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
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
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
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.