Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Kop Hill climb, 108 years and still going strong

Early Sunday morning I wheeled the Tiger out of the garage for our first decent ride since I got back from Kazhakstan. A quick blast around the M25 motorway devoid of traffic, a stop for petrol and breakfast, within 2 hours I was riding around the picturesque Oxfordshire contry lanes heading for the Kop Hill climb.

The first year a race was held up the Kop Hill in pretty Princes Risborough was 1910, motorcycles only. The following year, cars joined in. The course record for a car was set by Count Zborowski in his 8-cylinder Bailot, climbing the narrow winding hill course in 26.8 seconds. Then in 1925, Freddie Dixon rode his highly-tuned Douglas motorcycle at 81mph from a standing start to smash the record. Unfortunately, at that same meeting, a spectator refused to move off the course and was hit & broke his leg. This resulted in the RAC removing the racing licence from the Hill Climb.

Nowdays the cars and bikes still run up the hill each year, but as a 'parade', no racing allowed. Mind you, this is the second time I've attended the event, and some of the participants definitely give it their all!

There is an excellent and eclectic mix of old & newer bikes, along with every make and model of old car you can imagine, with a few new supercars thrown in. Mix in with food and drink stalls, a fairground for the kids, and some car clubs & car manufacturers stands, and its a great day out for the mechanical enthusiast. I spent the whole day there, and just standing on the start line watching and listening to the mechanical mayhem as the cars and bikes blasted off the line (well, some of them!) brought a massive smile to my face!

Day over, I weaved back through the traffic on the now crowded motorway to get back home, feet up and read the Sunday paper. If only every day could be this good !! I'll post some photos below to give you an idea of the eclectic mix of vehicles there.

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