Triumph Custom and Classic


Triumph Custom and Classic

Near Reading 25th July 2009


as seen in

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What better way to spend a lazy sunny July day than to wander around and oooh and ah at a variety of motorcycles old and new.

I have heard good things about the Triumph Owners Club of Berkshire (no wonder they do not use an acronym for their club as TOCOB sounds awful) Bike show. And this year was to have a ride in by the old Rockers from the old Manor Café and 2009 is the 50th anniversary of the first Bonneville the T120.

It never ceases to amaze me how the nostalgia for the old biking haunts grows and grows and it is good that the pictures and tales are being kept for posterity.

I do wish I had followed the organised ride in to the show by the old Rockers, which co incidentally was being filmed, as my irrational dislike for the Royal County of Berkshire caused me to become seriously lost again.

And so after a scenic route through Reading (I went past the Majeski Stadium twice pretty it maybe but it’s certainly not my idea of Saturday afternoon entertainment) I find the venue I shall blame my misdirection on a bad nights sleep and copious amount of ale at a party the night before, well that’s my story and I shall stick to it. Three pounds entrance paid (a very good price for an afternoon’s entertainment I thought) I was then ushered in by one of the many marshals to my parking spot. A decent freshly made cup of coffee, and dinky donuts, (an inspired choice of catering van) and I wandered off to look at the steadily growing field of bikes.

Obviously being a Triumph club show, there was a great display of Meridians finest, it would be an understatement to say I have a soft spot for Triumphs, owning a couple of T140’s back in the 1980’s, sadly my mechanical ineptitude, and lack of funds for purchasing anything resembling a healthy bike to start with, meant I was more often off the road than on it even when owning two Bonnevilles at the same time and it wasn’t totally the fault of Joe Lucas “Prince of Darkness” the end of my Bonneville days came when my then boss said “if you turn up late for work again you lose the job” after the clutch fell apart at Hanger Lane. There were a few for sale, but somehow I do not think my girlfriend will be too pleased at spending any money I do not have on one of Meridians finest.

There were a surprising amount of small Japanese two strokes around as well, I suppose as older British bikes, even the basic models, steadily rise in price, some folk now look for the bikes they started riding on as an alternative. Seeing a Honda CB250rs single there made me wonder how I did so many miles on one back in the 80’s it looks so tiny now.

From the marquee which doubled as “The old Manor Café” reunion site, a stream of Rock and Roll and 50/60’s music flowed, in the evening there was to be more music in the rugby club and camping was laid on as well.  A few good club stands and a small auto-jumble was also nice, sometimes quality over quantity works far better.

I never did find out the categories for the winning bikes, but slowly luggage tags dangling off handlebars indicated winning bikes, including a very nice Sportster chop.

With the sun still high I headed off home with all best intentions of heading back to another party, but plans were soon thwarted by a comfortable sofa and the dream of a lottery win and the burgundy Bonneville that was for sale on the field.