Road Racing And Superbike Show

30th January 2000 - Alexandra Palace

I heard about this year's event through some friends on the Internet, (Guildford Riders Club), who were arranging to meet in the atrium of the Palace on Sunday morning. I was not sure how to get there on the Norton and was starting to plan a route involving bus and tube, when some of them mentioned a run from The Ace Cafe that very morning. Now, the Ace I know how to find and, after having some starting problems, I turned into the parking area at the cafe about half an hour before the run was due to leave. To say I was disappointed when I saw there were just three other bikes there is an understatement, (reminded me of a WMA run), but, as I stood there drinking my coffee, more and more bikes turned up, until the place was almost full.

Charlie Cobbe from Ruislip, and Ted Wagner from Hayes, (my old landlord), also arrived. Although they were going to the show, they weren't going on the run. I met the GRC guys and gal when they got there, (we hadn't met before) and found that some more of their club would be going to the show by other means - mostly four-wheeled ones, due to the amount of bits they intended to purchase. I was only on the lookout for a pair of heated gloves, and any rotary bits and bobs that I might find. The run was enjoyable, as are most runs from the Ace, due to the sheer number of bikes on the road at one time, which brings looks of amazement from other road users and pedestrians.

On entering the grounds, we ignored the car parks and went straight to the top of the hill, where we all parked along the pavement across the road from the hall itself. Try doing that when there are only two or three of you! Leaving my helmet and jacket in the cloakroom was well worth the 50p-per-item that it cost, much easier that lugging them around the crowded stalls, as I normally end up doing. I was a little surprised that it cost £9 to get in, but I suppose most events like this cost a similar amount. The GRCers and myself waited in the atrium until past the appointed time, when somebody suggested phoning some of the others that we were supposed to meet - the others were already inside!

So in we went. The place was already heaving and people were carrying bags and boxes stuffed with new helmets and the new must-have exhaust pipes, but we managed to meet the three early birds next to the Morini Stand. A little later another phone call to the last couple who had not yet arrived found that they were waiting outside as we had done, so we arranged to meet them at the same place.

A few hours wandering around the stalls revealed two things to me; one: heated gloves cost around £109 and two: people don't make accessories for Nortons (or rotaries) any more, although I did see a Norton T-shirt on one stall.

During a food stop, while the others bought hideously expensive rolls and I ate my home-made sandwiches, they presented me with a key-ring that they had been handed, bearing the name of a solicitor 'for use after my next accident' - thanks guys!

Phil Drackley - Phil the Spill