Diff'rent Strokers

Bristol Classic Bike Show, Bath & West Showground, February 2009

We'd done this show in 2008 and thought it was worth taking part again.  We booked a stand and were told we'd get the same plot as last time, so we decided to go for 8 bikes and extend outwards towards the loading doors a bit.  But when the paperwork came through we found out we'd been moved, allocated a slightly smaller space and only given 8 tickets in total.  So we downsized our plans a little.

Mick had been an enthusiastic visitor the previous year so when he offered his tricked-up TDR we immediately said yes.  Chris volunteered his Wrangler 350LC and knowing that we wouldn't be treading on the toes of the LC Club (who don't do this show) we asked Rob to bring his RD500 along for a bit of a Yamaha-fest.  He also brought his recently-acquired RGV250M.  Darin filled the last two slots with the MVX (now featuring the optional bodywork kit) and his purple KH400.

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The weather leading up to the show had been terrible, in fact the previous weekend's classic car show had been cancelled altogether.  But with a few days to go the organisers said it was definitely on, so vans were packed and hotels confirmed.

We got there later than planned on the Friday but we've got pretty good at setting the stand up quickly now.  The flooring went down, the backdrop went up and the pair of lighting units were plugged in.  3 of the bikes weren't arriving until the Saturday so with everything in place it was time for takeaway curry and beer.  Saturday morning all we had to do was wheel the other 3 bikes in and give 'em a bit of a polish.

Bristol, Feb 2009 Bristol, Feb 2009 Bristol, Feb 2009

The venue is a bit odd.  The main hall is pretty small, there's a bigger one at the back full of trade stands and all of the various buildings are connected via temporary marquees.  It's easy to get lost though, or miss bits out altogether.  There's a definite agricultural feel to it and it takes a while to warm up when the heaters are switched on.  There's a small outdoor autojumble too.

We're a bit 'modern' for this show, even though the newest bike we had on display was 18 years old.  It's fair to say that a lot of people walked straight past without giving us a second glance, more interested in the BSA Bantam Club next door.  But the other side of this is that if you are into 80's Japanese two-strokes, we're the only people there who've got 'em and we had plenty of enthusiastic visitors both days.  The KH400 managed to bridge this split somewhat, attracting people for a closer look who probably weren't interested in the watercooled bikes with plastic fairings.

Bristol, Feb 2009 Bristol, Feb 2009 Bristol, Feb 2009 Bristol, Feb 2009

Apart from one of Tim's lighting units packing up, there not much else to say.  We managed to avoid the dubious charms of the glamour photographer wanting to pose his model on the bikes and the worse thing that happened was Darin losing the KH key.  Although he's since found it.

By 4pm on the Sunday it was getting fairly quiet so we copied everyone else and started packing up.  With lots of people helping it was all done very quickly and everyone hit the road.  Another fun weekend hanging out with some great people.  Thanks to Mick, Rob and Chris for bringing their lovely bikes along and to Adam for help with dismantling the stand and loading the vans.

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