THIS BIKING LIFE
LYNN'S RAVEN CAFE'S BIG BREAKFAST BIKE MEET
They came in their hundreds, a constant stream at the confluence of two roads...yes, I know this not entirely correct as a confluence is the coming together of two rivers, but it is an appropriate misuse of the word to describe the event last Sunday (10th) where the A41 and A49 roads converge on a roundabout near Whitchurch, Shropshire.
The roundabout is the location of Lynn's Raven Cafe. One of those rare things, a proper transport café in a world where bland corporate eateries predominate. It shares the area and huge parking space with the Midway Truck Stop, but it's the Raven which not only associates itself with motorcycles but organises events throughout the year. On this day, the first of their Big Breakfast gatherings.
It's a bright day, but cold first thing. This hasn't discouraged people eager to ride and mingle in the spring sunshine, including the dozens who have brought their 'classics' to be judged in the 'best in show' section of the car park, where they are taped off from the mass of other motorcycles and a handful of giant trucks whose domain this is most of the time. This is impressive, as unlike conventional classic shows all these bikes have been ridden to the venue. Some are immaculate, but are clearly bikes their owners enjoy riding as well as showing.
As riders exit the roundabout they are directed by 'Raven Riders'' marshalls. Most head inside to get warm and queue for tea, coffee, and food in the spacious café building. It's an unlovely utilitarian space, but well-run and organised; despite the crowded space and tables, everyone is patient and wants to be there. The riders have taken over the Midway too, and another smaller bar/café along the street.
The Blood Bikers have a marquee and a display of their stand-out machines. There's bike clothing for sale; advanced rider groups, the BMF, and the Christian Bikers, are all trying to attract interest - but the focus is on meeting mates and wandering amongst the row upon row of machinery, which, by mid-morning, has spilled into every available parking space around and about.
All biking life abounds...
The old, the new. The manky, the magnificent. The conventional, the inventive. The polished, the punished. The ordinary, the outlandish. The hi-visibles, the all-blacks.
I overhear a conversation as a group, who are clearly heading for the North West 200 races in Ireland at the beginning of May, are swapping descriptions of where they are staying in anticipation of meeting up. Early spring, old friends, swapping tales over breakfast, high expectation, riding months ahead. All biking life is here.
Lynn's Raven Cafe has a Facebook page. Bike night is every Thursday, and the postcode is SY13 2AF for the satnav users out there. Enjoy the pictures we've put up, perhaps your bike is among them?
14/04/16 Tasty machines, nice to see
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