28-30th Sep 2018
This Saturday, I visited the NEC in Birmingham for the 17th annual cycle show. This was the third time I have been to the show and this year was better than ever.
The show attracts thousands of visitors across the three days of the event, all to see the latest and greatest in the world of cycling.
So lets run down just a few of my highlights this year.
I thought I’d start off with a relaxing wonder around the stands. Nearly 300 apparently. The cycle show usually only feature newer, modern bicycles, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered that We Are Cycling had brought with them some vintage bikes. A 1940’s Raleigh Tourer, A Legnano racing bike from the 1950’s and my favourite, The Shergold from 1878.
Ok, so this is actually a replica of The Shergold, and according to the info sheet that was attached to it, it’s the oldest direct chain bike in the world. There is only one original left, which is in the science museum (sadly in storage).
The show also had tons of talks and celebs from the cycling world. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to see much as every area filled up incredibly quickly.
One of the great things about the cycle show is the ability to try out some of the latest bike on a test track and this year was no exception. There were two e-bike test tracks this year. One for your standard e-bike and the other was for eMTB. Now, i’ve never ridden an eBike of any description before and in hindsight I probably should’ve just tried a normal one to start with. But being the rebellious type, I thought, “nah, let try the dirt track with the ramps and stuff”. I’m not ashamed to tell you that it was a disaster. It started off alright, you can really feel the pedal assist that these bikes have. Which is exactly why I nearly came straight off the bike and track on the first corner! Then came the gear problems. I’ve never seen a gear set up quite like it and can best be described as a “flappy paddle gear-box”. For whatever reason, I just could use them properly, which is my excuse for struggling to get up the largest ramp.
Following a sit down and a coffee, it was time for some more excitement with extreme bike battle – this time leaving the riding to the professionals. It never ceases to amaze me, what some people are able to do on two wheels. The “battles” consisted of mostly BMX and MTB stunts and tricks and boy did they draw a crowd. They also did coaching for younger wannabe riders after each show, I tried to get in, but apparently I can’t pass as a kid any more, I think it might be the beard.
And just to return back to eBikes for my final highlight of the show. These Michael Blast bikes look absolutely fantastic. Modern eBike technology with classic motorcycle styling. If I were going to have an eBike, this is the one I would want.
All in all, this years event was great. I enjoyed it more this year that previous years and would recommend going there next year and who knows, you might even see me there, just nowhere near the mountain bike test track!
Words and Pictures by Craig Willis