4 October 2012


It was probably going to be the last really hot day of the year it being September and the sun certainly had his hat on, so we piled into the car for a trip to the seaside...

                         fifty four                                  Brighton                                                           tin of sweets                     sunny
ElwoodIt's hundred and six  miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it;s dark and we're wearing sunglasses.  

Jake: Hit it.

All the way there we were continually being overtaken by motorbikes and as we hit Brighton we realised why, filling the seafront road of Madeira Drive, were thousands of motorbikes and scooters. 
It was the Ace Cafe Reunion run, or the Brighton Burn-Up as it's known, taking place that weekend.

Ace Cafe is the famous bikers cafe on London's North Circular Road. Built as a cafe for road hauliers in the 1930's it became the favourite haunt of Britain's motorcyclists, part of teenage culture and post-war rock 'n' roll. It closed in 1969 and was reborn in 1997. 

There were bikers from all over the country and Europe, we even spotted a van with Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club  painted on the side.

What's surprising is that the reunion is for both Mods and Rockers, young and old, bikes and scooters. Certainly not something that would have happened in the 60's when Brighten was trying desperately to keep them away every bank holiday and the police were trying to stop them from killing each other.


       Mod's scooters on display 

       But they were way outnumbered by motorbikes
    and what amazing bikes...

       and trikes, cafe racers, sidecars...

       From Vincent, Norton, Kawasaki, Honda, Harley-Davidson, Victory, BSA, BMW, Triumph, Suzuki, National Chopper Club and many customised machines.

It was an incredible sight, bikers were arriving all the time, the front was thronged with people and the sound of revving machines, all in sweltering sunny weather. Certainly not something we had been expecting to see on our trip to the seaside. Others obviously had known about the event as there were hundreds of serious photographers. As usual you never have a camera when you need it! The man's iPhone camera wasn't working and I only had my simple discontinued nokia, but surprisingly I think it took some pretty good pictures, supplemented by a couple of photos from www.brightonrun.co.uk   the newspaper is from  Mods Vs Rockers Brighton beach May 18th 1964 oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk the quote of course is from 1980 film The Blues Brothers.   

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