2023 Banbury Run 18th June
Our experiment, forming a support team and starting as a group seemed to work very well, and we will consider doing it again in future years.
This time we had eight riders (3 Scotts 2 BSAs: a Raleigh; an Areil and a Royal Enfield) and 2 support team members using the Museums van (Thanks due) and a car and multi bike trailer.
Three riders made the whole route and two an abridged version and three glorious failures arriving back at Gaydon on trailers
Tony’s Tail 1929 Scott 3 Speed
I bought my 1929 Scott Flying Squirrel in November 2021 with the intention of restoring it to ride in the Banbury which I finally achieved 20 months later. The bike had been off the road for nearly 40 years and needed a complete restoration but it was almost complete which was important for me as I knew very little about Scotts. I now know a lot more having built the engine, gearbox and the rest of the bike which means I know the bike well and can be ready for the inevitable road side repairs. I finally started the bike for the first time on 30th March giving me plenty of time to sort out the teething troubles and problems like leaking radiator, gear change and gearbox leaks. Having paid a lot of attention to getting the engine air tight it starts easily and runs really well. I covered about 250 miles on the bike before the Banbury so I was fairly confident it would make it round. However I still decided to transport the bike to the start.
On the day of the ride it rained on the way there but for the run the weather was ideal with the rain only resuming just as I got the bike safely loaded back into my van. Being my first Banbury I was glad of the other riders around me but a bit confused by the tulip direction having no mileage. Being used to the ones we use on the Coventry to Brighton I found it hard at first to navigate without any idea when the next junction was about to be reached. Luckily I tagged on to two other competitors that had lots of experience and were riding at the pace that suited me. We stayed together for the whole run missing several junctions and backtracking but keeping to the route. I really enjoyed the ride and will certainly be there again next year hopefully with the Scott looking a bit more presentable.
Nigel’s Tail 1929 Scott 2 Speed
This was my first ride at Banbury, although I’ve been many times to watch the event in the past. I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow a bike from Andrew for the event - a Scott 600 Squirrel. We had a few sessions beforehand so I could get to know the bike before the big day as it’s a bit different to what I’m used to. This threw up a few challenges along the way, mostly plug oiling if not kept on the boil and starting issues. On the day it started first kick in the car park! ….but then played ‘hard to get’ at the starting point, needing the rollers to spark it into life. A few oiled plugs later and the kick start mechanism adjusted and I was zipping along nicely when it started to lose power and did not quite get to the top of an incline at Butlers Marston, and had clearly decided that was it for the day. Fortunately our recovery team were soon on hand to ease the pain……but overall it was a great day.
Andrew’s Tail 1927 BSA 250sv
During my ownership the bike has never been further than 5 miles from my home garage, so the Banbury run was its baptism of fire. Things started well, with the bike firing up first or second kick and sounding far more powerful than it actually is. Of course Bob and myself were soon in trouble, being reprimanded for actually riding the bikes into Parc Ferme under their own power. Who’d have thought people would actually ride bikes at a motorcycle meeting. On the Grid reprimanded again for starting it too early but hey it’s running now and I’m certainly not going to stop it. Once off the start, waved off by the Lord Mayor I made an early stop (200yds) to assist Nigel with the Scott, which needed the start rollers to bring it into life. Off we went, same wrong turning in Lighthorne Heath as last year! but easily rectified and back on route. Scott oiled a plug after 4 miles or so, so after getting Nigel going told him not to stop and I would hopefully catch him up. Charged off getting the BSA up to a heady speed of 35mphor so. Bobbing along nicely, until I arrived at Little Kineton, where Lewis, with his Scott, was parked at the side of the road. Stopped to offer assistance, and pushed him up and down several times (a hot operation in leathers and helmet) with no joy. Jumped on my BSA rode 50 yds and it promptly stopped with the float stuck and petrol pouring out. Could not get in to stop, or restart so sadly called the recovery team of Steve and John to get collected….. on the way to pick up Nigel 10 miles down the road. Grand total 8 Miles!
Bob’s Tail 1927 BSA Taxi Combo
I’m sure Bob will add to this, but the BSA Taxi Combo has undergone some significant fettling recently and was running well, up to a point. As you know it’s quite hilly round Banbury and at one point Bob got stuck in a valley. Hills up both directions and with the clutch slipping there was no way the Taxi was going to climb out under its own power. Fortunately a kindly local got out his car and tow rope and hauled the outfit up the hill. Not before Bob had called out the rescue team, so we were surprised to see him coming the other way as we sped to his rescue. Marin Bouchard, from Poole, who joined our little team, on his 1927 Raleigh Model 15, followed Bob all round the (Shortened) route and both made it back to the finish.
Footnote from the Section Secretary
Monday 3rd July 2023.
Good aternoon everyone, as you may know I had a meeting at VMCC Head Office on Thursday of last week. At the end of the meeting I was presented with the Arthur Mortimer Shield which I accepted on behalf of the National Motorcycle Museum for the BSA Brighton Taxi Combo I rode at this year’s Banbury Run.
The award goes to the entrant of the combination or three - wheeler that in the opinion of the judges is in the best condition having special regard to the original specification and to any accessories fitted.
My thanks go to Dave Whitehead and Geoff Ansell from the Midland Section who made, welded, repaired and replaced parts of this 99 year old machine enabling me to take my place within the 7 man Banbury team known as the; National Motorcycle Museum Relics (the Riders not their machines)!
Our team members were Andrew Walsh (BSA Junior) Nigel Lane (Scott) Martin Bouchard (Raleigh) Wali Taylor (Ariel) me on the 1924 BSA Taxi Combo Neil Davis (Royal Enfield) Lewis onions (Scott) and Tony Brinkworth (Scott).
Neil and Tony being the only team members to successfully complete the course.Congratulations to Neil and Tony.
Special thanks go to the rest of the Team for their good humour and support throughout the day.
My thanks also to Steve Fenton and John Surman who manned our breakdown truck (loaned by the NMM) and made good use of it throughout the day!
Last but not least James Hewing for his help and support and Simon Hartland for allowing and encouraging us to use some of the Classic Machines from the Museum’s collection.
Midland Section Secretary
2023 Banbury Run.
Banbury Run Sunday June 19th 2023.
We have a number of members with Banbury eligible machines. This year we are considering entering the Banbury run as a “Team”.
Each member would have to enter the run in their own right, but as a section we will liaise with the VMCC to ensure we get a block of start numbers together, such that we can all ride as a group and assist each other with the route, breakdowns and lunch etc.
Having entered the run a few times, (although not always completed!!) I know how much hassle it is to get there, get unloaded, and get rescued back to parc ferme. As a group there should be a mutual support (mickey take) to make the event more enjoyable and less stressful.
There may be an option for us to borrow a van to act as transport to and from the event and as a breakdown recovery vehicle should any one of us not make it round.
Understand that official entries opens in early 2023. If you are thinking of entering and would like to be in the group, please let me know using the link below, or talk to one of the Committee members.