Sidecar Meet at the Silver Ball
If was a very frosty start for the ride to the Silver Ball Café for the regular Sidecar winter meet that is held there. Even worse, 300 yards up the road and the A10 is closed and we find ourselves being diverted. It was a case of ignoring the diversion signs (as they take you miles out of your way) and using the little by-roads across Grunty Fen ( don’t ask me who named it that) to pick up the Twenty Pence Road which takes you to Cambridge via Cottenham. Now this road was named well before decimalisation and it was 20d in old money, and would be known as 1 and 8 (1 shilling and 8 pence). It is certain that the road was named because of the toll to cross the river between Wilburton and Cottenham but uncertain why Twenty Pence was used. http://wilburton.ccan.co.uk/content/catalogue_item/old-punt-across-the-river-ouse-now-twenty-pence-road
We arrived at the Silver Ball just after 10:30 and there were quite a few there already. The café is under new management and they have opened up the rear room and the café can seat more than before, plus they are very quick getting your order out. Food is good and the inside has had a spruce up, main thing was it was warm.
There were a steady stream of visitors and the turnout was pretty good with a good mix of outfits, while it was chilly, as it got closer to midday you could feel the heat from the sun and the big bonus was it wasn’t raining which is normally the big dampener on these events at this time of the year.
The most popular bike of the day “The Royal Enfield Himalayan”, Ian turned up on his, Foz has bought one and turned up on it, then another chap pulled in on one, and promptly said, just seen 2 white ones up the road.
At the moment they appear to be selling like hot cakes, for once the Japanese motorcycle industry has been caught with their pants down so to speak. Honda’s CRF250L and Suzuki’s 250 Vstrom really don’t have a big enough engine / power and the Kawasaki Versys 300 is a twin that you have to rev the nuts off and Yamaha have nothing close. I wonder how long it will be before we see something very similar to the Himalayan from one of the big four.
We set off for home at around 1 o’clock, there were still some there when we left, but most had already departed for home. It was quite a pleasant ride, roads were now dry, and the sun was quite warm, at least it has blown the cobwebs out of the Flying Banana and it is ready for its first rally of the year, The Frozen Nuts and then the Rhino Rally at the end of February. Martyn