Friday, June 29, 2012

Banbury Run 2012

Several weeks of rain preceeded this years' Banbury Run and forecasts had it that on the day the wet stuff was going to continue unabated. This was the first time that I hadn't had to work for the Banbury weekend for three years and my entry was secured. None-the-less it was difficult to get enthused about the prospect of a three hour ride in driving rain.

Come the day it did indeed start out rainy. The Gaydon Motor Heritage Centre offers hard-standing for entries and parking but the autojumble area was waterlogged and pitches were depleted considerably.

This is what it is all about, a sporting sv Sunbeam storms Sunrising.
The ride started out with a few drizzly patches but soon improved and a glorious day of riding was had around the lanes. The route-card was somewhat difficult to follow but then I am not the best at following them and soon settled in to following other competitors. After all, riding the lanes on a vintage bike with other vintage bikes and enthusiasts is what it is all about. The joy of the Banbury Run is in being a rolling spectator,watching the other machinery as you pass it by or it passes you and the refreshment stops in villages parked up with dozens of other vintage bikes.

My mount for the day, a '26 Humber parked up for refreshments.
The ascent of Sunrising is one of the great immovable traditions of the Banbury Run and I had high hopes for the 350 ohv Humber I was riding (thanks Dad for the loan!). We stormed up the lower reaches but halfway up a sudden and severe onset of clutch slip nearly halted us in our tracks. Down to first gear, ignition retarded and we slowly made it up in a slighty ignominious summit with a helpful chap walking alongside letting me know a push was available!

A Calthorpe on Sunrising doing nicely two-up.
Sunrising can get quite heavily trafficed. I felt particularly sorry for a Triumph Model N rider who was baulked at the steepest part, then rolled backwards and was forced to drop it. The Triumph front brake is an internally expanding band and is completely useless in reverse. 

Nicely patinated sv AJS.
The Banbury Run has become one of the great fixtures of the vintage riding season and is the largest gathering of vintage machines in the world. Long may it continue!

Wonderfully aged BSA sv.

Very original American Excelsior X.

Another view of the self-same Excelsior.

Flat-tank Norton combination.

Equisite Montgomery with 8 valve Anzani engine.

Beautiful Quadrant has problems on Sunrising.

Traffic on Sunrising. A Triumph has issues with its internal band brake.

More Sunrising traffic.

A 'Black Ariel' canters up Sunrising.

Chater Lea Blackburne.

Bonhams were punting two Crockers soon to come up for auction.
A fine Royal Enfield model 180 Sports.

Great McEvoy JAP with drop-tank sidecar.

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