"We've documented the rise of the new wave of custom culture from the early days. And in the UK the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club is emerging at the creative centre of the community. According to the Bike Shed's founding collective "
We chat to The Bike Shed’s Anthony “Dutch” van Someren
The Bikes Shed Motorcycle Club has grown. Here's the story so far
During the transition of popularity seemingly moving away from sports and performance-orientated bikes to the more custom bike builds, The Bike Shed was born, but who are they?! For those of you that don’t know, Anthony “Dutch” van Someren explains.
Danni Bagnall: What do you guys do over at the bike shed?
Anthony “Dutch” van Someren: Started in November 2011 as a blog, The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club has gradually grown into a cafe/bar/restaurant/shop/gallery/barbershop/event space – a jack-of-all trades, then?! – under four refurbished railway arches, in the heart of Shoreditch, Central London. It’s like we’re hidden in plain sight under the main railways bridge on the junction of Old Street (384). We are a motorcycle club you can join, with 600 members but (with two-fingers raised to exclusive London clubs) you don’t have to be a member to come to the club, oh and you also don’t have to ride a motorcycle… We welcome all visitors of all walks of life, and funnily enough half our customers are not even bikers. The 100-seat café and restaurant is even rated on Trip Advisor in the top 4% of all London restaurants – an achievement we’re massively proud of. We also run our website and annual event business from the BSMC, and this May have over 13,000 visitors to our show in Tobacco Dock. (Video HERE). We’ve even got bike parking on a private street available for up to 60 bikes.
DB: What’s the bike scene like in the London area?
AvS: Being in the City, you come across all kinds of different people. We’re targeted to the new-wave of custom-bike builders, but we welcome anyone; people that ride, people that don’t ride, sport-bike riders. Literally anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. The new-wave cafe racer London bike scene is so vibrant at the moment, though. It’s fresh, young, inclusive and it’s growing at a massive rate – something that is very exciting to be a part of.
DB: How’s the bike scene changed in your opinion since you guys started out?
AvS: When I first started out, I began lightly modifying bikes at the start of an emerging zeitgeist that emphasised the importance of making machines that were individual, in the style of flat trackers, scramblers, and bobbers, and the bike scene seems to have just run with that, meaning it’s bigger and better than ever. I’d say it has been in the last decade where we’ve seen the biggest transformation. The bike scene has gone from being a clichéd pastime of men having a midlife crisis to being a lifestyle adventure pastime for individuals who appreciate real experience over virtual living.
DB: How did your recent event go at Tobacco Docks?
AvS: We had an overwhelming turnout. The sun was shining and people were well and truly out. We had a turnout of more than 13,000 people, which is just incredible. All of which came to see the 219 curated custom motorcycles we had on display over the three-day exhibition event, alongside the best retail brands, photography, live art, live music (across several stages), live screen-printing and helmet pin-striping, plus street food, multiple bars, whisky lounges, barbershop, and tattoo lounge. We received fantastic support from a number of the main motorcycle manufacturers and apparel brands, too. It couldn’t really have gone any better.
DB: Anything new in the Bike Shed?
AvS: We’re planning to grow the club/cafe/retail/event side of the brand into Europe and the US in 2018 – and we’re already planning Bike Shed London 2018 at Tobacco Dock on 25/26/27 May, so make sure you’re there!
Images: Tom Bing
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