Northampton VMCC Navigation Trial 2018

A report from Malcolm Bridges on the event:

After enjoying last years Northampton Navigation Run I decided to do it again this year and after talking to Mick Leach he said he would join me.
So Sunday morning 2nd Sept at 06.30 I led us to the start at Earls Barton, a distance of just over 60 miles which took us around 1 hr 40 mins, the uneventful journey was made slightly difficult by the low early morning bright sun. I made a slight detour at Mears Ashby to show Mick a memorial to the mid-air collision during WW2 of 2 USAF Flying Fortress's which was one of the checkpoints last year.
Being one of the first to arrive allowed us some time to speak to Trevor Pinfold who organised the event, Mick recognised him from a previous National Rally.  He told us he had based this event on the Welsh Rally format. After refreshments of the supplied tea/coffee and bacon/sausage baps we read through the questions for the required 'Late Classic' 14 checkpoints.  I had planned to visit from the 30 given to select from and hoped my route notes would work. I had arranged for a friend of mine who now lives locally to meet us, he had dusted down his 1977 Suzuki GT500 bought new from Jacksons in Waterloo Street, Burton.  He decided to follow us round. Also there was a workmate of Mick's from Wellingborough accompanied by his wife, he on a modern Honda and she on a modern Kawasaki.  They were off out on their own run.
So the run began with 29 other riders in perfect weather and conditions.  Apart from the 14 checkpoints already mentioned we had 3 compulsory checkpoints where at each we had to answer 6 'motorcycle related' general knowledge questions.  I got a total of 12 and could have had a further 2 if my recall had been better. The high point of the run was passing the Welland Viaduct, a 3/4 mile long railway bridge across the valley of the River Welland. The low point was a road closure on the A427. After speaking to the 'sentry' posted by Northants Council an alternative route was devised from his mobile phone and Google maps.  Unfortunately it got mixed in my head but eventually I got us on track again.  Talking to another rider at the end he had given up trying to get around the closure and had suffered a further two other blockages so we got off light. We arrived safely back to Earls Barton in the allotted time and had covered 112 miles and after returning our answer sheets we were given a commemorative beer mat.  Both Mick and myself won an award.
The return journey home was a re-run of the journey down, Sywell, Brixworth, South Kilworth and round Lutterworth to pick up the A5 at Magna Park and onto the A444. Malcolm.

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Mick and Malcolm with their bikes in front of the Welland viaduct.

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 Malcolm and Mick (1st and 2nd from left) with their awards presented at Northants Section AGM.  Well done lads.