Has your partner ever asked, "How many motorbikes do you need?" The answer for me has always been, “Just one more,” regardless of how many machines I have. Each has a place in my rational thoughts, although sometimes it’s difficult to justify to my wife, but never my bank balance.
Well the Bantam is just too slow today. The Matchless has decided to leak oil through its valve guides, leaving clouds of smoke in its wake and the BMW needs new tyres and has a flat battery; oh, and by the way the Yamaha is still in bits. So my Suzuki GSX 1400 is my ride for the day. See I told you they were all needed, in fact I might need another one just in case. Just as several of my biker friends, I’m mad about motorbikes and am loathed to sell any of them.
Thousands of bikers brave a very chilly early spring day to support an event organised by Lynn’s Raven Cafe in Whitchurch Shropshire. Arriving at The Raven I was marshalled into a parking space among a sea of bikes. Despite a very 'fresh' April morning, only the hardy of bikers turned out to the Big Breakfast. It’s an annual event at the beginning of the season, organised by Lynn and her staff of The Raven Cafe and also The Raven Riders.
You can never predict what bikes are going to show up at this event and this year was no exception, from several Honda CBX1000s to three cherished Vincent Black Shadows. The vintage and classic bikes get a parking area of there own which is always well attended. Walking around the parking is just as interesting and diverse. I won't even attempt to list all the bikes there, far too many to pay homage to.
The Raven provides very well for the numbers even if the queue for a breakfast is quite long; given that The Raven serves good simple fare at a reasonable price it's hardly surprising. The Raven also hosts a bike night every Thursday and is a very well known locally as a bike friendly meeting place. The Blood Bikes among other charities are the recipients of this and other events held by the cafe.
This is a great early 'season' event to catch up with the people you only see at biker meets, to share war stories and munch on a bacon bap surrounded many others doing the same thing. It's one of the things makes bikes special, the camaraderie, a chance to share friendly banter and take the Mick out of each other.
T'is the season to be a biker, so I'll see you out on the road. Even if I don't get that spare bike I so desperately need.
Author - Mark Leese