4th April 1999 - First Shake
It was an interesting concept, a run from London to the nearest seaside - Sarfend, (Southend), on the far-from-summery Easter Weekend.
The weather was dull, but had stopped raining a while back and the road was nearly dry.
It was one of the events organised by the proprietors of the Ace Cafe, which was still in the process of being rebuilt on its original site, having been bought from the previous owners, a tyre-fitting workshop. Much of the building was going to be left and the interior completely refitted. Until that time, there was food on offer from a dedicated burger van.
It was one of the biggest convoys I have participated in and the fact that police stopped other traffic, enabling us to keep together, made it quite enjoyable. It still took a few hours, most of which seemed to be getting out of London.
There was a stop halfway along, enabling a regroup and fag break, but no toilets.
There must have been a few thousand bikes in Southend, which we joined in with. After a few hours, having found nobody I knew and being rather unimpressed with the town, I left for home.
Both the run and the cafe itself have gone from strength to strength over the intervening years.
Phil Drackley - Phil the Spill