Rawtenstall is a town north of Manchester that is known for its cotton mills, now long quiet. In the past it was also known for its annual bike show. So 17 years ago I thought why not go, it's only a 430 mile round trip.
The show, the Rossendale Valley Motorbike Show, isn't really a show, as far as I could see, just a lot of bikers meeting in the town centre. The weatherman had promised fine weather and so it was. At first. I had a pleasant run down in sunny and warm condition but as the day progressed it got cloudy and then the rain started.
I took refuge in a pub that had a rock band playing but eventually I thought I'd better head for home. By this time the sky was as black as night and the rain was torrential. I should have found a hotel and forgot about work the next day but I ploughed on. I remember the water was so deep on the motorway that the FJ created a bow wave like a ship.
|Only 200 miles from home!|
I can't remember why I stopped on the motorway. You're not suppose to without good reason. The bike was running fine and I had all my waterproofs on, maybe I just couldn't see were I was going.
I made it home, soaked to the skin. The funny thing was that my legs were dyed back from the colour washing out of my leather trousers.
|Bikes in the town|
|A beast of a trike - note anti theft device on seat|
The bike show ended after 15 years in 2010 (I think) because it was becoming too popular and the police said they had insufficient resourced for such a big event.
An interesting day out but I still shudder a little when I hear the name of the town!