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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Race Retro Show 2011

Ok, here we go, off to the Race Retro show, hang on tight! It was the idea of club member, Andrew, after he spotted an advert for the show in one of the classic bike mags. It seemed like a good idea to do a bit of car and cost sharing, so we tried to get a few others to head south with us. Arthur was keen but no one else seemed to want to go, apart from Shorty but his weekend had already been planned for him, cough. So I found a B&B that turned out to be a miniature version of Fawlty Towers. Read on. I managed to be at Andrew's place nearly on time on Friday morning, and we set off to collect Arthur. We trundled on down the road, Andrew and I sharing the driving - Arthur did offer to take a turn but as he walks with the aid of a white stick we politely declined his offer. It took about 9hrs to get to the B&B near Rugby, and once we'd established who was having which room - Arthur got the best deal and I was left without an en-suite (had to creep down the un-creepable-downable stairs in the middle of the night, after slamming my door on the way, oops, sorry!), we swiftly headed to the pub for some food. My vote for getting a Chinese take-away was disappointingly over-ruled. The grub was great and feeling ever so slightly refreshed, we then spent the rest of the evening in the other pub (there are 3 in the village) playing pool. Heaven alone knows what the locals thought when Arthur walked in with his white stick and then proceeded to nearly beat me at pool!

Up early on Saturday, at Andrew's request, and down to brekky. The arrangement was that the rooms we were staying in were in a self contained cottage, but the food was in the pub across the courtyard. The 'waitress' was Irish, not that there's anything wrong with being Irish, indeed, GBC has a smidgen of the Irish blood in her veins, and Mrs BC has a whole lot more, so watch out. We dared to ask for some serviettes only to be told that the order hadn't come in, and then the Irish female version of Manuel (you have all heard of Fawlty Towers, haven't you?) shuffled off into the kitchen, came back a while later and chucked a pile of blue paper tissue, the type that you might find in a garage or workshop for wiping oily hands, on the table. After she offered the guys more tea and coffee, and made a range of tutting and huffing responses to their requests, I made the daring move of asking for some more orange juice (I don't drink tea or coffee), and I kinda wished I hadn't! Much muttering and more tutting followed, accompanied by our sniggers and giggles as we then caused as much 'trouble' as we could. Some people wouldn't think of simply ordering breakfast as causing trouble but Manwell did. The extra orange juice arrived in the carton and was thumped down on the table in front of me. Still, all this entertainment made getting up early more bearable. We arrived at the show in good time and were able to park quite near the showground and Andrew was the only one who had to queue for his ticket (Arthur having been sold a spare ticket in the middle of the field and I had prebooked mine), but the kindly souls that we are, we waited for him.

We eventually found our way to Hall 3 where the bikes were located. On the way though, I spotted a stall selling some rather nice motor-related trophies. We're always on the lookout for something a bit different to the usual cups and shields, so I had a little chat. Arthur borrowed the guy's pen, and then walked off with it and by the time we realised, I had also realised that I, for once, was without a pen of my own. So it came in handy - apologies to the stall holder who probably only realised when his next customer appeared. On entering the bike hall, the first machine that we saw was the (famous?) Moto Guzzi V8 that Bill Lomas and Ken Kavanagh raced in the 1956 Dutch TT. Apparently it was fast, very fast, with a recorded speed of 187mph. Later in the show it was fired up, and that's what all the little boys had been waiting for. Personally, I preferred the Manx Norton, which sounds very dissimilar to a Cub, and yes, I did mean to write that. The following photos will probably convey more to you than I enjoy...

Brit bikes don't look too bad either...

Is the guy propping the bike up, or is the bike propping the guy up?

One of the good things about going to shows like this 'south of the border' is that I get to meet people who have read my articles in Old Bike Mart, or been on the blog and whom I wouldn't normally get a chance to bump into. One such person is David "Kendo" Kendal, from the Warwickshire Section of the VMCC. We had a right old natter about all aspects of the Club and how to try and encourage more younger people to join. Didn't get us anywhere but it's good to thrash some ideas around with like minded people. Have a look at Kendo's blog for some more pics from the show I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave Mac on the stand, who describes himself as a Rudge enthusiast. I think being the past President of the Rudge club and owning a shed full of them probably qualifies him. Plus he is a technical advisor to both the National Motorcycle Museum and the Coventry Transport Museum. The bike in the picture is his 1911 single speeder, just look at all the beautiful work on the engine and the levers and the bits of curly pipe and the little oil 'can' tucked away under the seat, and the overall design. Very nice.

I also stopped off at the Northampton Section for a natter, mainly 'cos the stall was being manned by three handsome chaps who all stopped talking when I approached and smiled ever so nicely at me. Be seeing you in Scotland at some point, chaps!

For some reason, I was quite attracted to the clocks, lights, tanks and zorsts of some of the exhibits, hope you enjoy (or forgive) the following few photos...

Maybe should add, CLEAN translations only please!

So, after spending most of the day in the bike hall, and a trip outside to hear the Moto Guzzi V8 and the Manx being fired up, we dined on the obligatory burgers and then had a quick whizz through the other halls and exhibitions. Lots and lots of cars and car related things, quite a lot of jumble but mostly 4-wheel orientated. There were also some noisy rally type cars being started up, which really didn't do anything for me. Then it was back to the B&B for a rest (that's code for saying we got back there just in time to catch the start of the England Vs France rugby, which was most enjoyable!) and then the guys gave in and it was a Chinese takeaway for tea. We crammed into Arthur's room as he had the luxuary of a sofa, and we nicked the table from the hallway and munched on mountains of sweet /sour /ginger / spring onion / chicken /pineapple / balls (don't ask) with piles and piles of egg fried rice, YUM.

Up not so early on day two, only to find that there was no heating and no hot water. The chaps were most displeased, understandably, but there were kettles in each room, probably for this purpose so drop of hot water could be had for a quick rinse in the basin. Breakfast was just as much fun. We bumped into Manuel in the courtyard at the back of the cottage, and I enquired if we should place our order there and then so that it would be ready by the time we got to the table, and I can't repeat what she said, other than it must have been Irish! Good old Arthur mentioned the hot water situation and managed to negotiate a small discount for us - well done Sir! The journey home was about the same as the outward trip, boring and punctuated only by stops at service stations for fuel, food and driver swaps. The best bit was getting back to Andrew's and being invited to stay for supper - thanks Andrew & Audrey.
Don't worry, got a sound clip of that V8 coming right up after work today....


Anonymous said...

Damn fine write up yer GBC ness.

I have one minor - pah! - point of contention tho'; now, I always respect other people's points of view, BUT, the Guzzi is just unique.

OK, it had a few problems, y'see, that glorious engine was 20 years ahead of it's: frame, suspension and tyres and kept on throwing its riders off! It also had some mechanical problems, and sadly it became too expensive to develop, but what a try!

Oh, by the way, I think it's quite a nice subdued green as well, but let's not fall out over it :)

Cheers yer GBC ness


Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

I suppose the colour isn't tooooo bad. But that fairing! Please!

Glad you enjoyed it NG.

Anonymous said...

Tut tut.

Guzzi were, I think, the first motorcycle people to use a windtunnel, and sometimes, function trounces form!

So, ner!

Keep up yer good works! How's Terrie coming on?


Stuart said...

A great write up GBC. The B&B sounds great fun!
Think I recognise the TriBSA from the local bike night. If I'm not mistaken it is called "The Bitch"

Will you be heading south again for the Stafford show next month?

Stuart said...

P.S. Fy-nghariad translates as "My sweetheart" That must be some sort of "Taffy Biker Chick"!


The Chief Bodger said...

Sounds like quite the adventure was had; a bike show, long drive there and back, different types of nosh and ya got to tak part as cahracters in yer own version of Fawlty Towers! Was Basil aboot or jsut the Irish Manuel?

Good write up there GBC. Oh yeah, nowt wrong with a bit of Irish blood in ya, gives ya an excuse to daft things.

(So sez the man with some Gallagher blood in him)

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Hey Stu, I don't think I'll be going to Stafford as it'll be lambing time here at Cubbie Towers. But if you're going can I give you my shopping list...Taffy Biker Chick, I like it!

Hey Bodge, it was a great weekend, all a bit of a giggle really. Not as many bikes as we would have liked but then we only had one day and if there had been more we would have complained that there were too many to see in a day!

Er, Terry...yers....

mrs BC said...

I always thought function followed form ng.

Anonymous said...

"I always thought function followed form ng."

Intrestin' one mrs BC. I'm not sure, but if you design something that works, does it's form matter?

OK, it may be ugly, but if it works .... and I'm not saying that the Guz is ugly!


Anonymous said...

Many thanks GBC for another great write up.

" ... almost beat me at pool ..." pool hustler another of your many talents? ;o)

Graham B

Geordie J. said...

Brilliant report and photos, Jacqui! Really looking forward to hearing the V8! Had my appetite whetted by the sound of the MV 3s at the MGP last year.

mrs BC said...

Maybe form follows function, i think that's more likely. If you make something to do something that's its function, and if it looks good, well that's a bonus, according to Willie Morris and his mates.

U N said...

Great write up and fantastic photos, GBC! Looks like you had a fun time at the show. Some of those bikes just LOOK really loud, though! Gosh, references to the Arts and Crafts Movement. This blog is getting a bit too cultured!


Darrell said...

Grea5t write up. Some very interesting bikes there.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's got a little Irish blood in 'em, specially around St.Patricks day. Great report and pictures. Lot's of great bikes. Fawlty of the shows they used to play on public TV around here...funny stuff there GBC. Hairy Larry

mrs BC said...

Excuse me Larry! My Irish blood is real, goes back centuries I'll have you know. Um, what's St Patricks Day?

Looks as though that Guzzi was all form - apart from the colour that is, and that's just er green.

Anonymous said...

The Guzzi all form - surely not!

It was designed to blow the Gilera and MV 4's away. Guzzi's singles had been winning World championships, but the 4's were beginning to win on the faster tracks. Guzzi's response was to stick with the singles on the twisty tracks and use the V8 to mash the 4's only as necessary.

It's a thing purely of function and to me it's beautiful because of that.

A very singular purpose!

Those Art's n Crafts guys n gals were really just Luddites - in a nice way.


Lindsay said...

Well done BC, another great read. Thanks.


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