Frighteningly enough, this year will see the tenth Bike Show, a fact that will make anyone who was at Bike ’95 at Olympia feel suddenly faintly elderly. Or was it Earl’s Court? Can’t remember. Somewhere in London with expensive parking, anyway. Not that that narrows it down.
But we digress. The Show’s come a long way in ten years. 98 miles to be exact. After several years at Birmingham’s NEC, The Bike Show has moved a few miles out into the countryside to Stoneleigh Park, Coventry. The new venue has various advantages, although simply not being the NEC is good enough for us. For everyone else, though, the key advantage is space, both indoors and outdoors. The show organisers have over a million square metres to play with, spreading the main exhibition over two buildings with a whole extra building just for 4X and dirt jumping. Then there’s a proper, outdoor test track and the Gary Fisher jump course, both open to members of the public. There’ll be tuition on both courses, which should make the whole exercise pleasingly beginner-friendly. Places are, we’re told, very limited though, so you’ll need to register on the show website well in advance.
If you’d rather watch people who know what they’re doing riding bikes, all the usual star turns will be there. There’ll be dirt jumping and trials competitions as well as the 4X racing – expect to see Cedric Gracia, Michal Prokop, Steve Peat, Chris Duncan, Wade Simmons, Dave Wardell, Chris Smith, Brian Schmith, Ollie Fielder and of course a vast teetering pile of BMXers.
Oh, and bikes and stuff too – confirmed brands include, but are not limited to, Gary Fisher, Scott, Santa Cruz, Rocky Mountain, Muddy Fox and Commencal.
Tickets will be £14 in advance or £16 on the door. We’ve no idea how much it costs to park. There’s a ticket hotline on 0870 145 2244 or you can visit www.thebikeshow.com.