A long day of driving, walking and riding awaited with the London Cycle Show smack bang in the middle of it. I was raring to stop and full of beans only in that my digestive system rumbled ominously with the synthetic aftermath of a couple of bucketfuls of Heinz’s finest. That’d be the four pints of Whympler’s Old Peculiar then, which saved me the price of last nights dinner at the cost of an eye blurring hangover.
London traffic and my refusal to believe the SatNav “ e.g. I drove past here once in 1975 and it’s definitely up that street there even if it’s now bricked off “ made us late and the human millipede queue for tickets added frustration and more delay. Still, this did provide ample time to be essentially robbed, with a nice smile, at recognisable food outlets with unrecognisable prices. Just sign over the deeds to your house and sell a single child into white slavery and you can enjoy this stale, lamp hardened, baguette“. And I use to think only indirect taxation was licensed theft.
However, the event itself was great, acres of unattainable bling backed up by a trials show. Watching these small boys leap large gaps and landing perfectly on tyre width moist logs, was in no way spoiled by the knowledge that string and wires cunningly fabricate this illusion
First up, a spot of clique but entirely deserved back patting to Cy Turner “ he of Cotic bike design fame. Two new frames join the existing Soul and Roadrat, of which I own and rather enjoy both, an amped up hardcore brother for the Soul and a singlespeed bike so simple, he’s named it, er, Simple.
For a mad moment, the intriguing prospect of a singlespeed again entering my life in a non blowtorched encounter raised its’ guilty head. Thankfully a friend was on hand to incredulously enquire Are you on Crack?” and the moment passed before any lasting damage was done. The B-FE frame though is a cracker but, rack my fading brain cells as I might, I cannot really find a reason to justify buying one. A Homer-Esque DOH!” shall shortly follow.
The trials boys didn’t travel far to this East London venue what with Barking being a short few stops down the line. In fact possibly some stops beyond Barking, finally terminating at Deep Insanity.
The obstacle course had the appearance of an abandoned ship yard with huge wooden drums hoisting head height moist timber. It’d be a challenge enough to free-walk it, never mind trying to chart an injury free router through.
Scoring is complicated. It seems to revolve around Dabs”, section timing and the loss of major internal organs. For example Hard Luck Johnny, you made it under the time limit with only one dab, but disembowelling yourself on a razor sharp plank and leaving your spleen in the arena has cost you dearly”.
No shit! The riders all emerged from a share motorhome/medical centre scarred, as if authentically auditioning for Shelley’s Frankenstein monster. Tom’ll be out in a minute, we’re just replacing his large sprocket and small intestine”.
Like I say, Barking.
We tramped around the rest of the show breathless with oohing”, aaahhing” and Fucking hell, where did all these roadbikes come from?”. Here are a few of the bike where you don’t have to sign up for “Pain to Play”
Worse still , the Hellfire Coven of Pointless Folders was massively over represented “ oh for ten violent minutes with a chainsaw “ but I did my bit hissing Ride that, You’ll turn queer” to any prospective cheese knitter. Pretty mature behaviour I’m sure you’ll agree.
Finally we ran out of enthusiasm and hangover sapped energy, so abandoned this rather splendid corner of BikeWorldâ„¢ to instead spend the remainder of the afternoon banging mirrors on an epic six mile traverse of East London.
We’d seen bikes, talked bikes and through inconceivable willpower managed not to buy any bikes. Now it was time to ride our bikes.