I am a man, when I go shopping I go into the shop I buy what I want, I go out of the shop. I don’t go shopping as a recreational activity; it is more something that is imposed on me by her who has to be obeyed. The thought of retail therapy is enough to send me to….the pub, or insane, which ever is easiest. I can only dream of a world in which there is a shop that has everything I want to buy in it, where I can wander happily, browsing through rooms filled with motorcycles and their accessories, while salesmen thrust glossy brochures and offer me deals too good to say no to.
It's all about the bikes of course
What a utopia that would be, mingling with like minded individuals, being tempted into areas filled with gleaming machines by models whose only purpose is to tempt you into areas filled with gleaming machines, oh and give out freebies. It would be heaven, well it would be if there was beer and feasting!
At the age of eighteen or nineteen I thought I had found heaven on earth, well retail therapy heaven anyway. It was in London at Earls Court and it was the Motorcycle News Motorcycle Show. I remember it like it was yesterday. The queue to get in, the heat and the smell of wet leather…I am in England so no surprise there. I remember the crowds of people, the struggle to move forward to the Harris Magnum stand, the wow when I got there, the first glimpse of the Norton rotary race bikes, the crap burgers and buying a set of Belstaff Cordura waterproofs. They are still waterproof today and were at a price too good to resist although they do seem to have shrunk a bit now. Back then I had the body of a god, I still do of course, but now the god in question is Buddha!
It was great, but the mass of bodies was too claustrophobic for me and so the next year I learned from my mistake and went before the weekend. The deals were not quite so good but the payback was that I had space to actually see what I wanted to see, and that was those machines that we can only dream about owning. I could drool over race bikes and specials, lust after exotic exhausts and brakes and dream of a trick frame and suspension and all the time knowing that round the next corner would be something that would make me forsake my new lifelong love, in a heartbeat.
The only Freebie I have left from an Expo in 1983
Expos are a place of dreams; they are the biker’s equivalent of a mall filled with a thousand shoe shops. The unwary can come out many dollars lighter, laden with goodies that they would never have bought if the better half had been with them. The cautious will come out regretting all year that they didn’t take that offer on the new skid lid, especially when they buy one full price a month later. Then there are the clever ones, they will come out with the bargain they have waited all year for….and be planning on next year’s purchase already.
I just wish they had good food and great beer to, it’s not too much to ask is it?