Sunbeam MCC 72nd Pioneer Run

14th March 2010

What a great day. 
The fact that some of these vehicles still exist, let alone exist in a condition that enables them to take part in the run is fantastic. I think the oldest vehicles were from 1896/8. I say vehicles because these were mainly tricycles or forecars. 
Chevy Rick and I drove to Epsom racecourse where the Pioneer Run started. We looked around there and watched the riders set off at timed intervals with the oldest vehicles starting first. We then followed the route to Brighton.
The event programme included all the riders’ numbers, make and age of vehicle, cc/hp, rider's name and age and where they were from. This made really interesting reading as we spotted a rider. The oldest rider was 90 I think and the youngest was 21. There were a few women riders including one in her 70s. There were also riders from other countries. It was great to arrive at Brighton and see so many had already made it and when those you had passed pulled up at the side of the road with their repair kits out arrived in Madeira Drive, well I felt quite emotional to know they had made it.
I thoroughly recommend going to witness this spectacle and for those of you who might get to partake on the actual run, then good luck because from what we saw yesterday it wasn’t easy; not only do you have to contend with your own bike's eccentricities and mechanical problems but you also have to deal with the other "normal" traffic and their speed on today's congested and potholed roads. There were loads of modern bikes completing the route for fun but to be honest if I’d been a rider on the Pioneer Run then I think I could have done without them weaving in and out while I was trying to concentrate on making the journey.

-Jay Jay


It’s a rare treat to see around 350 pre 1914 motorcycles out on the Queen's highway. The Sunbeam MCC's Pioneer Run sets off from Tattenham Corner, Epsom, Surrey every year, with the first bikes away at 8a.m. Bikes set off in batches of half a dozen or so at 4 minute intervals, and assembled on Madeira Drive, Brighton upon completion of the run.
Many of these bikes have belt drive, V block brakes, total-loss hand-pumped oil systems, (some don't have a clutch, which makes pulling away and stop interesting!), and tyres the size of a modern mountain bike. So if you follow the route towards Brighton, please give these wonderous machines plenty of braking/maneuvering space as they're a real challenge to ride.

-Tony Oily Bike