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Go on then, just one more! (part 3)
26th Mince Pie Run
4 January 2009

Text by Mark Daniels
Photos by Mark Daniels and Andrew Pattle

[Back to Ipswich]

Somewhere on the Shotley Peninsula

Essex Section Officer in Charge, Paul Efreme's resplendent Moby AV89 looked magnificent, but petered out with a fuel blockage at the top of Bourne Hill, retiring along with the mourning Francis-Barnett of his south Anglian colleague.

Paul Daniels's Solo started slowing shortly after the Bourne brow, and seemed like it was just about to stop, but produced a loud bang with a burst of smoke and picked up again for a few miles, before conking out with a whiskered plug past Tattingstone.  Several of us stopped while he shaved the errant carbon with his bristle remover, which provided another suitable moment to photograph the river of riders flowing by.

Paul cleaning his sparking plug Cyclemaster leading a group of mopeds Keith on his New Hudson Nick cornering at speed

We quickly caught a huge group of bikes into Holbrook and joined the vast column snaking its course through Harkstead, where several families traditionally come into their gardens most years to wave our procession by.  Toward Erwarton the country route winds its way around open fields and affords the ribbon of riders an impressive view of the seemingly endless string of machines threading their way across the landscape.  Beyond this we found the dead Hercules Corvette beside the road, practically being dismantled by Martin Gates in a fruitless search for some elusive malady, just as Ashley Stanbridge pulled up in the support pick-up, so it went in the back.  Mere yards along the road, Tris Smith's luminous orange RM4 had also stopped with the familiar Hammer Horror "Curse of the Hot Capacitor", so Ash had another customer.


Having now fallen behind following several stops to assist people, the Mercury was pressed into some hard riding to catch the back of another group as we rode along the Shotley coast wall, and emerge to the breathtaking scene of a veritable sea of bikes lapping the marina's Shipwreck Bar.

Mopeds passing Shotley Rose BSA Beagle Honda Carl on a James Comet David on an NSU Quickly Puch and Corgi Two Hondas Tomos Puch Maxi Mobylette Kerry Capitano Honda 70

The Shipwreck

Back at the Orwell Yacht Club, it had been difficult to grasp the magnitude of this turnout, since machines were squirreled away between boats and liberally scattered along the Bundwall parking but, at Shotley, the rows of bikes plainly presented the sheer scale of this event!

Though cold, the halfway stop was sunny and bright, and in no way deterred the enthusiasm of the many riders outside viewing the stunning range of machinery on display - and what a setting for some iconic photography!  While, inside, the extra staff drafted in by the Shipwreck Bar were frantically bailing against the incoming tide of riders clamouring for refreshment and sustenance.

As people finish their lunch, riders tend to set back in smaller groups, and with an alternative return course for this event, became a little more scattered on the homeward leg as others followed the traditional main road return to the Yacht Club.

Scooters and mopeds outside The Shipwreck Line of mopeds outside The Shipwreck Corgi in the corner Scooters outside The Shipwreck Hercules Corvette AJW Collie and Puch Maxi An anchor among the mopeds Alex's Norman autocycle The Vespa outfit

Martin got the Corvette going again and thrashed it mercilessly back to base with no further problems.  Classic racer colleagues Pete Ransom (Matchless) and Rob 'Storm' Knox (Triumph) pasted their alternate mounts Phillips Gadabout P50 and Capitano flat-out together all the way home.  That was until the fast run down Freston Hill proved just a little too much for the Kerry, which heat-seized into The Strand, allowing the ladies Mrs Bloyce and Mrs Daw opportunity to lure another stranded young man into their back-up trailer.  Once it had cooled and backed off compression, the engine freed up and ran fine again - though the incident may put Storm's position on the works Kerry team into question as Pete collected the laurels for brand Phillips again.  Second Capitano rider John Gates salvaged something from the day for team Kerry with a point for consolation place.

Others: Joe Lee - Moby AV76, Dave Arnott - Moby 51V, Alan Course & Roger Coleman - Honda Cub 70, Roger Howe - BSA Beagle, Alan Bloys - Moby AV76 'special', John Daborn - Honda Novio, Mick Cook - Italjet, Terrance Cooper - Cyclemaster, Steven Harker - NSU Quickly, Laurence Coates - Honda C90, Lindsay Neill - Sym City Hopper, Richard Polley - VéloSoleX, Colin Clover - Puch, Roger Polley battled his Zündapp ZD40 home with a flat tyre on The Strand, Mark Gibb - Honda PC50, Terry Moore - Puch Maxi, Neil Morley - Moby M40, Dave Watson - Honda Vision, Nick Bence-Jones - Moby AV89, Bob Vince - Bown autocycle, Dave Evans - Puch MS50, J Notley - Puch Maxi, J Sutton - PF50, Peter Lawson - Puch Maxi, Bill Simpson - Yamaha YB100, Carl Harper - ex-RAF James 'Fly Me' Comet, Neil Bowen - Yamaha XT, Luke Booth - AJW Collie, Carol Cooney - Yamaha FS1-E, Geoff Daw - Garelli BiMatic, Keith Ashby - New Hudson, Dave Jockel - NSU Quickly, M Daniels - Mercury Mercette, Neil Daines - Puch FS, Phil Standing - Honda CG, Aaron Cook - Zip SP, Mike Daborn - Honda PC50 ohc, Tim Evans - Triumph, Woody - BSA.  Doug Betts and David Whatling - don't know what they were riding and, sorry if you're not mentioned, they were all the signatures we could find.

How many attended?  Well it's hard to be absolutely sure since the log ran out after completing two sign-on sheets, and other odd names were scratched onto another two scraps of paper, and still there were many more that never got to register!  Andrew went round at Shotley when we arrived and counted 81 bikes, and that was while there were quite a number still out on the course at that time.  David Evans reported 97 total on the check-in, so that's got to be a new record.

David seemed to be very much missing Dawn's organisation in the kitchen while he battled non-stop from 9:30am - 10:45am as the pre-run café dispensed 160 cups of tea, used 2 large jars of coffee and 8 pints of milk.  To complement the mince pies, The Coasters brought along a big tin of spotted dick - it all went.

Everyone's generous contributions not only covered all costs, but even left a surplus to the tune of nearly £50 that David donated to East Anglian Cyclemotor Club funds.  Now returned under the auspices of the EACC, the 26th Mince Pie Run has been by far it's most successful event ever.  Once again they came from far and wide, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedford, Essex, North London, and Sussex, and augmented by so many new faces as the IceniCAM effect attracts fresh riders via the Internet, there seems little doubt that MPR27 will be back with the EACC again next year.

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