Icy Ale Rally

2nd December 1988 - Druids MCC

As I had attended the Druids MCC's Poser Rally, (last year), I was on the invite list for their Icy Ale. It took quite a while to get to Lincolnshire from that there London, mainly due to leaving fairly late and catching a fair bit of traffic, but also the fact that it got dark quite early slowed things down a little as well. It was cold, as well, and there may have been a bit of ice about as a truck had jack-knifed on the A1, so that delayed us even more. (I say us, as I was riding in the company of a young lad from the Triumph Owners NWLondon, and one has to make allowances for his choice of transport.) We elected to grab a coffee in a handy Little Chef or similar until the traffic was moving again/our hands warmed up. Unsurprisingly, then, it was quite late and dark when we arrived.

The bikes should be left in the parking area of the pub and the camping area was over a bridge, along the other side of the canal that runs past. As the entrance wasn't too muddy at the time, I elected to drive in, set up my tent by headlight and then park back with the others.

Not much happened in the short amount of time I was there on the Friday, just enough time for a couple of drinks before chucking out time. We weren't using the function room tonight, so it was fairly strict timing. Quite honestly, I am surprised how nobody fell in the canal all weekend, as there was no barrier on the camping side. After a trip of that length, it wasn't long before I was fast a'kip in my sleeping bag.

On Saturday, the organisers had managed to sort out a small bonfire on top of the canal bank between the site entrance and the tent area, (there was a gap of 100yards or so). In the daylight, I could see how many bikes were at the pub and how many tents were over on the other side. It was quite impressive for such a small venue. Several people took taxis into the nearby town for various reasons, so nothing happened until late afternoon, I don't recall there being any outside games.

In the evening we were finally allowed in the function room, so the silliness could commence. There was drinking a pint through (somebody else's) sock. A strange game where the guys had to either put on, or take off, (or both), women's underwear, while wearing a t-shirt over it. There was some game that appears to have involved musical chairs and plates loaded with shaving foam. Indoor egg-throwing, and more musical chairs. The rest of the time there was music, beer and dancing, in various ratios, eventually followed by negotiating our way back to the tents.

The entrance was very slippery by Sunday morning, despite an amount of straw put down, so I carried my gear over to the bike to load up. There was no rain, but it was a bit damp and, being December, I have had warmer rides home.

- Phil (the Spill) Drackley