Monday, 14 January 2013
Love and Money
This programme from the 1992 Motogiro d'Italia was a present from Neil at Ardenne & Eifel Aventures and intriguingly is for "edition 4": I'd understood that the event had been started in 1988, to reimagine racing events that took place sporadically between the 1920s and 1970s. Note there's a 500 class, as well as the expected sub-175 entries. Although the most famous races are the Stadio events of 1954 to 1957 limited to sub-175cc bikes, certainly Laverda claim success in the 1970s with their 750 twin. Like the Terni event, it was probably a small scale thing that got little attention in the Italian media, let alone overseas. If you know more, please email via the team benzina website.
The Terni event is pretty much back to what it was, a club event run by Italians, for Italians, although they're happy to have anyone who can pay the entry fee on board. It certainly isn't the event run from 2001 to 2009-ish depending on how you look at these things) when the then CEO of Ducati set up a company called Dream Engine to take the event up market armed with a bucketful of Ducati cash. The hope was that the event could become a two-wheeled Miglia Mille, but for various reasons that never happened. Corner me in a pub, fill me with Peroni, promise they are no lawyers about and I'll tell you more. But in essence, when the money arrives people expect to see a return on their investment. Then someone else decides they don't want the world, just your bit of it. People do it for the love or the money, rarely both. See also MotoGP...
And so to the ill words spoken of our wonderful local event, Calne bike meet; basically, a town centre turned over to an I'll show you mine if you show me yours motorcycle show. Fantastically eclectic, there have been Desmosedicis parked up with pre-war Indians. Better still, it was laid on by the Rotary Club as a fund raiser, with bands playing, club stands and more. A perfect day out that need cost nothing more than the price of the petrol needed to ride there. For 2013 the plan was that the Rotarians would join forces with fellow charity-ors (see what I did there?) the Lion's club to make it bigger and better.
But then the event was to move to nearby Bowood House (which was auctioned off bit-by-bit in the 1950s as a tax... no, better not say) and it now a golf club cum country park. And charges you to get in. Suddenly it's hardly the egalitarian event of the past and more a mini-Goodwood chance to make money. Unless you own a pub, sandwich shop or anything else in Cane town centre. Now I know the charities involved do god work and are manned (peopled?) by volunteers but the grumblings about motives soon started. The event got cancelled, and a bit like the Motogiro the recriminations hardly help get the event back on track. But fingers crossed there will be a 2013Calne bike meet on Saturday 27 July