SUNDAY, SUNSHINE...ACE CAFE
BRITISH & CLASSIC BIKE DAY @ ACE CAFE LONDON
As the sun tempts the daffodils and crocuses to show their colours above the earth, so it is with many of us who have waited for the first signs of spring to bring ourselves and our bikes out from the darker days of winter garaging and onto the open – though sometimes congested – road, where we can bloom too. A well-established venue is just the place to ride out to, park up, order some breakfast and spectate as other riders appear.
The Ace Cafe on London's north circular road has been a motorcyclist's gathering place for many a decade. It is still rooted in the 'rocker' and cafe racer culture of the sixties. In fact, it can be credited as the place where this subculture - still popular today - first revealed itself, to the shock and horror of conventional society. But today's Ace extends a welcome to all two-wheel riders, and parka-clad scooterists - once the hated 'mods' - make this their home too.
Though it is located in a most aesthetically unlovely and traffic-ravaged part of the metropolis, it doesn't deter folk from making it their ride venue, as there is always company and something to catch the eye or interest among co-aficionados.
I pitched up last Sunday (13th), along with my Wemoto colleague, John, riding in on his resplendent bright yellow Harley that has been featured on these pages (see Project Harley, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). We started our morning by slotting into a space at the busy tables to tackle breakfast. The Ace runs a constant programme of special bike and car days as well as the famous ride outs to Margate, Southend and Brighton; and on this day, it was the turn of British and Classic bikes.
There weren't so many of the said bikes early on, but as the sun warmed the day after a chilly start, riders on Triumphs, BSA, Norton etc. were marshalled into the space around the London Motorcycle Museum tent. And as the machines were hauled onto stands, people ambled over for a glimpse or a more thorough inspection. (The London Motorcycle Museum, London's only collection of motorcycles (200), has been nurtured by the founder, Bill Crosby, since the nineties. Now, because of central government cuts to local authority funding, the museum is losing its rates subsidy, and will be hit with an annual bill of £30,000. Admission prices have been raised to help defray the costs, but they will need more financial help. Visit www.london-motorcycle-museum.org for more information and details of how to contribute.)
Lots and lots of other bikes too, and inevitably lots of characters riding them.
Did you go to this event, or do you go to similar events at the Ace Cafe or elsewhere? Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.