What a cracking weekend that was! I was uncertain about going to this event – the Calne Bike Meet. I’m not exactly sure why I felt that way but several overlanding friends had said we should go to it if for no more than just a wander. That was enough. When the organisers asked if we’d do a book signing? It was a no brainer. There’s a bonus to the decision too. It was another chance to discover some of the beautiful county of Wiltshire.
The weekend was supposed to be a very damp one and yes there were some showers but not during Saturday. That’ll do. What a brilliant atmosphere and we thought that some of the buildings and twisty back streets were great fun to explore. We were most impressed with the way that the town’s people get behind this event – it literally takes over.
Birgit and I loved it. One of our neighbours was Jack Wilkins from Compass Expeditions who seemed to have a really good show too. Every time I turned around his stand was full of people with enthusiastic expressions on their faces. No surprise, the company does a mix of full on and hard core tours and those that are action packed but that you don’t have to be hugely experienced to have a go at.
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Pdaddy from Biker FM who were covering the show – a fun guy, who it turns out has ridden many of the roads I have in southern Africa. I suspect we were on air rather longer than we should have been!
The great surprise was to find what a crossroads for overlanders it was. We linked up with stacks of people from Horizons Unlimited and Adventure Biker Rider and sales of Overland magazine were notable. And we made new friends with people from a bunch of clubs; Southampton Motorcycle Club, the Bath and Wilts IAM included.
How can I put it? A bike event for all the right reasons. A major cross section of just about every form of motorcycling there is all wrapped up in a very friendly atmosphere. Good stuff!