THE PIONEER RUN - EPSOM TO BRIGHTON ON A VINTAGE BIKE
|Veteran motorbikes need some warming-up
to the roads on a motorbike built before 1915 is more than just
a way of getting from A to B. Inside Out follows comedian Gina
Yashere as she trades in her 600cc dream machine for a 1913
Gerrard motorbike and enters the Pioneer Run to Brighton.
Gina Yashere meets up with New Milton man Sammy Miller,
who teaches her the quirky ways of the veteran bike.
All bikes built before 1914 are clutchless, and new riders
need to be introduced to the riding experience.
The definition of a veteran bike depends on when it was
made, a pre-1915 bike is a veteran bike and post-1915 is a vintage one.
Although, both a veteran and vintage bike alike is positively
dangerous in the wrong hands.
Sammy Miller is legendary in the motorcycle world with
much experience of old bikes.
After establishing himself as one of Britain's premier
trials riders in the 1950's and 1960's he now has a private collection
of hundreds of bikes on show at the Sammy Miller Museum in New Milton.
From 600cc to pushbike brakes
Sammy shows Gina how to ride the 1913 Gerrard bike. Gina
is more used to Japanese motoring finesse and she needs to get familiar
with the vehicle before she can take to the open roads of the run.
|The brakes on this bike are similar
to those on a pushbike|
A disused airstrip in New Forest gives Sammy a chance
to show Gina how to work the intricacies of the clutchless bike.
Gina says, "He was very forthright. He didn't take
any nonsense. I thought by the end of the day he'd be getting quite cross
with me but we got on very well."
The Pioneer Run is organised by the Sunbeam Motorcycle
Club in West Sussex and is the start of the motorcycle season.
The run starts in London and finishes in Brighton.
It attracts bikers of all ages. Nicola Edmond, 21, from
Driffield in East Yorkshire is the youngest participant. She is riding
a 1914 Triumph and has already won an award for restoring and running
Nicola's friends tend to take the mickey out of her. They
all ride ponies, but Nicola prefers her old bikes.
Great rides - prone to breakdowns
The 2004 Pioneer Run saw 325 riders take part, and even
if all the bikes have to roadworthy before starting off, many of them
breakdown, needing repairs.
All too often the bikes are taken apart and put back together
at the road side in order to finish the run.
|Experience is needed
for a safe ride|
For Gina, the run is the highlight of the veteran bike
experience. She arranged to meet Sammy on the stating line at Epsom Downs
at eight in the morning, although he is cutting it fine.
"Sammy didn't turn up until the last minute I was
beginning to think he'd stood me up".
Eventually Gina, as bike entrant 325, takes to the open
roads towards Brighton, with Sammy in tow of course, for the 66th Pioneer
If you want to catch up with Gina and see her work her
comedy magic, she will be appearing at the Jongleurs comedy club in Southampton
on September 30.