17th June 2015
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2015 Tortoise and Hare Run
The Somerset hills and levels were invaded by all kinds of strange animals during the first weekend in June, when 150 classic bikes joined the Wells Classic MCC's fifth annual T&H Run...
A third animal-inspired category of classic motorcycles joined the tortoises and hares in the annual T&H run which is organised by the Wells Classic MCC to raise funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Bigger bikes over 250cc and a limited number of modern motorcycles take part in the Hare Run of around 115 miles. Their smaller counterparts travel 75 miles on the Tortoise Run, suitable for bigger bikes built before 1950 and later machines of up to 250cc. For very low powered machines including veterans, the club has added a Snail Run of just 45 miles.
This means that there’s a route to suit almost everyone, with the result that on June 7th Wells Marketplace was full with motorcycles of all ages. Many spectators came along to admire the fine array of machines from the 1920s through to the present day. In total, the run attracted over 150 entries from various parts of the country. The Snail section included some vintage motorcycles over 90 years old, as well as autocycles and even the odd Honda 90. The Tortoise and Hare classes featured an immaculate range of worldwide classics through to present day machines, all looking their best as the glorious sunshine shone down.
The Mayor, assisted by the Town Crier, flagged off the riders in their specific groups. The routes criss-crossed over the East Mendips and mid-Somerset, met for coffee at Castle Cary rugby club, and returned to Wells Football Club for lunch. In the afternoon there were more scenic rides of varying types depending on the class of bike which travelled to the North Mendips and even Cheddar Gorge. The Snails had a slightly easier time of it, avoiding steep inclines and sticking to (fairly) level ground. But just travelling 50 miles on a 90 year old motorcycle is something of an accomplishment…
All the groups returned for tea, cake and class awards, kindly presented by the local Mayor. The Wells Classic MCC estimate that once again they’ll be able to make a donation of around £2000 to charity, and thank all the businesses who supported the event.
The 2016 Tortoise and Hare Run will be held on 5th June.
2015 Tortoise and Hare Award Winners
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