The Great Gather­ings team heads to Poole Quay bike night

Why Poole Quay is a high­light of the bik­ing sum­mer


‘If you ride a bike, you’re part of the fam­ily around here’

Ev­ery Tues­day night from April to Septem­ber thou­sands con­gre­gate in Poole, Dorset for ‘Dream Ma­chines’. This unique event takes place along the quay, which be­comes the ex­clu­sive do­main of mo­tor­cy­cles from 6pm. On a sunny evening the mix of sea air, fish and chips and gor­geous metal is truly com­pelling. “It’s bik­ing at its purest,” says Jeremy Wale, a reg­u­lar at­tendee whose son Mark was mak­ing his first visit. “It’s a nice, friendly at­mos­phere and there are so many dif­fer­ent bikes to ad­mire.” Dream Ma­chines has been run­ning for over 30 years, mak­ing it one of the most es­tab­lished gather­ings along the south coast. It’s a self-fund­ing event with a nom­i­nal fee of £1 per bike on en­try to cover the costs of clos­ing the roads, erect­ing sig­nage and so on, plus there’s an army of help­ful vol­un­teers to en­sure a smooth flow of bikes in and out. Get­ting ev­ery­one parked with­out cre­at­ing a back­log is no mean feat in it­self.

For those who come ev­ery week a limited num­ber of sea­son tick­ets arm­bands are avail­able for just £8, which not only saves money but also fid­dling for change. Alice and An­thony Mash­ford proudly dis­play theirs and ride match­ing ‘his and hers’ Yamaha R6s. “It’s the best meet in the area,” says ar­chi­tect An­thony. “There are lots of fam­i­lies and it’s great to stop and chat. The de­mo­graphic is so broad, from sports­bikes to scoot­ers and vin­tage bikes to trikes.”

Jamie Howarth and Joe Miller, both 23, ride a KTM Duke 125 and Yamaha YZF-R125 and don’t feel left out ei­ther. “It’s great that it’s so in­clu­sive,” they said, “if you ride a bike, you’re part of the fam­ily.” Self pro­claimed ‘mid­dleaged hooli­gan’ Mar­i­lyn Schofield-Mar­lowe can be found at the Quay most weeks on her mod­i­fied Tri­umph Speed Triple.

“I love com­ing down to check out the bikes and catch up with friends,” said Mar­i­lyn, “it’s such a cool place to ride to.”

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