THE NATIONAL ROAD RALLY 2015
24 HOUR MOTORCYCLE CHECK POINT ROUTE FINDER EVENT
This historical event in the biking calendar used to be called 'The National Rally'. But it's title has probably been changed to distinguish it from other motorcycle rallies...the ones where they kill the fatted pig, consume copious amounts of beer and attempt to dance before trying to identify the right tent.
It's a competitive route finding event from check point to check point, held over a twenty four hour period in the middle of summer, over what the organisers claim are some of the best motorcycling roads across the UK. It's run by the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF); this year the dates are July 4th and 5th.
Those were the days
The exact history of the rally has been lost, but one the earliest surviving records is a newspaper cutting from 1935 recording how competitors at the final check point in Rhyl, North Wales, found thousands of spectators had turned out to see the bikes ride in to the finish. In the thirties the event attracted almost nine hundred riders. But today's entry list is more like one hundred...those were the days.
The rally allows a rider to choose how many miles and how long they will ride. There's the Sunrise Rally consisting of 120 miles to be completed in six hours between the hours of 02.00am and 8.00am. Two ten hour options; the Daytime Rally and the Moonlight Rally covering different hours as the names suggest, and covering mileage between 200 and 280 depending on what finishing award you opt to go for.
The main National Rally covers 540 miles, and the route and checkpoints covered are designed for the riders to be on the road for twenty hours.
Competitors who have taken part, or are rally regulars, talk enthusiastically about how enjoyable the pre-ride planning process is, as they get together with mates they have decided to ride with as a team, and pore over maps, routes and times. A skill that many people have lost in these days of technological reliance. It can seem complicated, but with the packs and instructions it all becomes clear.
Fancy a tilt at one of the awards? The entry fee is £30, plus £10 for a pillion rider. There's comprehensive information on the website www.nationalroadrally.co.uk including riders relating their own experience taking part in last years and previous years rallies.
Have you ridden in this rally before? If so we'd love to hear about it, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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