The Mince Pie Run
The MPR has consistently been one of the EACC Suffolk Section’s highest attended events for many years, and now this has been continued by Martin Gates and Rudy Graham. The time of year does mean that the weather forecasts are monitored during the run-up and fingers are kept crossed.
With the ominous prospect of a continuing wet theme, forecasts started to improve the week before the run until it looked as if it might be dry but cold. The Yacht Club car park was filling up pretty quickly as I was going around taking pictures, so it was obviously a strong attendance—but you never know the actual figure because people keep arriving right up to the start.
Most roads on the outbound route were fairly dry with a few puddles in the usual places, except at Lower Holbrook where Martin Gates was directing riders to pass the flooded road on the higher right-hand side.
At this point the group I was riding with came up behind Martin Kendall and Nick, again on the Itom Tourist Tandem, and causing a mobile chicane going uphill; but on the flat they were reportedly hitting 50km/h (31mph)! That’s going pretty well for a cyclemotor powering two riders on a tandem.
As our group started pulling away, Wayne (BSA B40) wasn’t sure of the route; I took over the lead and piloted the main group on and into Shotley, just as the rain started to arrive.
Walking around the car park in the rain, the count was 73 bikes, including some interesting machines: 2 Ambassador motor cycles, a 1968 Suzuki 80, Mandille et Roux/Sachs BMA, Velocette LE, Hercules Corvette, Mobylette AV31, Zündapp ZD40, 1960s’ Bridgestone 100, Kawasaki 150, Ex-WD BSA B40, a BSA Beagle, lots of fancy scooters, assorted ‘bandit’ bikes, and a classic Wartburg three-cylinder two-stroke car driven by David Whatling. There was plenty to look at, and people were still viewing the bikes around the car park despite the drizzle. A pretty good turnout for a cold and wet January day.
The return leg back to the Clubhouse was cold, wet, and steady, with a couple of machines failing in the final mile along The Strand, whence they were recovered.
The collection raised £120 for Cancer UK to the memory of Dave Evans who was the run’s organiser for 20 years.