next year.
Perhaps next year we could get some of the past members out on bikes and even do the rally?