Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ace Cafe: The Legend That Is

Every country has places that must be visited by every biker, at least once. In the UK, one of those places is the Ace Cafe.

It was originally built in 1938, as a road side stop for truckers using the then new North Circular road.

Being open 24 hours and also being so close to a main road, meant that it was soon taken over by motorbikers - the 'Ton-up' boys.

It closed in 1969 when the rock n' roll era was up; but was reopened again on the original site in 1997 - now catering for all bikers as well as car enthusiasts.

The Cafe is now famous for it's event's, from bike nights and car meets, to motorbike runs and charity causes.

Charity Supporter

This year, the Ace has been supporting the charity Jeans for Genes, and according to their website, "aims to raise £100,000 to create The Genetic Road Map".

The Jeans for Genes charity aims to 'change the world for children affected by genetic disorders', and hold their main fundraising day during October.

Bikers have been urged to get sponsored for ride outs, or simply to donate during the many key events at the Cafe through the year.

This isn't the only charity work that is supported by the Ace Cafe however.

Every year at Christmas, hundreds of bikers bring a childrens toy to the Cafe, and then ride out to hospitals around London to give them to children who will be in hospital over Christmas.

Global Attraction

Although based in the England, it's not just a place to visit for UK bikers. The Ace is known across Europe, and and ride out you can often meet foreigners come for the day.

One of the biggest attractions is the three day Ace Cafe Reunion event, usually held in September.

Part of the event is the Continental Run, which starts at a cafe in Germany, and picks up riders while going through Holland, Belgium and France.

In the past it has been estimated that around 15,000 bikes have taken part on some point of the run, and over the three days, 40,000 bikers have celebrated the Ace.

The Reunion includes a run from the Ace Cafe to the famous Madeira Drive in Brighton - known as the Brighton Burn-Up.

This event can attract riders from as far afield as America and even on the odd occasion, from Australia.

In the Media

The Cafe has often been the subject of media attention since it's opening nearly seventy years ago.

In 1964, the Cafe was the centre for the film The Leather Boys, which focused on the rocker scene that was big at the time.

It also came under a lot of critisism from the press as well, who saw the place as a centre of young untrustworthy youths.

The bikers were stereotyped as being loud, rude and uncaring, riding too fast and having to thought for other road users.

Charlie Boorman has visited the Cafe in his TV series 'By Any Means', riding to the Cafe on his bike and then leaving on a bus.

The Ace Cafe has gone from truck stop to rocker's world to it's new incarnation celebrating motor love - and it's the only greasy spoon to be seen at.

1 comment:

fasthair said...

Ms. Fylix: The Ace Cafe on the list of places to visit someday. If I ever manage to be able to travel to Europe that is. Would really like to have a patch for the coat but I think buying it online would not be the same as buying it in person.