Barton Bike Night – Saturday 14th July

Nothing at all to do with cyclemotoring or LEJOG except in the sense that any sort of powered two-wheeler is welcome and it was the latest bike event I attended. It seemed a funny way to celebrate Bastille Day but according to reports 20000 bikes attended in the afternoon and evening last year (when, of course it wouldn’t have been on 14th July).

I went on Aardvark, an old man’s folly, the Moto Guzzi Nevada. From here, once you ride out of Doncaster, the route through North Lincolnshire is largely rural and, if you avoid the motorways, offers some interesting roads.

When I was planning the excursion I read Francis Pryor’s The Making of the British Landscape (2010) which said that 2263 deserted medieval villages had been recorded. Gainsthorpe, one such, is located just off the old Roman Ermine Street (A15) south-west of Barton on Humber and I decided to make that my first stop. To be honest, to the untrained eye the site of the village looks like a rather lumpy field.

It was apparently the first deserted village in Britain to be photographed from the air in the 1920s and I imagine an aerial view in a setting sun would reveal rather more than the brief stroll I undertook.

Barton Bike Night really does what it says on the tin, there are an awful lot of bikes in Barton, except that unofficially it starts after lunch. The townspeople are exceedingly welcoming. Crowds are sitting outside their houses waving as you ride in and the church halls are open offering tea, cakes and a place to leave helmet and riding gear at very reasonable prices. If you are looking to feel that badass outlaw vibe you probably need to go elsewhere. Any other sort of biker seemed to be made very welcome.

There were a smattering of the type of machine this blog is generally concerned with.

A very nicely presented Excelsior Consort:

An unusual Honda Stream (the little Yamaha in the background was in very good condition):

And this, whatever it is, which was attracting loads of interest and had bags of attitude:

The only thing about riding through an arable landscape in the evening sun is the amount of flying insects about. The Aardvark was covered in streaks, smears and unnameable winged remains by the time we got home. Fly paper might be a better name for it.

The time limit on the donation site ( is nearly up and I was very pleasantly surprised to be notified of a very generous donation from Pat and Paul, two regulars at the Sars Poteries gatherings.

The Rudge is still in pieces, albeit rather larger pieces and I think I now have all the evidence available to try and retain the registration number on the Royal Enfield Mini Motor I bought while on LEJOG. All things are moving slowly in the Great Heat.


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