A GLORIOUS Saturday morning found me on my bike and headed out to the quiet hamlet of Dayboro to be a part of the festivities as one of England’s grandest old ladies celebrated her birthday.
Yes, folks, the Triumph Bonneville has racked up the big 5-0 and Bonny, you never looked better, old girl! Not many motorcycle manufacturers can boast that they have had a record breaking model run, still in great demand, after half a century. But the Triumph Bonneville has done just that, and in this day and age of high-tech gadgetry, she has retained much of the old world charm she had when the first Bonnie rolled of the oil soaked assembly line all those years ago.
Once I was parked up and had a cold beer in hand, it was off with the lens cap and start snapping away at some of the tastiest examples of Britain’s best, all on display in one spot at any given time. There were old Bonnies, new Bonnies, competition models, full restos and lovingly neglected everyday riders, proudly standing side by side in the morning sunshine for all to admire.
A couple of stand-outs were the twin engine dragster, and the supercharged black beast which held the title for the world’s fastest single-engined motorcycle way back in 1975 with a 8.34 seconds at 170 mph, running 96 percent nitro at Santa Pod Raceway in England. What a buzz it would have been hanging onto that bastard at full throttle!
I was mesmerised by the seemingly endless array of stock length front-ends, petrol tanks with black knee-pads and topped off with chrome carry-racks, white piping on long black seats, and I found myself being overwhelmed by the pure British-ness of the whole event. A strange urge came over me to have a pot of tea and some bangers and mash.
I overheard a few older enthusiasts speaking in a strange tongue as they stood around a faultless stock Trumpy. Without even thinking about what I was doing, I winked and said to the gathered group in my best Stan from On The Buses impression, “Ere, that Bonnie looks like right little goer then, eh what? Cor blimey, not arf!”
After a couple of seconds of silence, with them all staring at me, I silently walked away in a different direction and fucked off soon after.
All jokes aside, the organisers deemed the weekend a massive success and there will be another Triumph Rally held at Dayboro next year so keep an eye out for that one.
“You’d be flippin daft to miss it! Pip pip, Cheerio!”
Pics & words by Chuck U Farley