Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tasty Cheddar

A bright and breezy pre Solstice afternoon saw Cheddar groaning under the weight of leather and tattoos as the SCC (not County Council) descended for an afternoon of noise, beer, rockabilly and mainly friendly chopper comparisons. Probably 5:1 male/female, average age 50 (the new 30), but the driving force, so to speak, is 40 somethings who paint and chop and weld for a living.

Cheddar is pretty tawdry, despite the river and caves contained in its deep gorge, a strip of cider and cheese and stuff shops, interspersed with pubs and restaurants to catch bussed in visitors at the beginning and end of their day. Elderly female visitors no longer sport the lurid blue, pink, red or even green candy floss hair concoctions so favoured a couple of generations earlier, and cheap velcro trainers may have superceded leather court shoes, but these stout pensioners still show an Edwardian curiosity in whatever they find on their travels, and large moustachio'd men in black with lurid noisy machines vied with the Gorge itself for popularity.
"How fast does it go, then luv?", asks Mavis on a zimmer frame, squinting way up into the sun at a man from Kernow. His face is hung with tapered shrapnel.
"Jump on sweetheart, and we'll find out."
"Not with this dam 'ip I won't be..." broad Wiltshire accent.

"One Eyed Jack" turned out some great music, covers and original, with a slap bass, harmonica and two tone shoes. But there were other rhythms in the air and in the faces, that of the huge engines, growling and howling through sculptures in stainless steel. Maybe that's why there wasn't a hint of trouble (not one copper seen in five hours), because they were there for the bikes and the only function of other people is to talk about bikes and stay out of your face.
And the bikes.
Some plucked faithfully from another era, some painstakingly created in sweeping curves and distorted dimensions, all of them symbiotically linked to their owner, himself decorated with metal, a bike.

A beautiful girl, on a beautiful trike.

Over half the show bikes were Harleys, and over half the onlookers' bikes were Harleys. The choppers were old (comme ca), or new personal creations, but, even in these recessionary times, five figure fully loaded showroom fresh 08/09 plates dotted the car parks and pavements.

Another gorgeous trike.

Triumph-ant patriotism.

A really poor photo of an absolutely beautifully engineered work of art.

Underneath the vacuum cleaner hoses, plastic hand footrests, latex skulls, gonks and much other post modern bric-a-brac lies a Yamaha, created proudly and conscientiously 12 years ago by Japanese computers.

And that's the long

and the short
of it.


  1. Buy a new camera. Your editor shouldn't let you imply that the young lady smelt like a bike. Nice vicarious buzz of Sarfend in the seventies.

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  4. Bike week in Florida once was brought to me by a little flower on a pond aptly named lotus.
    I continually look for the writing of this flower that wilted one day in the drought of the long Florida winter of 08.

  5. Yeah I was enjoying u two writing together but it seems to have slowed to a stop. Hope its not that Blake nonsense?

  6. Nonsense it is. Rumors and lies. The flowers on both sides of the pond are wiltering in the wind haunted by their own personal failures, caught online forever as liars.