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!