19th June 2008
We need more midweek classic bike shows. Is there a better way to spend a Wednesday evening than wandering round a field or two full of bikes? Martin Gelder went along to find out...
The Meldreth Manor bike show has become a regular fixture in the calendar of local motorcyclists. It's run by the Royston & District Motorcycle club, in aid of Meldreth Manor School and the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and takes place, unusually, on a Wednesday evening in June. It officially opens at 6:30pm but there always seem to be plenty of bikes already there when I arrive at that time, and people were still arriving as I left at about half past eight.
Four quid to get in, a smattering of trade stalls, a bar and a couple of burger vans, and loads of bikes to peruse. What better way to spend a (slightly overcast) summer's Wednesday evening?
The “show” itself is split between an indoor area housed in a covered arena, an adjacent field full of classics, and the field where the rest of the bikes park.
The field of classics is populated with a truly random selection of oddities; the marshal on the gate makes a split-second decision on the righteousness of bikes as they arrive, filtering particularly old-looking or shiny ones to one side and away from the main bike park and into the show field.
Hidden amongst the usual Vincents and Broughs (if they're so rare, how come there's always at least two of them at every show I go to?) was this Levis / Triumph contraption.
The engine is a 500cc unit originally delivered to the Admiralty in 1919, while the frame is from a 1931 CSD, CN or CO Triumph. It says here.
More bikes are on show inside the covered arena, including this Ducati single fitted with a KTM LC640 engine. It's road registered. Gulp.
Man with the glasses round his neck keeps a look out while his accomplice stuffs cold chips into the Manx Norton's petrol tank.
Much more interesting than the dusty and dark arena is the main bike park, overflowing with bikes of all shapes and sizes. Some are the equal of any in the main show, and quite a few people were taking time away from the centre of activities to just stroll around the parking field.
Working Velocette nestles between GSX-R and Aprilia Mille
Suzuki X7 Cafe Racer fails to distract the kids from the shiny Harley
Relaxed Triton keeping a low profile
A trio of nicely patinated Lambrettas
Work tomorrow, so it's time to head for home... the long way, of course
We need more weekday-evening bike shows!
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