Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Andy's Bustard adventure

 Whilst not being an organised VMCC event, the Bustard run is well attended by VMCC members, Andy has submitted this report for us to see;

Saturday morning found us loading up the trusty old Berlingo with my 1928 sunbeam model 6, Poppy the Spaniel, Louise my long suffering “responsible adult”, assorted tools, fuel and riding gear and a weekends worth of camping gear.

A few weeks ago Louise had entered me for this run. She mistakenly assumed that the title was a typo and this would be ideal for me. It turns out that a bustard is a very large bird that became extinct in the UK in 1832. There are now approx 100 birds thriving following a programme to reintroduce them at a centre on the Salisbury plains.

The Bustard run was organised to include both Sunbeam cars and bikes of the pre war era.

Sunday morning started drizzly at the campsite just a few miles from the meeting point at the Bustard centre but soon cleared to blue skies and warm autumnal breeze.

There were approx 7 Marston Sunbeams at the start, and a couple of invited interlopers ( a Velo

Viper and a very tidy1930s Rudge)

The run started off going through some very quaint lanes and villages at what I would generously say was a “sedate” pace. It soon opened up to the rolling hills and big views of the plains, ancient barrows and carvings in the chalk hills were the order of the day. About 2/3rds of the way round the route split, there was an opportunity for the more adventurous to complete the run on one of the many unmetalled military roads that criss cross the plain. I stayed with the tarmac and was pleased I did as with a smaller group and a different lead the pace quickened and became much more involving. After all these bikes were regular TT winners in their day and are much happier at a decent pace rather than chugging around oiling their plug and spluttering and spitting like a bored toddler.

All the bikes and riders returned with no mishaps, smiling faces and some dustier than others.

We were treated to a short Landy ride to the Bustard visitor centre where we could view these magnificent birds from a hide set up overlooking the valley. Apparently the larger mature group were out and about somewhere else and with their 2m wingspan that could have been some distance.

Whilst this wasn't a VMCC event it was well supported by members and hopefully it will grow and improve with time.

Andy included some photos with this report which I cannot transfer at this time, maybe later!.