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8th September 2005

Buntingford and The RC Ride-In at the LMM

Two events in one weekend? Not so many bikes at Buntingford, but there must have been hundreds (including all the usual suspects) coming and going throughout the day at the second RealClassic Ride In to the London Motorcycle Museum...

It's not often that it happens round here, but I was lucky enough to have two events to go to in one weekend. The Buntingford Classic Event and the Real Classic Ride-in at the London Motorcycle Museum both took place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of September. The first is in my home town of Buntingford so it's only natural that I exhibit Matilda the Matchless. So there I was, on the drive at 8.30am Saturday morning, trying to get the clutch to work properly and giving her a quick clean. RealMart turned up about 11.30ish and off we wandered, pausing only to stop in the garage so he could laugh hysterically at my Guzzi.

C'mon feel the noize.

The show was a bit disappointing this year as there were more cars than bikes. The atmosphere is always relaxed and family orientated; at one end of the high street a blues band were belting rock and blues and the butchers' shops all had barbeques going outside. The air was punctuated every so often by the rumble of engines from huuuuge V8's in Ac Cobras to Harleys to Austin Sevens. Truly, all life is here.

Allards; ten-a-penny in Buntingford high street.

The question I always ask myself is where do all these beautiful cars go for the rest of the year?

Typcial English village on Saturday morning...

Obviously Matilda played up when I collected her. We did the 15 minutes on the kickstarter aerobic exercise, but as we had an audience and she remained silent (I'm sure she was sniggering at me). I slunk off home to get a plug and a plug spanner and after swapping aforesaid item she started first kick with nobody watching.


Sunday brought the dawn of the Ride-in to the London Motorcycle Museum (LMM).

I packed my bag with all the stuff I may need, you know the sort thing; sun hat, waterproofs, sun cream, small inflatable dinghy, distress flares. I fastened it to Mia, my Guzzi, and set off to meet Anarchy as we were riding down together.

Happily I almost remembered the way and we only made one U-turn. On arrival the barbeque was warming to prepare breakfast and we had a good pick of the parking spaces. After saying hello to The Management and laughing at the wheelbarrow (as you do) I joined the queue for breakfast. As last year this was brilliant and set me up for the rest of the day.


I was really taken with the Dresda CB750. It was utterly gorgeous in both engineering and that fantastic metalflake paint job. Soon the Dribblers turned up en-masse and the flapjack tasting began in earnest.

This isn't what Paul had in mind when he asked Graham to sign 'ere...Graham was happily selling and signing his book and both he and Daisy seemed to enjoy basking in mega-stardom. The band were good (if a bit loud) but they were overshadowed by a noise of a different kind when the McCann brothers fired up the supercharged Triton. Let me tell you I was standing about three feet away (that's roughly a metre for the youngsters) and I could feel the ground shaking beneath my feet. That got a well earned round of applause.

Around 2-ish everybody started drifting off having been fed, watered and entertained. I left soon after and the normal mechanical jinx struck again in Enfield. I wondering what the burning smell was and noticed blue smoke rising from around the ignition switch.

The clutch cable had rubbed through and was shorting the wires out. Luckily I managed to get home, where I had to disconnect the battery to stop the bike.

So all in all a great weekend for sunshine and classics for me.

See you all next year!!



This is not Rowena, and she is not looking at the Supercharged Triton.

The Blower Triton lived! That was my highpoint of the day. Although I've seen the beast before in the metal, I've never heard it run. This is the bike which Richard M and Del painstakingly (and painfully at times) built up last winter, doing their best to supercharge an otherwise inoffensive bit of spangly Britbike kit. We've been nagging the boys for a full road test report on how it runs for ages … said report has not been forthcoming… I was starting to think that maybe the thing didn't work after all!

Oh me of little faith. After rapid negotiations with a concerned proprietor (the folks who run the London Motorcycle Museum received the first complaint about noise this week, so were a little worried about the blower's bellow), the Triton was scheduled to start after the band's first live set. Came the moment, the nifty portable starter gadget whirled into action (I had expected to see Del run up and down the yard bump-starting it in the 90-degree heat, so was mildly disappointed at missing that particular bit of entertainment).


Strewth, went I, and gave up all hope of hearing or saying anything for a few days. Two hours shouting against the live band; two hours of being blasted by the live band, and now this. Pardon?

Too long, even for wide-screen.

Other excellent moments were seeing Erum on his Tiger Trail (yummy bike!) and Eamon on the old MCN prize Dresda bike (double yum); keeping vaguely to the diet by eating flapjack (thanks Robert!) instead of the full LMM fried breakfast; meeting heaps of old chums - one of whom I'd not seen for nearly a decade; not being rained on; gazing at a gorgeous B50; forgiving Woodie for calling me 'Emm'; and selling stacks of Graham's book. (I expect to receive some further reviews of it if you bought a copy and have since read it: it'd be nice to add some to the books page…)

The fashion show was a great success.
Random Stuff on

There's always a downside, and I was very sad to hear the dismal news about the death of Don Leeson at this year's Manx GP. Don has long been the mainstay of the VJMC and will be very much missed. Open roads, Don.

Sobering up somewhat after receiving that information, it's worth repeating how wonderful it was to see everyone - that means all of you - at the LMM on Sunday. I'd like to thank Bill and Pippa for all their efforts organising the event - and especially for getting the commemorative pens made (strictly for RC Clubmen only!). Now, if only I'd had to good sense to pick one up, I could treasure it forever…



The Glos Dribblers section of the RealClassic Club converged at the Puesdown Inn on the A40 near North Leach. No matter how persuasive I was, Carmen my wife would not ride pillion for such a long distance, so she rode shotgun in the car (bless her). Once all assembled we made tracks for the Ace Cafe and arrived in just under two hours, travelling at a steady 60mph. After all, it was not a race -- just a gentle bimble.

And it's still early...

On arrival I was informed that A N Other RCer had got his timing wrong and had left the Ace an hour or so before we arrived! Tut tut, Shaun! Still, not to be left out despite being off the road, Jerry turned up pillion, along with LJ.

With temperatures rising and after a sup of light refreshment we set off for the LMM in convoy. The London Motorcycle Museum lived up to its reputation and, as last year, the weather just got hotter! The band played on and the staff again did a sterling job with the breakfasts. What can one say, apart from: well done for pulling off another great day. Thank you all.

Robert 'Flapjack' Taylor

RealMart's bike of the weekend. A Honda. Why can't they make them look like this out of the factory?


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