About the Bike Rally
What are Bike Rallies all about then?
Someone recently pointed out that we don’t say on our website, what happens at our event. I suppose we just expected everyone to know as most of our customers have been to lots of rallies; this doesn’t help anyone who stumbles across the site and wants to find out what it’s all about.
Stormin’ is a fund raising event for the Motorbike Action Group (MAG) which is an organisation that fights against anti-motorcycle legislation and for riders rights; find out more about MAG On their website.
Firstly it’s not a motorsport event like a car-rally, or a music festival, but is a party for bikers. Some rallies are a lot smaller, are based around a pub, with camping in a nearby field. There may not have any entertainment, but are a place where like-minded people meet up and have a chat, chill out and maybe have a drink or two!
The bigger rallies such as Stormin’ and the Farmyard Party are held in a big field or a number of fields. At Stormin’ we have three campsites and a main arena where we have the stages, the bike show on Saturday afternoon, the traders village the catering vans, the fairground the wheelie machine and the dyno-machine.
How to ‘Do’ a Bike Rally
Firstly you need a motorbike, we do reluctantly allow a few cars but we are cutting the numbers down each year. The event is aimed at and run by motorcyclists, it isn’t a music festival. Once you have bought your motorbike and learned to ride it you can buy a ticket for the rally. You can pay on the gate but it’s considerably cheaper to pay in advance, see the ‘tickets’ page on this website. You will also need a tent, a sleeping bag and sleeping mat or airbed. .
People arrive for the event gates to open at 10.00 on Friday morning, set up their tents and from midday start making their way to the main arena. When you arrive at the main gate you hand in your voucher if you have pre-booked or pay the entry fee if you haven’t. Only those arriving on a bike or trike can pay on the gate. The marshal will put your wristband on your wrist for you. Once you have your wristband you can make your way to one of the campsites either by turning immediately left after you go through the gate or by going straight ahead for about 50 metres and turning right, please take care when riding on the grass, especially if it is or has been raining. When you have found a suitable camping place pitch your tent and then you’ll be ready to start.
What you do next sort of depends on what time you arrive; if you arrive early and it’s sunny then you might just want to hang out around your tent, chat with your neighbors about their bikes, maybe have a drink from the campsite bar. If you arrive in the evening you may want to head straight for the main arena. The first band in the main stage, that’s the big white marquee starts at 7:00, they could be playing rock, punk, ska or any one of the many diverse musical genres we have on over the weekend, most of all the atmosphere is lively to say the least. In the Iris stage which is the smaller of the two marquees the first band is on stage at 7:30, the bands and the atmosphere in here are a little more laid back.
There is no entertainment provided on the Friday afternoon; this is a time for chilling out, meeting up with old friends, having a look around the trade stalls, buying Stormin T-shirts and badges before they are sold out and maybe having a drink in one of the three bars.
At some point over the weekend most rally-goers visit Witton Castle itself. The castle contains bars, a restaurant, and general dealer. There are also ‘proper loos’ and showers.
On Saturday morning some people like to go for a ride out around the County, if you do decide to go out please be sure that you’re within the legal driving limit for alcohol. There are lots of interesting places to visit within an hour or so ride and you should have been given a guide leaflet with your ‘welcome pack’
On Saturday afternoon the main event is a custom bike show, which always, attracts a large number of high quality entrants. There are classes for custom bikes, classic bikes and ‘bikes of notable interest’ which are machines which do not fit into the categories and are just on display. If you want to enter your road-legal bike take it to the main arena between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm, see Tim or one of his crew and they will tell you what you need to do. Winners assemble with their bikes at 5.15 and the trophies are presented at 5.45, probably in the Iris Stage – depending on ground conditions.
You don’t need to bring any food as there are catering stalls on site to suit all tastes – from burgers and chips, to oriental cuisine. There are also catering vans on the campsites so you don’t need to go to the arena just for something to eat.
There is plenty to do at Stormin’ – browsing amongst the large selection of trade stands just chilling out. For the more adventurous – there are fairground rides, usually including, the reverse bungee or something equally intimidating. There is also a dyno and a wheelie machine, both are free of charge to our customers.
Sunday morning is time to have breakfast, pack up and go home but please don’t leave too early if you’ve been up late drinking the night before. Please take all your belongings with you and especially please don’t abandon your tent as it’s just more work for us to take it down and dispose of it. On your way out if you’ve had a good weekend please give the marshals a wave or a word of thanks as they’ve all worked hard over the weekend for no pay. Have a safe journey home and come back next year.
Jim Coxon, Event Coordinator