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BBC Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond...

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makes surprise appearance at Prescott Bike Festival!

Richard Hammond makes surprise appearance at Prescott Bike FestivalThe fourth annual Prescott Bike Festival took place on Sunday 6 April 2014 in aid of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes and its member group, Severn Freewheelers. Despite the inclement weather, the event attracted several thousand visitors who enjoyed an action-packed day where rare classic, modern and famous motorcycles took to the historic hill, from Nortons, BSAs and Velocettes, to well-known superbikes such as Frankie Chili’s 1998 Ex WSB Ducati 996, James Toseland’ s first WSS machine and David Jeffries' GSX-R1000 TT bike (courtesy of Mike West). In the paddock the Carlos Checa’s MotoGP Ducati Desmosedici GP5 and Checa’s 2011 WSB winning Ducati 1198 F1 were fired up at regular intervals.

BBC Top Gear’s Richard Hammond also made a surprise appearance, arriving on a classic Norton Dominator motorcycle. It was his first visit to Prescott Bike Festival, and he spent several hours signing autographs and having pictures taken with fans. Richard said “as an honouree member of Bloodbikes, I am delighted to finally make it to Prescott Bike Festival and support such a fantastic cause”.

The festival was also supported by many motorcycle clubs, trade stalls and dealers including those representing Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Enfield, Triumph, AJP, Harley, Victory, BMW and KTM. Speaking at the event Colin Bailey, General Manager of Bransons said “We have supported Prescott Bike Festival for the past four years; the event is a great place for us to showcase our business, whilst supporting a great charity”.

Despite the inclement weather, all 200 tickets for members of the public to “ride the hill” were sold out months in advance as was the special features this year, Happy Hour, the public’s opportunity to see, hear, get up close and watch some special motorcycle machinery. Not surprisingly, passenger thrill rides in sidecars, Morgan Three Wheelers, Westfields, and Grinnall Scorpion sold out quickly. Throughout the day there were demonstrations by the Scott Redding Mini Moto Academy, Dave Coates Stunt Show, Skyzone Racings’ Chris Hodgson (current British Supermoto Champion), the NHCA Masters, the Classic 50cc Racing Club and motorcycle adventurer Nick Sanders, who has motorcycled around the world seven times.

Special guest appearances included: motorcycle adventurer Nick Sanders. Plus Tag Racing Team with British Superbike rider Richard Cooper and Superstock rider Shaun Winfield, BeWiser Kawasaki Superstock rider Josh Day and Skyzone Racing Supermoto Team riders Chris Hodgson, Jay Smith and Thomas Elam. Plus Isle of Man TT rider for Centurion Racing Team, Dan Cooper. Sadly MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish was unable to make it as his flight from the Isle of Man was cancelled due to the weather conditions. Steve is a great supporter of Bloodbikes and was incredibly disappointed not to attend, he will be presenting a cheque of ?600 to Bloodbikes, from monies raised from the raffles that took place during his recent M.A.D tour.

Off track, the paddock was crammed with bike displays, motorcycle trade stands and a host of entertainment with live music from UK hot rocking band, Josie and the Outlaws, and Road House Rooster, Chickenbone John and his custom guitars. In addition there were roaming actors from the UK Garrison, the world’s largest and most accurate Star Wars costuming club, and, back by popular demand, the George Formby look-a-like from the motorcycle film, No Limit?.

In amongst the fun, there were serious messages too – Chris Harrison, Motorcycle Coordinator from Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership said “Prescott Bike Festival is a prime place to get the Think Bike message out there to a large motorcycle audience. In Gloucestershire 84% of all motorcycle collisions involve another vehicle, and whilst it’s hoped they will never be needed, we are handing out free crash cards. Its a scheme where a rider places a crash card inside their helmet providing emergency contact details for ambulance crews in case they are injured in an accident. So far we have distributed over 6,000 in the county”.

Festival organiser, Gordon Downie, said, “Prescott Bike Festival raises vital funds for the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes, it’s the charity's biggest fundraising event of the year and we are delighted that it has become a firm annual fixture in the motorcycle calendar. We are hugely grateful to all the exhibitors, bike clubs, dealers, marshals, volunteers, sponsors and visitors who continue to support us and have helped make the event such a success. Next year the festival will be held on Sunday 15 April”.

Did you “Ride the Hill” at Prescott Bike Festival? If so, why not buy a picture of your hill run, using the link on the Prescott Bike Festival website 

All proceeds from pictures bought will be donated to the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes.

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