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As seen in issue 249 of 100% Biker

Its always nice when you are invited to a new show so when Reg, proprietor of Shadow Motorcycles and builder of unusual bikes, messaged and asked, “did I fancy going to the Stonham Bike Show” I pondered for a while and said, yes, I’m free, but not in a camp Mr Humphries style. I then looked up where it was, thinking it must be in Sussex, which is where he is based. Well it started with SU and was Suffolk and just over 100 miles away. That will do I though be nice to have a reasonable ride and being National Mills Weekend I was hopeful of a distraction along the way.

A pleasant but windmill less ride later and I think it’s an understatement to say the organisers of the event were surprised by the sheer number of bikes arriving. With the Barns also hosting a car boot fair on the day, the various shopping emporiums open and the Owl Sanctuary this made for chaos at the entrance but once in all was good, enthusiastically marshalled by local army cadets. The show being held on the Mid Suffolk show ground. Although this did mean a good many bikes that were worthy of entering the main arena ended up in the bike park which as ever at many events became a show of its own. I spent far too long being distracted by all the different bikes coming in including a rather cool disable sidecar combination.

As a first-time event it had an impressive amount of local owner’s clubs, stalls, food stalls, autojumble and a trials stunt show. There was also a lot of interest in the electric bikes on show which although to be looking like BMX bikes on Steroids I was impressed with their build. Real Ale and an ice cream van both very busy on a sunny day the homemade pork pie van running out impressively fast.

One of the big attractions for me was seeing lots of different bikes, with so many shows around the south coast, sometimes you can start to know what bikes you will see, not so here. There were some class old style chops, a few purposeful streetfighters, huge trikes and lots of Triumphs more so than at many other events.  Now whether it is because Triumphs suit East Anglian Roads better (more of which later) or just their styling suits current trends, it certainly looked less sports bikes than along the south east and certainly less Harleys.

The Stunt show certainly pulled a crowd, and had the children shouting and screaming for their favourites, a great way to attract them to our passion.

Winners at the show included a red classic style chopper, a Kawasaki 750 triple and tidy Norton but eventually the draw of new windmills got to me and I headed off through lots of country lanes, surrounded by Rapeseed which made my eyes water like mad, to find some until I was so successfully lost that I ended up on the Norfolk border. Yes, I know I should have used a satnav, I even have one now, but I was just loving the pottering around and can see how much fun it would be on a bike like the Bonneville or scrambler.

Finally, I returned home after 300 miles (only 40% more than planned) and with a huge grin on my face. A great show and a great day and what biking is all about on spring days.