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A pleasant afternoon at the garland  as seen in issue 473 of Back Street Heroes

There’s a quote by Charles Darwin which sums up the start of this year for me “it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

Amongst other things, I have increased my stable at home to 2 motorised bicycles while scratching a 43-year-old itch by brought a vespa, a bike I wanted to start riding on. But all those years ago it meant a bus and 2 trains to nearest dealer, so brought a Honda from a dealer I could walk too.

With Doris my faithful steed feeling poorly, I adapted my 180-mile plans for the day and headed locally to Redhill and the Garland Bike show, on the now named scooter PO (she is red with a cute bum, like the telly tubby).

It may seem an odd location, right on the edge of town, with limited carpark, but it worked and is now in its 4th year. The wide pavement opposite the perfect parking space for visiting bikes while the carpark was just for the show bikes. For many local clubs it was the perfect mid stop on a Mayday Run and bikes came and went all day. The pub is also like a Tardis, what looks small outside heads back a fair way and has a reasonable garden, where the BBQ was selling reasonably priced burgers and hot dogs.

Dave How, tattooist of the parish and organiser of the show was busy running around like a ringleader in his big hat. Roping in any bike that maybe a contender, he even wanted PO as hoped it was an older model with a spare wheel to be a three-wheeler.

There was a glorious row of triumph chops, which made a great change from lines of v twins. Gavs old school FJ and also a rather lush Vincent and Goldstar. For me one of stand out bikes of the day want in the show, a simple blacked out with Blue tank Honda, it just sat so well.

The Tardis like properties of the pub were put to the test as a monsoon of biblical proportions hit, but even with the band in one corner somehow, we all squeezed in, thankfully it was over quite soon but with skies still dark this meant some headed off, as did I after a while as I have never ridden something with button sized wheels in the wet (it was interesting)

Voting was by public choice amongst the winners Kevin’s neat little black triumph bobber won best custom, the green BMW won best rat, Mark won best café racer with his Triton, Bernie won best triumph with flat battery, and we think there were some nefarious voting practices and accounting by bar staff as Johns white Harley won several awards.

All round a superb way to spend the bank holiday.