National Youth Bike 2005
(click on a little pic to see a big
|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
||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
||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.
|If you want to know more, try
http://www.youthbike.com or NATIONAL YOUTHBIKE,
PO BOX 27, Horncastle, Lincs,LN9 6XB or 01507 524432.