Silver Linings! BeMAD?

BMAD at Paignton

BMAD at Paignton

Silver linings? As you may have picked up, I spent the last weekend with Traveldri-Plus at the Bikers Make a Difference Bike Festival on the sea front in Paignton.

Traveldri-Plus

Traveldri-Plus

First comment to make is that it’s great to see Traveldri-Plus out and about again with new owner Max. Max has been into bikes for decades. He’s an ex mountaineer so knows the value of really good kit and is following on with Les’s aim of only quality kit on the stand. Just for general info, Max also runs ‘Wheels to Work’ in Devon and Eastbourne.

How did it go? Well, let’s put it this way, the rain gods were more on the side of the farmers and gardeners than on ours. I felt really sorry for the BMAD organisers after all their work getting this fun charity fund raising event together. I was really glad I didn’t have to be AT sea! By the sea was blustery enough!!!

However, those clouds had quite a few silver linings. For those of us with stands, the first one was enough dry weather to get our stands up in the dry! Bonus.

Sadly, Saturday was a bit grim. Strong wind from the sea and bouts of fairly heavy rain meant that the day was a bit of a washout – sorry, pun coming here, happily my books didn’t fly off the shelves in that wind! : ) The only dry thing about the day was me making comments like that!

Libby at Paignton

Libby at Paignton

However, there were a few hardly souls around who shrugged their bike jackets and said, “It’s only rain innit!” I made a surprising number of sales as a result. Cheers! A lot of those actually stemmed from the stand next door. They had extra space booked and didn’t need it. “Would I like to put Libby there?” Brilliant, it’s not often there’s space for her and I spent most of the day standing in the rain talking bike mods and the amazing number of miles she’s done to date. 278,000 of them. Those chat’s often led to sales! Great!

The work of Kevil's Speed Shop & Crobba Customs

The work of Kevil’s Speed Shop & Crobba Customs

Sunday was a different ball game. Blue sky greeted us in the morning and the wind had dropped dramatically. Where you could look down the alleyways of exhibitors on Saturday and see just one of two people strolling and looking. Sunday was nice and busy. Phew! The chance to look at some amazing bikes, including those from Crobba Customs and Kevils Speed shop.

I love the atmosphere at this event and I spent the day meeting a really wide range of fascinating people. Friends, families, the bloke who sold up, bought a horse and caravan and spent the next 10 years walking around the UK with it, canoeists, sailors, people on holiday from all over the UK, those there supporting charities, those planning long trips and well, I could add to the list for ages!

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone who stopped off to say hello and a second thanks to everyone who bought books.

Final bonus? A dry patch to pack up! Mind you, I spent much of the day yesterday washing stuff. Libby needed a good going over as did my shelves, books (yes) banners and so on. That sea spray got everywhere!

Libby and new adventurers?

Libby and new adventurers?

All in all, not a brilliant weekend but I love the attitude of those who went!’ It’s what we’ve got so let’s enjoy.’ I hope I can be at BMAD again next year. If you’ve not been, may I suggest you put it on your calendar – May Bank Holiday weekend? Usually the sun shines on us all! Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers. Great job!

In the meantime, you can of course get signed copies of my books direct from me or from my Adventure Motorcycle Travel Books page on Amazon.