Cape Town - This weekend sees the first annual Cape Bike Expo at Timour Hall in Plumstead, home of the long-running Classic Car Show - and convenor Jo Huysamen has carried some of its wide-ranging appeal across to the new event.
Open from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, 15 March, it will feature stands displaying the latest models from major manufacturers - including at least one not seen before in Cape Town - a stunning display of custom creations by Viper Motorcycles, stalls selling bikewear, safety and biker-related jewellery, food and refreshments, and live music from rockabilly band Black Irish.
However the main attraction, as at the Classic Car Show, will be the bikes of the riders attending the show. As soon as you ride in through the gates and park, your pride and joy becomes part of the display.
You don’t have to stay all day, although you are welcome to do so; Huysamen envisages a rolling display as bikers come and go, with the constant sound of engines revving up the excitement, making visitors look up to see what’s just arrived. All you are asked to do is to chill out and talk about your bike, and biking in general to members of the public.
MOTORCYCLING CELEBRATES THE INDIVIDUAL
Because the Expo, Huysamen insists, is not only for bikers; with many friends in the motorcycling community she’s acutely aware that that the only bikers most people sees are anonymous, slightly intimidating, faceless figures in black leather and full-face helmets slicing through the traffic.
More than that, the riders themselves are aware of their (mostly undeserved) outlaw reputation, and they often become defensive when talking to non-bikers - which is why so few people are aware of the enormous amount of charity work undertaken by mainstream motorcycle clubs.
The Expo, she says, is intended as a meeting place, a family-friendly, affordable place where the public can find out how, more than anything else, motorcycling celebrates the individual - which is why no two motorcycles are ever exactly alike - and how riders everywhere harness that individuality for the good of the community, from the enormous annual Toy Run in aid of disadvantaged children everywhere (have you ever seen 33 000 toys in one pile?) to a handful of riders doing essential maintenance work at the local shelter in their own time, using their own tools and materials.
Motorcycling is a close-knit brotherhood, but not a closed one; be a part of it this Sunday. Entry costs R35 per person, which includes a metal badge; children free.
For more information, visit the the Cape Bike Expo website and Facebook page.