May 16th 2016
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Bikes In The Park - Kirkcaldy
Stuart Urquhart and his camera enjoyed a dazzling day out in sunny Scotland, with some 'Vintage, Veteran, Classic, Modern, Competition and Road' motorcycles...
The forecast was for wall-to-wall sunshine. Our problem was whether to travel north and attend the annual Cairn O’Mount Run or head south to the ‘Bikes in the Park’ event at Kirkcaldy’s Beveridge Park. ‘Vintage, Veteran, Classic, Modern, Competition and Road’ posters advertised – a lot on offer, we mused. So Cairn O’Mount pulled the short straw and we headed south.
The Park was thrumming with bikes. As I hauled up my Commando, a watching crowd suddenly dispersed like migrating starlings and gravitated towards Dave’s parking Triton. We had parked at the end of a long line of sparkling and shimmering machines which stretched too far for any crow’s nest to accurately estimate (I was reminded of Jurby). Not until we tramped to its end did we realise that ours were almost the only Britbikes in the upper car park apart from two Hinckley Triumphs and a well-used Ariel Red Hunter. Modern Jap and Euro trickery spanned the horizon from east to west. I looked back to observe that our trio of classics was still creating a buzz – their rare blood attracting enthusiasts like fleas.
Once in the show arena we were greeted by rows of British classics all being lovingly polished and groomed for the visiting crowd. A plethora of caravan stalls and autojumble stalls overshadowed all manner of machines from field, road and track. Everyone was beaming in the rare spring sunshine and appreciative eyes could be seen darting from chrome to scantily-clad pink. Hardened leather-clad bikers and Joe Public mixed in the melting pot of colour, consuming candy-floss, ice cream and burgers in the carnival atmosphere. Screaming kids were being hurtled into hysteria in the middle-distance by an organ pumping merry-go-round and everywhere bikers and bikers' chicks in Sixties shades were scratching chins and nodding appreciatively at the spectacle of glitzy chrome and suppurating patina. What a show!
I was immediately drawn to a row of racing classics – AJS 7R, BSA Gold Star, Norton International and a drop dead Norton 500 Manx – all immaculately presented and already drawing in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that jostled for the best fixed lens position. A line of beautifully patinated American two-stroke vintage racers posed for my camera too - but unfortunately no graphic boards or Evil Knievel doppelganger was present to glean details from about this fab four (If anyone can enlighten me as to their provenance, please do so via RC).
The only classic brand I failed to spot was Velocette, but I’m sure they were represented in some shape or form, somewhere. Yamaha and Suzuki racers from Grant and Sheene’s era were also present, as were some expertly restored Kawasaki Z900s. The car park also coughed up a perky little KH250 in unusual colours - a rare machine to be in regular use.
From the assembled pictures herewith I’m sure you’ll get a flavour of this popular event’s broad scope. Equally as important was a meander through the massive display of visitor bikes in the bike-only car parks, a la Jurby. Here I discovered a second immaculate Norton International, nonchalantly parked amidst a cluster of gleaming Harley-Davidson customs.
Harleys I should mention would appear to be Fife’s wheels of choice, should The Park be considered a representative barometer. The presence of HD Edinburgh and one of Scotland’s largest biker clubs – the Harley-Davidson Dunedin Chapter - might explain the abundance of America’s best. To my own surprise biker gangs would appear to be making a come-back and Samcro mingled happily amongst the crowd. The show of inks, patches and colours was equally interesting and ‘one-percenters’ are no longer a faceless minority at bike shows.
Hopefully the pictures say it all. From the mighty MV Agusta to the humble Post Office Bantam, the crowds were surely entertained. It was a fabulous day out and an impressive event, and by all accounts a great success for the organisers – the Kirkcaldy & District Motor Racing Club Ltd.
I’m showing bias now; but arguably the best bike at The Park was our Dave’s Triton, judging by the gawpers and ‘can I buy it?’ offers. Dave should enter his Triton in next year’s show – it would sweep the bored (no spelling error!)
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