THE pre-show promise was that Cycle 2007 was a return to a great central London venue and the show would be bigger and better. The promises held true: the return to Earls Court was widely applauded and the show felt bigger and was bigger.
Attendance on the trade day exceeded expectations. There were over 22,000 visitors.
“I thought it was a good day. Lots of dealers attended,” said Russell Merry of Hot Wheels. The £13 entrance fee was paid by hordes of visitors on the public days because the hall was “heaving”, said Merry.
“If I had attended as a non exhibitor I would have thought ‘[damn] I should have been here’.
“The venue had atmosphere. I believe that putting in a BMX half-pipe would have given it broader appeal and given some kids something to talk about at school on Monday, but I wouldn’t want the show to become a chain wallet wearing jumble sale.
“This show could be the start of a National Cycle Show that many in the trade say they crave. The show now has momentum at this venue and I hope even more dealers, exhibitors and visitors attend next year.”
Andy Easterbrook of Wildoo also appreciated the show: ‘The atmosphere at Earls Court was good and every year this show seems to attract more dealers, which is important as one quality show with both trade and consumer days is the way to go. This is the only business model for a prestigious show to provide exhibitors a return on the high costs of being there.
“The bike industry has the beginnings of a real showcase to shout to the trade, press and consumers what the British bike industry is all about.”
While the show lacked Future-style dirt racing by US star riders or an indoor crit, there were plenty of other features to make the show a hit with those paying to get through the door. The high-energy fashion show was always popular (skimpy models in figure-hugging Lycra can’t fail to please) and there were trials riding displays from the Onza team. But the big hits of the show were the test tracks. OK, not quite Nevada’s Outdoor Demo but for an indoor show, the cycle testing tracks were surprisingly good.
The MTB test track had sand berms and little jumps, a reasonable demo space for those wanting to take mountain bikes for short spins. But it was the Transport for London test tracks that stole the show. TfL spent £1m on the Hovis-sponsored Freewheel bike ride a couple of weeks before Cycle, so could have skimped on the Cycle show test tracks but, instead, these were big-budget, too. The commuter test track was meant to entice Londoners on to bikes and did this in a fun way: with taxi drivers shouting abuse at the cyclists…
Steve Bichard of Adventure Cycles on Guernsey made the trip to Earls Court from the Channel Islands and said it was well worth the effort: “The show had a great buzz and I couldn’t believe how many of the public were there. It really shows where we all could go from here.”