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Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ivan Rhodes and Training Day report.

Right, where to start. Old Bike Mart has requested a feature about The Ivan Rhodes Show, as we shall call it, so that limits me in what I can say on here. I can tell you though, it took many months of phone calls, diary checking, event planning, arranging and finger crossing before it all fell into place, and when it did, boy was it worth it. Ivan, son Grahame and partner Joy set off a couple of days before our event (which was on Sat 22nd May), so as to break their journey with a half way stop. They arrived at Mick & Linda's house (members of the local NE Scottish Section) on Thursday, while I was out running around picking up the projector screen and table from Mr Prodger, and the projector and laptop from Shorty, and just as I was about to start a bit of last minute shopping, I got a call from Mick. "He's here. They're here. The bikes are here! You've got to come and meet them!" So I re-parked the trolley, and sped up the road to Mick's house. Introductions were made and we spent a few hours chatting about, well, stuff really, until we remembered that the plans for Saturday had still to be discussed. This done, Linda came home from work, I had to go and do the shopping before the shops shut, and Ivan, Joy and Grahame were looking forward to heading out for a meal.

Friday - a normal work day for me. Thunder storms and rain galore, phones and internet off, just in case. Many fingers and toes being crossed that the weather for the weekend would improve.

Saturday 22nd May - ROARING DAY at Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Aberdeenshire. Up at 5am, fed the lambs nice and early, about 6am, then gave them an early lunch at 12ish, before I rushed off to Alford in the car and Mrs BC went next door to feed their chickens as they're away for the weekend. She then came on over in the truck, bringing some more bits and pieces that we needed. Ivan and Co. (Co. includes Grahame, Joy, Mick & Linda) were already there, so was our Man on the Gate, Kawa, which was just as well as people were turning up a little on the early side. Whiffling Clara and the Roarer were out of the van and being fettled, and lucky lucky Mick got to do a few laps of the track on one of them, Clara I think, just to warm it up and run it in - other than being started after the rebuild to make sure all was ok with the bike, this was the first time it had been run in about 30 years.

Mrs BC and Linda set out all the food and tables in the hall, and Malc from the Museum had helped set the chairs up in the other hall, and at 2pm silence fell. Ivan made his way to the front, cleared his throat, and captivated the audience of about 70 for a full hour. After the talk, it was time to get the bikes on the track, and helpers were sought from the crowd, to give a little push. As you can imagine, plenty of fit young men volunteered, but no matter how many times they ran up and down, they just could not get the Roarer to start. Grahame was aboard the bike and each time it coughed into life and he gave it some revs it just died again. Ivan has obviously done this sort of thing before so he nipped off and reappeared with Whiffling Clara.

Several laps of the Alford circuit with Clara kept the people happy, and he came back in just in time as the heavens opened and down came the rain. Heavy rain. VERY heavy rain. Still, we were ready for it and ushered people into the refreshments room, for refreshments, oddly enough. In the background ran a video of the Roarer when it was re-born in 1989 (or was it '86?) and all seemed to enjoy the chance to chat about what they'd just witnessed. Grahame and Mick got the spanners out and as the rain stopped, the Roarer started. Fantabby-tastic. I can't actually describe the sensation as Ivan took to the track again, apart from to say that it is rather well named! Hopefully I got it on video so that will do a better job of conveying the moment that I can.

After a bit more track time, it was back into the pits for more chat, tea, biscuits and cake, and a chance for anyone to speak to Ivan and Grahame. With the hard work over for the day, we all packed up, Mrs BC had to head home to feed the lambs again, plus check all of the other sheep and chickens and feed the dogs and make sure all was ok on the homestead. Meanwhile, the Committee of the NE Scottish Section accompanied the Rhodes family out for a meal as a gesture of thanks.

Pics and vids to follow, and I'd be most grateful if ANY of you wanted to write a wee piece or send me an email about your thoughts on the Rhodes Show.


Oh boy, up at 5am again. Fed the lambs, checked the ewes, let the chickens out and fed next doors hens. Zoomed over to the Museum at Alford and got there bang on time. Boy was it hot. Chairman of the Vintage Motorcycle Club Kim Allen and his wife Steph, and Immediate Past President Colin Seaton were present and had things under control. Kim rolled the Reed Scott out of the van and Steph took charge of the signing in. Colin made sure everyone was ready and prepared before giving his Owners and Riders briefing. The two groups were taken aside separately and the rules of the day made clear to everyone. We managed to get the first bikes out on the tack just after 9.30 so all was going nicely to schedule. Colin took up his position at the edge of the track to act as the final traffic control, I had the spot just outside the paddock, trying to keep an eye on bikes coming in, going out and making sure everyone got to try a bike. Some people were, understandably nervous. Crikey, I was nervous and I wasn't even going to be riding the bikes! It took a while for the system to get rolling but once a few brave ones had gone out and come back and moved on to their second bike, others came forward and had a go.

Mrs BC was doing a grand job of filming as much of the activities as possible and I was trying to make sure I got enough photos of everybody and every bike to form a bit of an archive of the event - after all, there will never be another FIRST SCOTTISH TRAINING DAY!! Somehow, I ended up with about 5 cameras round my neck, taking pics for Shorty, Kawa, Iain, someone else and my own. No wonder I've got a sore neck! After the first hour or so, Colin allowed a few more bikes on the track at the same time, starting with 5 to make sure congestion wasn't a problem, and then slipping a few more out whenever possible.

So, how did it all actually work? Each rider had been issued with a numbered bib when they signed on, and also a Rider Card, detailing each bike, with a space for owners to sign them off.

The bikes we had were -

1921 Reed Scott

1930 BSA Sloper

1930 Ariel LG250

1925 Sunbeam Model 7 outfit

1923 Hobart

Royal Enfield K32 outfit

1928 Sunbeam Model 2

1930 Scott

1929 Panther 500cc

1927 Raleigh Model 17

Velocette KTT

1925 Royal Enfield Model 180

1929 BSA E29 outfit

1921 Sunbeam Sporting

1922 Indian Powerplus

1928 Sunbeam Model 6

1925 Sunbeam Model 2

1920 Norton 16H

1912 Rudge TT 500

1915 Calthorpe JAP 300

Autocycle ??

Each time a rider rides a bike, he / she gets the owner to sign it off on their card, so that they don't ride the same bike twice. The owner gives the rider any necessary instructions, shows them the controls, and makes sure they understand how to stop the machine. Starting can be done by the rider or the owner. It seemed to work without any hitches and the best bit was that there was no pressure. No one was watching or waiting to see who could start a bike or who stalled it, no one cared. Everyone was busy having a good time. The nerves at the beginning of the day were palpable. Riders were anxious because for many, if not all of them, these were the oldest and most different bikes they had ever tried, and the owners, well, it's obvious - these machines are their pride and joy!

And there she was...gone...


Shorty said...

What a 2 days that was, thanks for all you effort in setting it up, and a big thanks to all your helpers for ensuring it all went well, even the weather was fantastic can only assume someone up there likes you. Already looking forward to next year

Alex said...

Can you pass on my thanks to everyone involved, specially yerself. brilliant day out, bit chaotic at times, but still great. Roll on next year. Oh 787 pics.

kawa said...

Thanks for getting the weekends events together for us, I think I can say we all appreciate the time and huge effort you put in... and was great to see Ivan out on the track giving the bikes a blast.

A big thanks to the folk who let us try there bikes today, got to be the best time I've had on old bikes in a long time, even managed to ride the Indian Power Plus 8-)


Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Glad you all enjoyed it - 787 pics????!!! Think we'll have to ask to see some of those, plus maybe a few words about the bikes you rode...your fav...the one/s you were most excited / nervous about riding, that kind of thing...send them to cubbiescounties AT please!

Alex said...

Not a problem GBC, might take a couple of days, but will get something to you

U N said...

Thought I was doing well taking about 70 photos! Will copy them, plus some bits of wobbly video (cheap hand held 'sports' camera)onto a disc and sent it to you.
Thanks to everyone involved for not only a superb weekend, but also for the stunning weather.
Will do a more thorough write up soon, and hats off to Kawa for riding the Indian - I had a look at the left hand twistgrip, foot clutch, and eye wateringly high saddle and decided it would end in tears (in more ways than one!)


The Chief Bodger said...

Sounds like evryonehad a great time with the ancient ones and with Ivan and his charges.

Nice pic there that's what the Roarer looks like.

Darrell said...

The bike is nice too.

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Darrell ye charmer!

Stuart said...

Sounds like a fantastic time was had by all, wish I could have been there.
Can't wait to see more pics

Anonymous said...

Your "new" bike matches your outfit...did you trade straight across for Cubbie? Really looking forward to write-up and pics of all the happenings over there.
Hairy Larry

Geordie J. said...

I like the way the fondness for things black is going beyond the apparel and into the VELOCipedes!
It's easy to see you're becoming a woman of good taste!
Been a fan for nearly 60 years - must get to work on the MAC!

Anonymous said...

Great write up and photos. I'm so glad it all went well. Well done that woman :o)

Graham B

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Thanks GB - I haven't finished the write up yet! Got more to say and more pics to post, just having to let my nail varnish dry a wee minty.

sfb said...

Nice selection of bikes on the Training Day. Sounds great!

btw, ta very much for your email, I'm doing ok now thanks :-)

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better SFB.

Come on Shorty, where's your report for the blog??? And Alex, chop chop!!

Anonymous said...

An amazing weekend and a big THANK YOU to all who made it possible - it was a real privilege to be there. I managed to ride 11 machines on training day including 3 outfits and that Cyclemotor thingy. Impressed with GBC's new bike, albeit a bit new-fangled what with OHCs and a supercharger. My favourite was the 1912 2-speed Rudge. Magnificent!

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

So little lass you be off tae a brilliant show across the water next weekend then.Should be a great couple days.


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