Yesterday, I visited the annual Cycle Show at the NEC, Birmingham, as I do most years. It’s second year in Brum, the spectacle is settling well into it’s new home. This year the odd ‘retail zone’ was gone, and stalls were selling direct to the public. There were a whole host of mountain, road, comfort, BMX and electric (spit) machines on display, most of which can be tried on a variety of suitable test tracks.
As one might expect, there are all kinds of gadgets and accessories on display, including clothing. It really is cycle heaven.
There were some sad absences; no Brooks saddle stand, no Pashley, Pearson or Enigma. But there is plenty to see and do, including breathtaking displays by BMX and free riders. It was nice to see BMX stuff more on show this year, if only to see the look on the faces of the old timers when they walked around those stands. It was the kind of expression worn by a vegan suddenly finding themselves in a butchers.
The only thing that saddens me is that some companies still see it as acceptable to employ half-dressed women to advertise their products. I’m actually less likely to be your customer if you do that, and with cycling now broadening with ever greeter numbers of lady cyclists, it doesn’t seem like a great move demographically, either. One of the things I like about cycling is that it’s largely devoid of the boorish, knuckle-dragginge boneheads one finds engaged in other sports. Please don’t treat us like them.
The cycling tribes were well represented – fixie riders, old leathery tourers, roadies, hipsters and the aforementioned BMX kids, as well as leisure cyclists and families. I tweeted pictures as I went around, and these seemed popular, so I assembled the gallery below.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and is open until Sunday. Tickets on the door are £16, but £13 from the website in advance.