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As seen in issue 251 of 100% Biker

In my ever-increasing demand for world domination, starting in the home counties I have decided this year, I need to spread my wings and head out further (though still scared of the mainlanders of the isle of Wight which I have decided to avoid). Hearing only positive things about the Bideford Bike Show in Devon, it seemed a good idea to start there, so in the best of song traditions it was time to “Go west, life is peaceful there, Go west, lots of open air”

The Bideford Bike Show was started in 2014 to raise money for charities while helping local businesses, they have also started regular bike nights and raised nearly £25000 so far.

With a shout out for sponsors for trophies and feeling flush, I took the plunge to sponsor the chopper trophy. Loaded up the bike and headed off.

Bideford is a scenic Harbour Town in North Devon, once the third largest port in England handling cod and known for the produce of Bideford Black which was a pigment used in paint and dyes. Now known for tourists and a Pannier Market, which is meant to be rather nice. It’s also off the Atlantic Highways, and no I’m not starting to sing again, which has nice sweeping hills and is a beautiful way to arrive at a show.

Enthusiastically marshalled, even when I arrived fashionably early at 11.30, the event officially starting at 12, it was already heaving, and this upset some locals wishing to unload boats, but they needed to be up earlier. The marshals may well have learnt their bike parking skills from fish packing days as we were all parked in tight along the Quayside. A fantastically picturesque location, with a handy harbour wall for those wanting to perch on when eating fish and chips while fighting off seagulls.

As the event is also open to members of the public This did mean a lot of shouting of “mind your backs” as they may love looking at bikes, but don’t seem to realise they move. With a sunny day there was a huge queue for the ice cream, which caused a chicane for bikes entering.  but it was understandable with clotted cream topping available, yes, I tried one.

With the event run for charity, there were also many stalls from local charities as well as various motorcycle parts stalls. The bikes by 12.30 were now already into the back up parking area, and spilling onto the nearby roads. The trikes all neatly put into a separate area which allowed safe movement, neat and well thought out. And there seemed to be a lot of younger and learner riders.

With lots of smiley people, I only ever heard positive comments, even from some who claimed it was better than BMAD which has been running for several years in South Devon. And people were happily handing over money to the charity buckets.

The main road along side the Quay was very much a place to sit and watch the world go by, so rude not to do that with a decent coffee. As well as the bikes there was a children’s activity area and the local radio with bands.

The other great thing about heading to different counties for shows is the different bikes, and sometimes there are themes to styles. I have no idea why but there seemed to be a trend for the extended swing arm on many bikes, some seriously extreme. Now I have seen photos of this style in the states and always thought looked odd, but in the flesh, I thought they made a great change.

The only issue with bikes crammed in is when you find something neat like a metisse trident, a ratty Daytona or a cool chop is trying to see them properly which is why all of a sudden it was 4 o clock and my bike looked a bit lonely as most others had moved on, and I had missed the presenting of the trophies, though I have no idea where they were being presented, or how anyone would have chosen winners with bikes moving around.

For me the red metal flake chop would have got my award, and others I loved included the red vmax, the ratty triumph and green quad.

I made my way happily back, thinking how varied our scene is and thinking of a return next year. My only hiccup on return dropping my bike at zero MPH on gravel turning towards a petrol station, a big thankyou to the young rider from pentagram Tiverton who sat and chatted while I checked me and bike over (no damage to either as just a drop) it really helped get me back into riding mood.

, two albums of photos

Congratulations to all our bike show winners this year, they are as follows-:

Best in show - Barry Hyne, sponsored by Andy & Anne Hiscock

Best Vintage - John Mills, sponsored by Bideford auto services Ltd

Best Classic - Alistair Boyde, sponsored by John Piper Art

Best Engineered - Thomas Barrington, sponsored by Laceys Ale and Cider House

Best Trike - David O'Reilly, sponsored by Hedgehog Motorcycles

Best Sports - Peter Collis, sponsored by The Kings Arms

Best Chopper - Martin Cox, sponsored by Bosunsbikes

Best Streetfighter - Paul Hoole-Stewart, sponsored by GB Art Tattoo

Kids Choice - Barry Hyne, sponsored by Laceys Ale and Cider House

Best Italian - Shaun Dampier, sponsored by Bryant Decorating Specialist

The Mervyn Langmead memorial trophy - Doug Bushby, sponsored by Bideford Cobblers and keys

The Aiden Platt memorial trophy - Barry Hyne