FLEET LIONS RUN
MAY DAY CLASSIC RALLY
For one day a year, Fleet, a sleepy town in Hampshire, reverberates to the noise from hundreds of classic bikes, gathered together for the 32nd annual May Day classic rally. Fleet Lions run and concours attracts riders from all over the south of England and this year Wemoto attended, distributing freebies and taking part in the fun.
The range of bikes varies from nearly a century old to almost new, with the majority being made up of British, Japanese and Italian machines from the 1960-80’s. Several hundred machines gathered for the 11.00 start and followed a well-planned 45 mile route across some beautiful countryside before stopping for lunch at a brace of pubs to swap stories and tell increasingly tall tales over a pint.
Printed directions, issued to all riders, failed to accommodate the dumbest of riders (ahem) and on more than one occasion I blasted smugly past a gaggle of small British two strokes on my undoubtedly superior Ducati V Twin only to find that, yet again, I’d got lost and had to re-trace my steps before eventually catching them up several miles further on. They all made it to the pub before me, inevitably.
It’s a rare opportunity to ride alongside so many other classic machines and observe close up just how they perform, sound and, in the case of the two strokes, smell. Following an enthusiastically ridden Suzuki GT750 for a few miles and soaking up the noise and smoke will no doubt send me scurrying to the classifieds once I’ve finished writing this; it's that kind of day.
The modest £7.50 signing on fee and sales of bacon rolls, the food of champions, ensures that the Lions Club can continue their good work for another year and the riders get to exercise their machines, meet up with old friends and make new ones. I overheard two chaps discussing a Laverda triple. On hearing that it had been a dream to ride one, the owner promptly tossed him the key with a ‘we’ll swap back after a few miles, have fun on it’.
See you next year, even if you ride a moped, you’ll still beat me to the pub. Pint of bitter, please!
Here are a few more pics from the day for you to enjoy:
Thanks very much for that story Paul. Anyone else go along? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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