Personal Pick of the Show: Ian’s h...
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Words: Ian Cleverly Photos: Juliet Lemon and Hayley Bray /*! elementor - v3.19.0 - 26-02-2024 */ .elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#69727d;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#69727d;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block} As this was my first year working for The Cycle Show, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I’d been in touch with some of the brands ahead of the show to promote their presence, helped show director Chris Holman put the stage schedule together and book our fabulous guests, banged the social media drum in the lead up to our three days at Alexandra Palace, but still felt unsure how the actual event would run. Would the weather gods ruin our test track with persistent rain? (Just a few drops and drips, it transpired). Would all our star guests be able to attend and arrive on time? (All bar one, and with very good reason). Would booking Viola Brand and her amazing artistic cycling routine be a step too far for The Cycle Show audience? (A resounding no!) Backstage on Thursday, assembling a couple of beautiful Jawdropper bikes that had been sent boxed up – and experiencing the bizarre situation of lending my tools to a former Giro d’Italia winner – the nerves were still jangling. Would everything come together on the day? I shouldn’t have fretted – of course they did. The team has way more experience of putting this show on than this late starter. They know what works and what doesn’t; the crowd pleasers and the big draws for a cycling-fanatical public; the nuts and bolts of putting on an entertaining experience for young and old alike; the minutiae of ensuring thousands of paying customers are given a day to remember. Here’s a few of my personal highlights from the three days at Ally Pally. What were yours? /*! elementor - v3.19.0 - 26-02-2024 */ .elementor-widget-divider{--divider-border-style:none;--divider-border-width:1px;--divider-color:#0c0d0e;--divider-icon-size:20px;--divider-element-spacing:10px;--divider-pattern-height:24px;--divider-pattern-size:20px;--divider-pattern-url:none;--divider-pattern-repeat:repeat-x}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider{display:flex}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{font-size:15px;line-height:1;max-width:95%}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__element{margin:0 var(--divider-element-spacing);flex-shrink:0}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-icon{font-size:var(--divider-icon-size)}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider-separator{display:flex;margin:0;direction:ltr}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator{align-items:center}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:before{display:block;content:"";border-block-end:0;flex-grow:1;border-block-start:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider__element{margin-left:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider__element{margin-right:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider__element{margin-inline-start:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider__element{margin-inline-end:0}.elementor-widget-divider:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text):not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon) .elementor-divider-separator{border-block-start:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern{--divider-border-style:none}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern.elementor-widget-divider--view-line .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not([class*=elementor-widget-divider--view]) .elementor-divider-separator{width:100%;min-height:var(--divider-pattern-height);-webkit-mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;-webkit-mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);background-color:var(--divider-color);-webkit-mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url);mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url)}.elementor-widget-divider--no-spacing{--divider-pattern-size:auto}.elementor-widget-divider--bg-round{--divider-pattern-repeat:round}.rtl .elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{direction:rtl}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-divider,.e-con>.elementor-widget-divider{width:var(--container-widget-width,100%);--flex-grow:var(--container-widget-flex-grow)} This drop dead gorgeous Wilier was absolute perfection for my money. That finish, those lines, wonderful! Italian artistry writ large. /*! elementor - v3.19.0 - 26-02-2024 */ .elementor-column .elementor-spacer-inner{height:var(--spacer-size)}.e-con{--container-widget-width:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer{width:var(--container-widget-width,var(--spacer-size));--align-self:var(--container-widget-align-self,initial);--flex-shrink:0}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container{height:100%;width:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer{height:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer>.elementor-spacer-inner,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer>.elementor-spacer-inner{height:var(--container-widget-height,var(--spacer-size))}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty{position:relative;min-height:22px;min-width:22px}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty .elementor-widget-empty-icon,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty .elementor-widget-empty-icon{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0;margin:auto;padding:0;width:22px;height:22px} The cargo bike section hosted by Flying Dutchman hosted some fine examples of the genre, not all motor driven either. This handsome long fella took centre stage – a sturdy and mean delivering machine. These two young Olympic legends pulled a crowd. Kye Whyte and Beth Shriever are great ambassadors for the sport of BMX and terrific fun too. Also great to see the theatre full for two of our other youngest guests: Zoe Backstëdt and Fred Wright. The future is bright with racers like these doing their thing with aplomb. I will readily admit I knew next to nothing about Scott Wilson prior to the show, but came away a huge fan. The way he interacts with the kids is perfect, and he’s a fine entertainer. His final routine when he was atop a six-foot drop before landing on a coffee cup placed between the legs of a ‘volunteer’ (brave man!), all the while feigning fatigue and show fever, was superb. Check him out on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. Not sure I’ve quite got the chutzpah to wear them but loved the red, green and gold rasta-inspired jerseys from Raggamuffin. Just brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it? OK, maybe now the elusive summer has arrived… REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR 2024 If a folding e-bike is your bag, might as well get one that looks the business too, eh? Loved the look of this model from Vello. It even looks cool folded. And that little damper behind the seat tube provides a little suspension – no bad thing on the mean city streets. A quality design. This reminded of me of camping in Kent when the kids were little. Nearing completion of putting up our massive tent after an hour of huffing and puffing, two guys in a Mini pulled up, swung open their roof-mounted tent box and climbed in, all in the space of two minutes. We gave up camping there and then, admitting defeat. But this I could go for. Looks nice and snugly up there. And the bears won’t get you. “Three of MTBs biggest characters on stage at once. What could possibly go wrong?” I wrote in the programme notes, used as captions for the stage performances. Take a bow Ben Deakin, Olly Wilkins, and the one and only Rob Warner. They had a riot up there, and crowd loved them for it! Viola Brand was utterly mesmerising, a superb show-stopping performance! I’m so glad we took a punt and got her over for her first proper public appearance in the UK. Come back soon, Viola.  Ok, let’s finish off with the cute stuff. Firstly, WHO let the dog in? And that bike doesn’t even have a basket… But this kid takes the biscuit when it comes to cute. Bet the parents had trouble persuading her out of there.And that’s all, folks. Hope you had fun. We certainly did. See you next year! REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR 2024 Facebook Twitter
Jaw Droppers: Winners and grinners from ...
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Jaw Droppers returned to Ally Pally for a second year and once again wowed the crowd, with a bevy of beautiful bikes built specially for The Cycle Show – each one a unique and head-turning design with flair to the fore. The brief was simple: dress to impress, go large, make a bold statement. And our brilliant bike makers rose to the challenge. The four-strong judging panel had their work cut out, but there could only be one winner. A few of our favourites for your consideration.      MATCHY MATCHY QUINTESSENTIALWe loved this colab between three sets of talented craftspeople. Ben from Teme Frameworks provided the lovely hardtail frameset, Paul of Quintessential Customs oversaw the whole project, while Greenwich-based luggage company Wizard Works put their fine talents to good use, tying the whole look together with matching storage bags custom made for this one-off. The inspiration? Celebrated 1950s textile designer Lucienne Day. Lovely work.SWOON AT SPOONSpoon Customs took the very first frame built by founder Andy Carr back in 2017, handed it to illustrator Sam Dunn to design, then Dan Cole spent 38 hours applying this truly stunning finish – using a paint brush and cocktail stick. Wonderstuff.CIGGY STARDUSTIn the foreground, candy green bling from Handsling, who took their fine A1R0evo road bike and went to town on every custom aspect in their armoury. Those wheels are to die for. And in the background, Ireland’s FiftyOne Bikes raised a smile with their flying fag packet paint scheme, based on the Silk Cut colours from the bad old days of cigarette ads. Their inspiration was actually a 1980’s Jaguar raced at Le Mans. Don’t @ them. Smoking!QUICK QUIRKWhen it came to a fabulous-looking bike that we would be happy to ride and did not scream “LOOK AT ME!” this intricate Kintsugi Mamtor by Quirk caught the eyes of the entire judging panel. Aubergine finish, beautifully applied artwork and Japanese script to finish off. So cool.ALL THAT GLITTERS: FAT CREATIONSAli and Bex from Fat Creations never disappoint, even when too busy to spend a huge amount of time pondering how to follow up on their amazing 2022 Jaw Dropper winner. This time they went with a fairly standard Cannondale System Six as their canvas, then went wild! The harlequin-esque look is based on their feature wall at the Fat studios in Sussex – this we have to see…  We were reminded of the World War 1 dazzle ships camouflage invented by artist Norman Wilkinson. As for the glittering wheels, cranks and decals, out of this world. Bravo!AND THE WINNER IS!Four judges, all in agreement on the outright winner – this doesn’t happen at Eurovision, does it? Pete Muir and Emma Cole from Cyclist magazine, Warren Rossiter from BikeRadar and The Cycle Show’s Ian Cleverly gave the 15 entrants a thorough examination but were all drawn back to this mindblowingly ostentatious Deviate Claymore Artist Edition. Built and designed in conjunction with Scottish-based artist and mountain biker Douglas Roulston, and with exquisite gold leaf finishing touches by JMJ Designs, they left no stone unturned in producing the ultimate Jaw Dropper. Congratulations, all! And thank you to every one of our fine contributors. See you next year.“We had something of a landmark year. The Claymore received fantastic reviews, including being selected as Pinkbike’s ‘Enduro Race Bike Of Choice’. We wanted to create something that celebrated this milestone by combining it with a place of particular significance for the brand”“JMJ Designs worked closely with Douglas to select the perfect finishing touches to the frame, with gold leaf used for the logos and even rear shock spring”“The stunning scene depicted on the frame and forks is inspired by the Cairngorms. This is the work of Douglas Roulston”