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26th February

Ace Cafe Motorcycle and Custom Show

 

a good day out 

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This has seemed the longest ever winter for me,

The appalling weather has really put the dampers on even the occasional spirit lifting blast on the bike.

Not to mention the pot holes, some I am sure must descend to the absolute depths of Hades

However here we are towards the end of February, even the spring flowers that seemed reluctant to show their faces are at last cheering the gloom and bring that little ray of hope for warmer (and hopefully drier)days..

But itís a Friday, I have a day off, itís not raining and temperature is just above freezing and so I squeeze myself into my jeans (really need to do something about a diet), wheel the trusty steed out from the garage where she blinks in the grey morning light. And all feels right with the world.

Much clanking and grinding of a stubborn starter later and I head towards the badlands of north London and the Ace Cafe Motorcycle and Custom show.

Alexandra Palace is one of Londonís oldest exhibition venues, being built back in 1876 (promptly burning down only two weeks later.)After rebuilding It was here in 1936 that the BBC made its first ever broadcast, and it  is all these broadcasting aerials that cause chaos for many of the vehicle alarms fitted to modern bikes by disabling their remote alarms , not that I was affected (wanders off whistling nonchantly)

In the 1980ís the building was handed over to the local council and had a second fire, but it still remains an impressive venue, along the lines of Manchester great hall etc. With huge windows and grounds (free parking also ) you would think being high on a hill easy to find, (shuffles feet nonchantly)

The Ally Pally show has over the last few years had a bit of an identity crisis, but this year there was a definite feeling of something good about to happen. Now with the Ace Cafe putting their backing toward it and the support of Alan Greenwood who has run several classic show.

A bright airy entry vestibule brought us to the main show, where we were met by a group of burlesque girls, for a reason I still donít understand (too shy to ask) but the sight warmed many a cold biker.

And then the custom show hall... and this had a major wow factor. There were loads of bikes, dealers and purveyors of bling. There were some of the biggest names in the custom scene there, and I soon met up with Mistress Blue who had found a comfy niche to rest her weary feet. A emergency caramel digestive biscuit soon remedied the aches Its always nice to see the Exile trike, but we were both very pleased to see so many new and unusual bikes so early in the season.

This could partially be down to the £5000 prize and a chance to enter your bike in the American shows which was put forward by American Motorcycle Dealer. But even with the American influence it was great to see a goodly selection of Brits and a few Japs.

The bikes which I personally loved  but just know i could ever ride are the chica style Samuri Chopper bikes, tiny compact and as much works of art as they are bikes. The other bikes myself and blue lusted over were the Jap engine bikes its a real shame we couldnít hear them run.

In the other halls were several purveyors of old magazines and books which were very browseable. And the new Norton which is still a very desirable motorcycle.

With stunt shows and lots of activities over the weekend, it has to be said that Ally Pally Show has found its identity.

Many of my friends who visited as well came back extolling the virtues of the show, and during a cold damp February thats a good thing.