Absence does make the heart grow fonder with bikers coming out in droves for the 2021 Gloucester Motorcyle Expo.
Upwards of 1700 people were clocked coming through the gates at the Gloucester Showground on Saturday May 1 and Sunday May 2 for the Gloucester Rotary Club event.
According to co-organiser Sam de Witte, it's one of the largest crowds on record since the expo began 13 years ago.
"It was a very successful weekend. We had people from Bundaberg, Melbourne, Tamworth - they were from everywhere," Sam said.
The expo didn't run last year due to COVID restrictions, but once the green light was given to run it this year, Gloucester Rotary Club was keen to get it back on the calendar.
Given there were 500 campers plus 300 people for the Heaven Vintage Motocross (VMX) competition, it was the right decision.
"People were keen to get out and and do something," Sam said.
The VMX Gloucester TT and pointscore round 2/6 Vintage Motocross Series ran in conjunction with the expo which boosted several motorcycle themed stallholders and live local music.
Things were set up a bit differently at this year's event with the race track being constructed outside of the show ring. Instead, the show ring was used as the main camping area, which was completely full.
"The VMX people thought the new track was excellent," Sam said.
He said they enjoyed it more as there was more diversity to it, with more grades and undulations.
It was a very successful weekend. We had people from Bundaberg, Melbourne, Tamworth - they were from everywhere.Sam de Witte
The amount of people through the gate took the organisers a little by surprise, running out of supplies like steaks, sausages and bread for the barbecue a few times over.
"We had to keep running into town to pick up stuff," Sam smiled.
Overall it was a very successful weekend and exceeded expectations for both the vendors and the Gloucester Rotary Club, who hosts the event as one of its major annual fundraisers.