Sunday, July 27, 2014

Royal Enfield Works Replica made it there and back

1959 Royal Enfield Works Replica trials single victorious in Lerwick.
Part III

Graham Lampkin completes his story of riding a 1959 Royal Enfield Works Replica trials motorcycle from the center of England to the Shetland Classic Vehicle Show in Lerwick — as much as possible off roads — to raise money for cancer research:

"We had only 20 miles to go to the ferry terminal in Aberdeen, before boarding at approximately 6 p.m. Again we used the smallest roads we could find, ending up on the coast. A short track near the coast provided the only unsurfaced stretch.

"Just before Aberdeen, Frank and I were approached by yet another guy attracted by the bikes; amongst other things he said we should stop at a car park around the corner that overlooked Aberdeen. He was there, pointing out parts of Aberdeen, but before we left he donated £40 to the charity. We had been blown out by the generosity of the public since crossing the border.

"The rest of Friday passed gently. I bought a pair of shoes because I forgot to pack any, and we found a great cafe for lunch.

"We got on the ferry, a good, well appointed ferry. By magic we woke up in — yes — Lerwick, with a welcoming committee on the dockside just for us — thanks Gary, it was good to meet you and a nice surprise (the power of the Internet).

"Off to the show. It surpassed my expectations, in both size and quality. Its best quality was the people, the exhibitors, the visitors and above all, the organizers. A great blend of well organized with friendly relaxed atmosphere! A good informal but well sorted event. Try it for yourself, we enjoyed it.

"It was humbling when the folk, including teenagers, donated to the charity. I met two separate people who live within two or three miles of me, but I had not heard of, never mind met before! Every one we met on the islands was helpful and friendly.

"Les and Frank visited a broch (prehistoric dwelling built of rock) within 20 yards of the show, and the puffins (sea birds seen in Britain only at nesting time). More boxes ticked. But it was on Shetland that little tigger the Tiger Cub became incontinent; the upper pushrod oil seal failed. The first mechanical gremlin, fixed swiftly by Les the next morning.

"I won’t go on about Shetland. I’m not good enough to explain it; suffice to say we enjoyed it and recommend you visit it yourself. It’s all because of the people.

"What a great few days.

"The return journey was basically the reverse of the trip up, only drier. The only mechanical problem was with the R.E. A modification done by its builder to the rear brake plate anchor failed on the first day on the Cairn-O-Mount road. I tidied it up in 20 minutes and continued without a rear brake for the rest of the journey — not too much of a problem at 40 mph or less! Apart from this, and tigger's oil seal, the bikes were great and reliable, covering over 2,000 miles between them. Old bikes are for using.

"This trip was a great one. The route and the journey itself, the folk on Shetland and others we met, the many generous people who donated, the places and things we saw by taking the slow route. Any these things would have made it worthwhile, but together, experienced on an old British bike, I can only say WOW!

"I’m very glad my mind came up with this on that day in Skipton last August. Very glad I did it.

"Let’s not do an Oscar speech of acceptance, but a huge thank you to Frank and Les, the many who donated and collected, and all those that helped and encouraged.

"Finally, would I do it again? Like a shot! In the words of Churchill (dog not PM) Oohhh Yeessss!

"P.S. The website is still open for donations!"

Part II
Part I

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