We’re not going to veer into a discussion on anything other than motorcycles, no need to worry, but what prompted my thoughts were a couple of pieces, both coincidentally involving Rudges that were on display at the Bristol show.
The owner of one of them, Kerry Marsh, attributed his involvement in the marque to a work colleague, while the owner of the other, Brian Petheram, was supremely grateful to the help and friendship (and hard work) of a fellow club member in getting his machine there, where he won a prize. It underlined the significance of friendship in the scene. That was further underlined by the fact that the best in show winning machine was also transported by friends of the owner.
Around where we live in Lincolnshire, AMC machines are the marque of choice for many – indeed, I was stood chewing the fat the other day at the garage across the road and talk turned to bikes and a man I’d never met before told me his allegiance to AMC was down to one prominent local enthusiast who encouraged the ‘young ‘uns.’ And that same fellow was the reason so many are in to AMC machines around here.
Friendship rather explains why I’ve ended up with Velocettes. I was never a dyed-in-the-wool Velo man, and still don’t consider myself such, but I have/look after a few and a lot of that comes down to people I’ve got to know and what they have.
Many of the local Velo fellows have taken me on as a bit of a mascot/project and are forever helping and encouraging me with my stable. The cammy and the pushrod racer (featured on page 22 of this issue) have both seen me receive help from local enthusiasts – while my dad always helps me out as well.
And that theme (friendship and comradeship) brings me back to Bristol (where the picture below was taken). It is the ‘friendly show’, as someone tagged it, though to be fair, I do find the vast majority of classic motorcycle events welcoming – so we’re the friendly scene.
That feeling/sentiment is reiterated by the fact that when we turn up/ride past on our machines, people stop, smile and engage us in chat when we stop. People are pleased we’re there – and it’s just another reason why classics are the place to be. Everybody likes to be liked. So, advice to politicians, bankers, tax inspectors et al, is buy a classic – people will be pleased to see you!
Where legends come to life
James Robinson, Editor
James Robinson has been the editor of The Classic MotorCycle since 2002. Aged 34, he has possessed a motorcycle licence for 16 years and during that time has owned and ridden all manner of motorcycles, spanning over 100 years from oldest to newest.
Presently the custodian of a varied shed full of motorcycles, his overriding enthusiasm is for pre-World War Two sporting machines, with a couple of cammy Velos, a Rex-Acme and a Model 9 Sunbeam among those competing for attention.