It was ‘A close-run thing’ to quote the Duke of Wellington, but hard work and determination enabled 1000 Bikes to ‘happen’ and to be another triumph. There was much last-minute activity to overcome the effects of the week’s almost continuous rain prior to the event and this was justified by more than 1,300 bikes and riders on the track over the weekend. Everything was represented, from the Single-speed Triumph of Jacqueline Bickerstaff which was celebrating its 100th birthday to the up-to-the-minute cutting edge Ducati-engined “Vyrus” of Alto Engineering.
Apart from a couple of brief showers on both Saturday & Sunday afternoon the track remained dry – which is more than could be said for nearly everywhere else! Copious application of lorry-loads of tree bark chippings saved the day but it has to be admitted that the grass areas outfield remained “damp”.
In spite of Friday’s adversity during set-up the Avenue of (over 50) Clubs was a vibrant hive of enthusiasm and activity and the “jumblers” overcame unavoidable changes in locations with stoic resolve (after Banbury & most other outdoor events this year they will be getting used to it)!
Both the road paddock & race paddock’s had many interesting machines on display. One of the highlights must have been the trio of “Irvine Vincents” from Australia- which went just as impressively as they looked. Courtesy of event partner Michelin many people had come to witness the return to Mallory Park of GP legend Kevin Schwantz who showed that he had lost none of his speed when he put in some extremely quick laps on an ex-works Suzuki RGV500 during Sunday afternoons “Past Masters” feature. Prior to this Kevin was a last minute entrant in Saturday’s Pre-65 Trial when he put in a great “mud plugging” performance on a borrowed 197cc Francis Barnett!
Events like 1000 Bikes do not just ‘happen’ Apart from the months of planning and preparation the “day” of the event relies on the dedication and professionalism of many volunteers & enthusiasts without whom these things are not possible!
The VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes gives 4 awards every year & this becomes more and more difficult as the standards achieved are higher and higher. This year, the award for the Classic Motorcycle Magazine Best Pre-War machine went to Bryn Morley for his immaculate 1928 New Hudson Power Plus.
The Old Bike Mart best Post-War machine award (and this is the most difficult category to judge!) went to Stuart Elkes with his 1963 Francis-Barnett “Fulmar Sports”. Chuck Jackson’s stunning 1954 Vincent ‘Egli’ took the Ace Cafe award for the Best Cafe racer and the closely contested prize for the Classic Racer Magazine best club stand went to the Yamaha LC Club.
The VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes is supported by some of the biggest names in the old bike movement including Footman James Insurance Brokers, Bonhams Auctioneers, Mortons Motorcycle Media, the National Motorcycle Museum, Norton Motorcycles, Michelin Tyre PLC, Ducati UK as well as corporate partner Eriks UK.