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As seen in issue 256 of 100% Biker

Being a football widower, my good lady being a manic Brighton supporter, has its advantages at time. With her travelling nearly to Scotland to watch 22 people kick a bladder around, I had days to play in the late summer sunshine.

With the early start to Autumn turning the trees a glorious gold and the promise of a glorious sunny day ahead.  I picked the most picturesque route I could and headed to Andover by a selection of sweeping, scenic A roads, who needs motorways anyway.

Reaching the venue all looked peaceful and quiet, with only a couple of bikes and a sign outside hinting of the soiree that was occurring. A large sign did inform me I was at the right location, and the club members directing visitors. A small blue green note was dragged from my wallet in exchange for a red paper bracelet and I was directed up a tiny drive beside the pub, which like Alice through a rabbit hole, or through the back of a wardrobe to Narnia took us to a vast field and a rather splendid array or shinning bikes and cars.  For those that so wished this small donation also allowed you to camp.

I was impressed, overwhelmed, awestruck nay flabbergasted at the number of stalls, bikes and cars in the show area, especially on a weekend with so many other events on. There honestly did not look like enough room from the front I expect that most were taking advantage of the good weather and the fact the doom mongers at the weather stations kept telling us it was the last good day.

There were people everywhere too, most taking shelter from the sun under the central tree. I stuck on a hat and wandered found a band playing the Fratelli’s and relaxed. Not only cars, bikes but lots to do for the children too with inflatables etc. there were popcorn stalls, cake, hoorah, good coffee. Good food from the pub and the victory snack bar, with as ever witty repartee (joking abuse) from Spike and ice cream too.  Was nice to see several friends not seen in a while too.

The event was supporting Hampshire Aire Ambulance and Forces re-engineered and as well as entry fee there were donation stations everywhere as well representatives of these and several local charities.  I also purchased a raffle ticket for another bike in aid of cancer.

Of the bikes on shows, the bike I loved and would have wanted to ride home was the classic GSXR chop. Which had a purposeful useful look about it and a simple bright paint job in the end it was a prize winner. The Harley chop was also stunning with a paintjob reflective of oil on water think won best paint. Now as to other winners I have no idea, I was there at the presentations, which were done with speed and a certain style, and a lot of fun as each were handed their trophy to a shout of “you are a winner”.  The club president also handed out the trophy to what made him smile the most, and it was to the ice cream van, and it made everyone one (including me) happy.

One of the nicest moments was when all gathered in the marquee for the presentations, we were asked to take a moment to reflect on riders no longer with us, you honestly could have heard a pin drop it was so respectful and a nice thought.

All presentations over, I went back through the portal to normality and took the opportunity to enjoy some more of the glorious sunshine and a scenic 80-mile ride to another charity event, a perfect way to spend a day. And yes, the doom mongers got it right as the next day it was wetter than an otters pocket.