So finally, a whole week after the event, here is my second instalment of last weekend’s superb activities: Prescott Bike Festival.
This annual event at Prescott Hill in Gotherington is a fund-raising event by Severn Freewheelers, the charitable organisation that provide the blood bike service for the area. I gave details in last year’s write up, so won’t repeat it again, but here are some edited highlights and photos from this year’s event.
This year, the weather forecast for the event was terrible, which is a shame as it no doubt affected attendance. Actually on the day the weather wasn’t as bad as predicted and it at least stayed dry for most of the day, if a bit gloomy and overcast.
We arrived later than intended, so bikes had already been running the hill for a while by the time we got there. As always we started off in the paddock, where those who have paid to take their bikes up the hill mill about, fettle their bikes and queue for the start.
This is my favourite part: the noise of the engines, the bustle, the smell of Castrol R and the chance to get a look at the bikes. The bikes are all makes and models, from sports bikes to mopeds. There are also a good number of vintage machines. Many are obviously the owner’s pride and joy, and yet they are willing to risk them in a mad dash up a steep, twisty hill. Best of all, by the nature of the fact that they are going up the hill, they are all proper, used bikes, not just museum pieces dragged out to bike shows on a trailer.
Lunch was provided at a very reasonable price from trailer and, if required, a decent pint of ale could be bought to wash it down – from Prescott Brewery, where else! I decided that I had consumed enough beer for one weekend, however, so abstained.
Whilst the track was closed for lunch we were entertained by the Dave Coates Stunt Show. He did some pretty amazing tricks: wheelies, stoppies, burn-outs, steering with his feet, riding backwards, riding a quad on two wheels, even performing stunts on a standard moped. Very impressive, although the crowd seemed muted – maybe it was the weather.
As always there were plenty of stalls to walk around: bike safety groups, including Severn Freewheelers of course; main bike dealers; owners’ groups; bike-related clothing and all manner of other miscellaneous merchandising. There were even some cars that had managed to sneak in, but they were Bugattis, so we forgave them. There was also a band playing enthusiastically, although by the time we got to them it was starting to drizzle and their crowd was small, although this didn’t seem to dent their spirits.
Finally we made our way to the top of the hill and a good vantage point to see the riders coming past. It rained on and off and the crowd drifted away. By the time the track was closed by the blood bike parade at 4:00 it was dry once again, but by now, sadly many people had headed for home.
Somehow we managed to be in the wrong places to see some of the added attractions: once again Darth Vader was walking around with some Stormtroopers, but we missed them. Richard Hammond also paid a visit, but we missed him too. However, despite that and the less than ideal weather, we still had a great time and will be back again next year.