21st March 2011
Blow out the cobwebs! Tear up the SORN notification! Squeeze out the Solvol! Spring is on the way, and what better way to celebrate it than riding to the first RealClassic Spring Shakeout at the Ace Cafe on Sunday the 10th of April...
This is a ride-in event, so we'd like to see as many people as possible dig out a RealClassic bike of some sort and come along to say hello. It'd be great to put some faces to names, whether you're a regular (or a lurker) on the message board, a website visitor or a magazine subscriber.
There'll be some prizes awarded during the day, but it won't be a concours competition. We'll be looking for bikes that epitomise the RealClassic spirit - whatever that is - and we'll be getting some of you to do the judging. Categories may or may not include such vague delights as "Most Real Classic", "Best 'Ride It Don't Hide It' Modification"," Best Nostalgia Trip" and other similar nonsense.
But really the RealClassic Spring Shakeout is all about riding your old bike somewhere, standing about talking about old bikes for a bit while drinking coffee and eating bacon-based food, and then riding your old bike home again. Does a sunny spring Sunday in April get any better than that?
Well, yes it does, because Warr's Harley Davidson - Europe's oldest established Harley dealer - will be there as well, with their Harley Museum's impressive collection of vintage bikes. I bet their old bikes are shinier than ours.
The RealClassic Spring Shakeout starts 10am and runs through to 5pm. Martin Gelder who runs the RealClassic.co.uk website will be there with a box of JaffaNobs, a confused smile and possibly the now famous 43.9bhp BMW R80/7, and you might even spot RealMart wandering round with his snippers, moderating random conversations and trying not to get drawn into political arguments.
The Ace Cafe is on the A 406 North Circular in Stonebridge, London. It's just north-east of where the A40 crosses the A406. There are directions here, a map here, or you can phone them on 0208 961 1000.
Although it started life as a greasy-spoon caff, the modern Ace Cafe is now a much more polished venue, with great food and excellent coffee. It was one of the cafes that was at the heart of the birth of the Great British Rocker and is something of a cultural landmark these days. We've used it for business meetings, Fifth Gear film their programme there, and last time we went there was a wedding going on.
Keep an eye on the RealClassic message board during the days before the 10th of April for more news as we think of it, and hopefully we'll see you there.
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