OLD BIKES, OLD BONES...KEEP ON RUNNING
STILL A FEW SUNBEAMS SHINING THROUGH
In mid September the seasons are on the cusp of late summer and early autumn. In the forecourt of a large repair garage on the A169 near Pickering in North Yorkshire around twenty pre 1930's motorcycles are gathered with their riders and friends and family.
The weather is kind on this day and the Sunbeam MCC September Challenge will take these historic and precious machines and riders on a forty plus mile route around the villages between the Vale of York and the North York Moors. Finishing in the attractive small town of Kirbymoorside, where lunch awaits at the golf club.
Much banter and many handshakes
The world of vintage and veteran motorcycles is a small one and everyone knows everyone. There's much banter and many handshakes as bikes are unloaded, filled with fuel, tool kit baskets and leather cases attached, and in several cases the belt drives fitted.
There's a handsome 1912 New Hudson with sidecar; Kevin Hellowell the owner builds vintage and veteran gear boxes for customers across the world from his workshop near Halifax. Several Triumphs and Scott two strokes, Sunbeams of course along with Raleigh, BSA, Ariel and James are represented too. A veritable roll call of early British motorcycles..
People were wandering to and from the bacon and sausage sandwich trailer. No charge, what a service! Then riders gradually decided to tog up, fit the route sheet to the handlebar mounted 'road book', kick the engines into life and treat us all to the sound of open valves emitting their agreeable clatter, and wafts of ancient iron exhaust smoke; before they set off across the busy trunk road and into the network of smaller village roads.
Use it or lose it!
On the 'use or lose it' spectrum these blokes who lavish attention on these living museum pieces through mechanical care and a regular gallop will be at the positive end, and surely be amongst those 'oldies' whose zest for life through their bikes keeps them away from the local doctor's surgery.
Awards for the day went to the New Hudson sidecar and Tim Walker's 1920 Duzmo a motorcycle I'd never heard seen or heard of until this day. They were manufactured by a small company founded in 1919 at Enfield in what is now north London by John Wallace. He ran out of capital in 1923 and had to sell the company.
Thanks to Alec Thompson of the Sunbeam Club and the riders who tolerated my photographic intrusion.
John Newman for Wemoto News
Any comments email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
...And here are some more photos of the day for you...
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.