We’re answering your ‘May day’ with Insidebikes very own top tips on how to fill your leisure hours over the imminent bank holiday weekend. Of course, us being us, our event listings are heavily influence by your and our shared love of all things motorcycling. There are ideas on what to see and do whether you’re able to get out on your own two wheels or not.
Got any other suggestions? Then post your Bank Holiday tips on our Facebook page!
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, not least when cruising along those curvy, coast-hugging roads. There are plenty of ace riding routes to explore such, as the Insidebikes recommended Minehead circular which swiftly takes you up a soaring one in four and, via some tempting twisters, through Exmoor and pretty coastal towns and villages such as Lynton. Head further south and east and this weekend you’ll also come across the annual Bikes Make A Difference Festival in Paignton (Fridayt 4th – Sunday 6th May). There’s a cracking line up of entertainment with some 15 live bands, motorcycle stuntery courtesy of international trials rider Steve Colley, loads of trade stands and a bike show featuring customs, chops, trikes, Streetfighters, classics and more.
One in the eye for boredom
Also coastal bound is the Ace Café’s Battle of Hastings run which departs the beloved bike-friendly North London hostelry at 8am on Sunday bound for the historic Sussex town. Charge the batteries with a monumental British Breakfast, straddle your bike, head for the A21 in the good company of fellow Ace Café fans. Alternatively if you’d prefer to do your own Sussex thing, then there’s always the infamous Box Hill and another Insidebikes recommended route to Beachy Head. We’d recommend an early start to avoid the crowds and fuelling up on a breakfast at Ryka’s Café.
Go the eggstra mile
The all-round general goodness of UK bikers is reaffirmed by a plethora of bank holiday charity fundraisers, including two cracking egg runs. Oxfordshire hosts the well-established and pun-tastic ‘Yolks on You’, organised by Caldarium Motorcycle Club and for which fancy dress is de rigeur. Don’t forget to bring an Easter egg, cuddly toy, CDs or plain old cash for distribution to local children’s hospices and special needs schools. The run departs at 12 from Millennium Hall in Horton Cum Studley, with riders also set to enjoy live bands, camping, a “cheap bar” and – the clincher – flushing toilets! Up North, the Fife Egg Run is in aid of the local Rachel’s House, Victoria Hospital Children’s Ward, Queen Margaret Hospital Children’s Ward and Leven Child Development Unit. Entry is a fiver with riders meeting at the town’s seafront car park at 10am on the May 6th. Check the Facebook page for details.
Raise some blood money
Having just announced our very own support for North West Blood Bikes Manchester, this charity bash is close to our kindly beating heart. The Beadrock Blowout is organised by Bedworth’s Crossed Keys MCC in aid of Fire& Rescue and Blood Runners. Now in its second year, this weekender (4-6th May) offers bands, bikes, stunts and fun sounding stuff like a car to smash up (we’re a bit less sure of “bikes to blow up” – Sacrilege!). You get all that and a whole lot more for just fifteen quid – with free camping! Gates open at midday on Friday, the venue being Bedworth Rugby Club.
Help out some high flyers
Air ambulances provide vital, life-saving services and yet seem sadly dependent upon charity to keep themselves aloft. On the plus sides, events organised to support them invariably provide a good crack alongside a warm glow of satisfaction. This weekend sees three such events. Mildenhall’s three day BikerFest offers a bevvy of biking entertainment, including its own bike show and amusingly silly games such a slow drag race and loudest pipe contest. Tickets on the gate from £5 to £7.00 daily, or advanced three dayer including camping for £17. Meanwhile, Saracens Rugby Club’s annual Motorbike Ride Out kicks off on Saturday May 5th with breakfast at the training ground before the ride down to Vicarage Road where the team faces Exeter. Entry is just a tenner (£20 if you want catch the match too!) with proceeds to the Herts Air Ambulance and Saracens Sports Foundation. Finally in beautiful North Yorkshire, Bellerby’s Manor Café is hosting a rideout on Sunday to support the North Air ambulance and local road racers. It’s a 9.30 start with your £5 entry including tea or coffee.
Make for the Lakes
The Lake District offers masses of motorcycling fun. Stunning scenery houses stunning roads – it’s just a shame they let cars on them. But four-wheeled niggles aside there are few better places to twist the throttle, grip the tarmac and truly savour the road. Insidebikes recommends a magnificent Kendal circular route which takes you up to Shap, Penrith and the glorious Kirkstone Pass. A warm welcome will also be extended on Sunday at the latest Butties & Brews gathering at Kendal’s Barn Farm (postcode LA8 8JX). They have cake.
America, we don’t want your planet-eating, gas-guzzling Hummers and SUVs. No sirree. What we do want is your fabulous motorcycles because, you know guys, that’s some heritage you’ve got there. This weekend offers a couple of chances to celebrate biking beauties exported from the US of A. In Annalong. Co. Down, the Harley-Davidson Riders Club Northern Ireland is holding its annual International Rally. This year, celebrating its 21stanniversary, the two-day event (4th-5th May) is hosted at the rather terrific looking Harbour Inn with tickets £10 per night or £15 for two, including camping. The surrounding area looks well worth an explore too. Meanwhile the American Motorcycle Owners Club (AMOC) is hosting its annual Custom Show at its Surrey base, Dorking’s Pilgrim Pub. Competition will be across six categories with all US marques welcome. Entry is £5 with attractions including a hog roast, tattooist, stalls and, well, a pub!
Get hooked on classics
Whilst it’s not 100% motorcycle themed the 33rd Notts Classic Car, Bike and Mini Show might nonetheless capture the imagination if you’re a wider fan of engine-powered heritage. Set for Bank Holiday Monday and very reasonably priced at £7 (£3 for kids, under 7s free), it’s being hosted at the very spending Thoresby Hall, where you’ll find the usual enticing collection of autojumble and trade stalls, plus an all-day concours competition.
Yorkshire MAG kick-starts the rally season with Into The Valley, a full weekend of bike and biker related shenanigans. The craic includes live bands, comedy tent, the season’s first ride in custom show, stalls, grub, ale, camping and a docking great big camp fire. “By bikers, for bikers and in aid of biking” says the blurb and it certainly seems to live up to the billing. Cars are banned from site which is set in the stunning East Yorkshire countryside at South Dalton. Pre-booking closed last week but tickets are offered on the gate subject to availability. More on the website or Facebook page
Get Cheshire set
This weekend sees round three of British Superbikes arriving in picturesque Cheshire as Padgett Honda’s Ian Lowry seeks to build on his early season lead at Oulton Park. Just two points behind him Aussie Josh Brooks will also be among those with eyes keenly on the prize. It’s a great and hospitable circuit boosted this weekend by the addition on Sunday of the postponed BSB Brands Hatch race. If you can (and it’s not too late), take a tent and do the weekend. There’s nothing better than waking up the morning to the roar of racing bikes and the crackle of Gaz cooked bacon! Ticket info here.