It took Sideburn a while to get onto the Malle Mile bandwagon, but now we are on it, we don't want to get off. We attended our first Malle Mile in 2020, the year of lockdown, when, somehow, the Malle crew managed to put on a massive event, within the M25, with only minimal restrictions. It saved the summer from our point of view (see the Malle Mile 2020 Megapost). The following year the event moved to Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire - Sideburn's home county and the spiritual home of UK flat track (thanks to Peter Boast, the Neave Twins and Greenfield George). There have been three at Grimsthorpe and we've been to every one.
Above is Archie and his wild BSA, the pair looking like An Improbable Future version of Eddie Kidd and his jump bike.
I've just noticed Hodor in camo, in the background. How big is he compared to those security fellas?
It was the first wet Malle Mile we'd attended, and while it did dampen the mood a bit, it certainly didn't ruin the event. We had Danny Williams' recently repainted Bultaco Astro on display.
Fellow DTRA Vintage racer, and pro painter, Luck Adcock of LA Custom Coatings did the lovely paint job. See that stuff on the table? We have all of it and more for sale at sideburn.bigcartel.com. Go for a browse.
Being on the Sideburn stand, in the entrance to the 'Malle Metropolis' for the whole event means I see plenty of comings and goings, like Ian Tam from Royal Enfield with his tidy two-stroke Tam-Can! (Can-Am).
And this rather glitzy Metisse Triumph Twin...
And Stibnite Moto's Super7 Yamaha Twin, on it's way to the art/custom bike marquee.
DTRA racer Mark was there on his tasty Trackmaster Triumph too.
Working on the Sideburn stand all weekend, meant I didn't see a lot of the racing, and, to be honest, most of the racing is set up for the riders not the spectators, so I wasn't worried. When I did chance to go for a walk I saw that a big part of the entry is on classic Japanese stuff. No idea what that modern enduro is doing in the mix. It's hardly in the spirit of the event.
More relatively cheap Japanese singles waiting their turn to race up the twisty hillclimb.
The Malle Mile is run in a very relaxed manner. You can line up next to your mate for a race for bragging rights, the loser gets knocked out, the winner progresses towards the Derby at the end of the weekend.
You want more Brits? OK. Old and a bit newer here. Open-face helmets popular too.
The Machine Shop were set up next to us. They are a DIY, members workshop in Hinckley, Leicestershire, where people can go along to work on bikes or projects or learn engineering skills (including making dirt track hot shoes). They're great guys, and if you need more evidence of that fact here's one: they set up to fix riders bikes FOR FREE all weekend. No charge, no donations, nothing.
Consider joining if you're local, or doing a course with them, even if your'e not.
This lovely BSA took advantage for some emergency repairs.
This military Brit (1940s BSA M20?) visited The Machine Shop for a consultation too.
I've never owned a bike like this scruffy Yamaha AT1 (?), but it looks fun for events like the Malle Mile. I'm pretty sure these were never imported into the UK.
Talking of fun... Zombie ATC. Yes, please.
And that's Grimsthorpe Castle in the background. It's not really a castle, but parts of it are thought to date back to the 1100s, the majority dating from the 1500. The grounds, that the current Baroness and her motorcycle enthusiast husband let motorcycles rip to shreds, were landscaped in the 1700s by the world famous architectural landscaper, Capability Brown. Wild really. Thanks for having us, Baroness.
There are a ton of neat and quirky machines. There's a lot of riding to be had over the weekend, with trail rides around the grounds plus all the races, so it seems people are building bikes just for Malle events now.
A lot of rare stuff like this CZ turns up, too.
And this ancient Royal Enfield
And Malle regular Andrew, from Bolt London, on his Italian Lambretta GP200, painted, long ago, by Ornamental Conifer. Here talking to our mate Eden from Norton Motorcycles, who reminds me of Sting in Quadrophenia in this photo. Bell boy!
Did I mention it was a wet one?
We'll post a 2023 Malle Mile Pt2 soon.