Welcome to Team BugSplat's Site

We are Team Bugsplat, We take part in the Scumrun rally and run the official Scumrunvideo youtube channel

18 Sep 2013

Scumrun 2013 - The Cast Are All Dubious - Its been a while since I blogged and here's why...

Hi all,
First, apologies that I've left it so long to put anything up here, The fates of the world set in play a bunch of madness that meant i've just struggled to find time for anything...

I owe updates on the following:

Scumrun 2013
The SuperBug Build

But for now you will just need to occupy yourselves with watching what happened yourself...

So here we are! Scumrun Limited "Often Imitated but never duplicated" official movie - Scumrun 2013 - The Cast Are All Dubious.

100 Cars, 300 Participants, Europe's Premier Charity Rally, Scumrun 2013. Catch up with the various teams as they hurtle across Europe causing chaos and mayhem en route. In it's 8th Year the now 5 day event heads across Europe driving hard, partying hard and drinking hard...Whether you're after Daisy Duke, some 6ft Fairies, Drunken Mexicans, Crash Test Dummies, Haggis bashing, Locomotive horns, Kamikazes, or even a Rolls Royce, this years Scumrun has it all...

Copyright 2013 - Scumrun Ltd, Bugsplat Films

(Please note due to Youtube restrictions this will not play on mobile devices)

29 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2013 - Preparations - Part 6 - leaks

So with little over 3 days until we kick off we decided to do a bit of a service on the bugzai. We wanted to change air and oil filters. Engine oil, and spark plugs. The other day it had started misfiring and on checking the ht leads it appeared to have a little water that had got in where I'd sprayed the engine bay so I dried it out replaced the ht leads and all seemed well.

The filters and draining the oil was easy of course and we had this done in no time. Then we removed the spark plugs...

They weren't supposed to be black... Let alone dripping with oil !

So with other tell tale signs of minor oil leak around the rocker cover it was clear the gasket was not doing much.

Some hunting around the local parts places found someone who could get one in that afternoon and we picked it up together with some sealant.

We did the job and fingers crossed all appears to be running well with no leaks now. I'm just glad we spotted it before takeoff as we did most of the 2011 event on 3 cylinders and it was not pleasant!

28 Apr 2013

A bit of pre event housekeeping

Well with only a few days until we take part in this years Scumrun it seems a good time to remind everyone of Scumrun squadron communication protocols and radar data availability

We shall be transmitting coordinates and mission status through the top secret platforms code name 'twitter' and 'Facebook' as well as updating this site

You can navigate the encrypted security protocols of the mainframe by visiting

Www.twitter.com/teambugsplat (Search for hash tag #scumsqn )

Note that we are very grateful for all the donations received so far. If you would like to help wellchild and sponsor us the address is


Ok I hope you understand the top secret nature of this mission and endeavour to salute your superiors who have given you the honour of a level 3 security clearance to access this information

Scumrun squadron command

Over and out

23 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2013 - Preparation - Part 5 - The time draws near...

Now the veil falls, the opaque hue of midnight falls by the way like turbulent air a midst the wake of our combined company.

We all hold to ourselves the valour and courage to conquer...nay, dominate the skies and let no enemy grace itself with such foolish erroneous thoughts of victory against us.

The time for dusting down of switches and fettlements adjust of ailerons new and past has come and now we must make final preparations for battle...

Calling my wing men, from the unkempt wastelands of the world, give forth your rally cry to me like the true blooded Squadron that you are!!!

We are the Scumrun Squadron! In Spumae Nos Confidimus!

12 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2013 - Preparation - Part 4 - Livery

Now one must 'come clean' early on in these communiques and state that I do not plan to reveal a picture of the car now until the Launch in a couple of weeks time. This forms an obvious challenge when blogging about our rally preparation...however I will keep this short, to the point and at a blistering pace akin to the winged beauties of which our theme is based...

But hoping it is less...

and more...

Fundamentally, our planned livery is made up of 5 layers

2.Detail graphics
3.Text graphics
4.Official event graphics
5.Squadron livery

All sounds much more grand than it is, but on such a small car it does take some planning...add to this that I plan to have the roof down for the entire rally (barring extreme weather) and our space for visual identity is limited...

So far I have completed the paint layer, received graphics for 2 and 3 from willing suppliers, have received 4 from the event guys and just waiting to contact recommended source for 5.

Obvious to say that it would be nice to get some warm weather some time soon to facilitate the graphical transformation, if you've ever tried applying vinyl in the cold you will understand...

But watch this space, I will post a final picture on the morning of the launch from the secret mission briefing location in Dover...

Squadron leader...over and out.

5 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2013 Preparations - Part 3 – Role call...

We hear rumour of rumours, rustling of whispers in corridors of uprisings and sprouting of the rebellious, collaborative and flatulent.

There are those who look to evoke the winds of the east (and the gut)
There are those who look to the highest altitudes and fastest airspeeds
There are those who seek to capture the days of the past
There are those who barrel role with an eye on the earliest of our kind
There are those who join us from other genres but salute our cause
And then there are those who seek to overwatch and document.

At times the squadron will dwell in formation, laying fear (and perplexity) into the hearts of those we cross, but also our group have missions of an individual nature, do not be surprised to see solo missions being delivered with precision and gile. 

But do not be fooled, while solo they stand not alone...

Eclectic, yes, Dynamic, of course, stupid, without question, formidable, I dare you...

We are the Scumrun Squadron – In Spumae nos confidimus (in scum we trust)

Cmdr J.”Bugsplat” Richardson

Scumrun 2013 Preparations – Part 2 – Cometh the hour...

Europe knows not what fury she inspires from the depths of her past interpreted by those who choose to follow chaos and who’s recent endeavours have colluded and corrupted to culminate in a simple spark of ‘I wonder’ism. She sleeps content with her fruits of consumption, her results of sun baked vines and tumulted dairy. She knows not what fury...

As 88mph flaming tracks go it isn’t a notable size but I’ll take you back to the glorious days of 2009, when winter was winter and spring was spring. As the richochet of war stories rattled around the returning ferry pinging off the clinking pint glasses like the stray bullets from a p-zero, one summarised story stuck with me...

2 limousines at 10 o clock and 2 o clock respectively cruised in lanes 1 and 3. A little green mazda known to some as ‘bug’ to others as ‘that exhaust’ hovered in shadow of the 2 behemoths it trailed.
A local in situ behind in an aesthetically modified Honda challenged the might, and squeezed past. One call over the radio from one of the behemoths changed the course of our future forever...

“Unleash the spitfire!!!”

The behemoths peeled aside to leave space for the “bug” to breath, the Honda did not stand a chance and at around 110 knts abandoned his challenge and went wimpering back to the carrier from which he came.
Back to the ferry, the group of merry brothers from the 2009 Scumrun were grouped together and as the story unfolded the idea emerged...The Scumrun Squadron...

Different cars modelling different aircraft...

The idea was there, however this was where we let ourselves down. The idea did not become reality for any of the 2010,11 or 12 rallies.  I cannot offer explicit reasons why and only hope that you forgive us for this lack of action.

However 2013 is the year...cometh the Scumrun, cometh the idea, cometh the hour...

Cmdr J.”Bugsplat” Richardson 

Scumrun 2013 Preparations - Part 1 - A very adequate 'Plan B'

So on chatting with Kev (see previous post) it became clear that it would be a good idea to sort out a Plan B for this years rally. They guys are doing an awesome job on the bug and the last thing I'd want to do is apply any time pressure so I started the hunt for an adequate temporary Scumrun replacement.

I considered many vehicles, from falling in line with the crowd and choosing a BMW through to Imprezzas, various other Marques and some more obscure classical routes including a Rover 800 at one point.

But then I realised that with prep time rapidly diminishing I may be safer to 'stick to what I know' and so started the hunt for another MX5.

It turns out that fate was smiling on me...What I found with only 2 days delay was a beautiful 1994 Japanese Import 1.8 eunos roadster with only 60k on the clock! With a bit of dealing I managed to get it for the requisite £500 and while it wasnt in perfect condition, the engine (and I hope this doesn't come back to haunt me) sounds barely broken in.

Now finding this kind of motor for this kind of money is rare and so let me explain a bit about why...On tracking back through the recent history it can be summarised as follows...

Imported 2001 - 1 lady owner until summer 2012 - px'd into trader, sat for 6 months (getting a bit soggy in the process) trying to be sold at too high a price, passed on to smaller dealer to clear... - Team Bugsplat's new Scumrun Motor!

So basically all it needed was a couple of fuses and a good dry out...and it was a great car.

The challenge however is...great cars don't tend to stay great in my ownership for very long...

This was proven yet again the other day when forgetting about the ridiculous cold weather making the rear window plastic very brittle I managed to split it all the way across...break out the gaffer.

But with less than 6 weeks to go, we had our car, I sorted some tax (it had MOT left until after the rally) and It was ready to start the 'prep' proper for this years event.

Let the Scumrun Squadron Commence...

Bug to Superbug - Part 1 - Choices and a rather kind offer

Bug to SuperBug – Part 1 – Choices and a rather kind offer...

So I’ve always had big plans for the little MX5 which is affectionately known as ‘The Bug’ (team bugsplat derived, nothing to do with the bubbly air cooled rear engine Herby lookalikes). The grandest of these plans always involved some kind of engine conversion.

The choice was not as simple as I first thought. Many people when opting for more power go down the route of Forced induction...that is to say find a way of ramming more air into the engine by effectively bolting a hair dryer to the engine (or other more refined applications).

This option alone gave multiple choices... Do you go turbo, or supercharger, there are kits for both, and for a while the plan was to find the supercharger from the new mini cooper and bolt that on. Then I had a 180 and decided the FI route wasn’t the way to go and started looking at Bike throttle bodies, there is a developing trend of bolting GSXR throttle bodies to the block to unleash some potential.

Then I changed tack once again and decided Turbo was the way to go...but sticking to the teambugsplatscumrunarian way of things I wasn’t going to just go out and splash the cash on the infamous ‘Flyin Miata’ hardware that claimed 200 odd ponies of power and awesomeness. So I started collecting second hand parts. Turbo from an 80s mazda 323 turbo 4x4, injectors from a 1.8 mx5 etc etc.
It was about a year ago today that something happened to change all that...

It was something no less innocent than I slight facebook comment. Mentioning I’d been looking at options for more power for the bug. I jokingly put that I should whack a whopping great V8 or V12 in the thing and be done with it...
Bit of context...On the Scumrun there are many types of people, some relatively normal, others not. All share one thing in common though, a distinct love of either cars or driving or both...some take this to the level of tinkering around with spanners at home, some pay others to do it, but Mr Kevin Marshall takes this to a new level. He is in the interesting position of working at a College which has a huge automotive engineering training department, with some serious workshop equipment to boot. Sir Marshall as he shall now be known to me innocently comments on said Facebook that he’d do the work...I stated not to taunt me and he said ‘who’s joking, find me a donor car’... I should point out here purely for context that Kev was completing the 2012 Scumrun on a 50cc moped...

It was at this point that the obscene descent into insanity began...after a little more probing on the very generous offer from Sir Marshall it was clear that he was serious and that after the 2012 rally all I needed to do was give him the bug, a relevant donor vehicle and then let them do their stuff...So I started hunting around for donor cars.  The limitations on the donor vehicle were as follows...
Kev said It needed to be rear wheel drive and front engine in order for the drivetrain to be more easily transferable
I said It needed to have enough ponies to warrant the work
I also said it needed to be something ‘a little bit different’ but a fairly modern engine.
Most people who go down this ‘lets shove some cc’s into an mx5’ route go to a trusted source...US V8s
They stick a chevy short block in with a massive carb on it and join a fairly small club of small car big power enthusiasts.

This is going to sound altogether wrong to those who have seen my previous rally activity but I wanted something a little more refined, and ideally with electronic injection. But I don’t mind admitting the draw of a V8 was calling...
When you throw in the need for a little representative patriotism and the fact that the car had also been known as the spitfire for a while due to the noise of the exhaust I hit on one word...
I will momentarily digress to another conversation with Sir Marshall that I will somewhat paraphrase but you’ll get the idea...
Me – “how about a Jag V8, will it fit?”
Kev – “be a squeeze, but anything is possible with a grinder”
Me – “erm....ok then”
So I did what any sensible chap would do and went and bought a Jaguar XJ Sport.

“What! Not the 460hp XJR” I hear you cry...”only a piddly 3.2 v8” I hear you moan...
Let me explain...quite simply...I want it to actually be driveable. Yes I did consider the 4.2 V8 also, but alas I decided that the 240hp produced by the 3.2 was a good compromise between refinement and ludicrousness. There is clearly little point in creating something with more power than 1.the chassis can cope with and 2.won’t be able to get it onto the ground anyway, and I don’t have plans to fit 435 width tyres on it...
So we had our donor vehicle. It had no tax or mot but was in good condition apart from a damaged front wing (didn’t need that bit anyway) and the engine only had 81k on it. So I got it trailered up to Kev’s empire and then post Scumrun drove the Bug up there also.
The scale of the task was immediately clear when we put the cars up next to each other in the workshop...the engine was big...really big, the mx5 was small...seemingly smaller than I first imagined (comparatively)...

We all laughed at it and the noises from the mechanical nutters in the workshop were positive about the possibilities but I left them with no illusions as to the scale of the task they had undertaken!

The Plan...

Well, to be fair that might be putting it a little grandly, again back to our good social medionic friend and enabler of all things motor enthusiast communicative, Facebook, Kev and I discussed thinking on what might be involved in making such a machine of rareness and wonder.

The first realisation / insight was that we could not find evidence on the web of anyone else having completed such a transition, there was 1 jag V12 miata in the states we found but other than that it would appear that V8s used were either the chevy one or the LS lexus v8.

So Kev would be pioneering (again) in his endeavours...

We realised that the most important part of the plan was not to have too strict a plan, Sir Marshall has a certain way of working, it’s something akin to scrapheap challenge with a smidge of the Krypton Factor and a dash of genius. The bottom line was...leave it to them and they’ll figure it out.

One thing that was clear was 3 key bits that definitely needed swapping...Engine, Gearbox and Differential. Everything else had a ‘let’s figure it out as we go’ tag over it.
This was no better demonstrated than when people asked “I hope you are going to fit bigger brakes?” , the response being “we’ll worry about stopping it once we’ve got it going”
Initial thinking was the whole rear end (sub frame and all) from the jag might need to be used and it would end up with some 50 50 chassis of the 2 cars... It became clear later on that that wasn’t the right approach but for a while I imagined a rear end with a 28cm wider track than the front...

The other big question was electronics...use the Jag loom? Or go for external...cost said we should try the Jag one before opting for the expensive alternatives but this one’s still being worked on as I write so watch this space.

What I didn’t realise early on (although no doubt they were well aware) was just the number of parts they had to custom fabricate themselves! Engine mounts, gearbox mounts, oil cooling, diff fittings all totally fabricated by the welding skills of Kev, his team and his students. Fair play.
The engine mounts alone looked like they could hold a Jet engine onto a 747!

The guys view of these things was nicely summed up with a recent conversation with Kev where he said “oh we’ve just been doing a few little jobs”, “few little jobs?” I enquired, “yeah we just had to fabricate an oil cooling system for the gearbox”....he cracks me up.

So anyway, things have progressed further now but I will save that for the next update...Continued massive thanks to all the people working on the car!

2 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2012 - Part 12 - Heading home at a leisurely pace

So here we are, It's taken a while to reach this final installment, and as the sands of time ebb ever closer to the launch of the 2013 event it seems only fitting that I get off my satirical arse and close the book on 2012.

So we pick this up having just had one hell of a night, which started with 'LED porn' and ended in...ended in... ah even 10 months later its hazy... I woke up with one hell of a hangover, but luckily we had already established Andy was driving...especially as it was quite a long way to the ferry from where we were and we had a checkpoint on route, so we got up bright and early and headed off.

I have foggy memories of the sun burning through misty skies and chilly roof down cruising through close to zero temperatures with the realisation that we had a bloody long way to go in one day to make the ferry. The route this year was a real toughy and it was at this point that I took a poignant moment to reflect on the awesomeness of Japanese engineering.

The Bug...a Mazda MX5 built somewhere far away in 1992 with Japanese engineering at it's roots. I wonder if the engineers designing it or the robots building it ever considered for a second the obscene usage it would see in its lifetime.  But whether they had this unagi-esque foresight or not it's fair to say that they built a bulletproof warhorse of a car. It was somewhere heading through the French back roads that the little monster clocked over onto 150,000 miles. Ok so it's not the highest mileage you'll ever see, but given that the last 30,000 of so of those have been in my ownership and switching alternatively between 'flat out' and 'sideways' I can only bow down at the skill of the Mazda engine builders.

So as a tribute to the awesomeness of the engine I (post rally) of course decide to have it ripped out...but that's another story for another day...

So I'm not sure if it was the lack of breakfast, hangover or just my nostalgic self but I was feeling rather poetic about the ol' Scumrun...

Our first and only checkpoint of the day was the welcome sign in a little place known more for its output than anything else, and to continue the theme of the checkpoints on this years event we pulled up along with loads of other runners in Cognac.

This was a quick stop for a photo opportunity as it was still a mighty drive to the ferry.

After some roundabout drifting with our buddies in the white MR2 and some phone hunting with the (i was now realising) useless at remembering where he'd put things Andy. We got onto the main run to the ferry. About 600km of motorway blast.

As the 'blast' was just pushing the needle up the indices of mph and we were engaging FMWD (French Motorway Warp Drive) we spotted something.

It was blue, white, small and hazy on the distance, joining from a slip road at pretty slow speed.

The good old French constabulary looked at us like they'd just bitten into their ham and cheese baguette and found a turd. Not sure if it was the fact that we were mid stamp on the brakes or the fact that we went past them at exactly 1 mph under the speed limit that annoyed them more...

But just as we were reveling in our English smugness we watched them slow down, indicate onto the hard shoulder and stop behind us on the motorway...

S$%t! we thought, we'd just effectively set a trap.

You see, in our eagerness to leave early, travel moderately and catch teams on camera as they caught us up we had indeed been one of the front runners at this point. Which meant that 'Le Rozzers' were no doubt radioing all their buddies and lining the spine of France with as many cars, cameras and coppers as were available... Neurotic? maybe, Paranoid? perhaps, Damn right! indeed!

We tweeted, We Facebooked, We CB'd, we'd done all we could to warn the other runners of the possible impending doom...

It was noted by some 'fans' (well a parent actually) that our radar 'blips' on the gps trackers had decisively slowed in progress...this was as the word spread through the airways that we were being stalked by our friends in blue.

All in all, by the time we'd reached the end of that day I'd heard of around 10 'stops' by the local forces. Not many in fairness ending with fines...although one particular team who shall remain nameless were a little bit OTT and suffered the consequences I hear.

About half way to the ferry we pulled in to get some fuel along with the Orange Brigade...The event cars plus the Orange Audi, which I guess was seeking camouflage with the others to avoid further police presence (they had been one of the unlucky ones) were also stopping.

One gap in our footage so far was the event cars on the road. We had seemingly missed them on the other days and so we took full advantage on the run after this stop. The great thing about CB's is that they are great for coordinating 'Fly Bys' . After 4 or 5 backward and forward we had shot plenty of great footage of the cars and then headed off.

The ride to the ferry was fairly uneventful from there on in. We came across various scummers on route, and a couple of the beemers heading past us at least 130+ with ship fog horn blasting was quite amusing. But it wasnt until we were approaching the port that the concertina effect meant we bumped into loads of teams. Including the neanderthalic flintstoneesque snozzwangers who are always good for a laugh, and some footage. Mr Stillwell take a bow, one scumrun short of a funny farm if you ask me...

...so it was with this crazy rabble we rolled into the finish at the ferry port. there were about 10 or so cars there already and merriment was well under way.

The cars came rolling in one by one, but when Suped, the little moped carrying the now even more legendary 'Big Kev' rolled in it was somewhat emotional...all I can say is fair play... although seeing as he had agreed to take on my less than simple engine conversion and as I write this he's throwing a motorbike around the sahara desert...I'm starting to get a real insight into how he works... probably best summarised as 'bring it on'

On the Ferry the usual post event party was good, although looking round at the 300 or so band of brothers you could really see the fatigue as well as the joy...let's make no bones about it, it had been a challenging one this year.

The awards were given out, Best dressed to the Virgin girls, which nobody could argue with, enough beer and any one of us would have copped off with them...The coveted Spirit of the Scumrun went to the well deserved Pirates...who had been in costume and character for the entire event and were brilliant...other awards went to the guys who raised the most for charity, including the miles for matilda chaps who raised an eye watering 8k alone! others to the Gavin and Stacey (and don't forget Nessa) and the NYtaxi peeps who also raised awesome amounts. Kev and Suped got a special 'your so mental we didnt actually think you'd do it, let alone get round' award. and the best car awards (dressed and modified) went to the Jolly boys death race lexus and the just incredible Batmobile 3 series bmw with the chopped lack of roofage and real jet engine in rear (well space heater but looked the same!)

The exit from the ferry was the usual cacophonous auditory assault on the senses, only mildy tempered this year by the fact that they had split us onto 2 floors. and to top the whole thing off, I got a rollocking from the passport control people for revving my subtle exhaust notes too much...

So that's it... we'd seen Roads to never forget, People we'd always remember, another year of fantastic experiences with amazing fellow 'believers' in the way of the Scumrun.

And as I write this in a particularly cold spring start to 2013 I have the warming but mischievous sparkle in my eye of someone who gets to do it all over again in 4 weeks time...

2012 was an awesome event, Long live the Scumrun.

Joe 'Bugsplat' Richardson - Signing off...  

5 Jan 2013

Scumrun 2012 - Part 11 - Sandsurfing, Dancefilming, and a couple of random french girls

It's been more than a while since I last ventured wildly and unrelinquished into my memory and dragged the imagery out, kicking and screaming like a fat kid being told he was being taken out to a window seated salad restaurant opposite a KFC flagship store with a giant sign saying "free unlimited food for all fat kids".

I don't have fans, but if I did, they'd be hotly anticipating this blog entry with a mixture of quivering drool and toesmacking envy as I carry on the tale of 2012's culminatory excitable hotpot of mayhem that is the Scumrun.

I'll pick up the tale as we head back north out of the madness that was Pamplona and across the subterranean lumpage filled border into France.

The sweeping roads were awesome, not the tight hairpins and forestry rally mentalism of the inbound journey but this time high speed undulating rollercoaster fun of duel carriageway smoothness made particularly sweet by the burn up we had with a couple of bmw runners through tunnels.

It was all getting particularly poetic and I was getting ensconced in the moment of the scenic flamboyance of this stretch of the journey...this all came to an end when we caught up with the next tranche of competitors who furnished us with nothing more civil and cheeky than baring rear end flesh again and again and again...
While this offered us plenty of box ticking hilarity driven footage it all became rather distressing at one point when what was on offer became a little more unsightly than mere cheek, don't misunderstand me, when surveying the point of purchase at my local marks and spencer the rustling site of baggage is most welcome...well I'm sure you understand.

It was this point that we pulled off the motorway on to a large service area containing a car park and toilets and that's it. No other cars, or people...well while it wasn't exactly gymkhana territory, a little fun on the grey stuff was had.

Andy's stomach was starting to drown out the exhaust, that was extreme, so we stopped primarily for a fuel stop but I allowed some food relief. with a mighty fine croque monsiuer which we shared due to its high expense. I'll never forget the site of Andy hacking this thing in 2 with a rusty craft knife on my bonnet followed by us both acting like it was the finest a la carte offering we've ever eaten.

The final destination for the day was nothing special really, only the largest sand dune in Europe, overlooking on one side a massive national park and on the other the atlantic ocean. Myself, along with many others on the run I think a) didn't realise places like this existed in France and b)were impressed with Ed's destination picking abilities!

Much chaos ensued at this place, I'll take one area at a time...

1. A Cook Up...
Thus far on the rally I had yet to really unleash my culinary talents, the burner had done nothing more than tickled the underside of a tin of chilli and warmed through some H2O, and we had disposable bbq's coming out of every crevice of the car.  To solve this terrible situation I turned the rear wing of the bug into a kitchen using both bbq and burner, headed over to the camp shop and bought all the meat...every variant they had...and cooked it all.

2.Sand Surfing...
This 100m high sand dune had a slope of I'm guessing 60-70 degrees and was therefore a prime hunting ground for thrill seekers. Items of surfage included their own bodies (in various states of clothing), tents and even sumo outfits. There were even some proper skiers there working their thing...this place was mad.

Ok so this is a common theme throughout of course but it seemed to be particularly robust in presence this evening. My guess is mainly because it was the last night of the event, but people didnt really hold back... Thankfully for him, Andy was nominated to take the early run in the morning and did hold back, I wish I had...

4.French girls...
There were some local 'interests' who were very forward in their communicative assistance...this ended when we tried to get them topless on camera...ah well, worth a try.

5.Arm wrestling...
Ok so we shouldn't be that surprised that 300 blokes and alcohol ended up in a full on arm wrestling contest.

6.Lasers and a 'discotheque'
Dancing was had...to major levels, the laser show the dj had going was particularly impressive...at least it seemed that way when I'd had a whole bottle of some local pernot style liquor.

Other highlights include a conversation with a burger...(which I don't remember but was recorded on the camera when I got home), getting the car stuck in the sand dune on some filming positioning folly, neon porn...(the big usa limo guys stripping their car of lighting and wearing it with proud joy) and my favourite moment of the night. a bunch of lads turning up at the entrance check in point with their garden chairs, pretending to be a car, to roleplay the whole check-in process with the event team to simply get the welcome shot... beautiful scumrunian creativity at play...

It had been a long madness filled day, but one of the finest of my scumrun history...

To be continued...law-abidingly...

17 Aug 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 10 - The Mechanical Bull Run

The sun was shining...spreading its golden sheen over the streets of the archetypal Spanish backdrop...Warming the scene with The peaceful allure of yellow serenity. Imagine the birds singing as the locals pick up their just baked bread and happily stroll from A to B, carrying on their undisturbed daily routine.  A few family tourists taking photos, smiling at the beautiful architecture. A perfect picture of tranquil northern spain...

Then we arrived...

100 of the loudest, brashest, most offensive, chaotic, inconsiderate, party animalistic, dimwitted, britsabroadafarian and down right mayhem inciting cars and accompanying individuals ever to venture outside her majesties oceanic walls.

This clash of culture was sure to be somewhat interesting. Especially as being one of the first there we realised that the first checkpoint already had several spanish policeman there.

I'm actually rather relieved to inform you that both the constabulary of Pamplona and the local populous were both welcoming, excited and actually rather pleased to see us descend on their great town!

We even managed to get one of our lawful friends to say 'good luck Scumrun' to camera!

This next 30 mins was rather remarkable really. I actually felt more like we were on the Gumball than the Scumrun... People wanted photos with our car and were asking us to rev the engine and generally be as scumtastic as we would have been anyway but with the luxury of them being totally accepting!

The first checkpoint was the streets of the bull run, the second the bull ring itself.

We spent a long time at the bull ring, seeing the other scummers come through and getting their checkpoint photos. At various points there were 10+ cars pulled up infront of the ring with the locals crowding round wondering what on earth was happening.

We had local gymnasts cart wheeling in front of the cars, and scumrunners vomiting from the night before showing the usual levels of respect. It was like London 2012 has come early just 1000 miles south.

The footage we took at the bull ring is some of the best of the event I think and for whatever little it's worth I want to say a big thanks to Pamplona for being so welcoming.

We headed back out of town and north towards the french border...

To be continued...surftastically

21 Jul 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Extended Trailer

Just to let you know that I will be releasing the Scumrun 2012 Movie through the scumrunvideo youtube channel on 1st August - Here is the extended trailer to wet your appetite!

5 Jul 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 9 - Hanging Over with a Pedalow

We pick this up on the morning of the day 3. The beautiful sunrise ebbed over the horizon spilling golden warmth like an overflowing brim of a honey filled jar of happiness...Of course I didn't see it because I was somewhere between a coma and flat-line at that time of the morning!

I woke up like a large grizzly mammal with cranial issues, erupting out of the tent like a blooming flower (ie very very slowly) Feeling worse for wear I may have been but I am nothing if not a professional. I picked up the camera and did the obligatory walk-about.

I stumbled (quite literally) upon the adams family in their hearse, They jubilationiously sang, jovialised and cooked their breakfast in merriment. They either handle their adult beverages in a very robust way, or they were more sensible that I was the night before...

The walk-around continued and I chatted to many other teams hearing their stories from the day before...2am arrivals due to dedication to the avoidance of toll roads, Batmobile bombardment of hailstonegolfball weather. It was all there.

...and this leads me to one of the highlights of the morning...The green audi with a roof box was sat there proud in the su...oh hang on, the audi didn't have a roof box last night did it? On closer inspection the roof box would have appeared to have been pedalow shaped! Someone in their wisdom (I believe in retrospect it may have been the team to which the audi belonged) had decided to place said pedalow on top of the car.
I started to toy in my mind with the reasoning behind this move...then I realised that this was the Scumrun...reasoning was pointless, reason was optional.

This in itself was rather amusing and created fun footag-age but what happened next was a 2 stage embarkation to the pinnacle of scumrunian endeavours in my humble opinion.

Firstly 2 of the lads climbed into the pedalow, while still amount the car.  Quotes of "what the F£$% do we do now?", "How do we get down?" and "Stop moving the bloody thing" echoed from the mad pair...

After finding a way out and pulling the boat off of the roof someone had an idea.  I was withholding judgement on whether it was a good idea or not until after it was achieved or not, and more importantly whether it ended in any fatalities.

They wanted to fasten the boat to rear of the audi and rally around the camp site.

I happened (quite neurotically you may say) to have a heavy duty tow rope in my boot. I duly obliged (purely for Movie production purposes of course) and they hooked up the boat to the audi.

Loaded with its occupants the audi began revving its engines "Nah, just nail it" I heard from the baying crowd.  It was like a bull ring wanting their fill (how appropriate). The audi took it steady at first but soon built up their confidence, swinging the pedaltrailer over the grass like a poorly made cross between a bath tub and a lawn mover.

I'll never forget the noise it made as the boat (at this point travelling at close to 20mph) transitioned from grass to tarmac.

Applause and cheers were swift in coming, loud in approach and well deserved. The guys had made a Scumrun legendary moment.

The day's briefing was had and route cards were issued. Bull Run Time!

We had a shortish drive today to the final destination on the west coast of france but before then we had 2 checkpoints. Both in central Pamplona, The Bull Run (or at least the street where the madness takes place) and the Bull Ring.

We loaded the cameras with power, memory and tape where appropriate and headed off, leaving a few donuts and burn out markings for them to remember us by.

The drive to Pamplona itself was fairly uneventful, a petrol stop and some locals shouting approvals, but there were two highlights within this short 10 mile section.

The first was a glorious set of hair pin corners coming down the hill from the other side of the village we were in. The second was a food fight (or other incendiary) between the bumblebee transformer bmw and the colourful limo. We of course did our best to catch it on film.

We then started to enter the built up area of central Pamplona. The madness was about to begin...

To be continued...bullishly

4 Jul 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 8 - lumps, sumps, beer, and a little too much mansausage

We pick this up having just 'given it some beans' across the mountains and on the home run to the camp site.

This was just south of Pamplona. As we approached we were a combination of relieved, self righteous and joyous about the fact that not only was it NOT raining (for once) but in fact the orb of deiteous light that I forget the name of as it had been so bloody long since we had seen it, was making itself known in glorious splendour. By this point we had the roof down, sunglasses on and had even picked up a little of the old rose tinted nose burn. We must have looked like a cross between a hair dressers day out, the only way is Essex (only the ugly ones) and the cast of the fast and the furious trying to go undercover in Birmingham town centre.

We arrive at the entrance to the camp site down a long gravelly bumpy drive through some fields with rolling hills on either side of us and beautiful scener....CRACK! SMASH! CRUNCH!

All of this beauty was overshadowed by the Fwapping Great Speed Humps!

Next year I'm suggesting to our esteemed scumlord that a smoothness factor should be considered in the routing. This was the second occasion in thus many days that my undersides had been attacked, harassed, scraped, scratched and altogether shaggerated by the concrete nemesis of the lowered car brigade.

Why have such a low car I hear, Hark! I reply...This is the Scumrun my friend... Why not?

After the dual to the death between the surface layer of the aggregation of pointless lumpy tarmac and my exhaust where the tarmac lost but left their scars...we were met by 'da crew' at the gate. The turquoise event van sat with pride welcoming the scumrunners into the bosom of the northern espagna temporary chaotic party land...Let the fun begin.

We rolled up and positioned the bug quite centrally in middle of the camping area. As was now the drill it seemed, Andy jumped into action setting up camp while I headed off with the camera affixed on my shoulder  looking for some stories from the day. What I actually realised was our so called detour over the mountains was not so much of a detour after-all.  Turns out we had arrived around 20 somethingth and hardly anybody was there yet...Those that were there gave me the impression that this was in fact a bit of a lull in the madness.

It's fair to say that the drive that day had been long and challenging, which on top of the first long day meant that people were feeling just a smidgen, a tad, a sprinkle of the old scumrun buddy...fatigue.

This lasted only as long as until the beer started flowing.

I made a conscious decision that tonight, was the night, for feeling alright, we'll be making l...oh hang on that's something else isn't it...  Tonight, quite simply, I was going to relax, and most probably get completely mullered.

This presented a problem...Filming when drunk does not tend to lead to quality footage...

So the plan was. Take the big camera to the party early on, get enough good shots to set the scene, then take the camera back to the car, switch to iphone and hit it hard...

This seemed to work well as a plan, especially as the second half of the plan seemed to be the same as everyone elses...

You will need to watch the final edit of the video to understand really, but kareoke started to ensue. This turned rapidly into Mentaloke and gradually descended into Armaggedonoke.  All accompanied by some of the most energetic rampant arm flinging, leg jostling and arse wiggling I've ever seen.

Along with all this chaotic beer fuelled madness was a running theme of fundraising for the charity (Sparks)

One dude (with more money than sense, or more generosity than money, or just really really loved Ed, or perhaps had been stalking him for years and that was the reason he had attended the scumrun anyway) procured Ed's event jacket for £500.

As wonderfully admirable as this was, I can't help but think that it was a rather extreme way of keeping warm.

Some other highlights included a memorable performance of...something or other unintelligible while doing a 'full monty' from 2 members of scumrunerphanalia.  My favourite part of the whole night. Not because I had any particular desire to see their mansausage but because of the looks of disapproval, disbelief, and almost revisiting their dinner in a less than social friendly way that appeared on the audiences faces...As respect for embarrassing ones self for charity goes, they deserved it all.  Lucky I had my Iphone...you can check it out for yourself soon...sorry lads.

To be honest, I don't really remember the rest of the night. I woke up in the tent, so I must have made it back ok. Genuinely have no recollection of getting there though.

To be continued...hungoverly

13 Jun 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 7 - Mountains of joy...

So we pick things up somewhere on a wing and a prayer that our diversion proves a wise choice. We were heading forth on a total punt that a road that goes straight over a mountain range must be more exciting than the motorway going round it? right?

Whilst we were fairly assured in our decision we equally realised the likelihood that we may end up broken down with melted tendercooked brakes, a main course of coolant explosion surprise with a side of running out of fuel, all on some pyranees insane sheep farmers land being met with furious antianglosaxon abuse and fully loaded 12 bore...

So fun roads yes, but I hope you appreciate we were taking our lives in our hands...

I hope you can also understand the lack of photos, we simply forgot...The roads were allconsuming, and what little time wasn't spent clinging on for dear life was spent pointing a video camera hopelessly hoping for something steady enough to use! So alas this blog entry will be a visual null, however with a little imagination and some over elaborate use of superlatives and a smidgen of adjective abuse I hope to put you there in one of the most fun, manic, rampant, mayhem-filled, squeekybumtimeary 2 hours driving I've ever been a part of.

So back to the motorway...weather was clear, sunny, warm, we had been cruising around a tonne so the tyres were nice and warm. Andy was driving. I had very selfishly driven the claremont ferrand mountain so being the gentlemen I am, I let him take the wheel for the first part of this momentous section.

Now up to this point in the rally Andy has been respectful of the fact that it was my car. Too respectful in fact. While I am in no way saying that he drove like captain slow's antiquated nan's blind dog. I could tell he was a little reluctant to 'give it some beans'. As I say he was driving quite confidently but as I am aware of the levels of abuse the bug will happily take and beg for more I was wondering when he may 'avit'.

This ghost was laid to rest as soon as we left the motorway...no literally he was pushing it round the slip road on the way off.

It was like the thought of the coming roads had released a hulk like incarnation of Colin Mcrae in him. The roads started with an elongated rollercoasteresque configuration of undulation and camberised cornerage. Most of this was spent around 80mph in 3rd gear. Those who know the car well, will understand the simple volume levels involved in such a situation.

I'll digress and quote another team at this point..."We heard you coming down the motorway from within the services, and we still heard you for ages!" bottom line, it's loud.

So as we entered the first of the southern french aggregations of villagous FAFOAPs (French Arse Faced Old Age Pensioners) at a rather too high speed, in a rather too loud car, it wasn't totally beyond expectations that there were a 50/50 mix of looks... I will segment and describe as follows:

Look 1 - Normally by the older generation - "I just punched a nun and my name is Damien" - This was a look of pure hatred, it conjured thoughts of "Why are you breathing you horrible creation of whatever made you, get out of my view, town and in fact world" mixed with a slight aspect of "I am french, that means whatever you are, I am superior in every way and nothing you will ever do will change that now crawl back to the chavious pit from which you came"

Look 2 - Normally by the younger generation - "I just stripped the nun naked gave her a foot rub and put her clothes back on again" - This look had 2 phases - phase 1 was tinged with some of the hatred I describe in look 1 in a slightly less harsh variety. But this look had more of a starting point of shock. It was like an alien has just landed in the middle of town, walked out of his spacecraft and said "take me to your butcher"
phase 2 of the look became more joyous, accepting and appreciating of the irony of what we were doing. It screamed "oh you want to look ridiculous and have people laugh at you, I see, I accept that and laugh at you as long as you dont mind me adding a slight pouring of pity"

Needless to say...we didn't stop.

Well actually we did. The Satellite Navigation was indicating we were about half way through the route. So we swapped over.  This was fortunate for me, as the road became something of true beauty and borderline madness...

The next day Andy was talking to another Scumrun victim and described the road as having about 200 hairpins. He was of course being enthusiastic and over zealous with his description...only he wasnt.

Literally this road had about 200 hairpins. Through the dark depths of forests, up the sides of ravines, wider bits, narrow bits, lack of barriers, no lack of bravery needed, (more on his part letting me drive).

I'll add a little bit of context here...2 pieces of fresh information...

1. I took my car for a tire puncture repair 2 weeks before the start of the rally. With no dramatisation I can quote my tyre mechanic "you need new rears, they are borderline at best, I don't need to ask how" Needless to say I didn't get them changed...one more rally first.

2.It had just started to rain.

So in possession of this new information you can imagine the situation. One of the most challenging roads either of us have ever been lucky enough to be on, questionable tyres, questionable driving ethics, slippery surface...

I thought the situation was most simply, poetically and efficiently summarised at one particular uphill hairpin where we exited the corner fairly sideways into the path of a black small hatchback (I thought it quite appropriate that it was black if you think of the feline analogy) and I had to quickly lift and adjust to straighten one's arse to avoid a less than pleasant outcome.

Andy simply enthusiastically stated...."Nice"

We tried to film, we really did, promise we tried really hard...and if your definition of filming is "hit record and point at something" then we succeeded. If however you actually want to see anything resembling stability and any audio other than exhaust tone and tyre squeal then alas disappointment is the likely outcome.  I can of course work some wonders in the editing suite.

Some teams claimed that night to have experienced oodles of our white friend. (no not illicit substances, unless your a finish rally driver) Snow. We must have taken a slightly different and less elevationous route than these folk because all we hit at the top of the mountain was the most monumental thunderous, lightning filled hail frenzy.  The storm thankfully made it's intention known and was visible from quite a distance. We had the for-sight to put the roof up.

Driving through this hail (which was unit sized at somewhere between pea and 2 penny piece) was like trying to walk on marbles, wearing tubs of butter as shoes, while carrying several buckets of water.

Being fairly confident in the handling of the bug I simply slowed down slightly and seemed to subzeroaquaplain adequately around the invisible road. Luckily no other mentally redundant motorist was willing to venture onto the road at the time so our wallowing from side to side was totally safe...

Then we hit a tunnel...

Now there is one thing about tunnels, unless they are really really really big...and I'm not totally sure the human race has built one big enough...they dont have their own weather systems.  This meant that the inside of the tunnel was totally dry...and give the absolute lack of traffic and the immediacy of the storm I mean totally dry.

So we floored it...only thing to do in a loud car with an empty unmanaged uncamera'd tunnel right?

for a brief moment I forgot two important facts for our survival...the weather...and...tunnels end.

as we reached the end of this particular 'hole in't ground' what lay in front of us was something akin to a waterfall from a frozen hell mixed with an uprising of sentient ball launchers at a golf ball convention.

I don't know how to spell the collection of noises we made at that point...

Luckily the brakes although sodden and ice filled did their job and we didn't do an impression of the Red Bull Flug tag...just.

The rest of the journey was cruising really...that is until we reached what I shall call ghosttownfactoryville.

I don't actually know if we knew whether we were still in france or in espagna by that point. For all I know we were actually in andorra somewhere but If my primitive (purely previous Scumrun based) geography of that region is right we were too far left to be there. But wherever we were it was odd, even eerie.

We exited another tunnel and came down a straight hill...to our left was conformity housing gone mad. Like 1984 meets Butlins with a sprinkle of communist equalism. Hundreds of 'dwellings' all seemingly built for one purpose, housing factory slaves for what was on the right. An enormous collection of chimneys and offices that would make the worlds largest perfect paint ball venue. But what was odd (and actually this probably shows we were likely in spain) there was nobody around. I mean, nobody, not a car, or person anywhere. Now I know it was a Sunday, but a site of this size? but anyway the level of occupation was purely circumstantial... The reason this place is worthy of note is obvious if you had seen it.

Running along the front of the factory was an enormous piece of tarmac that wouldnt be out of place at London Heathrow. With little road markings it was at least 100m wide and probably a km long.

I'll give you 3 guesses, you'll only need one.

After one bit of chavvyoutburstary we bottled it and decided there must have been some kind of security or cameras, and from the scale of the setup there was nothing to say it wasn't military...That's some Scumrun madness I don't want to be going down with to be honest! "yeah guys, today we got machine gunned" no thanks. So we headed back onto fairly normal roads and towards the campsite just south of Pamplona.

I just hope I've done that section justice, It will forever stay with me as one of the best driving experiences of my life.

To be continued - ashamedly

31 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 6 - The Imperfect Storm

I think it was somewhere near Toulouse that we hit it.  Somewhere above chaotic megastorm and just short of armageddon. The whole world decided to instantaneously turn into rain and then hail and fall from the sky at the same time.

You probably think I'm being dramatic. Well yes I maybe hamming it up for bloggist needs but the truth is it took us off the road!

We were driving along and we hit the wall of precipitative madness and the bug quite simply became a boat.  I aqua planed all over the place, slowed down to about 20mph on a motorway... Mad locals who apparently had no interest in living went whizzing past. I basically lost steering as the bodykit hit pooling water and we ended up drifting into the hard shoulder. Whacking the warning hazards on quicker than a fat kid downs a maccy d we were quite concerned that we would be rear ended as there was no way people could see through this.

So we sat and filmed the lightning until the hail eased up.

We saw a gap in the weather and blue sky in the distance and gunned it for climatic freedom. 

We were heading for the next checkpoint, The Pau racetrack sat in the depths of southern France.

We now had rain and hail on and off until we reached the checkpoint. When we got there it was full on raining but we didn't let that stop us. 

We turned up where the sat nav indicated we should and all we could see was boarded up walls and a big church. 'hmm are we in the right place?' then we heard it. The whine and rumble of assorted V8 power. We could not see it but we could hear it. It was then we realised we were right by the track. Unfortunately so were some security staff for the circuit. I had to pull out all of my francais prowess to sweet talk the middle aged french female security guard into letting us somewhere near the track. "Le photo sil vous plait madamoiselle"

Eventually she waved into an area we could park and said we could walk round some barriers and take a peak and some photos.  The photos are rubbish, but the cars were awesome! there was some historic racing going on with Cobras, Daytonas and many more. We got a few shots with the video camera and as the local staff were getting techy about our unsubtle trespassing we decided to head off.

Coming into Pau we'd met up with the lads in the red XJS. This stately thing was one of my favourite cars on the rally. To my knowledge it was the first time an XJS has done the rally and this thing was great! We were also touring around with the graffiti'd blue and gold merc. By the time we'd got to Pau I think we'd lost them though.

We headed back out of town running on fumes.  The XJS was in need of some fuel too so we were hunting. It was then that we found the most obscure of things. An electric recharge only 'petrol' station. Ie it looked like a petrol station but all it had was plug sockets!!!  Have I missed something? I rarely ever see an electric car on the road, yet they are building stations purely for them? Well bugger me, maybe I should go and buy a couple of 4 ways and setup one in my drive.

This was not good, we needed fuel.

Some gentle cruising out of town to the next services and we stopped. Still with the XJS we also bumped into the Scumtaxi white peugeot 306. We refueled but also got some lunch. 

Microwave burger. Win.

It was at this PETROL station that we had a bit of a debate about our routing. 

To our left was the pyranees, it ran from one side of our view to the other like an inviting set of lady bumps calling us to head straight into the middle for some mountaineous antics. The sat nav did not agree, It swore blind the best route was heading along to Biarritz and down, basically driving right around the mountains!

We eventually concluded that we had enough time to take the detour (or so we thought it was a detour)

The XJS and the Scumtaxi headed off, I'm not entirely sure what route they took in the end but we didn't see them again until the evening.

So loaded with food, filled to the brim with the finest octane fuel they had and the sun beating down we were all set for a few hours of driving that we were never going to forget...

To be continued - sideways

29 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 5 - Sunshine and Le Twisty Bits

So in the time so far there had been one inevitable consistency. One thorn in our canvastastic side.  One antagonistic wart on the arse of our scumrun behind. One meteorological toe stubbing against the analogous sofa of our motoring existence...

It hadn't stopped F£$%&$% raining!

So I could not have been more pleased to unzip the dutchovenlike mildly flooded tent to a bath of glorious sunshine.

I am nothing if not professional, Before even making a coffee I whipped the camera out of its waterproof trouser gaffer tape creation and rolled the tape.  One of my favourite parts of filming is doing a 'walkaround' 

There is something quite amusing about shoving a camera in someone's face and watching them squirm as their brain waves mash with their lips in a cacophonous splurge of nervous semi-articulation. This becomes compounded, concentrated and slightly discouraging when you add in the effect of their own body weight in alcohol the night before. Hangover walk abouts are great fun.

After a bit of filming I started up the Mini Moto once more. With the sun being out this now enabled me to fit a camera to the mount I had designed so thoughtfully to get those ever so important 'mini moto ankle shots'.

More importantly the campsite was effectively built a bit like a go karting track so I soon lost sight of the ankle shots (I decided the ankle feature youtube video probably wasn't a priority) and just blatted it round trying to get my knee down. Was going well until I ran out of fuel.

Gradually as the sun got warmer and the heads got clearer, people started gathering around the event cars like tramps waiting for the soup run in anticipation of where we were going that day.

On my walk about earlier that morning I asked the question...where d'ya think we're heading? and what was apparent was that nobody had a bloody clue. some said south, some said east, some said north some said west some said 'fnaaarg'.

Ed announced that we were off to Pamplona. Those more cultured, geographically aware or perhaps agricultural extremists amongst you will be aware that Pamplona is the home of the Bull run. An annual event that sees 50% sane people take on Beasts 150% their size with at least a 75% chance of death. Thankfully the actual event runs later in the year and wouldn't be on for our arrival. Probably for the best...100 Bulls vs 100 Cars strikes me as a battle that you would like to see on youtube, but perhaps not be part of.

The routes were distributed in their secretive branded envelopes and manic high risk paper cut manouvres were had in an endeavour to read the destinations. 

The usual 'Iwanttobefirsttoproveihavebigballsafarians' ran off in search of their car keys. We on the other hand set up a camera on the rear wing and filmed everyone else leaving.

Our first check point was a mountain visible from the camp site. It was only about a 20km or so blast. I opted to drive and this time we were going to do it properly. No messing, we knew there would be mountains, twisty roads, other scumrunners and sunshine, this was the perfect storm of footage in our view.

So helmets on, helmet cameras armed, in car cameras ready, main camera loaded. 

The drive up to the checkpoint was great fun. This was the first time the Bug really came into its own...The big old german tourers may have their litrage, they may have their horses, they may have their V8's but when your hauling an arse heavier than the combined cast of 'Super Sized vs Super Super Sized' up the mountain side I'm sorry my friend but the little japanese pocket rocket with some dodgy sockets has it all the way.

I remember one 'manouvre' in-particular which was recited back to me that evening where I think I overtook 4 other scumrunners on the other side of 2 bollards or something along those lines. All in the name of getting good footage...and anyway, they were in my way.

I recognised the road from a previous rally, we had definitely done this bit before, I believe in 2009 but could be a different year. 

When we approached the checkpoint it was clear that nobody had really read the notes again. In our haste we quite often get to a checkpoint and realise that we have some options as to where to take a photo, some people went to where the road initially ended, some took the side road up to the next point (as we did) some dismounted and went all the way to the top! (fair play) . I am a lazy git so we went as far as the car did. If I wanted to go on a charity walk, I'd sign up for a marathon and dress as a pot noodle or something, ooh idea for next year maybe.

As you may have noticed from the checkpoints on the previous day there was a bit of a circuit theme going on. This carried on into today as our next checkpoint was the one in Pau in the south of France. Historicracingophiles will tell you they had some grand prix there once. I simply thought of the 80s singer ta pau and went from there. 'The only way is up' It seemed appropriate given how I'd just lared it up the side of a mountain.

On the way back down the mountain was our first run in with the French authorities. A police car was heading up to the checkpoint. My guess is some baguette poking local cheeseham muncher had summoned the blue garlicdarmerie to enquire about our passing through. Some subtle braking avoided too much attention. The car is pretty subtle anyway so we thought we'd get away with it...umm

Once out of sight we floored it over the mountain roads. It's a good job I cleaned my teeth that morning as we were flashed by a camera I believe heading down through a valley all while smiling of course.

The downside of thrashing the bug up and down mountains however is pretty obvious. She was drinking more liquid than Kerry Catona at an iceland frozen cocktail conference.

So we stopped for some fuel and food.

Behind us in this picture were the Team Tubbies lads with their Nissan something or other... We had a little discussion about fuel / mileage / mpg / tank size etc... it was depressing...

We had a tank that was giving us between 150 and 200 miles. Less if we did much 100+ cruising.

They had a petrol tank and an LPG tank which gave them circa 700 miles.


Barry the Transvestbear badger was holding up well. He had now graduated to the front bumper via a couple of industrial strength cable ties. It was kind of like a cross between mad max and care bear S&M.

After Stealing all of the mountain fun I thought it was probably time I let Andy have a go so he took the wheel. The roads opened up into some more motorway style cruising and this gave us more chance to get some shots of teams. One team we hadn't caught up with yet on the road was the MilesforMatilda team in their big pink merc.  We cruised with them for a little while, I attempted to tweet Susie a picture of them, But I forgot that getting signal in the french countryside was about as likely as turning up at a farm and asking the farmer if he had superspeed broadband. "oi we av le fax macheen"

As you can see from this picture the sunshine wonder was still upon us, in fact we were starting to ask ourselves why we had not thought to bring sun tan lotion given we were in a soft top car. 
Just as we headed south and pondered these musings the skies grew dark in front of us...very dark...

To be continued...Soggily 

28 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 4 - In Le Club

So we pick this up with circa 280 men and circa 4 women on circa 5 coaches heading to circa god knows where in the pouring rain.  I attempted to film inside the coach...with the camera the size it was and the French coach driver obviously being a former coach drifting champion or so it would seem...trying to do so was akin to  giving a tarantula a leg wax...near impossible.

Andy and I had joined the coach with the pirates on...This meant pirate songs and 'Aaaaars' most of the way.

It was also the coach with head snozzwanger Kev on board...My heart sank when I saw him. Not because I don't love the nutter, but because in '11 when I was on a coach with him in Prague (next to him no less) he decided it was the perfect moment to let loose a weapon of nasal destruction (stink bomb)

As luck would have it he appeared not to be armed so this time and my nose receptors survived the journey.

The destination of our evening frivolities was supposedly round the corner from the camp site. The coach driver must have been going via belgium for a waffle or something as it seemed to take forever...but once arrived we were parked up in a car park and discarded into the French habitat.

What we were faced with next was tricky for your average braincell lacking scumrunner...a choice.

Hither was a bowling alley, thither was a selection of restaurants and yonder was a discotheque.

So picture the scene, 280 men and 4 women wandering around like drunkard lemmings staggering like running on an 8086 (nerd joke) making grunting noises at each other looking for various forms of haggered flesh to devour. All with a look of puzzled bewilderment. It was less a banging party at this point and more like night of the living dead.  Throw in the fact that we'd all been sat in cars for 18 hours and the analogy rings true.

The confusion was mainly down to a syndrome that I have now decided is called 'otherthanpotnoodleorhamandcheeseroll-itis' where a scumrunner is offered a myriad of food opportunities not usually expected in its natural habitat. Their was a steak house, a Chinois restaurant (no its not a typo you uneducated cretin), A pizzeria and I believe a curry house somewhere also.

We opted for dead cow...

After some overly polite queue jumping from the gentlemanly klongbangers...oh we didn't mind they were so dapper and proper it just for a second felt like the honourable Actuarius had appeared.  We were also in the company of the Snozz, the Speedy Sparkies and later on the Gavlar lad-ies amongst a few other teams.

The food was good, far too good for us lot...then I realised later on that we had pretty much taken over the whole joint. Well...what can I say, 2 trannies, 5 cavemen and a film crew walk in and quite frankly if I was a local I'd be out of there quicker than gok wan in a cupboard shop.

What I had also realised by now was that I had consumed quite a lot of beer. I'm a light weight when it comes to our pale ale friend and this made for some interesting footage later in the evening.

We headed to 'le club' which was about 200 yards away. We came across a slightly inebriated Ed (Mr Scumrun) on route by the entrance to the bowling alley. He shouted something about some guy called zane or zed or ned or shed or something who worked at the club and said to ask for him if we had any issues.

Then something very comedy happened.

Another picture the scene moment, I stagger up to a 9 foot bouncer with a massive video camera on my shoulder (so it was pointed at his balls) he stops me and says 'oi, non, what is this, video, non' pointing at the camera. Well of course, why wouldnt you take a massive camera clubbing with you, everyone does don't they? no, ok will here I proved the power of scumrun...

I merely lifted up my scumrun competitor lanyard and said, I'm official mate.

He couldnt back track quick enough, "of course, head right in" he virtually bowed (so the camera was now pointed at his 12 pack.

So we headed inside looking for beer, women, and quality tunes...

We headed up the stairs and it opened up into a bosom of blue lighting, smoke and flashing strobes. It looked like a good setup, their were some hotties behind the bar who gave me a knowing smile...'sorry luv, must have been a different camera man for that film sweety'

Was looking good until I focused the lens on the centre of the dance floor.

What I saw disturbed me...forever...

Imagine Mr Bean and Rab C Nesbitt's abandoned love child being mildly electrocuted to the beat of the music whilst simultaneously being attacked on every ticklish point on his body by very small insects

This was what it looked like when Batman took to the dance floor in plain clothes.

I filmed him for a short time. He seemed to be enjoying the limelight so much I just pretended to film him for much much longer.

After 30 disturbing minutes some more people arrived, and then some locals, then more runners, then more locals. We were admiring some of the female attendees on the dance floor who appeared to be most compliant in this very obvious meat market arrangement when Nessa turned to me and said "we've been stitched up" now when a Transvestite Nessa lookalike says that to you, you tend to immediately think a combination of 'really? that must have hurt' and 'that's maybe taking the theme and outfit just a touch too far' until she then followed with "look around the bar area" so I did...

What I saw made it quite apparent what he was getting at...

Many young men in tight white t's and very riplous abdomini effectively posing...to each other.

"This is a gay club"

I think he may have had a point.

So the Scumrunners did what any straight group of inconspicuous alpha males would do in this situation...

The Macarena...classic.

This then progressed to wheel barrow races across a (packed with locals) dance floor, accompanied with podium dancing and all-together total embracement of the spirit of the evening.

I joined the dance floor with the enormous camera (no seriously it really is quite large) and got lots of the locals 'performing' on camera. It's funny the camera gives you some kind of weird power. I seemed to spend half the time filming nubile young damsel's derrières with no comeback or consequence from their owners. The French either love a camera, or their all practiced porn stars...either way...was fun!

Only other thing of note that night was apparently their was some kind of riot going on outside the club, the 12 foot bouncers (id had another beer by then) were wielding pepper spray and telling us to stay inside and wait for our taxi.  We didn't really see much of it but we were tempted to throw Nessa and Stacey into the mix just to see the confusion on their faces...'my gang rules' 'no my gang rules' 'hello boys'

We got back to the camp site around 2.30am (we were some of the first back it seemed) crashed into the tent and were content that we had had a top evening.

to be continued...groggily