Showcase of bikes and blooms

Event sees motorcycles roar into Milner Gardens and Woodland

Motorcycles mixed with flowers at Milner Gardens and Woodland

What do classic British motorcycles have to do with the greenery and flowers of Milner Gardens and Woodland?

Well, nothing, directly, but Milner is a great venue, and at one time they hosted a Rolls Royce and Bentley club as it passed through Qualicum Beach.

There are around 25 to 30 classic bikes at Milner on Sunday, thanks to a connection between executive director Geoff Ball and another employee of Vancouver Island University. 

He was put in touch with Robin Mullett, a longtime owner, trader, fixer-upper and seller of motorcycles from the 1950s era.

“So we decided to put this event together,” said Ball. “It seemed like an interesting thing to put on.”

He said vehicle show and shines are very popular on Vancouver Island and motorcycles are an under-served group.

Mullett, who at various times has owned 100 British bikes — but now owns only one, a Norton — said Ball knows his wife through VIU, they connected, and the event was born.

Mullett got his first bike when he was around 15 years old in Ontario. 

He got his bike license and  a former boss gave him a James motorcycle. That got him hooked.

“That was it,” he said.

He currently operates a website where people can look for collectables, parts and sales, but since moving to Qualicum Beach from Victoria a few years ago, has kept it to one bike. 

He said there’s a dedicated group of people in the central-Island area who love their classic British bikes and meet often.

While he has owned many bikes, Mullett said there are a couple of models out there that he considers the Holy Grail of motorcycles — manufacturers Vincent and Brough Superior.


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