I always feel a terrible fraud attending bike events in a car. Especially when the sun is shining. You can just about get away with it in the winter, but heading to the BMF Show in the grannywagon was a return to the bad old days: of taking a non-riding partner to a social meet; of (whisper) not actually having a licence; of riding a 100cc bike that only managed 45mph downhill.
I was going to take the Lomax but I had so many excuses. The weather forecast was bad so it would be wet. The Citroen Specials Club didn’t have room for it on the stand, so it would be at risk of theft. I might be buying Big Stuff and need a boot.
All of these reasons are bollocks. As a wise friend says, “If you want to, you’ll find a way. If you don’t want to, you’ll find an excuse.”
The truth is that after its bad start I don’t quite trust the Lomax yet. I did my best to compensate with 100 Best Rock Tunes on the grannywagon stereo and the windows down, but it’s really not the same.
It’s not the first BMF Show I have been to in a car (see excuse no. 1 about non-riding partners), but it is the first time I have stayed all weekend on an exhibitors pass.
Friday was mostly anticipation. And bad preparation! I didn’t check where the Citroen Specials Club would be, so an increasingly reluctant Shakey and I wandered round the showground looking for three-wheel cars. We were very envious of the well-prepared bike clubs with their comfy seats and cold beers. In the end we gave in and asked at the organisers office. Classic and Vintage Arena? Well, of course! At least we headed back there in style, whisked along in an electric golf buggy. I may be able-bodied but my dog has three legs and suffers badly with being lazy.
Saturday was more about introductions. I have been following the very talented Michelle Szpak on twitter for a while. She takes amazing portraits of riders and their bikes. I love her work because it’s not just about the technology, it’s about the riders. So it was brilliant to meet her in person and see some of her latest portraits in real life.
Shakey thought it was brilliant to meet lots of people carrying their packed lunches in plastic bags. I am considering setting him up in business as an example of the power of positive thinking. There is simply no doubt in his mind that a man with a sandwich in his bag would love nothing better than to hand it over for devouring. And his belief is rewarded. Every single time.
Which is why he had to sit down rather frequently and get his breath back. He tried to blame the hot weather but he wasn’t fooling anyone.
Sunday was all about conversation. Jim and Ken from the Citroen Specials Club, my hosts for the weekend, were doing splendidly at discussing the benefits of life on three wheels to potential new members. As I’ve only been a member about three months and have only had a working Lomax for about three weeks I felt I had little to add, so on Sunday I relocated to help man the Midlife Classics mobile shop. A prime position in front of the doors, a place to sit and the occasional well-built young chap stripping down to try on a t-shirt all made the time pass far too quickly, and it was lovely to catch up with Mr Midlife Classics, Tim Slaughter, another longstanding twitter friend.
I did wonder a while ago whether the lack of drama in my life was going to lead to terribly dull posts. No-one got locked in anywhere. I didn’t take a wrong turn and have to push my bike through a very large crowd. I didn’t have to ask a passing Polish chap to help me pick my bike off the tarmac. I had a lovely long weekend in the sun catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. And then I took my new Penelope Pitstop helmet home and drove the Lomax, with my fat dog in the passenger seat, to the pub.