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Your new calendar hangs on the wall, waiting to be filled. So start scribbling down details for three of the top classic and vintage motorcycle events of the year…
Anyone interested in old bikes should never be short of something to do. Classic bike and vintage motorcycle events take place throughout the year and across the UK. The 83 sections of the VMCC will host over 1200 different shows, trials, rides, run and rallies during 2011. This means that there are 20 or more VMCC events going on every week – something to suit everyone whether you’re a road rider, a short-circuit track fanatic or a TT mountaineer. Here are details of three extra-special events…
The Banbury Run
This road run for pioneer, veteran and vintage machines always attracts a full entry list and a massive crowd of spectators. The 63rd VMCC Banbury Run will be held at the Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, Warks on Sunday 19th June 2011. The format of the 63rd Run will be similar to 2010 but with new routes and checkpoints to challenge the riders. With its 600 entrants, the Banbury Run is the biggest gathering and run in the world for machines manufactured before 1931. It incorporates three different routes which converge back on Gaydon, and caters for those who wish to enter a timed event or those who simply enjoy the thrill of riding with alongside an array of other vintage, veteran and pioneer bikes.
Owners of older bikes are encouraged to drag pre-1915 motorcycles out for the day with discounted entry fees. Places on the Banbury Run are normally snapped up early, so entrants should make sure their forms arrive long before the official cut-off date of 28th February 2011.
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For spectators, the Banbury Run represents a superb opportunity to see hundreds of motorcycles which otherwise rarely take to the road. The entrance fee of £7 (or £5 prebook) includes access to the Run, its associated autojumble, club displays, free parking, and admission to the Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon. There will also be a Bonhams auction on the Saturday before the Banbury Run just down the road apiece at Kidlington.
As you might imagine, staging an event of this size takes considerable manpower and the VMCC relies on volunteers to help at checkpoints along the route. Anyone who can lend a hand is asked to contact Helen Bensley at VMCC HQ helenbensley @vmcc.net
Entry forms and further information are available from www.banbury-run.co.uk
The TT Mountain Challenge
The very first TT races on the famous 37¾ mile, Mountain Circuit in the Isle of Man, were held in 1911 at the end of June and beginning of July. So the TT centenary will be celebrated in style this year by the Isle of Man section of the VMCC. A special commemorative event will be one of the many attractions of a full five-day rally from July 2nd through to July 6th.
The TT Mountain Challenge will be a special event for pre-1939, road-legal motorcycles. Entrants will tackle one lap of the TT course following the original, 1911 route. The current grandstand area will be used for pre-grouping prior to the start followed by a celebratory finish, which will allow suitable facilities for photo opportunities and socialising. The schedule will include a stop at Ramsey for re-grouping and light refreshments before tackling the Mountain and onwards to the finish at Douglas. The organisers hope that entrants will get into the spirit of things and dress up in period clothing for the Mountain Challenge.
The Mountain Challenge will take place on July 3rd, in the middle of the whole rally. Entry for the entire event will cost roughly £40 which covers admission to a variety of rides, social meetings and such, plus a commemorative medal. The organisers have also arranged favourable ferry and accommodation rates. The closing date for entry to the event is March 31st 2011, but the discounted accommodation/travel prices are limited, so it would pay to book early.
Entry forms and more details at www.vmcciom.org/2011ttmountainchallenge.htm
Festival of 1000 Bikes
After another record breaking event in 2010 the VMCC’s Festival of 1000 Bikes returns to Mallory Park on the weekend of the 8th, 9th, and 10th July 2011. This event gives enthusiasts the opportunity to ride their own machines in multiple track sessions over the weekend. On the Saturday the Festival caters for all classes of road machines from the earliest veterans (with discounted entry fees for pre-1925 machines) through to machines of the superbike era. On Sunday the noise restrictions are lifted a little, which allows riders to display their racing machinery in special track sessions running throughout the day.
The parade of Past Masters is an integral part of the Festival. In 2010 it showcased Fast Freddie Spencer who took to the Mallory Park track for the first time in nearly 30 years. An impressive line-up of similar star riders is promised for 2011, alongside the pre-65 trial, historic grass track, historic sprint demo, the avenue of clubs, tradestands and autojumble plus a real ale bar open all weekend with panoramic views of the Stebbe straight and plenty of live music.
Track sessions sell out early, so pre-register for an entry form at www.vmcc.net/1000bikes