Bike Night

I’m much closer to the coast here than I was in Mexico City. But they are very different coasts. The beaches across the other side of the Atlantic are sun kissed and the waters warm and inviting. On a good day, there are spots along the shore of the UK which bear fair comparison with their more exotic cousins in the Americas. Visually comparable. But any illusion of similarity is soon dispelled the moment a toe touches water.

The seas along the south coast of England tend to be more industrial. Our shipbuilding industry has declined, although there are still maritime success stories that aren’t involved with building warships, but the architecture and docks tell a story of a proud and extensive seafaring nation. There’s plenty of wrecks to explore if diving is your thing, but you’ll not only need to be the hardier sort of diver to cope with the temperature and currents, but also a sharp eyed diver, with eyesight suited to seeing through muddy water. But the English coastline does have its charm.

Every Tuesday night in Poole Quay is Bike Night. Hundreds of bikers on all sorts of machines gather to show off their steeds and admire the other bikes that make it to the seafront safely. I hadn’t been since 2003 or 2004, so I popped along last Tuesday. It’s only a pound to drive into the main street that Bike Night is hosted on.

I had intended to park away from the action, rather than ride my scooter past scores of motorcyclists clad in leathers, twiddling impressive moustaches and strutting about besides their giant Harleys., Triumphs and Hondas. But parking, the variety that doesn’t come with a potential £70 fine, was hard to find. I paid my pound and braved the crowd.

I like Poole Quay. I like the cocktail of aromas that fill the air – sea mist, burned petrol and rubber, fish and chips. I like the buildings that are a good deal more colourful than you’ll usually find in the UK. Almost Mexican-esque. The restaurants are good, and the nightlife vibrant, without being quite so liable to the outbreaks of violence and vomiting that afflicts most British towns after dark. Although sometimes those sort of events have a very satisfying ending.

Click here to see my photos on Flickr.

12 Comments

  • Bike night! Cool!

    Some day I’ll go to Moto Week in Mazatlán. Until then I’ll just have to satisfy myself with tooling around Boston. That is, if my bike EVER gets out of the shop.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    DF, México
    Where we go back and forth on the merits of riding a moto here.

    • Just noticed your addendum. There is only one merit. Death will probably be instant and pain free. I didn’t even bother toying with the idea. If I were buying to ride outside the city though, that’s another matter. A long intercity cruise would be fun.

  • Gary – FINALLY got my Burgman 650 which I started paying on last November (so the seller reminds me). I did a swift 175 miles the first day – very please with the scooters performance 😉

  • I never owned a British bike but I knew a few people who did. The Norton 750 Commando was a great bike. It had a strange whistle in it’s exhaust note but lots of torque and fairly smooth for a twin. The Triumph 500 Daytona was a great bike. Looked good. Sounded great. Handled very well. For some reason I wasn’t as fussy with BSA. The LIghtening was ok but it didn’t have the charming looks of the Daytona. The Daytona had a wire carrier on top of the tank. You could keep you cigarettes there if you smoked. You you hit something head on rumor had it you could leave something else there as well. (a guy thing). I guess bike nights are the same the world over. We had a lot of fun. Hey Gary, don’t forget more on your scoot! Thanks for keeping in touch Gary. I’m still not 100 percent. There is a small chance I might need more surgery but I hope not. Good to hear from you mate. – Chris

    • Sorry to hear you haven’t fully recovered yet Chris, but I’m sure you’ll get there. Hopefully enough to be able to resume your passion with motorbikes. I will post something on my scooter soon, I promise! I have had in mind exactly what I want to do for a post, but not had the time or a powerful enough PC to do it just yet!

      I wouldn’t want to even imagine what would be left in the wire basket by the way….some thoughts are best banished from the mind before they even fully form!

  • Nice looking Triumph! I use to have a Bonneville, sorry that I ever sold it, which I had it now! Often considered getting a nice bike here in Mexico, but then the way the locals drive, I would wind up in a morgue somewhere….

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