The Barn 2004

The first meet of the year was arranged for March at the Barn, Roeburndale. "It's in the middle of nowhere" I informed everyone. I'd been there before you see, albeit a long time ago. I seemed to remember a bit of a dodgy track leading down to farm buildings where the car park was and then a bit of a hike down a steeper and even more dodgy track before crossing the first of two bridges and then levelling out. After that it was a straightforward meander through a meadow and wood before crossing bridge number two near to the barn. That's how I remembered it. Oh, and yeah, there's no streetlights en-route.

We had maps, Miles and I'd been there before so we couldn't get lost could we? What could go wrong?

So, the plan was for everyone to hook up at Devils Bridge, grab some vitals and ride out together as a club to the barn. We had maps, Miles and I'd been there before so we couldn't get lost could we? What could go wrong?

Well we didn't get out of Kirkby Lonsdale without the Katana needing an extra 4bhp. That'll be big-human-power. Thanks lads. And then we got lost.

I could take responsibility for that one but Dave had a hand in it I'm sure. Anyway, it wasn't long before Pathfinder-general had us parked up in the car park. It was at this point I noticed the first glaring stare. Was I being paranoid? All of us parked up and set-off down the steep dodgy track mentioned previously. All of us except Miles that is. He didn't bother with the parking up bit; flying passed us all on some abomination of a bike that ate up steep dodgy tracks like Micky Busa eats up steep dodgy women.

Before crossing the first bridge I noticed the second glaring stare. No paranoia involved, this one wasn't so subtle. Thora doesn't do subtle. Ploughing on, heavily laden with soup and beer and brew stuff and stereos and batteries and leathers and lids we made it to the woods whereupon Tracey made the first statement that gave me the impression dissent was brewing within the ranks. It went something like this, "that's fuckin' it. I'm going no further".

She did. I just got an extra bag to carry.

To be honest I wasn't that bothered about the mood of the team. They were going through what I had gone through the 1st time I made the trek to the barn, but knowing what was coming, I knew all would be forgiven when we got there. However, I could have done without being reminded every 10 yards what Amanda would do to me when she finally made it.

Sticking to the known path was the easiest and most straightforward route to the barn, as Ian will tell you. While we all arrived hot sticky and sweaty but fully laden with tackle, Ian pulled up the rear all hot sticky and sweaty but without his tackle. It was like something out of Beau Peep. Lost and fatigued man, staggering alone across the desert, discarding items of clothing and non-essentials on the way until heat exhaustion gave way to madness and the discarding of real essentials to lighten the load. Salvation came in the way of my nephew, Jack who turned out at the barn with his mum and sisters to say hello. "Jack" cried Ian. "Come hyer (he's Welsh you see) and help me find 24 tins of Boddingtons".

We set up camp. Spliffs, Rayburn and bonfire were lit in that order. Stragglers turned up throughout the day to whoops and cheers from their now comfy audience. First was Mitch, looking very pioneering in sheepskin and shades then came Alistair looking like only Alistair can. Mountain man, in leather! All those glaring stares and scowls had gone. The place was perfect, the scene was perfect and the company couldn't be better but we were still light by about seven members and as many guests.

Micky Busa leathered his motor into a hedge and the comedy act went down like a fart in a spacesuit
Dusk was drawing in and there was still no sign of Team York and associates. As dusk turned to darkness two search parties and a comedy act were sent out to find York. The search parties found them, Micky Busa leathered his motor into a hedge and the comedy act went down like a fart in a spacesuit. That's the last time I hide under a bridge making like a troll in the dark. The trek through the woods and fields in the black of night wasn't funny to the latecomers but hey! I did say it was in the middle of nowhere and not to turn up after dark. Some people eh!

I thought it may have been all downhill from here but I hadn't bargained for Gerry's wife Rachel and her absolute fear of anything resembling a bridge. I had it down as Southern Jessie Ballerina syndrome until it became apparent that the large shadow in the gloom by the riverbank was a certain Micky Busa making like Davey fuckin' Crocket and considering swimming the damn thing with Rachel on his back rather than her make the short hop across ye olde rickety swing bridge. I'll tell you what, some demons were exorcised that night eh Rachel?

It was a shame York turned up when they did because they didn't have the pleasure of experiencing the light at the end of the tunnel as we did when we arrived, and as such they spent most of the night if not all of the night in the barn. Another shame.

We had a club meeting, thrashed out some minutes, presented Naz with a pot and glared at Mim. You'll remember Mim if you weren't deaf. Loud and pissed, nice girl sober!

The rest of the night was whittled away beside the Rayburn or the bonfire depending on what time you arrived. Some made it to bed, some made it to the floor, one made it to the grass sick as a dog and some didn't do night and made it right through to the next day. Mick the Lick, Micky Busa and Trace showed us all how to do it.

The morning was sweet. Some cleaned up, some carried crap back and some just went home.

I thought I had died by the time I'd made it back to that car park but I was wrong. It wasn't me, it was that fuckin' bike of mine again. Ok, I know a little oil and a good battery does wonders for the mechanics of an engine, but God how I wished I had an abomination of a bike like Miles at that time.

So the Barn jolly came to a close with an encounter between Mr Chris, Gerry & a top-box and the Katana in the back of Mitch's van.

Yellow vans and very nice men. Don't you just love them?











more people


look up

Back to Events