21st March 2012
Every year, we invent a ridiculous reason to go for rides on our old bikes. This time, the lure of the chilli twister fries has proved irresistible...
If you've never experienced chilli twister fries then you've probably never been to an OK Diner. So here's your opportunity to indulge; there are eight branches of OK Diners scattered around England and Wales. RC's editor, Frank Westworth, will be visiting each of them in turn this year for no particularly good reason other than that he needs a destination in mind when he sets off from the far south-west aboard one of his smoky old Nortons.
Before we'd even begun our OK Diner Challenge, an enterprising RC reader had beaten us off the blocks. Jim Richardson and his Bonnie paused for breath en route to the Dragon Rally back in February and Jim sent us the photographic evidence. The Unmentionable Tiger alongside Jim's Bonnie belongs to Mick and Carol Prested, and all three were gathered at the Cannock branch of the OK Diner. So Jim wins the 'Quick Off The Mark' award before we'd even pumped up our tyres and changed the oil!
You're welcome to join Frank and other RC regulars at one or all of the OK Diners, or you could visit them on different dates to suit your own schedule. We'll be awarding prizes at the end of the season to anyone who attends all eight Diners and provides photographic proof - and the nice folks at OK Diners run a loyalty scheme, too, so there's even the lure of free food for the truly dedicated…
OK Diners are a small independent chain of American-style 1950s diners, with a whopping big menu which includes wonders like chilli twister fries, peanut butter cheesecake and the 'guac 'n' roll' burger alongside more traditionally English dishes; beer-battered cod, or black pudding, anyone? You'll find most OK Diners alongside major trunk roads, which is part of the appeal (they're easy to locate, even without SatNav); they have plenty of parking and will welcome RC readers on motorcycles of all ages - plus they offer a bottomless coffee cup to satisfy those caffeine cravings.
So your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to straddle a saddle and trundle off on two wheels. Old bikes are best but any motorcycle will do and we'd love to see your snaps of interesting old bikes photographed at any OK Diner. The most entertaining photos will be published in the magazine, so let's see Commandos at Cannock and Greeves at Grantham, Hondas at Hartlepool and Lambrettas at Leominster, Sunbeams at Stamford and DMWs at Derby, maybe even a Wooler in Wales or a Norman at Newark. Send your photos to RCHQ @realclassic.net or post them on our Facebook page.
If you opt to take part in the group ride-in, then the first dates for your diary are Wednesday and Thursday March 28th and 29th 2012, when Frank will be visiting Stamford and Grantham. The first stop on March 28th is to the OK Diner at Grantham, which is on the A1 Southbound at Colsterworth NG33 5LN. On the following day you'll find us at the OK Diner at Stamford, which is on the A1 Northbound at the Bloody Oaks services, Tickencote PE9 4AD; arriving at around 10.30am on both days for a bite of brunch.
Thereafter we plan to trek to Newark and Hartlepool on June 27th and 28th, and Leominster and North Wales on July 25th and 26th (although the order of the visits might change, so check the events page before setting off). You'll find all the locations of the OK Diners at www.okdiners.com
And don't worry if you can't come to all of the Diners on exactly the same day as Frank; you can take photos and proof-of-purchase on any day, and not just when we're there. So now you have the perfect excuse to drag a bike out for some summer rides to places you'd never normally visit - don't forget to take a camera and send us a snap to prove you were there!
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