After a five-year hiatus, Leicestershire’s Mallory Park is once again playing host to the Festival of 1000 Bikes, and Dave Manning rode through the early July heat to see the result.
With 2018’s incredible summer season bringing about much reminiscing of 1976, it seems rather apt that the layout of the Mallory Park circuit for the Festival of 1000 Bikes replicates that as used 40 years ago, and without the various chicanes that have been added in 1986, 2003 and 2005.
I went on the Saturday of the Festival weekend, with the plan that the ride home would be rather quieter thanks to the game of global kickball that was being televised – although I hadn’t actually realised that Saturday would see only road bikes on track, with the Sunday being reserved for the pukka noisy race tackle.
That said, there was no shortage of very interesting classic machinery taking to Mallory’s classic race course. Having undergone a period of rest, with the last Festival taking place five years ago, it was unlikely that I’d be experiencing the crowds (and consequent queues) that the event had at its heyday.
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And while, for some, this year’s event may have seemed quiet, there is little doubt that it will have renewed enthusiasm for punters and organisers alike. Having ridden in, parked, taken my lid off and looked around, I knew that I’d be back next year – a feeling that was enforced when I saw the amount of track time that could be available to someone with an appropriately-aged motorcycle and a willingness to wear leathers on such a hot day!
Read more and view more images in the August 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!