Captain Smurf
Captain Smurf

National Youth Bike 2005

(click on a little pic to see a big pic)

I was at the very first National Youthbike, and again in 2002 (my job really gets in the way of rallies) so I was glad to make it again this year, the 11th Youthbike.
Those years of experience paid off for the organisers; this year the rally was in a school’s grounds, so they could not start setting up until 4pm, with the gates opening at 6. Youth groups started arriving before the work was done, so they mucked in as well; and a small village came into being.
Groups travelled from as far afield as the North of Scotland, the South of Wales and the wilds of Surrey for this event, the culmination of a year’s begging and borrowing, chopping and welding. They came from schools and youth groups with a wide range of abilities.
Saturday morning saw me up and about earlier than usual as I made the rounds of the 30 entries. It took me a lot longer to take pics of these creations than it would a similar number of bikes at a conventional show because the kids were so keen to tell me all about how they came up with the ideas, how they found the bikes and bits and how they put it all together.
One group told me that they’d looked at my website for ideas; but more than once I heard an adult biker say ‘what a great idea – might have to borrow it’. The use of mini maglites as footrests; some nicely made Perspex side panels and other engineering features gives us hope that customising might have a future (legislation permitting).
Whilst I was perusing the entries the kids were kept occupied with welly whanging, space hoppers and bouncy castles. There was also a tent on site containing computers and ham radio gear, connected to a mass of aerials, giving the kids a chance to talk to people around the world; they even linked up with Live 8.
I was flattered to be asked to judge ‘Engineering, solos, unlimited cc’, until Wendy said she chose judges according to what they didn’t know. Thanks Wendy. So that meant another walk around the entries, and some more rigorous questioning of the teams. And thanks to Creature for his assistance with the judging.
There followed some silly games which would have not been out of place at any rally and the props included builders sacks, flour and lashings and lashings of water. The adults from the teams didn’t get away with it, as there was a special game involving consumption of Flumps, and a loser’s prize of a spell in the stocks.
We were also treated to a fly past by the Red Arrows, although that might have had something to do with the nearby Waddington Air Show.
The awards presentation at Youthbike is a major feature of the event. Started with a birthday card for Tony Nightingale, founder of the event and moved on through many awards for a great variety of categories. I couldn’t possibly recall all the sponsors, or the recipients, but they included MAG and 100%.
After the presentations the DJ got to work and I went off to investigate the mobile bar. At this point I should apologise (he he) to Souped Up Event Catering, Farmyard Flood Survivors, for my excruciating jokes and puns. They managed with only one wagon – the other having been inundated with mud and still being cleaned. A bucket was passed around after the presentations and about £115 was raised for the Farmyard Marshall’s Appeal – thanks to all for that.
Sunday morning and the kids and helpers were helping us to strike the marquees and clear the site - the youth of today.
Click here to download a copy of the text only version (National Youthbike 2005.doc - 27.5Kb)
If you want to know more, try or NATIONAL YOUTHBIKE, PO BOX 27, Horncastle, Lincs,LN9 6XB or 01507 524432.

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Updated Wednesday, 17 May, 2006 11:14

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