LAM’s third Classic and Quirky run took place on 31st July, to coincide with the Huntsman Motor Cycle Club’s annual show. Although there were a few dropouts and no-shows – perhaps they’d checked the forecast – we had a total of seven participants. Bikes included a good contingent of ‘British Iron’ with Mark Coltman’s Norton Commando and Julian Clark’s Triumph T120R representing the two archetypal parallel twins of the 1960s. Graham Belton’s Trident T150 was powered by the next and sadly final phase of engine development from Triumph prior to its reincarnation in the Hinckley era. Norton Hawes wowed us all with his magnificent Norvin, surely the trophy winner if we’d bothered to buy a trophy. Liam Stone represented the ‘quirky’ side of the equation with his Suzuki 250T with interesting keyless ignition. Peter Knight’s CCM drew envious glances, showing what the British industry can do, albeit on a small scale. I brought my trusty Morini 31/2 Strada – plus full toolkit!
Unfortunately, while I had worked out a route I’d not got around to actually riding it, so some of the unclassified roads turned out to be ill-suited to some of the heavier bikes, particularly the one with clip-on bars. My incompetence as a ride leader next manifested itself by an erroneous indication while the rest of the group was stuck behind a horse box, resulting in me losing the group in an area which proved to have a poor mobile signal. Never mind, we managed to reconvene at the planned coffee stop, the Hop Pickers’ Rest at Yalding, subject of a previous ‘Café of the Month’.
As we’d lost a bit of time I decided to re-route so to arrive at the bike show at a reasonable time. The next problem was that my sat-nav had begun to play up – later traced to a dodgy connection – which was an annoying distraction as we headed towards Eridge. Traffic congestion on the A21 was responsible for a large number of cars cutting through the normally quite route, limiting the speed and flow of this part of the ride and inevitably it began to rain. Nonetheless we made it to the Huntsman show, too late to enter any of our bikes, not that we’d planned to, but able to wander around in the light drizzle admiring the exhibits and being entertained by a workmanlike rock band. I left just as they were launching into the Pink Floyd’s ‘Arnold Layne’ – another early classic!
Hopefully there will be another C & Q run next year – would anyone like to lead?
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