Author: Ian Kerr Posted: 25 Mar 2013
After last year’s exceptionally mild weather and clear blue skies, all looked set for a real celebration this year for the 75th Pioneer Run for Veteran motorcycles, which runs annually from Epsom Downs to Madeira Drive Brighton.
The historic Sunbeam Club who organise the event, which sees the largest gathering of veteran machines (pre-1914) in the world, had even published a lavish book charting the events history for the Diamond Jubilee.
However, extreme weather overnight along the route caused the club to take an early decision on Saturday to cancel Sunday’s (24th) early morning start in the interest rider’s safety, both on the event and getting to the start from all over the UK and Europe. Many of the 383 entrants were already reporting difficulties in leaving their home counties, which would have severely depleted the number of starters.
With freezing conditions being predicted overnight, it would not have been safe for the riders of the primitive bikes that need constant juggling of ignition and air levers and manual oil pumps to be primed, to have to cope with snow and ice with rudimentary handling on tyres not much wider than a bicycle.
It is the first time in the events 75 year history that weather has caused a cancellation of the event which is seen by many spectators as the natural start of the riding season and a chance to give freshly completed restorations a shakedown.