The Isle of Wight Scurry - 3rd to 7th October 2015
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Terry and Dilys Hopes, plus Jean and I had entered this event after the Isle of Wight section took a sabbatical in 2014.

We were both booked on the 14.00 Wightlink sailing from Lymington to Yarmouth on Friday the 2nd and the weather promised to be quite good for at least the following two days. We boarded the boat ok, but Terry and Dilys were left behind on the dock, as the boat was full. All a bit strange, as they had a firm booking. However, they arrived at the Brighstone Holiday Centre just an hour behind us. Terry soon had his motorhome setup, whilst Jean and I settled into our chalet.

The evening consisted of a get together in the camp restaurant, where we all took part in a buffet. There were some 20 entries from the big Island, topped up with another 17 local members. We had the President with us and no less than four past Presidents.

Saturday 4th October
Today we were all issued with instructions on how to find St Thomas's square in the centre of Newport where we were to exhibit our bikes. We were asked to be there by 11am and keep our bikes in place until 2pm. There was a judging to take place by the Islands County Press newspaper - won by a nice 2 speed Scott. We were all soon on place by 11am and set off for one of the local cafes for some refreshment.

Chris Thomas had heard that there was an auction on the Island that included a 250cc Raleigh in decrepit state, so set off to see what it would go for. "Not worth the 3k+ hammer price", he said when he eventually made St Thomas's Square.
At 2pm we all set off for the afternoon stop at the Arreton Craft Village and the 'Dairyman's Daughter' pub for lunch.

The Craft centre was very interesting and there was plenty to see. As well as the pub providing some good refreshments. From Arreton it was case of work our way back across the Island to Brighstone and soon after leaving the Craft Centre we took a wrong turning into a lane that petered out after a mile or so into a dirt track that just deteriorated more and more as we pressed on. Eventually, we ended up in a field and, having a light bulb moment, realised that we had gone wrong somewhere, so back-tracked, eventually finding the right road. We weren't the only ones to make the same mistake and two others continued on, across the field and through a farmyard that was covered in 6 inches of loose gravel, before making a main road. That made for some exciting riding, I was told. Mileage for the day was not high - I estimated it was something like 40 in all. A good day out though with lots of sunshine. Vic and Laura Blake, Jean and myself went to the Chinese restaurant in Freshwater for the evening meal, which was very good, whilst Terry and Dilys stayed on site.

Sunday 4th October
This was the day of the Scurry(definition: hurried and confused movement). Seen at the start:

The route first took us to the west of the Island and through Freshwater before heading out into the centre of the Island. Somewhere along the line our Indian developed a squeak and as I listened to it, decided that it must be the front spring. At one point I needed to stop to turn over the route sheet and Jean said that her pillion seat was loose. On checking it became obvious where the squeak was coming from and a spare nut was added to tighten the seat up. We continued and eventually arrived at the viewpoint near Carisbrooke Castle.

From there it was a short ride to lunch at the Chequers Inn - and what a cracking Sunday lunch it was too.

From the Chequers Inn we continued East past the Havenstreet Steam Railway before turning back across the Island, skirting Ventnor and on to a tea stop in Chale Green. By this time the sky was darkening and we decided to continue as soon as possible. As we were about to leave, we were told that the Military road along the coast was closed and that we may need to return and take a different road. Not to be daunted we pressed on and soon came to the closed part of the Military Road. We were directed inland and around the closed part of the coast road, only to find out afterwards that it was closed due to the death of a motorcyclist. Not one of ours, I'm pleased to say, but have heard that the motorist involved had been arrested. Anyway, we were soon back at base and tucking the bikes up for the night. Jean and I had put ourselves down for the evening buffet of soup, rolls and cake etc - all of which was very good, but too much after we had downed a large breakfast earlier in the day, which was topped up by a Sunday lunch, followed by bread pudding. There was supposed to be a quiz but we were told that it was cancelled so headed back to the chalet. We found out later that the quiz did actually take place.

Monday 5th October
During the night the bad weather had come in and our Indian had lost it's cover and was now soaked. Breakfast was eaten and I put the Indian back in the van to dry out. That was followed by a quick decision not to bother with the ride to see the Needles and the rocket site. After the Needles visit, a ride to Fort Victoria was arranged. However, we decided to head for an indoor attraction, as the weather was quite miserable; we stumped for Osborne House, so Jean and myself along with Terry set off in our van for West Cowes and Osborne House. There were some who actually rode their bikes to see the Needles, as well as quite a few who went in cars, but we just couldn't see that the Needles was the place to go when it was howling with a gale and lashing it with rain. Nothing was organised for the evening, so Jean and I headed to the local pub for an evening meal, while Terry and Dilys ate in their motorhome.

Tuesday 6th October
The ride today was to see the Roman Villa at Brading. Terry and I had packed our bikes away, and the weather, whilst dry at the start, was promising a storm later in the day, we decided to follow the route on four wheels. Others did the same thing, although I did see several bikes in the car park at Brading. The route across the Island took us towards Chale, where the route card said turn left - should have been right. After following the road for a few miles it became obvious that we had gone wrong and that there was an instruction missing. However, we soon got ourselves back on track and arrived at the Roman Villa site. The guided tour was very interesting, I must say, but when we were about to leave the sky had blackened and looked very threatening. Certainly on our way back, as we threaded our way across the Island, we encountered a terrific downpour of biblical proportions. The evening get together consisted of a superb buffet and presentation of the awards, along with the usual 'thank you' speeches. Dorcas Webber, who had been in the sidecar of husband Alan's AJS outfit had got soaked on the ride back. All Dorcas would say when someone inquired was "Don't ask". We all agreed that the event had been a resounding success, as usual, and it was good news to hear that the Scurry would again happen on the last weekend in September 2016. Put it in your calendar, even if you don't have a pre-1931 bike.