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Festival of 1000 Bikes 2007


It seems rather odd, I thought as my old van trundled along the A47, I am taking a Harley to a race track, a place for fast machines, now that’s an oxymoron if there ever was one, not that the bike doesn’t go well, perhaps not like an Indian but well enough for me.
As my Indians are not quite in one piece yet and I’m certainly not taking to that famous track, why not?
A Harley on the Indian stand just to throw people off and see who spots the difference.

My arrival was planned perfectly with the tent already erected, well sort of because Dave and Mike were on one corner with Sherry, Sybil. Peter and Anita on the others, Linda and Tony nipped in ahead of me so they did all the hard work battling the wind and rain that tried to create a huge kite out of the tent, it was foiled by tying it to Mikes four and sidecar and a trailer and Linda and Tony’s along with Dave’s Sports Scout. Just to make sure Dave climbed a ladder to fix the top and made life a bit more interesting, this did the trick  and things became normal again, well as normal as it can be with the Indian Riders Club.

We set up camp and were soon surrounded! Isn’t it the Indians who were suppose to do that?
A quick look around revealed the Harley Riders Club next door stuffed with bikes, the BSA Gold Stars across the way with their crisp crack of exhaust note, very nice indeed, a shame they all look the same, further down the field every make of motorcycle you could imagine, even a Munch Mammoth standing  next to Bantams, Triumphs, Ariels, BSA’s , New Imperials all shapes and sizes of vehicles as far as the eye could see. In the distance were grass track and scrambler bikes and on a rise stood a great orange blob that was the Laverda Club with a little fence around it with barbecues as big as a camper van! No rough camping for these chaps!

Friday evening dried up nicely and we went back to camp, to everyone’s astonishment Anita and Peter produced a five star restaurant from within their Tardis like van, not only a feast but the largest cake I’ve seen since the Skoda Advert. A slice or two for all plus a bottle of Champagne to toast Indian Joe AKA Tony Jeffery who was celebrating his final treatment for Cancer, Tony who seems to be as tough as the Indians he rides.

The evening continued with a stroll around the stands and on to a Rock’n’Roll band in the centre of the track, they were very good and after a nightcap or two with the rain starting up again it was off to bed.

Saturday the grounds filled up nicely with the sounds of machines being readied for the parades on the track, well it was more like flat out no holds barred racing to me. The day dried out well and the first of many took to the track, classic, veteran, semi-modern and modern all careered their way around the hairpin and down the straights.

An event like this is all about the race bikes all modified to squeeze that last atom of power from the motor, tweaks to frame geometry were on show for all to see.  The only weak point would be rider although most coped extremely well with very high speeds, even our other Tony  Collinson who we see aboard his yellow 101 bobber took to the track with a great aplomb on his Seeley Commando, he didn’t use the Indian in the spirit of fairness because it would show everyone else up! Also on the track was our new member Geoff Ayre on his 741, very nice in red and Mike Farrell on an Ariel with a 600 Scout motor going like the clappers.

There was also a Harley 45 that had a few mods plus Montego pistons of all things, who said Harleys were slow?
The jumble was quite small but a few of us found a scrap of treasure to play with. Quite a good number visited the club stand and some had Indians in the past and regretted their parting. It was a great day and although it was said not to be as good as at Brands Hatch I think all enjoyed the day.

The evening rolled on and another great meal from Anita’s travelling restaurant with added extra goodies from Linda and Dave. This time chicken and salad filled us up to the gunnels along with more cake (specially made by Anita’s mum in honour of Tony), which seemed to have come under attack with great swords carved off and washed down with the inevitable brew or two.

The next day started surprise, surprise, wet! But Fred and Phil’s happy grins beamed through the drizzle, they also brought along a nice pair of fours and rearranged the club tent to fit them in all nice and neatly, very tidy guys, we bet you don’t do that at home.
Racing continued in the wet and if anything they were going faster, something had to give and it did with a couple going down hard , they were well cared for but its something that happens to all of us at sometime or the other in this case not anyone else’s fault.
By the end of the day people were drifting away, me included leaving the clear up for the others, planning you see, it’s all in the planning.  Great time though.
See you all next time

Russell Chitty       

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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