Report by John Broad.
To give you an idea of how big this event was this year, I was speaking to one of the Air Ambulance fundraisers who was at the head of the bikes doing the run to the event. He looked back at five miles of solid bikes on the A43, all of whom had paid a donation to the Air Ambulance to join in. They made over £10,000 on the ride alone, brilliant! Motorcyclists joined the ride from the Ace Cafe in London, Jack’s Hill Cafe near Towcester on the A5, Triumph HQ at Hinckley and Pure Triumph at Wellingborough.
For me, riding in from the A43 past all the trading estate car parks crammed with bikes, made me realise how big this Brackley Festival of Motorcycling was. Being late I could park just behind the BMW Club Oxford Section stand at the edge of another large field full of bikes. David & Rosemary Hicks had set up a club gazebo with members parking representative bikes alongside. Flags waving in the light breeze attracted many interested people and the team of members dealt with their questions whilst promoting the cub and its activities. Out in the main street amongst the many stands could be seen the BMW Superbikes brought to the show by BMW Motorad. Across the street the local BMW dealers of Woolaston and North Oxford Garage had a stand. Hurtling up and down a fenced off area of the main street could be seen and heard bikes of all types from the rasping howl of the little Honda fours to the wonderful bark of the big single cylinder Nortons, BSA and Matchless racing bikes. The sidecars were amazing with a predominance of BMW power and fantastic acceleration. Further down the High Street could be seen superb custom machines showing excellence in engineering and art together.
Out on the school sports field a different kind of ‘sport’ was being demonstrated as both solos and sidecars of all eras raised the dust on a “scrambles” track, younger readers may call this ‘Moto-cross’ today. In between the two areas the Northampton Section of the VMCC had collected together some beautiful classic bikes. I just drool over the Vincent 1000 and there were two immaculate ones to look at. Alongside these the Police had a stand but the modern BMW machines they use didn’t draw me but the little Police Velocette LE silent did. A bike form a different time complete with old radio and all the kit. By 5 pm it was all over apart from the packing up and it is so good to see the members of the club staying on to make sure this job is completed quickly, reducing the work load on David & Rosemary. Plan to go next year if you couldn’t make this one or you’ll kick yourself for missing the best show in the area.
John L Broad