Ferrous at the The Malle Mile 2018

Words: Scott Blackburn  Photos: Drew Deas

Sitting on the sidelines of Motopolo on the Friday of the Malle Mile.

Sitting on the sidelines of Motopolo on the Friday of the Malle Mile.

Kevington Hall on the outskirts of south-east London has a deep history, since it's completion in 1769 it's been used as a country residence for the posh, barracks for Canadian troops, and  a primary school. However out of all its uses the guys and girls at Malle have easily found the best. Every year the grounds of the house are turned into a series of off-road motorcycle tracks and camping grounds.

The host building for the Malle Mile - Kevington Hall.

The host building for the Malle Mile - Kevington Hall.

Pacing down the track at the Malle Mile.

Pacing down the track at the Malle Mile.

The well loved Honda 90 which had to be periodically bodged with a mallet.

The well loved Honda 90 which had to be periodically bodged with a mallet.

Riders making the sprint in front of Kevington Hall at the Malle Mile.

Riders making the sprint in front of Kevington Hall at the Malle Mile.

Throughout a glorious weekend in late June the sound of bikes and rock turned the pride and prejudice-esque manor house into a dusty spectacle of motorcycle fuckery. 2018 marks the 4th year of the Malle Mile and easily its best yet. With names such as Royal Enfield, Hedon, Barbour and Husqvarna backing it the Mile is on a track to get better each year, though like they say not necessarily bigger.

The Royal Enfield motopolo team lined up.

The Royal Enfield motopolo team lined up.

A nice dose of chopper at the Malle Mile.

A nice dose of chopper at the Malle Mile.

On the way back from a happy run.

On the way back from a happy run.

Setting off from the starting line at the Malle Mile.

Setting off from the starting line at the Malle Mile.

Eager to make the sprint at Malle Mile.

Eager to make the sprint at Malle Mile.

The weekend kicked off with games of motopolo, seeing teams from Malle, Hedon, Movember, and Royal Enfield do battle on a brilliant collection of bikes of all shapes and sizes, down to a modified Honda 90 which required a mallet to keep it alive. Added to this was the custom exhibition and a few bands on the stage to keep the crowd fuelled on the ever-present rocky soundtrack while they enjoyed their Pistonheads.

Middle of the flurry - Malle Mile.

Middle of the flurry - Malle Mile.

‘Fluffy Thunder’ - Malle Mile.

‘Fluffy Thunder’ - Malle Mile.

Poor little Honda - Malle Mile.

Poor little Honda - Malle Mile.

Motor-Polo - Malle Mile.

Motor-Polo - Malle Mile.

‘Fluffy Thunder’ - Malle Mile.

‘Fluffy Thunder’ - Malle Mile.

Beaten out - Malle Mile.

Beaten out - Malle Mile.

Poppin’ a wheelie - Malle Mile.

Poppin’ a wheelie - Malle Mile.

Saturday saw people leery eyed but keen as they made their way down to the Metropolis to see the first round of bikes line up to take part in the sprints. First up to the track was the lightweights sprint, running through to the others including a novice sprint, women's sprint hosted by VC London, an electric sprint, a classic sprint, and a customs and scramblers sprint. The beauty of these, and all the races at the Mile, was that anyone with a two wheeled motor can enter. This resulted in some amazingly entertaining viewing as 100 year old Indians competed with Honda Monkeys and homemade electric scooters struggled comically against English Electrics.

Helping at the start line for the women's sprint held by VC London at the Malle Mile.

Helping at the start line for the women's sprint held by VC London at the Malle Mile.

One of the many fatalities at the Malle Mile.

One of the many fatalities at the Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

Lining up for the electric sprint at the Malle Mile.

Lining up for the electric sprint at the Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

VC - Malle Mile.

Such a cool creation - Malle Mile.

Such a cool creation - Malle Mile.

Classic bike and sidecar - Malle Mile.

Classic bike and sidecar - Malle Mile.

Big and little - Malle Mile.

Big and little - Malle Mile.

All the while the music kept playing and the beer kept flowing, providing a merciful break from the heat. Occasionally throughout the day the odd hot-rod or muscle car would roar into the vicinity to widen the variety of machinery on display. The afternoon gave way to the Malle 100 and the hill climb events. The Malle 100 consisted of groups of riders on all varieties of bikes storming their way around the 100 circuit on the dusty hillside, making for some fantastic views, sounds and the overwhelming smell of engines. The day was brought to an end with the hill climb and the after party in the 'Enchanted Forest'.

More than just bikes - Malle Mile.

More than just bikes - Malle Mile.

The first time Ferrous came across the GDLM work truck - Malle Mile.

The first time Ferrous came across the GDLM work truck - Malle Mile.

Spectators avoiding the heat watching the Malle 100.

Spectators avoiding the heat watching the Malle 100.

Making the slalom - Malle Mile.

Making the slalom - Malle Mile.

Quick pre-race brief - Malle Mile.

Quick pre-race brief - Malle Mile.

Back down the hill - Malle Mile.

Back down the hill - Malle Mile.

Eager to be off - Malle Mile.

Eager to be off - Malle Mile.

Tangle of man and machine - Malle Mile.

Tangle of man and machine - Malle Mile.

Not something you want to be in the way of - Malle Mile.

Not something you want to be in the way of - Malle Mile.

Never a shortage of booze - Malle Mile.

Never a shortage of booze - Malle Mile.

Plenty of time to relax and drink at the end of the day at the Mile.

Plenty of time to relax and drink at the end of the day at the Mile.

The Sunday was the day of finals, with the hill climbs continuing, the Malle 100 finals and more sprints. After the cream of the crop from the previous day of playing in the dirt with bikes had finished fighting it out came the awards ceremony. One of the most beautiful things about the Malle Mile is that it manages to be a competition but definitely doesn't take itself too seriously. Malle themselves describe the event as their 'inappropriate motorcycle race'.

Hands on helmets before making the sprint - Malle Mile.

Hands on helmets before making the sprint - Malle Mile.

Keen to get moving - Malle Mile.

Keen to get moving - Malle Mile.

Lined up and ready to go - Malle Mile.

Lined up and ready to go - Malle Mile.

Something for everybody - Malle Mile.

Something for everybody - Malle Mile.

Some beautiful machinery - Malle Mile.

Some beautiful machinery - Malle Mile.

Face of determination - Malle Mile.

Face of determination - Malle Mile.

Lined and ready - Malle Mile.

Lined and ready - Malle Mile.

And GO!  - Malle Mile.

And GO! - Malle Mile.

Overall the Malle Mile is a smaller scale yet amazing event that anyone with an interest in bikes should try their hardest to attend. The races are open to anyone with two wheels and it's a fantastically laid back way of showing off your bike and having a ridiculous amount of fun in the process. We at Ferrous have made it an aim to compete at our first opportunity and hope the Mile gets better and better each year with more and more brilliant idiots lining up to take part in an even that showcases perfectly what makes motorcycle culture so drawing to so many people.