Frederic, in the past we have moved venues at winter time, though the difficulty we’ve found each time we’ve done this, is the monumental task involved in finding a new location that meets all of the requirements. If we can find a new, suitable venue, then of course, we should go!
Though we’ve always wanted to provide an alternative venue for our meets other than the Ace Cafe. This is nothing against the Ace, it’s just that we want to add variety, after-all, many go to the Ace often enough, so it’s nice to have somewhere else to go, and not to mention that the Ace is not convenient for many people due to it’s location, which is why our meets have always been central.
Here’s the requirements for a meet venue:
Space for 100+ bikers.
Must not be overly noise-sensitive, i.e. no significant number of local residents.
Local buzz; no point being in a car-park on our own, people will quickly get bored.
Food and drinks available nearby (1 or 2 min walk max).
Putting all of those together has been the difficulty we’ve faced before, and people have spent a lot of time research new venues, going on rides around the city to check out possibles and negotiating with the locals. It took considerable negotiation with the Borough Market residents (business, authority and otherwise).
Though serious help in looking for a new venue would of course be welcomed. Each venue we go to, we are bigger in size. LB is growing all the time, so we need somewhere that has room for not just our current attendance, but more as the summer months kick in again.
Ace is great, not too far to come, plenty of legal parking, food isn’t that bad, coffee is OK and there’s always somebody there you know, bit like Cheers ;) Haven’t been to BM for months now and probably won’t go again, takes too long riding through some crap traffic.
As has been said before such a place as the one Jay describes does not exist in Central London.
I thought the idea of having a meet that moved around every season on the outer edge of Central London was a good one. That way everyone gets a turn of having the meet on their doorstep plus people don’t get sick of us
We hate the journey to BMM also having to stand around & the lack of facilities so thats why you don’t see us there. I never thought that it was going to be as long running as this and look forward to a change.
The ride to BM has become less interesting than it was when I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going/ used to get lost!
Another reason for a regular change, besides those given, would be that the ride to the venue would be fresh and would certainly help some people learn a little more about routes in and around London (thining of the legions of new riders signing up & myself)
BM still provides a good location for us to meet in the week - and getting anywhere on a weekday evening can be difficult whether it’s a central location or one a bit further out…
We’ve moved down Stoney Street a bit just while Neil (The Sausage Shop owner) is closed for renovations however that space will open up for us again when he reopens.
I’m the bloke who speaks to the locals and I’ve not had any complaints in a long time so I don’t agree that we’re not welcome there - The Market’s stance about bikes parked on their property stems from a question of liability for any accidents that occur whilst on their property not form any desire to see us disappear.
As Jay has said finding a venue is no easy task and for a long time now certain people have been looking for a new one and so far we’ve drawn a blank.
I echo Elad’s point about BM providing us with an individual location and whilst the Ace is an ideal venue too - it’s a venue that people go to all the time so having a different one makes sense.
It’s good to see other people are thinking about this sort of thing though so if anyone sees or knows of anywhere that might be suitable let us know and we’ll take a look.
I think you should change the Wednesday meet to Kabul, as that is where I am. It’s not far, just take the ferry to France with the bikes, then head to the Ukraine, then onto Kazakhstan and go south. Cross Uzbekistan into Tajikistan and a swift ride over the mountains and you’re there. Don’t worry about the Taliban as you are coming from the north (see I picked a safe route), the north is safer than the south, east or west.
See ya tomorrow! Let me know your ETA and I’ll get the kettle on and some Nan bread in.
I like the Borough Market Venue. I know there are lots on here who are very North London-centric but for those of us living South of the river the Ace is the wrong way out of town. I find Borough more atmospheric during the winter than in the summer- admittedly having hot drinks right next to where we parked did help. As for the cold and wet, you get that in winter and if you are riding to a venue you are going to get cold and wet anyway. The only negative vibe I’ve noticed at Borough is the pub bouncer guy who insists on asking you to stand the other side of an imaginery line (still can’t work out why)!
Perhaps we could make more use of the inside of the Café when it reopens and persuade them to serve something other than crusty baps!
I know he’s only doing his job (trying to stop people drinking in the road - I suppose), but he does try a little too hard sometimes.
As we, for the most part, are not patrons of the pub (his employers), I guess those of us that comply with his wishes do out of courtesy and goodwill rather than necessity.
Some people don’t want to go to the Ace even though it’s closer to them due to old personal reasons/conflicts with others there
The Ace suits me fine especially for a winter meet, it’s warm, accommodating and plenty of parking… BMM is a pain in the arse to get to at rush hour time for me, riding through the centre of London aint my idea of fun.
Good mate!! I like my idea too, as there isn’t much of a chance to hang out with bikers in Kabul (although an Afghan colleague has a TTR 600). Also women don’t really bike here - it’s not the done thing for Afghan ladies to hoon around on bikes in their burkas. However, plenty of Chinese 125s about.
Plus the fact it would be an adventure - more extreme than the ‘Long Way Round’ and you get to travel across a vast continent and several different countries with other like minded people.
It’s better than Borough Market because of the following:
At present the weather is better than the UK - sunny and pleasant and about 20 degrees C (although this will change in the winter when it gets to minus 27)
You will be guaranteed a warm welcome when you arrive and plenty of tea and food.
I will personally make you some lamb kebabs, with rice, nan and egg plant with yogurt.
Will that do?:)
Go on - do come - just look me up on Google Earth. I’m in the Quala e Fatullah area.