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As seen in issue 241 of 100% Biker  

Can it really be that the National Chopper Club is reaching its 45th Anniversary this year? and not only that but it’s the 21st anniversary of the Herts Bike Day organised by Hertfordshire NCC indeed it is so. So it seemed only right that I got around to this event, which I have always heard good things about, but strangely always thought was out of reach for a day, yes it’s my bad geography again.  

But the decision was made and I was off to areas unknown, well its north of the Thames so uncharted territory for a Surrey lad who likes woodlands and seaside and for good reason as I knew I would see some very different bikes too. It seemed also that several folks who follow my musings had a similar idea and it was nice to hear they were enjoying the change of scene as much as I was.

From turning the corner from the high street to the venue I immediately knew this was going to be a good day with people relaxing everywhere while the sun shone off the chrome, almost like landing lights marking the route to the entrance.  

The main event is in the car park behind the Bennetts club, a Tardis like venue with cool air-conditioned rooms everywhere, but bikes and cool cars spill out along the road, under the trees and all around. With it being such a hot day finding shade and the air con was a must and also made for a very busy turnaround of vehicles. This turnaround of bikes must have made judges job even harder, I know they had to stop one bike leaving as they tried to add the winning tag to it. Along with several other shows I have attended I was impressed with the quality of the awards with a Key style plaque to match the Key of the door and also easily portable by owners.

It was also one of the friendliest events I have ever been too as everyone so keen to talk about their bikes and generally chat it was great to bump into Bev and Russ from Twisted Iron. A band played and unusually a short folk music set made for a chilled moment. The world quickest raffle for £50 was neat and tidy too.

Now forgive me if it’s so wrong, but I loved the seriously OTT scooter owned by a Skinhead (not a mod) Madness Fan who was desperately trying to find space on his vehicle for another bit of memorabilia and would eventually win Best Scooter. A couple on a 1934 Triumph were celebrating its maiden voyage having just recommissioned it and it won best classic. For customs there was a great mix of all sorts of styles, tall of short they were all there. Add to this there were plenty of learner bikes and youngsters who seem to embracing the lifestyle which was so positive.

The winner of best bright work was a white  60’s inspired chop which had been brought in from the states and reworked for UK roads and was running original chrome, the owner still wondering why he had opted for a bike with a kickstart in this heat, the winner of best brit a BSA Goldstar was also kicking for England. Best engineering was the obscenely tall sportster shop which is quite something and a tall red soft tail won best chopper, Best paint to a sparkly silver and flaked chop. Best streetfighter went to a very purposeful Harris magnum.

There were two Sledhead customs builds there and the pretty gold bobber won the best in show, well deserved, they are building some ace builds at the moment.

So morale of the story, widen the net and look outside your normal events listing, I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Roll on the next 45 years.

I took so many photos there are 3 albums