A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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Manchester Bike Show 2018

Blog Date - 27 March 2018

I'm gonna be famous one day. I'm gonna get invited to do talks and appear on TV shows and people will just give me money. Needless to say the plan isn't going quite to plan. It seems Sharon's the famous one. Pffffft.

Sharon and her Kawasaki Z250SL called Envy
Sharon and Envy - international jet setting celebrites. Pffffft.

However it's the end of March which means another chance to shine in front of the great unwashed of Manchester and the surrounding areas. It's the Manchester Bike Show and we're joining the Chunkies once again. 

We have a cunning plan this year. Rather than simply displaying our rather ordinary motorcycles we're aiming to catch people's eye and give them a reason to engage with us. Sharon has her painted tank and will demonstrate her artistic skills. I - I will strip and rebuild a 125cc engine.

Friday sees us setting up at Event City, the large empty box where the show is held. I finally get to meet Ed March (https://c90adventures.co.uk) who transpires to be just like, erm, err...Ed March which is nice. Sharon and I set out our stall complete with table, Sharon's Keeway with the aforementioned painted tank and my engine in a bucket. 

Ed March and his famous worn out beat up C90 at the Manchester stand
It's an Ed March lookalike with a C90. 

The evening is actually the best part of these events. At a campsite near Bolton are gathered various chunkies from around the UK. There's a run to the chippy with 14 orders for fish, pies, peas, chips and pop. There's a few tinnies being supped. There is much teasing and taunting. There's even a sing-song complete with appalling ukulele playing and howls of laughter.

A group of motorcyclists around a table laughing and smiling at the camera
The Chunkies evening. Image Neil Foulks

The Saturday evening is also a great pleasure although things are more subdued simply because everyone is tired. In spite of this there is laughter and talk interspersed with chilli, curry and rice supplied by Pete Johnson's long suffering wife. I feel contented amongst the chunkies this weekend.

It seems we've made a mistake this year. The idea of having things happening to encourage people to engage with us is proving to be a failure. 

Sharon points out the biggest issue is the table. Rather than providing a platform for us to work upon it has become a barrier between us and the meandering visitors. Not only that the wallpaper pasting table is not strong enough to support the engine so I'm working behind the table. Whoops.

The stand with a table, a motorcycle and a BAT banner separating Sharon and Ren from the punters
It looks great, but it also looks like a barrier.

Sharon doesn't paint. The setup is all wrong, the situation is all wrong and it's just not happening for her. I do strip and rebuild the motor but the only attention I attract is from those who already know a lot about the insides of an engine. Sharon's painted tank catches many eyes, that works. 

The weekend is not a failure, but we haven't engaged anywhere near as much as we'd have liked. We must be positive and take the "Elon Musk" approach, we have learnt a valuable lesson that we can take forward with us into the future. 

Anyhow we've had another chance to view the offerings from the motorcycle manufacturers. We've seen the jackets and boots and helmets and gloves. We've caught up with many friends at the show. Best of all we have enjoyed 2 rather splendid evenings with friends both old and new.

If you'd like to join Chunky Tread then all you need is a facebook account. 

The Chunky Tread Motorcycle Adventure Club logo

If you'd like to help Ren become rich and famous we need motorcycle related products to test. Contact Ren via ren@bikesandtravels.com

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