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.”